Exotic Cocktails with World`s End Tiki Spiced Rum

They are already launching new rums and I`m a bit behind, but the World`s End Tiki Spiced Rum is an interesting addition to the tiki and craft cocktail scene. World`s End Tiki Spiced Rum is the creation of Lester Schutters and Tom Neijens. ( the Drifter Bar, Belgium) I have tried the dark also and tried them both paired with some really exquisite chocolate, a very pleasant experience. and of course, in a couple of refreshing drinks too. In this post i`m making my own drinks, but before I do that, a little about the World`s End Rum:

The first World’s End Rum was created 3 years ago by Lester Schutters and is a spin off of his liqueur company 2240 Social Club . Out of a lifetime interest in rum, the next step was to create something that he was looking for but could not find on the rum market . And so the dark spiced rum was born, a combination of pot and column still rums.

After being on the road a lot,  getting the chance to meet some great people in the business, Lester met Tom Neijens. Tom liked what he did with the dark spiced rum, and with the opportunity to talk about a mutual interest “rum “, they finally, after several rum-talks, came to the point that Tom was looking for – a way to commercialize what he had created . He already used a raw version in his cocktails . And as Lester was looking to expand his range of spiced rum, they decided to get together to create what would become World’s End Rum Tiki Spiced .

Lester created a tailored blend for this project, which was a blend of Trinidad, Tobago and Jamaican rums . Pure focused on taste, he started to look for the character that this blend would become and finally, after adding the right spices, he released the World’s End Rum Tiki Spiced . Main spices in this rum are allspice and cinnamon . That`s the story in short. It`s difficult to make a good spiced rum because to get balance of flavors when spices are added, paired with not getting it too sweet, is a not-too-easy task. And generally, many spiced rums i think, falls into the category of “too sweet” or “unbalanced”, but there`s some that are balanced and good too.

Personally I usually tend to prefer to use spiced rums as cocktail ingredients, and that`s because to my palate, a little goes a long way here and they are usually sweet, with anything from balanced, to quite sweet, to so sweet that your teeths cringe. But this rum I think, is on the balanced side on the scale.

It`s also a quite perfect match for a good Coke. And a good Coke, (a MUST for a Rum & Coke) is not the usual thing in the supermarket, sweetened with the horrible and unhealthy high fructose corn syrup, it`s the Mexican Coke which is sweetened with natural sugarcane. There`s also “old-fashioned” craft cokes you can try. One (local brand) in my country that I like is “Kitty Kola” which uses organic apple juice as sweetener and ecological ginger juice, lemon and kola nut. It has a really old-fashioned cola-like flavor, the way I imagine coke used to taste in the 40s-50s and I find it delicious. It does not taste like just a coke though, it has a flavor of it`s own.

And actually, when researching, I found out that this cola was launched in Sweden in the 1953, (originally from England) It disappeared because Coca Cola out-competed it but it`s now back again on the market (with a re-developed improved recipe with only organic all-natural ingredients).

The for this year unusually hot summer is now gone away, but a well-made Rum & Coke is really refreshing on any given day, so gonna present that here together with a few other drinks. Apart from going well with coke, I feel that the tiki spiced rum would go very well with a good Root-beer too, in for example the Caribbean Punch.  I made a take on the “Don`s  Caribbean Punch” (Don the Beachcomber, cirka 1957, from Sippin`Safari by Jeff Berry) on this blog many years ago. But of course, the tiki spiced rum as you can imagine, goes in all kind of cocktails. I decided to make a new take on the Caribbean Punch though, and making it on the slightly bitter side switching out Root-beer for Chinotto. Likewise I mixed equal parts of Kitty Kola and Chinotto in the rum and coke-type of drink to add a bit of a bitter edge to it.

But before I post the recipes, here`s just a little short note on how I find the World`s End Tiki Spiced rum neat:

The first thing that hits my nose is allspice and cinnamon with hints of citrus and sugarcane. The citrus is lingering around, lightly caressed by the sweetness of sugarcane. it´s backed up by the spicy notes of the allspice and cinnamon.Then at first sip I feel a warm cinnamon flavor with orange peel and hints of allspice followed by sugarcane notes. It´s quite balanced even though cinnamon dominates a little. it`s sweet and in my opinion does best in mixing where you can balance the sweetness with lemon or lime. It mixes very well in tiki drinks (and other cocktails) No burn either, it´s not harsh at all.

At the German rumfest last year I tried it with chocolate, but a chocolate pairing is another thing, and with the dark quality chocolate we had it became a different and elevated drinking experience.

The aftertaste is semi long with lingering orange and cinnamon notes.

Bitter Caribbean Punch

0.5 oz fresh lime juice
0.5 oz falernum
1.5 oz Chinotto* (to top)
1 oz World`s End Tiki Spiced Rum
0.5 oz Plantation OFTD overproof rum
0.5 oz Foursquare Triptych Barbados rum (or similar)
3 dashes Angostura bitters
1/4 tsp fassionola (or hibiscus grenadine)
4 drops La Maison Fontaine Absinthe Chocolat Liqueur
1 cup crushed ice

Blend at high speed for 5 seconds, (or shake it) pour unstrained into a suitable glass or tiki mug, and add more crushed ice to fill. Garnish with something tropical. It turned out to be very refreshing, with a pleasant bitter backbone from the Chinotto that just blended so well with the spicy notes of the rum.

Chinotto is an italian carbonated soft drink made from the juice of the fruit of the myrtle-leaved orange tree. It looks like coca cola but have a taste of it`s own, a bit cola-like, a bit orange-flowery, less sweet and with a slight bitterness, it`s truly delicious.

Marama Kula

1 oz /30 ml World`s End Tiki Spiced rum
1 oz /30 ml Plantation OFTD overproof rum
0.5 oz /15 ml Alamea Hawaiian Coffee liqueur
1 oz/30 ml fresh lime juice
0.5 oz /15 ml Cream of Coconut
0.5 oz /15 ml Guava nectar
0.5 oz /15 ml fresh pineapple juice
1 cup/2.5 dl crushed ice

Blend at high speed for 5 seconds and pour into a chilled snifter, add more crushed ice to fill, dust a little cinnamon powder on top. Garnish with paper parasol lantern.

