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

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

Demerara Rums from Guyana

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Demerara Rums Part Two

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Demerara Rums Part Three

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Cachaca and Rhum agricole, what`s the difference?

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Sugarcane!

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Tahitian Vanilla Syrup

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

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UK Rumfest 2014 – Let there be RUM!!! (part two)

Sugarcane Mount Gay stand

Exciting rums…interesting (and tasty) seminars, good rum friends, carnival music and good food – that`s the UK Rumfest!(and in England good food to me spells either Caribbean food or Fish and Chips (with extra hotsauce) and there was Caribbean food in the venue and upstairs in the pub they had the most delicious and crispy fish and chips! oh how i miss that one now!

Here`s the second post about this years UK Rumfest! I liked it a lot this year, the venue was very good and more intimate than last year which allowed rum lovers and producers to have better and easier discussions, likewise the rum selection was good – but i do have a wish though…i`d love to see Velier rums and more french style rhum agricoles…

Combined with main stage presentations featuring Chef Hasan De Four on cooking with rum, London auction house Christie’s hosted The RumFest’s first ever auction for charity including £5,200 on the hammer for one of the oldest bottles of rum in the world, dating back to 1780 from the recently discovered Harewood House collection. The auction had over 20 precious and rare rum lots sold to the highest bidder, for prices that stretched into the thousands.

Ian Burrell was on hand to take spectators and bidders through the history of each of the rums, while Christie’s auctioneer David Elswood hosted the Saturday highlight and a grand total of £10,670 to be donated to the WaterAid Charity Fund and the Geraldine Connor Foundation in Leeds.

On Friday the trade-only Boutique RumFest returned in association with the Cork Supply company (which btw had an interesting short seminar about cork) and allowed buyers, distributors, distillers, press and industry figures from as far as Fiji and India to come together and discuss and sample rum.

So let there be rum…

OVD and Wood´s 100

OVD collage

That was the first stand i stumbled into on the saturday when the rumfest started, first thing i saw was the OVD bottle …

OVD is a demerara rum from Guyana and OVD stands for Old Vatted Demerara, a rum i know since a long time and also wrote about long ago on this blog. OVD was first imported in Scotland in 1838 and is a blend of demerara rums that is aged for seven years in oak casks and it´s the best selling dark rum in Scotland.

But there was also Wood`s 100 which i also have known about for long but had never tried so now i had my chance and disappointed i was NOT! this rum is bursting with good flavors! and a plus in my book – it´s a bit stronger, i have a special love for full proof rums. This is a perfect rum for tots and tiki drinks.

Wood`s 100 is an excellent overproof navy rum also from Guyana and distilled at the diamond distillery using a combination of  spirits made in pot and column stills from sugarcane growing on the banks of the river Demerara. The appearance is dark and syrupy and the flavor is unrefined rich demerara with kick and depth.

OVD Woods collage

Ron Cubay

Next stop was Ron Cubay, i wrote a little about them last year and remember i said i need to re-visit them. This year they had a new rum there, Ron Cubay Extra Viejo – a light gold colored rum which is mix of white rum and extra aged rum reserves. That is old Cuban rums that are aged for an average of seven years and then some of the best whites that are aged for nearly 13 years in white American oak barrels. From what i remember of the taste of this rum, it had a quite intense fruity flavor, balanced and no harshness at all which was expected. The bottles are individually numbered and comes in a velvet leather effect gift box.

Cubay collage

Rum Punch!

Oh how i love these Caribbean rum punches! they serve them and sell them ready made at every UK Rumfest, some are small batch brands. Really, nothing is so Caribbean to me as a rum punch and i love their appetizing colors, usually red and the two i tried at this stand were all that.

The first i tried was the rum punch from River`s Rum from the River Antoine distillery in Grenada, and oh so tasty! after that i tasted W&D`s Caribbean Rum Punch, as tasty as as can be! it`s actually really nice to break off from all the neat rum sampling with a cold Rum Punch, it sort of clear the palate a bit too.

W&D Rum Punch also have a website where you can order both rum punches and Caribbean cakes for all occasions, they also offer non alcoholic punches! You can order from the website and also book them for catering at your events if you live in the UK. You can also check out their Facebook page and get the Party started with W&D’s Caribbean Punches!

More on rum punch later on this blog.

Rum punch collage

Excellent taste and so refreshing….

Foursquare

This distillery and it`s excellent rums and Richard Seale need no presentation. I spent a great deal of time here talking rum at this this stand. I tried a special one that was very interesting and oh so good…. not out for sale yet though. And luckily and finally the Doorly`s XO will soon be launched in the cold country where i happen to live…so a new Doorly`s XO will soon be comfortably installed in my home bar.

Here is a link to a video about the Foursquare rum distillery.

Foursquare collage

St Nicholas Abbey

Here comes the next absolut top quality rum, also from Barbados, i wrote about this distillery and their rums last year and this year they are launching their very own 5 year old, made at the distillery from start to end. A very exciting new rum from St Nicholas Abbey! more on this rum and the white one later.

Real Mc Coy

Another good one, i tried their rum the first time last year, it´s really good stuff and this rum has an interesting history that i wrote about when i reviewed their 5 year old rum. I`m gonna write about the 12 year old soon, which is my favorite of the three. But i recommend trying them all.

Pusser`s

This year there are two new rums arriving from Pusser`s to the UK, a 40.5 abv version of the current gunpowder proof rum (54.5%) and also a 100% natural spiced rum which is steeped for up to ten days with stem ginger, cinnamon, clove and vanilla.

Rhum Clemènt and Rhum JM

I wish there was more french caribbean rhum agricole at the rumfest! but at least there was Clemènt and Rhum JM both solid and good agricoles. I made sure i tried them all even though i`ve tried many of them before :-) Also on display they had the 25 year anniversary bottle from Rhum Clemènt made in collaboration with artist JonOne which i think is really really pretty! i want one! the glass too! and the content of the bottle is pure good rhum agricole…Clemènt V.S.O.P

Plantation

Plantation had a hut this year with all kinds of rum suspects walking in and out…They had the whole range to try on the stand, well almost…including their famous Stiggin`s Fancy Pineapple rum and the new Jamaican -98 Tokai which was very good.

Angostura

Angostura rum is always around, anywhere i go they are there and they are good, i like all of their rums and the bitters plus their amaro that was launched in the summer and which i`m gonna write about later. Angostura is always solid and consistent.

Angostura

El Dorado

The flagship of demerara rum, they went big this year and had pop up bars and masterclasses around London, they even made a El Dorado pop-up bar which was built like a replica of the Golden City.I will always love their rums, especially my “first love” the 15 year old.

Bacardi

Unsuspecting i passed by their hut…and was gently dragged in with the words, “do you want to try a few cocktails”? then seated at a table and a wooden tray appeared with 3 cocktails that were each made with a different Bacardi rums. One was smoking, the next was blackish and the third was served in a egg shell. Interesting. I looked at the tray, tried them and was caught by surprise…they were amazing! especially the one in the egg cup.

Bacardi cocktails

Taking a look at the menu on the tray revealed the cocktail recipes and which rums they were made with. The first one on the left with smoke in a mini bottle was the Phoenix Daiquiri – made by Rob Libecans – Bacardi Gold rum (stone washed) smoked barrel stave pomegranate oil, citric acid, mineral sugar)

The second in the middle was the Black Butter – made by Rich Woods – Bacardi Black rum, cherry bark, cola and toffee popcorn reduction. The third one in the egg cup (my fav) was the Bacardi 8 PJB – made by Monica Berg – Bacardi 8 year old rum (peanut infused) fresh lime, Norfolk raspberry cordial. A sort of variety on the daiquiri with the raspberry cordial as a sweetener. All three of them were really tasty cocktails! they are welcome to “kidnap” me into that hut again if they want…anytime!

Don Q

Over at the Don Q stand there were fantastic cocktails galore!

Made with the good Don Q Rums by Alexx Mouzouris – Don Q Brand Ambassador in Europe and bartender extraordinaire! I sampled one cocktail that was especially good, it was some kind of punch infused with chile peppers. He also decorated the booth with cymbidium orchids making it look tropical and almost tiki-ish…

The Don Q rums have recently redesigned their bottles honoring it`s heritage as one of America’s oldest family-owned and operated businesses. Destilería Serrallés has for over 149 years been producing many good rums .

Don Q collage

Don Q Cristal, one of  the classic rums from Don Q.

Alexx burning it

Alexx creating good flavors…

Sunset Rums

Genuinely Caribbean…rums, rum punches and hotsauces at this stand. I tried all the rums and punches and also bought a hotsauce and a green seasoning for my cooking at home – you can never have too many rums or hotsauces! Sunset strong rum is probably one of the strongest overproof rums there is (84.5% or 169 proof) and nah i didn`t try it neat but i had it in a rum punch.

Chocka´s Coconut Hub

Fresh coconuts with coconut water at Chocka`s Coconut Hub, freshly chopped in front of you. This is one of these things that i really like…and coconuts makes life go around….drink them fresh as is or pour some rum in it.

Chocka coconut collage

And there`s more….Mount Gay, Ron Botran, Havana Club, Gosling`s, Diplomatico, Mezan…there was over 400 rums at the rumfest and i cannot cover them all….and then we have the masterclasses/seminars and they were good!

MASTERCLASSES

Naval Style Rums Black Tot and Pusser`s with Martin Cate

Black tot seminar MC

This seminar about navy rum, the British Royal Navy and the black tot turned out to be a memorable one when sailors from the Royal British Navy took part in our sampling of the Black Tot Last Consignment Rum, telling their stories about how it was at the time and on that day. The so called Black Tot Day was the last day they could have their daily rum ration called a “tot”

It ended at precisely 6 bells in the forenoon watch (11am) when the last rum ration was issued aboard ships of the British Royal Navy. One of the sailors told me that he cried that day. The last tot was served on july 31 1970 and since then the Black Tot Day is celebrated every year in memory a 300 year old Royal Naval tradition.

