Air Mail is a delicate, light and incredibly drinkable Cocktail in copious amounts. The Champagne element is by far the strongest and delectable flavour of the Cocktail.
The lime juice adds texture and background nuances. The light golden rum is not as forth coming as one would expect or is anticipating. It certainly does not dominate this beautiful Cocktail; making it ideal for brunch, lunch and most foods without ruining the taste of your food.
Air Mail - a 1930's delight
As it is a subtle and diplomatic Cocktail, Air Mail is an ideal Cocktail for any time of the day, night or food pairing.
As David Wondrich (historian, author, manufacturer and distributor of all good things to do with Bars) once said (to paraphrase), of Air Mail “It’ll get you from point A to point B in a hurry.”
Centre stage is the Champagne; the Lime, golden rum bring out the crisp and refreshing tones of the Champagne. It is one of those Cocktails that creates a clean palette to try different, unusual or spectacular Champagnes or sparkling wines.
Experimenting with quanties (more or less) will reveal incredible depths of flavours and intersting nuances. If you like fixed recipes, then this one may not be for you. If you like to alter, adjust and 'play around' with ideas - this is the perfect, ideal Cocktail for you. A little less rum or a tad more, more or less honey or simple syrup - It is all fine; create this drink how you like it.
Mix rum, lime juice and honey (or simple syrup) over cracked ice in a chilled cocktail shaker.
Shake Cocktail Shaker.
Pour unstrained into Collins glass.
Top-up with Champagne or sparkling wine of your choice.
Like many Cocktails there are so many stories of how it came in to being. One theory being it was invented in the USA in 1949. Another, which appears to be gaining more popularity and acceptence that it was first cited in a Cocktail booklet / pamphlet from Bacardi in or shortly after 1930.
Air Mail to Cuba
The first USA Airmail postal service was initiated in 1911. Although common place today, in 1930 it was novel, cutting-edge and 'modern'. That first flight took just three pieces of official correspondence from Santa Rosa to Petaluma, California. From this simple idea and beginning many countries began to jump on the modern technological Airmail delivery service. This included Cuba.
In 1930, Cuba started their own Airmail service. Bacardi Cuban Rum (being great innovators) saw an opportunity and created a Cocktail called The Air Mail based on this new service in one of their promotional pamphlets - using of course their golden Cuban rum.
According to historians, the name and invention had never appeared anywhere before. It has thus been accredited to Bacardi. It is, as some have said a 'Caribbean version of the 1915 French 75' Cocktail. The French 75 incorporates Champagne, Lemon juice, Gin and Simple syrup. The Air Mail is very similar, but with a twist. Honey instead of Simple Syrup and the addition of lime juice.
Both versions are great Cocktails with differing slants.