There´s 2 oz of sweet/semi-sweet ingredients here and I found 1 oz of fresh lime still made a nice drink but if you prefer it more on the sour side just add up the lime a bit.

World`s End Rum &  Bitter Cola

2 oz World`s End Tiki Spiced Rum
Top with equal parts Chinotto and Mexican Coke (or other craft coke not containing HCFS syrup, I used the old fashioned organic Kitty Kola)
Squeeze of 1 lime (or more to adjust the sweetness)
Cracked or crushed ice
Garnish large cinnamon stick, lime piece and speared amarena cherries.

Shake rum and lime with cracked or crushed ice, pour into a fancy tall glass and top up with more ice if needed. Garnish with a large cinnamon stick, lime piece and speared amarena cherries.

The combo of organic cola and chinotto makes a bitter-sweet combination.

Hidden Secret

1.5 oz/45 ml fresh lime juice
0.25 oz/7.5 ml ginger syrup
0.5 oz/15 ml cream of coconut
0.25 oz/7.5 ml strong cold brewed coffee
0.25 oz/7.5 ml Alamea Hawaiian Coffe Liqueur
0.5oz/15 ml World`s End Tiki Spiced rum
1 oz/30 ml Plantation OFTD overproof rum
1 oz/30 ml Plantation Stiggin`s Pineapple rum
1 oz/30 ml fresh pineapple juice
Garnish – 3 speared Fabbri Amarena cherries, orchid and pineapple leaf.

Add ingredients to a blender. Blend with 1 cup/2.5 dl crushed ice at high speed for 5 seconds, pour unstrained into a suitable tiki mug, or glass.

In the picture I used 2 mugs that belongs together and are called “Lieutenants Marqative and Posquesan”, made by Robbie Toth and you can view his artwork on Instagram here. Swizzle stick by MkGrider.

And like i said in the beginning of this post, the World`s End are launching two more rums! the Dry Spice and the 57 Navy Rum. You can find World`s End Rum on instagram here. They just won bronze medal for their new Navy Rum at the German Rum Festival,

They now have four rums in their range of rums, and a Falernum. They are so worth checking out!

Nu Lounge Bar Tiki XMas Tribute to the Mai Kai Party & a Tasty Dessert with Alamea Spiced Rum!

Two posts in one … the Nu Lounge Bar Tiki XMas Tribute to the Mai Kai party and a sumptuous tasty tropical rum dessert recipe.

I think it doesn`t matter when or where… we always need a decadent dessert every now and then to add some sweetness and spice to life … and when they are spiked with rum it´s even better!

Here`s a tropical tiki style dessert, using the amazing Alamea Spiced Rum and Hawaiian Coffee Liqueur created by Daniele Dalla Pola, owner of the Nu Lounge Bar in Bologna, which btw on december 18th threw THE party of the year, the Tiki Xmas Tribute to the Mai Kai at the bar with guest bartenders, seminars, tiki market, live tiki carving, Polynesian buffet, tiki drinks and show at the bar, plus a live rockabilly band, the Lucky Strike, playing all night, and a tattoo artist doing alamea tattoos and a very lovely aloha vibe all around the place for almost 12 hours straight! I have added a few pics and videos after the dessert.

I was actually supposed to make this dessert for the Polynesian buffet but then it turned out not practically possible so instead I present it here so you can make it at home and you should because it´s that good…

Aloha Coconut Ice Cream with Alamea Hawaiian Coffee & Spiced Rum Pineapple!

For 3 servings, you need:

1/2 pineapple cut in 2 quarters, one with leaves still attached.
1L coconut ice cream
¼ cup (1,25 dl) demerara sugar
2 oz (60ml) Alamea spiced rum
0.5 oz (15 ml) Alamea Hawaiian Coffee Liqueur
Tropical orchids for garnish.

Cut up the pineapple in 2 pieces and save one for garnish with the leaves still attached. Peel the other pieces and slice them in ½ inch slices (1.2 cm) and set aside.

Pour demerara sugar in a nonstick pan on high heat and make sure to coat the entire base with sugar and place the pineapple slices on top of the sugar in one layer filling the pan. Cook and stir occasionally for about 5 minutes or until caramelized.

Add Alamea spiced rum and Hawaiian coffee liqueur and cook for another 2 minutes or until it`s brownish and syrupy. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Place coconut ice cream on a serving plate, just a little bit ahead of time so it becomes a little bit soft. Garnish with the quartered pineapple and tropical orchids at the base of the ice cream. Pour the rum sauce on top.

Ideas for garnish: Crushed walnuts, macadamia nuts, mango slices, passionfruit pieces.

This is a variation of a dessert I saw somewhere and turning it tiki style! it fits any tiki or tropical party or any other occasion or just no occasion at all, it`s simply delicious! and ridiculously easy to make. The only thing to pay attention to really, is to let the sauce cool down to room temp before pouring and to not take out the ice cream too early, but at the same time allow it to become just a little bit softened.

The Alamea exotic infusions are available at various places in Europe, and soon in the US and an online source is in the works. I will post more info when I know.

Nu Lounge Bar and the Tiki Xmas Tribute to the Mai Kai Party

Nu Lounge Bar is amazing,  ecclectic and one of those tiki bars so full of things everywhere that you never get tired of looking. And the drinks … they are great, the menu fun and variable (and beautiful) the bartenders excellent and the aloha vibe is embracing you like a soft Hawaiian breeze…

There`s a restaurant there too and you can eat both outside and in the bar and Italian food does not suck … personally I`m a huge pasta lover but there`s so much more. But the last thing I had there the day after the party was an amazing lasagna al forno with a Nu Painkiller! not a bad combo.

