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Summer Rum Infusions With Vena’s Spirit Sippers

While we’re firm believers that you can enjoy any spirit any time of the year, there’s just something special about rum in the summer season. Rum mixes incredibly well in a variety of warm weather cocktails, including highball drinks, fruity daiquiris, and tiki drinks. What adds to this variety is the use of different kinds of rums, and at Mad River Distillers, we offer several options including our silver Rum 44, First Run Rum, Maple Cask Rum, Vanilla Rum and PX Rum. Try combining one set of cocktail ingredients with our Vanilla Rum, and then combine those same cocktail ingredients with our Maple Cask Rum, and you’ll see how you can easily change up the flavor profile with your choice of base spirit.

When it comes to making infused cocktails, we often recommend our Rum 44. As a clean, silver rum, this easily takes on the flavor of any infusion you want to make. Be sure to read our Rum 44 Infusions blog post for more information on infusing spirits, along with a couple recipes. Our PX Rum is aged in a mixture of toasted and charred barrels, then finished in Pedro Ximenez sherry casks, which imparts nutty and smoky aromas and flavors that lends itself to colder season cocktails. The rest of our rums work well across a variety of summer rum cocktails and could be used for infusions. 

Just like any good chef that experiments with ingredients to make a delicious meal, there’s always some trial that comes with combining ingredients together for an alcohol infusion. Vena’s Fizz House offers a simpler option with a variety of products that can be used for both mocktails or cocktails. Spirit Sippers are one of their main product lines, which is a glass jar filled with select fruits, herbs and spices. You simply combine the ingredients in the jar with the base spirit of your choosing via one of two methods:

  1. Add your chosen spirit directly to the jar, then let it sit for 2-3 days. Shake to combine the ingredients, then strain and enjoy.
  2. Combine the chosen spirit with the jar ingredients in a pot on the stove. Heat the ingredients together, but do not boil them. Then, carefully pour the drink mixture back into the jar, close the lid and shake well. Allow the liquid to cool before straining and serving over ice.

The beauty of Vena’s Spirit Sippers is the convenience and quality. Either method above offers a quick way to infuse your alcohol to create a tasty cocktail without being an expert bartender. If you want to have a cocktail while on-the-go, for example while camping with friends, you can easily serve a delicious pre-made cocktail without needing all your home bar supplies on hand. Each jar serves 5+ cocktails, and all of their products are made with clean, all-natural ingredients. Just like Mad River Distillers, their ingredients are locally sourced when possible.
If you’ve been to our Burlington Tasting Room, you know we carry a variety of barware and cocktail supplies in our retail section. This includes Vena’s Spirit Sippers and Spirit Nippers. While there are base spirit recommendations printed on the labels and on the Vena’s website for each of their products, we wanted to share our specific recommendations on what Mad River Distillers rum to pair with each Spirit Sipper to make a super tasty summer rum infusion.

Blackberry Stinger & Maple Cask Rum
The Blackberry Stinger Spirit Sipper ingredients include blackberries, orange, ginger, and a blend of organic cane sugar, cane syrup and honey. Maple Cask Rum is aged in maple-cured barrels, which results in a smooth and bright flavor with a nose of tropical fruits, great for combining with the blackberries.

Maine Margarita & Vanilla Rum
The Maine Margarita Spirit Sipper ingredients include blueberry, apple, lemon, lime powder, and a blend of organic cane sugar, cane syrup and honey. Our Vanilla Rum is a 100% demerara rum infused with chopped Tahitian vanilla beans for an aromatic rum that shines when combined with citrus like the lemon and lime here, as well as with fruits.

Cran Cherry & First Run Rum
The Cran Cherry Spirit Sipper ingredients include cranberry, cherry, lemon, clove, and a blend of organic cane sugar, cane syrup and honey. Our premium First Run Rum is also made with cane sugar and is aged in fresh charred American oak barrels (just like our bourbon and rye). The bourbon-like richness and distinctly rum-caramel finish pairs deliciously with the cranberry and cherries here.

Shipwreck & Rum 44
The Shipwreck Spirit Sipper is a totally tropical infusion, with ingredients that include pineapple, banana, lemon, spices, organic cane and/or coconut sugar. Our Rum 44 is made from 100% demerara sugar, and is charcoal filtered for a smooth and silky mouthfeel. As an ideal rum for infusions, this rum lets the tropical flavors of pineapple and banana take the spotlight.

Since we began carrying Vena’s products at our Burlington Tasting Room, they’ve been a popular gift item to pair along with a bottle of our spirits. We hope that the pairing suggestions above make your shopping, and cocktail-making process, an easier one. If you visit our retail section and have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask! Our team is always happy to make recommendations on what to pair with our spirits, and what ingredients are most useful to have in your home bar, depending on your tastes. And, if you just aren’t sure what kind of rum you’ll prefer, order a tasting at our bar. It’s a great way to try a variety of our spirits before you buy a bottle. See you soon!

Written and published by Brianne Lucas on May 14, 2024

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