On Colin’s 54th birthday we went out for a drink to a quirky local called Libations & Company on 3rd Street in Lee’s Summit.
Here’s a photo of the place:
Note that Libations & Co. is actually a STORE for drink accoutrements … with a few happy hours at the end of the day aligning with regular bar hours where they serve fancy cocktails. They are usually closed up by 9 p.m.
When we stopped in, Colin and I got our usual Me-bourbon, Him-gin type drinks. However, we were completely taken in with the description of a drink called Corn ‘n Oil.
So much so that we spent most of our time at the cozy window table researching the name and its ingredients.
The “oil” is NOT oil — it’s the thick, molasses black-strap rum that floats to the top of this Bajan drink.
The “corn” is the yellow concoction of lime juice and falernum at the bottom.
Falernum is a sweet, spiced rum liqueur made in Barbados combining almond, ginger, clove/allspice and lime. It’s used often in “tiki” drinks in the Caribbean. Some have alcohol, some don’t.
This is why I drink
Frankly, cocktails — especially old fashioned ones like these — fascinate me. The stories behind their makings send me straight into my imagination. The story of Hampden Estate rum itself (which is Jamaican, not Bajan) dates back to the mid-1700s.
Colin and I couldn’t resist making Corn ‘n Oil the Signature Drink at his birthday get together that following Saturday — the unmasked gathering of adults in our circle in 15 months.
Why have a signature drink? Why the hell not! It’s fun! If you have friends who like to drink, having a signature drink is always a fun way to try something new and get your hands sticky.
We didn’t expect to get a run on the drink. But its flavor profile — spiced, sour, a little bitter, a little sweet — is SO unusual, that we ran out of the rum before our guests ran out of their taste for it.
Will definitely buy a second bottle for next time.
Here’s the recipe I used — feel free to try the layering technique to get the separation effect.
Corn ‘n Oil
2 oz blackstrap (molasses-based) rum (I used Hampden Estate)
1 oz falernum (I used Velvet Falernum)
3/4 oz fresh lime juice (Bottled lime juice works too)
A hearty spritz of Angostura bitters
Combine the lime juice and falernum with ice and shake well. Pour into rocks glass. Add more ice. Layer rum on top. Spritz with bitters and squeeze fresh lime wedges as desired.
Garnish with lime wheel. Enjoy!
Happy (northern hemisphere) summer!
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