So when the tot was not done anymore the British navy had no more use of those rum barrels they had stored in warehouses and so they emptied the barrels into wicker clad stone flagons which were sealed under HM Customs and Excise Supervision and were then transferred to Government bonded warehouses where they did sit for 40 years (!) and the rum was only used for state occasions and royal weddings.

Until when the stocks were acquired and bottled by Speciality Drinks who bottled them under the name Black Tot Last Consignment. When the flagons were opened there were three original solera rums there and these three were blended together to create the Black Tot rum. Original naval records states that the naval rums were rums from Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad.

Black tot collage 1

Black Tot rum and story telling, cheers!

The Black Tot rum is the last that exists today from the barrels they used to have on the British Royal Navy ships and this rum fetch a price of 610 British pounds per bottle, or 76 pounds for 5 cl and in the US around USD 1000. This rum is literally a piece of history in a glass and that`s what you pay for, is precious not only because of it´s history but also because this is the last that remain from the original barrels and when it´s gone it´s gone.

The Black Tot rum is a very good rum, containing 54% strong navy rum and one of the rums in the blend is demerara rum from Port Morant Guyana and it really does have a very deep, very woody demerara flavor with a long finish. It tastes old….but in a good way, with hints of very dark coffee, leather, smoke and tar. Not everybody likes the flavor, but i doIt`s believed that these rums were distilled in the 1940s.

We also sampled Pusser’s and their Blue Label which is a classic British Navy style rum, and needs no presentation….it`s inspired by the recipe used to produce the tot and using the same four rums required to make a real navy rum, rums from Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad. And as most of you know it`s a great fullbodied rum as well.

Black tot collage 2

Happiness and history in a glass…and yours truly enjoying a precious and memorable moment of tot cheering with the Royal Navy sailors.

Mahiki Cocktail Masterclass by Georgi Radew

mahiki seminar georgi

This seminar followed the Navy rum seminar…so from navy rum straight to tiki drinks! not bad at all…i could spend every day like this…

Georgi spoke about the history of the tiki cocktails from the old favorites to the new twists that are made at Mahiki with demonstrations of a couple of those cocktails including their Treasure Chest, which was tastier than i expected. Overall, the seminar was very good and entertaining, the Mahiki cocktails were all well made and very tasty!

The seminar was sponsored by Duppy Share so we got a presentation of the Duppy by the founder George Frost and of course we got to drink Duppy Share both neat and in the  cocktails.

Tiki drinks + Duppy Share, yes i totally enjoyed this seminar!

Mahiki mugs

Awesome mugs made by Cheeky Tiki! i especially like that Zombie mug.

Mahiki session

And the tiki drinks all made with fresh fruits and good rum were all well made! 

mahiki treasure chest

The Mahiki Treasure Chest, it´s really tasty.

Plantation Rum

It´s always a pleasure to listen to Alexandre Gabriel and Paul McFadyen when they tell you about Plantation rums, it´s both interesting and entertaining. And of course we got to sample the star of the show the Stiggin`s Fancy pineapple rum, i consider myself  lucky to get a chance to do that for the third time now since last summer and then their new rum the 98 Jamaican tokai and single cask rums which of course, like the rest of the rums from the Plantation range, was nothing but excellent.

btw i love that Stiggin`s Fancy bottle… i wish i had one, full or empty to beautify my home bar…

Plantation collage

There were many more great seminars i`d liked to attended but you know, you need to be out there in the big room too meeting the people and sampling the rums! and when you do….time flies! And that is all for this year, hopefully i`m back again the next!

RUMFEST PICTURE PARADE!

Chef Hassan

Chef Hassan de Four cooking with rum….

Ian at auction

Global Rum Ambassador Ian Burrell at Christie´s rum auction

Duppy Share

 The lovely Duppy Share Rum, what a beautiful display!

Real Mc Coy12

The Real Mc Coy 12 Year Old Rum and their other rums as well are excellent! more on this 12 year old gem later!

There were not many agricoles from the french caribbean around for some reason but i did find Rhum Clemènt and Rhum JM….both brands makes excellent rhums.

Rhum Clement collage

Rhum Clemènt VSOP in the beautiful 25 Year Anniversary bottle. And yes indeed i do love me some Ti Punch!

ED rums

Amazing expressions from El Dorado, i like all their single barrel rums a lot! they had all their rums up for sampling, some in exchange for golden tot tokens. There were also of course the 5, 8, 12, 15 and 21 to sample.

The single barrel rums are more for the rum connoisseurs as they are not blended and as sweet or “smooth” as the others since they are single barrels.

Rhum JM collage

Rhum JM, one of the classic good rhum agricoles from Martinique. 

Pussers collage

Only good things can come out from Pusser`s rums and fresh pineapples!  

Colorful caribbean rums

I love these colorful Caribbean rums with the sunshine vibe! and they really do have some interesting strong rums! one of my favorites is the Rivers…it tastes like a smoky JWray.

Still love JWray too! didn`t try the Rum Bar…go figure…i have absolutely no idea why i didn`t….maybe there´s too much at the same time? :-)

atlas du rhum

I also got a chance to take a look in Luca Gargano`s new book “Atlas du Rhum” which is about rum and rum distilleries in the Caribbean. There´s only the french version out for now, it has recently been launched but the english version is on the way.

Mount Gay2

 Beautiful display and another solid rum, Mount Gay from Barbados. I love their XO and the Black Barrel! 

TIKI, TIKI, TIKI………….!

Trailer collage

A collage from Trailer Happiness…excellent tiki bar! i really wish i had been able to visit more of London`s tiki bars but hopefully the next time! I wish i could spend all my time just visiting tiki bars….

bar signs

Sign at the Pub “The George and Dragon”upstairs at the Ibis Hotel.

Ron Jeremy

Last time i saw this Ron Jeremy figure was in San Diego this summer at the Tiki Oasis at one of the room parties…..Ron Jeremy is everywhere…..here adorned with a colorful lei!

guiness cert 2

Guiness World Record Certificate, Largest Rum tasting in the world! well done Ian!

And at last….

Drink more rum

UK Rumfest 2014 – Let there be RUM!!! (part one)

Rum UnivHavana Club 7 anos

WORLD RECORD!

“ Rum is about history and that’s what we all achieved today ”  – Ian Burrell

This years UK Rumfest was different from the others i been to in that this year Ian Burrell did an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the World`s Largest Rum Tasting – and YES…we nailed it!

The world record was set with 353 participants, it´s official here.

World record rum tasting

The rum tasting took place at the ILEC Conference center, where also the UK Rumfest and the Boutique Rumfest took place. There were rums presented by six brands for tasting and joining Burrell in leading the tasting were Joy Spence from Appleton Estate, John Georges from Angostura, John Eason from DonQ, George Freegard from Pusser’s, Xavier Herrera from Diplomatico and Asbel Morales Lorenzo from Havana Club.

It was a great evening and i feel very happy to be part of that historic event! i took a little (not so good sorry) video when the announcement was made:

We weren`t sure if we would break the previous record which was recently done in Colombia so it was with great excitement we awaited the announcement after we had tasted all the premium rums on the table….and luckily we made it! and this is how happy the crowd was:

World record 3

Guinness world record collage

It was a great and funny evening! thanks to Peter Holland (The Floating Rum Shack)  for his awesome and fun selfie! now that was a good start…

THE RUM EXPERIENCE UNIVERSITY

rumexpuniv

That was the next thing up and this was a one day rum-course with several seminars covering rums, how rum is aged and blended, distillation, rum history, how to taste and appreciate rum, about sugarcane, molasses, rum barrels etc

Six of the world’s most knowledgeable rum aficionados shared their their knowledge under one roof. The world’s first female master blender and award winning Master Blender Joy Spence from Jamaica; From Canada Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum’s Master distiller Michael Delevante for his first masterclass in the UK; Havana Club’s Master blender Asbel Morales all the way from Cuba; Foursquare Rum Distillery’s award winning rum maker Richard Seale from the home of rum Barbados.

Michael Delevante spoke about Appleton Rum and Joy Spence, master blender with a vibrant personality from Appleton thought us among other things, how to taste rum, what to look for and how to appreciate the rum in the glass, Asbel Morales from Havana Club spoke about the Havana Club 7 year old Rum and Richard Seale from Foursquare Distillery on Barbados had a great and very interesting seminar about spirits distillation which was in depth and enlightening, i sure learnt a thing and two!

Here are a few short notes from the seminars:

  • That the yeast used by the Appleton distillery comes from the cane of the estate and that yeast culture been going since 1972.
  • There´s a lagoon on the Appleton Estate property where the water for the fermentation process comes from, water that has been filtered through the limestone formations.
  • Appleton uses both pot and column stills in different proportions, the column stills produces light fruity notes of pineapple, banana, coconut while the pot stills produces heavier types of rum (simplified)
  • One tropical year of ageing is equivalent to three years in cooler climates due to the evaporation (angel`s share)
  • When looking at an aged rum in the glass holding it up to the light, you will see a “green shadow” which is produced by tannins from the oak reflecting the light. The longer the rum been in the barrel, the more pronounced is the “green ring or shadow” Appleton 21 had a very pronounced such green shadow in the glass.
  • Distillation does not create flavor, it extracts it.
  • Fermentation creates flavor, distillation extracts flavor and maturation is the evolution of flavor.
  • Only three columns are needed to distill a spirit.
  • Cuba is the birthplace of light rum and rum in Cuba is much more than a drink it´s a cultural expression.
  • The youngest rum in the Havana Club 7 anos has been aged for 7 years and HC 7 is a blend of 4-6 different rums.
  • Cuba has over 80 local rum brands, ten of them are high quality rum brands.

And when it comes to rum the learning is a life-long journey…rum is actually more than just a drink, rum is a life style.

