Best of A Mountain of Crushed Ice is coming…

Aloha! some of you dear readers might have noticed how slow this blog has become since many months…it moves at the speed of a drunken snail or turtle…but there´s a reason for that – there´s a book in the Works! “Best of A Mountain of Crushed Ice” is a book about tiki drinks with the best from this website in updated versions along with new recipes and some “mixed potions” by friendly tiki bartenders and enthusiasts from around the world.

The book is for everyone who loves tropical exotic tiki drinks and the little “tutorials” aims at those who are new to tiki drinks, both consumers and bartenders but the book as a whole is for all tiki drink lovers . So that`s what`s up…and when will the book be ready? I`m not sure of an exact date…but the plan is for this summer.

Trying to write posts for this website at the same time as writing the book plus also working with other things plus taking care of my domestic life turns out a little bit too much for this laid back flip-flop kind of lady so please bear with me when this website is taking a little temporary “half”-break. That said, I might pop in a blog post every now and then…and when the book is ready it will be announced right here.

So why writing a book? well, the blog is celebrating it`s 10th Anniversary this year! that`s ten years of collected recipes, rambles, experiments and knowledge, some better, some worse, some outright crazy…as is the nature of many cocktail blogs. But over time it can be difficult to find some of the best posts even though there`s an archive, but how often do people really bother digging in the yearly archives? blog posts and the drinks in them have a tendency to over time become forgotten. So I think putting the best from it in a book is not a bad idea, plus when I no longer is here this blog will not be either but then the book will be! So now you know why it`s moving so slow here for the moment.

In the meantime, here´s a little teaser picture collage…

UK Rumfest 2016 Celebrates 10 year Anniversary!

UK Rumfest carnival hour 2015

Launched by Global Rum Ambassador Ian Burrell, RumFest has become the main event of the rum calendar and the event’s 10th outing is set to be its strongest yet as it invites the nation to delve into the world of rum with over 400 rums from around the world and a myriad of exhibitors.

Seminars and workshops take place across the two days where brands, ambassadors and leading industry figures give an in-depth insight into the world of rum including rum and food pairings and the making of rums. Top blenders, mixologists and distillers will be on hand to teach ticket-holders the art of cocktail making as well as more ways to enjoy their favourite tipple. Highlights include a rare rum seminar with Ian Burrell himself, an Aroma Academy, a sit down with award-winning master distiller Richard Seale, chocolate and rum pairing plus an exciting look into the world of rum with author Dave Broom. Head to the RumFest website to book seminars in advance from September.

This year RumFest are going big on Sunday. Reggae Reggae Sauce’s Levi Roots will be taking over the main stage and sharing some of his incredible cooking secrets and bringing his newly open Caribbean Smokehouse restaurant to RumFest. Sunday’s RumFest will also team up with Sandals Resorts to offer the chance for two lucky ticket-holders to win an incredible seven day holiday to a Sandals Resort in the Caribbean to get even closer to rum’s roots. Rum & Roast will be introduced for Sunday ticket-holders, cooking up a Caribbean twist on the Sunday classic and VIPs will be treated to a roast option for their three course meal.

The Rum Auction sponsored by Christie’s returns to auction off yet more precious and rare rums for charity to the highest bidder while the action heats up with live stage demos showcasing rum pairings, cigar & rum pairing, cooking demos, cocktail competitions. On Saturday’s RumFest “the Indiana Jones of Tiki drinks” Beach Bum Berry will delve into the art of Tiki cocktail making. Rounding off each day, rum-lovers will be invited to party with RumFest for its famous carnival hour, celebrating the spirit of rum with live bands and dancers.

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

Speaking about the 10th year, Ian Burrell says, “When we launched 10 years ago we could never have imagined how successful RumFest would become. For us rum has always been a way of life and we’re thrilled to still be spreading the word and celebrating the spirit a decade on. We’ve got something for everyone this year with even more rums, tastings and talks as we hope to make RumFest 2016 one to remember for rum-lovers up and down the country.”

