Coconut water is the perfect partner in crime for rum. The combination of subtle sweetness, savoury edge, and firm nuttiness gives it a complexity that can elevate your rum. In Rum the Manual, Dave Broom shares his top five rum and coconut water pairings.
- LA HECHICERA 40% ABV
This rum is complex, and while oak-driven, it’s not woody. There’s a funky depth and layered quality to its broad, deep palate that opens with a pleasantly bittersweet tone, though it’s slightly blunted by some sweet, green-fig jam when neat. It’s coconut water that most amply shows this rum’s complexities: sweet fruits, coconut flesh, char, dryness, and persistence.
- BRUGAL 1888 GRAN RESERVA FAMILIAR 40% ABV
There’s an oxidized Sherry edge, which takes you into a damp-floored headily aromatic bodega – Sherry funk! The palate is sweet, nutty, and intense, with layers of baked stone fruit, and treacle. It’s rich, but not sweet. The coconut water brings an extra, mellow layer with low tannin allowing things to flow over the tongue elegantly
- HAVANA CLUB SELECCIÓN DE MAESTROS 45% ABV
The nose is heady, citric, and floral, with fresh fruits dipped in honey. The oak adds light cedar touches and an aroma akin to Bakewell tarts (marzipan). There’s still the mineral note, intense citrus notes, then fruit sugars that briefly suggest Cognac. A rum where spirit, air, and oak all work together equally. It’s coconut water where the greatest complexity can be seen: fusing citrus, fruit, and oak into a contemplative drink.
- THE DUPPY SHARE 40% ABV
Jamaica’s to the fore to start with: all overripe fruity depth, new suede jacket, oolong tea. After this initial blast, things soften and out come pomegranate and guava and a gentle calm descends. On the palate, it’s very gentle and soft to start, with the pot still taking you into the tropical undergrowth, where berry fruits and wet leather shine, while sweeter tropical elements, muscovado sugar, and (when watered) floral notes fly above. With coconut water, everything returns to a state of balance, mixing elegance and heft, sweetness, a dry note, richness and aromatics. Simply a gorgeous drink.
- BLACKWELL BLACK GOLD 40% ABV
A treacly nose opens into strawberry, chocolate, and some walnut tones, with solid Jamaican depth, here going into black banana and raisin. The palate is thick, with coffee grounds and an almost earthy depth alongside squished black fruits to add sweetness. There’s good grip, suggesting that the oak’s already having a say. Coconut water is the star, creating a stunning hedonistic drink with sweet, velvety depths
More information about rum can be found in Rum The Manual by Dave Broom.