Monday, June 27, 2016

Seattle Rumdrops: Rumba's Hot Mess Swizzle

Summer is officially here, but given Seattle's recent weather, the forecast calls for more Rum. If you're local, you know it's Junuary, and that means an unpredictable mixture of rain, clouds or Sun-filled skies with temperature ranges wide enough to give your mother's hot flashes a run for their money. Have no fear Seattleites, there is relief! Rumba offers up awesome under the umbrella of their new drink menu featuring a most fittingly named cocktail: Hot Mess Swizzle.

Hot Mess Swizzle

Bradley's Kina Tonic
Stopping in to see Kate Perry, General Manager of Rumba, always brightens the day. However, being introduced to the Hot Mess Swizzle felt more like a daydream on the isle of Jamaica. Kate tells me Jim Romdall (no introduction needed here!) had been fine tuning this new menu drink in light of Rum Fire's recent WA State launch. Pop! Kate cracks open a new bottle of Rum Fire...ahh, the unmistakable funk of 100% Jamaican Pot Still Rum, well-endowed with esters, fills the air. If you've had the pleasure, then you know. But what of this Hot Mess? It's bright and mature, yet poorly mannered; charmingly attractive in its display, but get too close to the fire, or ice in this case and you'll get, well just what you ordered - fun! Literally, a cocktail temptress of sorts you cannot ignore. The tall glass is frosted, with crushed ice spilling out over its edges. No need for napkins with this one. Its more than less bothered looking presentation is what it is, but the character of what's inside will keep you in trance. I embrace the chilled vessel from which herbal aromas of mint and Peychaud's Bitters create a lucid atmosphere below my nose. Before I place my lips around the straw, I pause at the snow-cone like appearance and can't help but cool off by slipping my tongue into the ice for a quickie with the bitters. Sorry, not sorry!

Rum Fire & Giffard Banane du Bresil
Now, it's well known, big flavor Jamaican rums go great with banana, and Giffard's Banane du Brésil is arguably the top shelf pick for this flavor enhancer. My thirst was building and it was time for the main event. Suddenly, the mint sprig came off and fell to the floor. The sign, right?! The first sip is refreshing, beaming with hogo flavor and quality. The fresh lime juice and Bradley's Kina Tonic gives it balance and seems to cool the rather heated Rum Fire and banana combination down a notch while adding a touch of complexity. I forget about the weather outside and recall Tarrus Riley's hit Cool Me Down as I start feeling the effect from the potent 126 proof Rum Fire. Impressive drink, but just to be sure, I order one more. Oh yeah!! I'm convinced, Summer in Seattle just got better with this one; but then I begin to wonder, was Jim really thinking about the weather or not...??

Hot Mess Swizzle
by Jim Romdall

1oz Rum Fire
.5oz Giffard Banane du Bresil
.75oz Lime Juice (fresh pressed)
.5oz Bradley's Kina Tonic
Crushed ice
Peychaud's Bitters on top
Mint sprig garnish

Go to Rumba, get yours, ask Jim and enjoy!

Swizzle Fo' Shizzle!!!!


  1. I went to this place with local friends and we had a blast here. The long happy hour definitely ensures a full upstairs, but I'd recommend the quieter downstairs at Chicago event space to enjoy your stuffed burger and fries!

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