Before the party we had a tasty fusilli pasta dish for lunch with a lovely tomato sauce served in a huge pot, very typically italian and with tiki drinks to wash it down of course … or was it rums shots? and during the party there was a Polynesian luau style buffet with all kind of tasty things. You can say that both the”food-me” and “drink-me” was very happy! but it was so much more than just food and drink, the ambiance was fantastic, the seminars interesting, the Lucky Strike band great, the tiki market beautiful with plenty of mugs from Maka Tiki (mostly)and wood carvings from Tiki Matt and Tiki Sam.

Here`s a few photos and videos of the fun, not the best of quality but hey I wasn`t there as a professional photographer … I was there to meet friends, party and visit the Nu Lounge Bar!

It´s a Zombie…

The topic of this party, Tribute to the Mai Kai.

Tiki Diablo Mai Kai Mug 2017. This mug is based on the Barney West tiki, one of the tikis in the Mai Kai garden. Amazing mug!

The tribute drinks.

The man behind the party … Daniele Dalla Pola, owner of the Nu Lounge Bar and Tiki King is on his throne, so the party can start!

But before that, our lunch…

And of course, espresso!

Then tiki drinks… this is Kama` Aina`, a mix of Plantation OFTD, tropical juices and spices.

Don the Beachcomber is watching over us.

And the rums…

Cool tiki mugs on the shelves in the bar.

From another era…

The King of fruits!

Seminars, here with Oriol Elias talking about tiki in his “Expanding the tiki flavors palette” and Clementine Guillot presenting Rhum Damoiseau. There was also a Masterclass called “Banks: il Rum di nuova generazione” by Daniele “James” Pons, sponsored by Bacardi, but I didn`t see it because it was in italian and I wouldn`t have understood much 🙂

After the seminars, the tiki market started. Mugs from Maka Tiki and wood carvings from Tiki Matt and Tiki Sam.

Mugs and decanters from Maka Tiki. http://makaproject.altervista.org/ and https://www.facebook.com/MakaTikiProject/ and  http://www.makatiki.it/

Carvings by Matteo Cappellozza aka Tiki Matt,  https://www.facebook.com/Tiki-Matt-1198157160275432/ and Instagram – @tiki_matt_

Moai by Tiki Matt and it`s mine…  🙂 (happy happy)

And tiki carving by Samuele de Vietro aka Tiki Sam,  https://www.instagram.com/the_tiki_sam/?hl=en

I bought this cool little tiki while Oriol scored the one and only pineapple jigger…

Bad mobile pic… the pineapple jigger on the left side, how cool is that!?

More drinks! this one in a Re`al mug designed for Daniele Dalla Pola by Baï Tiki ( http://bybai1.wixsite.com/artbybai )

The Last Fang with edible cinnamon straw… I get really happy when I get these kinda drinks in my hand!  rummy, fruity, spicy, rich and big! (by Oriol Elias)

And here´s the recipe.

And the man behind it, Oriol Elias, www.threeofstrong.com

And the oh so tasty Elixir Tropical…

Created by Maurizio la Spina. It was so tasty I ordered more than one… This amazing cocktail was in the Bacardi Legacy Competition.

The Nu Mai Tai with passion fruit…

Happy bartenders 🙂

And the rockabilly band Lucky Strike kept playing all night…

Me getting the alamea tattoo, both a memory and a hommage.

One of the things I like about this place… among all the tiki stuff you see a deer horn?  🙂

And some videos…

What a party! they say this was the party of the year and I agree on that, it was amazing.

Mahalo and Aloha!

Three Dots and a Dash.

When RUMS comes to Berlin…. The 7th German Rum Festival 2017

 

Europe is exploding with rum events in the fall and just a week after the rumfest in Athens, it was time for a few others, for example the ShowRUM in Rome, UK Rumfest in London and the German Rumfest in Berlin which is the one I headed to, but unfortunately this year, London and Berlin happened at the same time. I have been to the UK Rumfest a couple times but never to Berlin so this was extra interesting, and it didn`t get worse by the fact that Baba au Rum had a pop up bar the whole week from the start of the BCB (Bar Convent Berlin) to the end of the Rumfest at the My June bar.

They had even, with the help and organizing by Alexandra Barstalker brought the same wallpapers (which btw I learnt is made by a Swedish designer) that are on the walls in the Baba au Rum bar in Athens to My June Bar to make it even more like “at home in Baba”, well that my friends is looking into the details! if you go to her website you can read about how the idea about “Baba au Rum goes Berlin” came to be.

Berlin is a huge city but with a packed schedule on a few days I didn`t see that much of the city itself, except for going to some bars, restaurants and tastings, among them the “My June Bar” where Baba resided. The first night was apparently THE night to be there because virtually everybody in the booze/rum industry was there and it was really a crazy kick-start of the rumfest weekend and at the same time the closing down party of the BCB.

The German Rumfest is really huge and very well organized, and the rum selection was very good, I just missed the Velier rums there but they were in London at the UK Rumfest. Luckily the next year these two will not happen at the same time!

As a rum judge we had two days to do the rum tastings before the rumfest started and so that kept me busy and in very good company! always so nice to see friends from the “rum family” at various rum-filled events. Interesting to me was the contrasts between attending first a small and intimate rumfest (Athens) and then a really huge one. And both has their own charms.

The German Rum Awards are a competition in which professionals blind taste the rums submitted and make subjective, yet neutral assessments to a points awarding system where each juror only has to make one mark within a particular scale. This enables the juror to focus on the essentials – without the distraction of having to figure out how many available points to award.

An international jury will taste all submitted rums in a two-day evaluation process. The flights are divided into categories, e.g. Special Cask, Single-Cask, Agricole VS/VSOP, Overproof, Spiced Rum, No-Age-Statement, Cachaça aged etc etc. In total 18 categories, around 160 different rums and cachacas. The jury’s conducts the tasting blind at a quiet location and rates the rums according to a point system.

In order for a submitted product to be awarded and to receive a medal, a specific number of points must be achieved. The jury awards only one gold, silver and bronze medal in each category, which is different from many other competitions. Out of all the submitted products, there is also a “Best in Show“ award – it goes to the rum with the highest number of points, regardless of category.

