JWray or “Why does my drink taste like gasoline?”

Pineapple Delight

After recoiling in horror at my first taste of Wray and Nephew overproof rum, I immediately assumed something had gone very wrong. Had someone dumped out the rum and poured in gasoline? And why did they add vanilla extract to it? Needless to say, that first taste was so repulsive, I avoided the stuff for some time until finally being ridiculed so extensively for my poor taste by my close cocktail associates that I gave it another try.

My second attempt was more than a year later. I’m not sure if it was the peer-pressure, the fact that I now enjoy sipping Fernet Branca from nearly any vessel, or some other mash of circumstances, but what once tasted like the remains of a thousand penguin corpses steeped in vanilla extract was now transformed into a funky, miracle rum.

Peter’s Rum Pages has an extensive history of the J. Wray and Nephew company, so rather than replicating an already interesting tale, I’ll offer a few fun facts about the spirit.

Interesting Facts About JWray

  • The J. Wray and Nephew company owns Appleton and produces all of their products, in addition to my favorite dark Jamaican rum, Coruba, which is their only product not produced on the estate.
  • Since it’s overproof, JWray is an excellent spirit for making syrups, such as falernum. Not only is it a workhorse at extracting flavor, but it will add a touch of vanilla to whatever you produce.

Lightning Bolt

  • 1oz white rum (used Old New Orleans Crystal)
  • 1 oz white agricole rum (used Oronoco)
  • 1/2oz lime juice
  • 1oz pineapple juice
  • 1/2oz vanilla syrup
  • 1/2oz honey mix (1:1)
  • lemon soda, to top (used Fever Tree bitter lemon; sub Ting)
  • 1/2oz Wray and Nephew overproof rum, floated

Fill your narrowest but good-sized glass with crushed ice. Add all but the soda and Jwray. Spin the ingredients around a few times with your straw. Top with soda and float the lovely JWray.

Tiare from A Mountain of Crushed Ice

The vanilla aroma from this drink is beyond measure, and by the time the overproof rum worms its way into the depths of your glass, you will surely have planned your second round.

JWray and Ting

  • 2oz Wray and Nephew overproof rum
  • 4oz Ting
  • small lime wedge (optional)

Build over big, fat ice cubes.

Tiare from A Mountain of Crushed Ice

As you may have surmised by this point, Tiare is the Queen of JWray and Ting. Think of this as your grown-up rum and coke. Here is her post on JWray and Ting.

KP Questions

  • How many of you have had JWray or Ting?
  • What’s your favorite drink using either?

10 Responses to “JWray or “Why does my drink taste like gasoline?””

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

10 Comments to “ JWray or “Why does my drink taste like gasoline?””
  1. Matt SchachtNo Gravatar says:

    I love grapefruit soda and Ting is in my top tier. I’ve been meaning to try the jwray overproof for some time now – here’s a perfect reason! My current favorite drink using grapefruit soda is the Paloma (

  2. When I asked my liquor store if they could get JWray, they said, “We used to carry it, but stopped because its nasty.” Grr.

  3. MartinNo Gravatar says:

    True it is not nasty at all, but actually quite wonderful. Dilute it a bit and really taste it.

    BTW, there are many products not produced on the estate- they make several other spirits (and Myers’s) which are made in Kingston where they have several column stills. If I remember right from my visit, there are only pot stills at the estate.

  4. TiareNo Gravatar says:

    John, they must be crazy at your liqueur store. JWray is one of the most versatile of rums, its good for so many things.

    Rick, that garnish is out of this world – again. Actually the bean looks like a lightning;-)

    Folks, if you haven`t yet tried JWray and Ting, do youreself a favor and try it! if you can`t get Ting, try it with a grapefruit or bitter lemon soda or Sanpellegrino Limonata.

  5. Mike S.No Gravatar says:

    W&N White Overproof and Ting is one of my very favorite summer drinks, right behind (and some days out in front of) a strong G&T. Awesome.

  6. nicoleNo Gravatar says:

    my kitchen isn’t complete without a bottle of Wray & Nephew…it reminds me of the Jamaican treats my mom made growing up. that flavor showed up in drinks & desserts and we were never too young for the taste. now, i’m a fan of the Wray & Nephew gimlet, but love it with Ting as well.

  7. […] Rick from made 2 glorious Cheater`s and Applejack swizzles, both very flavourful which i`m sure will be featured over at Kaiserpenguin with some amazing photos and breathtaking garnishes: […]

  8. daveNo Gravatar says:

    I couldn’t find Ting, but I mixed Wray & Nephew with Limonata and it was brilliant… the perfect summer drink, so long as you consider getting completely hammered by the second one to be “perfect”. I imagine Fresca would work, too… any citrus soda with a lot of strong, bitter rind overtones would work. The rum tends to overpower wimpy sodas like Coke or even ginger beer. I like floating a little bit into just about any rum cocktail for complexity, but it’s very easy to go overboard and ruin a drink with it.

  9. LorenzoNo Gravatar says:

    Ahh what I would have given to be in the old Shakespeare Tavern with John Wray in the late 1800s! The stories, the interesting clientele…
    I for one actually like my JWray in hot tea when it’s really cold in winter, preferably after skiing. Nothing like it.

  10. mensagensNo Gravatar says:

    Many years ago my father had a 55 gallon steel tqnk stqinless expressly built for his collection to bring back a lot of tequila. Never had gas at or close to it. He bought his tequila in the original tequila distillery in Mexico tequila. when I came back here and proved that I could have sworn that hit the gas tank. The material was bloody awful. I was never a fan of tequila, but these things cured me forever. Why taste that way? Could it be the way it did. From the photos taken by my father when the distillery was a marvel without sanitation, the agave was crushed by bulldozers, with all the fat loss and exposed. and things airy outdoor sources that anyone can pee on. Or dip into a paper cup. Treatment in manufacturing. I stay with whiskey.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.



Kaiser Penguin is a cocktail blog featuring original recipes, homemade ingredients, classic cocktails, and tiki drinks.

Why on Earth did you name your blog “Kaiser Penguin?”

It is a well-known fact that penguins are members of high society and enjoy fine cocktails. Our very own kaiser penguin would like me to mention that he also enjoys various treats from the sea.