What Is Botanical Rum? An Emerging Style Unites Rum and Gin Drinkers
Botanical Rums are an emerging category of rum. It is similar to spiced rum but the classic vanilla and baking spices are replaced with herbs, flowers, fruits, and other botanicals. There is no one way of having a botanical rum, and there are no rules for what one should taste like because this isn’t officially recognized as a style of rum just yet. However, many liken this style of rum to gin because of the fresher more vibrant plant flavors.
There are two main differences between gin and botanical rum. First, botanical rum doesn’t have to use juniper, a defining ingredient for gin. The other being that gin can have nearly any spirit as a base including a sugar-based spirit like rum. Botanical rum must have sugarcane juice or one of its byproducts as its starting point before infusion.
Flavors of botanical rums run the gamut from floral to fruity to peppery and everything in between. The variety of infusions is endless. The rum base doesn’t serve as a blank canvas but rather something with character that can be emphasized by using botanicals like citrus zest, green herbs, and earthy roots.
Here are some great examples of botanical rums:
Thrasher’s Green Spiced Rum
Thrasher’s rum is made by barman turned rum distiller, Todd Thrasher out of the Potomac Distilling Company. The recipe for this botanical rum was developed by Thrasher using herbs grown in his own backyard. Now, the herbs for this green spiced rum are grown in the rooftop garden of the distillery.
Herbs like mint, lemongrass, lemon balm, lemon verbena, lime peel and green cardamom are used to create the distinct bright flavor of this rum. The flavor of the rum is herbaceous with refreshing notes of mint and anise. The Green spiced rum goes fantastic with a tonic just like a G&T. If mojitos are more your jam then this rum is perfect because of the mint, just add a splash of soda water.
Boukman Botanical Rhum
Boukman is a Haitian clairin trempè made from fresh sugarcane juice similar to a rhum agricole. The botanical rhum is made from cane from two of Haiti’s best rhum terroirs, the rich canefields of Croix des Bouquets in the south and the northern cane fields around Cap Haïtien. The rhum is infused with botanicals and barks, many of which are foraged from the wild in Haiti. The botanicals used include bitter, orange peel, allspice, clove, bitter almond, cinnamon, vanilla and native woods and barks.
The beautiful grassy herbal notes of the clairin still come through but are accompanied by zesty notes of citrus and caramelized banana. Boukman Botanical Rum is perfectly good neat. It has a smooth finish that rounds out nicely. If cocktails are more your speed then this rhum would make for an interesting new take on a classic martini.
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