Tiki Bars – Latitude 29

Latitude 19

And so finally I got to go the Latitude 29! I´ve been waiting since they opened with great anticipation and (high) expectancy…..well…I try to not have too high expectations whatever it is, better to have an open mind, but with this one i`s a bit different….because this is the BUM`s place….this is the man who uncoded all the secret codes and brought us all these lost drink recipes and who wrote no less than six stellar books on the subject if you count in Taboo Table.

His books have been my to go tiki drink (and history) books for years and so now he and his wife Annene Kay aka Mrs Bum opens a real tiki bar in my favorite city New Orleans!

And I wasn`t there when they opened….and had to wait all the way until this year´s Tales before I could finally go and see it  – and in the meantime I`ve been drooling over all the food and drink pictures (can you say Tahitian Steak Frites?) and the drinks…..oh the drinks….

I`ve seen so many beautiful pictures of these drinks that I didn`t know what to start with….but I ended up ordering a Pontchartrain Pearl Diver as my first drink – in the NEW Pearl Diver`s glass! 🙂

The Pearl Diver`s glass, the Swizzle cup and the skull barspoons are all new for this summer in collaboration with Jeff Berry and Cocktail Kingdom and they were sold at the Tales but are also available online. The vintage Pearl Diver`s Punch glass is more or less impossible to find anymore so I`m really happy they are re-making them and same for the cool swizzle cup! I hope to see more re-making of these type of vintage tiki drink glasses….

And not only are the glasses really cool they come in beautiful vintage looking packages too!

Latitude29 Pearl Diver 3

The Pontchartrain Pearl Diver was good…..very very good – well balanced and oh so tasty! I didn`t try so very many drinks during the Tales because it was so incredibly busy….and so was I…so I decided to wait until after Tales and THEN go there for some serious drink tasting!

So last friday I went there early and I sat there and happily indulged Tahitian Steak Frites with luscious Coconut Butter and later a Mahi Mahi Bahn Mi accompanied by a whole array of drinks until in the evening, I actually spent a whole “working day” in the place!

And I had a nice chat with the Bum, about rums and rums and rums…and of course, tiki drinks. I was indeed a very good day….The place is so cool and relaxed, beautifully decorated and the music is great! with everything from real good and cool old style Jamaican reggae to surf music! and the co-bar manager Steven Yamada and his staff are very attentive, friendly and nice.

It`s really a place to go not only for the great drinks and food but also to escape from the world outside and it doesn`t matter if there´s big windows to the outside world…..because this is New Orleans! and the view from the beautiful arched windows is nothing but beautiful….over the pool and the tropical plants in the courtyard of Bienville House Hotel.

This used to be housing the former Iris restaurant, I went there in 2009 with all the Tales bloggers and now I cannot recognize the restaurant and bar anymore, it´s a total different world! quite the transformation….the only things that looks the same is the courtyard and the hotel lobby.

Take a look:

2009-2015 2

Back in 2009…Alan Walther tends the bar at Iris…..and he did serve some amazing cocktails! he later moved on to Loa, this was long before the Iris became what it is today – a true tiki haven!

2009-2015

The Tales Blogger Dinner in 2009 in the former Iris restaurant, the same view today of the beautiful courtyard and pool but the dining room has dramatically changed…..

Bienville House Hotel Courtyard

This is such a tranquil and peaceful place….if staying at this hotel you get both all this plus the Latitude29 in one place…..

Pool view through window

Eat Drink and be Merry!

drinks collage

Hurricane, Kea Colada and Royal Hawaiian Cocktail.

The food menu has something for everyone! executive Chef Chris Shortall and his staff creates their own take on modern Tiki Cuisine which is playful and tasty and there`s something for everyone including options for vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free guests.

First thing I opted for was the Tahitian Steak Frites which I`ve been dreaming about since they opened…..

The Tahitian Steak Frites are tender, luscious and juicy (I ordered mine medium-rare) served with hot crispy thin fries and a tasty dipping sauce plus a dollop of coconut butter on top! the Bum told me that in Tahiti they add coconut to the cow´s diet and therefore everything the cows are producing have a touch of coconut flavor…heavenly….and so they wanted to re-create that idea here with the coconut butter.

I LOVE it!

Steak frites collage

I`m not joking, I think I could eat this almost every day….the meat is so tender and melts in your mouth together with that lovely coconut butter….

The Mahi Mahi Bahn Mi is wild caught Mahi poached in coconut oil, jalapeño, sriracha, and shallot….and at a Chef`s Challenge before the Tales I tried the ribs which are very tasty too….and not to forget the crispy green beans!

Another nice dish is the Shrimps in Blanket, the gulf shrimps here really are something special. They are big and juicy….and have more shrimp flavor than shrimps I`ve tasted anywhere else.

Latitude shrimps in blankets

Shrimps in Blanket

Latitude 29 Sahimi beans

These green beans were amazing…..

