Corn ‘n’ Oil.
The Corn ‘n’ Oil has a bit of an image problem. It just doesn’t sound that appealing. It doesn’t even look that appealing. If there was ever a lesson in not judging a book by its cover this is it. Originally from Barbados, the Corn ‘n’ Oil is a peculiar drink that is really like no other. That’s in no small part down to its main components which are just bursting at the seams with exotic flavours. Blackstrap rum – of which Cruzan brand appears to be the only exported example – is an astonishing product; ink black, sweet, spicy, dusty and deep – that is really essential in a Corn ‘n’ Oil. Unfortunately Cruzan blackstrap has been unavailable in Europe for a few years now but we have some stand-ins. As if that wasn’t enough spice for us we then add falernum – remember that sweet and spicy stuff we talked about a little while ago? Tell me you made some. Oh, good. The other key ingredients are and usually lime and bitters. Usually because recipes for the Corn ‘n’ Oil vary considerably. Given this I’m just going to hit you with my favourite version (purists should stop reading now). I also prefer a rather unusual way of making/presenting this drink but be aware this is not the usual method which is simply to build the ingredients in a glass and stir. When making cocktails for guests I often see (or perhaps imagine) a little twinkle in their eye that says “I want to try that”. The jam jar shake addresses that desire. Cocktail purists can cringe all they want but it’s a fun and easy way to make a cocktail and one that particularly suits the Corn ‘n’ Oil.
Jam jar shake.
Put all the ingredients in a jam jar* full of ice, put the lid on firmly and shake the bejesus out of it. Remove lid. Drink. Or more importantly give to your guest to do the shaking and drinking. Yes, it’s quick and dirty. Yes, the drink will be full of half melted ice. No, you can’t make just any cocktail this way. But it’s fun and it’s a convenient way to make a cocktail when you don’t have access to your usual tools. You can also use the lid to strain the contents into a second glass.
Corn ‘n’ Oil (Proof version)
1oz Cruzan blackstrap rum (or if unavailable a dark, spicy rum such as OVD or maybe even Stroh)
1oz gold Barbados rum (I like Plantation Barbados^)
1oz fresh lime juice (you can use less – most other recipes do)
0.75oz falernum (preferably home-made otherwise John D. Taylor’s Velvet falernum.)
2 (or more) dashes of Angostura bitters
Either pour the ingredients into an ice filled DOF glass and stir or do the jam jar shake.
Toast Barbados, birthplace of rum. Or Bajans – creators of the Corn ‘n’ Oil.
*I like the Bonne Maman jam jars and luckily my family also like the jam. Save the empties and remove the label by soaking the jar in hot water for a while.
^Other Bajan rums include Mount Gay, Cockspur and Doorly’s)