A Mountain of Crushed Ice is Rum Blogger of the Year 2013 UK Rumfest Golden Rum Barrel Awards

Rum barrel award 2
grogalizer

How a Mai Tai should NOT be and how it should be

Demerara Rums from Guyana

demerara-private-bottlings1

Demerara Rums Part Two

dem-rums-port-royal

Demerara Rums Part Three

demerara-part-2

Cachaca and Rhum agricole, what`s the difference?

cachaca-and-rhum-agricole

Sugarcane!

sugarcane

Tahitian Vanilla Syrup

vanilla-syrup

Hibiscus Grenadine

hibiscus-grenadine-jar

Gomme syrup

gomme-powder1

Learn how to easily open a coconut and mix up a tasty Coconaut.

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View my Cocktails on flickr p1

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Seehuusens Coffee and Chocolate Bitters

Seehusens Bitters bottle

Seehuusens Coffee and Chocolate bitters is made by a Swedish bartender, Daniel Seehuusen. They are new on the market in Sweden (for now) and I must say, these bitters are very good!

Here is his story:

Taste has always been something that has interested me, and when I received Saturday candy as a child I always thought it was very interesting to first take a red candy, then a yellow and finally take one red and one yellow to see if it got better together.

I got interested in cooking early, something that today is still a great passion and usually is what I do to unwind and relax. After high school I knew I wanted to work in a restaurant, but I was unsure if it was in the kitchen I wanted to be or in the bar, but as an 18 year old it was easy to pull up to the bar’s magical world. I joined an intensive training and worked a few months.

But I realized quite quickly that my education didn`t really deliver what it promised so I decided to take the other road into the bar, from the bottom and up. I worked a few years as a dishwasher and barback and began after a while to run the bar again.

Quickly I realized the beauty of working in front of the guest and to get feedback immediately. Cooking remained a hobby.

I have for many years macerated ingredients in spirits to to use in cocktails so making bitters turned out quite natural. I had it as pretty relaxed projects for quite a few years but for 1½ years ago I decided to make it more seriously, I started to weigh and measure, keeping records and I became interested in what alcohol proof worked best for each individual ingredient.

I began to think it was funnier to make new bitters than to use up my old. The problem that arose with too many bitters was simply solved by giving them away to friends and acquaintances.

Last summer I broke two fingers in a bicycle accident, and I got a quite a long sick leave but after a while I started “climbing the walls” and that`s when I decided to start my own business. Said and done, I started Seehuusen Spirits AB and sent samples to Systembolaget (The Swedish spirits retail shop, alcohol is state owned in Sweden) and won their request for a new cocktail bitters.

Part of the reason I began making bitters was because I felt that many of the available bitters on the market has a chemical taste, I simply doesn`t think everything out there tastes authentic and natural. And therefore it has been very important for me to use natural ingredients and not compromising on quality. The ingredients in Seehuusen’s Bitters are of course a secret, but the three main ingredients are coffee, chocolate and cocoa.

I have been extra careful and have only selected products that are produced in a sustainable and responsible manner and of course of really high quality. My goal is that Seehuusen’s Bitters Coffee & Chocolate should be entirely organic in 2016.

I have also chosen the bottle with care and the dark purple glass lets through very little light. As you probably already know, light break down flavors and reduce sustainability and so I picked this dark purple glass to be able to guarantee the highest quality and longest possible shelf life.

My plan with Seehuusen Spirit is to work as much as possible with the launch of the “Coffee & Chocolate”at Systembolaget, and in the fall / winter there will be new flavors that will only be sold to restaurants.

Seehuusen’s Bitters Coffee & Chocolate will be in the normal range in 70 Systembolaget shops. It is 200 ml, 35% and the price is 149 SEK. Systembolaget’s part number: 450 – http://www.systembolaget.se/dryck/sprit/seehuusens-bitters-45004

So, I tried the bitters in two drinks, one recipe created by Daniel and then a “bitterized” Shrunken Skull – since there has already been published classic and modern cocktails on the bitters website, someone needs to try them in a tiki drink too right? well somebody gotta do it….seems that somebody is me… :-)

But before I present the drinks, let me say what I think of the bitters:

First the bottle, it is a very nice looking one with a beautiful label in dark purple and gold to match the dark purple bottle and even the seal is beautiful. But it´s the inside that counts right? so first the nose, you get a whiff of coffee at first followed by warm cocoa, and the final impression is that it´s a yummy balanced smell of both cocoa and coffee.

Tasting a few drops of it reveals more of the coffee-cocoa flavor with a slight bitterness but it´s not more bitter than say Angostura, you can use this in larger quantities too if you want to make cocktails in the style of Trinidad Sour. But how much flavor a dash or two gives different cocktails is something to experiment with.

Here´s the two drinks:

Micedymac Flip (recipe Daniel Seehuusen)

Mickedymac collage

4 cl ( about 1.5 oz) Venezuelan rum and 2 cl ( about 0.75 oz) Trinidad rum

3 barspoons maple syrup

3 dash Seehusens  bitters coffee and chocolate

1 egg

Dry shake and then shake with ice, strain into a glass, dust a little cocoa on top, garnish with wrapped around vanilla beans.

This drink did really let the rum come forward….soft like velvet and somewhat “cool” for a lack of better word, and not too sweet! the cinnamon on top added that extra spice…

Very nice!

