Mix it up: Want to loosen up? Forget tequila shots, rum is what you need

Philip Salter
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IN TRUTH, most men don’t like dancing. But for reasons largely unknown to bearers of the Y-chromosome, men are expected to prance around like idiots in a vain attempt to attract the opposite sex.

Perhaps we are mimicking moribund hunting rituals, but whatever the explanation for this failure of evolution to catch up with the modern world, it’s a huge boon for the drinks industry. Most men need to be a little tipsy to dance; for some of us, intoxication is mandatory. Alas, there is a price to pay (and not just in money and hangovers).

Too little alcohol and you may be too self-conscious to bust a move; too much and you may actually think you’re Fred Astaire. There is also the question of which libation to pick. Tequila shots will get you there, but too quickly, leaving you to crash and burn. Too much beer and you may be found sleeping in the corner.

The spirit of choice is the easy part though – just look at the countries where men willingly dance. One drink takes centre stage – rum. Sugar that’s been fermented, distilled and aged has a way of making you dance happy. To slow the process down to the right pace for an evening of dancing, add a few ingredients and take your rum in a cocktail.

A good place to start on the rum trail is Trinidad, which recently hosted its annual Global Cocktail Challenge, top bartenders from around the world competed for a fistful of dollars and the chance to represent Angostura (of bitters and rum fame).

Despite his near-impeccable performance, the UK’s suitably cosmopolitan Máté Csatlós came third to Russia’s Nazar Makarov. Australia’s Michael Tomasic deservedly won the day. His cocktail, Big Bird, is a particularly impressive concoction. If you ever find yourself Bondi beach, pop into Mr Moustache and ask if Michael can rustle you one up.

The Big Bird rivals some of the best rum cocktails out there. But if you’re new to making cocktails you may want to start with a Daiquiri, El Presidente or Hemingway Special, as they’re somewhat easier to replicate (though not necessarily easier to master).

Cocktails can’t make you a better dancer but a rum cocktail helps take the edge of the process. With a Big Bird you’ll be dancing like there’s no tomorrow – even at Trinidad’s infamous carnival.


■ 45ml Angostura 7 rum
■ 7.5ml Fernet Branca
■ 20ml Crawley’s Spiced

Honey Apple Syrup
■ 40ml Fresh pineapple juice
■ 6 Dashes of Angostura bitters

■ Shake and double strain into a fancy glass
■ Garnish with a platter of pineapple chips and liquorice aroma