RumFest takes place in London at the ILEC, 22nd to 23rd October 2016. Standard day tickets are now on sale from £39.50, which includes access to all areas of the the event and tastings from all exhibitors. VIP tickets are on sale from £69.50 and allow for early access of one hour ahead of standard ticket buyers along with a three course Caribbean lunch.

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 on RumFest and to buy tickets head to rumfest.co.uk.

TICKETS AVAILABLE FOR UK’S LARGEST CELEBRATION OF RUM CULTURE

Tickets are now on sale from £39.50, including a VIP package priced from £69.50 which includes fast track entry, goodie bag and a three course Caribbean lunch.

The Rum Experience is a concept created by Global Rum Ambassador and the Founder of The 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
12pm – 6pm
22nd-23rd October 2016

ILEC Conference Centre
Ibis London Earls Court
47 Lillie Road
London SW6 1UD
rumfest.co.uk

Here you can read my earlier posts about my visits to the UK Rumfest from 2011-2015

Spiced Rums for the Winter!

St aubin spiced

Today there´s more spiced rums on the market than ever before and it can be tricky to pick out the good ones because spiced rums can be so much….

I think we tend to drink more spiced rums in the winter season, many in warm rum drinks to beat the cold and depending on what you gonna do you may need different types of spiced rums. In this guest post there´s a few spiced rums listed that can be worth trying but of course, taste is personal so this is just a guideline.

St Aubin Spiced

This is a spiced Rhum Agricole, made from sugarcane juice instead of molasses. It´s made by the St Aubin Distillery on Mauritius. In it you find orange peel, hints of gingerbread cake and cinnamon. St Aubin plantation located on southern Mauritius has been cultivating sugarcane since 1890 and takes it´s name from one of it`s first owner Pierre de St Aubin.

On the estate there`s both artisanal and a traditional rums made. The water used in the rum making comes from their own spring water from Bois Chéri. It`s all local produce

Tonka Bean Infused Rum by Old Amazon

This 100% pot still rum is infused with Tonka Bean. Tonka Bean is a vanilla substitute that has been banned in many countries including the U.S. due to it´s content of coumarin which in high concentrations can be lethal. But it takes enourmously large doses – about 30 entire tonka beans to eat to fall ill. About the same volume at which nutmeg are toxic.The Old Amazon No1 Tonka bean infused rum can be safely used and guarantees a pleasant surprise.

Chairman’s Reserve Spiced

From St Lucia Distiller´s, this spiced rum is known as one of the very best of spiced rums available today. It has flavor notes of Orange peel, cardamom, cinnamon, caramel and vanilla. Chairman`s Reserve Spiced is one of the classic spiced rums and is best enjoyed with coconut water or ginger beer.

Kraken Black Spiced Rum

Launched in the UK in early 2010, this rum has an rich, spicy flavour. Named for the legendary sea monster, Kraken is a blend of Caribbean rums distilled from molasses made from locally-grown sugar cane. The rum is aged 1–2 years and then blended with a mix of 11 spices, including cinnamon, ginger and clove. It comes in a quite cool package!

Bristol Black Spice Rum

Bristol Black Spice Rum is a combination of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, apple, rich plump raisins and orange zest. This combination creates a bottle that is filled with spicy goodness and rich fruit flavours.

Dark Matter Spiced Rum

Made by the Ewen Brothers, this is a perfect mixture of fiery young rum and fresh spices. It is a good choice if you are looking for rum without any vanilla essence. The rum is also one of the best for making Bloody Mary (which is a mixture of rum and tomato juice). It even got lots of attention at the UK Rumfest.

Pusser’s Spiced

This is one of the newest on this list as it was launched in 2014. It provides rum drinkers with a unique experience. It is spiced with Ginger and Cinnamon making it a welcome departure from all the vanilla flavoured rums in the market today. Most of those vanilla flavoured rums are just replicas of the UK’s Sailor Jerry! Pusser’s Spiced has a rich and warming profile, irrespective of the 35% ABV.