Shrunken Skull with a twist!

Shrunken Skull

1 oz fresh lime juice

1 oz grenadine

1 oz gold Puero Rican rum (instead, I used Denizen Rum Merchant`s Reserve)

1 oz demerara rum

Several good dashes of Seehuusen`s Coffee and Chocolate Bitters

Shake vigoriously with ice cubes and pour unstrained into a tiki mug.

As of recipe from the 1950s………it`s believed that the Shrunken Skull is a drink that was inspired by Don the Beachcomber’s Skull & Bones. As far as I know there´s only two tiki bars in the world still serving Donn Beach original Skull and Bones – Mai Kai and Tiki Ti.

The Seehuusens coffe and chocolate bitters added a rounded yummy touch to the drink! I submitted this one also for the Shrunken Skull Challenge on Instagram.

So, if you happen to live in Sweden (for now at least), give these bitters a try….you won`t be disappointed!

Seehusens Bitters seal

Here is the bitters webpage, Seehuusens Spirits.

UK Rumfest 2015 is on the way!

UK Rumfest rum glass

Get ready! the Rum is coming to London again!

RumFest is set to return again to London this year, with its most comprehensive offering to date. Rum aficionados and newcomers are invited to immerse themselves in one of the world’s best loved spirits with masterclasses, seminars, cocktail making and quality tastings.

Over 400 of the rarest and most diverse rums in the market will be showcased at the event, which has become the one-stop resource for rum lovers up and down the country for the past nine years. The Golden Tot returns in 2015 providing access to the ultra-premium rum offerings and new private and intimate tastings will give discerning drinkers the chance to discover the rarest rums from around the world.

The jam-packed programme will also feature cocktail making competitions, a Christie’s rum auction, incredible food and the party atmosphere of Carnival Hour.

Ian Burell at the UK Rumfest

The ninth annual RumFest is already on course for its best year yet, taking rum lovers on a voyage of discovery through the glorious world of rum. Launched by Global Rum Ambassador Ian Burrell, the The Rum Experience’s RumFest has become one of the biggest events on the rum calendar and caters for everyone who enjoys a tipple, from novices to fully fledged rum connoisseurs.

2015 will see RumFest soar to new heights thanks to a refined, rum-fuelled programme set to both educate and entertain. Whether a keen rum enthusiast, all-round spirit lover or new to the category, RumFest is the one-stop shop for all to embrace rum as a lifestyle choice.

A day ticket to RumFest gives attendees unrivalled access to try and buy over 400 different blends from around the world. Following the success of last year the Golden Tot tokens return. Available on the day for just £5, the Golden Tots open the doors to rum’s elite and allows the more serious rum enthusiast to try rums that usually retail for over £200 a bottle.

Seminars and workshops take place across the two days where brands, ambassadors and leading industry figures give an in-depth insight into the world of rum including rum and food pairing and the making of rums. Top blenders, mixologists and distillers will also be on hand to teach ticket holders the art of cocktail making as well as more ways to enjoy their favourite rums.

In a new move for 2015 RumFest’s trade sister show Boutique RumFest will make an appearance across the two days, giving the rum super fan unprecedented access to selected rums with private tastings that have previously been reserved only for those who work in the industry.

UK Rumfest Ian-at-auction

Other highlights for 2015 include the return of RumFest’s Auction in partnership with Christie’s auction house. A must see for this year, RumFest is hoping to smash last year’s grand total where over 20 precious and rare rum were sold off for charity.

The RumFest’s famous food offering will deliver mouth watering cuisine from exotic rum making locations and temperatures are set to rise with live stage demos showcasing rum pairings, cooking demos, cocktail competitions and more. Carnival Hour rounds off the RumFest experience each day in the ultimate party finale, featuring live bands and dancers that embrace the fun and social spirit of rum.

UK Rumfest Chef-Hassan

RumFest Founder and Global Rum Ambassador Ian Burrell is the leading name in rum. Dedicating his life to promoting rum and rum culture around the world, over the years Burrell has been recognised with a number of industry awards as well as regularly appearing as a rum expert at events and on television shows like Sunday Brunch, the Alan Titchmarsh Show and more.

Speaking about the return of RumFest Burrell says, “We’ve refined RumFest this year into something very special. We’ll be taking rum lovers on the UK’s biggest celebration of rum, showing them the fun side of the culture, while at the same time giving an insight into the spirit so they can take home what they’ve learnt, armed with a better understanding of the spirit.”

The RumFest takes place in London at the ILEC, 17th to 18th October 2015. Standard day tickets are now on sale at £49.95, which includes access to all areas of the the event and tastings from all exhibitors. VIP tickets are on sale from £75 and allow for early access of one hour ahead of standard ticket buyers along with a two course Caribbean lunch and RumFest goodie bag.

Golden Tot Tokens are £5 each and allow for additional access to the more premium rums on offer. One token can be exchanged for rum retailing £80 – £100 and more expensive rums will be available for additional tokens. Tickets to the new private rum tastings will be announced soon. For full information on RumFest and to buy tickets head to rumfest.co.uk.

See you there!

And here are the posts I made last year, if you wanna check out what`s going on at the UK Rumfest, and here`s all the posts from 2011-2014.

