Cocktails with Rhums Arrangèes – Zwazo

Cocktails with Rhum Arrangé 2

More rhum arrangè cocktails!

So now i have got to try out two very nice rhum arrangèes made by Cèdric Brement and Benoit Bail, and since i wrote my reviews of Benoit´s exotic Zwazo ananas-vanille rhum arrangè and Cèd`s award winning Banane-Cacao, i feel i want to make more drinks with them and see what`s good – starting with the tropical Zwazo.

Even though the traditional way is mostly to drink these rhums neat since they contain so much flavor of their own, they are also used to make tropical punch style cocktails.

I don`t think they have been used very much in tiki style drinks….or have they? in any case it doesn`t hurt if i try right? i`m curious to see how they mix with other rums.

Don the Beachcomber was a master of creating balance with many exotic ingredients – and he was especially skillful when it came to the art of blending rums and so was the original Mai-Kai mixologist Mariano Licudine. One person today that i come to think about getting close in that direction is Martin Cate. (Smuggler´s Cove)

Starting with Zwazo ananas-vanille i needed to find drinks that had ingredients that would harmonize with the pineapple and agricole flavors of the rhum and then switch out the rums used in those drinks for the Zwazo and some other rums that i figured would go well with it.

Cocktails with Rhum Arrangé Book Potions

So i dived into the Bum`s new book the Potions…of the Caribbean for inspiration…and i sure found a lot.The book is filled with the one mouth watering drink after another (apart from all the interesting things there is to read in it) and the first drink that i decided to experiment with was the Siboney, which is a drink by Trader Vic circa 1950`s.

It`s basically a twist on the daiquiri with pineapple juice added and lemon instead of lime plus passionfruit syrup, mixed with Jamaican dark rum (but only 1 oz) I decided to simply just add 1 oz of Zwazo to give the drink more tropical depth.

And top it off with a generous float of something overproof…and my stomach feeling told me to grab my bottle of the Lost Spirits Polynesian Inspired rum.

The result was absolutely delicious! since the recipe called for dark Jamaican rum i took my Denizen Merchant`s Reserve which is a blend of plummer style pot still Jamaican rum and Rhum Grande Arome de la Martinique.

Now Rhum Grande Arome de la Martinique is not rhum agricole even if the name sounds like it – instead it´s molasses based rum.

The reason why it´s in the blend of the Denizen Merchant`s Reserve is that when they checked in with rum cocktail historians during the development process – they were told that Trader Vic likely blended this type of rum from Martinique with the 17 year Wray and Nephew in his original Mai Tai formula because it was cheapest rum available from Martinique at the time. 

Note, that it says “likely” so there´s no proof whether Vic used molasses based Martinique rum or rhum agricole in his blend with Jamaican rum in his Mai Tai`s when the 17 year Wray and Nephew rum was finished.

So here we got a rum that contains pot still Jamaican rum and a molasses based Martinique rhum, and then Zwazo – a rhum arrangè with pineapple and vanilla macerated in a rum base of 3 different rums from Martinique Trinidad and Guyana. 

And don`t forget the overproof Polynesian Inspired float…

It`s a lot of rums going on here…but to my joy the drink tasted fantastic, cool and refreshing yet with a strong rum bite. Deep flavor of mature tropical fruits, and then something “earthy”, maybe from the float of the Polynesian Inspired rum…I like the different layers in a tropical cocktail.

