It was that time of the year again, the Libbey Glass Europe Glassology Christmas Tiki Cocktail Challenge which they announce on their page on Facebook and where you can express interest in participating. They pick 50 contestants that have a chance to be part of this fun competition and win fine prizes from Libbey.
This year my drink Santa`s Potion of Danger took first place! What a great way to start 2020! and I want to share the recipe here. It`s lenghty but not difficult, and not as complicated as it may seem!
It`s a fruity, spicy, refreshing Tiki cocktail with a pronounced tropical “zest” from the cranberry reduction, with a bit of tartness but without being actually sour, and it´s sooo deceptive… it goes down easily but it contains three of strong.
Float of pineapple infused Campari served in a passionfruit (or lime) shell on top of the ice to be floated on the ice before drinking.
Method: Add all ingredients except the pineapple infused Campari into a blender and blend at high speed for 5 seconds with 2.5dl crushed ice. Pour straight into a Kahiko Zombie glass. Top up with more crushed ice to fill. Garnish with the float of pineapple infused Campari and a flaming MK KD Grider Tiki Torch. A warning: these mini tiki torches get VERY hot after burning, so do not touch the torch part when removing it from the glass before drinking.
Serve alight and admire the flaming torch for a little, then remove it, float the pineapple infused Campari and enjoy!
Pineapple infused Campari: Add equal parts fresh crushed pineapple to Campari in a mixing glass and cover with a foil or plastic wrap. Let sit for 24 hours in the fridge, then strain as fine as you can.
Santa`s Spices:Lightly toast 1 bigger or 2 small crushed cinnamon sticks, 20 cloves and 2 star anise, se aside. Make a 2:1 simple syrup with demerara sugar and mash one 1/2 banana into it, add the toasted spices and one slit up Tahitian vanilla bean. Let it simmer for a couple minutes, take off heat and let sit for at least 30 minutes to cool and marry the flavors.
Cranberry and ginger reduction: Reduce 2 dl natural cranberry juice without too much sugar together with 4 cm long and 2 cm thick sliced ginger root until you have what you need for this drink, 30 ml/1 oz. Discard the ginger slices and cool. It should get a sharp strong ginger bite and pronounced tartness from the cranberry juice.
Here`s an interesting rum with great taste from the Swedish company, Renbjer and Magnusson. GunRoom 2 Ports Rum is a blend of aged and unaged rums from Jamaica and Trinidad. Just like the GunRoom Navy Rum, the 2 Ports Rum is also their own creation/brand with a very similar label although it´s a different type of bottle. This rum belongs to the GunRoom Pouring Range. The pouring range is high quality products at reasonable prices so that in the bar you can afford to pour good spirits into the usual drinks.
This room is a mixture of two different origins. It consists of a aged rum from Trinidad with an age between 2-5 years and a minor portion of unaged Jamaican pot still rum. It`s a bright rum with character where the taste comes through in drinks. Perfect in Daiquiris or other rum cocktails. And a daiquiri – which is the rum test cocktail – is one of the two drinks I made.
But before that, here´s my impressions from sipping it neat.
Nose: The nose is fruity with mashed ripe tropical fruits, I get to think about mango, pineapple, peaches, apricots and banana surrounded by sugarcane sweetness..
Mouth: I like flavorful rums and this rum has character, with flavors of tropical fruits same as in the nose with a hint of….arrack? could be because the first GunRoom rum has it. It`s fruity in a sort of light way but not so light it loses it´s character, it has a well defined flavor. It`s a good rum for cocktails, especially daiquiris and of course it`s a pleasant little sipper too.
Aftertaste: In the aftertaste the banana flavors says “hi” most likely hailing from the Jamaican pot still part of the duo. It`s a light aftertaste that does linger shortly but nicely.
The color is clear due to the active carbon filtering taking away the color derived from the barrel during ageing. The abv is 40%, 80 proof.