Find your favorite

These are a few good spiced rums you can count on to provide you with an exceptional experience. They will probably live a short lifespan in any spiced rum drinker’s cabinet. However, like rest the entries in this article, it is not for ladies that play on Jackpot Jane but more for spiced rum lovers. They are good enough to hopefully convert anyone to a lover of the Caribbean culture of spiced rum drinking!

Traditionally, Caribbean islanders would make spiced rums at home with whatever was locally available, and used spices like allspice, nutmeg, vanilla, cinnamon and most were locally consumed and only a very few made their way into the US.

Today we have more spiced rums available than before and there´s something for everyone!

Caroni 1999 Single Barrel Rum

Caroni 1999 bottle

Here´s another Caroni, also a single barrel rum, this one is 14 year old. It`s not as heavy as the last one but does have some punch with it´s 61% ABV. I find it fruity and pleasant.

Caroni Sugar Factory

There were originally more than 50 different rums brands produced in Trinidad – by 1950 that number had reduced to 8 and today there is only one left – Angostura. Caroni was established in 1918 on the site of the old Caroni Sugar factory and operated until 2002.

The Caroni sugar factory started to operate a cast iron still in 1918 and at that time there were some eight or ten other sugar factories operating, each producing different types of rums and these rums were bought up by merchants and sold to rum shops all over the island. There were all kinds of “blends” and concoctions being made by both the merchants and the rum shop owners and sold over the counter as “petit quarts”

Eventually Caroni increased the quality of the distilling process and went from the original cast iron still to use a wooden coffey still – until 1945 when they got a copper still which was followed by a single column in 1957 and then a four column Gerb Herman still in 1980.

For nearly 100 years Caroni has had large sugar estates on the island and was the major producer of molasses. Sadly now since it`s closed no more of their magnificient rums are produced and when it´s gone it´s gone.

And that is sad because the Caroni rums are unique. That said i must confess i haven`t yet tried many but the ones i`ve tried have all been outstanding and original in the same way as the demerara rums are.

And i must say the flavor of the so called “heavy” Caronis DOES remind me quite a bit of a demerara rum, it has the same full bodied character but without that demerara flavor that only demerara rums have but it has the same type of character despite of being a totally different rum.

Caroni 1999 Single Barrel

I wouldn`t call this one “heavy” though despite the strength because it has a very fruity character but neither would i call it “light”

Nose – The color is amber, like that of mashed mature banana and on the nose it´s fruity with hints of banana, apricot, papaya, orange peel and sugarcane.

Mouth – In the mouth undiluted i get wood, burnt molasses, tropical fruits (same as the nose) it´s smooth to sip despite it´s strength and it has a very warm feeling. It´s not heavy, it´s fruity and complex with an array of tropical fruit notes.

A lively and happy rum!

Adding a few drops of water to the glass brings out more fruitness and makes it taste sweeter while still having a punch. It´s easy to sip this rum!

I decided to make a daiquiri…and i was actually surprised…

This rum makes such a flavorful daiquiri that it´s ridiculous! i expected a good one but not THAT good, oh my…

I made it a little bit different and maybe it was the mix of lime juices also that helped this drink become something out of the ordinary daiquiri-wise…?

But it wouldn`t been that good without this premium rum that`s for sure! i could go and buy a bottle just to make daiquiris with it…

Sugarcane Daiquiri

Sugarcane daiquiri

1.5 oz Caroni – 99 Single Barrel Rum

0.5 oz Petit Canne sugarcane syrup

0.25 oz fresh lime juice

0.25 oz fresh lemon juice

0.25 oz key lime juice

Glass – Libbey SPKSY

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass, rimmed with demerara sugar.

I can recommend anyone who likes strong rum with good flavor to buy this Caroni – 99 single barrel rum.

Outside of Sweden it can be purchased online on the Master of Malt website.

