Rum Rum Reviews Spirits Reviews

Rum Review: Shellback Silver Rum

Shellback silver rumShellback Caribbean Silver Rum

Bajan Rum
Grade: two stars(Average)
Price: $16 (750ml)

Shellback Caribbean Rum, currently available in silver and spiced varieties, represents another bold move into the spirits world by E.&J. Gallo, the ubiquitous California winemakers. It’s produced in Barbados by the West Indies Rum Distillery, the company that also make the rum that goes into Cockspur and Malibu.

Shellback Silver Rum is reportedly aged for at least one year in once-used American bourbon barrels, which are the most popular barrels for aging rum. It must be heavily filtered after that aging, because it’s completely clear in appearance. There’s a little bit of spice on the nose, but mostly vanilla. Lots and lots of vanilla. You could easily mistake this for vanilla extract. (This could be from the aging, although a year in wood isn’t very long, but more likely it means the distiller gave it a little help.)

The vanilla also hits you on the first sip. It’s not as strong as the aroma, but it’s definitely there. This rum is sweet, with a fruity, molasses-y flavor. There’s just a little spice and acidity that hits you at the end, but mostly it’s sweet vanilla. It also has an appealing creamy texture. This is the standard 40% ABV, but it goes down very easily.

Shellback Silver Rum is acceptable to drink neat, but it’s obviously designed to use in cocktails, and it  works well there. It’s good in a Cherry Daiquiri or Cuba Libre. Any rum drink that works well with a hint of vanilla would likely taste good with Shellback.

This isn’t an especially sophisticated rum. But it’s a useful one, and the low price — I’ve seen it on sale for $11 — can’t be beat.

Cocktail of the Day Drink Recipes Vodka

Cocktail of the Day: Red Berry Delicious

Red_berry_cocktailRed Berry Delicious

1 1/2 oz Raspberry Vodka
1/2 oz Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur
1/2 oz Licor 43
3 Large Srawberries
1 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Demerara Sugar Syrup

In a mixing glass, muddle the strawberries with the lemon juice and sugar syrup. Add the remaining ingredients and shake with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. (If you don't want little pieces of strawberry floating in it, you can double strain it.)

Adapted from a recipe by Charlotte Voisey.

Drink Recipes Gin Liqueurs

Vanilla Berry Fizz Drink Recipe

I've been playing around with Tuaca this week. It's a vanilla and citrus-flavored liqueur, originally from Italy, but now produced in the United States. The sweet vanilla flavor dominates, with the brandy and citrus (orange, I believe) taking a backseat.

Tuaca enjoyed a burst of popularity a few years back when bartenders started mixing it into cocktails. I haven't heard a lot about it lately, but I think it has a lot of potential for mixing. It takes fine straight up (just make sure you drink it cold), with an authentic vanilla flavor. But I think its real potential is in cocktails.

You can find quite a few recipes on their website, but here's a variation of one that I mixed up and especially enjoyed.


TuacaVanilla Berry Fizz

1 1/2 oz Tuaca
1 oz Gin
3 Strawberries
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
Soda Water

Muddle strawberries at the bottom of a mixing glass, along with lemon juice and simple syrup.

Add all other ingredients (except the soda water) and shake with ice. Double strain into an ice-filled Collins glass. Garnish with a strawberry.


I used Plymouth Gin, which mixes very well in drinks like this. But you can use any good quality gin. 

I initially made this without the simple syrup, but it was too tart. (Probably the fault of the early-season strawberries.) If your strawberries are on the sweet side, you can probably leave out the extra sugar.