Papa's Pilar Rum
By Doc Lawrence
Tailgating season is synonymous with college football down here, a celebration of food and beverages. While whiskey and in particular Bourbon are hot items today, other still retain popularity and retain their connections with the masses. Rum is one of these.
Ernest Hemingway contributed to the exalted place rum has in out culture. With Delta Airlines set to launch direct flights daily to Havana (including my HQ in Atlanta), rum based cocktails will predictably appear on menus.
I was introduced to one in particular labeled Papa’s Pilar Rum. Named after Hemingway’s fishing cruiser (which was named after the Gypsy fighter in For Whom the Bell Tolls), I enjoyed the dark version. However there is a lighter version.
I found the rum to be near perfect as a Cuba Libre, basically rum and Coca-Cola with lime juice. The subtle cinnamon, anise, vanilla, caramel, citrus and brown sugar components blend seamlessly with the Atlanta-born soft drink. It helps for authenticity to use Key limes. I have no trouble finding them.
Papa’s Pilar is approved by Hemingway’s estate and is a blend of rums from the United States, Caribbean and Central America, aged in bourbon and port wine barrels and finished in sherry casks. The bottle is distinctive and the distinctive bottle cork is something I will keep.
For tailgating, Papa’s Pilar Rum will become a centerpiece of conversation. It makes a mighty fine Daiquiri and Mojito as well.
Mr. Hemingway would be proud.