This years results of the tasting competiton is here.

The venue for the rumfest, the Station Berlin is very large with high ceilings making it very roomy and that is needed with such a large crowd of people, it was still hot at the back of the room! I had a great experience in Berlin and hope to be back!

I will as usual, show the rumfest, in a parade of pictures:

Well crafted tasty cocktails and fun with the rum family at the June Bar with Baba au Rum! who came among the 50 Best Bars again this year.

Plantation Rum made for Baba au Rum, a multi island rum aged in bourbon oak, cognac barrels and peaty whisky barrels… It had an exceptionally fine and balanced flavor.

And then….the next day, time for work, rum judging at the BRLO Brewhouse.

There were many rums to taste for two days, around 160 different rums.

And when the tasting was done, they revealed the rums to us.

And this is where it gets really interesting because now you can compare your own notes and the points you gave to see which rums they were. After this was done we went for a brewery tour at the BRLO Brewhouse which I think had a pretty cool sign on the wall.

BRLO is the slavic origin of the name Berlin.The beers made here are really tasty! they make handcrafted beers in small batches and they do not filter the brews to keep all healthy nutrients. From December and onwards you can visit them at their brewery and restaurant. And this is located in a one of a kind building constructed from 38 shipping containers!

The next day….time for the rumfest! and what is better than starting a rumfest with some freshly pressed sugarcane juice? (by Mr Zuckerrohr) in which, you a bit later add some rum….

There were quite a bit of rhum agricoles to try (to my joy) since my favorite rum categories are cask strength molasses based rums and agricole rums.

And who is happier to show you these rhums than Jerry Gitany?

I like La Mauny…

And these…

Complex and aromatic, Reimonenq Rhum Vieux Réserve RQL from Guadeloupe, aged in bourbon and Cognac casks.

Toucan rhum agricole from French Guyana, here is their Boco (spiced)

And what is a rumfest without some Real mcCoy and Don Q rums and coconuts?

Or Plantation…

Or Angostura?

Presented by the ever so charismatic Daniyel Jones! (and look at that cool striped bois lèlè swizzle stick!)

Walking around here tasting rums and meeting people is like being in a candy-store for grown-ups…

But you need a resting place sometimes…

Before heading over to By the Dutch, to try their amazing Batavia arrack. It says “Indonesian rum” on the bottle, but I call it only Batavia Arrack – because there`s a significant local, cultural and historical difference between the two even though they are closely related (rum and arrack both uses molasses but the arrack also contains a little bit of fermented red rice added to the yeast) so “same same but different” as the saying goes. (in my opinion)

Talking Batavia arrack with Jos, which I later poured some in my glass of fresh sugarcane juice which also had some rum in it, because that`s typically what a rumnerd do at a rumfest… 🙂

And a special cask….which I hope they will offer for sale in the future. This one brought my mind to the flavorful high ester rums from Hampden.

And there`s more interesting rums in the works…something for us rumlovers to look forward to!

By Foursquare. Always reliable when it comes to the quality, nothing added to these rums, they are exactly what they say they are and they do taste good!

A popular place to be….

And so was this! Our Rums and Spirits booth with the rum that was my favorite, the “Guyana 2003 Diamond” at 63,7% which together with the “Our Blend Jamaica, Trinidad, Martinique” was awarded gold in the categories “Single Barrel” (Guyana 2003) and the “No Age Statement”. Further there was this 24 year old Demerara rum (Enmore) which I have at home 🙂 very tasty too.

I think Thanos, Alexander and Elias from Baba agreed…

And their Jamaican, which I also liked very much.

We are into some serious rum drinking now, continuing with the Kill Devil rums, my favorite? the red one in the middle. Cask strength (63.1%, Diamond) from Guyana.

After all these amazing strong rums it was good to change to a rum and chocolate pairing at the World`s End Rum booth….together with a refreshing and very cold cocktail. I spent quite some time here chatting with all the fine folks in and around this booth.

World`s End scored some awards too! in the middle, the Tiki Spiced (by Tom Neijens.)

Then I saw this guy…guarding the Meermaid Rums, he looked pretty content, full of rum and rather sleepy…it doesn`t take much imagination to”hear” him snore…

Meermaid rum, they also make a pretty cool overproof rum which I like to float over tiki drinks…

Rum, Rhum, Ron…that`s what we are here for.

Fine rums from Worthy Park, Jamaica and I really liked the Oloroso!

And of course, there was Rum Bar with their fine overproof which I had in daiquiris at the Athens rumfest 🙂

And another fine overproof, Rum Nation Jamaica which won the overproof category.

These three expressions from New Grove Rums from Mauritius are tropically aged and made from molasses with ageing in different woods.

Moscatel – Slightly woody with notes of honey and fruits. Aged in French oak for 7 years, then aged in barrels of Moscatel for one year. ABV 47,7%
Acacia – Slightly dry peppery and fruity rum with notes of acacia wood, it has been aged 7 years in French oak and 1 year in acacia. ABV 47,7%
Merisier – Notes of currants, wild cherry and dried apricots. Aged in French oak for 7 years, then aged in Birch barrels a year. ABV 47,7%

And Velho Barreiro Cachaca from Brazil.

Don Q, of course! representing Puerto Rico.

And from Sweden, the Gun Room Rum from Renbjer and Magnusson.

Kirk and Sweeney is a rum from the Dominican Republic which have taken their name from the name of a wooden schooner that was best known for smuggling rum from the Caribbean to the United States during Prohibition.

3 Island Rum is a brand of rum that was launched in the beginning of 2013 by Charles Hosie, the firm of spirits importers and founded in Hamburg 1918.

Aged rhum agricole by Trois Rivières.

The Hall of Fame where you could see all the award winning rums.

Ti Arrangèes de Cèd, rhum arrangè which is something I find cool to use instead of simple syrup in tiki drinks…a way to use it that is not the traditional way which is sipping it, which btw is good too and typical French island tradition.

Santa Teresa 1796, hailing from Venezuela.

