Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum, in partnership with MegaMart, is elevating the epicurean experience through a rum and food pairing journey. Though food pairing has traditionally been reserved for wines, Appleton Estate is showcasing the versatility of its Reserve Blend, a blend of 20 select aged rums that is ideal for creating extraordinary cocktails.

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Chefs have long been using rums to flavour both savoury and sweet dishes, and in recent years with the prevalence of increasingly premium rums like the Appleton Estate range known for depth, character and complexity in flavour, rum and food pairings are becoming increasingly prevalent. Usually a pairing of equals or opposites, with regard to flavours, the cocktails and meals complement each other, enhancing the character of the spirit and unlocking the flavours and nuances of the food that may have otherwise gone unnoticed.

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Last Saturday at MegaMart Kingston, shoppers were able to sample the masterful cocktail pairings curated by Appleton Estate’s Master Blender, David Morrison with mouthwatering recipes by Chef Haleem Card.

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As Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum and MegaMart continue to educate shoppers on the versatility of rum, here are a few tips to savour the pairings at home or during ‘Something’s Cookin’ with Appleton Estate’ at MegaMart Montego Bay on July 27th and Mega Mart Mandeville on August 24th


Step 1 Try a bit of your paired dish first and take note of the smells, flavours and textures of the food


Step 2 Take a sip of your Appleton Estate Reserve Blend cocktail. Pay attention to how the cocktail complements the food, whether through differences or similarities of the tastes, textures and smells of the food and the cocktails



Joy’s Cocktail paired with Citrus Jerk Chicken









1 oz. Appleton Estate Reserve Blend


2 oz. Ginger Ale


5 Drop Angostura Bitters


1 Orange Wedge





In a rock glass muddle together an orange wedge and Angostura Bitters, add ice and Appleton Estate Reserve blend, then top off with ginger ale



Citrus Jerk Chicken






4 lbs chicken thighs (boneless, skinless)


½ cup brown sugar


¼ cup dry jerk seasoning of choice


1 cup wet jerk marinade of choice



Citrus Glaze



2 cups Orange juice


1 tbsp Cinnamon


½ tbsp Vanilla


1 ½ tsp Nutmeg








Place the chicken into a zip bag or container that won’t allow any leakage and prepare the seasonings


Pour the jerk marinades (wet and dry) over the chicken. Massage the seasonings into the meat to ensure all the chicken thighs are coated in marinade. Refrigerate for 3 hrs or overnight. (The longer the marinade time, the more complex and spicy the chicken will taste.)


For the citrus glaze, pour all the ingredients into a pot, whisk until fully incorporated and allow to reduce until thick. This may take a couple minutes. Set aside


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F


Arrange the thighs on a tray and roast in the oven for 40 minutes


Baste/ drizzle the glaze over the chicken and cook for another 10 minutes at 400 degrees F


Take the chicken out the oven, allow to cool slightly and serve



Reserve the Heat paired with 5 Spice Roast Pork


Reserve the Heat






1½ oz. Appleton Estate Reserve Blend


1 oz. Honey


3 oz. White Cranberry Juice


1 Slice of Scotch Bonnet Pepper





Shake all ingredients with ice and serve in a martini glass



Five Spice Roast Pork




1 slab pork belly


1 ½ tsp. salt


2 tbsp. chinese five spice


2 tsp. ground cumin


½ tsp. sugar


1 tsp. black pepper






½ cup mayonnaise


2 tbsp. white sugar


1 ½ tbsp. lemon juice


1 tbsp. vinegar


½ tsp. ground black pepper


¼ tsp. salt


1 small purple cabbage


1 medium white cabbage


2 cloves garlic




Pat the pork belly dry with a paper towel, apply a pinch of salt on the rind


Flip the pork belly over and sprinkle the dry rub (five spice, cumin, sugar salt and pepper) evenly across the meat


Place the pork in the fridge overnight, uncovered. The rind must be dry before roasting


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Roast the pork belly for 50 minutes to 1 hour


Roast until the rind is golden brown and well crackled, you can cook for an additional 20 mins on a lower heat if desired


Let the pork belly stay in the oven (turned off) for 10 to 15 minutes until slightly cooled down. Remove from oven and cut into small bites





Whisk mayonnaise, sugar, lemon juice, vinegar, pepper, and salt together in a bowl until smooth and creamy


Shred the cabbage (both colours) and add minced garlic, pour the dressing in and stir until fully combined


Epic paired with Ackee and Red Herring



Epic Cocktail



1 oz. Appleton Estate Reserve Blend


2 oz. Coconut Water





Add ice to a rock glass, then add Appleton Estate Reserve Blend and top off with coconut water, stir and enjoy






1 pound ackee parboiled and drained


½ pound red herring (boiled and deboned)


4 tbsp. vegetable oil


1 small yellow onion (julienned)


1 small purple onion (julienned)


3 cloves garlic (finely minced)


2 tsp. ginger (finely minced)


2 stalks escallion, thinly sliced


Fresh thyme about 2 tsps. when pulled from stems or more to taste


Assorted sweet peppers, thinly sliced


1 tbsp pimento (ground)


Salt and pepper to taste


1 to 2 tsps. scotch bonnet pepper minced (optional)






Heat the oil in a pot over medium heat and add the onions, garlic and ginger and cook for about a minute


Add the escallion, thyme, peppers and pimento, cook for 1 to 2 minutes


Add the herring and cook a couple minutes more then add the ackee being careful not to mash it out too much


If the mixture is dry, add a little bit of water. Turn the heat down and let simmer for about 5 minutes


Adjust seasoning to taste and add scotch bonnet pepper if desired


Serve warm