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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Tropical Rum Infusion

This week's neighborhood happy hour calls for an exciting drink. The hosts are tops in the kitchen and also a driving force behind the happy hour tradition. They also plan to have their own slushy rum drink. My solution -- a copious amount of light rum infused with tropical fruit. A festive pitcher teeming with fresh fruit is hard to resist (as I learned with last summer's Champagne Sangria).

It would be a shame to imbue the rum with fresh fruit only to have it upstaged by a strong mixer, so serve the infusion over ice with lemon-lime soda. Then guests can have as much flavor and kick as they like. Offer some tongs or skewers so the fruit slices can join the party too.

Tropical Rum Infusion

1 pineapple, peeled and cored
1 mango, peeled and pitted
2 oranges
4 kiwi fruit, peeled
1.75L silver rum
lemon-lime soda (optional)

Slice the fruit into shapes of your choosing -- wheels, matchsticks, arcs -- keeping slices about 1/4 inch thick to yield the most surface area for the infusion process. Arrange fruit in one or more pitchers, as needed. Slowly pour the rum over the fruit. Cover and allow to infuse for 3-4 days. Serve over ice straight or with lemon-lime soda.