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Any rum you want? That's a bit surprising. You don't endorse a Malibu Planter's Punch do you? Not to be a bitch about it, but I'd call at least a dark Jamaican here so that those trying it make a quality drink. Even making it with Bacardi silver is going to have a much less satisfactory end result than you want. There is a wide world of quality rums out there.


David J. Montgomery (aka Professor Cocktail)

I believe if you read what I wrote again, you'll see that's not what I'm saying. Obviously I recommend the use of quality spirits at all times. (And said as much.)

At the same time, though, I think it's important to tell people making cocktails at home that they don't HAVE to go out and buy a lot of new ingredients. If they have, for example, a bottle of Bacardi already in their cabinet, that will work for this drink. Sure, it won't taste as good as it would with Appleton Extra or even Myers's. But it's still better than ordering one at Chili's.

You do bring up a good point: whichever rum you use, make sure it's not a flavored one. (Unless, of course, that flavor is one you're deliberately choosing to add to the mix.)

Jack Fetterman

Hello David,

With regards to grenadine, there really is no good reason to lower a drink's quality by using commercial grade grenadine. I have so far found none that come close to containing the right ingredients. It is excruciatingly simple to make your own on the spot, especially since Pomme brand pomegranate juice is so easily obtained.

Take equal parts pomegranate juice and white sugar (super fine if you have it, but not required) and shake them in a cocktail shaker until dissolved. There you have a very fine grenadine.

There are ways to extend the life of your home made syrup by cooking it and/ or adding a small amount of neutral spirit. That information is available on the Internet in detail, but the point I am making is that you can very easily make proper grenadine on the spot. I believe that it is easier to find Pomme than Rose's anything regardless.


David J. Montgomery (aka Professor Cocktail)

Thanks for the comment, Jack. I haven't gotten around to making my own grenadine -- although, as you point out, it's easy enough to do. (Jim Meehan recommends the same cold process method in The PDT Cocktail book.)

I typically use Stirrings Grenadine. Good flavor and a good ingredient list.


Like the blog, appreciate the share!


@first comment malibu is no rum but a liqueur, YES there is a difference. It would be like saying that Apple sourz is vodka or that Drambuie is a whisky.

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About the Professor

David J. Montgomery (aka Professor Cocktail) is a writer and critic specializing in books, publishing, spirits, and cocktails. He is an emeritus columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times and The Daily Beast, and has also written for USA Today, the Washington Post, and other fine publications. A former professor of History, he lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and two daughters.

Read the long-form version of About the Professor.

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