Overproof rum is, for most of us, a category consisting entirely of one bottle: Bacardi 151 (also known as “a really bad idea,” and “I forgot my name”). Flaming floaters, double-dare-you shots, that kind of thing. Tipping the scales at around 75% alcohol, overproof rum is more properly used as a float or secondary ingredient in tiki-style punches (which, oh yes, are very much back). And—who knew—it doesn’t have to smell and taste like gasoline. The Plantation Rum Collection, featuring excellent single distillery rums from different Caribbean Islands, just introduced their overproof model, and we’re impressed. It’s a much stiffer version of Plantation’s Original Dark Rum, hailing from Trinidad & Tobago, and bursting with banana and vanilla—and booze, which pretty much goes Charlie Sheen on your tongue if tried straight (not recommended). The Overproof (priced at $29.99) is composed of 6-month to 2-year old Trinidadian rum; unlike the rest of the Plantation collection, it’s not finished in cognac casks at Cognac Ferrand, (Plantation’s owners). Jason Littrell, one of the alchemists at NYC’s Death and Co., believes Overproof rum showcases best in a Zombie, the famous rum punch from Don the Beachcomber, father of Tiki. We’re inclined to agree. It’s official: summer is here.

Zombie Punch (circa 1934)

¾-oz Lime Juice
½-oz White Grapefruit Juice
¼-oz Cinnamon Syrup*
½-oz Falernum
1 ½-oz Dark Jamaican Rum
1 ½-oz Gold Rum
1 oz-Plantation Overproof
Dash Angostura Bitters
6-Drops Pernod
1-Teaspoon Grenadine
¾-Cup Crushed Ice

Put all ingredients into a blender; blend at high speed for 5-seconds. Pour into a highball glass filled with ice.  Garnish with a mint sprig.

*Cinnamon Syrup: Make a simple syrup—½ cup sugar and ½ cup boiling water—infused with two crushed cinnamon sticks, strained after two hours)

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