 Siboney – Swazo Style

Cocktails with Rhum Arrangé Siboney 5

1 oz dark Jamaican Rum
1 oz Zwazo
0.5 oz fresh lemon juice
0.5 oz unsweetened pineapple juice
0.5 oz passionfruit syrup
Float of Jamaican style overproof dark rum

Shake well with ice cubes and strain into a chilled cocktail glass rimmed with sugar. (if you like)

Now unfortunately, for the time being, Zwazo is only sold in Europe, locally in Luxembourg and then in Paris at Christian de Montaguère and it´s a small batch seasonal product – so if you cannot find it, my best advice would be to either try to find a pineapple-vanilla rhum arrangè from one of the French islands, such as Martinique (or a pineapple rhum arrangè paired with vanilla syrup) or make your own. (google how to make rhum arrangè, and there´s a great french site with a forum containing tons of recipes here)

Likewise when it comes to the Lost Spirits rums, they are only sold in the US but not Europe or elsewhere…so i would sub them with Smith and Cross mixed with Lemon Hart 151, to get that strong punchy flavor – even though the flavor will not be the same, but since Smith and Cross mixed with LH 151 is a great combo i believe it will still taste fantastic!

Next cocktail to play with was the Island of Martinique Cocktail, which is a Don Beach drink circa 1948. This drink is actually a tikified ti-punch…

It was described in Beachcomber´s 1948 menu as a drink with “Lusty Martinique rums aged in casks for 120 moons. Subtly combined with falernum, wild honey, Angostura bitters and Maui mountain limes”

How does that sound?? mouthwatering to me…

The original recipe which is found in the book Potions of the Caribbean was handed to the Bum by ex-Beachcomber bartender Tony Ramos.

Island of Martinique Cocktail – with a Pineapple Twist

Cocktails with Rhum Arrangé Island of Martinique Cocktail

1 oz rhum agricole vieux
1 oz Zwazo
0.5 oz fresh lime juice
0.5 oz falernum
0.25 oz honey-mix (equal parts honey and water, gently heat it up so the honey dissolves in the water, then cool to room temp)
Dash Angostura bitters
A handful (3 oz) crushed ice
Float Lost Spirits Navy Style Rum on top (or Lemon Hart 151)

Blend at high speed in a blender for 5 seconds, then strain into
a hollowed out pineapple and float the Navy style rum on top.

The drink tasted fruity and spicy, the flavor of fully matured tropical fruit from Zwazo came through and this drink was not as fruity and earthy as the first one but more mellow and spicy, with a kick from the float.

Now let`s dive deeper into this amazing book…

On page 164 i found the Voodoo Grog, a concoction created by Trader Vic, circa mid 1950`s. A drink containing equal parts lime, grapefruit and pimento.

First time i made it i was a bit overwhelmed by the pimento/allspice flavor so i took the Pimento dram down from 0.75 oz to 0.5 and it was better for my palate, but if you like a strong allspice flavor the 0.75 will be good.

Also it matters what brand of pimento dram/allspice dram you are using, the best i think are either homemade or St Elisabeth`s or Bitter Truth. For the moment i have St Elisabeth.

Voodoo Grog

Cocktails with Rhum Arrangé Voodoo Grog filt

1 oz Denizen Merchant`s Reserve Rum
1 oz Swazo
0.75 oz fresh lime juice
0.75 oz grapefruit juice (white)
0.75 oz honey
0.5 oz passion fruit syrup
1 egg white
Grated nutmeg
1 cup (8 oz) Crushed ice

Dissolve honey in lime juice and place this mixture plus the rest of ingredients except for nutmeg in a blender and blend for 20 seconds. Pour unstrained into a large snifter or tiki mug.

Dust with freshly ground nutmeg and garnish with mint and pineapple. (I also wrapped a pandan leaf around the glass)

Last cocktail is the quintessential rhum agricole drink…a ti-punch but with aged rhum agricole and therefore it´s called a punch vieux.

Petit Punch Vieux

Punch Vieux

1 oz Zwazo
1 oz rhum agricole vieux
0.5 oz sirop de canne
One half of a fresh lime

Cut the lime half in two and squeeze both edges into an old fashioned glass. Drop in the first spent wedge in the glass, then rub the rim of the glass with the other and then discard the second wedge. Add sirop, rums and ice and stir to chill. I also did rim the glass with brown sugar and added a sugarcane stick and roughly cut lime peel as garnish.

Rimming the glass with sugar and adding a lime peel is not traditional punch vieux but this is all about experiments!