Rum University collage

BOUTIQUE RUMFEST

The Boutique Rumfest is a trade only event created specifically for New or Boutique Rums or Cachaça brands. The target audience  are wholesalers, distributors, spirit buyers, bar professionals etc and importers from all over Europe. I like this event because it´s calmer and so much easier to get time to talk to the exhibitors with less crowds. What i try to do is find and try interesting rums that are new to my palate, not necessarily new on the market even though of course new rums on the market always are a given. Here are a few of the rums i tried at the Boutique:

St Nicholas Abbey 5 Year Old

St Nicholas Abbey 5 year old

Here is the new release of the first ever estate produced rum at  5 years old rum from St Nicholas Abbey, very flavorful and it got that wonderful “St Nicholas Abbey” flavor to it. It`s an excellent rum and after their range of wonderful and totally amazingly good rums (the white, the 10, 12 and 15 (oh the 15….) these are rums that will blow your mind and that`s all i`m gonna say for now because a review will come and there i will write more in depth about this rum.

Duppy Share

Duppy Share 3

Duppy Share was released in the UK in july and is a golden Caribbean rum crafted from a blend of oak-aged spirits from the islands of Jamaica and Barbados. The  brand name “Duppy Share” takes its name from the dark spirits of Caribbean folklore known as duppies.

It is said that in the dead of night, when the distillers’ backs are turned, they journey between islands, stealing a share of the rum left ageing in old oak barrels. Spirit masters, and skilled in the fine art of blending, the duppies take only the best. It`s the same as what we know as the “angels share”  :-) More on this rum later on this blog.

Authentic Caribbean Rum

The ACR or Authentic Caribbean Rum was developed as a symbol of authenticity, provenance and quality for rums within the WIRSPA family (The West Indies Rum and Spirits Producers’Association Inc) and designed to help trade customers and consumers identify Authentic Caribbean Rum brands it is also used to promote the development of Authentic Caribbean Rum.

The ACR marque had a whole range of authentic caribbean rums for tasting on the table, the brands belonging to the ACR are English Harbour 5 year Old, Cockspur Fine Rum, Doorly`s XO, St Nicholas Abbey 10 Year Old, Mount Gay XO, Traveller`s Five Barrel, Clarke´s Court Old Grog, Westerhall Vintage, El Dorado 15 Year Old, Barbacourt Réserve Spéciale Five Star Rum, Hampden Gold, Monymusk Plantation Special Reserve Rum, Barceló Imperial, Brugal XV, Captain Bligh XO, Chairman’s Reserve, Borgoe 8 Year Old Grand Reserve, Angostura 1919.

Here´s a whooole lot of great rums! one that is new to me is the Jamaican monymusk…

ACR collage

Westerhall

Westerhall Rums are rums from Grenada, the spice island of the Caribbean. They are genuine Caribbean rums with a down to earth island style. They have some good rums like their vintage and plantation rum and i`m also fond of their Jack Iron overproof .

Clarke`s Court

Another rum distillery from Grenada, Clarke´s Court. The distillery dates back to 1937 and they have a range of nice rums like the Old Grog, the #37 Blend and other tasty things like their Rum Punch and the nutmeg flavored Camerhogne Spice liqueur.

Rums from Mauritius…

I see them more and more…the rums from Mauritius – and i tried all i could try and liked many of what i tried too, the Mauritius Gold, St Aubin, Blue Mauritius and Green Island are all interesting rums from a very interesting and beautiful island. I haven`t tried all rums from Mauritius yet though, but at least more now after the Rumfest than before.

Bounty rum from Fiji

Paradise Beverages carried a range of rums from Fiji and one especially catched my attention, Bounty Rum overproof, it was great! i wouldn`t mind having a bottle of that one.

Bounty overproof

Two Indies Rum

A rum that is a mix of Indian and Caribbean (younger rums from Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica) styles of rum made by Amrut, a distiller in India that began production right after India got its independence in 1948. It`s a different rum in that the indian rum in the mix (3 year old) is made with something called jaggery goor which is a concentrated product of date, cane juice, or palm sugar and can vary from golden brown to dark brown in color. I have used it myself sometimes in simple syrup making to add a bit of a darker depth to tiki drinks, it´s pretty tasty.

From what i remember from the brief tasting of this rum is that it had a tropical fruit-ish but dark flavor with some spiciness.

Examples of furthermore rums were Ron Cubay, Doorly`s, English Harbour, Dos Madeiras, Ophtimus, Ron Centenario, Real McCoy, Seven Fathoms…some of these i will write about in my next post.

Clarkes court collage

Clarke´s Court Rums

Westerhall collage

Westerhall Rums, Jack Iron, Vintage and Plantation.

Mauritius collage

Beautiful rums from Mauritius 

Yes there are more rums than these…and i went to several interesting seminars – more will come in the next post, about the UK Rumfest!

Carnival lady

Duppy Share Punch anyone?

Deep down from Louisiana – Rougaroux Full Moon Dark Rum

Rougaroux bottle

This rum surprises me… it´s that good…and it makes one hell of a “Corn `n`Oil!

Rougaroux Rum is made by Donner-Peltier Distillers located in the middle of the cane fields in Thibodaux, Louisiana using pure black strap molasses and raw sugar grown and milled from a family owned farm just down the road from the distillery. They also produce a gin, a vodka and a whiskey called LA1 Whiskey because it´s Louisiana`s first aged whiskey since prohibition.

The name Rougaroux comes from french and cajun folklore legends:

“Deep in the heart of Southern Louisiana Cajun Country lurks a mysterious creature known as the Rougarou, (Roo ga roo). It lingers in the sugarcane fields and swamps, emerging only during a full moon to exact justice on the wicked”

- Because of their monster flavor, we chose this name for our rums”

And flavorful this rum sure is…

I have only tried this dark one and so i have yet to try the white rum which i have heard is also very good having a thick molasses and brown sugar character)

I had heard about Rougaroux rum but never yet tried it when i one day was sitting at the Carousel bar at the Monteleone in New Orleans with a few friends during the Tales of the Cocktail this past summer. One of them suggested i try a rum Alexander with Rougaroux dark which i did and i found it so good i felt i just had to review this rum, here we had something really interesting!

This is a blackstrap rum – but it´s quite different from the other two blackstrap rums i have. They do of course have similarities, like that typical “yummy” blackstrap/molasses flavor but Rougaroux has also an almost demerara-like flavor profile to it with a bold, mysterious, thick and full bodied flavor – and it is (of course) also perfect for tiki drinks…( a big plus in my book…)

But Rougaroux is not as black-ish in color as the others, instead it has a very dark brown color with beautiful almost”reddish” mahogany hues. The label is also really cool i think and so fitting for this rum.

Using Louisiana raw sugar cane and blackstrap molasses they create a white rum which is further aged in white oak barrels (for how long is not known) There is no caramel or other additives in this rum.

Nose: The nose gets me directly to think about a blackstrap with demerara aromas…Deep wood and sugarcane, mash of ripe tropical fruits, a hint of crispy citrus and fresh sugarcane. It`s big on the nose.

In the Mouth: Here comes some vanilla notes along with the wood, it`s deep and oaky with hints of orange peel, sugarcane and molasses. It`s rather balanced and pleasant to sip on and the flavor stays with you for quite some time.

What i find interesting is that it reminds me of  El Dorado 12 year old…and i`m kinda puzzled by that – but i love it! I really like those dark, thick, flavorful rums that got “punch” (and can stand up in tiki cocktails) Also a white rum can have that same character – which i suspect their white “Sugarshine” rum may have…since it´s said to have thick molasses and brown sugar  flavors – a tasting is required! and i can`t wait to try that one as well.

Rougaroux Full Moon Dark Rum won in 2013, bronze at the San Francisco World Spirits and gold
at the World Spirits Award and in 2014 it won silver at the World Spirits Award and gold at the Beverage Tasting Institute.

If i would pick three words to describe this rum it would be dark, deep and balanced…they call it a whiskey sipper´s rum.

Well, after trying this i can safely say that i prefer to not be without it and that is despite i already have other blackstrap rums, but this one is more than just a blackstrap rum, it´s different. And it does go very well in tiki cocktails.

Dark Puka Punch

Rougaroux Dark Puka Punch

1 oz Rougaroux Full Moon Dark Rum
1 oz aged Rhum Agricole
1 oz fresh lime juice
0.75 oz orange júice
0.75 oz pineapple juice
0.75 z passionfruit syrup (lilikoi)
2 tsp honey-mix (equal parts honey and water, mixed and heated to dissolve the honey, then cooled to room temp)
0.25 oz * falernum

Float a little bit of 151 rum on top and finish with a couple dashes angostura bitters.

Classic tiki drink, tasty and rummy! the Rougaroux plays well here.

* Falernum – you can read about what it is here and how to make your own if you wish (it´s brighter and tastier) here and here.

And on to the next….did i say Rougaroux Full Moon Dark makes a mean Corn ´n`Oil? here it is:

Full Moon Corn ´n´ Oil

Rougaroux Full Moon Corn n Oil 1

2 oz Rougaroux Full Moon Dark Rum
0.5 oz Falernum
And just a little squeeze of fresh lime…

Build in a rocks glass with crushed or cracked ice.
Squeeze a lime wedge over the top, stir, and throw in the spent lime wedge in the glass.

Sip and enjoy!

Three Dots and a Dash

Three Dots and a Dash with Rougaroux rum and Clement VSOP

Here´s one of my favorite tiki drinks, it´s a Don the Beachcomber drink and that`s quite appropriate here in this post since Donn Beach was a Louisiana native just like the Rougaroux rum is. He made this drink to commemorate the Allied victory and the name of the drink comes from the Morse Code for the letter “V.” Hence the garnish of the three cherries and either a pineapple leaf/spear or a long chunk representing the three dots and the dash for the Morse Code.

I have only switched the original recipe`s demerara rum for the Rougaroux.

