Usually accompanying your friendly local pirate, it’s widely known that parrots have a love of all things rum (don’t we all) and it was only a matter of time before a tall tale would link the two.
The Story of O’Hara’s Parrot
Expelled and ostracised from the emerald isle after an argument with a one-legged bookie turned sour, O’Hara and his parrot headed for warmer, safer shores. Finding themselves on the sun-drenched coast of the Caribbean, the two got a mighty taste for the local rum. Morning, noon and night they would gulp the stuff with gusto; quaffing until they were howling and screeching at the breezy night’s bright moon, shrieking in deranged, drunken unison. Now considering himself rather an expert, and being something of a betting man, O’Hara placed a healthy wager with a local rum-maker that he could create the smoothest, most flavoursome and out-there rum the place had ever tasted. Throwing together the groundbreaking fusion of cinnamon, lime, vanilla, spices and a devilish secret ingredient…….O’Hara’s Spiced Rum was born.*
*may or may not be true….I’ll leave it up to you to decide
I was fortunate enough to meet with Andy O’Hara recently and he told me that the rum is a blend of three rums. 3 and 5-year-old Guyanan rums along with a 5-year-old Trinidad and Tobago Rum. These rums are blended in Amsterdam then flavoured with vanilla, lime, cinnamon, cloves and a ‘secret blend’ of spices in the UK. Andy and his business partner Adrian Keogh, already both successful in their ‘day jobs’, decided to produce and bring the rum to market as a fun project with no real short-term targets for massive sales. They are solely interested in the fun of it and it shows as Andy is an engaging character. This laid back attitude shows itself in the style of the rum which is firmly aimed at a younger audience with mixing in mind. Its popularity has led to interest from supermarkets and larger stockists so it’s certainly a case of ‘watch this space’.
The rum itself is a tasty prospect.
In the glass: The rum is a golden, almost apple juice colour. Vanilla, lime, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, cola, cherry and almond like marzipan aromas jump out of the glass and fight for your attention like a boisterous puppy dog.
In the mouth: The taste is completely consistent with the smell. Sweet spice is present initially with a wave of vanilla and cinnamon following. There is a nutmeg kick which is then backed up by lime and maraschino cherries rounding out what tastes like a liquid bakewell tart that gives a little cinnamon burn at the end in its syrupy, vanilla finish.
It’s so easy to drink neat but mixed is where its heart lies. The website lists their recommended serves including such aptly named drinks as O’Hara’s Spiced Tea and Flaming O’Hara’s ( I think Moe the Bartender may lay claim to this one) and can be found here.
My favourite creation (which is not on their site) is a long drink that requires a classy bamboo shaped glass with ice, 50ml of O’Hara’s Spiced, 75ml clear apple juice, a squeezed and submerged lime wedge and ginger beer to top it up.
It’s a rum that knows its market backed by a company that wants to have a good time seeing where the journey takes it. As a wise man once said, ‘rum is fun’, and this one certainly is.
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