Rum Bar // Philadelphia, PA
Bartender Adam Kanter of Rum Bar knows his way around a rum cocktail. Adam enjoys experimenting with different rum flavors and has infused rum with everything from bananas to bacon. He is excited to work with lighter rums in the coming summer months and looks forward to whipping up more daiquiris and Pisco Sours. Just be sure to thank him with a cold Magic Hat #9 at the end of the night.
When people think of Rum Bar which signature drink comes to mind?
The first drink that comes to mind for most our guests is a Mojito. Maybe it’s because we love making it- you can always tell just by drinking a Mojito if the bartender likes to make it. Or perhaps it’s because of its popularity, especially as the weather gets warmer and the need for refreshing ingredients grows.
Besides cucumber infused rum are there any other flavors/infusions you’ve experimented with or ones that you’d like to try?
We’ve infused everything at the bar. We currently keep serrano peppers and vanilla infusions running year round. Let’s see… flavors we have tried include pineapple, watermelon, canteloupe, honeydew, lemons, limes, grapefruit, oranges, blood oranges, kumquats, peaches, pears, apples, apple cinnamon, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, bacon, lychee, tamarind, fresno peppers, bell peppers, chipotle peppers, scotch bonnet peppers, mint, basil, cilantro, bananas, coconuts, papaya, mangoes, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries. Not all have worked out, but I am proud to say the bacon rum was damn good!
Clearly rum is your specialty, any favorite brands for mixing cocktails?
For mixing drinks, I like to use Mount Gay Eclipse a lot, as its flavor is strong enough to cut through most mixers and yet it is remains on the lighter-to-medium side. When making a daiquiri, I like to reach for a good dry rum like Flor de Cana, Bacardi, Don Q, or Mount Gay Special Reserve.
What flavors and ingredients are your favorite to use this time of year?
Spring time brings out the lighter side of rums. Delicate flavors are a must. Light rums like Cruzan work well. Some flavors I used for my Spring menu include lavender, lemon, ginger, and rhubarb.
Favorite new drink to make? Least favorite?
I love making the Pisco Sour. It isn’t new as it used to be on my menu 2 years ago, but I added it for the Spring. It’s got such a great refreshing taste and it’s nice to see people get over their hang-ups of having a drink with egg white in it. My least favorite drink to make would be anything with vodka in it.
What’s the one spirit you absolutely need behind your bar and why?
Besides the obvious, the one spirit we couldn’t be without is triple sec. I feel this is the most overrated product and it’s behind everybody’s bar. Adding that extra citrus note to a drink will often make mouths happy. Any brand will do, in fact most orange liqueurs will work, like curacao, grand marnier, or cointreau- you just need to be careful as each of these will impart different levels of sweetness, boldness, and levels of citrus.
Any trends you’d like to see continued and/or introduced in 2012?
Daiquiris have been a growing trend in our bar, and I would like to see that continue. However, I would like to see a bigger interest in Central American rums. They are so underrated and often overlooked. Rums like Flor de Cana, Abuelo, and Centenario are terrific- but their local governments lack the funding to promote their rums in the U.S.
After a night behind the bar, what’s your drink of choice?
If I’m entertaining guests, it is any number of sipping rums I might reach for. If it’s the end of the night, I’ll go for a Brinley Shipwreck and Diet or a cold Magic Hat #9.