Getting rummy

Aw58, Wikimedia Commons

Served glazed or unglazed, rum cake will disappear quickly.

If you’re thinking about the card game Gin Rummy, I will have to press the buzzer that indicates a wrong answer. This is about rum that you drink.

I always keep a bottle of rum handy, especially for holiday baking (think fruitcakes), and in the summer my mom and I like to treat ourselves to a tropical drink made from rum, orange juice, pineapple juice and grenadine syrup.

Sometimes, I use rum-flavored extract, such as the kind Watkins Products makes. I also love Butter Rum Life Savers; remember those? I think they are still around.

August 16 is National Rum Day, so let’s have a bit of fun with it. Here are some recipes that make good use of rum, and I hope you find something to your liking.

Pineapple rum punch

You might need to scout around a bit for pineapple rum, but there are quite a few flavored rums around these days.

2 cups pineapple juice

1 cup orange juice

1 cup mango nectar

1 cup pineapple rum

1 cup dark rum

1/3 cup grenadine syrup

6 pineapple wedges, for garnish

1/2 cup maraschino cherries, for garnish

1. In a pitcher, combine pineapple juice, orange juice, mango nectar, and rums.

2. Refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.

3. Stir well and pour over ice in chilled glasses, drizzling 1 to 2 tablespoons grenadine syrup into each glass before serving.

4. Garnish each drink with a pineapple wedge and cherries. Makes 6 servings.

Coconut rum grilled shrimp

1 can (13.5-oz.) coconut milk

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup spiced rum (or plain, if you prefer)

2 tablespoons lime juice

2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined

1. In a large bowl, combine the coconut milk, brown sugar, rum and lime juice. Whisk until sugar is dissolved. Set aside half of mixture for the glaze. Add shrimp to remaining mixture still in the bowl. Gently coat all shrimp with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

2. While shrimp is marinating, make the glaze by placing reserved mixture in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Bring to a simmer and while stirring constantly, allow mixture to thicken slightly, reduced to about 1/2 to 1/3 cup. Remove immediately from heat.

3. Remove shrimp from refrigerator and thread onto metal skewers or wooden skewers that have been soaked in water. Discard any remaining marinade. Grill shrimp over medium heat, about 2 minutes per side or until shrimp have turned pink. Remove from grill and brush shrimp with glaze. Turn skewers over and brush the other side with glaze. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Bananas with rum, brown sugar and ice cream

4 ripe but firm bananas, peeled and split lengthwise

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 tablespoons dark brown sugar

1/2 cup dark rum

Ice cream, vanilla suggested

1. In a medium sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter and sugar and whisk until dissolved. Add bananas, cut side down, and sauté for about one minute before turning very carefully. Remove pan from heat and pour in the pre-measured rum.

2. Return to heat and shake pan to allow rum to ignite. Let alcohol burn off before shaking pan to coat the bananas. Cook another minute until glazed and translucent. Gently place onto dessert plates and top with ice cream before serving. Makes 4 servings.

Rum cake

1 cup finely chopped walnuts

2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

1 box (3.4-oz.) instant vanilla pudding mix

1/2 cup butter, cut up

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup milk

4 large eggs

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup white or golden rum

2 teaspoon vanilla

Rum syrup:

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup rum