Some of the finest rum in the world comes from Nicaragua, produced by the century-old Flor de Caña distillery. During the turbulent revolutionary years, fearing that the Sandinistas might confiscate its stocks of aged rum, Flor de Caña hid many of its barrels abroad. After the Sandinistas were voted out of office and property rights were restored, Flor de Caña reimported its stocks, now one of the largest reserves of aged rum in the world.
While in Nicaragua, we had the opportunity to sample a range of these excellent rums, both in cocktails and neat:
Macuá: The national cocktail of Nicaragua, this refreshing but potent concoction mixes white rum (ideally 4-year-old Flor de Caña) and fresh guava juice, along with fresh lemon and/or fresh orange juice. Perfect in the heat of the afternoon prior to a siesta.
Mojito: Although not a Nicaraguan cocktail, this mix of mint, lime, sugar, rum and club soda tastes especially good when prepared with 7-year-old Flor de Caña. A fine aperitif.
Flor de Caña 4-Year-Old Extra Lite: This white rum has a fruity aroma and a surprisingly dry flavor. It tastes quite smooth, considering its relative youth.
Flor de Caña 7-Year-Old Grand Reserve: One of the most popular rums in the country, this barrel-aged rum has ample vanilla in the nose, which carries through to the palate along with notes of oak.
Flor de Caña 12-Year-Old Centenario: Bigger, spicier and richer than the 7-year, this rum could almost be mistaken for cognac, with its caramelly aroma and flavors of orange peel and vanilla.
Flor de Caña 18-Year-Old Centenario Gold: This remarkable rum smelled like crème brûlée and vanilla cake. Rich notes of vanilla, oak, caramel and orange unfold on the tongue, with restrained spiciness giving way to a marvelously long, smooth finish.