Before going to HIX as mentioned in my last post, I had arranged to meet my sister at the Social (I’ve frequented this friendly joint since my teens – out of loyalty and kindness I won’t be reviewing their drinks). She was late as usual so I couldn’t help listening in on the conversations around me and overheard this:
“Have you ever had my special drink?”
“No. What, you invented a drink?”
“Yeah, I can’t believe you’ve never had it, never had a Rumpy? Rum and cider mate, I tell you its dangerous”
I noted it as a great name but one strictly for students. Then on the menu at HIX, I spotted a drink made with cider, which I’d never seen before. The serendipity of this prompted me to come up with my own rum and cider invention. To the unknown man in the bar, apologies for stealing your name but really, it was rather good and you only have yourself to blame for talking far too loudly.
And thank you to the friendly barman at All Star Lanes in Bloomsbury who let me try the Velvet Falernum, a homemade variant of which I have included in the recipe below. It makes for an aromatic yet refreshing drink with a Tiki vibe.
1 golden rum
2 Apple vodka (There are lots of commercial brands but I use my own crab apple infusion – macerate the vodka for three months with small crab apples chopped in half. It has a heady, orchardy scent and is surprisingly mellow)
Dash orange bitters
Shake the rum, vodka, bitters and syrup and pour over a tumbler of crushed ice. Top up with dry sparkling cider (use the best quality you can find – Borough market is a good source) and garnish with a spiral of orange or apple.
(For a quick version of Falernum: Bring 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar, 30-40 cloves, 1/2 tsp almond extract and the zest of 5 limes to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes until mixture thickens slightly and cool. Shake with 100ml Wray & Nephew overproof rum and juice of a couple of limes .)