An array of seductive tropical tiki drinks…..

Latitude 4

When you enter a tiki bar you want to be seduced….you want to forget the daily struggles and take a “trip to the South Seas” with exotic tropical drinks! (inspired by drinks in the Caribbean….) 🙂

So I started with the Pontchartrain Pearl Diver….it`s such a good drink!…..balanced, fruity and rummy! The Pearl Diver is a mix of honey-butter-spice mix blended with passion fruit, lime and Jamaica rum. The butter adds a wonderful slightly viscous mouth-feel, if you didn`t know it was butter in the mix you wouldn`t know what it was but you would know there was something there….

After the Pearl Diver I had the namesake drink of this bar – the Latitude 29…..it comes in a tall glass wrapped in banana leaf for that real tropical feel – and you get that cool gorgeous swizzle stick! – made after the wall art by Bosko! The drink is made with eight-year Demerara rum, passion fruit purée, house made Madagascar vanilla syrup, orange, pineapple and lemon.

They are both gorgeous in their presentations with the Pontchartrain Pearl Diver in the new re-made super cool Pearl Diver`s glass.

Latitude29 collage

The Latitude 29

The Rum Barrel is according to the menu a communal drink but it says “For 2 to share, or 1 thirsty pirate to hoard. A kill-devil’s brew of 3 rums, 4 juices, multiple herbs, spices and sweeteners …” – so apparently I`m a “thirsty pirate” since I had no problem drinking it all by myself….

It sure makes you feel like a rummy pirate! 😀

It`s presentation is BEAUTIFUL! and fun! see the picture….they really take time to garnish up these beauties….and the drink itself is strong and rummy/fruity/spicy. One of my favorites!

Latitude 7

Rum Barrel, complete with pineapple peel, cherries, orchid, swinging monkeys and umbrella! superfun garnish 🙂

And so is the Coffee Bongo…..also incredibly nicely garnished….with a pineapple leaf cut out to look like a palm tree frond…..topped with two coffee beans….stunning! the drink is also strong/spicy and rummy with lots of character and if you like coffee and pineapple together, you find it here.

Latitude 23

Every drink is not rum though….there´s a drink called “Outcast of the Islands” which was amazingly tasty and is a mix of London gin and Persian lime…with cinnamon, ginger, almond and anise, heavenly….

And it LOOKS heavenly too! it comes served with an ice shell…..how cool is that? and the Navy Grog comes with the iconic ice cone which is made with the Bum`s ice cone device sold by Cocktail Kingdom (as well as the Pearl Diver`s glasses, the swizzle cup and the skull bar spoons)

And there are drinks with bourbon, brandy, tequila, beer and vodka….but I haven`t tried them all yet….there`s something for everyone in the drink menu too. Me, I tend to mostly stick to the rums….

Ice cone shell drinks

Outcast of the Islands and the iconic Navy Grog

The Professor Remsberg`s Punch is a very interesting drink and very tasty too, the drink contains “Fine old Guadeloupe rum, gently stirred with lime and a Caribbean spiced syrup discovered over 30 years ago in San Juan by the Professor himself”…….I wonder what is in that syrup? If you didn`t know, Stephen Remsberg is the world´s biggest rum collector.

Latitude 21

Professor Remsberg`s Punch

All the drinks at Latitude 29 are good and well balanced, from the (real, no chemical-mix) Hurricane, Mai Tai, TOTC Swizzle, Nui Nui, Kea Colada, Royal Hawaiian Cocktail, Lapu Lapu, Hawaii 504, Missionary`s Downfall and the Paniolo….which is Kentucky bourbon and Hawaiian macadamia nut liqueur shaken with lime, house made cranberry syrup and a dash of molé bitters.

It`s evident to me that they pay as much attention to the garnishes as the drinks themselves because some of these drinks ar off the charts when it comes to beautiful presentations! you get a little work of art in your hand!

And the drink names alone takes you on a exotic journey…..a lot of them created back in the heydays of tiki.

Tasty, exotic and beautiful.

Hawaii 504

The Hawaii 504

You know, you need to go there and just try all these heavenly things! btw….between 3 and 6 pm every day it´s Happy Hour with a special menu….where among the drinks you`ll find the Banana Banshee and the Royal Hawaiian Cocktail….both perfect to cool you down when it´s hot outside which is a guaranteed thing in New Orleans during the summer.

And the best thing of all….you get the Steak Frites for half the price! what is there not to love?

The Banana Banshee is a frozen cocktail with Jamaican rum, lime, coconut milk and coconut cream, fresh banana and aztec bitters and topped with grated chocolate!

Lat29 Banana Banshee 2

Banana Banshee

I also ordered a few off-menu drinks with the help of Jeff Berry`s Total Tiki app, such a handy thing to have! and they were delivered top notch! I think Steve outdid himself with the Coconaut….coming beautifully garnished with a Cruzan Blackstrap float on the side. It tasted absolutely heavenly…..it was a mix of Hamilton 151 Demerara, El Dorado 5, for the rums plus that lovely float of blackstrap to pour yourself 🙂

Coconaut collage

This Coconaut was incredible!

