The best drink you’ll ever have in Haiti is at Hotel Florita in Jacmel. It's just a simple Rum Sour—rum, lime and sugar shaken on the rocks. And with a complex spirit like clairin, you don't need to add a whole lot else. Clairin Vaval comes from Distillerie Arawaks by Fritz Vaval, just a little more than half a mile off the southern coast of Haiti. The cane and yeast live in the salty, coastal air, and you can taste it in the spirit. This drink is a simple recipe highlighting the salty roundness of Vaval with salt and honey and giving it some brightness and depth.
This recipe originally appeared as part of “Get Ready to Fall in Love with Haiti's Mysterious New Rum.”
- 1 1/2 oz Clairin Vaval rum
- 3/4 oz Fresh Key lime juice (or lemon juice)
- 3/4 oz Raw honey syrup*
- 1 pinch Sea salt
- 2 dashes Scrappy's grapefruit bitters
- Garnish: Grapefruit peel
Add all the ingredients into mixing glass with ice and shake well.
Pour into a rocks glass over ice.
Express the oil from a grapefruit peel and drop in the peel to garnish.
*Raw honey syrup: Combine 2 parts raw honey with 1 part hot water and stir briskly until dissolved evenly. Bring to room temperature. Strain into a container and store refrigerated for up to one month.