TOTC 2014 – Tastings – Plantation Pineapple Rum, Appleton Rum Brunch and Bulleit New Fashioned!

Plantation Pineapple Rum L pic2

Pineapple Rum Stiggin’s Fancy – Picture Laura Godel

Plantation Rum in Shades of Dark, White and Pineapple!

I was waiting with great excitement for the tasting and launch of the Pineapple Rum Stiggin’s Fancy by Plantation Rum – which I need to make it clear right away, is NOT for sale…..because this rum was an experiment by Alexandre Gabriel and David Wondrich….to be launched and tasted at the Tales of the Cocktail….

Well….I was not disappointed, the rum was delicious! with a deep well matured and slightly smoky pineapple flavor in the background of Plantation rums original dark rum. And the bottle is beautiful!! I asked Alexandre what made the flavor so deep and he told me it”s coming from that the pineapple skin has been distilled – together with pineapple fruit, which also has been macerated.

For being just an experiment I think the outcome was really delicious and very interesting!

Plantation Pineapple tasting queue2

The queue….a nightmare for anyone with a hangover….luckily I was not…and don’t mind all the yellow hats….it’s a Tales thing….

Yep the queue to the tasting room was pure madness and the warm air stood still, but eventually we got in there….and deliciousness awaited…

Plantation pineapple tasting 2

Plantation rums, pineapple, white and dark as shots and in daiquiri cocktails…

Plantation Pineapple Rocky

Here served by Rocky – appropriately painted….I don’t know how he does it, but Rocky really is everywhere…

Plantation pineapple collage

Yours truly with pineapple rum in hand, Alexandre Gabriel – Cognac Ferrand proprietor and spirits mastermind – and more delicious pineapple rum!

Plantation pineapple DTO collage

The DTO – Daiquiri Time Out coin, a treasure/token that was handed out, and which a certain man did drop inside a cab and had the entire cab floor torn up to find it…wherewith the cab driver in utter amazement said that this gotta be a very valuable coin…..

But there’s more to the coin than just a token for the fun of it, according to what I’ve heard, navy officers carried a special coin. When drinking, everyone showed their crew coin. If one person did not have their coin, they had to buy a round of drinks. This gave value to the coin and the tradition.

Now I have one wish….that plantation rum makes more of this fine pineapple rum….I could make use of a bottle…launching a delicious rum like this only for the Tales is really a teaser…!

The Appleton Estate Jamaican Bartender’s Brunch – Rum, Reggae, Food, Sun and Fun!

Appleton brunch pool pic2

Oh my….this was a nice event! a yellow school bus fetching us up outside of Monteleone and serving cocktails on the way to the brunch filled with rum, reggae, Jamaican foods like jerked chicken, lots of fresh fruits and fresh cocktails, Jamaican fizzes, fixes & swizzles made with island flavors and fresh cane juice pressed on site.

And of course one of my favorite rums was there – the JWray overproof – paired with Sanpellegrino!! (to sub Ting) plus Aperol…all by the pool at the Country Club. Very very nice on a hot sunny summer day down here in New Orleans.

Appleton brunch 5 pic 2

Rum, fruits and fun in the sun!

Appleton Brunch collage 1

Of course some of the usual shady rum suspects were there….The first refreshment was freshly pressed sugarcane juice before continuing to the bar for rum punches and JWray….Appleton also treated us with large red Appleton bath towels and flip flops 🙂

Appleton Brunch collage 3

Well….I wouldn’t mind repeating this….that’s for sure. Just look at that pineapple!

Appleton Brunch collage 2

Or how about this….I dunno….can it get any better??

Appleton Brunch Collage

Jerked chicken, Coladas and sugarcane juice!

Appleton Brunch collage 4

And time for a JWray shot from the melon….Appleton Rum baby! Please come back next year….

And now to something totally different…..

Ruth’s Chris & Bulleit New Fashioned 1965-Style Luncheon

Bulleit New Fashioned 2 small pic

Bulleit Distilling Co needs no presentation….and this year they had a similar brunch as they did last year which then, was mint julep themed and absolutely fabulous! This years theme was the New Fashioned, a riff on the Old Fashioned…with Bulleit rye, Cherry Heering, orange rind, Italian Amarena cherry, Fee Brother’s black walnut and orange bitters.

