…from the Perspectives’ Happy Hour Bar
How you doin’? Rum is an underrated spirit and yet so versatile. Rums have many different flavor profiles depending on the brand. Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum is a brand of flavored rums produced by British alcohol conglomerate Diageo. This interesting historical story takes up more space than the recipe.
It is named after the 17th-century Welsh privateer of the Caribbean, Sir Henry Morgan. He was not only a pirate, but a plantation owner, and later, Lieutenant Governor of Jamaica. From his base in Port Royal, Jamaica, he raided settlements and shipping on the Spanish Main, becoming wealthy as he did so. With the prize money from the raids, he purchased three large sugar plantations on the island.
Much of Morgan's early life is unknown. He was born in an area of Monmouth shire that is now part of the city of Cardiff. It is not known how he made his way to the West Indies, or how he began his career as a privateer. He was probably a member of a group of raiders led by Sir Christopher Myngs in the early 1660s during the Anglo-Spanish War.
Morgan became a close friend of Sir Thomas Modyford, the Governor of Jamaica. When diplomatic relations between the Kingdom of England and Spain worsened in 1667, Modyford gave Morgan a letter of marque, a license to attack and seize Spanish vessels. Morgan subsequently conducted successful and highly lucrative raids on Puerto Principe (now Camagüey in modern Cuba) and Porto Bello (now Portobelo in modern Panama). In 1668, he sailed for Maracaibo and Gibraltar, both on Lake Maracaibo in modern-day Venezuela; he raided both cities and stripped them of their wealth before destroying a large Spanish squadron as he escaped.
In 1671, Morgan attacked Panama City, landing on the Caribbean coast and traversing the isthmus before he attacked the city, which was on the Pacific coast. To appease the Spanish, with whom the English had signed a peace treaty, Morgan was arrested and summoned to London in 1672, but was treated as a hero by the general populace and the leading figures of government and royalty including Charles II.
Morgan was appointed a Knight Bachelor in November 1674 and returned to the Colony of Jamaica shortly afterward to serve as the territory's Lieutenant Governor. He served on the Assembly of Jamaica until 1683 and on three occasions he acted as Governor of Jamaica in the absence of the current post-holder. A memoir published by Alexandre Exquemelin, a former shipmate of Morgan's, accused him of widespread torture and other offences; Morgan won a libel suit against the book's English publishers, but Exquemelin's portrayal has affected history's view of Morgan. His life was romanticized after his 1688 death and he became the inspiration for pirate-themed works of fiction across a range of genres. It is thought that the refined sugar from his plantation was converted to rum. So, it might very well be one of the oldest brands of rum still available today.
This Rum & Ginger cocktail couldn’t be simpler… Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum, a splash of spicy Ginger Ale, and a slice of lime to cut through the gingery heat. Also known as a Dark & Stormy with a lime wheel.
Prep time: 2 minutes
Yield: One cocktail
1-1/2 ounces Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum
3 ounces ginger ale or ginger beer
1 freshly-cut lime wheel to garnish
ChefSecret: There may be other rums out there but none with this unique blend of Caribbean rums with notes of vanilla and caramel.
Quip of the Day: Trust science. Studies show that if your parents didn’t have children there’s a high probability you won’t either.
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