A Rum Tasting with Flor de Caña Brand Ambassador Ashela Richardson
Spanning over 100 years of Nicaragua’s history, Flor de Caña has long been synonymous with the lush landscape and mineral volcanoes of the country. Although Nicaragua’s most revered spirit is also its biggest exported, the Flor de Caña remains true to its Nicaraguan roots, which can be tasted through the spice and flavor of each of its ruums. The Pellas family, who pioneered the brand in 1890 and also founded Mukul, still spearhead development today, with the fifth generation leading the rum’s commitment to craftsmanship and natural ingredients.
Spreading the word of Flor de Caña in the United States is brand ambassador and bartender extraordinaire Ashela Richardson. Fresh off the road from the annual Tales of the Cocktail event in New Orleans, Richardson sits down with Mukul to reveal the secrets behind her three favorite Flor de Caña rums.
Flor De Caña 7 Years Gran Reserva
Equipped with lush vanilla aromatics derived from oak barrels where it ages, Flor de Caña 7 Years Gran Reserva is the perfect sipping rum for almost any occasion. “If I could only pick one rum to drink, it would be Flor de Caña 7 Years Gran Reserva,” says Richardson. “I like it neat, on the rocks, but it’s also fantastic in cocktails.” The mahogany-hued rum is a unanimous crowd favorite, featuring a creamy, full-bodied finish. Richardson prefers to serve the rum with tonic or sparkling water (the bitter qualities of the liquids tend to bring out the rum’s floral notes), adding an orange rind on top to further compliment the liquor’s tropicality. Expect flavors of dark caramel and toasted nuts, which fade into a finish of dry toasted coconut.
Flor De Caña 12 Years
In 1990, Flor de Caña released this 12-year aged rum to celebrate 100 years of the brand’s production. With a red hue, this amber ultra-premium rum is both stately and elegant, while also maintaining notes of sweetness. “The rich color of the 12-year rum comes from the barrels where it ages,” says Richardson. “I prefer to drink it over one rock of ice.” When you try it, expect notes of vanilla, nougat, almond butter, molasses and sherry, which is finished by peppery spice, dark caramel, and charred oak.
Flor De Caña 18 Years
If Flor de Caña 12 Years proposes spice and char, the Flor de Caña 18 Years is the soft and elegant answer, a true ode to the sweet sensuality of the tropics. “Out of all Flor de Caña Rums, I drink this one the most,” says Richardson. This amber ultra-premium rum is full-bodied, rich and has a complexity of flavors and a smooth finish that lingers on the palate. Almost two decades go into its production, and the tradition behind its artisanal excellence can be savored in every drop. When you’re tasting this rum, note the dark chocolate, caramel, roasted nuts, and brown spice flavors. The rum finishes with a charred oak, vanilla, and burnt nut fade.