This is what`s it´s all about! 🙂

More rum after the rum judging…and the BRLQ Brewery tour – we went to a masterclass/tasting of La Mauny and Trois Rivières rhum at the Stairs Bar held by Daniel Baudin, cellar master of La Mauny & Trois-Rivières.

These are some very good agricole rums!

And now I think you`ve had enough of my “blurs” and pics and I finish with a picture of the Tempodrom which is located right beside the hotel Crowne Plaza. The Tempodrom is an event venue that was founded by Irene Moessinger, and opened in 1980 next to the Berlin Wall on the west side of Potsdamer Platz, housed in a large circus tent.

Thank you Berlin for having me! hope to be back the next year!

Credit for some of these pics goes to:

Joshua Singh
Daniyel Jones
Florian Cuntz
Christian Nagel

Athens Rum and Whiskey Festival 2017

This was the second rum festival in Athens (rum and whiskey together this year) but my first time to attend the event which was taking place in the impressive neo-classical Zappeion Hall, built in 1878 which also is conveniently located near the beautiful park, the National Gardens around the city center with two metro stations nearby.

The festival was small but sweet…with a good vibe – and drunken crowds, thankfully, I did not see. Nice and relaxed! I stumbled on some rums I’ve never tried before too and to my pleasant surprise the Alamea Exotic Infusions that are soon to be launched at the Berlin Bar Convent on october 10-11 by Daniele Dalla Pola were there as well. Read more about Alamea here in my review. They made some very nice cocktails with it and I really enjoyed having drinks with the Alamea.

There were cocktails made in most booths plus there was a little Baba au Rum pop-up booth there as well so one could choose to both sip rum and whiskey neat but also get to drink very nice cocktails which I appreciated!

Baba au Rum once again came among the 50 best bars – this time no.30! so again I say congrats to the Baba team! was it only a couple days ago I was there? someone fly me back please! but then again – they will have a pop up bar in Berlin in a few days….during the BCB (Bar Convent Berlin) and the German Rumfest and I`m luckily heading in that direction.

 

As for seminars I went to the  “Artisanal Cachacas, Authentic Sugarcane Expressions” by Jimmy Bertazzoli and “The Holy Grail of Martinique” sponsored by rhum St James held by Konstantinos Vasilakopoulos and then Sly Augustin’s (Trailer Happiness, London) seminar about Tiki where he did talk about the movement of tiki and where it’s going, specifically from a European view, something I’m also talking about in ny (upcoming) book. It was like hearing somebody else express my mind! The good guys from Trailer also did a guest bartending at Baba where they presented four tiki drinks, (the one with the jerk spice was amazing)

As for bars in the city, Athens have a very vibrant bar scene with worldclass bartenders and a hospitality next to none! they really are that good! but I already said that before…and not only do they make great cocktails in the bars but they also play very good music! You are guaranteed to have fun! also, the rooftop bars….the views are incredible.

A few great bars to mention are Baba au Rum, Speakeasy, Gin Joint, Clumsies, Kolokotroni 9, Bank Job, Rabbit Hole and the seasonal Mary Pickford by the water in Piraeus (awesome rooftop bar with a great view of the water and all the boats, plus great food, drinks and music), and then the rooftop bar at the hotel “A for Athens” with an unrivaled view and occasion to see the sunset over the city with a stunningly beautiful lit up Panthenon/Acropolis by night….a sight to see I promise!

This is a good start for the Athens rumfest which I believe has potential to grow nicely to something really great and I hope to see it happen again next year.

Enjoy the rest by pictures! I think they say more than my words!

The Rum and Whisky fest:

Entering the rum and whisky fest under the high pillars of the Zappeon building is quite impressive…

And then you`re met by a familiar sight…booths with booze….and bartenders serving cocktails. The Bayou rum

I first discovered in New Orleans during the Tales.

And like they say in Nola, let the good times roll…that`s what`s rum is all about! I know this was a rum and whisky festival but the rum girl I am, I`m focusing on the rum…

FINE Drinking Magazine, one of the best bar magazines today, get yours here.

Thanos Prunarus and FINE.

This was delicious! the Cuban Swizzle with Santiago de Cuba Greece rum and Alamea Pimento Liqueur which is with the other Alamea products launched now at the BCB in Berlin and to soon be sold online and shipped worldwide so all the tiki folks and everyone else will be able to get them.

And the Santiago Mulata, with Alamea Hawaiian Coffee Liqueur and the Santiago de Cuba Greece rum. As tasty as the Cuban Swizzle.

The Almaea Spiced, one of the very few spiced rums I found to be really good, that is – not too sweet – and with natural flavor and ingredients. And how about that tiki label? 🙂

Moving on to some Hampden rums…a favorite brand from Jamaica. RumFire needs no presentation and neither does the Hampden Gold. World famous high ester Jamaican rums at it´s best!

Similar to the RumFire with that typical vegetal grassy and “kerosene”- like flavor notes (but much less up in your face as the JWray), the Rum Bar overproof is a blend of three pot still unaged rums. The Worthy Park Estate have produced sugar and molasses since 1720. And then a new expression I haven`t seen before with the blue label, called Full Flavored White Rum. Good rums!

Cheers to overproof Jamaican rum!

And a daiquiri with it was in order.

Another rum brand I like, Compagnie de Indes, I wrote about a few of their expressions here.

A Mediterranian style Rum Old Fashioned with Rum Nation`s agricole rum from la Rèunion. Beautifully presented and very tasty.

Naga rum from Indonesia, which I think we will see some more of when a certain tiki bartender starts mixing with it 🙂 it had a bit of an interesting funk to it`s flavor which I think would be good in especially tiki drinks.

Another rum I had never tried before, Ron SumMum from the Dominican Republic.They come in four expressions – from left to right – the Reserva Especial, the Sauternes Cask Finish, the Cognac Cask Finish and the Malt Whiskey Finish.

