Lyon Sailor Reserve Rum + Old Chesapeake Cocktail Recipe

Lyon Sailor Reserve Rum + Old Chesapeake Cocktail Recipe

Lyon Sailor Reserve Rum

This week we’re celebrating the fresh, clean-slate revival of American rums by tasting and mixing with some rums given to us by Lyon Distilling, a craft rum maker in Saint Michaels on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The sad news is that after today, we’re out of Lyon rums to try. The happy news is that we still have three rum based liqueurs from them to try at some future date. For our final rum, we’ll be tasting their Sailor Reserve, and then mixing it in an Old Cuban variant.

Like Old Ipswich’s Tavern Style, Sailor Reserve is finished rather like an American whiskey, in charred American oak barrels. Unlike Old Ipswich, and unlike American whiskeys, the barrels aren’t new, but instead used Bourbon barrels. This gives Sailor Reserve an interesting woody foretaste, and a sweet, smooth finish with hints of almond and vanilla. Those strong almond and vanilla notes remind us alot of a rum version of Old Overholt.

Lyon calls Sailor Reserve their rum for whiskey lovers, and we see their point. While we felt more strongly the association of their overproof oak with rye whiskey, we can well imagine that this rum would draw the attention of a whiskey lover, much like Bourbon barrel beers would. The woody front makes it interesting, and the Bourbon-influenced finish makes it go down smooth. Perhaps overproof oak is their rum for rye lovers, and Sailor Reserve for Bourbon lovers.

We used our Sailor Reserve in a stiffer, more herbal version of an Old Cuban.

Old Chesapeake Cocktail Recipe


  • 1 1/2 oz Lyon Sailor Reserve rum
  • 1 oz peach juice
  • 2 dashes aromatic bitters
  • 8 basil leaves


  • Combine all ingredients, except one of the basil leaves, in a shaker.
  • Add ice, and shake well for 20 seconds.
  • Strain into a cocktail glass.

Garnish with the remaining basil leaf

Roberts & June