Rock star rums
Local restaurants and mixologists share details and recipes for their most prized creations.
Rum is one of the most popular liquors in the world and was historically a necessity for trade. It has a long history, with the earliest known reference written by Marco Polo and the first distillation carried out on Caribbean sugarcane plantations in the 17th century. Today rum is making an impressive comeback, and it’s predicted that spiced and flavored rum categories will become a leading drink for consumers in the next few years. After vodka, rum is the most consumed spirit in the world, and for a good reason. It contains sugarcane’s natural flavor and oils with other added notes such as caramel, vanilla, nutmeg and spice, denoting good quality. Its sweet flavor and versatility make it perfect for a variety of cocktails. Here are some recipes from local restaurants that use rum in their signature cocktails.
The Salty Dog Cafe
3/4 ounce Bacardi or white rum
3/4 ounce melon liqueur
4 1/2 ounces pina colada mix (or 2 1/2 ounces
pineapple juice and 2 ounces Coco Lopez)
1/2 fresh kiwi
Directions  Combine all ingredients in a blender with 12 ounces of ice.  Blend well and serve.
“Our Salty Dog Kiwi Colada is named after the very first blue and gold macaw that joined us in South Beach in 1991.” — The Salty Dog Cafe
Hilton Head Distillery
HHI Mai Tai
1 ounce Hilton Head pineapple rum
1/2 ounce Hilton Head Solera rum
1 ounce pineapple juice
1/2 ounce orgeat
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
1/2 ounce orange curacao
1 cherry, orange slice and pineapple leaf for garnish
Directions  Add rums, pineapple juice, orgeat, lime juice and orange curacao and shake over ice.  Strain into an ice-filled glass and float grenadine.  Garnish with a cherry, orange and pineapple leaf.
“The name Mai Tai is rumored to be taken from the Tahitian word maitai’I, meaning good or excellent. The HHI Mai Tai is the quintessential rum cocktail. A true tiki cocktail, it is tart and strong and has a prominent rum flavor with a bit of orange and lime flavor on the backend. We promise your taste buds will love the adventure.” — Kate Goodall, Hilton Head Distillery
3 ounces vanilla-infused rum
Directions  Shake rum excessively. Pour into a chilled martini glass.  Garnish with a lemon twist.
“The Chowtini is made with our homemade vanilla-infused rum, a recipe we found while traveling in the French West Indies. Simple and delicious!” — Price Beall, Chow Daddy’s
The Pearl Kitchen & Bar
The May Margarita
1/2 ounce lime juice
1/2 ounce lemon juice
1/2 ounce agave
2 ounces rum
Splash of Cointreau
Directions  Put all ingredients into a shaker and shake well.  Pour into a margarita glass with a salt rim.
“Our twist on a margarita is perfect for Lowcountry sipping.” — The Pearl Kitchen & Bar
Celeste Coastal Cuisine
2 ounces passion fruit syrup
1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
8 ounces lemon-lime soda
2 ounces light rum
1 ounce 151 proof rum
1 orange slice and cherries for garnish
Directions  Add all ingredients to a glass with ice and lightly stir.  Add orange slices and cherries to garnish.
“The Brugal Especial Extra Dry Rum, Bacardi 151 Rum, passion fruit, fresh lime, lemon-lime soda and orange slice create the perfect twist on a Hurricane Fizz.” — Celeste Coastal Cuisine
Berkeley Hall Club
2 ounces Smith & Cross London Traditional Jamaica rum
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1/2 ounce passion fruit syrup
2 dashes Fee Foam
Directions  Give ingredients a dry shake.  Wet shake and strain into a glass.  Spritz with Peychaud’s bitters.