UK rum-experience-logo

Zombie Challenge 2015!

zombie challenge 2015 logo

If the Bum had not cracked the code of the 1934 Zombie we would not have known it……

……and WHO can resist a Zombie? ………not me……….. :-)

So here we go again with the next tiki drink challenge, the one and only, the Zombie! oh how I love that drink! and not only does it taste fabulous, it was this very drink that started the tiki craze and put Don the Beachcomber on the map! But tiki is so much more than just the drinks – which are just one piece of the puzzle that makes up the colorful and exotic “Tiki fabric” – but a very important one! and the Zombie is one of the most important of the drinks.

The Zombie is so popular that there´s even a whole book dedicated to just the Zombie, it´s history and what must be the worlds biggest collection of Zombie recipes! and in Sippin`Safari there`s a whole chapter about it´s history and how the Bum cracked the code. Because the original recipe was written in code. There´s tons of Zombie recipes out there, some good, some worse….but the best in my opinion is the original, the 1934 Zombie Punch by Donn Beach, which btw he kept tinkering with his whole life.

If you don`t know already, the Tiki drink challenges are taking place on Instagram where you post up a picture of the drink in question whether you make your own or order one at a bar! and feel free to play around! you can find all the submitted Zombies on the hashtag #zombiechallenge2015 and make sure to follow @el_nova_1 for updates.

Here`s a few recipes:

Zombie recipes collage

For my submissions I first picked the recipe from the 1950s at the Luau Room at Hotel Del Coronado and used rums that i had on hand:

Zombie Coronado

1 oz fresh lemon juice

2 oz passion fruit juice

2 dashes orgeat syrup

1.5 oz Boston Rum (whatever that is? I replaced it with Denzien Merchant`s Reserve)

0.75 oz Gold Puerto Rican Rum (here I used Lost Spirits Polynesian Inspired Rum)

0.75 oz Martinique Rum

1 dash 151 Demerara rum (float)

1 dash Pernod (I used Herbsaint)

Shake everything except the 151 demerara with ice cubes and pour into tall glass. Float 151 demerara on top and garnish with 1/2 slice pineapple, orange slice, cocktail cherry, pineapple leaf and mint.

Let the Zombie take over…..

Saving my favorite Zombie recipe for last, the 1934 Zombie Punch by Don the Beachcomber, it´s originally served in a chimney glass but since I used that for the first drink I decided to use one of the cool mugs I have that are made by Wild Thing Creations.

Now, the 1934 Zombie Punch…..this IS a drink!

Zombie Punch

Served in a cool mug made by Wayne Hoareau, owner of Wild Thing Creations……..! recipe for the 1934 Zombie Punch below:

Zombie recipe

TOTC 2015: Congratulations to the Top 4 Spirited Awards Nominees!!!

Totc Cuba

Tales of the Cocktail® Announces Top Four Spirited Awards® Finalists

The 9th Annual Spirited Awards® will recognize the year’s best bars, bartenders, writers and cocktail experts from around the world at a ceremony during Tales of the Cocktail 2015.

NEW ORLEANS, LA. – June 16, 2015 – Following the largest nomination pool in the history of the show and a rigorous judging process by some of the most respected minds in the cocktail industry, Tales of the Cocktail® is proud to announce the Top Four Finalists for each category of the 9th Annual Spirited Awards®. All award finalists are invited to attend the Spirited Awards® ceremony on Saturday, July 18 at the Sheraton New Orleans where the winners will be announced live and will receive the Riedel crystal trophies.

“The Spirited Awards continue to recognize the very best bars, bartenders, ambassadors and more. The standard continues to rise all over the world, both fuelled by Tales and recognized by it,” said Jacob Briars, the Chairman of the International Judging Committee for the Spirited Awards®.

“I am thrilled to see such wonderful international talent being recognized from around the globe, showing that the modern cocktail age continues to grow and expand. There’s never been a better time to enjoy a cocktail all over the world.

”Since 2007, the Spirited Awards® have recognized the year’s best bars, bartenders, writers and experts, becoming the industry’s most prestigious and coveted award. Finalists and winners were voted on by a panel of more than 100 industry experts and led by Simon Ford (Chairman), Jackson Cannon (U.S. Judging Committee Chairman), Jacob Briars (International Judging Committee Chairman), and David Wondrich (Writing Committee Chairman). Voting was a weeklong process that required extensive knowledge in each category. The votes were checked by the Super Committee and tallied to determine the Top 10 and ultimately the Top Four finalists.

“We live in an amazing time for better cocktails, enlightened service and beverage education,” said Jackson Cannon, the Chairman of the U.S. Judging Committee for the Spirited Awards®. “Congratulations and thank you to all the finalists for Spirited Awards this year for their hard work and professionalism. I raise my glass to their consistency in producing great drinks, exceptional experiences and for motivating and educating the next generation of hospitality professionals.”

The 9th Annual Spirited Awards® ceremony is bringing Cuban flavor to New Orleans with a colorful and festive event will pay homage to the unique sights, sounds and flavors of Cuba. Attendees are encouraged to come dressed in their best Cuban attire and the night will feature daiquiris and Cuban Jazz while celebrating the industry’s best. This year, the sponsoring partners of the 9th Annual Spirited Awards® are Bacardi USA, BarSmarts, Beefeater, Bleu Dry Bar, Caña Brava, Chivas, Cognac Ferrand, Courvoisier, House of Angostura, Luxardo, Mountain Valley Spring Water, Nicolas Feuillatte, The Perfect Purée of Napa Valley, Rums of Puerto Rico, Silencio Mezcal and William Grant & Sons.

