Coconut rum always makes me a little sad, because it never lives up to its promise. I want it to taste like a real coconut spiked with rum. But what you usually get is a syrupy mess. It smells good, so I psych myself up with visions of a big, fat coconut filled with rum—only to taste a viscous mouthful of sugar and artificial flavors. I had just about given up on coconut rum when I tried to make it myself. Yes! It turns out that it is possible to have a coconut rum that just tastes like rum and real coconut.
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When was the last time anyone invented a new category of spirit? There's that very nice St. Germain elderflower liqueur that's in everything these days, but for the most part, the new stuff I see on the shelves is just reflavored versions of the old stuff. Vodka was the first, but it seems that now they've come for our rum. In the case of Malibu, they've now come for our rum thrice: First we had the original coconut Malibu, then we had all sorts of cranberry-cherry perversions of that, and now we've got imitators of these adulterations.