Food: Asia and japan04 Dec 2010 10:25 pm

As in horrible.

Oh, I wanted to like it. Mike and I were excited when we bought Cor Cor. The idea is so charming! Local Okinawan rum? SURE! We will try anything. Rum is something we are just getting into, so we were happy to give something local a try.

Cor Cor is a white sugarcane rum made on the small Okinawan island of Minamidaito. From the outset it sounded like cacha├ža, or fermented Brazilian sugarcane rum, and that is actually why we bought it. Some friends on the island were having a party and we thought it would be awesome to bring some sort of alcoholic cocktail, like caipirinhas, for instance.

But then we opened the bottle.

The bottle with the label that reads:

Bats, dancing in the night sky
Suspended magic, falling in drops
These are the things
That make men and women covet love
This is the magic of rum
a sugarcane love potion.

My question is; potion, or poison?

Cor Cor (red box) has a very…distinct aroma. I did a bit of reading about this after the fact (we bought it on the spot at a supermarket without doing any research on it) and it would seem that the red variety may be made with a black mould to ferment the sugarcane, giving the booze a very powerful scent.

Even now, as I smell it as I write to try and put it into words, I am having a hard time. I want to say paint thinner, but that is such a cop out when you describe an alcohol you do not like. Perhaps rotten vegetation soaked in turpentine? Cripes, I have no idea how to frame this one. It smells. Period.

We abandoned our plan and brought a bottle of nihon-shu instead to the party.

To get through the rather large bottle which cost a fair amount (3100 Yen), especially considering how cheap alcohol can be here, we have tried mixing it with everything. I mean EVERYTHING. Fresh lime juice. Shiquasa (Okinawan citrus) juice. Pineapple juice. Soaking fruit in it. Tried to recreate the popular Hemingway daquiris from our wedding afterparty. Colas and sodas of all varieties. Coffee. Even as shots straight up…

There is no covering or masking this stuff although I think mixing it with coffee might be my favourite. It remains sharp and wince-inducing even when heavily mixed. There is no getting around it; Cor Cor is pretty awful compared to most rums I have had.

Turns out Cor Cor comes in two varieties, a red box (industriel/industrial/molasses based) and a green box (agricole/agricultural/fresh cane juice). Some people have said the green box is a lot more palatable. I guess we picked poorly but I sure as hell know we won’t be trying a big green bottle anytime soon. Maybe a sampler or at a bar. MAYBE.

Anyone have any ideas for trying to plough through the rest of this stuff, besides using it to clean my toilet?

3 Responses to “cor cor? more like hor hor”

  1. on 05 Dec 2010 at 1:48 am Julie

    I agree! Cor Cor is some of the MOST dreadful “rum” I have ever tasted. I too bought the red boxed variety and I think it ended up being poured down the drain. Maybe you could make a deadly Rum Cake or something?

  2. on 09 Dec 2010 at 10:00 pm Nicolle

    I know what you mean, with the disappointment, like this I was in Greece I wanted to try some coffee made there and was beyond horrible. I put whiskey all the time in it.

  3. on 11 Dec 2010 at 5:48 am kama

    we just got some well-grade (or what I thought could be well-grade) rum and it also smells like something that reminds me of an auto shop — but we’ve spiked hot cocoa with it and it became palatable.

    I can see how coffee would be the only other way to go….that’s too bad — I’ve never tried Okinawan rum, but I hope to read a review of something you like in the future (as in the green box). Maybe red just means stop!