The Zombie was spicy and nice just as I expected, and just about right with the strength, and the Kamehameha Rum Punch did live up to it´s name…..

Kamehameha and zombie

Kamehameha Rum Punch and the Zombie…..

This interesting drink recipe is from Sippin`Safari and originates from the Hotel King Kamehameha in Kona, Hawaii, as the origin of the drink around 1960.

So who was King Kamehameha you might ask?  Kamehameha – also known as Kamehameha the Great was the head of a dynasty ruling the Hawaiian islands for more than a century. The name Kamehameha (pronounced kuh-may-ha-may-ha) means “the one set apart.” He conquered the Hawaiian islands and formally established the Kingdom of Hawai`i in 1810.

This drink is actually named after the Hotel King Kamehameha in Kona, Hawaii who took the name after the great Hawaiian King – Kamehameha.

Every year on Kamehameha Day (June 11, a state holiday in Hawai’i), National Statuary Hall is the scene of a ceremony in honor of the king and the statue of Kamehameha the Great is draped with lovely (and loooong) leis of fragrant flowers from Hawai’i. The Festival continues to pay tribute to Kamehameha and acts to preserve and perpetuate the Hawaiian culture.

Communal Drinks

And as every tiki bar should, there:s also a couple of different communal drinks on the menu, the newest one is a monster drink called the “Plantocracy Punch” for 6-8 people but we were only three so we tried the Lapu Lapu which uses a recipe which according to the menu is a Don The Beachcomber’s “lost” unpublished 1964 recipe, recently discovered by the Bum and presented here for the first time in over 40 years.

And of course it`s appropriately garnished with little mermaids taking a rummy ice bath…..

Lapu Lapu collage

Fruity, spicy, rummy Lapu Lapu and little mermaids swimming in the bowl….

Latitude 16

Rums….

Samaroli rums collage

While sitting in the bar I spotted two Samaroli rum bottles….and so of course I ordered a sample of each….and with the rum samples you get a small shot glass with water and a dropper, neat.

One was the 13 year old Guadeloupe 1998 Rhum Agricole and the other 1988 Demerara Dark Rum. The Guadeloupe is spicy and a touch smokey, with a strong character but at the same time, not too aggressive, it´s fruity, peppery, balanced and picky but also smooth.

A few drops of water brings out a whole array of tropical fruits flavors! this rum is incredible. I REALLY liked it!

The 23 year old 1988 Demerara rum had flavors of wood, macerated tropical fruits, apricot, vanilla, banana peel, mango and something else I couldn`t define…..but here a few drops of water didn`t bring out much change….still very woody, strong and fruity. Also a very good rum! Both of these rums are distilled in the Caribbean and then matured in Scotland.

They are not cheap but they are unique rums and they give you something to remember.

Then I saw a curiosity on the menu….it had a sort of mellow toasty coconut flavor…interesting….and I think it also could be used as ingredient in some of the drinks maybe? how about a Toasted Coconut Daiquiri?

Toasted coconut collage

The Interior Decor…..

TD art

Here is top crafts….the first thing you notice is of course the big centerpiece which now is in the same spot as the huge mirror was when it was the bar at Iris. The centerpiece is a huge carving of the Pacific Islands in a map in the forms of small tikis made by Daniel Gallardo aka Tiki Tiablo, and it`s a stunning work of art!!

Here is a collage of close-ups of the “Islands” in the map and there´s a nod to New Orleans too….do you see the fleur de lis on top?

TD map collage

Bosko Hrnjak did all the new (non-vintage) light fixtures and all of the new (non-vintage) tiki carvings, wall panels, etc, over 50 of them in total. And Dave “Basement Kahuna” Wolfe did 8 Easter Island carvings on the hut wall-dividers.

It`s all beautiful….

wall art collage

lamps collage

Another (practical) thing I greatly appreciate are the power outlets with USB ports located on each side of the tables, I wish more bars had that, it should be standard everywhere.

Tiki glasses, Barspoons and Orgeat

Latitude 11

All tikiphiles already knows about the Pearl Diver`s glass, the swizze cup and the cool skull bar spoons which you can find at the Cocktail Kingdom which I mentioned above….but a new thing is the Latitude29 orgeat which comes in a heavy round glass bottle and is sold in the bar.

I haven`t tried the orgeat yet even though I bought a couple of bottles (USD 15 each) but i`m out travellling so that will have to wait.

So to sum it all up, what I was looking for was how the food and the drinks tasted and were presented and if there´s consistency….(and yes I have returned) and how the decor and the feel of the place was, what music did they play and how loud? is it possible to have a conversation or do you have to scream? and how I was treated as a guest.