Sirop de Canne is a thick, dark syrup made from a slow reduction of fresh sugar cane juice. Exported by brands such as Clèment, Dubois, Depaz, Dillon and La Mauny.

You can make a similar syrup by making a rich syrup (2:1 ratio sugar to water) with dark raw sugar.

Punch Vieux is always a nice treat as is the regular Ti-Punch…

Zwazo definitely mixes well in this style of tropical drinks, it gives a deep pineapple/tropical fruit flavor into the drinks which for tiki drinks fits so well into the flavor profile of a lot of them.

The aim with this particular post is to show that you can do a lot with rhum arrangè that goes beyond the traditional use…

Go and check out the Zwazo page on Facebook!

ST GEORGE´S RUM PUNCH

Welcome to the world of Rum Punch!

Here we got a real old school Caribbean Rum Punch from the Grenada containing nutmeg syrup. And it was the nutmeg syrup that picked my attention since i never done that before and i like nutmeg, it adds a very pleasant flavor to drinks and food.

I`m not surprised they make nutmeg syrup in Grenada since it´s the spice island in the Caribbean and lots of nutmeg is grown there. The nutmeg adds a special flavor to this rum punch.

Here`s how to make it:

NUTMEG SYRUP

12 nutmeg pods + sugar to thicken

Cut those pods into quarters and place in a large pot and blanch them with boiling water to get rid of the small amount of acid that nutmeg contains. Pour out the water and add 5 quarts fresh cold water and let sit overnight.

Next day, boil for 20 minutes and then leave to sit again for 24 hrs. I know…it´s a bit of a daunting task to make this syrup but once you get started it´s not that bad..

Now, bring it to a boil and when it starts boiling start adding the sugar, 3/4 cup to every 2 cups water – and lightly boil until it reaches the consistency of maple syrup, don´t boil too hard.

This makes about 5 quarts, you may brake it down to a lesser amount if you gonna make just a couple punches, then break down the drink recipe accordingly.

ST GEORGE´S RUM PUNCH


3 cups fresh lime juice

3 cups fresh orange juice

3 cups nutmeg syrup

3 cups pineapple juice

1.5 bottles dark rum (i used Coruba, Smith and Cross and Plantation original dark overproof – in the ratio 1 coruba, 0.5 S&C and 0.5 Plantation op)

1 cup apple juice

1 cup pineapple chunks

1 cup frozen, pitted unsweetened cherries

6 ounces Angostura bitters

Freshly grated nutmeg

Blend lime an orange juices, nutmeg syrup, pineapple juice and rum. Add apple juice, pineapple chunks, cherries and bitters and stir well. If possible use a huge ice chunk in the middle of the bowl. Finish with some grated nutmeg on top of the ice.

Now – i didn´t have any apple juice…but i had grapefruit so i used that and it turned out really good but why not try both? and the grated nutmeg on top of the ice added a nice touch, it smelled so goood!

Now, THAT`s good in the middle of the winter! this punch was so yummy i had to make another despite i made a double…

 

Sugarcane bar

 

SWIZZLES part 3 – 151 Swizzle

To continue my swizzle series…here`s the 151 Swizzle – and this is one hell of a tasty drink! it`s very simple too – and the combination of ingredients is brilliant. This drink was served by Tony Ramos at Don the Beachcomber`s in Hollywood in the 1960s.

Using 1.5 oz of the heavy Lemon Hart 151 demerara rum this drink is very distinct with a power of its own. Demerara rum is my favorite rum, it has the same pungent flavor as pot still Jamaican but is a bit smoky with a flavor that is unmatched.

The 151 Swizzle is also what is going to be made by 151 bartenders who will perform the very first unique swizzle ritual named 151 SWIZZLE-BE HERE NOW which i wrote about in my first pre-Tales post for TOTC 2011.

That means that all 151 bartenders will swizzle together at the same time in the same place with 151 original swizzle sticks from Guyana making the 151 Swizzle!  and guess who´s gonna imbibe them?

