As winter descends around me with thick blankets of snow I always look toward more substantial and complex liquors to keep me warm in the ever-lengthening cold nights. When the days get shorter and the nights much cooler, I always make a transition from lighter and crisper liquors to much more hearty and substantial ones. My go to night time sipping liquor or cocktail base has always been an aged bourbon or whisky, but when I was introduced to the barrel-aged Don Q Gran Añejo, I knew I had a new favorite to immediately work in to my night-time sipping rotation.
Don Q is known for its excellent barrel-aged Puerto Rican Rum and Gran Añejo is the best barrel aged rum I have tried yet. Not only is Don Q producing some of the best rum out there, it also prides itself on its top tier environmental practices and green technology. Unlike many other distilleries in the world, Don Q does not dispose of any waste in to the ocean, making them a great producer of top-tier rum and a leader in the industry in proper environmental practices..
Don Q Gran Añejo is first aged in American white oak barrels then carefully transferred and finished in Spanish sherry casks. This aging process was built to perfection through meticulous planning and the result is a masterful blended aged rum. With this practice, I decided to use Don Q Gran Añejo in my favorite Manhattan recipe in order to really test its legs.
Start with filling a cocktail glass with ice and soda water. As the glass chills, add 2 ounces of Gran Añejo into an ice-filled shaker with three dashes of bitter. Empty the soda water and ice filled glass and shake your shaker well. Place a single cherry in the bottom of the glass and strain your shaker directly over it. The resulting cocktail has a lingering essence of carbonation due to the soda water that unlocks the complex depth and robust quality of the Gran Añejo aged rum with the bitters, adding a bit of spicy depth to this deeply warming nighttime indulgence. I would put this cocktail against some of the best bourbon-based Manhattans out there; it is deep, complex, and infinitely enjoyable.
As fantastic as Don Q Gran Añejo is as the base of a winter cocktail, it truly shines on its own on the rocks. The nose is subtle with notes of vanilla wafting forward and hints of charred caramel due to the exquisite barrel aging process. The palate is dominated by perfectly sweet molasses with fringes of tobacco and oak refinement. Gran Añejo finishes extraordinarily smooth with the vanilla sensed on the nose coming to the forefront a trace of cinnamon. Don Q Gran Añejo on the rocks is the perfect way to end a long and cold winter night due to its deep complexity you can appreciate on many levels.
Be sure to class up your long winter nights by experiencing a truly superb premium aged rum. On the rocks Don Q Gran Añejo aged rum excels and as a cocktail base it blows your mind. Pick up Don Q Gran Añejo by using this location tool and find a new way to enjoy your winter nights.