Although tequila is king in Texas, Houstonians well-versed in and appreciative of the diversity in the world of mezcals will find equal variety in the rum spectrum. White rum, for example, is too often pigeonholed as appropriate only for mojitos; however, many light types have hints of vanilla that pair well with citrus juices. Darker rums aged in oak barrels usually have more of a bite that requires they be sipped straight slowly or balanced with spicy mixers like ginger beer.
Recently, The Union Kitchen debuted two new rum cocktails featuring Mount Gay rum, a Barbadian amber varietal known for its smooth quality and floral as well as nectar notes.
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The "Angry Granny" is perfect if you have ever watched your grandmother totally lose her temper (perhaps while watching The Price Is Right) and wished you could capture her state in liquid form. This cocktail appropriately vacillates between sharp and sweet and leaves you a bit rattled but amused. Also on offer is the TUK Manhattan, which subs in rum for the traditional whiskey for a spicier ode to the New York borough.
Union Kitchen recommends pairing both feisty libations with some of the restaurant's equally flavor-intensive dishes such as the Cajun seafood pasta pizza loaded with shrimp, mussels, clams, scallops and elbow macaroni in a cream sauce or the herb-crusted rack of lamb with Parmesan risotto, green beans and a cognac peppercorn demi-glaze. Both entrées have sufficient savory heft from the protein to balance the booze and line your stomach in preparation for round two of the rum drinks.