“Congratulations to everyone who has made the final four nominees,” said Spirited Awards® Chairman, Simon Ford. “The impact you are making is being recognized by our industry the world over and you should be proud of your accomplishment whether or not you take home the Spirited Award.”

The Spirited Awards® are just one part of the exciting 13th Annual Tales of the Cocktail® taking place in New Orleans, July 15-19, 2015. For more information about the Spirited Awards®, to view past winners or to learn more about all the week’s spirited events, visit TalesoftheCocktail.com or call 504-948-0511.

2015 Spirited Awards® Top 4 Finalists

American Categories

Best American Bar Team
ABV (San Francisco)
Dead Rabbit (New York)
Employees Only (New York)
Williams & Graham (Denver)

American Bartender of the Year
Chris Hannah (New Orleans)
Bobby Heugel (Houston)
Ivy Mix (New York)
Jeffrey Morgenthaler (Portland)

Best American Brand Ambassador
Brooke Arthur (House Spirits)
Colin Asare-Appiah (Bacardi)
Jamie Gordon (Absolut Elyx)
Chris Patino (Pernod-Ricard)

Best American Cocktail Bar
Prizefighter (Emeryville)
Smuggler’s Cove (San Francisco)
Trick Dog (San Francisco)
Williams & Graham (Denver)

Best American High Volume Cocktail Bar
Employees Only (New York)
Flatiron Lounge (New York)
Harvard & Stone (Los Angeles)
Honeycut (Los Angeles)

Best American Hotel Bar
Sable Kitchen and Bar (Chicago)
Spare Room (Los Angeles)
The Broken Shaker (Miami Beach)
The Hawthorne (Boston)

Best American Restaurant Bar
Eastern Standard Kitchen & Drinks (Boston)
Gramercy Tavern (New York)
Nopa (San Francisco)
The Rieger Hotel Grill and Exchange (Kansas City)

Best New American Cocktail Bar
ABV (San Francisco)
Julep (Houston)
Latitude 29 (New Orleans)
The NoMad Bar (New York)

International Categories

Best International Bar Team
28 Hong Kong Street (Singapore)
American Bar at the Savoy Hotel (London)
Black Pearl (Melbourne)
Le Lion Bar de Paris (Hamburg)

International Bartender of the Year
Marian Beke (London)
Ryan Chetiyawardana (London)
Zdenek Kastanek (Singapore)
Hidetsugu Ueno (Tokyo)

Best International Brand Ambassador
Ian Burrell (Global Rum)
Dean Callan (Monkey Shoulder)
George Nemec (Becherovka)
Claire Smith-Warner (Belvedere Vodka)

Best International Cocktail Bar
Artesian (London)
Candelaria (Paris)
Happiness Forgets (London)
White Lyan (London)

Best International High Volume Cocktail Bar
Callooh Callay (London)
Eau de Vie (Melbourne)
The Black Pearl/The Attic (Melbourne)
Trailer Happiness (London)

Best International Hotel Bar
American Bar, The Savoy (London)
Beaufort Bar, The Savoy (London)
The Punch Room, The Edition Hotel (London)
Zetter Townhouse (London)

Best International Restaurant Bar
Blind Pig at Social Eating House (London)
Hawksmoor Spitalfields (London)
Tippling Club (Singapore)
Zuma (Dubai)

Best New International Cocktail Bar
Bar Termini (London)
Dandelyan (London)
Le Syndicat Cocktail Club (Paris)
The Clumsies (Athens)

Writing Categories

Best Cocktail & Spirits Publication
Difford’s Guide
Liquor.com
PUNCH
The Cocktail Lovers

Best Cocktail & Spirits Writer
Dave Broom
Camper English
Jeffrey Morgenthaler
Robert Simonson

Best New Cocktail/Bartending Book
Death & Co: Modern Classic Cocktails by David Kaplan, Nick Fauchald, and Alex Day
Liquid Intelligence: The Art and Science of the Perfect Cocktail by Dave Arnold
The Bar Book by Jeff Morgenthaler
The Old-Fashioned by Robert Simonson

Best New Spirits Book
Sherry by Talia Baiocchi
The Curious Bartender: An Odyssey of Malt Bourbon & Rye Whiskies by Tristan Stephenson
Thinking Drinkers: The Enlightened Imbiber’s Guide to Alcohol by Ben McFarland and Tom Sandham
Whisky: The Manual by Dave Broom

Overall Categories

Best Bar Mentor
Bridget Albert (Chicago)
Francesco Lafranconi (Las Vegas)
Jim Meehan (Portland)
Angus Winchester (London)

Best New Spirit or Cocktail Ingredient
Amaro di Angostura
J. Rieger & Co. Kansas City Whiskey
Mister Katz’s Rock and Rye
Suze Bitters

World’s Best Cocktail Menu
Artesian (London)
Beaufort Bar at the Savoy (London)
Dead Rabbit (New York)
Trick Dog (San Francisco)

World’s Best Spirits Selection
Canon (Seattle)
Multnomah Whiskey Library (Portland)
The Baxter Inn (Sydney)
Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant (San Francisco)

Goodluck to all the nominees!!