And Japanese Whisky, Akashi. The version of Akashi produced for the European market using a mixture of Japanese and foreign-made malt and grain whisky.The Japanese version has malt whisky and molasses spirit, which would not be classed as ‘whisky’ in the EU.

Yaguara Cachaca, which is an artisanal Cachaca that comes in these three expressions. From left to right – the Organic and the most flavorful one, the Oro which is aged in three different woods and the Branca. The sweet part in this cachaca is not coming from any added sugar but from the oak. Brazil have at least 4000 brands of cachaca but only 2% is exported and unfortunately most of the exported cachacas are industrial so the best ones with the most flavors stays in Brazil. So most people gets to know just those and mostly in Caipirinhas which I think is a shame. (Nothing wrong with Caipirinhas, they are tasty but there is more)

I hope that will change! so we can see more artisanal cachacas outside of Brazil! it´s an interesting spirit and very much alike the rhum agricole but yet so different.

Havana Club.

The menu from Trailer Happiness at their pop up at Baba au Rum. I especially liked the flavor and spicy kick of the jerk spiced Voodoo Island, both frutiy, spicy and smoky.

The view from the stairs of Zappeon.

Athens:

The Acropolis is like a guardian of the city…The Parthenon and the other buildings were seriously damaged during the 1687 siege by the Venetians in the Morean War when gunpowder being stored in the Parthenon was hit by a cannonball and exploded…

The heaters at the rooftop cocktail bar at the “A for Athens” hotel looks like flying saucers that just landed….and the sun started to set…

A to go with the sunset…a matching colored drink called the “Polyphemus the Cyclops”.This drink was actually a sort of Zombie with a blend of Plantation OFTD, Chairman`s Reserve and Bacardi rums, spicy. The drink on the right side is called “Wear Sunscreen” and is a blend of Plantation Pineapple rum, Bacardi Gold, Don`s Mix, Coconut edible sunscreen (whatever that means…)

And the sun exploded in fiery colors…

Part of the menu at “A for Athens”

The Parthenon temple on the Acropolis, built in 447 BC when the Athenian Empire was at the peak of its power, seen from the rooftop bar at the “A for Athens” hotel cocktail bar. When you see it like that at night, it`s really magic, it adds a certain feel of the past to the present.

And of course it´s stunningly beautiful, pictures does not do it justice.

The Parthenon/Acropolis lit up to spread magic and beauty.

And the view in daylight from the rooftop restaurant at the Astor hotel. This is what you can call a breakfast with a view….

Zoomed in view of Mount Lycabettus/Λυκαβηττός, pronounced [likaviˈtos], a Cretaceous (the period between 145.5 and 65.5 million years ago) limestone hill in Athens, at 300 meters (908 feet) above sea level. Pine trees cover its base, and at its two peaks are the 19th century Chapel of St. George, a theatre, and a restaurant.

Rooftops of Athens.

Piraeus, seen from the rooftop bar Mary Pickford which we were lucky to get to on their last day before closing since it´s a seasonal summer bar that was created by the team of Baba au Rum along with Varoulko Seaside. Great view, great cocktails, great bartenders, fantastic seafood and great music sums up this place.

Seafood….at Mary Pickford. I don`t know what I was eating, I just know it was really amazing.

Incredibly tasty, a coffee Mai Tai at the Speakeasy.

Baba au Rum Cocktails.

And their Zombie…

And Baba Rum Sour with Barbancourt rum and a decent float of Cadenhead Cask Strength rum from the Bellevue distillery.

The beautiful National Gardens, located right behind the Zappeon Hall.

Impressive plants in the park. In the 1920s the park was renamed “National Garden”and became opened to the public and in honour of Queen Amalia of Greece, the entrance was moved to the 12 palms she planted and the street in front was renamed Queen Amalia Avenue. Since then the National Garden, is open to the public from sunrise to sunset.

Baba au Rums iconic carousel…just love this one!

And my favorite bar in Athens, Baba au Rum.

Pretty much sums it up! Cafe”Just Made 33″ a great place for breakfast.

Hello Athens and thank you! I will be back!

Foursquare Triptych Single Blended Rum

I`m not sure if I have seen so much anticipation regarding a rum in a while and with that of course you build up high expectations. Knowing the rum is from Foursquare in collaboration with Velier you expect it to be a quality product and with that I mean quality in the real sense (free from additives, tasty and well made).

It`s also something with this type of bottle that Velier (and now Foursquare) is using, this black and oh so very RUM-like bottle that I think many of us Velier fans have got to really love and associate with simply very good rum. It`s like it has some sort of magic that just simply wants you to own it, maybe it`s  because you know the rum in them traditionally very often is exceptional.

So of course I had high expectations too of this rum with the intriguing name Triptych and couldn´t wait to try it. And when I did BOOM! … all I can say is – this is a very good rum….exactly what my palette loves and wants when it comes to rum.

It has an edge to it, it´s very flavorful, multilayered, complex and strong (just the way I like it) it comes at 56% ABV. The rum is very well made, and it´s well…rum…pure rum. Both Velier (who is a private bottler) and Foursquare (distillery) has established a solid reputation of producing consistently good products that are not doctored, sugared or full of additives. They don`t need to, because they come up with well made products in the first place and see to quality before quantity.

So what does the word triptych mean you might ask? I`m not an english speaker by birth so i had no idea when the rum first was talked about so some googling was in order and the word means this –

Triptych – pronounced -ˈtrɪptɪk

A picture or relief carving on three panels, typically hinged together vertically and used as an altarpiece.

A set of three associated artistic, literary, or musical works intended to be appreciated together.

To find out a little bit more about what inspired this rum, it`s name and how it was made I asked Richard Seale and it`s a blend of three rums from three different styles of cask that inspired the name Triptych.

“The 2004 is aged in ex-bourbon and is the classic Foursquare rum.

The 2005 is aged in ex-madeira. I like to use ex-madeiras. Madeira has a historic link with Barbados. It was an important stop in the Atlantic en route from England and being Portuguese was a friendly port for the English. In the 17th and 18th centuries, a lot of madeira was brought and consumed in the Island. The barrels were almost certainly used for rum.

