This take on a rum sour was created more than 40 years ago by one Wilfred Sands. At the time he was the bartender at the exclusive Lyford Cay Club in New Providence, Bahamas. Reportedly, he adapted the recipe for a guest that wanted a rum drink that was “not too sweet.” Today, he still serves the drink, now as the Head Mixologist at the Red Turtle Tavern at John Watling’s Distillery in Nassau, Bahamas. According to the John Watling’s Distillery website, he is affectionately and respectfully known as Uncle Will, there.
The closest relative to the Rum Dum is the iconic Daiquiri. However, the Rum Dum substitutes lemon juice for lime and plain sugar for simple syrup. It also adds an egg white for an extra bit of foaminess and a silky mouthfeel. While it may be tempting to combine both rums in the shaker, floating the darker amber rum on top adds layers to the drink.
As with any sort of rum drink, there is always an opportunity to play with whatever rum you have on hand; after all, John Watling’s rum was not available when Sands first invented the Rum Dum in 1971. What is advisable, however, is to use a light rum for the base of the drink and a darker pot still rum for the float. Pot still rums often have what is referred to as a “funk,” an aromatic richness and earthiness that many rum fans adore. Using such a distinct rum for the float means that the Rum Dum transforms as you drink it. It starts with the bold wildness of the pot still, then goes into the more gentle, sweet and sour elements of the drink itself. Eventually what remains of the float will naturally incorporate into the drink itself, further transforming it as the flavors meld. It also provides a visual treat with the layer of rum separate from the rest.
Layering the rum can prove to be a bit tricky. One tip is to place a spoon upside down against the top of the drink, and slowly pour the rum down the backside of the spoon so it doesn’t break the surface.
- 1 1/4 ounce John Watling’s pale rum
- 1/2 ounce John Watling’s amber rum
- 1 ounce egg white
- 1 1/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon sugar
Add all ingredients except the amber rum into a shaker and dry-shake (without ice) vigorously.
Add ice and shake again until well-chilled.
Strain into a highball glass over fresh ice.
Gently pour the amber rum on top as a float.
Raw Egg Warning
Consuming raw and lightly cooked eggs poses a risk of food-borne illness.