Mai Tai Monday: Hamilton Breezeway Blend Rum

Whenever I get a new bottle of rum, I always make a Mai Tai with it. It doesn’t matter if it’s expensive or cheap, or even if the rum isn’t really intended to be used for that cocktail. Sometimes you find things out about the rum when you taste in the Mai Tai format, along with the lime and sweeteners that serve to provide a foundation for the cocktail.

Such was the case with the new Hamilton Breezeway Blend, named in honor of Spike Marble’s Spike’s Breezeway Cocktail Hour channel on YouTube. Ed Hamilton put together this blend and it is similar to rums such as Probitas which blend a lighter style rum along with a funky rum from Jamaica. In this case, the base of the Breezeway Blend is Hamilton White Stache, an 87 proof white rum with distillate mostly from Trinidad but also some from Guyana and the Dominican Republic. That’s combined with a smaller proportion of Hamilton Pot Still Blonde from Jamaica, which is based on a couple Worthy Park distillates that are aged 1-2 years in New York. Blonde has a ton of flavor even at 45% ABV is my favorite Hamilton rum expression.

The Breezeway Blend is being positioned rightly so as a flavorful Daiquiri rum, where light leaning rum is expected. The Mai Tai traditionally wants to use heavier and bolder rums, but I’ll be damned if the 85 proof Breezeway Blend doesn’t make for a really fine Mai Tai. This leans lighter, of course, but there’s plenty of funky Jamaican flavor and sometimes you want something that’s just a little easier to drink.

In many ways, this reminds me of what Trader Vic did when he brought the Mai Tai to Hawai’i. That original Hawaiian Mai Tai wasn’t made with long aged Jamaica rum, but used inexpensive dark Jamaican rums such as Myers’s and combined it with a light Puerto Rican so that it would be easier for tourists to drink.

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