1.5 oz amber Martinican Rhum
0.5 oz Rougaroux Full Moon Dark Rum
0.5 oz lime juice
0.5 oz orange juice
0.5 oz honey mix*
0.25 oz falernum
0.25 oz pimento Dram
6 oz crushed Ice

Combine all ingredients into a blender and blend at high speed for about 5 seconds. Pour into an appropriate glass and garnish with 3 cherries and a pineapple leaf spear or a long shaped chunk.

*Honey Mix

1 part Honey and 1 part Water, gently heated so the honey dissolves and then cooled to room temp.

Here`s some info on where to buy (only in the US and Louisiana for now)

Rougaroux Dark Rum

 

Rougaroux Dark Puka Punch collage

Selvarey Rum from Panama

Selvarey Rums

Hailing from Panama – Selvarey Rum comes in two different expressions – Selvarey White and Selvarey Cacao. It`s distilled in Panama by master blender Don “Pancho” Francisco Fernandez. The name Selvarey means “Jungle King”

Don Pancho was born in Cuba in 1938 and he first began working with cutting sugarcane in the fields with his father. He worked his way up and became the Cuban Minister of Rum. He spent 35 years running the famous Havana Club brand in Cuba before moving to Panama and opening his own distillery.

And he built his own distillery from scratch in a small town called Pesé in the Herrera Province– Panama’s premier sugarcane region and bought a warehouse on the outskirts of Panama City and began stocking it with barrels of rum and out of there i now have these two expressions here to try out and make a few cocktails with.

Selvarey rum is distilled in four copper column stills built in 1922 by American Copper & Brass Works. The rum is then aged in American white oak ex bourbon barrels imparting notes of vanilla and caramel. Water is added to bring Selvarey White down to 40% ABV and Selvarey Cacao to 35% ABV.

Selvarey rums are lush tropical rums, sweet and flavorful and you may sip on it´s own or mix with in various cocktails. The bottles are really beautiful, they look very exotic! they are also sturdy and quite heavy with a thick bottom.

Selvarey White

Selvarey Rum White

The white rum is a blend of three and five-year-old rums, distilled in 1922 copper column stills, aged in bourbon casks and carbon filtered to remove the color while keeping most of the flavors and it is made up of more than a single batch of rum adding to it`s complexity.

From his warehouse, Don Pancho chooses a 3 year-old for its youth and vibrancy of fresh-cut sugarcane, and then combines it with a rich, full bodied, more mature 5 year-old.

The nose is mild and sweet with hints of vanilla and fresh sugarcane plus a little bit of toffee and butterscotch.The mouth is quite viscous and the same notes comes through in the flavor along with creamy butterscotch. It`s designed to be a sipping rum enjoyed with some ice but it mixes well in cocktails like the daiquiri or mojito for example or any that contains citrus which it plays very well with plus the citrus cuts the sweetness a bit and adds that vibrant aromatic flavor.

Selvarey Cacao

Selvarey Rum Cacao

The cacao rum is made from five-year-old rum infused with locally sourced chocolate which doesn`t give the “chocolate bar” flavor but rather a fine flavor of the cocoa bean. Less sweet than the white rum and here you get vanilla notes plus some oak with a mild spice along with the flavor of  natural chocolate.

The color is dark amber/copper and when opening the bottle you immediately get the aroma of chocolate in the air. Selvarey Cacao won the gold medal at the 2014 Miami Rum Fest and was the first flavored rum ever to win the coveted Chairman’s Trophy at the 2014 Ultimate Spirits Challenge in New York City.

I decided to first make two cocktails found on the website for a change instead of making my usual tiki drinks and the Rey Cafè catched my attention, a cocktail made with the Cacao rum, coffee and unsweetened coconut milk but i switched the espresso coffee for what i have on hand (and prefer) which is New Orleans Community coffee dark roast – which is strong and flavorful in the same way as Hawaiian Kona and Jamaican Blue Mountain coffees.

Rey Cafè

Selvarey Rey Cafè

1.5oz Selvarey Cacao
1oz strong coffee (cold)
1oz unsweetened coconut milk
0.25 oz -0.5 oz simple syrup or sugar (taste your way)

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice cubes and grate some cinnamon and nutmeg on top.

A very nice cocktail indeed! here you get cacao, sugarcane, coffee, cinnamon and nutmeg wrapped up in creamy unsweetened coconut milk…This cocktail can also be made warm for those stormy fall or cold winter nights.

The next cocktail is a daiquiri for which, the Selvarey white rum is perfect:

Selvarey Jungle Daiquiri

Selvarey Jungle Daiquiri

2 oz of  Selvarey White Rum
0.75 oz fresh lime juice
0.5 oz dark sugar syrup

Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass, garnish with lime.

And here is another type of daiquiri, with grilled fruit, this is for the white rum:

Grilled Fruit Daiquiri

Selvarey rum Grilled-fruit-daiquiri

2-3 Pieces of Grilled Fruit (Mango, Pineapple, or Cantaloupe)

2 oz. Selvarey White Rum

1 oz. Simple Syrup (1 part superfine sugar to 1 part water, stir till dissolved)

3/4 oz. Fresh Lime Juice

Muddle the grilled fruit with the simple syrup and lime juice in a shaker. Add Selvarey White Rum and ice. Shake vigorously and fine strain into a cocktail coupe or other glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Grilled Fruit: De-core or de-seed fruit first and cut, so as to expose a large area of fruit flesh. Grill, flesh side down, until grill marks are present (about 2 minutes). Cut chunks of fruit from grilled flesh and use to muddle in cocktail.

You can check to see where to find Selvarey rums here.

Kōloa Kaua`i Spice Rum!

Koloa bottle

Up for review is the spiced rum from Kōloa Rum in Hawaii. I wrote about Kōloa rums before and their range of rums including the spiced, but now i got a chance to sit down with it all by itself.

This is to me a cocktail rum, great for mixing up delicious tropical cocktails and tiki drinks, it fits well with from where it comes but of course it can be used in other types of cocktails as well. But me i`m sticking to the tropics!

Interesting is that Kōloa Rum is not made from molasses but instead it´s made from crystallized sugar (but it contains molasses – it actually has a high level of molasses in it) but that sets it apart from both pure molasses based rums and rhum agricole which is made from sugar cane juice. All of the rums are distilled twice in a 1210 gallon copper pot still with a copper column and condenser. The still was built by Liberty Coppersmiths in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1947 and later refurbished for use in the distillery.

The Kōloa Rum company is very young! they have only made rum since 2009 and have already won no less than 17 awards – most of them at the Rum Renaissance Festival in Miami and then at the  San Francisco World Spirits Competition, well done!

Koloa awards

Kauai, also known as the Garden Island, is where Kōloa Rum is made and Kōloa rum is a handcrafted single batch rum containing pure mountain waters of  Mt. Wai`ale`ale, one of the wettest spots on Earth. The Kōloa plantation was established in 1835 in Kōloa Town and the first harvest which produced two tons of raw sugar was in 1837 and it was around that time that rum production began, so rum does have quite some history on the Hawaiian islands.

There is a Tasting Room & Company Store, located on the grounds of the Historic Kilohana Plantation where visitors can sample from the range of rums and purchase Kōloa rum items and also Hawaiian Fruit Specialties and its Kukui Brand which was founded in 1931 by the Tateishi Family as a means of preserving the wild guava, pineapple, lilikoi, and other abundant fruits of Kaua`i.

I was happily surprised when i heard that they were going to feature one of my cocktails that i made in my other post, the Spiced Coconaut on their new bag that soon will be in the shop! i used some of this spiced rum as a float in that drink. I hope i can one day go there and visit them! i have always been dreaming about going to Hawaii…and here is the bag, this is where your purchases from the store goes…

Koloa bag collage

Nose and Taste

The first thing that hits my nose from the spiced rum is vanilla and cinnamon with clear notes, followed by caramel and spice. In the mouth i taste cinnamon, vanilla, caramel, spice, sugarcane, some oak, quite well balanced and smooth. It would add some real nice spice notes to cocktails, especially if they contain pineapple juice since the strongest flavor is cinnamon.

It´s sweet but not too sweet,  it´s spicy but well balanced – and there´s some hints of roots and also something astringent, i guess that´s what brings me to roots.

Kōloa Kaua`i Spice is a rich and fragrant rum.

Kōloa Kaua`i Spice in Cocktails

As for cocktails with the Kōloa Spiced Rum, the Spiced Coconaut was as i mentioned earlier really appreciated by the folks at the Kōloa Rum and and they made it to be featured on their cocktail catalogue as well as on their Facebook page and it looked this nice:

The recipe doesn`t call for just the spiced rum, rather it´s used as a float together with Kōloa Kaua`i Dark rum and as such it did very well. Here`s the recipe again:

Koloa Rum Spiced Coconaut cocktail

Spiced Coconaut

2 oz Lopez or Coco Real Cream of Coconut

2 oz fresh lime juice

2 oz Kaua`i Dark rum

Float Kōloa Kaua`i Spice ( about 0.25 oz)

Shake it hard to get the Cream of Coconut well mixed in and strain into a coconut mug with ice cubes and float Kōloa spiced rum on top.

Garnish with tropical flower and pineapple leaves.

Next tropical cocktail is strong and tall…and deceptive:

Hawaiian Scratch…  instead of Tropical Itch…

Koloa Hawaiian Itch

Tiki drinks often have some funny names, the Tropical Itch which is the inspiration for this drink was created by Harry Yee, “The Dean of Hawaiian Bartenders,” who is said to have been the first to garnish a drink with an orchid and a paper parasol.

2 oz Kōloa Kaua`i Spice rum
0.5 oz Lost Spirits 151 Cuban Rum
1 oz Bourbon
0.5 oz Ferrand Dry Curacao
6 oz passion fruit juice
1/2 tsp juice from a maraschino cherry jar to top
A couple dashes angostura bitters to top
Squeeze of fresh lime juice (about 1/4th oz)
Garnish pineapple leaves and slice, maraschino cherry, mint

Shake with ice cubes and strain into a tall glass filled with crushed ice, add a half tsp of juice from a maraschino cherry jar and a couple dashes angostura bitters.

