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October 13, 2011

Liquid Living Magazine

Cockspur Rum

Barbados Cookbook Author Adds Flavor to Island Recipes with Cockspur Rum

“Why cook with rum?” asks author Laurel-Ann Morley, the author of Cooking withCaribbean Rum.

Her answer: “Anyone who has visited the Caribbean will know that putting a little bit of rum into almost anything enhances the flavor. Besides, why not? In the Caribbean, and especially Barbados, we produce some of the best rums in the world.”

Morley then goes on to note that Cockspur Rum is “the favorite golden rum of the Barbadians for over 100 years.” It becomes obvious as one peruses her cookbook, that Cockspur, now more widely available in the U.S., also became the favorite rum for many of her recipes, ranging from Barbados Party Chicken to Rum Babas.

The makers of Cockspur Rum agree that rum is perhaps the most popular and perfect spirit to add to recipes and to pair as a drink with many foods.

Cockspur’s family of products includes Cockspur Fine Rum, Barbados’ leading gold rum; Cockspur 12 Bajan Crafted Rum, made from the oldest rums in the distillery outside of Bridgetown, Barbados; and Cockspur Rum Punch, the perfect drink for the beach or a tailgate party.

In tasting notes developed for the brand, Cockspur 12’s flavors have been described as rich and ripe with Caribbean fruitcake flavors, including a strong brandy influence. Cockspur Fine Rum, often thought of as a good choice for mixing with sodas or fruit juices, exudes sherry and honey at first, giving way to Caribbean cinnamon spice.

“For most of us, Cockspur Fine Rum would be the best choice for cooking because it is meant for everyday cocktails and for a wide range of dishes,” said David Smith, global brand director, “while Cockspur 12 is the ideal sipping partner.”

Smith noted that Bajans (anyone of Barbadian descent) symbolize the carefree way of the islands and a happy attitude that translates into celebrating life with good drinks, good food, good times.

Some of Morley’s spicier recipes call for the famed Barbados hot pepper sauce—like Aunt May’s Bajan Pepper Sauce—or a diced piece of hot red pepper, Cayenne pepper or a splash of Tabasco sauce. Sometimes a recipe calls for two or more of these spicy accents, setting Barbados food apart from its mild-mannered U.S. counterparts.

Following are a few of Laurel-Ann Morley’s best Barbados-style recipes using Cockspur Rum as an ingredient:

Barbados Party Chicken Pelao

  •  2 chickens, cut into pieces
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 sweet pepper (red or yellow), diced
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • ½ tsp. dried marjoram
  • 3 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 large piece hot red pepper
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • ½ cup Cockspur Fine Rum
  • 1 Tbsp. bitters
  • 2 Tbsp. oil
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups rice
  • 3 ¾ cups water or chicken stock
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup pimento stuffed olives

Place the chicken in a large bowl. Mix together the tomato, sweet pepper, thyme, marjoram, Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper, onions, garlic, salt, pepper, Cockspur Fine

Rum and bitters. Toss well to combine ingredients and pour over the chicken. Leave to marinate overnight in the refrigerator.

In a large, heavy saucepan (skillet), heat the oil and sugar until the sugar is very dark, about 4-5 minutes on high. Do not let it burn.

 Drain the marinade from the chicken and reserve it. Brown the chicken pieces all over, in batches, in the sugar and oil. Return all chicken and the marinade to the saucepan, cover tightly and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the rice and water or stock, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook 10 more minutes. Add the raisins and olives, cover and continue to simmer until the rice is cooked thoroughly and the liquid has evaporated, about 15 to 20 minutes more. Serves 8 to 10.

This is an excellent dish to serve on picnics. Just wrap the saucepan, lid and all, in several layers of newspaper. It stays hot for hours. After serving, be sure to place in an ice filled cooler to transport any leftovers.

Banana Rum Crisp

This is a delightful twist on the traditional fruit crisps served in the mainland U.S.

  • 4 firm bananas, peeled and sliced
  • 2 tsp. lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1¼ cups Cockspur Fine Rum
  • 6 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp. grated nutmeg
  • ¾ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Finely grated rind of ½ orange
  • 1 cup vanilla wafer crumbs
  • ½ cup chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts or hazelnuts)
  • 2 tsp. white sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Sprinkle the bananas with the lime juice; place in a well-buttered pie dish. Mix 1 cup of the Cockspur Fine Rum with the brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon and orange rind. Pour over the bananas. Mix the vanilla wafer crumbs and nuts together and sprinkle over the bananas. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Just before serving, warm the sugar and the remaining ¼ cup of Cockspur Fine Rum in a heat-proof shallow skillet or pan; set afire and pour over the crisp.

Serves 4.

 Rum Punch Chicken

  • 3 lb. chicken pieces
  • 2 Tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • ¾ cup light corn syrup
  • ½ cup Cockspur Rum Punch or Cockspur Fine Rum
  • Dash Tabasco hot pepper sauce
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1-2 tsp. grated lime peel

Heat the oil in a large, heavy saucepan and fry the chicken until golden brown. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix together the corn syrup, the Cockspur Rum Punch, the Tabasco and the lime juice. Spoon three tablespoons of the mixture over the chicken. Cover and cook over a low heat for 40 minutes. Remove the chicken to a serving dish and keep it warm.

Add the cornstarch to the remainder of the syrup mixture and stir it into the pan, stirring constantly until the sauce is thick, about 6 minutes. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and garnish with the grated lime peel. Serves 4-6.

Cockspur Bajan Sunset Cocktail

  • 1 part Cockspur Fine Rum
  • 2 parts cranberry juice
  • 2 parts orange juice

Serve over ice and garnish with a lime wedge.

Where-to-Buy and Contact Information

Hood River Distillers, 503-574-3693; www.hrdspirits.com or hrdsales@hrdspirits.com.

Marketing/media: Olga Haley, Leopold Ketel & Partners, 971-244-0661 or olga@leoketel.com

Hanschell Inniss Ltd., owners of Cockspur Rum, assisted Morley with her cookbook, “Cooking with Caribbean Rum.” It is published by Macmillan Caribbean, macmillan-caribbean.com and is available at Amazon.com.

Cockspur Bajan-Crafted Rums are now available in many U.S. liquor stores and online at www.samswine.com.

Founded in 1934, Hood River Distillers is the Northwest’s oldest and largest importer and producer of distilled spirits. Pendleton Whisky, Broker’s London Dry Gin, Cockspur Rum, Knicker’s Irish Cream Whiskey, ULLR Schnapps and Spudka Vodka are just a few of the nearly 50 different labels and brands distributed by the company.