This is a very intriguing rum that packs a lot of flavor…and its a white rum with an unusually strong dark rum character.
I don`t think i`ve come across a white rum that has so much of the dark rum flavor before..but on the other hand there´s many white rums i`ve never yet tasted.
I first saw it at the Tales this summer and got me a sample but i wasn´t prepared for how good this rum was. Its an intense white rum which is a blend of rums from five distilleries, each aged between three and twelve years and some is carbon-filtered to get a white color.
According to the label, 5 Island Rum is a “Sophiscated blend of Barrel-Aged rums. Pot stilled Jamaican and light Trinidadian, amber rums from Guyana and Barbados and Indonesian Java.. Enhanced and inspired by the journeys and discoveries of Joseph Banks, a gentleman, botanist and explorer. According to the neck band this is a dry Flavorful rum.
On the nose its light but with the typical Jamaican pot still lingering around. There has been descriptions of this rum with taste notes of both tropical florals, gardenia, citrus blossom, dark chocolate, habanero pepper, smoke, soursop and orange…gingery and peppery..wow..that´s a lot of flavor descriptions!
I find a rich multitude of flavors and among them dried apricot, tropical fruit and a slight buttery sugarcane flavor steadily backed up by the pot-still flavor but there`s no heaviness in this rum, its light and bright and yet it got a slight funk..in a good way – so much flavor. I also find a vegetal note in it..making it very suitable for many mixed drinks.
I would also say this rum is great for a daiquiri.
Banks Five Island Rum is blended in Holland and made for mixing cocktails really, but i find it`s also an excellent sipper. Its been nominated for the Golden Rum Barrel awards 2010 in the classes “Best White Rum”,”Best Premium White Rum” and “Best New Rum brand” – we will soon know the results since they were decided today.
You can soon read more on their website.
This smooth flavorful rum is like i said great for daiquiris..which allows the flavor to speak for itself which a rum like this deserves. But one can also go the other way and make a wild drink.
I´m gonna make a twist of the Witchdoctor which i was introduced and seduced to at Bar Tonique…using mint instead of basil (for garnish only in this drink) since that´s what i got and its always fun trying out new things.
So here we go:
1.5 oz Banks Five Island Rum
1.5 oz Batavia arrak
1/4 – 0.5 oz sugarcane syrup (Petit Canne)
0.5 oz fresh lime
Top with a little soda if you like
Garnish fresh mint
Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass with ice, top with a little soda if you like and stick a mint sprig as garnish.
The Witchdoctor uses basil syrup and Smith & Cross, here i replaced the basil syrup with Petit Canne´s deep flavored sugarcane syrup and i think the Batavia arrak mixes well with Banks, increasing the tropical fruitiness and adding some deep mellowness to the drink. No wonder it mixes well with arrak since there´s rum from Indonesia in it.
The crisp clean lightness is still there but there´s a more earthy tone from the arrak with an aftertaste of dried tropical fruit. Basically this is a mojito sans muddled mint but the addition of Batavia arrak changes it into something else – and that´s what makes it a Bush doctor..
The next thing i REALLY had to do was making a Chartreuse Swizzle and since we more or less lived on them in the mixohouse serving them in flower vases communal style every night i took that awesome drink to heart and added it in my regular rotation here and YET i didn´t think about subbing the Smith & Cross with Banks…not until today and of course its a big win! its not a new idea at all, its just me lingering behind..
Then after having a couple sips i came to the conclusion that this is tasty! BUT floating some Smith & Cross would maybe improve it even more and really, it did – it was like adding the final touch if you like. And now..no more messing around!
1 oz Green Chartreuse
1 oz Banks Five Island Rum
1 1/2 oz Pineapple juice
1 oz fresh lime juice
1/4 oz Falernum
2 dash Bitter Truth Aromatic Bitters (instead of Angostura)
Float Smith & Cross
Add ingredients to a suitable glass full of crushed ice. Swizzle to mix, float Smith & Cross and garnish with plenty of fresh mint, and add straw.
As good as it can be…and if you switch the pineapple juice for fresh grapefruit juice (white) you´re in for a VERY refreshing drink! The drink in the picture actually is the one with grapefruit juice.
Nothing wrong at all with Angostura but the Bitter Truth`s aromatic bitters added a slight bitter edge that i like.
My conclusion after this experiment is that Banks Five Island Rum is a rum i want to have in my bar regularly.