The brunch was of course delicious…catered by Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse and if you haven’t tried their fantastic food it’s time you do if you have a chance. And the New Fashioned cocktail which will be served at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse was very tasty and the garnish was so beautiful with a shiny black “filthy Amarena cherry” from Filthy Food Premium Drink Garnish, speared on to a dehydrated orange slice.

The wild Amarena cherries are slow cooked in copper pots to produce a wonderful all natural, dark red cherry with a sweet front and tart finish.

Bulleit New Fashioned 1

Hollis Bulleit, Helen Mackey, VP of Menu Strategy & Innovation for Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Tom Bulleit, founder of Bulleit Distilling Company presenting the event and their companies, while the crowd enjoyed an excellent luncheon.

Bulleit New Fashioned 3 food

The Crawfish Monica that was served was fantastic! and everything else too!

Bulleit New Fashioned ingredients2

The ingredients to make the New Fashioned….the only thing not in the picture is the jar of “Filthy Amarena Cherries”.

Bulleit 2

I get thirsty when I see this drink in the picture….and the cocktail WAS good! for people in the US – you can join Ruth” s Chris Steakhouse for a nationwide 5-course handcrafted cocktail dinner with the same menu across the US, participating restaurants and pricing vary, see more at Chris Ruth’s Steakhouse website.

Pictures Laura Godel

Next up….more tastings, parties, bars and restaurants…the last picture parade from the tales of the Cocktail 2014!

 

CHEERS TO ST PATRICK`S DAY!

Time to move in an Irish direction…it`s soon St Patrick`s Day (or St Paddy`s Day) and i`m gonna add a splash of Irish whiskey and dress up my cocktails in green.

For those who doesn`t know St Patrick´s day is a cultural and religious holiday in Ireland and also widely celebrated as a public holiday with parades etc in places such as England, Canada, the United States, Argentina, Australia, and New Zealand, among others.

The colour associated with Saint Patrick was actually originally blue, but over the years it has changed to be green – and green ribbons and shamrocks were worn in celebration of St Patrick’s Day as early as the 17th century.

On this blog i`m gonna cheer with a green cocktail and an irish toast:

May you have all the happiness
and luck that life can hold—
And at the end of all your rainbows
may you find a pot of gold.

IRISH SUISSESSE


1.5 oz lightly peated irish whiskey

0.5 oz absinthe

1 egg white

0.5 oz heavy cream

0.5 oz milk

0.25 oz orgeat

0.25 oz green curacao

freshly grated nutmeg

Lime slice, cherry and shamrock for garnish

Mix in blender with cracked ice and strain into a chilled cocktail coupe, garnish with lime slice, cherry and a shamrock.

Lightly dust with grated nutmeg on top

Happy St Paddy`s Day!

CURACAO BITTERS

I love to play with bitters, the salt and pepper of a cocktail. It´s also something very intriguing with bitters bottles…i`m sure all bitter nerds know what i mean.

The Curacao bitters are made by the Masters of Malt. The flavor is intense bright orange/spicy. It`s a quite down to earth burnt orange flavor, that is crisp and fresh. The bottle has a dropper for exact measuring which is a very good thing.

They are made using only two ingredients; the spirit (High-proof Dark Rum) and Curacao Orange Peel. There´s no additional flavourings, colourings or bittering agents added.

I first gonna try them in a cocktail called “Sweet Gentleman” created by Gabriel Bessone, bartender at Warhol Sweet Point, Argentina. He also had his drink featured in the Barforum magazine in Barcelona.

Ii´ts a bit changed since 2 dashes of the curacao bitters are added, the original recipe doesn´t contain any bitters. I also had to switch Jack Daniel´s for bourbon which i think is the closest even though JD is through it´s maple charcoal filtering process not referred to as a bourbon but rather as Tennessee whiskey.

When it comes to the garnish it´s supposed to have a clove studded orange slice in the glass and fresh cherries but unf i didn´t have any orange at home ( i thought i had it…and it was too late for shoppping) and nice fresh cherries can´t be found this time of the year, those i have seen were all very bad. So i had to use those red ones i don´t like since they´re chemical disasters.

Instead of an orange slice i added some mint and rimmed the glass, but anyway, here´s the drink:

SWEET GENTLEMAN


1.5 ozl Jack Daniels

0.5 oz Cointreau

2 oz apple juice Baggio

0.5 oz Cherry syrup

Dash of lemon juice

2 dashes Curacao bitters

Shaken and served in old-fashioned glass.

Garnish: orange slice, 4 cloves, 5 cherries.