The 2007 is primarily pot stilled rum aged in virgin American oak.

The three rums brought a nice balance together. The 2004 is essential to give the modern recognisable Foursquare style, while the 2005 is to bring a more historic profile to the rum. The use of ex-bourbons probably only dates to the 1940s. The 2007, pot still in virgin oak is also a more historic style and obviously brings the heaviest rum flavours to the blend.

The rum has been well received. Serge Valentin gave it 5 stars (90 points) and International Spirit Challenge (ISC), London gave it the Rum Trophy.

Try the nose in a wide rimmed glass for best effect.”

The bottle and the label

And then the bottle and the label, in true Velier style, are really clever and beautiful in their simplistic style that`s being used by Velier for so long and this particular Triptych bottle, along with the equally anticipated Foursquare 2006 happens to look very much like the two “holy grails” of rum, the Skeldon 73 and 78.

Same style and colors, and this style of bottle and the type of labels has with time achieved a cult status among rum enthusiasts and has become a sign of high class and standard which no fancy so called “premium” rum bottles will ever even get close to.

But despite the cool bottles…here it is NOT the bottle or label that sells the rum…it`s the content in the bottle – and the fact that consumers who are aware knows that the rum in these bottles are good stuff that are not doctored in any way.

The Triptych is a limited edition full proof rum (for rum connoisseurs mostly) and I´d say if you really are into rum and can get it, then go get it. And if you say “I don`t like rum” you have just not yet tasted the real one and should try to get to taste rums like this. Keep an eye open for more fine rums from the Foursquare Distillery (and/with Velier) because when these limited edition rums come out they go as fast as they came.

Unfortunately also partly because some buys up several bottles and put them out on EBay to skyrocketing prices, shame on them! that`s what happened to the Foursquare 2006 which many true and serious rum enthusiasts never got a chance to get their hands on or even try . But the price range of Foursquare rums in general is very consumer friendly, it doesn´t cost and arm and a leg to buy a bottle and you still get a well made pure rum.

I really like that Foursquare are now starting to produce some high proof rums with big flavors and what I have tasted so far is really really promising.

So here are my taste notes of the Triptych:

In the nose: Intense, with mashed well matured tropical fruits, apricots and peaches, dark plums and cherries. Light wood and pencil shavings, hints (slight) of vanilla and cocoa. It`s a very inviting nose for sure.

The mouth: I find the taste to be fruity, round and full with light woody tones, cherry, apricot, a brief gentle caress of vanilla that is passing by…followed by orange peel, tropical fruits and oak and spice and all in a very balanced orchestra of intense flavors.

Aftertaste and finish: Medium long finish that does not overpower but let`s itself be known for a while.

Color: A beautiful deep and clear amber. Not as dark as you`d think by looking at the bottle.

Final thoughts: No adjusting time for this rum needed on my part, it was instant love! It`s robust and complex with a lot going on, more than I can find words for. It`s a well made product, they know what they are doing. And it`s definitely a so called “sipping rum” but that`does not mean that you cannot make good drinks with it…because good rum makes good drinks – but since it`s very precious and I most likely won`t find another bottle, I`d make very few drinks and here is one – it`s a Trader Vic`s Mai Tai (using Triptych as the only rum and the new Alamea Exotic Infusions Peach Brandy instead of orange curacao)  and the rest I will save for sipping.

Looking forward to enjoy more rums of this caliber from Foursquare!

Alamea Exotic Infusions!

Tiki World Rejoice!! This is super exciting! four stunning products will soon be released (in october) that I know especially the tiki world will LOVE! It`s the Tiki maestro Daniele Dalla Pola behind them, you know that guy who loves pineapples so much? and builds up a real show during his entertaining presentations? and not to mention amazing tiki drinks and tiki drink photography, plus he owns the Nu Lounge Bar in Bologna, Italy.

The vintage style tiki labels on these products are something you really want in your tiki bar or home bar or any bar for that matter. They are stunning work of exotic tropical art! And the products? I have tasted them all and they are just as good as i thought, or even better. Personally I do not ever want to not have them in my home tiki happy place/bar. These will be available for shipping worldwide and I will update in this post when the website is ready.

The name Alamea on the label is named after a starfish species (crown-of-thorns starfish). An old Samoan saying is that among Samoan traditional fishermen it has been said that if you happen to get stung by the spines of the alamea, you should turn the starfish over and have its spongy-like feet touch the area where you have been stung and the alamea will heal its own doing.

Here are my taste notes and impressions of the Alamea Hawaiian Coffee Liqueur, Peach Brandy Liqueur, Pimento Rum Liqueur and Spiced Rum.

Alamea Hawaiian Coffee Liqueur

Deep Coffee flavor from Hawaiian coffee…sumptuous and satisfying.

Alamea Pimento Rum Liqueur

I tasted it side by side with the Hamilton Pimento Dram and I find the Hamilton to have more punch and body but this one to be more refined and frankly I like them both equally much. I think they can be preferred in different drinks depending on how heavy the drink is. Sometimes a heavier or lighter pimento dram may be called for.

Alamea Peach Brandy Liqueur

This one is so good I could lick the bottle, it´s just so incredibly TASTY! made from fresh peaches of italy.

Alamea Spiced

One of the best spiced I`ve had. I`m usually not a fan of spiced rums so very much but it depends, and this one I find to be good and not too sweet (super important when it comes to spiced rums) and with natural flavors.

You will see more of these products on this website in the future because I know I will use them a whole lot. So now…on to the drinks! these are fun to mix with and a great addition to the tiki and other exotic (and other) cocktails.

O`opa`s Trap

1 oz/30 ml Laphroaig 10 whisky

1.5 oz/45 ml Plantation OFTD overproof rum

0.5 oz/15 ml Alamea Hawaiian Coffee Liqueur

0.25 oz Alamea Pimento Liqueur

0.25 oz/7.5 ml Alamea Spice

0.5 oz/15 ml banana cream mix*

1.5 oz/45 ml fresh lime juice

1.5 oz/45 ml fresh pineapple juice

Blend in blender with 1 cup/2.5 dl crushed ice and pour into a zombie (chimney) glass and add more crushed ice if needed. Garnish with cocktail umbrella and speared Fabbri Amarena cherries.

