Reduced alcohol drinks #3 – Sixteen Rum.

Italian Irn Bru?

Sixteen Rum.

In this third and final quickfire low alcohol series we stick with the Italian theme. Italian food and drink culture is big on flavour yet they still have a pretty healthy relationship with alcohol. That’s why the desire for a lower alcohol version of Campari gave rise to Aperol, which we used in the Galileo. Italian drinking is also very structured: with lunch a spritz or Americano, before dinner an aperitivo, with dinner wine, after dinner the digestivo. Apparently the 11% Aperol was still a bit too heavy on the alcohol and thus was born the effervescent 0% aperitivo, Crodino. Unusual stuff this, bittersweet and pleasantly herbal it comes in a tiny, tiny little 100ml bottles (we don’t want to dull our appetite do we now?) It’s tasty enough on its own but it seems a little lonely in a glass. To me this just must be the basis for our last low octane drink. A little internet research throws up an interesting sounding Crodino based mixed drink called the Sixteen Rum. Yes, from a shoe website. Seriously, you can’t make this shit up. Word has it some Italian Count “served this drink to attract young and fashionable guests to his home.” Is it just me or does this sound a bit dodgy, especially considering the drink’s name? Hmmm. But anyway, Rum, right! Let’s do this!

The quantities of rum and vermouth are just as miniature as those little bottles so this will stay well within our brief, coming in at 12.6ml of pure ethanol. Just about exactly the same as our small beer benchmark. I love the idea of this – it’s just so, I don’t know, dinky. Which is all very well but is it any good? Well, yes. Quite delightful in fact. Unlike the Galileo it won’t quite convince you that you’ve had a proper drink but it comes remarkably close. It would make an excellent lunch, brunch or pre-dinner drink in the vein of the Americano. Neither of the recipes I found specified exactly which rum to use so we should take that as a licence to experiment. My first effort – Captain Morgan’s Jamaican/Black – worked rather nicely. Further experiments will follow. Being “built” in the glass makes it an easy drink to prepare – especially for a larger number of guests. Perhaps it would be an idea to put the rum, vermouth, ice and slice in their glasses and give them the little bottles of Crodino to pour in themselves? If so make sure a stirring implement is included.

If your supermarket doesn’t stock Crodino you should be able to find it at any Italian specialist/deli. If you make this one at home be sure to lock the front door first, so as not to get mobbed by underage drinkers in fancy shoes.

Sixteen Rum.

0.75oz rum of choice.

0.75oz Italian vermouth.

100ml bottle of Crodino.

Mix in glass with plenty of ice.

Drop in a slice of orange or lemon.

Toast the Italians – masters of the aperitivo.


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