It can feel like the tropics around here when Philly hits the muggy final weeks of its hot season. So it's little wonder I've been gravitating toward aged rum as my dark summer spirit of choice.
The better the rum, the less adornment it needs. But one of rum's best qualities is also its ability to mix well without losing its character - as long as you keep it simple. A splash of brisk ginger ale (twice the quantity of rum) and a slice of lime over rocks has become my default drink. The combo (minus the lime) is trademarked under the name "Dark 'n' Stormy" when super-dark Gosling's is used. But I'm partial to more amber rums, which vary depending upon the budget. For a modest splurge, I've become especially smitten with Mount Gay's Extra Old from Barbados, a partially pot-stilled blend of rums up to 10 years old that is lightly smoky, but also rich with vanilla, nuttiness, and a fruity burnt-sugar sweetness.
In the spirit of the last run for rum season, it seems, Pennsylvania has discounted this handsome bottle (by $5) through most of September. That way, we can savor that taste of the tropics into fall.
Mount Gay Extra Old Rum is on sale in Pennsylvania for $39.99, through Sept. 27.
- Craig LaBan