A few of my favorite cocktails are the Boulevardier and the Negroni. Both are “shoulder cocktails,” or libations that act as a transition from one season to another. Both are kindred spirits, having the same mixers, different only because of the base liquor.
Because I love to experiment, I thought about mixing a related cocktail, but one with a definite Summer bent. To me, nothing says Summer quite as firmly as Rum, so Rum had to be the base spirit. The cocktail needed to be refreshing and bright. There is nothing as refreshing as a brace of lime juice. To balance the drink, an element of sweetness was needed, but I didn’t want to make it overt. An organic, earthy sweetness was necessary. I could accomplish this in many ways, such as the selection of a Rum that was on the sweeter side, as well as opt for mixers that were somewhat sweet. I did want to maintain an element of colonial punch-like verve, so there needed to be a certain bitterness to the cocktail. Campari and Sweet Vermouth would give me those qualities. And thus, a cocktail was born!
In honor of the pirate in all of us, I present the Walk the Plank cocktail:
2 oz. Angostura 7 year-old Rum, or similar aged Rum
1 oz. Campari
1 oz. Sweet Vermouth, preferably Antico Formula
1/2 oz. Lime juice, preferably fresh squeezed
Shake with crushed ice, strain. Garnish with a slice of orange and lemon
(*The picture clearly shows a garnish of Luxardo Maraschino Cherries. This was due to a lack of fresh citrus on the bar…)