Image by Ko Hana Rum
For a quick upgrade for your summer cocktail rotation, look no further than agricole-style rum.
Most white rums are distilled from molasses, a byproduct of refining sugar. But agricole-style rums, which take their name from a traditional way of making rum in Martinique, are made from fresh sugarcane juice. And the difference flavorwise is huge: agricole rums tend to have a delicate but complex profile, often with notes of tropical fruits, grassiness, or fresh herbs.
And using agricole in cocktails can be a game-changer. Maybe you don’t want to throw it in a kitchen sink cocktail, like a Zombie Punch, because it will get lost in the shuffle. But think spirit-forward drinks, such as a daiquiri (the shaken, not the frozen kind), Ti’ Punch, or a Mojito, where the delicate flavor will shine through.
Here are three of our current favorites:
One of California’s best distilleries makes an agricole-style rum from fresh sugarcane grown in Southern California, and—no surprise--it’s reliably excellent. Made in small batches in a copper pot still, the rum is fresh and delicate with a peppery, grassy character.
Betcha didn’t know there was more than one kind of sugarcane? A relative newcomer to the distilling scene, this Hawaii-based producer is making beautiful agricole-style rums out of single-variety heirloom sugarcanes grown on Oahu. Try the bottles side-by-side to see just how different they can be. The “Lahi,” for instance, is grassy, while the “Manulele” is earthy.
From the French-Caribbean island of Marie Gallante, this rum is made from hand-harvested sustainably-grown organic sugarcane and has a light tropical profile with notes of fresh herbs.
Do you have any agricole-style rum recommendations?