“Lord Berkeley, having served time as a young man in Barbados, was fond of its classic English-style of rum, the specific choice of the British Navy, best distinguished by its navy-strength proof. With the distinct notes of bananas and caramel, well-paired by the passion fruit and lime as natural, native flavors. The anise flavor-forward Peychaud’s bitters from New Orleans offers a layered lightness as the passion fruit bears the burgundy warmth of the Berkeley Hall logo crest.” — Berkeley Hall Club
2 ounces Blackheart rum
2 ounces Admiral Nelson coconut rum
4 ounces pineapple juice
4 ounces cranberry juice
Directions  Mix over ice in a shaker.  Pour into 20-ounce celebration glasses.
“Need to relax and cool off after a day in the sun? Kick back with one of our signature cocktails; the Giuseppi’s Rum Punch. Just like Giuseppi’s, this delightful cocktail is a Hilton Head original and has quenched the thirsts of locals and visitors alike for decades.” — Giuseppi’s
Coast Oceanfront Dining
Seasonal Peach Mojito
8 mint leaves, muddled
1/4 ounce simple syrup
2 ounces peach rum
Splash peach syrup
Directions  Add ingredients and shake and top with club soda.  Add a splash of peach syrup for color.
“The perfect libation to enjoy seaside is our Seasonal Mojito. Varying seasonal flavors makes this cocktail ever-changing and always delicious. Currently, you can find our Peach Mojito with Bacardi Superior Rum or flavored rum with muddled lime and mint, topped with club soda.” — Coast Oceanfront Dining
FISH Casual Coastal Seafood
1 ounce Hilton Head Distillery Platinum white rum
1 ounce Hilton Head Distillery spiced rum
2 ounces banana puree
2 ounces water
1 ounce pineapple juice
1/2 ounce honey syrup
Dash of vanilla extract
Directions  Mix ingredients in a shaker, shake well and strain into a glass over crushed ice.  Garnish with a cinnamon stick and banana chips.
“Vacations start with our signature Banana Punch. We recommend our premium version, which features Hilton Head Distillery spiced and bananas foster rums, banana puree, pineapple juice honey syrup, vanilla extract and a dash of cinnamon on top. One taste, and you’re on Island Time.” — Ben Schuman, FISH Casual Coastal Seafood
Nectar Farm Kitchen
Southern Caramel Adult Coffee
1 ounce Meyers dark rum
1/2 ounce Carolans Salted Caramel Irish Cream
King Bean Nitro cold brew coffee
Sweet potato syrup
Sweet potato whipped cream (made with heavy cream and sweet potato-infused simple syrup)
Half and half
Directions  Drizzle caramel into a tulip glass.  Fill the glass with ice and add rum and Irish cream. Pour nitro cold brew to about an inch from the top of the glass.  Add a dash of cream. Finish with whipped cream and a drizzle of caramel on top.
“Great meals begin or end with a good cup of coffee. We source ours from a local roaster in Charleston, and by nitrogen-infusing their cold brew, we’ve added a rich, creamy texture while maintaining robust coffee flavors. One of the first menu items we created for this restaurant was our sweet potato pancakes, and we felt the cinnamon and brown sugar characteristics of that dish would play great into a coffee drink. While bourbon is more familiar in spiked coffees, the dark rum perfectly achieved the balanced and unique flavor profile we were searching for.” — Nectar Farm Kitchen
Marriott’s Grande Ocean
The Great Pumpkin
1 teaspoon ground pumpkin allspice
3/4 ounce spiced rum
3/4 ounce vanilla rum
1/2 ounce Irish cream liquor
1/4 ounce pumpkin syrup
2 tablespoons pumpkin purée
4 tablespoons milk
Shaved cinnamon sticks
Directions  Put pumpkin allspice in a blender. Add rum, Irish cream, pumpkin syrup, pumpkin purée and milk. Fill with ice, blend and pour into a glass.  Garnish the glass rim with pumpkin spice and cinnamon sugar.  Top with whipped cream and shaved cinnamon sticks.
“Fall is in the air. This is not your basic pumpkin spice drink. Enjoy the refreshing twist of fresh pumpkin.” — Marriott’s Grande Ocean