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Trader Joe's Rum of the Gods
About Trader Joe's Rum of the Gods
After having a surprisingly positive experience earlier this year with Trader Joe’s Small Batch Vodka, I started to pay more attention to the in-store liquor section. While they offer a handful of options, I was particularly interested in Trader Joe’s Rum of the Gods, as I’ve recently been exploring mixing spirits.
Rum of the Gods is an affordable white rum made from cane sugar. It is initially distilled in Barbados, and then transported in bulk to a bottling plant in Wisconsin.
❖ Spirit: White Rum
❖ Distillery: Product of Barbados. Imported and bottled by Minhas Micro Distillery in Monroe, Wisconson.
❖ ABV: 40% (80 Proof)
❖ Low Price
❖ Nose: Ethanol, Vanilla extract
❖ Taste: Ethanol, Pepper, Spice, Vanilla
❖ Finish: Medium, Slightly fruity
1 1/2 oz White Rum
1 oz Grapefruit Juice
1/2 oz Lime Juice
3/4 oz Maraschino Liqueur
❖ Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker, add ice and shake until chilled
❖ Strain into a coupe and garnish with a lime wheel or Maraschino cherry.
In the later years of his life, renowned writer and seasoned drinker Ernest Hemingway frequented a bar in Havana, Cuba called El Floridita. Due to his diabetes, he was unable to drink cocktails with sugar. As a solution, the bar created a daiquiri variation using rum, maraschino liqueur, lime juice and grapefruit juice. While the original recipe contained an unreasonable amount of alcohol, modern bars have developed their own preferred versions. I decided to use this recipe from Robb Report, because I was curious about the balance with using maraschino liqueur as the sole sweetener.
Although it’s certainly spirit-forward, I still think this variation is well balanced. It’s not surprising that the dry cherry flavor of the maraschino liqueur is dominant, but there is still noticeable tartness from the citrus juices. The grapefruit especially comes through on the finish. As expected, Trader Joe’s Rum of the Gods doesn’t add much flavor. However, it does add support to the dry nature of the cocktail, but still lets the maraschino liqueur shine.
Even though I felt I had realistic expectations for this budget spirit from a chain grocery store, Trader Joe’s Rum of the Gods was still a disappointment. This is by far the least flavorful rum I’ve ever tasted. The overall flavor is similar to Trader Joe’s Vodka, with a strong ethanol note, but with faint pepper, spice and fruit notes. As a result, it falls into an odd middle ground where it is slightly too flavorful to be considered a neutral grain sprit, yet not flavorful enough to be an enjoyable rum. However, It can still be a substitute for vodka in cocktails with with other strong flavors. I would recommend looking elsewhere for your next bottle of white rum.
As always, drink responsibly.
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