Fruity, spicy and quite mild but very yummy…but it´s deceptive – the 151 Cuban will sneak up on you…

Here`s another cocktail for you from Jeff Berry`s Grog Log with the rums switched out for Kōloa Kaua`i Spice and Coconut:

Noa Noa

Koloa Noa Noa

1oz lime juice (or 3/4 of a lime cut into wedges)
1tsp brown sugar
1 dash Angostura bitters
6 mint leaves
1 oz Kōloa Kaua`i Spice rum
2 oz Kōloa Coconut rum
mint sprig, for garnish

Muddle lime juice or wedges with sugar, bitters, and mint. Add ice and rum, and shake. Strain into a double rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with mint sprig and spent lime shell.

Cool and not too sweet, spicy, minty and with a hint of coconut.

The spiced rum is funny to play with and is versatile to mix with in a lot of cocktails and tiki drinks, i could do many more but time doesn`t permit…that`ll be another time.

Kōloa rums can be purchased at various retailers in the US and also in Australia, Canada and China (see the website) and in Europe at La Gourmandine Rhumerie in France, also online.

From Hawaii to you with Kōloa rum – Aloha!

TOTS AT THE READY, IT’S RUM TIME AT THE UK RUMFEST 2014!

RUM EXPERIENCE 1

LESS THAN MONTH TILL LONDON HOSTS THE WORLD’S PREMIER RUM CELEBRATION, THE RUMFEST!

The UK Rumfest and the official GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title attempt for the Largest rum tasting event!

The UK rumfest returns on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th October with a fresh look and a new venue. London’s ILEC Centre in Earl’s Court will play host to the eighth annual event, a celebration of rum and rum culture and in particular for 2014, a look at some of the most premium blends on the market.

The RumFest embodies the heart and soul of the spirit and the passion of its founder Ian Burrell, Global Rum Ambassador. bringing together the world’s biggest, smallest, established and up-and-coming brands for a weekend of celebration, discovery and community.

Now in its eighth year the two-day event attracts both consumer and trade professionals alike, succeeding in developing even the most educated rum fans knowledge whilst introducing the spirit to complete novices. 2014’s RumFest will take proceedings to the new heights with a focus on the premium brands and blends within the category.

The all-new Golden Tot Tokens will give visitors the opportunity to take part in some exclusive tastings of ultra-premium blends that retail between £80 – £2000 a bottle. With limited amounts available, visitors are urged to get in quick before stocks of these exquisite blends run out fast.

RUMFEST AUDIENCE

Guests are invited to take part in Seminars, Masterclasses and Workshops taking place across the two days set to bring to light the delights of the category. Seminars hosted by prestigious brands including Angostura, Diplomatico, Mount Gay, Havana Club and Don Q who will take attendees on an intimate journey of rum discovery.

A selection of the industry’s greatest ambassadors including Richard Seale of Foursquare rum and one of the world’s best distillers Michael Delevante, will share their wealth of knowledge with a captivated audience. Food will also play a big part in this year’s proceedings with chocolate and marshmallow pairings, plus live cooking demonstration on the main stage washed down with handmade cocktails from the Global Rum Ambassador himself.

And i`m sure all the lovely Caribbean food vendors will be there this year again with their hot spicy food and potent Rum Punches…

Finally, the floor will be filled with live bands, souk dancers and the spirit of rum fully embraced in the ultimate party hour finale each day.A truly ‘rum-derful’ thing indeed.

speed comp

The RumFest takes place in London at the ILEC Conference Centre, Earl’s Court on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th October 2014. Standard tickets are now on sale at £49.95 via the website, which include access to all areas of the the event and single measure tastings from the majority of exhibitors. 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. This year as a precursor to The RumFest, Global Rum Ambassador, Ian Burrell will host a very special world record attempt for the World’s Largest Rum Tasting on Thursday 9th October. Limited tickets are available and can be purchased for just £10 via the RumFest website.

Moreover…

A  RUM TASTING EVENT LIKE NO OTHER!

Worlds largest rum tasting

Limited spaces available to the official GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title attempt for the Largest rum tasting event with tickets on sale now

Thursday 9th October 2014
London’s ILEC, Earl’s Court
Tickets at £10 via rumfest.co.uk

On Thursday 9th October rum fans will have the honour of joining six leading rum aficionados in a very special tasting at London’s ILEC, ahead of the eighth annual The RumFest.

Handpicked by Global Rum Ambassador Ian Burrell, the selected rums are the cream of the crop within the rum category and the likes of the Serralles’ master distiller Roberto Seralles, Appleton’s esteemed Master Blender Joy Spence and Angostura’s Master Distiller John Georges, will guide enthusiasts on an unrivalled voyage of rum discovery.

In a unique twist, attendees will unite to make history in a bid to set the record for the ‘World’s Largest Rum Tasting’, adjudicated by an official GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ representative. Limited tickets for this one-time-only event are on sale for only £10.

Rum’s biggest event, The RumFest, is set to get a lot bigger as it invites guests to become part of a record breaking attempt to host the world’s largest rum tasting, with hundreds of rum enthusiasts coming together to sample rums from across the globe. The tasting will be presented by leading brand representatives, who will be able to give attendees a comprehensive and unrivalled insight into six esteemed rums.

Rumfest 2014

Representing Jamaica, Appleton’s Rum will be sipped and savoured with commentary from revered Master Blender, Joy Spence, whilst Puerto Rico’s number one premium rum from the Serralles distillery, Don Q, will be sipped and savoured with none other than Master Distiller, Roberto Seralles.

For a historical twist Pusser’s Rum, launched in 1655, will be presented by Head of Rum Procurement George Freegard. Angostura will bring a taste of Trinidad to the evening hosted by Master Distiller John Georges and the delights of Cuban’s classic Havana Club will be presented by its Master Blender Asbel Morales Lorenzo. The finale to the evening will be the esteemed Diplomatico providing a taste of South America with former Golden Rum Barrels Awards winner and Rum Master, Tito Cordero.

Doors will open at 5pm where guests will be greeted with a welcome speech from Global Rum Ambassador and RumFest founder Ian Burrell, followed by an introduction to the rules and regulations of the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™. From 6.30pm the world record attempt will begin as guests taste the six rums from some of the world’s most revered rum distilleries followed by an audience Q&A and the presentation of the Guinness World Records certificate.

THE ESTEEMED PRESENTERS & RUMS

Appleton’s Rum – Master Blender, Joy Spence (Jamaica)
Serralles distillery, Don Q – Master Distiller, Roberto Seralles (Puerto Rico)
Pusser’s Rum – Head of Rum Procurement, George Freegard (Navy-style)
Angostura – Master Distiller John Georges (Trinidad)
Havana Club – Master Blender Asbel Morales Lorenzo (Cuba)
Diplomatico – Master Blender Tito Cordero (Venezuela)

Hosted by Global Rum Ambassador and The RumFest founder Ian Burrell

rum-experience-no-date

Rum Nation – Anniversary Edition 12 year Old Rum!

Rum Nation Barbados Anniv Edition close up

Here is another great rum from Rum Nation which is a rum company based in Italy created by Fabio Rossi in 1999. Fabio travels around the Caribbean and Americas to find the best rums he can find and release in limited editions and as of today Rum Nation has a quite wide array of premium rums in their portfolio.

The Rum Nation Barbados 12 year old Anniversary Edition is the second decanter of the Anniversary series: the first was a Martinique 12yo, also presented in a book shaped gift box and released in 1999 for the 10 years of Rum Nation (1999-2009). This second decanter has been released in 2014 for the 15 years of Rum Nation (1999-2014)

This rum is distilled on Barbados by RL Seale in a column still in 2001 and then blended in various proportions and finally aged in American bourbon oak barrels in the Caribbean, and further aged in Piedmont, Italy for 18/24 months into Spanish brandy and sherry oloroso casks before bottling.

Out of  the book shaped gift box comes an elegant decanter, which – i actually prefer to place on my rum shelf without the big “book” box! Funny idea but the decanter is all by itself all that you need, it`s really pretty! and the color of the rum is amazing, a clear golden amber and copper color – very beautiful presentation and color of the rum!

The label is beautiful and made of  fabric instead of paper.

Rum Nation Barbados Anniv Edition close up 2

When i see that decanter i really wanna pop off the cork and take a sip…

Nose

The nose opens with notes of vanilla, orange peel and butterscotch with a fruity apricot aroma, it´s also toffee, fresh herbs and sugarcane. I would say the nose is sweet and slightly spicy – and very pleasant. There`s a rich aroma oozing out of the glass…

In the mouth – The orange peel becomes more intense, it´s slightly sweet but less sweet than the nose, just very pleasant. The flavor is creamy and indulgent, this is a very rich rum with hints of vanilla, molasses, spice, sugarcane, butterscotch and caramel, also there´s a hint of fresh herbs.

It`s balanced, complex, rich, creamy and smooth….i have nothing negative at all to say about this rum, nothing. And it has that pleasant little sweet note without it being too sweet. This is a sipping rum for sure and if  i should pick one cocktail to make with it – it has to be the classic daiquiri – which is the best cocktail to feature the flavor of a rum.

But my best advice is to pour a glass, let it sit and breathe for a while and then enjoy it as it is!

Also recommended by Rum Nation is to pair the rum with a little bit of Valrhona Noir Alpaco chocolate, a dark but delicate and flowery chocolate from Ecuador, perfect for the freshness and light character of Barbados rum. I tried that, and who am i to say no? it was delicious! now i don`t know very much about rum and chocolate pairing but i trust what my tastebuds tells me – this is delicious!

