When most people think of rum, they conjure up visions of tiki drinks with a tiny umbrella at the beach, or perhaps a fruity rum punch served on a hot summer evening. Since most rum is produced in tropical countries, it seems that rum and warm weather go hand-in-hand.
But as Washington slugs its way through another cold and dreary February, you might want to venture vicariously to a warmer place with a rum cocktail. While the sweetness of rum goes well in fruity summery drinks, spiced rum can add a touch of warmth and cheer to a wintry tipple.
Spiced rums are nothing new – Captain Morgan has been on the market for decades. Driven in large part by the escalating tiki craze, the popularity of this flavored spirit has been increasing steadily over the past few years with many different brands. Spiced rum now accounts for 33% of the total rum market (about 9.2 million cases), according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.
One of the most interesting spirits recently introduced is Oakheart. Manufactured by Bacardi, the world´s leading producer of rum, Oakheart was launched to accentuate the emerging popularity of spiced rum. What distinguishes Oakheart from other spiced rums is its rich vanilla-forward flavor with a hint of smokiness and unique velvet-like smoothness.
Liz Townsend, Field Marketing Manager, for Bacardi U.S.A., calls Oakheart a tribute to the modern day adventurer. The spirit honors their core essence: a fierce loyalty, stout-heart and unwavering resolve. The Oakheart name draws on the charred oak barrels used to create the rum. Consumers and bartenders associate the name with strength of character, unwavering loyalty, and the kind of friend they’d like to be and have.
Oakheart is flavored with impressions of maple, cinnamon, nutmeg, honey and vanilla, according to Townsend. The spices are added to the rum which is filtered through a proprietary process. They are distilled with the rum for 1-3 years in American White Oak barrels.
While the Bacardi website suggests serving Oakheart over ice or mixing it with cola or ginger ale, it also makes a delightful addition to hot cocktails. Rum takes well to being heated, and Oakheart´s hearty spices like cinnamon and nutmeg will warm you from your head to your toes. There’s nothing quite like a warm drink to soothe your soul on a frigid evening. It’s like wrapping yourself in your favorite blanket.
One of the easiest hot drinks to make is a spiked hot cider. Simply heat your favorite brand of apple cider, add 1.5 ounces Bacardi Oakheart to six ounces of cider, a teaspoon of brown sugar and an apple for garnish.
Oakheart will add a dash of spice to the classic hot toddy. One of the most well-known of all hot drinks, the “hot toddy” is often used to describe any variation of warm cocktail, but the traditional recipe is 1.5 ounces of heated rum, a teaspoon of honey, and a lemon slice. Add a stick of cinnamon for an extra spicy kick. This drink is guaranteed to chase away your February chills.
Another classic cocktail which has been making a comeback is hot buttered rum. While a cocktail containing butter may sound strange, the butter and spicy Oakheart make a decadent treat which is perfect for a cozy evening by the fire. To make at home, combine 1.5 ounces of Oakheart rum, two tablespoons of butter, a teaspoon of honey in a hot beverage mug, and top with boiling water, stirring well until dissolved.
If you don’t like hot drinks, you can always mix up your favorite tropical drink such as a Daiquiri or rum runner with a shot of Oakheart and imagine yourself on a Caribbean beach. Oakheart’s full-bodied flavor will lend a unique hint of flavor to any of your favorite rum drinks.
Warm up with Bacardi Oakheart at On Tap’s Worst Date Happy Hour
Join On Tap and Bacardi in celebrating all your terrible, awful, no good date experiences on February 13 at Policy from 6 to 8 p.m. Enjoy complimentary Bacardi Oakheart drinks, apps and enter to win great prizes. To RSVP visit www.ontaponline.com/dates.
Policy: 1904 14th St. NW, DC; 202-387-7654; www.policydc.com.