Well, i`ll hopefully be one…together with the rest of the folks attending this seminar lead by Stanislav Vadrna. It`s a veritable 151 Swizzle party! and on top of that held in my favorite place on earth – my beloved New Orleans.

There might still be tickets left..check on the TOTC blog.

Now back to the 151 Swizzle, it`s tasty and it´s strong and has that extra touch of spiciness from freshly grated nutmeg and cinnamon stick, depth from the Lemon Hart 151 rum, a touch of anis from Pernod (or Herbsaint) and a balanced sweet-tartness from sugarcane syrup and fresh lime –  it´s handsdown one of the best swizzles out there.

Here´s the recipe (from Remixed) to make it at home:

151 SWIZZLE

0.5 oz fresh lime juice

0.5 oz sugarcane syrup ( I use Petit Canne – because it has a special flavor)

1.5 oz Lemon Hart 151 (or El Dorado)

Dash Angostura bitters

6 drops Pernod ( i used Herbsaint)

8 oz crushed ice

Freshly ground nutmeg

Put everything except nutmeg in blender and blend for 5 sec. Pour unstrained into a tall glass with flaired top if possible to give more room for the freshly grated nutmeg on top. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Of course you can swizzle instead of blending, it´s a swizzle after all.. swizzle or blend and If you blend make sure to not blend for more than 5 sec unless you want it slushy..

And since this one is very strong even though the melting ice dilutes the heavy rum in it i think it´s good with just one unless you pace it, drink some water and let enough time pass in between drinks.

And that is said by one who likes strong rum drinks.

Happy swizzling!

A DUST OF NUTMEG

tdn-tiki-poaha-punch1

An interesting fragrant spice and an old favorite tiki drink

The fragrance of nutmeg is very special, i cannot even really describe it – its spicy-woody and fresh, nutty and very satisfying.

Most often i connect nutmeg with either christmas drinks or libations from the caribbean both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Nutmeg and carrot juice  is a common combo for instance among the non-alcoholic drinks. Nutmeg pairs well with drinks containing milk and cream, maybe that´s the reason its so common around christmas. Its also often use to top various punches.

The nutmeg spice itself is often ground – its a brown nut encased first by the red mace which is sweeter and then by a yellowish shell.

Nutmeg is one of the oldest spices known. It comes from an evergreen tree (myristica fragrans) native to the Moluccas, or Spice Islands, near Indonesia. This tree is bearing a nut with two separate flavors. Nutmeg is one flavor and the mace another, achieved by grinding the lacy outer covering surrounding the nutmeg.

It has a warm spicy flavor and as heat greatly diminishes its flavor its best added towards the end of cooking and should be grated fresh. Mace is often preferred in light-coloured dishes as it gives a saffron-like bright orange colour.

When i experimented with a drink for the Tiki TDN – the weekly thursday drink night by the Mixoloseum –  i wanted to play with my – oh so beloved – Old New Orleans Cajun Spiced Rum. I found that this rum pairs well with aged agricole as well. I have kept talking about how well it pairs with demerara, especially El Dorado 12 yo and there is El Dorado rum in this drink too, the 15 yo.

For that drink i used one of my favorite agricoles which is Clèment VSOP – a smooth rum with good flavour.

The drink Po`aha Punch ( in Hawaiian Po`aha means Thursday) was dusted with nutmeg powder on top of crushed ice – a common way to crown many tiki (and other) drinks.

To my delight the Po`aha Punch also delighted the palate our beloved Bum! may it delight you too?

PO´AHA PUNCH

1oz Old New Orleans Cajun Spiced Rum
1oz El Dorado 15yo
1 oz Clemènt VSOP, 0.5 oz fresh lime
¼ oz simple syrup
0.5 oz coffee liqueur
1t cream of coconut,
Fresh pineapple juice to top.

Run in blender until smooth with crushed ice. Pour in tall glass, top with fresh pineapple juice and more crushed ice to fill,dust nutmeg on top and garnish with a cinnamon stick.