I have found that when you get up early the day is interminably long. Starting the day around 10 is way more civilized and helps it all to go by faster. So, the last few days of getting up around 6 AM like a normal person have been challenging. Today, I have already been to the farmers market to stock up, walked a few miles with the boy and the dog, picked some wildflowers, played some video games and worked in the garden and that doesn’t even count the things I’ve procrastinated; and it is not even noon. So, regardless of yard arms and their position relative to the sun, I’m having a drink, join me now as we stand and make the classic Corn and Oil.
This tiki-ish classic hails from Barbados and has had my attention for quite a while. Never had one before and there is some argument as to how it should be prepared, but I’m going with the tasty version, rather than the pretty one, so you are not going to see blackstrap rum floating on top of lime and falernum reminiscent of crude oil floating on corn syrup. That is pretty, but I am assured that this simpler recipe is the traditional style and it has a great flavor.
Grab a nice rocks glass. The one I’ve chosen is a bit large, but I love the way it catches the light, it is a hand blown thing from Spain and I just like the way it feels in my hand. It is also a bit thick so it doesn’t frost up like a more traditional rocks glass, but it’s just too pretty to not use it. Pop 2 ounces of a blended aged rum in, I used El Dorado 5 year, for its molasses heavy flavor profile. Since this is a Barbadosian drink you might want to try a Barbados rum here, I’ll probably do that next time. To that add 1/2 an ounce of Taylor’s Velvet Falernum and 4 stabs of Angostura or a comparable aromatic bitter, I used Dr. Elmegirab’s Orinoco Aromatic. Add some crushed ice to the glass and stir. I used my new Lewis bag and a wooden mallet to crush ice straight out of the freezer. I didn’t crush it well so you can still make out some of those distinctive crescent shapes. I’m still learning about manually crushing ice. I know our enamel farmhouse sink counter doesn’t like it and Liam says it is way too noisy. Maybe I need to add an anvil to the kitchen, it’s a thought. Anyway, add the ice and stir, I splashed the top with another spritz of bitters just for kicks and garnished with some random flowers I picked on my walk. Add a reusable straw and you are ready to drink.
Damn, it’s good. So simple, but that crushed ice makes it so refreshing. It is not complex, it is rum forward, but super accessible. Of course, you are getting plenty of dilution from all those ice chips. Good rum flavor, a hint of lime from the falernum, so smooth though. I am truly shocked at how wonderful this simple drink is, like an adult snow cone. Just what I needed on this stupidly hot and humid Saturday morning.
So, why did I finally make this one, besides the obvious “man having a thirst” thing? I decided to pick some wildflowers for the wife while walking this morning and I thought these little blue-ish ones were pretty. They reminded me of the cornflower crayon in my big box of 64 with the built-in sharpener. Cornflower crayon + thirst + a modicum of cocktail knowledge= Corn and Oil for brunch and an obvious garnish choice. Thanks for joining me for my morning constitutional, I’m gonna go listen to some Sam and Dave and try to make my way through the afternoon. Stay safe, stay hydrated and stay sane, my friends.