If we’ve learnt anything over the past few years, it’s that tonic is so much more than just a mixer for gin. It’s proven itself to be an ideal pairing with everything from white port to vermouth, turning everything it touches into a long, refreshing summer serve. Now there’s a rum that’s been specifically designed to mix with tonic – a world first. And it’s pink.
The world of rum is clearly changing, as it starts to live up to its promise of being the Next Big Thing. This is taking many forms. On the one hand, there are more luxury rums out there than ever before, and distillers are providing more information about how they’re making these. It’s a great time for sipping rums, and for getting into all the geeky details about how they’re produced.
Then there are the pioneers – those pushing the envelope and stretching the definitions of what rum can be. In recent years these sugarcane innovators have been turning their attention to spiced rum, previously a style that didn’t deviate much from big sweetness and vanilla spice, all destined to be served with cola.
Enter Cloven Hoof.
The spirit that put this brand on the map is a blend of rums from Guyana & Trinidad. When this arrives in England, the rock-music-listening former bartenders that make up the Cloven Hoof team infuse it with an array of natural spices. The result is an appropriately-named dark and spicy spirit that shakes up the spiced rum category, and goes great with cola or ginger beer.
What this intense stuff needed, clearly, was a bright pink sidekick. To create Cloven Hoof Pink Botanical Rum, a blend of five year old barrel aged rum from Trinidad Distillers and unaged white rum from Guyana’s Diamond Distillery is filtered through charcoal, resulting in a characterful but clear spirit. This is infused with a mix of botanicals you wouldn’t expect to see in spiced rum – think elderflower, raspberry, rhubarb and rose petal.
If that sounds like it’s taking a leaf or two out of gin’s book, then that gives you a pretty good idea of how to serve it. Pour a decent measure over lots of ice in a large glass, add 150ml of decent tonic, and garnish generously with raspberries and strawberry slices.
Serve outdoors with plenty of sunshine.