Personally I have nothing to complain about, the food and drinks are top class, the decor tasteful and genuinely tiki, it`s a laid back and relaxed feel, the staff attentive, professional and very sweet and so I`ll keep coming back, this is now my primarily watering hole in New Orleans :-).

That said there´s a lot of very good bars here, I just happen to really really like well made tiki drinks and in the relaxed vibe and environment of a real good tiki bar, there I feel the most at home.

Samaroli Rums and Pearl Diver at latitude 29

 

Interior pole

 

Bum sign

MxMo LXXXVI, Pineapple!

Pineapple ready for cocktail mixing

The Hawaiians call me hala-kahiki, meaning hala from a foreign land….. who am i?

The PINEAPPLE !!

The mighty pineapple is the topic for this months Mixology Monday hosted by Thiago of the BartendingNotes blog. I haven`t participated in the MxMo in a very long time and so it´s long due…but who can resist such a topic? i love pineapples!

mxmologo

Here´s what was said in the MxMo announcement: Let’s bring the king of fruits back! After being canned, mixed with all sorts of sugary liquids and blended into… some 80s dreadful cocktails, the pineapple needs more respect! Once a symbol of hospitality, the King of Fruits might be know misunderstood.

One of the greatest non-citrus souring agents, used for crazy garnish ideas, infusions, old gum syrup flavoring, the pineapple is a fruit to be reckoned.

Be in a tiki cocktail, an old school classic like the Algonquin, a crazy flavor pairing or just mixed in a delicious Verdita, get creative and make a cocktail using any part of this delicious, juicy fruit or share you favorite pineapple cocktail with us!

The pineapple is called the “King of Fruits” for a reason – there is NO other fruit that has become so famous as the pineapple, not even banana! there is even pineapple houses built! And it´s so incredibly versatile, you can do so much with it, in drinks and food in a million ways….use as serving bowl, lamp, it´s sung about, painted, photographed…and no wonder, the fruit is beautiful! and a fabulous cocktail ingredient, and that`s where i use it the most and i use it extensively.

King of Fruits Swizzle

MxMo pineapple King of Fruits Swizzle 3

0.75 oz Koloa Kaua`i Coconut rum

0.75 oz Plantation overproof rum

0.5 oz Lost Spirits Navy Style rum (float)

1 oz Pineapple juice

0.5 oz honey-mix – equal parts honey and water, heated up to dissolve the honey and mix, then cooled to room temp

0.75 oz fresh lime juice

2 dash Bitter End Jamaican Jerk Bitters

Top with a little Sanpellegrino limonata

Swizzle all ingredients and top with Sanpellegrino limonata (sub Schweppes lemon)

Garnish with two pineapple leaves and a cocktail cherry.

A robust and typical tiki swizzle!

Mauna Kea

Mauna Kea

1 oz Rhum JM agricole blanc

1 oz Lost Spirits Polynesian Style rum

0.75 oz fresh lime

0.5 oz sugarcane syrup

1 oz pineapple juice

dash Mozart Chocolate bitters

1 egg white

Shake hard to emulsify the egg white, preferably dry shake first, then strain into a glass filled with cracked ice and partly rimmed, (with brown sugar) and top with grated nutmeg and cinnamon powder and then garnish with a pineapple leaf and speared cocktail cherry.

This drink is strong since the Lost Spirits rum is overproof but it´s still like drinking rum flavored silk…

And here´s a bonus – the rum sauce for pineapple skewers – as simple as it´s delicious, just rum, honey and cinnamon!

Last year at the Tales i went to a pineapple seminar and learnt a lot about this fruit and at the Angostura Rum pool party they served this rum sauce in pineapples to dip pineapple skewers in, a recipe i took with me, very tasty.

Rum Sauce to dip pineapple skewers in

RUM SAUCE

Fill a hollowed out pineapple fruit with rum, dissolved honey and cinnamon sticks. I first placed in a pan 4 oz aged rum (or rums) of choice, 2 roughly crushed Mexican cinnamon sticks (canela) and 2 tsp honey and slowly heated it up (carefully) just to dissolve the honey and let the cinnamon sticks start giving off their flavor.

Then leave to cool and sit for 15-30 min to let the flavors intensify. Then pour in the pineapple and dip pineapple skewers in the rum sauce, it´s delicious! and a perfect party or movie snack.

MxMo pineapple limonata

The limonata is one of my favorite soft drinks…

MxMo pineapple King of Fruits Swizzle 2

This awesome tiki mug is created by Scott Taylor who lives on Maui, Hawaii. if you want to see the awesome and very detailed mugs he makes you can go and check out his pictures on instagram ( type the name tikipop ) 

His shop “Beach Bumz” is one of the stops of Maui Tiki Tours owned by another great tiki mug artist – Rob Hawes – who`s Kala mug i featured in this earlier post. You find his pics on instagram too, (type tikirob) 

King of Fruits Swizzle

A loaded pineapple bowl..

MxMo Pineapple the rums

With potent delicious rums…

Happy Monday!