Conclusion: I can`t find anything negative about this rum, it´s a great overall rum for cocktails and sipping neat. I don`t think anything is added to it. The only thing maybe could be that I would love to try it at a higher abv with a bit more bite…
I decided to mix the GunRoom 2 Ports with another rum to see how it went, so I picked Plantation OFTD for that since a little kick of overproof always is to my liking. Then a little sweet, some sour, some weak and a little spice and bitter in the form of a float of Campari which I think turned out really well because the Campari played nicely around with the flavors in the drink.
2 Ports Cup
1 oz/30 ml GunRoom 2 Ports rum
1 oz/30 ml Plantation OFTD overproof rum
0,75 oz /22.5ml Alamea Peach Brandy Liqueur (soon to be available worlwide by Daniele Dalla Pola, review of his exotic infusions coming soon.)
0.5 oz/15 ml Campari to float in a half passionfruit shell on top of the ice.
0,75 oz /22.5ml fresh lime juice
0.5 oz/15 ml fresh pineapple juice
0.5 oz/15ml passionfruit juice
The passionfruit seeds from one passionfruit.
Add everything to shaker except the Campari and shake hard with ice, strain into a snifter. Add the passionfruit shell with the Campari float on top of the ice, to be floated before drinking. Garnish with pineapple leaf.
And of course I wanted to test this rum in a classic daiquiri (Jeff BeachBum Berry formula) and it passed the test and did well.
GunRoom 2 Ports Daiquiri
2 level teaspoons sugar blend –
(4 parts organic white cane sugar to 1 part turbinado or demerara sugar)
1 oz/30 ml fresh lime juice
2 oz/60 ml GunRoom 2 Ports rum
Garnish: lime wheel
Combine the sugar blend and lime juice in a mixing tin and stir until the sugar has fully dissolved into the lime juice.
Add the rum to the sugar and lime mixture, along with large cubes of ice, cracked with a bar spoon.
Quickly shake and strain the drink into a chilled cocktail coupe.
Well here`s something right up my alley…a twist of the Sazerac containing absinthe, gin and campari…
And not only that but it also uses a strong spicy bourbon while the classic Sazerac uses rye or cognac or both.
I`m a huge fan of the Sazerac – THE quintessential cocktail of New Orleans, or shall we say one of them because we also got the Vieux Carrè, Ramos gin fizz, the Hurricane, the Crusta, the Frappè etc etc – but the Sazerac is and will always be the number one for me.
And i`m an equally huge fan of Campari – since i was 15….
So here with this interesting twist of it….brought to my attention by Warren Bobrow who invented it and wrote about it on his blog DrinkUpNY – i`m gonna make it here and spread it further because this is indeed a good cocktail.
THE SATCHMO COCKTAIL
2 oz Four Roses Small Batch Limited Edition Bourbon (sub any good bourbon)
1/2 shot of Tenneyson Absinthe (for the washed glass) (sub any good absinthe or Pernod)
0.5 oz Campari
0.5 oz Death’s Door Gin ( sub a similar gin, like Hendricks)
1 sugar cube
Bitter Truth Creole Bitters (enough to soak the sugar cube)
Lemon zests – to rim the glass and a spiral for garnish
Chill a crystal glass (or other) with ½ shot of Tenneyson Absinthe, packed with ice and water, let cool for a bit then pour out – or drink up..
Rub the inside of the glass with a lemon zest – aah….the fragrance….
Add a sugar cube soaked in the Bitter Truth Creole Bitters to your glass and crush it with a wooden cocktail stick or a spoon or a muddler to release the flavors.
Add the bourbon, campari and gin and stir with a lemon zest threaded onto a cocktail stirrer.
This drink tastes like a spicy Sazerac with herbal/citrus notes and a touch of campari…it´s interesting…and definetily something to sip and savour.
Sip and enjoy…
And why not put on some music with Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong while you sip on this drink named after him?