Amaro di Angostura!

Amaro di Angostura shot

From the House of Angostura, the makers of the world famous Angostura bitters and rums came a different product from what we are used to see….yep, it was not a bitter or a rum – it was an amaro!…..and just like everything else from the House of Angostura it´s as solid as their rums and their legendary bitters (with that oh so cool oversized label)

The amaro is very versatile and it`s bottled at 35% with aromas of cinnamon, dark chocolate and angostura aromatic bitters. Great on it’s own and in cocktails or even cooking. The product was inspired by Don Carlos Siegert, the son of Angostura’s Founder J.G.B. Siegert.

The base of this amaro is a neutral spirit made from the same molasses as their rums and their own cultivated yeast strain (since the 1930s) that is infused with aromatic and bitter herbs and spices for 3 months – and of course the recipe is a secret…

Amaro di Angostura

When you take a sip of it you feel good…the spicy comforting flavors are warming and there´s quite a bit of cinnamon it it paired with a slightly noticed amount of very dark chocolate and then cardamom, brown sugar, bitter orange peel and raisin plus that well known taste of their bitters, it`s “earhty”, “rooty” and “smoky”with slight medical notes in an array of spiciness rounded out by some sweetness.

If you have ever tried the “Trinidad Sour” cocktail, then you know how the Angostura bitters tastes in a large amount, the cocktail calls for one ounce, it´s spicy and to me not that very bitter at all, more spicy than bitter actually and very aromatic and this is like a sweeter and more drinkable version of the Angostura bitters and can be had in a shot too.

That spicy flavor would go so well in a Tiki drink….you see where i`m heading?

You know, cinnamon (pairs perfectly with pineapple) the flavor of the Angostura bitters whatever exactly they are made of, is a staple in all types of cocktails including the tiki drinks.

Looking through Jeff Berry`s Total Tiki app ( my always so handy to-go app) I decided to try a riff on the Barbancourt Rum Cup and switch the rum for Angostura 5, some pineapple juice and a splash of Amaro di Angostura.

Amaro di Angostura Rum Cup

Amaro di Angostura Rum Cup 2

0.75 oz fresh lime juice

0.25 oz dark sugarcane syrup ( 1:1 dark sugar to water or 2:1 for a thicker richer syrup )

1 oz pineapple juice

0.5 oz Amaro di Angostura

2 oz Angostura 5 year old rum

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail cup, add some ice if you want. Garnish with speared pineapple chunk, maraschino cherry and a tropical flower.

It turned out very tasty! spicy and refreshing, and so did the next drink, which by the looks, looks quite sweet…but it is not….it just turned out very nice and quite spicy due to the Amaro di Angostura.

Banana Daiquiri

Banana Daiquiri Collage pic

0.75 oz fresh lime juice

0.5 oz dark sugarcane syrup

1 oz Amaro di Angostura

2 oz Angostura 5 year old rum

1/2 ripe banana, thinly sliced (save two slices for garnish)

4 oz (1/2 cup) crushed ice

Pinch of cinnamon for the garnish

Put everything in a blender and blend at high speed for at least 30 sek, until smooth. Pour unstrained into a fancy glass with sugared rim and add more crushed ice to fill. I used a “golden” sugar, it`s a raw sugar that is not white nor dark, but very light brown altough it looks white in the pictures, but it`s not a refined white sugar, it´s a raw sugar.

Garnish with two thin banana slices, a tropical flower and some sprinkled cinnamon on top.

This drink tastes NICE!! it gets so much better when using fresh bananas and not making it too sweet, and the Amaro di Angostura went very well in it, adding that spice.

Now let´s try this the way you traditionally drink an amaro, it´s supposed to be a digestive after all. And as such it´s also very nice! If you like Angostura bitters (who doesn`t?) you may get a bottle of this too, it´s a nice complement to the Angostura bitters!

Amaro di Angostura collage

Mai Tai Challenge 2015!

Mai Tai Tropical

And the challenges continues…just a quick post on the last one, which is my all time favorite tiki drink, the good old Mai Tai……

And perfect for this challenge I happened to have a very special rum mix just waiting to be used…it`s a mix of six rums that was barrel aged  for six months in an oak barrel and was made by Oriol Elías​ over at Three of Strong as an experiment, and with that I made a 1944 Trader Vic´s Mai Tai.

And the taste? well, I put it among the best Mai Tais I ever had….and I have had very many!! and the rums? Lemon Hart 151 and Lemon Hart overproof Jamaican…St James Royal Ambre Rhum Agricole…Appleton 8, Plantation 3 Stars and Myer`s Jamaican…

The result is nothing but spectacular in this Mai Tai…

If you want to get the ratios for making this rum blend head over to Three of Strong and write him a message. It`s his blend of barrel aged rums that made this Mai Tai to taste so amazingly good!

The fun thing with these challenges is that it´s not that serious, it´s all for the fun and you are free to experiment and come up with any kind of wild creations :-)

Barrel Aged Mai Tai collage

So this is 2 oz of the Mai Tai rum blend, 0.5 oz Ferrand Dry Curacao, 0.25 oz each of orgeat and sugarcane syrup, juice of 1 lime, shaken and served with crushed ice.

