I rarely dance with dark rum. My aversion to sweetness, warm weather, and coconut bras generally keeps me at bay. I have a soft spot for Hunter S. Thompson though, and watching his character consume rum by the truckload in The Rum Dairy on Friday inspired me to give it another chance. I struck out to make a palatable concoction from what I had in the liquor pantry, and the result was the reinvention of the Cuba Libre. The flavor profile of original coca-cola apparently shared the attributes of Amaro (a bitter-sweet Italian liqueur) and Angostura bitters, so with a little sugar and a splash of club soda, I had all the makings of an edgier cocktail. Its contents are deceptively higher in alcohol than the traditional recipe, so I've entitled it ron el mar - the evil rum.
Ron el Mal
- 3oz dark rum
- 1.5oz Amaro (such as Amaro Montenegro)
- 3 dashes Angostura bitters
- 1 sugar cube (or a teaspoon of simple syrup)
- club soda
- lemon peel
Place the sugar cube at the bottom of a rocks glass and douse it with two to three healthy dashes of bitters. Muddle the bitter sugar and then add a splash of club soda to help it dissolve. Fill the glass with ice, rum, and Amaro. Stir and garnish with a hearty rind of lemon.