Many people associate light rums with cocktails, and leave the dark rums for sipping, cooking, or horror of horrors, soaking the Christmas fruitcake. As a general rule of thumb, this isn't all bad (except maybe for the fruitcake), since some dark rums have a strong molasses flavor that has a hard time playing nicely in a cocktail.
But like many rules, "mix cocktails with light rum" is a rule that is made to be broken. Or to borrow an idea from some rum-drinking movie pirates, it's more what you call 'guidelines' than actual rules. Some dark rums are smooth and rich, able to blend in easily. Zaya Gran Reserva is one of those rums, and as such, has earned a place of honor on TheBeerLady's shelf.
Well, it had that place until the bottle was finished off with some pineapple juice and a couple of dashes of aromatic bitters. (Simple and delicious. Try it.) Now there is an empty spot waiting for a refill.
Open a bottle of Zaya pour a small snifter. It pours a rich mahogany with hints of amber and gold, but that's just the beginning. The aroma is warm and sweet, reminiscent of vanilla and butterscotch, brown sugar and maple syrup. And sipping is pure smooth velvet.
Zaya Raspberry Mojito Float Recipe
6 fresh raspberries, plus 1 extra
3 fresh mint leaves, plus sprig for garnish
1 oz. Zaya rum
1/2 oz. simple syrup
1 tsp. lime juice
3 oz. prosecco
Scoop lime sherbet or sorbet
Muddle six raspberries, three mint leaves, rum, simple syrup, and lime juice in a cocktail mixing glass. Strain the contents into a small flute. Top with the prosecco and add the lime sherbet or sorbet. Thread the mint sprig through the raspberry to make a garnish, and serve immediately.
Zaya is not available yet for rum fans on the Kansas side of the state line, but it is available at stores on the Missouri side, including Gomer's.
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The small print disclaimer: The makers of many (but not all) of the products reviewed in Kansas City Cocktails have provided free samples to review. A free product will guarantee that it will get sampled. It does not guarantee a good review. If I say I liked it, I liked it.