Many a conversation has kicked off with this clichéd but effective icebreaker: What would you bring with you to a deserted island? A hammock, boogie board, or good book would certainly fit the bill—but if the category is island drinks, then there’s a slam-dunk case to be made for perhaps the truest spirit of the archipelago.
That rum is right at home among crashing waves and private coves should come as no surprise given its Caribbean beginnings. And this region has continued to uphold the tradition of rum-making, all the way to this modern moment when the entire world is seeking out its enchanting powers of escapism. Even far from the sandy shores, though, this spirit can satisfy just as naturally at your landlocked cocktail den of choice, in a wide range of styles and alongside an endless array of flavor companions.
This versatility is on full display in the Sun’s Out, Rums Out Box. We’ll be serving up complex and oak barrel–impacted rum (aged 5–8 years) in three distinct and delicious ways, all with a nudge and a nod to the spirit’s beloved sun-and-sand sensibilities. Subscribe now through July 7th (while supplies last!) to get this box—it’s shipping now!
It’ll surely perk you up, but Kate Gerwin’s Wake me up before you GO GO isn’t just any ol’ iced coffee. For starters, there’s aged rum buzzing throughout, which sets a superior summer scene as it catches a wave of rich coconut syrup. After that? Wham! The signature quenching quinine kick of tonic water acts as the cool-off and changes the character—of what would be a rather robust cocktail!—completely for the brighter. So grab yourself this cup of joe joe, and you definitely won’t be left hanging like a yo-yo!
In 2014, Kate became the first woman and first American to win the Bols Around the World Bartending Championship. A veteran consultant and designer of bar programs around the country and a co-owner of Happy Accidents, a bar/distillery in Albuquerque, NM, her “crowning moment,” as she calls it, was being inducted into Tales of the Cocktail’s Dame Hall of Fame in 2015. Since opening, Happy Accidents was named a top-ten contender for Tales of the Cocktail’s Spirited Awards for “Best New American Cocktail Bar” in 2022.
Life’s got just a little more Luster with a cocktail that embodies the surroundings of a sun-soaked tropical locale. Steva Casey greets you there with this welcome drink, which complements and deepens the spice notes of aged rum with honey-fig syrup and an espresso salt rim. But it’s the islands, after all, and an invigorating taste from a tropical ginger beer—pulsing with the flavors of pineapple, mango, and passion fruit—adjusts and anchors the vibes of swimsuits and shades accordingly.
Steva, known for being the unofficial ambassador of Birmingham, AL, is a bartender at Lou’s Pub and Package Store in the city. A twenty-year veteran of the hospitality industry, she’s held almost every job in a bar or restaurant and has worked on numerous event projects, including currently running Tiki by the Sea, a trade-focused program centered on sugarcane education and tropical influence.
A treasure chest appears, and an open sesame reveals a stiff but summery old fashioned that’s got its share of secrets to spill. The Gentleman Pirate from Caer Maiko gives aged rum a subtle new savory set of flavors by way of a sesame oil fat wash. And what’s Arrrrgh-uably the perfect accompaniment for such an elevated sense of nuttiness? A syrup ripe with bananas, of course, along with the roasty accents of chicory bitters.
Caer is the general manager for DrinkWell and co-creator of Daijoubu Pop Up: Super Asian Cocktails, a traveling cocktail experience that pushes culinary boundaries in cocktails by incorporating surprising, unusual, and authentic Asian flavors while creating a space for Asian people in front of and behind the bar. She’s also a veteran S&S alum with many great cocktails to her credit, including the fan-favorite Wagtails sing. In 2022, Caer was one of ten nominated for Tales of the Cocktail’s Spirited Awards for “U.S. Bartender of the Year.”
With the Sun’s Out, Rums Out Box waiting for you at your secluded slice of paradise, the summer of crushing cocktails continues apace to make even long days fly by lightning fast. And the times will be so good, they’ll tide you over to opt for the next rescue plane . . . or the one after that.
The Shaker & Spoon Team
*not vegan: honey-fig syrup contains honey
*potential allergens: sesame oil is sesame. Rich coconut syrup and banana chips contain coconut. Figs used in the honey-fig syrup, coconut used in the rich coconut syrup, and banana chips were originally packaged in the same facility as peanuts, tree nuts, soy, and milk products.