Ooooh, you ‘fancy’!

I love London. I have this fascination with all things British, and my brief but wonderful time living there has made me appreciate it all the more. I love food, I’d say that’s why it’s difficult for me to lose weight, but it’s not. Stress is why I have trouble losing weight, but that’s another story. I’m also native Hawaiian, and I love the islands, but so does everyone who’s ever visited. Ha-ha! So imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon Plantation Pineapple Rum Stiggins’ Fancy, an all but forgotten spirit, popular during Victorian England. It’s got all the things I love, wrapped in a beautiful package.

Pimm's decided it wanted in on the photo op as well.
Pimm’s decided it wanted in on the photo op as well.

According to Robert Simonson of the New York Times, Stiggins’ Fancy is “named after Reverend Stiggins, an ecclesiastical hypocrite from Charles Dicken’s “The Pickwick Papers” who preached temperance between nips of his beloved pineapple rum.” Now, I’m not a mixologist, celebrated historian like David Wondrich, nor master alchemist like Mr. Gabriel of Maison Ferrand, but I could tell that this rum would make a fine addition to my collection.

My search began with a desire to craft the perfect camping cocktail. Something delicious, solid, and easy to prepare on the go. This cocktail needed to be enjoyed in mason jars rather than cocktail glasses. In which all the ingredients could be thrown together quickly and the skill of the bartender – amateurish. In the hands of a professional, this rum would be heavenly. In my hands, it is simply fantastic.

Since Stiggins’ Fancy is so new (released in 2015, I believe), I could only find two recipes that featured the rum. The fantastic thing about this distilled beverage is how well it lends itself to classic cocktails such as Sidecars or an Old Fashioned. Two recipes, Pineapple Express and Hella Fancy offer a delicious but slightly more involved take on Stiggins. What I needed, I couldn’t find so I decided to make something myself. Wholly original (in my own mind, some bartender probably already thought this up), but more importantly, it’s simple to make, so even I can’t screw it up.

I like fruit in everything. I don't care what you say.
I like fruit in everything. I don’t care what you say.

My first trial was a huge success. Although I was the only one who drank it, and let’s be honest… I’m a fish. So I’ll need to take this camping, prep it in the wild, and have my friends give me an unbiased verdict. Will they love it? Will they hate it? You have to stay tuned for next week’s blog and find out! I can tell you one thing though, I’ve settled on a name. “Hula” – now let’s see if I can make my friends dance.

To be continued…