The Corn N' Oil

For weeks, we have resisted the urge to write about the Corn N' Oil. After all, this column should be a refuge from the daily stream of petroleum press about the Gulf becoming saturated with incompetence in addition to oil. But the barrage of Kevin Costner clips, BP CEO "Seriously did he just say that?" moments, and general government apathy from both sides has become too overwhelming. Corn N' Oil, you win. It now seems that retiring to the bedroom in a drunken stupor with a bottle of Cruzan Blackstrap in one hand and a crumbled newspaper clipping of an oil-covered pelican in the other is quite unavoidable.

This Bajan cocktail's popularity has increased dramatically among cocktail enthusiasts over the past couple of years, after Seattle bartending legend Murray Stenson (openly worshipped in this past column) began spreading the gospel at Zig Zag Café. Today, the Corn N' Oil has reached "tester status" - meaning it's one of those drinks you order in a bar big on marketing its cocktail prowess to see if they can back it up. Fortunately, plenty in Houston can.

The Corn N' Oil

  • 2 ounces Cruzan Blackstrap Rum
  • ½ ounce John D. Taylor's Velvet Falernum
  • 2 Dashes Angostura Bitters
  • Build in a highball glass with crushed ice. Garnish with a lime wedge.

    While the origins of this cocktail are somewhat undefined, it is known that the Corn N' Oil traditionally is made from a lighter style of rum, such as Mount Gay or another Bajan rum. But the deep molasses qualities of the Blackstrap are amazing in this cocktail and seem to have become the favorite since the drink's resurgence.

    Nevertheless, tinkering with other rums or blending brands while making this cocktail is a great way to explore the drastic extremes in the world of rum. No spirit category varies as greatly as rum, and carefully considering each type when making cocktails is critical to crafting great rum drinks. Try the Corn N' Oil as written above, then make the drink with one ounce of Smith & Cross Jamaican Rum and one ounce of the Cruzan Blackstrap as opposed to the two ounces of Blackstrap. Both versions of the drink are outstanding, but they have two completely distinct identities.

    Few cocktails are this easy to make and this tasty. This important because the next time you find yourself at home barraged by photos of oil spreading across the Gulf, birds struggling to survive, and political and corporate elites ducking questions Keanu Reeves Matrix-style - all supplemented by commentary from a man who name is really "Wolf" - you might need a drink that doesn't take a lot of effort and just gets the job done. Corn N' Oil -- you win again.

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