Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Rum Cocktails

Velvet Sea

Velvet Sea cocktail in a rocks glass with a half lime shell and float of bitters on top
Image: / Tim Nusog

Part cabaret, part dinner theater, The Speakeasy lets you step back in time to the 1920s with a choose-your-own-adventure-night underground in San Francisco’s Chinatown. The cocktails keep step with the magic, thanks to producer and bar manager Geof Libby.

In spring 2018, The Speakeasy opened a cozy new bar-within-a-bar called Gaslamp Lounge. Alongside classic cocktails like the Death in the Afternoon and Sazerac, the Gaslamp opened with a menu featuring several original drinks. One favorite was the Velvet Sea, a crushable showcase of spiced rum given additional spice, sweetness, and tart layers from falernum, pineapple gum syrup, fresh lime juice and a heavy float of Angostura bitters.

Sailor Jerry rum is made from a blend of Caribbean rums and spices and sports flavors of vanilla and oak, with hints of clove and cinnamon. At 92 proof, the rum stands up to the other ingredients rather than getting lost in the shuffle.

Pineapple gum syrup is a sweetener that’s similar to pineapple-infused simple syrup, but traditional gum syrups feature gum arabic, an emulsifier made from the sap of the acacia tree that adds a silky viscosity to cocktails. You can find formulas for DIY syrups online if you want to make your own, but there are a handful of commercially available options, including the pineapple gum syrup from California-based Small Hand Foods used in this recipe.

Put it all together, and you get a Tiki-style cocktail that’s flavorful, well-balanced and easy to drink.


  • 1 1/2 ounces Sailor Jerry spiced rum

  • 3/4 ounce John D. Taylor Velvet falernum

  • 1/4 ounce Small Hand Foods pineapple gum syrup

  • 1/2 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed

  • 5 dashes Angostura bitters

  • Garnish: lime shell


  1. Add the rum, falernum and gum syrup into a shaker.

  2. Squeeze in 1/2 ounce lime juice, then drop in the shell of the pressed half-lime.

  3. Add ice and shake vigorously until well-chilled.

  4. Pour, unstrained, into a chilled rocks glass.

  5. Top with the bitters.