Denizen Merchant`s Reserve Rum

Denizen Merchants Reserve Rum

The first time encountered Denizen rum i was very pleased with it`s flavor, it was their white rum i tried and reviewed. Denizen rums are blends of rum from the Caribbean selected by master blenders in Amsterdam who have been handcrafting small-batch Caribbean style rums dating back to the early 1700s, when the Netherlands colonized much of the Caribbean.

Now Citizen Spirits have followed up with an aged rum that is a blend of aged plummer style pot still rum from Jamaica and also are component of Rhum Grande Arome from the Le Galion S.A.E.M distillery in Martinique.

60% of this rum has been aged 8 years in small used American oak bourbon barrels.  The Jamaican rums used in this blend come from Worthy Park, Hampden, New Yarmouth, and Clarendon. Most of the aged rum comes from Worthy Park Distillery.

The rums used in the blend were fermented using slow working yeasts in order to extend the fermentation time and allow the high ester flavor compounds to fully develop – a very important step in the rum making process.

One of the reasons they chosed to include the molasses based rhum grande arome in the blend and not the more traditional rhum agricole from Martinique is because 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.

Having learned this, they tried to come up with a historically accurate classic amber rum that is unapologetically funky and would have made Trader Vic proud. The fact that it has been aged 8 years also makes it a fine sipping rum despite it being slightly higher proof at 43% ABV.

Denizen Merchant’s Reserve should be available in the US early April. Citizen Spirits will launch it in New York City and San Francisco initially and then expand to additional markets.

So i go straight to the Mai Tai eh?

This is a rum which obviously is partly designed for making great Mai Tais but of course not only – but also to be sipped neat and make other cocktails with – and flavorless cocktails you won`t get with it.

What a shame i haven`t had any chance to try the old JWray 17 year….which is a long time dream of mine, so therefore i cannot compare with it, but i can compare with other Mai Tais i`ve had with great rums and see how this rum stand up in comparison and i have a feeling it will do very well.

Also the Denizen Merchant’s Reserve earned a score of 94 at the 2014 Ultimate Spirits Challenge and was recognized as a finalist. Scoring 94 points is equivalent to “Excellent and highly recommended”

Let´s taste it.

Nose – It`s a fruity nose with a bit of citrus and apricot, a hint of wood, very fresh.

Mouth – The same fruitness is there and it has a warm spicy finish. A hint of sugarcane, warm caramel, ripe tropical fruit, dried banana, apricot, wood.

My impression – This is a warm, funky and flavorful rum, not much alcohol burn, it´s smooth enough to sip and flavorful enough to mix tiki drinks with, at the same time it`s great for classic rum drinks as well. Fruity and spicy!

I bet it`s good to drizzle over ice cream too…or use in baked papaya with butter, vanilla and demerara sugar.

The first drink i wanted to make with this rum is the PYT swizzle from Rumba Seattle, (a bar and Caribbean restaurant in Seattle) and a place where they make some extraordinary cocktails, actually everything they make at that place looks tasty, i hope i can visit some day.

The PYT swizzle first catched my attention on instagram where i saw pictures of it after it won the Island Imbibe competition in august 2013. I thought it looked so tasty….so here`s a version of it with Denizen Merchant`s Reserve and again, i regret not having any mint!

PYT SWIZZLE

Denizen PYT swizzle

2.5 oz Denizen Merchant`s reserve rum

0.75 oz fresh lime juice

0.5 oz passionfruit syrup

0.25 oz falernum

Glass: Libbey Everest hi ball

Top with a heavy doze of angostura and peychaud`s bitters

Swizzle!

But mint or not, with this rum the swizzle turned out nice and spicy!

The next drink is the quintessential test cocktail when you wanna evaluate a rum in cocktails, due to it`s simplicity and way of letting the rum shine through in such a way that you cannot make a good one with a bad rum – the classic daiquiri.

MERCHANT`S DAIQUIRI

Denizen Merchant´s daiquiti IG

2 oz Denizen Merchant`s Reserve

0.75 oz fresh lime juice

0.5 oz demerara sugar syrup

Glass: Libbey SPKSY

And yes, it pass the test! this rum makes a very nice and somewhat spicy daiquiri!

And finally…the Queen of Tiki Drinks…(and the Zombie is the King:-)

MAI TAI

Denizen Mai Tai

2 oz Denizen Merchant`s Reserve rum

1 oz fresh lime juice (add the spent lime shell to shaker and later, in the glass)

0.5 oz orgeat

0.25 oz Combier triple sec

Shake all ingredients and garnish with mint – or if you don`t have mint, add the spent lime shell and a sherry into the glass.

Serve in rocks glass with crushed ice.

Yep, it definitely makes a great Mai Tai, the kind that gives that extra yummy after taste, provided you use good quality mixing products throughout. Of course i did the Trader Vic´s Mai tai. The only thing i regret is that i was out of mint but instead i just used the spent lime shell and a sherry.

