Our American friends may be well known for only getting 10 days’ holiday from work every year, but they still find plenty of other opportunities to celebrate. National Rum Day falls on 16th August in the US, marking the history of a drink allegedly favoured by pirates, whose very existence has some dark connections of its own.
As 17th century Europeans developed a sweet tooth, demand for sugar rocketed and sugar cane plantations spread across the colonised islands of the Caribbean. The plantation slaves discovered that distilling the skimmings and molasses left at the end of the sugar refining process made a raw spirit which they called ‘kill devil’. Tradition suggests this type of rum first originated on the island of Nevis, and by the 1620s rum production was also recorded in Brazil before making its way to Barbados.
Canny plantation owners soon cottoned on to the capitalist possibilities of rum, but with the export of cane spirits banned they ended up with more alcohol than they could trade in the local market. With island governors calling in the support of the Royal Navy to protect their precious sugar product from pirates and racketeers, the solution was to sell their Caribbean rum to the readymade market of Royal Navy pursers, as spirits were much less likely to spoil on board ship than wine or beer. A liquid identified as rum has even been found in a tin bottle found on the Swedish warship Vasa, which sank in 1628.
Jack Ratt Lugger Rum
As proud rum makers ourselves, here at Lyme Bay Winery we are also keen on celebrating the threads of history – not to mention National Rum Day – and our Jack Ratt Lugger Rum has its own links to the South West’s maritime heritage.
The name of our Lugger Rum originates from the fishing boats that notorious local smuggler Jack Rattenbury used to run contraband into Lyme Bay in the 18th Century. Fast, agile and often painted black, under the cover of darkness these Luggers were almost impossible to catch.
Unlike most commercial spiced rums, Lugger Rum is not defined by an overpowering vanilla characteristic. Instead, we aimed to create a rum that offers a full profile of spices, so our master drinks makers age Caribbean rum in bourbon-charred oak barrels right here in Devon before spicing it with nutmeg, orange peel, cloves and vanilla to create a superlative spiced dark rum.
Summer rum cocktails
Although its seafaring associations make Jack Ratt Lugger Rum the perfect tot to toast sailors around the globe, dark rum has shrugged off its one-shot image to become a popular cocktail staple in recent years.
Whether you are planning some interesting drinks for a summer wedding bar, getting together for a garden party or barbeque, or simply popping out for an impromptu picnic, here are some of our favourite spiced rum cocktail ideas.
Dark and Stormy
Mix 50ml of Jack Ratt Lugger Rum with 25ml of fresh lime juice, a couple of splashes of Angostura bitters and 100ml of your favourite chilled fiery ginger beer, and serve with a chunky slice of lime.
Cheeky Cherry Bomb
Perfect for picnics as you can mix it when you get there, take a couple of good sips from a can of cherry cola, then slowly pour in one 5cl bottle of our mini Jack Ratt Lugger Rum. Take our word for it – the slow pour is the secret here, otherwise, you’ll find out why this portable cocktail has such an explosive name!
Pour 50ml of Jack Ratt Lugger Rum into a cocktail shaker with 15ml sugar syrup and a shot of espresso – or two, if you’re a real coffee fiend – before straining over ice and topping with a light dusting of grated chocolate to taste.
If you’ve got a real sweet tooth, try mixing 30ml of Jack Ratt Lugger Rum with 20ml of our Lyme Bay Winery Salted Caramel Cream Liqueur in a shaker and serve over ice or drizzle over ice cream.
Stock up your rum rations
Our wonderful Winery shop is open on Monday to Saturday 9.30-4.30 and Sunday 11 am-3 pm if you’d like to drop in and buy from us direct. Otherwise, you can order your Jack Ratt Lugger Rum – along with all our other delicious drinks – by calling our friendly team here at the Winery on 01297 551355 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you order by 2 pm we endeavour to deliver within the next two working days and offer free delivery for all orders over £45.
We love to see our customers’ ‘drinkspirations’ so do post your rum cocktail recipes on our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pages, and let us know how you have mixed up your own Jack Ratt Lugger Rum combinations.