It was written in the stars that after the review of GinISH, also brother RumISH would be tasted. The story behind the creation of this alternative to dark rum can be found here. A special feature of the GinISH was that chili pepper was added, to give you a stimulus in the throat that should be comparable to the feeling you get when drinking alcohol. On the RumISH label, the ingredients include natural rum flavor, vanilla and nutmeg, as well as capsicum. Capsicum is the Latin name for chili pepper, so we can expect a hot mouthfeel again.
Currently you can find a lot of alternatives to Gin. Alternatives to other spirits are a bit harder to find. Yet ISH Spirits is not the first manufacturer to provide other spirits with an alcohol-free variant. Stryyk, Lyre’s and Arkay offer alternatives for many spirits, Celtic Soul and Dochus offer an alternative to Whiskey. However, we have not yet been able to taste them, so RumISH is the first to be reviewed.
It is good news that more and more other alternatives are popping up. You can make a lot of nice cocktails (or mocktails) with (alternatives to) Gin, but many classic cocktails have a different beverage as a main ingredient. It seems that we will soon be able to offer all these cocktails in an alcohol-free version, but some caution is required. When dozens of products suddenly come on the market, it is important to know whether they are really well made or have been launched quickly to get a piece of a new market segment. With the latter category of products, there is a good chance that the quality isn’t as it should be. Time to find out what RumISH has to offer.
Author Marcel Proust once soaked a biscuit in his tea. The smell and taste of the biscuit made him involuntary recall memories his childhood, when he ate soaked cake with his grandmother. Since then, the recall of a distant memory based on a smell or taste has been called the Proustian memory. When opening the RumISH bottle I was overwhelmed by this phenomenon. The scent of the RumISH catapultes me back in time to an overcrowded après-ski tent on a ski slope, soaked in an overwhelming scent of Jägertee. This is an alcoholic tea made with some herbs and yes… a lot of rum. That the smell immediately reminds me of a drink made with lots of rum is certainly promising.
Dark ‘n’ Stormy
As usual, we first start by drinking a glass of pure RumISH. Rarely has it been so easy to describe the taste based on the smell and the ingredients on the bottle. You can taste the vanilla and nutmeg very clearly. We had already smelled the rum extract, but we also taste it clearly. Just as with Ginish, the chili pepper does a good job giving the mouth and throat an extra warm feeling. The only thing that we find a bit unfortunate is that we also perceive a bit of a sweet taste in the RumISH. But as always the real taste test follows when we use the undiluted drink in a mix.
The bottle describes one alcohol-free recipe: mix one part RumISH with two parts ginger beer and finish with a slice of lime and / or ginger. This is in fact the recipe for a Dark ‘n’ Stormy that we already made with RumISH and that you can view here. When we made this Dark ‘n’ Stormy it turned out that the RumISH can easily add a lot of taste to a mocktail. Even given the relatively dominance of the ginger beer, we could continue to taste rum, vanilla and nutmeg. The stimulus in the throat also remained, but it could just as well have come from the ginger.
To taste a bit more, we tried the RumISH in combination with Coca-Cola to make a very simple and fast alcohol-free Cuba Libre. Here too we took 1/3 RumISH and 2/3 Coke. When tasting this we honestly expected a slightly bigger boost from the Rumish. The warm feeling is there, but slightly less than we thought it would be. Apart from that, RumISH doe manage to give a clear upgrade to the taste of your coca-cola. The rum extract, the vanilla and the nutmeg effortlessly manifest themselves in the black American drink.
And now: Jägertee
Can RumISH get a place in our non-alcoholic bar? Absolutely. On the one hand to offer some counterweight to the alcohol-free alternatives to Gin already there, but on the other because it simply is a tasty product. The RumISH will probably be served here as a Dark ‘n’ Stormy and not as a Cuba Libre, but that is personal taste of course. When I’m able to find some time I will certainly retreat myself in the kitchen with a bottle of RumISH and tons of ingredients to craft the perfect non-alcoholic jägertee, because since the Proust-moment, I can’t stop thinking about it. You can always email your tips for the ideal alcohol-free jägertee.
You can see where you can find Rumish on the ISH Spirits website.