Pink Pigeon & Chai Rum

So work has been a little stressful but rum has been consumed! I just haven’t had the chance to get around to posting which saddens me.

Last week I met up with a friend and went all in with rum. The first drink was Pink Pigeon, a Mauritian rum; Mauritius is in the Indian Ocean and east of the southeastern part of Africa (in case you were about to google). Mauritius is likely better known for being the home of the now-extinct dodo bird and was once an important trade stop prior to the Suez Canal, French control some three centuries back established a sugar cane plantation economy. Today, sugarcane still accounts for 15% of its export earnings so rum should come as no surprise. Why haven’t I tried more rums from Mauritius is what I want to know.

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Named after the rare pink pigeon bird only found on Mauritius, this rum is also quite unique. Labeled as a spiced rum, you don’t get the same types of spice flavors as you would find in a Chairman’s Reserve Spiced or Foursquare Spiced. What is most dominant in flavor is vanilla. It is also quite sweet and reminds me of a taffy or maybe those vanilla Tootsie Rolls that you wish were substituted for the chocolate ones. In doing a quick online search at what others thought, I can see why there are mixed reviews. It’s not a complex rum as it’s hard to get anything except the vanilla flavor.

Pink Pigeon Rum is different but unless you’re a fan of vanilla, you may not find it pleasurable on the palate. I’m guessing a dessert type of shot might be the best way to go for this and I would be interested to try it in a cocktail with maybe some orange bitters. I wouldn’t drink it often but if someone had a bottle and some ice, I wouldn’t be opposed to having a glass. Check out Pink Pigeon Rum’s website for more information as I still think it’s worth a try unless you either 1. don’t like sweet rums, 2. hate vanilla.

Akal Chai Rum was the second spiced rum I tried this week; this one coming from Trinidad & Tobago. A good friend was visiting Trinidad recently and sent me a picture of a large billboard for Akal Chai Rum. I was excited and said I would look into it. Before getting to the liquor store, I was glad to see Chai Rum as an available option at Burlock Coast. You know how some people during the Christmas holiday want eggnog? I think I want Chai Rum as my holiday spirit (well, one of them). My first thought was, “this thing tastes like Christmas.” The second thought was, “it’s like a ginger bread man in a glass.” It makes sense as you consider the flavors you get in a chai tea but to have it with a rum is even better – at least from someone who would much rather join someone for a rum versus tea. There is an obvious aging process here which took away any sharpness and I could easily envision myself ending a holiday party with lights wrapped around me and garland galore singing all of the drinking holiday tunes I know (please note, it does not take rum to get me to do this).

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Like the Pink Pigeon rum, there is a sweetness that may not work for everyone. I had mine on ice and then added a dash of The Bitter Truth Chocolate Bitters to see how that worked. As someone who likes spicy and spiced chocolate, it agreed with me but if you don’t like the flavors of ginger or nutmeg in your chocolate, I would not suggest this option. For more information on Akal Chai Rum, please read here.

So a spiced evening all around and I found something to appreciate from both options. I now feel like I need to visit Mauritius. I’ve been to Trinidad numerous times in the past and I imagine my focus should be on the rum-making process in addition to the ultimate marathon-drinking sessions that I’ve been known to have during the Carnival season. If anyone has any miles to spare, please feel free to contact me. Until the next bottle…

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