As a food writer and cooking teacher, I spend a lot of solo time in the kitchen testing recipes and solo time at my desk researching and writing. So recently, when I got asked by BlogHer and Malibu to go out for a night on the town with friends to sample cocktails, I was more than happy to deviate from the routine.
My friends Barb and Colleen joined in on this girls' night out to try out cocktails at Prohibition on the Upper West Side, one of the places in New York that serves the new Malibu Island Spiced rum. Sweetened with Truvia®, a natural sweetener, Malibu Island Spiced is infused with coconut, vanilla, and cinnamon flavors. The weather in New York was finally starting to warm up, so it was the perfect time to try out these cocktails made with Caribbean rum.
We tried three cocktails: Malibu Spiced and Diet Cola, Spiced on Ice (Malibu Island Spiced with crushed ice and an orange twist), and Sparkling Spiced (Malibu Island Spiced with soda water). They all went well with our food, including steak quesadillas, tuna tacos, mini cheese burgers, and chips and guacamole. However, during dinner, we got to thinking which Asian dishes the cocktails would go well with, since Asian cooking is the theme of this blog. (It was difficult to get good photos in the dark restaurant, but somehow we managed!)
A couple years ago, while researching the history of Chinese food in America for my cookbook, I found out that in the 1950s through the 1970s, Chinese restaurants and tiki bars alike often served rum cocktails like Mai Tais and Scorpions alongside dishes such as sweet and sour chicken and fried rice. With light tropical flavors and sweetness, rum cocktails are a natural pairing for Asian food.
Here's what we came up with as good pairings:
Malibu Spiced and Diet Cola — The cola and lime flavors remind me of a Cuba Libre. Thai and Vietnamese dishes with bold flavors would definitely be great with this sweet drink, including pad Thai, Thai red curry mussels, Vietnamese grilled pork, and clay pot chicken. Filipino coconut chicken adobo would also be a tasty dish with this cocktail.
Spiced on Ice — This drink is strong! With just spiced rum over ice and a hint of orange, the smoky drink needs foods that aren't too heavy and have a tinge of sweetness or spiciness. I'd go with cold sesame noodles, kung pao chicken, or steak teriyaki.
Sparkling Spiced — This drink was very light, so I would go with summery foods with mild flavors. Vietnamese summer rolls, vegetable dumplings, cold soba noodles, and sushi would be great to have with this cocktail, preferably outdoors in a backyard or on a deck. All in all, it was a great evening catching up with my friends over good food and good drinks. And thinking up these cocktail and food pairings definitely flexes the mental muscles more than the usual Friday night out!
Leave me a comment telling me what dishes you like to enjoy with rum cocktails for your chance to win a $100 Visa Gift Card!
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SIP EASY. ENJOY MALIBU RESPONSIBLY.
MALIBU ® Caribbean Rum with Coconut Liqueur & Natural Spices, with Truvia® Sweetener. 30% Alc./Vol. (60 Proof) ©2013 Imported by Pernod Ricard USA, Purchase, NY
Truvia® and the Truvia® logo are registered trademarks of the Truvia Company LLC.
PER 1.5 FL. OZ. SERVING. AVERAGE ANALYSIS: CALORIES 70; CARBOHYDRATES less than 1 gram; PROTEIN 0 grams; FAT 0 grams.
*when mixed with your favorite zero calorie mixer. Limes and other garnishes may add calories