To wrap it up – Denizen Merchant`s Reserve is very good, flavorful and i warmly recommend anyone to try this rum!

You find Denizen´s website here.

Pimento! a Spicy drink with a Hot Chili bite!

Up for review is a downright fantastic fizzy drink made with ginger, tonic and hot pepper natural flavors and it is strong!! but let me tell you something…this is the best fizzy ginger drink i`ve tasted in a long time – if ever… yes it´s that good!

It was actually made as an alternative to alcohol that isn´t weak but very strong –  but it can be used with or without alcohol and bland is the last thing this drink is. It reminds me of ginger beer with a chili bite without being an actual ginger beer. I think it´s fantastic and it´s low in sugar and full of taste, and really delicious!

As a non alcoholic beverage it´s perfect if you want something that has a bite and a bucket load of flavor. Also it´s a great paired with spicy exotic food and it should always be served very cold! The cocktail recipes here can be used as non-alcoholic drink alternatives, just omit the alcohol, with Pimento in it they will have enough flavor.

Pimento mixes well with rum, tequila and vodka and there´s no end to the amount of tasty drinks you can make with it. Here´s four drinks i made, three are my own creations and one i picked from the recipe booklet i got with the Pimento drinks. I especially enjoyed the first drink:

Red Hot Chili Pepper

(created by Jeremy Kent and Anthony Nasty at the Saloon Bar (Val Thorens)

0.25 oz  ( 1 cl) grenadine ( i used homemade hibiscus grenadine)

2 oz ( 6cl) Havana Club Anejo Especial ( or use other similar type of dark rum)

0.5 oz (1.5 cl) fresh lime juice

Top with Pimento

Serve in highball glass or other with ice cubes.

This drink is like…dang!! absolutely lovely and the chili flavor really comes through and marries just perfectly with the grenadine and dark rum. I loved it!

Pimento Storm

2 oz ( 6 cl) dark Jamaican rum

0.5 oz (1.5 cl) fresh lime juice

Top with Pimento

Shake all ingredients except Pimento, strain and top with Pimento, serve with cracked ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with a wedge of lime.

This tastes like a spicy strong Dark N Stormy with a sexy hot chili bite…

Mayahuel on Fire

2 oz ( 6 cl) tequila reposado

1 barspoon good coffee liqueur ( i used Fair Cafe)

0.75 oz ( 2 cl) pineapple juice

Top with Pimento

Shake and strain into a rocks glass or other filled with cracked ice and garnish with a pineapple leaf and cherry.

Pimento goes exceptionally well with tequila – not surprising since tequila and chili pepper is a natural match, this drink is refreshing and strong with that earthy character from tequila that tastes so good. The coffee fits in very well too adding a third dimension to the flavors.

Hot Pimento Swizzle

1 oz ( 2.5 cl) pineapple juice

1 oz fresh lime juice

1 barspoon falernum

1 oz dark Jamaican rum

1 oz green Chartreuse

Top with Pimento

Swizzle with crushed ice until frosty and top with Pimento, garnish with a good bunch of fresh mint.

This drink is a take on the Chartreuse swizzle and it´s herbal and fresh, gingery and strong!

My conclusion of this product is that i really like it! I find it very versatile and the flavor is awesome. The bottle itself is also a pleasure to both handle and look at and the label is beautiful. it looks classy and cool at the same time with that black chili pepper and red metallic text that says Pimento, simply beautiful and i love the chili red bottle cap!

Pimento is like a strong ginger beer with a hot bite of chili and a refreshing tonic quality.

As for now it`s sold in France, England, Holland, Denmark, Greece, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Africa, Caribbean, Indian Ocean, Tahiti, Australia, Guadeloupe and Haiti and they are looking for distributors and can be contacted on their website.

 

Tiki Month – 2070 Swizzle

Third drink up for the Tiki Month hosted by the Pegu blog is a drink that was created by Martin Cate at Smuggler’s Cove – the nicely spicy 2070 Swizzle.

I`m serving it in my third mug from the Fireworks studio in Glagow, the coconut mug. I could have made a drink that contains coconut and the best one that comes to mind i the Coconaut but i have already had it on here so i went and searched for something else and found the 2070 Swizzle.

This swizzle contains Angostura 1919 and demerara rums, lime and honey, allspice dram, angostura bitters and what i believe is the secret to success . 4 drops of pernod which is an ingredient that was extensively used by Don the Beachcomber and which in very small amounts ( 4-6 drops usually) adds a third dimension to the drink by adding contrast, i really like it.

If you can`t find pernod you may use absinthe or herbsaint. The absinthe is less sweet than the other two which are not absinthes (pernod is a pastis and herbsaint is a brand name of anise-flavored liquor, originally made in New Orleans, Louisiana) – but since only only drops are used it doesn´t matter which one you use. Personally i used absinthe which are more to my liking in tiki drinks while i prefer herbsaint in say a sazerac.

