How to Drink: Archie Rose’s White Cane

Words by Jane Ryan

How to Drink: Archie Rose’s White Cane image 1

For rum-lovers and rum-sceptics alike, we think this Australian white cane spirit, made from local molasses, deserves a spot on your home bar cart. Here’s why.

First up, what is it? White Cane is a spirit made from NSW sugar cane molasses. And not just any molasses, the ones used to make this are high-test, otherwise known as fancy molasses or cane juice molasses, which just means that they’re a premium product with higher sugar levels. Fancy indeed.

Those high-test molasses have been put to work in White Cane, they may be premium but they can hustle too. As they’re subjected to less heat than blackstrap molasses (used to make most rums) there’s a lot more aromatic compounds and far less sugar decomposition products – which give a bitter flavour to rums, leading to a greater need for oak aging.

At this point if you’re asking yourself, ‘well it’s made from molasses, isn’t this just a rum by any other name?’ you’re sort of right. Except we live in Australia where rums have to be aged for two years and this isn’t. So it isn’t a rum, technically. That choice not to age White Cane also means this will probably taste unlike any rum you’ve tried.

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Let’s talk flavour. You may notice all the independent reviews on Difford’s Guide are done by one man to keep things consistent – our scrupulously honest founder Simon Difford. We shipped a bottle over and he rated it excellent, dry and grassy with pineapple, mango, red apple and assertive black pepper spirituous notes followed by more subtle overripe banana and red bell pepper. He added you’re left with a long aftertaste with notes of raspberry, peppery spice and a mild minty freshness.

While Simon is a professional taster, to me, a mere flavour mortal, this smells like a Pina Colada and tastes like super-boozy Banana Daiquiri when served neat.

Now we’re not really saying White Cane deserves a spot on your home bar because you should sip it neat but if you were so inclined it’s a tropical fruit bomb of deliciousness.

However, what we’re here to discuss is how it goes in cocktails – and it’s in this space that we’re advocating it as your go-to light rum-that-isn’t-a-rum choice. It brings a fresh brightness that could be perceived as minty, like an Agricole, but none of the harsh and funky verdant notes you might (I certainly do) associate with those rums. It makes Daiquiris pop with flavour beyond lime, shines bright in a Pina Colada and slips into a Mojito as easily as it does an Airmail, a Swizzle or a Punch.

Suggested Serves

How to make: Shake all ingredients with ice and fine strain into chilled glass.
50ml Archie Rose White Cane
15ml lime juice (freshly squeezed)
10ml sugar syrup
We say: Crisp, light and refreshing. Delicately simple yet with perfectly balanced complexity of flavours.

ency 54 imageBAJITO
How to make: Lightly muddle mint and basil in glass. Add remaining ingredients. Half fill glass with crushed ice and stir before adding more crushed ice and stirring.
With: 6 basil leaves & 6 mint leaves
60ml Archie Rose White Cane
30ml lime juice (freshly squeezed)
7.5ml sugar syrup
We say: This Mojito twist adds in basil for an unexpected savoury herbal addition.

ency 46 imagePINA COLADA
How to make: Blend all ingredients with 6oz scoop crushed ice and serve with paper straws.
With: 60ml Archie Rose White Cane
15ml Cachaça
105ml pineapple juice (fresh pressed)
22.5ml cream of coconut
15ml lime juice (freshly squeezed)
7.5ml single cream
We say: Citrus fresh, creamy and tropical - White Cane was made for this dancing juice cocktail.

ency 62 imageBREAKFAST CLUB
How to make: Stir honey and marmalade with White Cane until dissolved. Add tea, shake with ice and strain into chilled glass.
With: 1 spoon Orange marmalade
1 spoon Honey
60ml Archie Rose White Cane
30ml Lapsang Souchong tea (cold)
We say: Slightly smoky with incredible depth of flavour. A perfectly balanced delight.

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