The rum was flowing and the songs were playing Monday night as Drink hosted the Boston semi-final round of Appleton Rum Remixology. The challenge was to create a cocktail using Appleton Estate Reserve Jamaican Rum that was inspired by a favorite song. Five Boston bartenders “performed” their cocktails to their songs of inspiration while us bystanders sipped rum drinks with delicious names like Summer Breeze and Babbino Caro and nibbled on mini-ruben sandwiches. Each drink and its story of inspiration was unique. We were privileged to observe Aaron Bulter (Russell House), Corey Bunnewith (Russell House), Cali Gold (Drink), John Mayer (Craigie on Main) and Bryn Tattan (Drink) at their craft. Here are all the semi-finalist’s recipes. Yum!
But in the end there can only be one winner and that prize went to John Mayer of Craigie on Main. To the familiar tune of Sherry by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, John doned a Valli-style jacket and mixed his yum Bustamante cocktail while belting out a few of those high-pitched lines. His singing was not to be outdone by his mixing—he stirred 3 glasses on a spinning turntable while holding up a mini-disco ball. Yes, you read that correctly.
A bit of background on John’s inspiration: The Bustamante was named for William Alexander Clark Bustamante, who served as the first Prime Minister of Jamaica when it gained its independence in 1962. Frank Valli released Sherry in 1962.
Bustamante (created by John Mayer, Craigie on Main)
1 ½ oz Appleton Estate Reserve Jamaican Rum
¾ oz Campari
½ oz Sherry
3 barspoons Benedictine
2 dashes Regans’ Orange Bitters
Combine in mixing glass. Add ice and stir. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist.
John will now take his act on the road and represent Beantown in the finals in New York. Best of luck. Cheers!