Recipes for the Rum Sangaree are many and varied. It’s a drink from the Antilles that’s nearly as old as the United States, and bartenders have been adapting and tweaking it ever since. Some call for light rum, others for dark. Some use lime juice, others an orange liqueur. Most call for Madeira or port, but you can also use a red wine you like. Some versions even call for bitters. This recipe is almost more a collection of suggestions than an actual recipe.
This particular variation is the first one I was introduced to. It’s definitely somewhat modernized, but I think that’s what makes it appeal to the modern palate. Don’t feel slighted if it’s not the variation you know and love. In fact, feel free to add your variation in the comments.
You should also feel free to tweak this one. Be sure to pick a rum you enjoy, because the flavor of it will come through strongly. A friend of mine recommended 10 Cane, which has vanilla notes. I’ve tried this drink with Myers, which has hints of caramel that certainly worked. As long as the rum tastes good to you straight up, it’ll be great in this cocktail.
I prefer to use a dry port (or Madeira, or red wine…), but sweet ones were probably most common when that ingredient got added to the recipe. Some recipes add two ounces of water – otherwise, this is straight alcohol – so feel free to add flat or sparkling water if it’s stronger than you like.
The general flavors in this drink are going to be orange and wine with whatever notes your rum adds, plus that optional sprinkle of nutmeg.
- 2 ounces dark rum
- 1/2 ounce Cointreau
- 1/2 ounce ruby port
- Sprinkle of nutmeg (optional)
Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Pour in all ingredients except the nutmeg and shake well. Put some ice cubes into a tumbler, and strain the mixture over the ice. Sprinkle the nutmeg over the top.