For reasons unknown, I’m having my vermouth moment. Vermouth intrigues me, partially because it’s an alcoholic mixer. Partially because I can keep it in the fridge and not stress about it going bad before I can use it. And, on top of that, I’m into it as a way to make other alcohol BETTER. So yeah, I guess vermouth and I are “talking.” Which is why I figured out how to use the sweet kind in this new, simple cocktail. Just red, rum, & honey. Hang tight, you’ll get it in a second.
Rum? But what rum?
Ugh, OKAY FINE. We’ll start with the rum. So when I started working on this recipe, I actually used my fanciest, nicest rum. It’s a pineapple rum, but not in the way a coconut-rum is a rum. Coconut rum is a farce and a lie and should only be used… never. NEVER. POUR YOUR COCONUT RUM DOWN THE DRAIN!
Sweet, now that that’s out of the way… my pineapple rum is infused with the cores and is fancy AF. My amazing local liquor store sold it to me when I asked for a rum that makes excellent daiquiris. (The kind that are shaken and served in a coupe glass. Not the kind that are frozen and dispensed via tap. Gwoss!) It worked gorgeously in this cocktail, but honestly, it’s so nice that I prefer to sip it straight. Not wanting to waste a drop while perfecting this recipe, back I went to the liquor store.
I know we all judge people who buy wines based on their labels, not their contents. “Don’t judge a book by its cover” and all that. But 1) that is also me, and 2) SO WHAT?! Good packaging is good packaging and every brand should care what their bottles look like. So I don’t feel one tiny bit bad about buying this rum because its bottle was gorgo and striking and caught my eye.
Smoky?! YES. Rum? Yeah, okay that’s what I’m shopping for. And at $23 for the bottle, it’s well within my comfort price range for a mixing rum. So that’s ~our story.~ (Me and this rum.)
So I’ve tried this cocktail with a fancy rum and a less-fancy rum, both with interesting sub-notes. I think you could do it with ANY dark rum, and probably even a spiced one. Grab whatever dark rum you got and give it a shot.
Red, Rum, & Honey?
By now you know that I’m very vermouth rn, and I had my rum. But what’s a girl to do to finish off this drink? I made some honey simple syrup a while ago because I had never done so before. (That’s about as good a reason as I have for doing most things.) It was crazy easy, just equal parts honey and water in a saucepan, heated to a simmer and stirred until dissolved. I used one cup of each and enjoyed a nice little bottle of my new simple.
Once I got to playing, I realized that this was not a recipe to be over-thought. It’s just 2:1 rum to sweet vermouth, plus a barspoon of honey simple. You could easily scale this up for making multiples (in fact I have done so!) Finish with a cherry and enjoy your little nightcap.
Oh yeah, the name. I noodled on this for a while. I love cocktails that are named for what’s in them, and I wanted to do that. Plus, “red, rum” is so very The Shining and idk, I’m just feeling sassy and it works. It’s no “Jack & Coke” or “whiskey ginger” but I like to think my red, rum, & honey deserves a place in at least your home bar repertoire. (In addition to my own, of course.)
Sweet (red) vermouth, dark rum, and honey simple syrup make up this cocktail that's sweet, herbal, and perfect to end your day with.
- 1 1/2 oz dark rum
- 3/4 oz sweet vermouth
- 1 barspoon honey syrup
- 1 maraschino cherry for garnish (optional)
Measure all ingredients into a cocktail shaker over ice.
Shake until well mixed, approximately 30 seconds.
Strain into a coupe glass, garnish with a cherry if desired, and enjoy.
Make One When…
My favorite part! Now I’ve sold you on the drink, and you’re like “holy crap I have all these things in my bar!” Or maybe more accurately, “I have honey in my pantry and feel empowered to make honey simple. Once I do that, I have all these things!” (Ugh, isn’t it the best feeling when you see a recipe and you’re drooling and then you realize that you can make that thing RIGHT NOW? I love that feeling.)
So you have all the things and you are ready. Make one now! Or, keep enough of each ingredient on standby for when…
- You had plans to go out but tbh it’s been a week and you just wanna ghost your friends a little bit. Make a red, rum, & honey and watch Netflix in bed with your dog all night, then text them tomorrow that you left your phone on silent after work omg whoops next time lol!
- Your sister is in town and “the boys” are out doing whatever so you can finally dish about the rest of your family and all the happs at work. You get to drink brown liquor and feel SO BAD but actually, it’s lightly sweet and super smooth so you won’t be making any of those nasty faces as your taste buds are burnt off. Straight whiskey face = not conducive to sistertime.
- You clean out your fridge and you realize there is an old jar of maraschino cherries that you had 100% forgotten about. Reward yourself for digging that far back with a quick little cocktail that will call for one of those bad boys but still make you feel like a class act.