I believe this is my first liquor review for The Liquid Diet blog, but it’s worth mentioning. As some of you readers may know, I volunteer as a bartender every year at Jazzoo, the amazingly fun and worthwhile fundraiser for the Kansas City Zoo. One of the biggest sponsors of this event is Major Brands, a distributor of premium alcohol in the Kansas City area. For the past couple years, Major Brands has been rolling out new liquors at Jazzoo, and one of the biggies this year is definitely going to be Bacardi Tocrhed Cherry Rum. We got to sample this, and more, at our bartenders’ meeting hosted by the very gracious Boulevard Brewing (another major sponsor) a couple days ago, along with Effen Black Cherry Vodka and Three Olives Rangtang Vodka.

At Jazzoo, some of the bars will be making Effen Black Cherry Limeades, which are sure to be a hit. The one I had was pretty yummy. I had a Rangtang and soda, too, which didn’t do anything for me. Tasted like cheap orange vodka and soda, but maybe there is more there with some additional experimentation (oh, and the vodka is Fiesta-ware, nuclear orange in color).

But, for me, the best liquor Major Brands supplied us with is the Bacardi Torched Cherry. A simple rum and Coke made with this stuff is just like a Cherry Coke out of the fountain, with maybe a little less sweetness and a little more complexity to the flavors. An adult Cherry Coke, if you will. My girlfriend and I both looked at each other and said, “We’ll be needing a bottle of this for the pool this year…”

I’m generally not much of a sweet drink fan, but I do like rum and Cokes, although I rarely drink them. I really like the popular twist on rum and Coke, which is a Cuba Libre, basically a rum and Coke with a twist of lime. But, then again, sometimes I don’t want a complex drink, or something that requires time and effort to make. This Torched Cherry fits the bill. At 35%ABV, you do have to be careful with it, though.

Bacardi rolled this rum out a couple months ago, and it’s a rum infused with Barbados Cherry and Torch Aloe. Barbados cherry is a large shrub that grows up to 20′ in height and width, and is native to the Caribbean region and northern South America. It commonly grows in yards in the Bahamas and Bermuda (I think I’ll need to take a trip down there for fact-checking purposes).

In the 1940’s, the popularity of the plant took off because the fruit was found to be very high in ascorbic acid (Vitamin C complex). Commercial farms started cultivated and using it as a food soon after, even though in its native region the Barbados cherry had long been eaten.

Torch aloe is a type of aloe plant that produces a lot of nectar. I have no idea how it is used in this liquor, and I really don’t have the palate to “find it” when I drink the rum, but it’s in there. See you at Jazzoo!