Good, Old-Fashioned, Hand-Crafted American… Rum?

Image: Felicia Perretti

Rum may be the latest to get the craft beverage makeover, but its roots were firmly planted in our backyard on Staten Island in the 1660s. That is where the first American distillery on record started, crafting rum from Caribbean sugar cane and molasses. Now a nearby neighbor is rekindling rum’s artisanal, homebred history. The Noble Experiment’s Owney’s Rum (named after an infamous, but influential, rum runner from Prohibition-era New York City) is a white rum made from sugar cane molasses, distilled and blended with genuine city water (it ain’t just for pizza dough and bagels) and produced and hand-bottled in Brooklyn. The company website has a rotating cast of video demonstrations of local cocktails, with one aptly named Jack Sparrow. Like its swashbuckling namesake, it’s rum-soaked and full of character—both sour and sweet and a bit unique. It has an overindulgent amount of cucumber, with fresh slices and syrup, and dashes of lime juice. Chartreuse—an underappreciated liquor that’s a bit “off”— shines when mixed with good, clean rum, just like Captain Jack himself.

Jack Sparrow
3/4oz green Chartreuse
1/2oz cucumber syrup*
1/2oz fresh lime juice
1 1/2oz Owney’s rum
2 cucumber slices
Lemon slice, for garnish

Add all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake, then pour through a strainer over ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with a slice of lemon.

Cucumber syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
6 half-inch slices of cucumber, peeled

Heat the water and sugar in saucepan on medium, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add the cucumber slices, reduce heat to low and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes. Strain to remove cucumber and store in refrigerator.