Cruzan Rum, Reason Enough For A Summer Party

With summer in full swing, most of us are spending as much time outside as possible. Sometimes, on a hot summer day, nothing is better than a cold cocktail. Whether we're grilling for a barbeque or holiday bash, relaxing on the beach, or just hanging out on our outside decks, we all crave something delicious and refreshing to drink. When I think of rum, I think of warm weather and cold mixed drinks.

I just spent some time playing around with some different expression from Cruzan Rum, using them to mix up some drinks. A few of them are classics, which never fail. Then, some are things I came up with that I found delicious, refreshing, and unique.

Of the four expressions of Cruzan, one, Velvet Cinn, is pretty new. Here's a look at the four rums followed by a few drink recipes I enjoyed. Each is fit for any occasion, but they're all especially great for summer. 

Try these recipes, check out the others on the Cruzan site, or make up your own. Cruzan has a wide-ranging line of selections, some flavored, some aged, all distinct in one way or another. Check them out for your rum needs when making drinks.

Cruzan Estate Diamond Light Rum ($20)

This is a blend of rums five years of age and older. It sees some time in barrel and is charcoal filtered prior to being bottled. If you're looking for just one bottle of rum to use as a cocktail base, this is the one you want. Typical rum aromas of vanilla, spice, and the like are present here, and the flavor is mellow with hints of sweetness, continued spice, and lighter tropical fruits.

Cruzan Estate Diamond Dark Rum ($20)

This dark rum was made up of rums with five years or more of age on them. It sees plenty of time in oak to bring out that classic aged flavor. This rum also works in cocktails, but is equally solid as an entry-level sipper. Whether you like it neat or with an ice cube in it, it's delicious. Classic tropical fruit and spice aromas emerge on the nose. Mission fig, brown sugar, and bits of coconut present on the palate. All those elements continue on the finish along with Mexican vanilla bean and a touch of chocolate.

Cruzan Black Strap Rum ($18)

This offering is produced using a five-column distillation process. It's distinctly dark in color. Spice and burnt sugar aromas waft from the nose. Dark fruit flavors such as date fill the palate, which has bits of sweetness. The finish is fairly long with reverberating notes of molasses. This one works quite well in cocktails and is also delicious by itself if you're looking for something a bit more intense and driven in flavor.

Cruzan Velvet Cinn ($20)

This is a newer entry in the Cruzan line. It combines horchata, rum, and cinnamon spice. The effect is a creamy, cinnamon-laden spirit with underlying classic rum elements. It works best blended into cocktails of all sorts to which you want to add a creamy edge and a bit of overt cinnamon spice.

Here are four drink recipes that utilize these rums to great effect. The first two I came up with, the others are from Cruzan's website, which I really love.

Raspberry Cinnamon Rum Kiss

2 shots Cruzan Estate Diamond Light Rum

1 shot Cruzan Velvet Cinn

¼ cup fresh or frozen raspberries

1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

1 tablespoon fat-free Greek yogurt

A handful of ice

In a blender, mix all of the ingredients and purée until they're combined. Pour into a Margarita glass and enjoy.

Frosty Bananas Foster

1 very ripe large banana

2 shots Cruzan Black Strap Rum

1 shot Cruzan Estate Diamond Dark Rum

1 shot Velvet Cinn

1 shot orange liqueur

1 cup vanilla ice cream

Peel and cut the banana into pieces. In a blender, mix all the ingredients and purée. Serve over ice in a rocks glass. Makes 2 drinks.

Cruzan Mojito*


2 parts Cruzan Light

1 part fresh lime juice

1 part simple syrup

4 to 6 mint leaves, Club soda

(Dash of bitters)

Gently muddle mint leaves with simple syrup. Add lime juice and Cruzan Aged Light Rum over fresh ice into a tall glass and top with soda. Add a dash of bitters (optional) and garnish — suggestible with a sprig of mint, lime, and, if possible, a stalk of sugar cane.

Cruzan Black Strap Sour*

2 parts Cruzan Black Strap Rum

1 part lemon juice

3/4 parts lime juice

1/4 parts simple syrup

Combine all ingredients over ice in a shaker. Shake for 20 seconds and pour over fresh ice in glass.