Rum Nation Barbados Anniv Edition bottle

I think this decanter is beautiful and this Bajan rum is top shelf!

Rum Nation Barbados and glass

For those who are interested, here are some stats:

Actual Batch number : L 14/059
Quantity produced per batch : 6.477bottles 70cl 40%
Residential sugar (g/l) : 15
Vintage : Distilled 2001 – bottled 2014
Barriques : American oak – Spanish Oak

If you can try to get a bottle of the Rum Nation – Anniversary Edition 12 years Old Rum!

Lost Spirits 151 Cuban Inspired Rum – A Femme Fatale Dressed to Kill

LS151 Label 4

Dangerously easy to sip…

The Lost Spirits Rums hit the world with a bang! i have already seen and read several great posts about this rum and have written myself also about the Navy Style and Polynesian Inspired rums.

The Lost Spirits latest addition – the 151 Cuban Inspired Rum – has already been spoken about as well but i`ve been unable to write about until now since i been away for a long vacation to New Orleans and California including a road trip with Bryan and Joanne from the distillery to the Tiki Oasis in San Diego and where i got time to get to know this rum a bit better but time alone with it was needed.

One thing is clear, it`s a very pleasant overproof rum and it both mixes and sips well, even though, if you sip it for a while you will get a “fried” palate due to it`s strength typically what happens when you drink overproof rums neat, which mostly i do not – i use them most of the time in drinks as floats or combined with other rums  –  but you should not let this rum fool you – it`s way too easy to sip.

That said, i recommend it to be used like you use other overproof rums, in drinks, as floats etc.

This femme fatale comes dressed up in a very innocent looking outfit…the stunning label is a work of art with light pastel colored retro style 1930s pre-Castro Cuban theme with palm trees and a Pan Am (?) plane taking off to the sun….(and Cuban daiquiris…) and there`s a lady dressed in fashionable 1930s tropical wear. It`s like the other labels from Lost Spirits, very detailed and in all it`s a stunning label made by Bryan himself.

Lost Spirits 151 Cuban label collage 2

1930s Cuba….isn`t it beautiful? makes me wanna go back in time…or at least have a couple of cold daiquiris which btw is one of my favorite rum drinks.

Lost Spirits 151 Cuban label collage

I suspect that the curved end of the label is inspired by the same curved pattern you see on top of the copper still, you can see it in this post by Cocktailwonk, it´s pic number seven from top.

Of course your mind goes straight to the daiquiri when you see this rum but it´s good for all sorts of drinks both classic, modern and tiki. And here is what i like so much about it, it gives enough flavor to the drink to make things happen, to make it exciting, yet it´s smooth as silk but it kicks your butt!

If you have never heard of Lost Spirits Rums before i advise you to go and read about them here, and here and here……..plus check out their own website. It`s well worth the time reading all the posts because Bryan Davis and Joanne Haruta makes rum in a way that totally turns the world upside down and Bryan is like the “mad scientist” and “rum wizard” up there at the distillery producing rums (and whiskeys) of excellent quality and flavor – but to fully appreciate what they are doing you need to understand, at least a little, how it`s made.

I have noticed that posts about this distillery have a tendency to become quite lengthy and there´s a reason for that, so keep reading the posts…

Let me tell you, they are doing some mind blowing stuff! You might see some fancy tiki drinks with their rums here on my blog – but this is where it starts:

Nitrogen deprivation

Manipulating the biochemistry of the yeast or stressing the yeast, is one important part of the production, read more about that here. Picture Bryan Davis.

I asked Bryan how the idea came about making a 151 Cuban style rum? he said when making the navy style rum is was mostly about making rum with the biggest range of flavor from the fermenter coming through.

But how about making the opposite? With this Cuban style it was the opposite end of the spectrum starting with the super flavorful high quality molasses and then highly rectify it like a Cuban from 100 years ago and then age it using his own scientific approach. Bryan tried lots of different woods and finally blended the Cuban from all the experiments.

The Cuban inspired 151 proof rum differs greatly from the Polynesian Style and Navy Style rums in that it has less of those higher alcohols giving the other two rums their “heavy” type of flavor, this rum here has a totally different flavor profile, more “clean” but i wouldn`t say “light” because there is nothing “light” about any of the rums from the Lost Spirits Distillery.

But at the same time as the 151 Cuban differs from the others they still have clear bonds of being from the same “family”, there are similarities but i can`t exactly point out on what it is…

Well, i have to say the end result is nothing but spectacular!

They are only three people at the Lost Spirits Distillery, Bryan Davis, Joanne Haruta and Joanne`s brother James and for being so few i think what they do and come up with is pretty amazing! If you haven`t seen the distillery and the hand built pot still with it`s smoking dragon head check it out here and here

And check out this video, (click on the left play button at the bottom) :

The smoking dragon pushing out the steam from the still at night….(video by Bryan Davis)

 

Pretty cool eh? it´s all handbuilt on site.

Tasting

The nose is to me fruity (slightly like pineapple and apricot but not at all as pineapple forward as the Polynesian style, and here´s also vanilla) with a wonderful whiff of lovely soothing butterscotch.

The flavor is intense and has the same fruitness beautifully rounded out by the aforementioned butterscotch, vanilla and toffee aromas. It`s so strong yet it caresses your palate like silk!…that`s why it´s so dangerously sippable.

With a little water in the glass i think it becomes much more Pineapple flavored but compared to the Polynesian (also with a few drops of water in it) it`s actually smoother despite it´s higher strength.

I have used their rums specifically in tiki drinks simply because well, i love tiki drinks – and because they fit so well in these kind of drinks because the bold flavors of these strong rums stand up so well against the fresh mixers and us tiki drink loving folks we just LOVE bold rums don`t we?? At the Tiki Ti we had Nui Nuis made with it and they were nothing but awesome!

But Lost Spirits rums are not only fit for tropical and tiki drinks, they can be used in any kind of cocktails thus making this rum very versatile. One example is the classic daiquiri…so i made one and of course it made an excellent daiquiri that also packs a punch! drink one of these and you`ll dance!

Also, use it as a float in a variety of cocktails..

Then i was pondering what to do next and got to think about two of my old favorites, the Missionary`s Downfall and the classic Pago Pago.

The Missionary`s Downfall is a very tasty drink but it´s not a strong one…so i decided to make a twist of it and change that with the 151 Cuban rum. Be warned though, this drink is potent!

The Drunken Missionary

Drunken Missionary

This drink is so potent it makes the tiki mug “sweat” and “moan”!

0.5 oz fresh lime

0.5 oz honey syrup ( add liquid honey to simple syrup, warm it up a bit, stir and set aside to cool)

0.5 peach liqueur

1 oz Lost Spirits 151 Cuban Inspired Rum

1.5 oz pineapple-coconut juice

Crushed ice

Nutmeg

Fresh mint

Muddle mint with lime juice and honey syrup, add the rest of ingredients and shake it ice cubes until the shaker frosts on the outside, then strain into a tiki mug filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a fresh and spanked mint sprig or two, a couple speared maraschino cherries and lime triangles and grate some nutmeg on top and enjoy!

This drink packs a punch and is VERY tasty!

Pago Pago

Pago pAGO SMALL

The Pago Pago dates to at least 1940, when it appeared in a book called The How and When, and this classic cocktail is a longtime favorite of mine and i`ve had it on this blog before but not with this rum though – so i decided to give it a try. What makes this drink so nice is the addition of Green Chartreuse which not only adds lively vibrant herbal aromas to the drink but also goes very very well with rum!

1 oz Lost Spirits Cuban Inspired Rum

3 squares of fresh pineapple (about 1 oz)

0.5 oz fresh lime juice

0.5 oz green Chartreuse

0.25 oz white crème de cacao

Add all ingredients except the rum in a cocktail shaker and muddle the pineapple with a muddler. Add the rum and a lot of ice. Shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass (double-strain through a mesh tea strainer in order to filter out the little bits of pineapple)

Beware of this drink`s strength…

151 Cuban Nui Nui

Nui Nui LS 151 Cuban

Another favorite of mine is the Nui Nui….and with the Lost Spirits 151 Cuban it becomes a high octane real treat!

1.5 oz Lost Spirits Cuban Inspired Rum
0.5 oz lime juice
0.5 oz orange juice
0.25 oz cinnamon syrup
0.25 oz Don’s Spices #2
1 dash Angostura bitters

Combine all ingredients with a handful of crushed ice, blend for 5 seconds and pour unstrained into a chimney or tiki glass with more crushed ice. Insert a long strip (6+ inches) of orange peel into the drink and let some of it hang out.

Well i poured mine into a tiki mug and also added fresh mint.

I was pondering what next to make ( yeah that`s what happens when i have Lost Spirits rums in my hands…) and then i remembered that yummy Coconut Punch i had in London made by Martin Cate at the last years UK Rumfest and decided to make a twist of it starting with making a baked pineapple syrup.

Flaming Coconut Punch

Flaming Coconut Punch

1.5 oz Lost Spirits 151 Cuban Style Rum

0.5 oz fresh lime juice

1 oz Coconut and pineapple juice

5-6 dashes Oriol`s Dark Magic Bitters* for that pineapple and coffee touch. (sub with some coffee flavored bitters and use dashes depending on how bitter they are)

Baked pineapple sugarcane syrup*

Shake all ingredients well and strain into a coconut filled with crushed ice, that is placed on top of a larger coconut that is filled with cracked ice. (or use a tiki coconut mug)

Garnish with pineapple leaves.

Fill a lime shell with overproof rum or drench a few sugar cubes and set alight, dust with cinnamon powder to get the volcano effect.

Baked Pineapple Sugarcane Syrup

Place 5-6 chunks of pineapple in a pan and bake them on high heat until they get brownish, then lower the heat and add dark sugar syrup on top, let it sizzle for a few seconds then take off heat and mash the pineapple chunks with a fork. Set aside to cool and leave for about 15-20 min for the flavors to set.

