Rum is experiencing a renaissance as market consumption grows steadily worldwide. In Hong Kong, rum is still an underrated spirit compared to whisky and gin, but with a new rum bar opening in the city, it seems like the interest in this sugarcane spirit might be catching on.
Opening on the corner of Hollywood Road, right beside Quinary, is Caribbean-inspired bar The Daily Tot. Should there be no more delays in the reopening of bars in the city, the bar will officially open their doors on August 11. Named after the centuries-old ritual of handing out a daily rum ration to royal navy sailors from 1850 to the 1970s, The Daily Tot aims to change the way Hongkongers perceive rum as being closely tied in with tiki traditions. Behind the bar is renowned mixologist Gerry Olino, who has worked in Hong Kong's bar industry for years, formerly as the group beverage manager of Ming Fat House Group (Mrs. Pound, Foxglove, and Dr Ferns) and the head bartender at Shangri-La's Lobster bar.
The Daily Tot's head mixologist, Gerry Olino
To give us a glimpse of their menu, Olino whipped up one of their signature rum cocktail recipes so you can try it at home or at The Daily Tot when the bar opens. Paying homage to the modern classic cocktail Old Cuban – an original creation of Audrey Saunders, the owner of Pegu Club in NYC – Olino created his signature twist and named it Old Tot. The cocktail is a hybrid of a French 75 and a mojito, and like all great classic cocktails, the recipe is deceptively simple but packs quite a punch.
"The trick behind this cocktail is using aged-rum and creating a house blend with the Black Tot Rum which is only available at The Daily Tot," Olino shares. "It's one of our favourite cocktails to make because even though it's simple, it showcases our message that rum is a versatile spirit that has unique flavours and shines when mixed with natural herbaceous ingredients," he adds.
MAKE IT YOURSELF
30ml Black Tot Rum
15ml Plantation Dark Rum
22.5ml lime juice
22.5 ml sugar syrup
2 dashes of Angostura Bitters
3 sprigs of mint
1) Make a sugar syrup by combining equal measures of sugar and boiling water in a small jar. Seal the jar, wrap it in a towel, and shake well until sugar dissolves. Set it aside for later use. Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to two weeks.
2) To make the cocktail, blend the Black Tot Rum and Plantation Dark Rum. But since it will be hard to get a Black Tot Rum in Hong Kong, you can just use 45ml Plantation Dark Rum.
3) In a mixing glass, muddle two sprigs of mint with lime juice and sugar syrup.
4) Add in the rum, bitter, ice, and shake.
5) Double-strain into a coupe glass, and top up with Prosecco. Garnish with a mint sprig and serve.