2070 Swizzle (by Martin Cate)

1 oz Angostura 1919 Rum
1 oz 151 Demerara Rum
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
1/2 oz Honey Syrup
1/4 oz Allspice Dram
4 drops Pernod
2 dashes Bitters

Swizzle and sprinkle nutmeg on top.

The 2070 swizzle is an awesome drink and there´s also a version of it called “2070 Swizzle Redux” created by Jim Hurricane Hayward over at the Grogalizer. Let´s try it:

2070 Swizzle Redux

1 oz Angostura 1919 or other quality Gold Rum
1/2 oz Lemon Hart 151
1/2 oz Smith & Cross
1/2 oz Fresh Lime Juice
1/2 oz Cinnamon Infused Simple Syrup (If you use Trader Tiki/BG Reynold’s, you may need to cut it back. His syrup is extremely strong. Cut it in half)
1/2 oz Honey Mix
1/2 oz Strong Kona coffee (chilled of course)
1/4 oz St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
4 drops Pernod
2 dash Angostura bitters
1 pinch freshly ground nutmeg on top
Cinnamon Stick swizzle

Here is instructions from Swanky that i found on the Tiki Central:

Use about 1/2 cup crushed ice, flash blended for a few seconds. Lately I prefer to put everything in the blender but ice, set it to the lowest setting, on mine it is “Stir” and get all the ingredients mixed.

Then I add the ice and hit it on high. I zap it for a second, let it stop and repeat. Do that maybe 3 or 4 times. Pour into the proper glass (collins/zombie, or the classic aluminum ones) and add ice to fill. Grate some fresh nutmeg on top. Add cinnamon stick as swizzle.

If you use an aluminum glass, or even a collins, take a napkin and unfold it, then refold it longways. You should have a good frost on the glass. Lightly wet one corner of the napkin and press it to the glass so it freezes in place. Wrap around and do the same to the other end. This makes the drink easier to hold since it is so cold.

I didn`t have any Angostura 1919 but i do have some left of the Caroni -97 single barrel rum so i used that with excellent results in both drinks, awesome actually…

And my blender has broken down so this one is swizzled the old fashioned way with a wooden swizzle stick.

The 2070 Swizzle Redux tastes to me like a coffee spiced cousin to the first one with a  little bit less demerara flavor and more of the Jamaican funk and (in my case) strong Caroni heaviness – and even though Caroni is a rum from Trinidad many of their strong rums does resemble Jamaican pot still rum.

Happy Tiki Month!

Swizzling with Arrack and Chartreuse

I was browsing around to find some drink inspiration and stumbled upon one of  Cocktailvirgin´s posts – the St Bruno Swizzle. What got me at first was the picture, it looked so tasty and reading the recipe finding out the drink contained green chartreuse and Batavia arrack i couldn`t wait to try it out.

And it didn`t hurt that there was a link to another interesting drink also with Chartreuse and Batavia arrack – the “Swamp Water Fix” – and that one i decided to turn into a swizzle and add some aged rum as well.

The Swamp Water Fix originates from a drink called Swamp Water containing green Chartreuse, pineapple juice and lime. That drink is from the 70s and the recipe can be found in Stan Jones’ Complete Barguide.

Both the Swamp Water drinks and the St Bruno Swizzle reminds me about the famous Chartreuse Swizzle which we the CSOWG gang (Cocktails and Spirits Online Writers Group) so happily imbibed from flower vases as drink vessels in the Mixohouse during the “good old days” in New Orleans.

I wrote a post or two about the Chartreuse Swizzle and really, there is something purely magic about the combination of green chartreuse, lime, falernum and pineapple and as we had it – JWray overproof Jamaican rum. (Can be made with other rums too with stunning results)

The garnish for the Swamp Water Fix is a wide strip of lime peel that should resemble a serpent in the swamp water.

But back to the first drink, the St Bruno Swizzle – it was created by bartender/Scott Marshall and the drink name refers to the founder of the Carthusian Order who established the enclosed monastic society in 1084.

It was the Carthusian monks who in the 1740s produced the Chartreuse liqueurs.

Reading Fred´s flavor description got me both thirsty and curious if i would find it as tasty as he did:

The St. Bruno Swizzle offered up a chocolate aroma that was paired with caramel notes from the aged rum. The citrusy sip preceded the funky Batavia Arrack flavors, the Green Chartreuse herbal notes, and the Yellow Chartreuse savory ones. At the end, instead of the drink drying out from the floated bitters, it got pleasantly chocolaty.

There was only one way to find out of course and luckily i had all the ingredients on hand. So here are the drinks:

St Bruno Swizzle

1 oz Batavia Arrack
1/2 oz Green Chartreuse
1/2 oz Yellow Chartreuse
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Lime Juice

Add the ingredients in a tall glass half filled with crushed ice and use a swizzle stick to swizzle up and down to chill until frost forms on the outside of the glass. Top of with more crushed ice and float 1/2 oz Plantation Barbados 5 Year Rum and 2 dash Bittermen`s Mole Bitters, and add a straw.