This is a nice drink. What i`ve found out is that 2 dashes of the curacao bitters is a bit too little, so try 3-4 dashes instead. It depends on what you mix with of course, but with the spicy whiskey or bourbon in this drink i think 3-4 dashes is better.

And now on to a twist of this drink i made using pineapple juice and Navan vanilla liqueur:

NAUGHTY GENTLEMAN


2 oz Rye

0.25 oz Navan

1 oz Pineapple Juice

0.5 oz lemon juice

0.25 oz sugarcane syrup

2-3 dashes Master of Malt Curacao bitters

Garnish: orange slice with cloves, a pineapple chunk, cherry

Shake and strain into a double old fashioned glass with cracked ice.

Put cloves in the orange slice, cut out a pineapple chunk and drop that plus a cherry or two in the glass.

I think the curacao bitters are perfect in this drink, it´s no flavor contrast but the bitters adds some depth.

And finally…since it´s curacao bitters i`m dealing with i wanna try them in a Mai Tai twist as well, can´t keep my hands off that rum…

LADY FROM CURACAO


1 oz Smith & Cross

1 oz Coruba dark

0.5 oz. dark orgeat (made with dark sugar)

0.5 oz. orange curacao

3 dashes Master of Malt Curacao bitters

0.25 oz. sugarcane syrup (Petit Canne)

1 oz fresh lime juice

Shake with ice and spent lime shell and garnish with fresh mint, a cherry and the spent lime shell.

Tastes like a Mai Tai with a pinch of something you cannot put your fingers on at what it is…

You can get the Curacao and other bitters as well as spirits at the Masters of Malt, they ship worldwide.

MIRACLE MILE BITTERS

During Tales there´s always some bitters going around and i now have  five new bitters to play with and first out are 2 bitters from Miracle Miles – Chili-Chocolate and Yuzu.

Miracle Miles bitters are locally made artisanal bitters that started just over a year and a half ago. Louis Anderman – the maker of these bitters became friends with Joe Keeper from Barkeeper (an awesome barware shop n LA) and would always bring him some of his homemade experiments, bitters, Nocino, etc.

In December ’09 he did the Chocolate/Chili bitters, and Joe flipped over them and begged  for some. Louis tweaked the recipe a bit for the next batch and gave some to Joe, then after refilling his bottle for the second time in about 3 weeks he said, “Hey, why don’t you start selling these here?”

Then more and more bars started picking them up, and all of a sudden Louis was getting so much other momentum (e.g., interest from distributors) that he realized he was reaching a point where he had to go pro, or go home.

The varieties Louis currently makes are: Chocolate/Chili Bitters,
Gingerbread Bitters, Castilian Bitters, Sour Cherry Bitters, Yuzu Bitters, Forbidden Bitters and finally Orange Bitters.

That`s a bunch! and i don`t think they are out for purchase yet so i`m very happy i have got 2 of them.

CHILI-CHOCOLATE BITTERS

The chili-chocolate is made with fine Vahlrona chocolates and a mix of chilis.

In the nose you feel an exquisite and fine chocolate smell and when you taste it it´s there together with ginger, allspice and nutmeg, sweetened with molasses and maple syrup – with a slight chili bite.

The chocolate-chili bitters are perfect for dark rum drinks as well as bourbon, rye, tequila and well – any dark spirits really – anything that goes with well chocolate.

People also use them on ice-cream and coffee..mmm – i´m gonna try them with my blend of Community Coffee Nola blend with chickory and Pecan-Praline…oh my..

I stumbled upon a drink when i was sitting and reading an article about whiskey cocktails in Hawaii. Since ii like both cocktails, whiskey and Hawaii they had my attention.

The drink i was reading about – The Whiskey Thatcher – really looked interesting to me and looked like something where the chili-chocolate bitters would add a nice spicy touch. (btw the Whiskey Thatcher is a variation of a gin drink named after former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher- but don´t mix things up now…i`m not promoting Thatcher…and this blog is totally politics-free – i`m promoting booze!)

The Whiskey Thatcher was created by Dave Newman, bar manager of Nobu, Honolulu, Hawaii who was wondering if the Thatcher would work with whiskey which apparently it did.

Today people want spirits with more character – and i see whiskey coming back and also other flavorful, handcrafted spirits like rum, tequila and mezcal. Even vodka producers are going in that direction creating small batch vodkas with flavor – one example is Karlsson´s which contains 12 different potatoes.