Banana Cream Mix – 1 part butter + 1 part honey + 1 part banana syrup

Make a simple syrup with 2:1 ratio of demerara sugar and water (about 1 cup/2.5dl of sugar) and slice 1 banana in it and mash slightly with a fork and bring to boil, then simmer on medium-low heat for a couple minutes. Take off heat and leave to cool and settle for about 1 hour, then strain and bottle in a clean bottle.

Make the Banana Cream Mix and keep it slightly above room temp for use. This is sumptuous and delicious….perfect for tiki drinks with pineapple, banana and coffee.

2 Ports Cup

1 oz/30 ml GunRoom 2 Ports rum

1 oz/30 ml Plantation OFTD overproof rum

0,75 oz /22.5ml Alamea Peach Brandy Liqueur

0.5 oz/15 ml Campari to float in a half passionfruit shell on top of the ice.

0,75 oz /22.5ml fresh lime juice

0.5 oz/15 ml fresh pineapple juice

0.5 oz/15ml passionfruit juice

The passionfruit seeds from one passionfruit.

Add everything to shaker except the Campari and shake hard with ice, strain into a snifter. Add the passionfruit shell with the Campari float on top of the ice, to be floated before drinking. Garnish with pineapple leaf.

Punch Taiohaè

2 oz/60 ml fresh pineapple juice

0.75 oz/22.5 ml cream of coconut

0.25 oz/7.5 ml Alamea Hawaiian

Coffee Liqueur

1 oz/ 40 ml fresh lime juice

0.5 oz/15 ml Alamea Spice rum

1 oz/30 ml aged rhum agricole

0.5 oz/15 ml Demerara rum

0.5 oz/15 ml Appleton Rare Blend (Appleton 12)

Blend with 1 cup/2.5 dl crushed ice or shake very hard with ice cubes to get that cream of coconut to mix in perfectly and pour into a tiki mug filled with crushed ice.

Garnish with grated nutmeg, flower, tropical leaf and 3 speared cocktail cherries, Fabbri Amarena or Luxardo.

Aloha Nui Loa!

 

GunRoom 2 Ports Rum

Here`s an interesting rum with great taste from the Swedish company, Renbjer and Magnusson. GunRoom 2 Ports Rum is a blend of aged and unaged rums from Jamaica and Trinidad. Just like the GunRoom Navy Rum, the 2 Ports Rum is also their own creation/brand with a very similar label although it´s a different type of bottle. This rum belongs to the GunRoom Pouring Range. The pouring range is high quality products at reasonable prices so that in the bar you can afford to pour good spirits into the usual drinks.

This room is a mixture of two different origins. It consists of a aged rum from Trinidad with an age between 2-5 years and a minor portion of unaged Jamaican pot still rum. It`s a bright rum with character where the taste comes through in drinks. Perfect in Daiquiris or other rum cocktails. And a daiquiri – which is the rum test cocktail – is one of the two drinks I made.

But before that, here´s my impressions from sipping it neat.

Nose: The nose is fruity with mashed ripe tropical fruits, I get to think about mango, pineapple, peaches, apricots and banana surrounded by sugarcane sweetness..

Mouth: I like flavorful rums and this rum has character, with flavors of tropical fruits same as in the nose with a hint of….arrack? could be because the first GunRoom rum has it. It`s fruity in a sort of light way but not so light it loses it´s character, it has a well defined flavor. It`s a good rum for cocktails, especially daiquiris and of course it`s a pleasant little sipper too.

Aftertaste: In the aftertaste the banana flavors says “hi” most likely hailing from the Jamaican pot still part of the duo. It`s a light aftertaste that does linger shortly but nicely.

The color is clear due to the active carbon filtering taking away the color derived from the barrel during ageing. The abv is 40%, 80 proof.

Conclusion: I can`t find anything negative about this rum, it´s a great overall rum for cocktails and sipping neat. I don`t think anything is added to it. The only thing maybe could be that I would love to try it at a higher abv with a bit more bite…

I decided to mix the GunRoom 2 Ports with another rum to see how it went, so I picked Plantation OFTD for that since a little kick of overproof always is to my liking. Then a little sweet, some sour, some weak and a little spice and bitter in the form of a float of Campari which I think turned out really well because the Campari played nicely around with the flavors in the drink.

2 Ports Cup

1 oz/30 ml GunRoom 2 Ports rum

1 oz/30 ml Plantation OFTD overproof rum

0,75 oz /22.5ml Alamea Peach Brandy Liqueur (soon to be available worlwide by Daniele Dalla Pola, review of his exotic infusions coming soon.)

0.5 oz/15 ml Campari to float in a half passionfruit shell on top of the ice.

0,75 oz /22.5ml fresh lime juice

0.5 oz/15 ml fresh pineapple juice

0.5 oz/15ml passionfruit juice

The passionfruit seeds from one passionfruit.

Add everything to shaker except the Campari and shake hard with ice, strain into a snifter. Add the passionfruit shell with the Campari float on top of the ice, to be floated before drinking. Garnish with pineapple leaf.

And of course I wanted to test this rum in a classic daiquiri (Jeff BeachBum Berry formula) and it passed the test and did well.

GunRoom 2 Ports Daiquiri 

2 level teaspoons sugar blend –
(4 parts organic white cane sugar to 1 part turbinado or demerara sugar)
1 oz/30 ml fresh lime juice
2 oz/60 ml GunRoom 2 Ports rum
Garnish: lime wheel

Combine the sugar blend and lime juice in a mixing tin and stir until the sugar has fully dissolved into the lime juice.
Add the rum to the sugar and lime mixture, along with large cubes of ice, cracked with a bar spoon.
Quickly shake and strain the drink into a chilled cocktail coupe.

Garnish with a lime wheel.