I also added a piece of lemon peel and a cherry for garnish.

I didn´t have Plantation Barbados 5 Year Rum but i have Plantation Original Dark Overproof Rum….much better to float with i think…

The flavor of the drink is what i would call aromatic…I love the funky notes from the Batavia arrack and the green chartreuse is very herbal – while the yellow chartreuse is herbal too i find it more tropical in flavor and paired with some fresh lime…it´s mouth watering and yummy.

There´s a hint of sexy chocolate in the mix…from the mole bitters. Then the float of overproof dark rum on top is like the icing on the cake or the cream on the coffee…

I liked this cocktail but one cocktail is never enough…

Swamp Water swizzle

1 1/2 oz Green Chartreuse
1 oz Batavia Arrack
1/2 oz Pineapple Syrup
1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
3/4 oz Lime Juice
2 drop Bitter Truth Celery Bitters

Add ingredients to a tall glass and fill with crushed ice and swizzle to mix. Insert a wide lime twist in the glass, top with more ice, dust some cinnamon on top and add a straw.

This drink was rounder in flavor, probably because of the pineapple juice and the celery bitters. It had a similar flavor though since both drinks contains Batavia arrack and Chartreuse but definitely more “round” and “full” and if i was to choose one of them i`d take this one.

Such aromatic drinks…i hope yall will and can try them out sometimes. I call the green Chartruse the “green magic potion”…

 

Sugarcane bar

 

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SWIZZLES part 5 – Full Proof Mai Kai Swizzle

It`s time to add another swizzle to this blog and i just recently stumbled on a post over at the Atomic Grog blog about the Mai Kai Swizzle and it got me thirsty… and since i had never made that swizzle i tried it – and i find it tasty.

Unfortunately i don´t have the same rum as the recipe called for so i might have missed that thing which makes it stand out a bit. That said it doesn´t mean you can`t make it nice with other rums and that´s the beauty of rums – you can create so much variation.

Just one thing…i prefer strong drinks over weak and this one is weak or mild so allow me to pimp it up a little…

The post says it needs that golden rum from Appleton but since i don´t have it i decided to use Appleton Extra – one of my favorite rums…because i have many – and let the drink get a healthy dose of two overproof or strong rums.

I really like overproof rum – when used right it takes a cocktail or tiki drink to the next level, not just in strength but also flavor and we know that stronger proof concentrates flavors better. But one needs to be careful though, it´s so easy to have one drink too much..

I luckily have a few overproof and full proof rums to chose from at various strengths –

Coruba overproof (75%), Lemon Hart 151(75.5 %), Pusser´s overproof (70%), Plantation dark overproof (73%) Smith and Cross ( 57%) Tiki Lover`s Dark (57%) and JWray overproof (63%) and in this drink i used the Plantation dark overproof because it´s flavor profile fitted the other rum best i figured.

What i call “full-proof” are those that are between 50 – 60% ABV. I don´t know if that`s what they are officially called but to me it sounds appropriate…

The swizzling technique is another thing to mention but instead of writing the same things again i point you readers to this excellent post. It´s fun to swizzle and it gets even better if you have one of those original swizzle sticks from the swizzle stick tree – (Quararibea turbinata) which grows in the Caribbean and whose branches grows in a forked star shaped fashion thus producing perfect swizzle sticks! – called bois lele on Martinique.

Bois lele.The thicker one is from Guyana and the other is from Martinique.

You can get the original swizzle sticks here.

So now i got the ingredients, the shaker and glass, the ice and the swizzle stick or bar spoon, let´s get started!

FULL PROOF MAI KAI SWIZZLE


1.5 oz fresh-squeezed orange juice
0.5 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice
0.5 oz mango juice
0.5 oz rich sugarcane syrup – (2 parts sugar to 1 part water, heated and cooled)
0.25 oz orgeat (almond) syrup
1/8 oz falernum
1 oz Appleton Extra Jamaican rum
1 oz Smith and Cross jamaican rum
Float 0.5 oz Plantation overproof rum on top of the drink

Swizzle in cocktail shaker with 1 cup crushed ice. Pour into a stemmed cocktail glass and fill up with more crushed ice if needed and garnish with a mango slice – or like i did here with my fruit carving knife – a palm frond out of the mango fruit.

The combination of mango juice, orgeat and falernum is a bit special and very tasty, very tropical. Since i don´t have Appleton Special Gold rum i can`t compare this stronger version with the original, all i can say is that it´s tasty and rummy.

The other swizzles in the swizzle series on this blog are these:

1 – Swizzles part one – Queenspark Swizzle and Creole Swizzle

2 – Chartreuse Swizzle with caramelized demerara sugar

3 – 151 swizzle

4 – Swordfighter swizzle

Keep swizzling!