(By Kara Newman) Just a few years ago, to be offered a choice of spiced rums for your cocktail was unthinkable.
But now, floated by a rum renaissance and the explosion of tiki culture, a number of new spiced rums have been introduced—and fresh cocktails are being created to showcase the expanded range.
"Spiced rum is not a fad," declares rum expert, importer and advocate Ed Hamilton. "The tradition of adding fruit and spice to rum is almost as old as Caribbean rum itself."
However, the island tradition was typically for spiced rums made at home, or sold at local rum shops. Only a handful were brought to the U.S., most notably Captain Morgan, which was introduced to the U.S. in 1983 and is credited with creating the spiced rum category. Indeed, "Captain & Coke" remains one of the most popular mixed drink calls at bars across the country.
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