We’re doing a 180 today.
I’m going to start with a disclaimer: I am so, so excited that we are finally having some rainy days here in Santa Barbara! They are long overdue and it feels like it’s been an eternity since the weather has been dreary enough that it’s perfectly acceptable to hop into your comfy sweats as soon as you get home from work and eat a big bowl of comforting soup for dinner. Anyone else feeling me?
But, as much as I LOVE these rainy days, there’s something even more enchanting about throwing together a tropical-inspired cocktail and sipping on it while you’re staring outside at the rain drops coming down. It’s like you’re transported to another place in your mind, where you’re lying on the warm sand, listening to the waves crashing to shore. Am I wrong to say it feels like some sort of meditation for me?
Being from California, I’m lucky that the warm weather is never too far away (and yes, I am so sorry for all of my readers out there that are stuck in the Midwest in below freezing temperatures right now. Trust me, sometimes I envy you, too.) Pineapples and other tropical fruits are available pretty much on the reg (quality sometimes suffers in the off-season, but we can remedy that pretty quickly with some booze) so we can transport ourselves to that private island in our minds in no time.
Being from Santa Barbara, I feel even luckier to have discovered TheBu Kombucha, especially their tropical flavor (paper umbrellas all around!!) This is a semi-local company (they’re based in Ventura/Oxnard) that was founded by a surfer/biochemist after he was introduced to the probiotic-rich beverage by his surfing buddies. After tasting the versions that were around “back then,” he knew he could make the same product that tasted WAY better. As someone who’s tried to hop on the kombucha bandwagon before but couldn’t quite get there because of the strong fermented taste, I can tell you that The Bu has absolutely NAILED this beverage and it is do drinker-friendly. Plus, it’s organic, non-GMO, gluten free and vegan. In short, it’s super-good for you and anyone can drink it!
But let’s get down to business and talk about this Tropical Rum Runner I made for you today. I’ve been trying to rotate the types of liquor I use in the cocktails I feature each week, and I realized I hadn’t done anything with rum yet. For me, because I’ve spent so much time visiting (and living in) Hawaii, I always think tropical drinks when I think of rum (Mai Tai’s anyone?) Also, my refrigerator is always well-stocked with The Bu’s Tropical-flavored kombucha, so there’s that. This drink is far from a Mai Tai (I’m not quite there yet with special ingredients in my bar!) but it will still definitely do the trick of transporting you to that white-sand beach.
And the bonus to this Tropical Rum Runner? (Besides the fact that it’s really fun to say?) It’s pretty darn good for you! The kombucha is low-calorie and fills your tummy with lots of good-for-you probiotics, there’s a splash of pineapple juice (the fresher, the better!) and then…secret ingredient alert…a sprinkle of cinnamon! [BTW, has anyone else experimented with various spices in cold cocktails before? This was the first time I thought to use cinnamon in something other than a hot toddy/warm spiced cocktail and I can’t believe I hadn’t thought of it sooner! If you have any good recipes featuring different spices, please share!] On top of that we just add some aromatic bitters, a squeeze of fresh lime juice, and a little “rum for the bum” and we are well on our way to that balmy 80-degree weather!
I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend. Chris and I are headed up to visit our good friends in Livermore. So far our plans include hiking and wine tasting! What is everyone else up to? Will you be enjoying the cold weather or will you be headed someplace warm and tropical?
- 1 ½ ounces white rum
- 2 ounces TheBu Tropical Kombucha or another brand in a similar flavor if you can’t find TheBu, but to find it near you check out where it’s sold here!
- 2 ounces pineapple juice
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Dash of Angostura aromatic bitters
- Squeeze of fresh lime juice about ¼ of a lime
- Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled halfway with ice. Shake gently (not too hard or the kombucha will fizz over!) then pour into a highball glass. Garnish with a lime wheel to serve.
I hear those palm trees a-swayin’….