The Whiskey Thatcher blends citrus and sweet, herbal and bitter with the depth and roundness of the whiskey. And besides, anything that contains campari is worth trying i think.

So here we go – the Whiskey Thatcher with dashes of chili-chocolate bitters!

WHISKEY THATCHER


0.5 oz Campari

2-3 mint leaves

A strip of lemon peel

1 tsp fine sugar. (i used Oxfam`s raw sugar)

1. 75 oz Bourbon

Hibiscus syrup ( a splash)

Bourbon ( a splash)

Top with dashes of Miracle Mile Chili-Chocolate bitters

Muddle a slice of lemon peel, two or three mint leaves, 1/2 ounce Campari and 1 teaspoon of fine sugar in a mixing glass.

Add 1. 75 oz bourbon, and a splash of hibiscus syrup and fresh juice from half a lime.

Shake with ice.

Put a splash of pernod and a splash of bourbon (the recipe calls for Wild Turkey but i had Maker`s Mark on hand) in the bottom of another (slightly preheated) lowball glass, light it on fire and burn off the whiskey and pernod. And fresh ice; and strain the drink from the first glass into the prepared glass and stir.

Top off with dashes of the chili-chocolate bitters. (I added a generous amount of dashes..)

Garnish with a fresh mint sprig and if you feel like it a lemon peel as well. (The garnish is not in the original recipe)

Yeah…I like it…it´s spicy…

From that i moved on to mix me this next drink because Louis told me to try it –  2oz demerara rum, 1/2 oz pineapple gomme, 2-3 dashes chocolate/chili bitters, built like an old fashioned – and indeed it was good – very aromatic and deep.

YUZU BITTERS

Now after these two very satisfying cocktails with dark rums it was time to try out the Yuzu bitters.

Released only a few months ago, it’s quickly catching up to the Chocolate/Chili in popularity in LA, and KL Wines in SF sold out of a full case within five days. In addition to the yuzu, cinchona is used for the bitter plus cardamom, cinnamon, and burdock root among the other spices, and two kinds of green tea to round out the finish.

The flavor of the yuzu bitters is something in between a lemon and a tangerine, with a deep citrus flavor. Yuzu is a citrus fruit rom SE Asia and which is a cross between sour mandarine and Ichang papeda – Citrus ichangensis × C. reticulata

Here`s a link to pictures of Yuzu.

These bitters would go well with anything that goes with citrus and i`m sure also with herbal liqueurs and so therefore i decided to try a variant of the Chartreuse swizzle adding Yuzu bitters thus turning it into a Yuzu Swizzle.

YUZU SWIZZLE


1 oz Green Chartreuse
1 oz Smith & Cross Jamaican rum
1 1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
0.75 oz Lime Juice
1/4 oz Falernum (i used B.G Reynold`s Dark Falernum)
3 dahses of Miracle Mile Yuzu bitters

Add ingredients to a large glass full of crushed ice. Swizzle to mix, lavishly garnish with mint, squeeze a bit and add a few extra dashes of the bitters on top of the ice as well.

After trying this i can say that it is tasty – no doubt – but i wonder if the yuzu and the green chartreuse might play out each other a bit…i cannot detect the flavors of the yuzu so clearly. Nevertheless – tasty it is. But i needed something “cleaner” to give the yuzu bitters space to play and the flavors to shine a bit more..

So how`bout a Yuzu daiquiri?

Hell yeah! and this is what i used:

2 Havana Club 3 yo

0.75 oz fresh lime juice

0.5 oz sugarcane syrup

3 dashes yuzu bitters

Float Coruba overproof

Now this was better in the sense of putting the yuzu flavors more forward and a Daiquiri is always a very nice cocktail – one of my favorite cocktails.

This has been fun and i`m very pleased with the Miracle Miles bitters, go try them when you get a chance.

And finally – try Yuzu bitters on oysters…

ORIGINAL NEW ORLEANS COCKTAILS pt 6 – Place d`Armes Cocktail

place-darmes-ccocktail-2

Made in honor of Jackson Square, this cocktail with whiskey and fruit juices is a tasty libation indeed.  It can be found in the book “Famous New Orleans Drinks and How to Mix `em” by Stanley Clisby Arthur.

I can´t find any info on what year this cocktail was made and by whom and any history about how it got its name etc but the book was written in 1937. So there isn´t much to write about this cocktail here, rather get going and mix it up – but in any case, the cocktail is nice and i like Jackson square, one of the many interesting historic places in New Orleans.