Oriol`s Dark Magic Bitters is a homemade product by Oriol over at the Three of Strong blog, write to him and see if you can get some. They are not sold commercially. You can sub with some other coffee flavored bitters, or make a different variety by for example muddle fresh coffee beans to get the coffee flavor. Do not use any coffee liqueur as you cannot omit the baked pineapple syrup in this drink.

This drink turned out pretty good! actually VERY tasty! i really like it and i`m gonna keep this one. I think the rum married so well together with the rest of the ingredients. And i love that it also packs a punch…

Now i should be very drunk right? well no…not really…the truth is i don`t make all the cocktails for a post like this in one evening…i prefer to sip and savour over a week or two because with rum it works like this –  you need to re-visit a rum several times to get the flavors of it and to make cocktails too.

And since this rum is overproof  it´s better to pace it…actually i recommend to drink just one of these in one sitting.

So…the Lost Spirits 151 Cuban Style Rum…have you not tried it yet and are able to get it? – my advice…do not wait! this rum is the bomb!

Distributors are found here.

It`s not yet sold outside of the States but hopefully soon..

LS151 Label 2

The label is really gorgeous!

Lost Spirits 151 Cuban bottle 2

The rum has a beautiful amber color i think.

LS smoking dragon still

Anyone passing by this at night must really wonder what´s going on….

Global Rum Ambassador to Stage The World`s Largest Rum Tasting!

GLOBAL RUM AMBASSADOR TO STAGE THE WORLD’S LARGEST RUM TASTING AS PRECURSOR TO EIGHTH ANNUAL RUMFEST

Very limited spaces available to the Guiness World Record attempt and tickets available now on a first come first serve basis

Thursday 9th October 2014, 
London’s ILEC, Earl’s Court

Tickets at £10, now on sale from rumfest.co.uk

IAN BURRELL

Global Rum Ambassador Ian Burrell is inviting rum fans to become official record breakers as he bids to take the title of ‘World’s Largest Rum Tasting’ at what is set to be the biggest rum tasting experience ever to be staged.

Taking place on Thursday 9th October as a precursor to the eighth annual The RumFest, rum enthusiasts will be treated to a tasting experience at London’s ILEC Conference Centre, Earl’s Court where they will be able to sample and discover rums from six prestigious rum brands.

These brands have been hand-picked by Burrell especially for the event and reflect the diversity of blends, taste and style on offer across the rum category and will be presented by some of the industry’s leading names.

From Appleton’s Jamaican-style Rum presented by esteemed Master Blender Joy Spence, to a Rum which bring a bit of history to the evening with Pusser’s Navy Rum presented by Peter Thornton and George Freegard, to Trinidadian-style Angostura presented by Master Distiller John  Georges, this will be a unique and one-off evening for rum lovers.

Officially adjudicated by a Guinness World Records representative and hosted by Ian Burrell, tickets are available to buy now for only £10 and tables of 10 can be pre-booked for groups, all available with more information on all four days of events from The RumFest website.

RUM-EXPERIENCE-1

For the first time in history, RumFest invites guests to become part of a record-breaking attempt to host the world’s largest rum tasting, with hundreds of rum enthusiasts coming together to sample six esteemed rums from across the globe.

Representing Jamaica, Appleton’s Rum will be sipped and savoured with commentary from revered Master Blender, Joy Spence, whilst the Spanish style of rum, Don Q will be sipped and savoured with a yet to be announced speaker.

For a historical twist Pusser’s Navy Rum will be presented by George Freegard and Peter Thornton. Angostura will bring a taste of Trinidad to the evening hosted by Master Distiller John Georges and the delights of Cuban’s classic Havana Club will be a part of the World Record Attempt with one final rum to be announced in the coming weeks.

Doors will open at 5pm where guests will be greeted with a welcome speech from Global Rum Ambassador and RumFest founder Ian Burrell, followed by an introduction to the rules and regulations of the Guinness World Records.

From 6.30pm the world record attempt will begin as guests taste the six rums from some of the world’s most revered rum distilleries followed by an audience Q&A and the presentation of the Guinness World Records certificate.

Global Rum Ambassador and RumFest Founder Ian Burrell comments, “The possibility of hosting the World’s Largest Rum Tasting is incredibly exciting and we cannot wait to share the experience with so many rum lovers and it will be the perfect way to kick off what will be four days of superb rum celebrations.

Rum is a spirit loved by many and to have the chance to taste six esteemed rums hosted by their top master blenders, ambassadors and distillers is an honour and a privilege. I cannot wait to share it with you all!”

The RumFest takes place in London at the ILEC on Friday 10th for press and trade and Saturday 11th to Sunday 12th October 2014 for trade and consumers. Standard tickets are now on sale at £49.95 for Saturday and Sunday, which include access to all areas of the the event and single measure tastings from the majority of exhibitors.

The brand new 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. For full information please visit the RumFest website.

The Rum Experience is a concept created by Global Rum Ambassador and the Founder of UK RumFest, Ian Burrell. Celebrating the resurgence of rum and rum culture around the world, The Rum Experience takes a contemporary approach to promoting the rum and sugarcane industries and Caribbean culture through a series of unique events, festival, rum tastings, pop-up experiences, food pairings and rum battles.

The RumFest

10th-12th October 2014, ILEC Conference Centre
Ibis London Earls Court
47 Lillie Road
London SW6 1UD

Tiki Oasis 2014 – Beat Tiki!

Tiki Oasis by Mark

Rum, Fun and Tiki!

And so i went to the Tiki Oasis in San Diego, it was my first trip there and as a lover of all things tiki it was of course a blast! i headed over from New Orleans and went on a road trip with Mark Holt and Bryan & Joanne from the Lost Spirits Rum.

Tiki Oasis is probably the biggest tiki event in the world and is essentially one giant rum/tiki and booze party! – filled with elaborately “garnished” people because not only the tiki drinks are garnished but the people also :-)

Hawaiian shirts, tropical muu muus and dresses, hats and fezzes. There were vintage cat’s eye glasses, beehive hair, coconut purses, flower leis and pineapple tiaras.

Held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in San Diego, this is a annual weekender event, starting on the thursday at the Bali Hai Restaurant and then friday to sunday at the Crowne Plaza.

I liked the hotel, it has beautiful surroundings and the food and service was great and reasonably priced and it had a very tropical tiki-ish vibe.

During the day there´s a whole lot of activities, a lot of them around the pool and stage area with live bands, contests, marketplaces, hula courses, arts and crafts, book signings, symposiums, fashion shows, Miss Tiki Oasis, burlesque dancers, surf guitar classes and the list goes on, there was a LOT to do! and the marketplace is really fun! so filled with fantastic creations of all sorts.

I was especially happy about that you could get fresh flower leis, which is something i been dreaming about for years!!

Tiki Oasis 13 included:

One Miss Tiki Oasis
One helicopter fly-over
A booksigning
Two locations
Three hotels
15 seminars
16 Disc Jockeys
18 Burlesque stars
19 bands
25 artists in art show
30+ Cars in car show
42 Dancers
100 vendors
450+ hotel rooms
3000 attendees

At night, there was live music and entertainment on the stage and then there was the room parties…

At least 10 parties going on at the same time in rooms and suites which all had their own themes from “Hula Hut” to “Tiki Hell” – the latter an “anti-tiki” type of thing…and all about all having fun, which we had indeed…that room was crazy fun! and i laughed when i saw the man sized paper figure of Ron Jeremy beside the stage..

The rooms and parties had some funny names too or how about “Booze and Brews Blowout Room” or “Jane Bond – The Spy Who Loved Tiki Party Room” or “Munster Monster Mash Party” or “RUM-ble in the Jungle Room”?

TH Ron Jeremy 2

Ron Jeremy is watching you…

And so judging the room parties and the cocktails you`re supposed to pick the best cocktail, the best room and suite parties and the best room and suite decors. The cocktail i had no problem in the world to pick…Kahuna Kevin´s Headless Zombie in the Pixie’s Hula Hut swept them all…some came closer than others but none close enough…but the rest was a little bit more tricky because there were many rooms and suites that was great!

I was happy to see that his cocktail also won and you can find the recipe for the Headless Zombie in Kahuna Kevin`s first book “Why is the Rum Gone?”, you can find it here.

Best Cocktail

Picture by Kahuna Kevin

So the result of the contest after all the judges cast their votes is this:

Best Cocktail – Pixie’s Hula Hut
Best Decorated Suite – Deadhead Rum
Best Decorated Room – Ballast Point
Best Suite Party – Casba’sh Molikai’s Room
Best Room Party – Temptress Fashion

Symposiums

I made it to only two symposiums this time…but they were good!

The Bitter Side of Tiki – with Ram Udwin and sponsored by Ballast Point 

serrano cocktail spice 2

Bitters and tinctures aid home and professional bartenders in bringing balance and zest to their cocktails – adding perhaps the perfect final element to a well-crafted tiki libation. In this class, you will get an introduction to cocktail bitters, their history and how they are made. The class will culminate with a discussion on the how and why of using bitters in creating complex and delicious tiki drinks.

Ram Udwin is a bitters maker, a booze blogger and a cocktail man, dedicated to the study and better enjoyment of spirited libations.

I have been a fan of Ram Udwin`s Serrano Cocktail Spice since he made them and i looked forward to his symposium on bitters in tiki drinks. He took us through the history, purpose and use of bitters in general, how they were used as medicine at first and then how they added spice and character to cocktails and also became the backbone to many tiki drinks.

He brought his grapefruit bitters and serrano cocktail spice to try plus his new soon upcoming passionfruit bitters which i really like a lot. If you wanna read more on his cocktail spice and bitters and maybe purchase them too here´s where to go.

The serrano cocktail spice is really amazing, a few drops of it can change a cocktail entirely adding a lively vibrant kick and I love it, especially in cocktails with citrus juices like lime and grapefruit and it’s fantastic in tequila and rum drinks.