BOLS GENEVER TDN

bols-genever

Picture by John Hearn – The Bastard´s Booze Blog.

Genever manages to taste like gin and whisky at the same time..Initially gin was very similar to genever, but over time it developed a distinctive style, eliminating malt wine. But the original juniper flavored spirit was genever – originating from Holland.

As always this TDN was fun and educational. Little did i know about the history and making of Bols Genever but that was soon changed when Tal Nadari started to educate us on the history of the making of genever and gin.

There are several recipes for genever but this specific recipe do not use any sugar. There`s Jonge jenever “Jonge” (young) jenever which has been in existence since the 1950`s – and there´s Oude (old) jenever, often spelt as genever, is jenever prepared according to an old recipe.] So “oude” refers to an old “style”, rather than the spirit having been aged.

The malt wine content in actual Jonge Jenevers out there in average is around 5% while oude jenever this is around 20%.The reason why the distillers made a less malt wine genever is that they had just survived two world wars and the supply of grains was low.

Genever (or “jenever”, as it is often spelled in Holland and Belgium, or “genièvre” as is common in France) may only be labeled as such and sold as such in the EU if it is made in Holland, Belgium, the departments 59 (Nord) and 62 (Pas-de-Calais) of France and the provinces Nordrhein-Westfalen and Niedersachsen of Germany according to the European Union in EU declaration 110/2008.

Here´s how Bol´s Genever is made:

It starts with the malt-wine which is based on rye, wheat and corn.The whole grains are milled and treated with malt.The malt has to transfer the starch into fermentable sugars. After addition of the yeast it takes 5 days ( 5 x 24 hours) to finalize the fermentation.These 5 days are very important for the creation of all the critical taste components in the Bols maltwine. In a 3 step distillation( in copper stills) the alcohol percentage reaches 47% abv.

The maltwine needs a maturation period( the marriage time)of several weeks to balance the taste component.Only after this marriage time the maltwine is ready for blending in the final product.

The neutral grain spirit used in Bols Genever is base on wheat. After a 3 days fermentation and a distillation process in 6 copper columns ,the taste of this alcohol at 96% abv is very neutral.

Then the Juniperberry distillate is added. Bols Genever has a slightly juniperberry smell and taste.The juniperberries are soaked in maltwine and after some time distilled in copper pott-stills.

And  the mix of botanicals – as part of the taste profile there´s a mix of botanicals soaked in grain neutral spirit and after some time this mixture is distilled in copper pot- stills.

The final blend is adjusted to 42% abv by adding very neutral tasting de-mineralized water. A marriage time of several weeks is needed after blending to create the smooth, complex and well balanced taste of the 1820 recipe of Bols Genever.

And here are two drinks i fell in love with that night..

Craig Herman from Colonel Tiki created this concoction which i found extremely tasty and it also won the TDN:

G.V.D COCKTAIL

gvd-cocktail

2 oz Bols Genever
0.5 oz pineapple juice
0.5 oz fresh lemon juioce
0.5 vanilla syrup
3 slices serrano or jalapeno peppers
Pineapple chunks
Angostura bitters – dash

Muddle pineapple & pepper with juices and add the rest of ingredients and shake, strain and serve up.

Garnish lemon twist ( well..i added a jalapeno and a pineapple wedge instead – bec i was too lazy to make a lemon twist….yes for real…it was TDN..)

Then Rick from KaiserPenguin came up with this one – equally tasty…and no joke..the JWray has power.

I like the name – Malt Gasolene = Genever + JWray

MALT GASOLENE

malt-gasolene

2 oz Bols Genever
1 oz Citadelle Reserve
0.5 oz simple syrup
Dash orange bitters
Swizzle and float JWray overproof

There were much more tasty concoctions made, you can sample them at http://twitter.com/mixoloseum

Every week cocktail bloggers, bartenders, enthusiasts, experts, and novices get together for a virtual cocktail party mixing drinks in real time, tweaking, rearranging etc until the night is gone and well into the morning. Join us every thursday at the TDN!