Vanilla and Ginger Rum

On Reunion Island they do things to rum. They flavour it with fruit and spices to suit taste, inclination and season.

A rum’n’cola is to these drinks what acorns are to ground coffee.

To make approx. 125 cl.:

  • 1 litre white agricultural rum, preferably 45° or 50° strength
  • 400 g Demerara sugar
  • 300 g fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 vanilla pod, split lengthways

Mix ginger, sugar and vanilla in a hermetically sealed jar. Allow to macerate for two days at room temperature. This will draw all the lovely flavoursome juices from the ginger and vanilla.

Add the rum and mix well. Filter through muslin and bottle. Allow to stand in the sun for a week (two weeks if weather is cloudy) before you even think of drinking it. If you can resist temptation longer, the smoothness of its flavour will improve. This makes a pleasant, spicy aperitif; be warned, though, it’s deceptive.

Feel free to experiment with your own flavourings: orange, lemon, lime, passionfruit, coconut (use fresh coconut), mango, banana, vanilla, pineapple, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, peppercorns…


Go on, bother me. You know you want to.

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