The Professional is easy to assemble and delicious. As a result it has become a reliable stand-by around the house. Recommended for fans of Old Fashioneds, Negronis, Boulevardiers and the like. Three ingredients. That's it. Bourbon, Campari and rum. The contribution made by the rum helps this drink carve out its own territory. I usually make this one with Smith and Cross since overproof Jamaican rum is specified but a comment Sean made recently inspired an experiment comparing that rum with Appleton's. He was drinking a Ricochet, which is heavy on Appleton Reserve, and wondered how it would fare in a drink calling for Smith & Cross. The Appleton is also Jamaican but 40% abv whereas Smith & Cross is 57%. The extra proof of the Smith and Cross does add something to the backbone of the drink while letting the rum's funk linger a bit longer but the Appleton version held its own nicely. These rums do have similar qualities and their differences, in this drink at least, were more subtle than I expected. Bourbon adds sweet, mellow whiskey and wood, Campari does it's usual tasty bitter thing and the rum adds another layer of depth contributing molasses, spice and bold Jamaican rum flavor. The recipe doesn't specify which overproof Jamaican rum so I guess, to be thorough and all, I also need to try a version with Wray & Nephew.
Professional - Benjamin Schwartz, Little Branch, NYC
1 1/2 oz Bourbon
1 oz Campari
1/2 oz Overproof Jamaican Rum
Add ingredients to rocks glass, then ice and give it a quick stir.
Update - I did a/b versions using the Wray & Nephew overproof (63% abv) alongside one with Smith & Cross. The Wray & Nephew makes for a nice drink, a bit brighter and leaner if that makes sense but I preferred the weight and depth of character of the S&C version.