Last week we gave you the Planter’s Cocktail #1 from The Savoy Cocktail Book, so today’s mixed drink selection was the logical follow-up. That’s good because, to be truthful, the first Planter’s Cocktail was find but something of a hit or miss proposition. This one is a sweet delight that delights consistently, but is also transformed by the particular dark rum expression you go with. If you’re looking for something good, cool, versatile, and tasty-sweet this Labor Day weekend, this could be for you. I like this one a lot.
The Planter’s Cocktail #2
1 1/2 ounces dark rum
3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
3/4 ounce simple syrup
Combine all the ingredients with lots of ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake very vigorously and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Salute dark rum, a spirit that hardly ever seems to be the star of the show, but which has everything it takes to play the lead.
Like I said above, the choice of brand makes a big difference in the flavor of this Planter’s Cocktail but I’m happy to say that every one I made turned out delicious. The most charmingly candy-like flavor — very sweet but not tiki drink sweet — was obtained using value-priced, tiki-friendly Whaler’s Rum. Myer’s Dark Rum had a bit more of a kick and that molasses undercurrent we expect from dark rum, as well as a bit of tartness. HIgh class Appleton Estate Jamaican Rum gave us the the most uptown cocktail. Sweet but with many spice flavors dancing about on the tongue. Very nice.
Finally, I’m not following my usual practice this week of giving you an option to use superfine sugar if you don’t have simple syrup on hand. This one requires 3/4 ounces of liquified sweetness to make it work. The Master of Mixes brand that I use is both made with real sugar and quite reasonable. If you want, you can find a ton of suggestions for making your own simple syrup on line. Mine is simply to take equal parts water and superfine (baker’s) sugar and stir. The only reason I don’t make my own more often is the small matter of storing it and making sure it doesn’t go bad in some way. Meanwhile, the Master of Mixes people grow rich off my laziness.