Here is Boy Drinks World website.

Rum Revolution!

Rum rev coll

No rum related event without Martin Cate right? from New Orleans, Stockholm, London and San Diego…i see Martin everywhere and his seminars/symposiums are ALWAYS great and have a high entertaining factor.

When you sit down at one of his symposiums you just KNOW it gonna be a good time and great learning and no matter how much you know about rums….there is always more to learn.

Tiki Symposium

Can you spy yourself in this picture? (i see me, Joanne and Bryan :-) thanks Baby-Doe von Stroheim for this magnificient picture of the crowd at Martin`s Rum Revolution symposium!

The rums featured that we tasted were these: Angostura No. 1, Denizen Merchant Reserve, Privateer Rum, Penny Blue XO, Owney`s NYC Rum, Rhum Clement Select Barrel, Real Mc Coy 5 yo and Lost Spirits Navy Style Rum.

Co-Sponsored by Lost Spirits, Owney’s, The Real McCoy, Penny Blue and Rhum Clement.

Martin took us through the tasting and the rums, the history of McCoy, the theory about the Martinique rum part in Trader Vic`s Mai Tai being molasses based rum rather than agricole based as believed before in an entertaining symposium.

This was my first experience of a great Tiki Oasis! and i met quite a few other first timers too! plus others that i have known from before. BIG Mahalo to Otto and Baby doe, and EVERY ONE who made this event happening, it was a blast!

Countdown to TO 15 is starting…

Here is a picture parade of the Tiki Oasis and from our road trip:

TO pool area

pool

The Crowne Plaza and the pool area, full with music, people, food, drinks and vendors…we loved to sit down there at night for a while with a cocktail after the room crawls.

Room crawl by Crystal

 Room Crawl in the Hula Hut, picture by Crystal Lee

TH by Mark

Tiki Hell Room Party, picture by Mark Holt, this room party was WILD!!

Kahuna Kevins Headless Zombie Flyer

The Headless Zombie, picture by Kahuna Kevin

Lei collage 1

Beautiful lovely fresh flower leis…it´s a special feeling wearing one.

Lei collage 2

I bought a ti-leaf lei and took it home…because they can be dried and last forever..so it now adorns my home tiki bar. The fresh lei i also got i brought with me back to New Orleans and gave to a good friend :-)

TO Market

I should of bought one of those hibiscus signs, they are beautiful..

I also met my friends Scott Taylor and Rob Hawes for the first time, i have been buying mugs from them before and i just love their beautiful intricate and detailed tiki mugs! Scott have a shop on Maui called Beachbumz and Rob operates Maui Tiki Tours.

They shared booth with Christine Benjamin and Woody Miller who makes awesome tiki art and Jason Shelfow who makes the beautiful tiki lamps. Later i heard their booth won the prize for best vendor booth, congrats!

BOOTH collage

All these mugs…waiting to be filled with goodness and rum…

BOOTH 3

And look at those beautiful paintings..you gotta come here the next year y`all…so much fun! so much to see! 

Ppl

People really had a good time!

Garnished people

What did i say about beautifully garnished people? see it there! btw i told the “pineapple girl” that if she had lived in Europe she could have entered and easily won the pineapple rum contest at Plantation Rum, for best selfie with pineapple, she would have won a bottle of the elusive pineapple rum!!

TO Crowne Plaza

When the sky look like this and the air is warm you want a tiki drink….by the pool…and that we had, sometimes life is really good…

Yes, Tiki Oasis was a blast! i can warmly recommend anyone who loves rums, fun and tiki to go there next year!

ROAD TRIP 

And here are a few pics from our 3 day road trip which started at Mark Holt`s amazing tiki house…then went to LA and a whole bunch of bars…to finally end up in San Diego.

Marks house coll 1

This is a pretty cool pool area me thinks…

Marks house coll 2

The pirate guards the outdoor tiki bar…

Marks house coll 3

There`s a LOT to see in this house…the bitters and stuff hanging upside down on magnets is a brilliant invention by our friend Cheryl Charming used in the Bourbon O Bar in New Orleans.

Marks house coll 4

See that bowl? that bowl is not just any bowl…it`s the worlds second most powerful volcano bowl, the one Martin Cate used at Tiki Oasis in 2009, and it was in there that he first created and served one of Smuggler’s Cove’s most popular drinks: The Top Notch Volcano! Only rivaled by the bigger bowl he used for the 2010 Oasis Seminar…

And from Mark`s house we embarked on the road trip to Tiki Oasis after a very late rum party involving plenty of great rums, barrel aged negronis and JWray`s under the stars in the outdoor jacuzzi, and first stop was LA where two days of bar hopping awaited.

Tiki Ti coll 1

And one of the stop by bars was of course Tiki Ti...where else?

Nui Nui at Tiki Ti

 The lovely Nui Nui, picture by Mark Holt

Nui Nui made with Lost Spirits 151 Cuban Style Rum at Tiki Ti

And another Nui Nui…with Lost Spirits 151 Cuban Style Rum! made after suggestion by our friend Matt over at Cocktailwonk, if you haven`t checked out that outstanding blog you need to do it! pic by Mark Holt

Tiki Ti coll 2

I love this place! it has such a homely feeling, and since this was the first time i got there i just had to start with a Ray`s Mistake, which i been reading so much about for so long! it was good…and even better was the Nui Nuis, 151 swizzle and Rum Barrel. I need to go back for more drinks, i haven`t tried enough!!!!!

Rum Barrel Tiki Ti

A taaasty Rum Barrel, pic by Mark Holt

We also passed by Cliff`s Edge to have cocktails made by Matthew Biancaniello who creates his outer wordly farm fresh cocktails every Wednesday through June, July and August with his Pop-Up Bar on the patio.

I dunno how to praise his creations enough…what can i say? i think they are the best cocktails in ever had, as far as cocktails go, i´m not comparing with tiki drinks here because they are a different thing.

Cliffs Edge pop up

Cocktails by Matt Biancaniello…artworks…and out of this world.

Arugula gimlet, grapefruit mint cocktail, ant beer cocktail, (yes ants!) etc don`t ask what was in all of these…one had bergamot infused 123 Tequila Blanco, yellow nectarine, home made ant beer and flowering oregano.. The passionfruit one had foraged white fir infused calisaya, passionfruit and Italian cayenne and was totally amazing…but they all were, every single one of them.

The thick but light airy foam you see on the cocktail on the upper right was just amazing…like a caress on your lips covering a cool somewhat mellow and incredible experience of a cocktail…wooow

Cliffs Edge pop up2

If i was anywhere near Cliff`s Edge until end of august i would not miss this for anything…you heard me?! just go there…

Cliffs Edge

The beautiful patio at Cliff`s edge, pic by Mark Holt

Another great bar and restaurant we stopped by was Rivera, finally i could get to try the Barbacoa!! and that legendary cocktail was AMAZING….it contains mezcal, chipotle, ginger, lime and beef jerky. I also very much liked “Constantino`s Revenge” with Diplomatico reserva exclusiva, pineapple, fresh lemon and angostura.

Barbacoa at Rivera

The lovely Barbacoa, pic by Mark Holt

We also went to Honeycut where i asked for a Mai Tai with demerara rum which they perfectly made…and then to Cana Rumbar, where i had a rum filled coconut followed by another Mai Tai with Appleton White and a Cruzan Black Strap float. It`s an unusual rum combo for a Mai Tai i know…but i have had it in New Orleans at SoBou and it´s very tasty!

Cana Mai Tai with blackstrap

Mai Tai with Cruzan Black Strap float over Appleton White rum…

cana collage

At the Spare Room there was a tiki drink pop up by Paul McGee from Three Dots and a Dash  in Chicago with the bars namesake drink of course on the menu plus Pieces of Eight, Poipu Beach Boogie Board, Bunny`s Banana Daiquiri and then the lovely tasty Painkiller. Great drinks and fun evening of Tiki!

Spare Room pop up menu

The Spare Room is situated on the mezzanine level of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, and while you`re there you might as well look down on the street right outside because that´s where all the stars of the Hollywood stars are in a long row.

Here´s a link to Three Dots and a Dash website, their cocktail menu looks great!! and if i ever have my ways through Chicago…i know where to go.

Three dots and a dash pop up collage

They were all tasty…and beautiful.

Another interesting bar….the Noble Experiment with it´s “Paris catacomb” like wall of bronze skulls…inside the Neighbourhood restaurant (which btw have great food!) hidden speakeasy behind a stack of false kegs by the restroom…and their Laphroaig tiki style drink is just amazing!

Noble Experiment.jpg

Wall of skulls, blinking eyes in a deer painting and a timeless chandelier…dark and intimate, a place for craft cocktails and conversation.

In between Los Angeles and San Diego we passed Trader Sam`s…which i think was a funny and goofy place…you cannot but smile when they start to do the krakatoa show and the “rain” is water they spray on us…and i enjoyed both the food and the drinks a lot! Trader Sam`s Enchanted Tiki Bar is located at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, California.

Trader Sams Uh Oa bowl

Trader Sam`s Uh Oa Bowl…great pic, by Bryan Davis (Lost Spirits Distillery)

Trader Sams coll 1

The Shrunken Zombie Head and the Uh Oa Bowl ready to be set on fire.

Trader Sams coll 2

Krakatoa is soon ready to erupt…you better go and grab a drink!!

I think that was all….we went to more bars than these but i cannot add them all…i hope to do this again next year!

LOST SPIRITS RUM

These babies were with us everywhere we went…they even danced with us at the room party :-) yes rum is a life style,Thank you Bryan and Joanne at the Lost Spirits Distillery.

Marks House hula girl

Hula girl….

Lei and LS rum

Aloha! and until next year…okolemaluna!

Thanks to Mark Holt for letting me use his awesome picture of the pool area as cover photo for this post! i just wish my readers could also hear all the great music we know was in that pic as well….