MADE IN MIAMI
Internationally the city of Miami is known for a lot of things; the nightlife, beaches, and people who wear warm winter clothing when the temperature drops below 70 degrees and leave playoff basketball games prematurely. Notice I didn’t mention distilling. The city has always been known more for consuming spirits than distilling them. That all changed in 2011 when Matt Malone founded Miami Club Rum in the Wynwood neighborhood, Miami’s first legal distiller.
His inspiration came from a family trip to Mayagüez Puerto Rico where he learned about his wife’s family’s distilling background. It turns out they’d been distilling for generations but the last of them had recently passed. He couldn’t let that lineage die. He acquired all of the family recipes and know-how that he could get his hands on, quit his job, and went head first into the rum business. It didn’t take long to find success. The Miami Club Rum Platino won Gold for Best White Rum in the 2013 San Francisco Spirits Competition and improved on that by taking Double Gold in 2017 in the White Rum category. In spite of the awards and even bringing on celebrity partnerships, it wasn’t until the company released the Miami Club Cuban Coffee Rum Liqueur that things really got interesting.
CUBAN COFFEE ROYALTY
When Matt Malone and his team at Miami Club Rum set out to develop the coffee liqueur that ultimately changed the trajectory of the company, they didn’t waste any time. They went straight to the top of the Cuban coffee food chain. In late 2017 Miami Club Rum and Grand Havana, a premium Cuban style coffee wholesaler, announced a creative partnership. Matt Malone and Grand Havana’s Don Luis Bustelo, descendant of the famed Bustelo coffee family, collaborated on blends to bring Cuban-style coffee into the forefront of this popular liqueur category dominated by Kahlúa. The resulting liqueur, while not the award-winner that Miami Club Rum Platino has been, has elevated the company to new heights and introduced the brand to new audiences.
IRISH CUBAN COFFEE
It’s a Cuban coffee twist on the classic Irish coffee.
1 oz Miami Club Cuban Coffee Rum Liqueur
1 1/2 oz Irish whiskey
4 oz hot American coffee
Grated nutmeg (Optional)
1. Into an Irish coffee mug or toddy glass (make sure it is meant to withstand heat) pour the Miami Club Cuban Coffee Rum Liqueur, Irish whiskey, and hot American coffee.
3. Spoon the whipped cream on top of the drink.
4. If you want to go the extra mile, sprinkle the grated nutmeg on the whipped cream.
One critical ingredient in any Irish coffee is your choice of Irish whiskey. If you like the whiskey flavor to sit way in the background, go with the standard Tullamoore Dew or Jameson expressions but if you want to crank up the whiskey characteristics a notch or two try Power’s Gold Label, Jameson Black Barrel, or Slane Irish Whiskey. That’s probably as far as I would go but if you’re the type to take things too far, go nuts and sub in a Teeling Pot Still or a Redbreast 12-Year-Old Single Pot Still.
The nose of the Miami Club Cuban Coffee Rum Liqueur is delightful. There’s obviously tons of coffee but there’s also vanilla, caramel, and a touch of banana. On the palate the liqueur is medium-bodied with a prominent coffee flavor followed by a rich caramel and sugar cane sweetness with a well-integrated alcohol heat coming on in the finish.
Cigar Pairing: La Aurora 115th Anniversary
La Aurora 115 is a flavorful smoke that starts with a burst of red pepper and oak that gets balanced out by roasted nut notes and a pleasant butterscotch sweetness. When introduced to the unmistakable Cuban espresso flavor of Miami Club Cuban Coffee Rum Liqueur the tasting goes to another level. The sharp peppers in the cigar and the sweet rum liqueur provide an ideal backbone that complements the coffee finish perfectly.