Barrel Aged Mai Tai blog

The other Mai Tai I made was also Trader Vic`s recipe, a double, with 1 oz Denizen Rum Merchant`s Reserve, 1 oz Blackwell Rum and 2 oz Rum Nation Caroni with a float of Cruzan Blackstrap and then I decided to give it a wild garnish….. (pic on top of this post)

I`d suggest you head over to Instagram to #maitaichallenge2015  for inspiration…at least I get inspired by looking at how other people makes their drinks :-) and don`t forget to follow @el_nova_1

Here are only a few of the mouth watering Mai Tais that were submitted for the challenge, for your inspiration:

Mai Tai collage 1

 

Mai Tai Collage 2

 

Mai Tai Collage 3

 

Mai Tai Collage 4

Picture credit to the owners of the pics in the Mai Tai parade….! Cheers!

Mai Tai recipe and logo

Recipe from Jeff Berry`s Tiki app – Total Tiki! (for Iphone and Ipad) get it here.

Puka Punch Challenge 2015

Puka Punch 4

This weekend it was all about the Puka Punch! and that`s a nice drink using many rums so you can play around a bit with it!

Puka Punch Challenge recipe logo collage

The Puka Punch was made by Ray Buhen of the Tiki Ti in the 1960s (in 1961 Ray opened the Tiki Ti, now owned by Ray`s son Mike and grandson Mike Jr)

For this Challenge, I made two Puka Punches, the first one (in the picture on top of this post) was made with the recipe above but using different rums, Old New Orleans white rum, Blackwell rum and floats of demerara and blackstrap.

The second one is Puka Punch double! a wicked combination of Smith and Cross, Rougaroux Fullmoon Dark, Rhum JM agricole blanc with big rich floats of Lost Spirits Distillery 151 Cuban and Cruzan Blackstrap! to round up the‪#‎PukaPunchChallenge2015‬

This rum combo turned out fantastic! and the recipe is a twist of the classic one:

PUKA PUNCH  3

Puka Punch Double

2 oz fresh lime juice

2 oz mango juice

0.75 oz passion fruit syrup

0.75 oz orange honey mix

0.25 oz falernum

1 oz Smith and Cross

1 oz Rougaroux Fullmoon Dark

2 oz Rhum JM agricole blanc

Floats of equal amounts of Lost Spirits Distillery 151 Cuban and Cruzan Blackstrap, to taste

2 dashes Angostura bitters

14 oz crushed ice

Blend in blender at high speed for no more than 5 seconds and pour unstrained into a 25 oz snifter and add more crushed ice if needed. Pour the floats and don`t be shy! Garnish with 2 speared pineapple chunks and 2 maraschino cherries, two orchids and two tropical leaves.

TIKI 2

The Floating Rumshack tiki is happy! belly full of Puka Punch…..

If you want to join the Challenges or just take a look at all the nice drinks, follow @el_nova_1 on Instagram for updates! and for the drinks, the hashtag #pukapunchchallenge2015

TOTC 2015: The Annual Bar Fight Club at the 2015 Tales of the Cocktail Announces its Seven Finalists

TOTC 2015 BANNER HEADER

So here they are, the seven finalists to take part in this years Bar Fight Club at the Tales. This was announced by Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal who are very excited to announce the outstanding final seven bar teams competing in this year’s annual cocktail battle — Bar Fight Club at Tales of The Cocktail 2015. Each of the prestigious bars selected are world-class cocktail havens with exceptionally talented bar teams that constantly strive to push cocktail culture forward.

Where many cocktail competitions are bartender vs. bartender, Bar Fight Club pits bar against bar to face off not only with drinks but also on ambiance, service and style. Taking place Thursday, July 16th at Generations Hall in New Orleans.

These bar teams will be coming in from around the country, and for the first time in Bar Fight Club history, around the world as well, to duke it out in a spirited battle and claim the ultimate bar bragging rights. In a year of unprecedented interest from highly regarded bars across the globe, the final seven participants were determined from a group of thirty supremely qualified semifinalists.

THE HIGHLY ANTICIPATED BAR FIGHT CLUB FINALISTS ARE:

ABV – San Francisco, CA, USA
The Aviary – Chicago, IL, USA
Black Pearl – Melbourne, Australia
Candelaria – Paris, France
Extra Fancy – Brooklyn, NY, USA
Pastry War – Houston, TX, USA
White Lyan – London, UK

The rules are simple – there are none! Each participating team will create a pop-up version of their bar at the event and mix up unique and standout cocktails featuring the spirits of The 86 Company’s portfolio – Fords Gin, Caña Brava Rum, Aylesbury Duck Vodka & Tequila Cabeza – as well as those from Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal – VIDA, Chichicapa, Minero, San Luis del Rio, Santo Domingo Albarradas & Crema de Mezcal.

“We couldn’t be happier to once again be a part of the Tales of the Cocktail Bar Fight Club along with Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal,” says The 86 Co. co-founder Simon Ford. “Each of the final bar teams selected are successful, innovative and at the top of their game.

We’re very excited to see the drinks they come up with and which bar is really going to take their cocktail game to the next level. We have no doubt that this night will be one of the biggest ones on the Tales calendar and are thrilled & honored to be back again!”

