I wrote a few days ago about Ben Simpson’s amazing Gunpowder Rum, here is the first of a limited series of cocktails that feature the unique spirit.
30ml Man O’War Gunpowder Rum
20ml Havana Club 7yr
3 fresh hulled strawberries
20ml balsamic drizzle syrup (available from good deli’s)
2 dashes simple syrup
5 basil leaves
Muddle all except alcohol. Add the rums and shake resolutely.
Strain into chilled martini glass (either modern or antique cut crystal from a junk shop).
Garnish: sprig of basil and whole strawberry on rim of glass, finish with grind of black pepper.
Named after Sir Francis Drake (1540-1596), some time favourite of Queen Elizabeth I.
The combination of strawberries, balsamic and black pepper is from the Elizabethan age, while Drake was active in the Caribbean as a privateer. To the Spanish speaking peoples of the area he was known as ‘El Draque’ and famous for his exploits taking gold from the Spanish who were, in their turn, on their way home from plundering the Americas.
It is said that an early form of the Mojito was drunk in the Caribbean during the 16th Century and was called ‘El Draque’. Ben would be interested to see historical proof of this.