Spicing it Up

Spiced Rum

I’m told the most popular drink of the moment is Captain Morgan Spiced Rum. I’m not much impressed by this drink – an amber rum sweetened with a lot of vanilla. There are huge numbers of competitors leaping into the market including the Kraken pictured at right. (In the background you can see a new ‘spiced’ bourbon from Jim Bean.)

The Kraken is closer to a rum than Cap Morgan, and will accordingly appeal more to those drinkers. The spicing is ginger, vanilla, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, and a few other things I can’t identify. Maybe a citrus zest.

Almost all of the cocktails using spiced rum are horrifically sweet, usually involving blue curacao, coke or some other pop, and then a sweet juice like pineapple or orange.

If you’re going to go down this route why not make your own spiced rum? There’s nothing easier than infusing a liquor with spices.

Here’s my first kick at the cat.
3/4 bottle of dark rum
1 vanilla bean opened
4 cloves
10 whole black peppercorns
2 slices fresh ginger (1/8 thick and about an inch in diameter)
nutmeg to taste (I used a 1/4 of a nut, unground)
a slice of tangerine peel, white pith scraped off

Add the ingredients to the rum, cap and leave somewhere dark for a few days.

It doesn’t hurt to give the bottle a shake and taste it every couple of days. You may want to remove some ingredients if they seem to be dominating.

IF you really adore Captain Morgan Spiced you’ll want to add one or two more vanilla beans.

By the way you can do stuff like this with vodka and white rum too…

And if you want to try the cocktail I enjoyed with John G. here’s the recipe.

1 shot dark rum (50 mls, or 2 oz)
1/2 shot Kahlua
generous squeeze of lime
4 shots coke


  1. what makes an $80..00 bottle of wine worth more than a $15.00 bottle of wine

  2. It’s two things: One is realty value – land in the Okanagan is going for about $200K an acre at the moment so getting any kind of return means a more expensive wine. Nor is the Okanagan unique. Endless numbers of people dream of their own winery which keeps the price higher than any rational businessperson would pay.

    The second is the cost of the grapes. Whether you grow them yourself or buy them from a grower the market is competitive and the best grapes grown on the best land demand the highest price.

    To be blunt, I doubt your comment that your wines taste better than $80 wines. You may prefer them, but I doubt most would agree.

    This is one of the few provinces where people will understand what I’m about to say: The juice you buy to make your wine comes from the equivalent of feed grain. The best grapes, the #1 Northern of the sort, go to the vineyards willing to pay for it; which is to say those who can get a return from a high priced bottle. The next best, the #2 grapes, go to the table wine category, wines between $10 and $20 landed in SK. The #3 and lower goes to bulk wines, and to juice for home kits.

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