“It’s kind of a jerk thing to do, I think, to give someone over-the-counter medicine. It was difficult to incorporate into a cocktail,” says Gary Matthews. The Drumbar bartender is referring to Sarah Syman of Otto Mezzo, who challenged him to create a cocktail with Tums—the antacids traditionally used to relieve heartburn.
Matthews picked up a pack of Tums Tropical Fruit and started evaluating the flavors. “The green tasted vaguely like lime, and the white just tasted like chalk dust, but kind of sweet. I don’t know what flavor that is,” he says. “The orange and yellow ones were the right type of fruitiness for me. I assume they’re orange and pineapple.” After grinding the Tums in a spice grinder, Matthews combined the powder with simple syrup, then fine-strained the mixture. “You get that chalkiness for sure, but it’s actually pretty fruity and kind of tasty,” he says.
For his cocktail, Matthews settled on a variation on the Ramos Gin Fizz, traditionally made with gin, heavy cream, egg white, citrus, and orange flower water. Instead of using gin, he fat-washed rum with the oil from some chorizo he’d cooked down, hoping to infuse the spirit with spicy, garlicky notes. “I wanted to make something that could potentially give someone heartburn and at the same time cure their heartburn,” he says. For extra heat he topped the drink, which he dubbed the Rum & Tum Ramos, with hot sauce.
Matthews has challenged Brandon Phillips of the Duck Inn to create a cocktail with gefilte fish.
Rum & Tum Ramos
2 oz chorizo fat-washed Ron Zacapa
.75 oz lime juice
.75 Tums simple syrup
One egg white
1 oz heavy cream
Cholula hot sauce
Add rum, lime juice, simple syrup, and egg white to a shaker and dry shake. Add heavy cream and ice, shake again, then strain into a collins glass with soda water. Garnish with a few drops of Cholula hot sauce.