Corn 'n' Oil

Corn 'n' Oil cocktail in an old-fashioned glass

Stir with ice, strain and serve over a large ice cube in an old-fashioned glass. Alternatively, add ingredients to glass, fill with crushed ice, and stir. Optionally, float the blackstrap rum on the top.

The Corn 'n' Oil is a traditional planters' drink from Barbados. It's origins are lost in time but it dates back to the 1700s. The rather strange name is said to come from a verse in the Bible where Moses promises the Israelites rain in its season, "that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil." The drink was popularized recently in the USA by Seattle bartender Murray Stenson. He chose to use a black rum with a heavy molasses flavor. It might give the impression of an oil slick but it is hardly traditional and the drink tastes far better with an aged Barbados rum.

There are versions of the Corn 'n' Oil that add lime juice and serve over crushed ice but we prefer the traditional recipe from Difford's Guide and Smuggler's Cove. It is a rum-based version of the Old-Fashioned with the simple syrup replaced by falernum. It is wonderful how the addition of a little falernum and some bitters transform a mere glass of rum into a cocktail. The end result tastes very good and very different from just a glass of rum. Though it must be said that 'just a glass of rum' is a very fine drink too—especially with the Plantation Barbados 5 year.

As an optional variation try a float of blackstrap rum—we use Cruzan Black Strap. The intense molasses aroma of the black rum works like a garnish and gives an attractive, albeit non-traditional, oil slick impression without ruining the drink.