I recently had lunch with my friend V, who commented that most of my product reviews were fairly positive, which on the whole (with one or two exceptions) they are. It is important to me that the content of this site is my honest opinion; being offered freebies is lovely, and I am thrilled that anyone values my opinion enough offer me products to review, but my first concern is my integrity. Given that I do not accept every sample that I am offered; I choose the ones I think that I (and my readers) will like, it is not surprising that the positives outweigh the negatives. Often I will be ambivalent about a product and will contact the producer or PR and let them know that I have no strong opinions and will not be writing about it. Obviously there is also the flip side that people offer me products that they feel I will be interested in, like, and write about positively. If I really love the product I will (with varying degrees of success) ask for another one for a giveaway so one of my readers can experience it too.
Very few people in the UK have escaped the snow this last week or so, those that missed the snow would have not missed the cold. It is a sign that I am getting older that when it snows in central London one of my first thoughts is that I absolutely do not want to slip and break my leg; my flat is on the second floor and there are steps into my bathroom, and it would take ages to mend and generally be a pain (both literally and figuratively).
I arrived home last Friday; having carefully picked my way round the ice on the slippery streets, to 3 exciting parcels. One of which contained a bottle of Appleton Estate Jamaican Rum, and a recipe for the perfect winter warmer of a hot buttered rum.
Rum is made from fermented and distilled sugar cane by-products such a molasses and cane juice. Mainly produced in the Caribbean, there is a vast array of grades, variations, flavours and characters. I think it would be fair to think of it as the tropical equivalent to whiskey, with its myriad number of permutations from everyday blends to rare single malts.
Appleton Estate have recently launched their 30 year old Rum blend, the oldest blend available commercially in the world, with notes of baked pear, maple and orange peel. With only 70 bottles available in the UK and selling for £550 in Harrods this is a luxury rum, and not one that you would turn into a hot punch.
My bottle; the Appleton Estate V/ X, was somewhat more humble, but still very very good, and far smoother than a whisky or brandy for the same price. Subtly spiced, flavoured with brown sugar and butterscotch, with a hint of pear and orange, it has made me curious to learn more about rum. The hot buttered rum was delicious, perfect for a late afternoon warmer on a snowy day, or in front of the fire on Christmas eve. Winter themed choux buns filled with an orange and rum cream were equally good.
Hot Buttered Rum Punch
- 50 ml Appleton Estate V/X
- 75 ml Boiling Water
- 1 Tablespoon of Brown Sugar
- Vanilla Extract
- 1 Small slice of Butter
- Ground Cinnamon (Optional)
- Ground Nutmeg (Optional)
- Cinnamon Stick
- Orange Peel
- Place the butter, sugar and spices in a mug or coffee glass. Pour in Appleton Estate V/X and muddle together. Pour in the boiling water. Stir, garnish with orange peel and cinnamon stick and enjoy!
Looking at Appleton’s website I was very pleased to read that they are committed to green manufacturing, doing what they can for the environment and reducing their carbon emissions. When sugar cane is harvested it is common practice to first set the field on fire to burn away the leaves and dead cane, Appletons are committed to move towards “green cane harvesting” where this burning does not take place, instead the dead material is left to protect and fertilise the soil. The factory is powered by an emission free boiler that runs off bagasse, the sugar cane fibres that remain after the juice is extracted.
Appleton Estate V/X Rum is available from all major supermarkets for £17.99.
Thanks to Appleton for my free bottle.