There are rums, there are white rums, and then there’s Wray & Nephew Overproof Rum. I know, I know, you’re thinking overproof rum might not be appropriate for a gift giving guide or you might be thinking that white rum’s aren’t for sipping blah, blah, blah, boom, boom, boom. But believe me, this rum is a killer. And I mean that in a good way.
First things first, this rum isn’t for everybody. It is potent, it’s nose is potent and it really lives up to the “guaranteed full strength” written on the label. I have friends who claim it smells like rubbing alcohol or petrol or embalming fluid. They exaggerate. The nose is powerful and distinct but for me it is fruity and tropical, perhaps because it reminds me of time spent visiting family in Jamaica. (Sidebar, this rum is ubiquitous in Jamaican households, even among non-drinkers. It is used not just for drinks but for cooking and baking too.)
Second, though my cousin Stitchy and I tend to drink this on the rocks with a twist of lime and maaaaaaaybe a splash of water, this rum isn’t a sipper. I repeat this isn’t a sipper. Did I already mention this rum is potent. How potent? 63% ABV potent. So unless you’re a seasoned drinker you shouldn’t even think about trying this neat or on the rocks. But if you must, I urge you to add a little citrus (lemon or lime is fine).
Now I’m sure you’re thinking this doesn’t sound like much of a ringing endorsement for a holiday gift giving guide. But you’d be wrong. This rum is perfect for holidays. Use this rum in a mojito and you’ll see what I mean. And don’t even get me started on rum punch. Just a few weeks ago I made punch for a party. I mixed Wray & Nephew with a dark rum, grapefruit juice, an orange mango juice, a smidgen of grenadine, cinnamon, nutmeg and a few splashes of bitters. The drink “sell off“.
As I write this I”m enjoying a mix of Wray & Nephew with guava puree, tonic, lime and bitters. Magic. The complex flavours of this rum add character, heft to any drink. I highly recommend it for your private bar or as a gift during the holiday season. Oh, and it is a most welcome gift for any Jamaican on your gift giving list.