Along with Ford, the expert panel of judges will consist of some of the most influential people in our craft, including Steve Olson, Tony Abou-Ganim, Jackson Cannon, John Gertsen, Jim Meehan, Jacques Bezuidenhout, Eric Alperin, Erik Lorincz, Bridget Albert, Misty Kalkofen, Charles Joly, and Julie Reiner. The winners will be chosen based on a range of criteria covering cocktail making & presentation with bonus points awarded to the teams who make the most noise to keep the crowd raging all night long. Also up for grabs will be a prize for People’s Choice, chosen by the Bar Fight Club crowd that night.

There is no doubt that as one of the most anticipated cocktail competitions for Tales of the Cocktail® festival participants, this year’s Bar Fight Club is sure to blow folks away. Get your shakers up and be ready for The 86 Co. and Del Maguey to turn up the heat once again at one of the hottest cocktail events of 2015.

The Spirits Are Calling. Will you answer? They’re calling you to New Orleans for five days of seminars, tastings, product launches, competitions, networking events and so much more at the world’s premier professional cocktail event.

So if you`re planning to attend the Tales this year make sure not to miss the Bar Fight Club!

Beachbum Berry Tiki Barware to be Introduced by Cocktail Kingdom and Jeff Beachbum Berry!

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Premium Bar Tools & Glassware to Complement the Current Tiki Cocktail & Bar Renaissance!

Named “one of the instigators of the cocktail revolution” by Esquire’s David Wondrich, and one of Imbibe Magazine’s “25 Most Influential Cocktail Personalities of the Past Century,” Jeff “Beachbum” Berry is the author of six books on vintage Tiki drinks and cuisine, including the recently published Potions of the Caribbean: 500 Years of Tropical Drinks and the People Behind Them (Cocktail Kingdom, October 2014; $27.95).

Pearl Divers collage

As a natural progression from this position of authority, Beachbum Berry has teamed up with Cocktail Kingdom, the premier barware producer and cocktail book publisher, to create the Beachbum Berry line of glassware and tools designed specifically for the Tiki enthusiast, which will be available starting late Monday, May 18, at www.CocktailKingdom.com.

Drawing on Tiki’s long history, Beachbum Berry and Cocktail Kingdom combined their talents to recreate items that were once essential items at the best Tiki bars and restaurants across the U.S.

Pearl Diver Glass

Beachbum Berry Tiki Line glasses

Named for the Pearl Diver cocktail, this uniquely shaped glass held many exotic drinks in its heyday of the mid-20th century – including the Planter’s Punch at Don the Beachcomber’s in Hollywood, the Sumatra Sam at Doc’s Place in Toronto, and the Deep Sea Diver at Mai-Kai in Ft. Lauderdale. By the 1970s, however, the distinctive but delicate glass had all but disappeared making them very rare, highly prized collector’s items.

Excellent for any tall drink, the Beachbum Berry Pearl Diver Glass from Cocktail Kingdom is an exact replica of the original exotic design.

Pack of 4 ($36.95), case of 24 ($179.00)

Swizzle Cup

Swizzle Cup

The long-lost Swizzle Cup came to fame in the 1940s at the hands of Don the Beachcomber, the father of the Tiki bar and the Tiki drink, who served up wildly popular faux-Polynesian concoctions, most of which had Caribbean roots. Among them were Swizzles, based on a West Indian technique of churning drinks with a spoked twig that had been whittled into a “swizzle stick.”

By the 1950s, the sleek metal Swizzle Cups frothed with exotic cocktails, but were expensive to make (and replace when customers absconded with them); by the 1980s they had disappeared from Tiki bars and been replaced with standard Collins glasses.

Cocktail Kingdom’s Swizzle Cup is an updated version of the original bespoke vessel – sleeker and made of lighter-weight stainless steel, perfect for any julep, cobbler, swizzle or other long drink.

($14.95)

Skull Bar Spoon

skull bar spoon

Tiki drinks didn’t just cater to 1950s suburban fantasies of a work-free island paradise; there was also the call of adventure, epitomized by such classic Tiki cocktails as “Skull & Bones,” “Shrunken Skull” and “Cannibal Grog,” drawn from pirate history and headhunter lore. To help you mix such South Seas concoctions, Cocktail Kingdom and Beachbum Berry created the Skull Bar Spoon for that touch of deserted island vibe.

The new Beachbum Berry Tiki items join Cocktail Kingdom’s other Tiki tools, including the Navy Grog Cone ($17.95), which was first created by Don the Beachcomber for the purpose of forming his signature ice-cone garnish in faux-Polynesian punches.

Tiki’s history and extensive array of cocktails can be explored further in Beachbum Berry’s book, Potions of the Caribbean, which is available at www.CocktailKingdom along with the new Tiki tools and glassware, all of which can be shipped nationally and internationally; shipping rates apply.

Stainless Steel ($22.95), Copper-Plated ($27.95), Gold-Plated ($29.95)

Cocktail Kingdom

 

Cocktail Kingdom is the world’s premier manufacturer and distributor of professional bar supplies, offering a wide spectrum of barware created to meet the exacting standards of professional bartenders. Products are designed to incorporate historical cues and contemporary knowledge to be practical and elegant, yet durable enough for daily use.

Cocktail Kingdom has dedicated itself to design and functionality, with the understanding that utility and practicality are the prime factors in professional barware. Find Cocktail Kingdom on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CocktailKingdom, or on Twitter via @CocktailKingdom

That`s such amazing and good news!! I for one have been wanting that Pearl Divers glass and Swizzle cup or years! I`m glad they are re-creating them! and that nifty skull bar spoon is a must as well :-)

Thank you Jeff Berry and Cocktail Kingdom now we can sip our Pearl Diver`s Punches and other drinks and Rum Swizzles in style! now go get it! I know I will….

