Drink of the Week: Kōloa Kaua'i Cacao Rum - Imbibe Magazine Subscribe + Save

Drink of the Week: Kōloa Kaua’i Cacao Rum

I know. Chocolate-flavored anything is polarizing, and marrying the flavor with rum sounds like too much of a good thing. But if you’re a chocolate lover, the Kōloa Kaua’i Cacao Rum is worthy of consideration. Kōloa Rum Distillery, located on the island of Kaua’i, produces my favorite coconut rum. So when they sent me their cacao rum, which released last year, I was both skeptical and curious.

To create the rum, Kōloa teamed up with Lydgate Farms, cacao growers on Kaua’i. The distillery infuses 235 pounds of crushed cacao nibs directly in their 80-proof gold rum for 10 days. After the infusion, they add a little cane sugar to sweeten it up. While you can taste that hint of sweetness, the resulting rum is not candy-sweet.

This is a well-executed flavored rum, avoiding artificial or overly harsh qualities. Rather, both the taste and aroma carry the warm cocoa notes of high-quality chocolate.

So what’s the best way to enjoy it? It could be as simple as sipping it over a rock after dinner, but I plan to experiment with cocktails. Kōloa recommends using it in a Dark and Stormy riff with a hit of walnut bitters and some orgeat. I’m interested to see how the sweeter chocolate notes balance with bitter flavors in this rum cocktail with Campari, Averna, and mezcal. Or to even swap the rum in place of bourbon and crème de cacao to play up the richness in this coffee-chocolate Old Fashioned recipe. $33-$38, koloarum.com

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