After much anticipation and fanfare, the first bottles of Sag Harbor Rum are being delivered to local liquor stores, bars, restaurants — right on time for their May 1 release.
The buzz about this brand new, local spirit began around the end of February when owners Mike McQuade and Jason Cyril Laan launched a Facebook page and website. On March 5, the duo shared photos of their attractive bottle and label design, featuring a black and white logo with an iconic whale, harkening back to Sag Harbor’s whaling history and acknowledging the inspiration for their easy-sipping, amber rum.
Aged in old bourbon casks with a blend of spices, fruit and other natural flavors, the rum’s makers took a cue from the whalers’ storing their rum in barrels previously used for coffee, exotic spices and fruit — all of which influence its unique flavor. The DansPapers.com staff got to enjoy a “first taste” during a video shoot for the Montauk cocktail contest, and initial impressions were quite good, though it’s actually mellowed further since then. Read about the tasting here.
Now the elusive rum will be more widely available on the East End and a few points west.
Following the May 1 deliveries, 1,200 bottles of Sag Harbor Rum will be available at 27 locations, including, The Bell & Anchor, Noyac Liquors, The Beacon, Sag Harbor Liquor Store, Sen Restaurant, Corner Bar, La Superica, Tutto Il Giorno, Long Wharf Wines, Bay Street Theater, Muse in the Harbor and Murf’s Backstreet Tavern (where McQuade and Laan tend bar) in Sag Harbor; Tutto Il Giorno in Southampton; Topping Rose House, Fresh Hamptons and De Petris Liquor Store in Bridgehampton; Wainscott Main Wine & Spirits in Wainscott, Churchill Wines & Spirits and Bay Kitchen & Bar in East Hampton;
White’s Liquor Store and Swallow East in Montauk; Cliff’s Elbow Room in Jamesport; Claudio’s in Greenport; Manikas Liquor Shop on Shelter Island; Port Jefferson Liquors in Port Jefferson; Swallow in Huntington and at Long Island Spirits in Calverton, the craft distillery where Sag Harbor Rum is made, with the help of master distiller Richard Stabile. Another 4,800 bottles of the first batch are being stored to replenish distributers’ stock.
Pick up a bottle at your closest liquor store while they’re still available. Sag Harbor Rum is likely to be the hot bottle to own this summer.
If you manage to get some, Sag Harbor Rum’s website (sagharborrum.com) offers a number of cocktail recipes (such as a Sag Harbor-style Mai Tai, mojito, cable car, planter’s punch and more) but this is also the best time to start experimenting with your own mixological creations. Dan’s has already presented “The Montauk” with Sweet ‘tauk Lemonade, but we’ve also predicted that the spirit’s undeniable cherry and vanilla tastes will lead many to mix it with cola — making the Sag Harbor Rum and Coke a signature drink in the Hamptons this summer.