 

Images courtesy of Jeff Berry and Cocktail Kingdom

Lapu Lapu Challenge 2015!

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So we`re moving into the fifth Challenge which is Lapu Lapu drinks! I really like that…

Look for the hashtag #lapulapuchallenge2015 on Instagram and make sure to follow @el_nova_1 for updates! make your own drink or order a Lapu Lapu in a tiki bar or bar and post up your picture to the #lapulapuchallenge2015 on Instagram! you might win a little something :-) and if you don`t you will have a lot of fun and good drinks, so it´s a win-win!

Lapu Lapus are some strong rum drinks and it is said that they bring magic and makes you “see things on the other side” – whatever that means…

Well I´m gonna find out! :-)

The term Lapu Lapu drinks comes from a legend that for some obscure reason happened to be the name sake of the drink Chief Lapu Lapu. The name is after the Filipino chief Lapu Lapu – who defeated Magellan in 1521 (you can read about the legend in Remixed)

Lapu Lapu Collage

And how that name so many years later was used to name rum drinks served in the polynesian restaurants during the great tiki era is one more of those mysterious things that belongs to the rum soaked tiki drink world..

There´s also a Disney version of a Lapu Lapu served at the Polynesian resort in a hollowed out pineapple (like the Boo Loo) containing rums, orange juice and sour mix.

The Lapu Lapu drinks mentioned in Jeff Beachbum Berry`s Remixed are the Chief Lapu Lapu, Aku Aku Lapu and the lesser known Kikuya Lapu (all are on page 61-63 in Remixed)

These three are all different incarnations of the same drink and it´s a drink large enough to serve two people but of course they can be enjoyed by one, it´s just a lot of rum!

I can´t say which one of these i like the most, they are all tasty and the Aku AKu Lapu packs a serious punch. The one here is the one I made for the challenge:

Aku Aku Lapu

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1 oz lemon juice
1 oz unsweetened pineapple juice
1 oz grapefruit juice
1 oz orange juice
1 oz Falernum
1 oz gold rum (I used Lost Spirits 151 Cuban)
1 oz dark Jamaican rum (I used Blackwell)
1 oz Lemon Hart 151 Demerara rum or Hamilton 151 – I`m out of Lemon Hart and have no Hamilton 151 so I used Our Rums and Spirits 24 Year Demerara which is very woody and strong
16 oz crushed ice

Blend at high speed for about 20 seconds. Pour into large snifter or bowl and add more ice to fill. Traditional garnish is a gardenia, but I also added a thick orange peel and some fresh mint.

This one is from the Aku Aku restaurant in Las Vegas cirka 1960. In Intoxica it says the Aku Aku once fronted the Stardust hotel along with two massive moais or Easter Island (Rapa Nui) statues. The phrase Te pito o te henua has been said to be the original name of the island.

Aku Aku was the book title of Thor Heyedahl´s bestseller – an author i have enjoyed over the years. His theory on how those giant moais were moved gave name to the word aku aku:

Aku Aku – To move a tall, flat bottomed object (such as a bookshelf) by swiveling it alternatively on its corners in a “walking” fashion. [After the book by Thor Heyerdahl theorising the statues of Easter Island were moved in this fashion.] source: LangMaker.com. Aku Aku also has another meaning to the islanders: a spiritual guide.

Chief Lapu Lapu

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3 oz orange juice
2 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 oz sugar syrup
1 oz passion fruit syrup
1 1/2 oz dark Jamaican rum
1 1/2 oz light Puerto Rican (or Virgin Islands) rum

Shake well with ice cubes in a large shaker and pour into a large snifter. Add more ice to fill.

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A Pineapple Bowl is carried by two Tikis….

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….guarding the….

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CHIEF LAPU LAPU!!

(In a gorgeous pineapple tiki mug by Scott Taylor, @tikipop on Instagram)

I find this one to be as tasty as the Aku Aku Lapu even though it`s not as strong….but there´s always room for a float if you wish….

Here`s another one, the Royal Hawaiian Lapu Lapu, the picture is from an old post. This recipe dates back to cirka the 40’s and 50’s from the former Royal Hawaiian and like many old tiki bars the Royal Hawaiian Lapu Lapu is a well guarded secret and this recipe I found on Tiki Central, not sure how authentic it is but it seems to be the closest you can possibly get unless it actually is the real original recipe.

Bonus recipe:

Royal Hawaiian Lapu Lapu

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Half fill a brandy snifter of shaved ice, or if you can`t make that, use a crushed ice as finely crushed as possible but it won`t be the same.

A tsp each of simple syrup orgeat and passionfruit syrup

2 oz of light rum.

A mixture of 60% pineapple juice and 40% orange juice, which should fill up the glass almost all the way to the top. Leave just enough room for the floater, at least 2 oz.

A floater of really dark rum, like Whalers.

Not part of the recipe but I also added 0.5 oz of fresh lime juice to it because I like the freshness you get from freshly squeezed lime.

Enjoy the Lapu Lapus!

Don`t forget to follow @el_nova_1 on Instagram!