Jackson square was originally called Place d´Armes (Spanish: Plaza de Armas) in the 18th century but was re-named to Jackson Square in honor of the Battle of New Orleans hero, Andrew Jackson who now since 1856 stands In the center of the parkas an equestrian statue – or a statue of a rider mounted on a horse.

The design of Jackson Square was modeled on the famous Place des Vosges in Paris, France and did originally overlook the Mississippi River across Decatur Street.

Jackson square is surrounded by some very famous old buildings like St Louis Cathedral, the Presbytere  and Cabildo (Louisiana State Museums – where you can see some amazing things like the Mardi Gras Exhibit (Presbytere, 2nd floor) – and also where there has been held some lavish parties during the Tales of the Cocktail…and then we have the grand Lower and Upper Pontalba Apartments (the oldest apartment buildings in the U.S.)

And here is where one of my favorite restaurants is – Muriel`s with its mystic 2nd floor rooms that are just amazing. Also here is where for well over a half century now there`s artists painting and displaying their work on the outside of the iron fence.

So that was a little about Jackson Square after which this cocktail is named. Here´s the recipe:

PLACE D´ARMES COCKTAIL

place-darmes-ccocktail

½ orange—juice only

½ lemon—juice only

½ lime—juice only

1.5 oz whiskey

1 oz grenadine sirup ( i would use 0.5 oz if using a commercial grenadine unless its Trader Tiki´s hibiscus grenadine and btw hibiscus grenadine is nicer than just grenadine..)

Squeeze the fruit juices in a mixing glass. Add the sirup; be careful not to make it too sweet if you like a dry drink . . . Otherwise use a little sugar. Then add the whiskey—some prefer Bourbon, others rye. Strain into a tall glass half-filled with crushed ice. Decorate with a sprig of mint, after frappeing well with a spoon.

This cocktails is very tasty and fresh! i was wondering if 1 oz of grenadine would be too much but it isn´t – but its importsant to use a good quality grenadine. I strongly recommend homemade hibiscus grenadine – or Trader Tiki´s. Also use a good quality rye or bourbon in this.

jackson-square

VANILLA SMASH to beat the cold

vanilla-smash-close1

The fragrance of the lightly bruised mint that blends so well with the fresh lemon and warm vanilla scent is heavenly..

A mix of lemon, rye whiskey and vanilla syrup topped off with fragrant mint, is a sure good drink to beat the cold of the winter.

Its friggin`minus 11 degrees F (-24C) here now, or at least it was yesterday in the morning and i am not a winter person at all, i freeze under 60 and prefer temps in the 90s so i sure need something to keep me warm and the Vanilla Smash is a good drink. Its just my take on the Whiskey Smash, adding some warm fragrant and soothing vanilla in the mix.

Many recipes uses Bourbon but i found one in Jerry Thomas 1862 “How to Mix Drinks” that uses rye instead. This drink is very close to the Mint Julep and if you add some passionfruit syrup and grenadine you get the PortLight.

The Whiskey Smash from Jerry Thomas book is as follows:

WHISKEY SMASH

2 oz rye

2 tbslp simple syrup

1-2 dashes orange bitters

6 mint sprigs

3 lemon wedges

How to mix is the same as with the Vanilla Smash.

Usually i mostly drink rum but i also like whiskey…and in any case i like spirits that`s got natural flavor and personality.

The vanilla i´m using here is a homemade vanilla syrup made with Tahitian beans which i think are the best. I would also warmly recommend Trader Tiki`s vanilla syrup which is outstanding and would do the job just as well.

VANILLA SMASH

vanilla-smash

2 oz rye whiskey

2 lemon wedges

6-8 large mint leaves

0.5 oz vanilla syrup (mine is made with Tahitian beans and light muscovado sugar)

1 vanilla bean for garnish

In a shaker, muddle the lemon wedges to get the essential oils into the drink along with the fresh juice, then add the mint and lightly bruise the leaves but not too hard to avoid bitterness. Add rye and vanilla syrup  Shake vigoriosly  with ice and strain into a rocks glass with ice chunks. Garnish with a vanilla bean.

There´s something i particularly like with this cocktail..the fragrance of the lightly bruised mint that blends so well with the fresh lemon and warm vanilla scent is heavenly..

The flavor is ridiculously tasty, i think i have a winner here! one of those that i will keep in rotation.

Try it! Enjoy!

vanilla-syrup-with-muscovado

Freshly made vanilla syrup with light muscovado sugar.