The Creole Bitters…the left bottle is the 10 year anniversary bottle that was sold at the Tales of the Cocktail this year in limited quantity and the right bottle is the ordinary Creole Bitters by The Bitter Truth. Both bottles contains the same bitters.
The 1o year TOTC anniversary bottle is a piece of art.
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.
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!
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.
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
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.
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.
Saintsations and Young Pinstripe Brassband to kick off the Taless 2011 toast.
Brassbands…some of the best music you can hear.
The yearly toast to kick off Tales started with music and dance by the Young Pinstripe Brassband and the Saintsations! and as a huge Saints fan i was very happy to see them! And then followed the toast to Tales to honor the New Orleans Culinary and Cultural Preservation Society and the Sazerac Seal of Approval winners.
The 2011 Sazerac Seal of Approval recipients are Sylvain, Napoleon House, Tujague’s, Dickie Brennan’s Bourbon House, Dominique’s and Loa in the International House hotel.
This was followed by the the world´s largest Genever slurp toast – the Bols Genever Kopstootje (pronounced kop-stow-tjuh) represents the original Dutch ritual of a beer paired with a Bols Genever shot.
So the street was set with long tables with shots, a Bols t-shirt and a cold beer and everybody who did get a space did the slurp together. Those who didn´t get a space (me for example) since the street was completely packed did get the beer and t-shirt.
THERE´S A LITTLE BIT OF MAGIC IN EVERY BOTTLE OF RUM…
Six very special rums is what we got to hear about and taste and these six were rums from Prichard`s – barrel aged (Tennessee), Botran Reserva and Solera 1893 (Guatemala) Flor de Cana (Nicaragua) Abuelo Centuria (Panama) Santa Teresa Bodega Privada selection (Venezuela) Neisson Réserve Spécial (Martinique)
Ed showed us pictures from the distilleries and told the story about these rums. These were all very good rums, i specifically liked Abuelo Centuria and Neisson Réserve Spécial.
Taste is personal…but here´s a little about how i found these six rums:
Prichard`s – barrel aged – fruity, a bit oaky and vanilla.
Botran Reserva and Solera 1893 – sweet, a little oak, fruity and caramel
Flor de Cana, from a barrel sample that was put aside for Ed – lots of depth, this was unfiltered rum right out of the barrel. Woody, oak, much complexity and long finish. each sip was full of flavor.
Abuelo Centuria – The only one of these six that has been commercially bottled and fetch a price of USD 136. It´s a blend of rums, where the oldest rumis over 130 years old.
Very tasty and fullbodied, sweet, round, sugarcane, excellent rum.
Santa Teresa – As part of their Bodega Privada selection, the Santa Teresa sells a blend of aged rums to those who want their own rum which is stored in casks at the Santa Teresa warehouse until it is bottled for the owner.
This sample belons to an anonymous friend in the industry. The oldest rum in the blend is 12 years. A quite light rum with flavors of vanilla and oak.
Neisson (1993) – 18 yo, a bit higher proof. Rhum agricole made from sugarcane juice. Excellent, dry, rich and aromatic, very flavorful – superb.
That was a rum filled and interesting seminar with some good rum samples to enjoy!
Next seminar was all about the Negroni.
NEGRONI AN ICONIC COCKTAIL
I went to this session because i`m a lover of the Negroni and of Campasri and so this was a must. We got the history of the Negroni told with some very interesting photos to see from the old days in italy.
The Negroni – both a perfect and icoic cocktail, fresh and vibrant with a deep and true history which you`ll soon be able to read in a new book that is coming out.
The book is written by Kuca Picchi and is called “The true Story of the Negroni Cocktail” and if you´re interested you can send an e-mail to – Negronibook@gmail.com for further info and to reserve a copy.
The Negroni originates from the italian coffeeshops and the aperitivo is a way to keep italians from going home…and the ritual started in Turin, Florens and Florens or Firenze is the capital of the Negroni.
We tasted 3 different Negronis, one classic, a Negroni Swizzle and one carbonated. What vermouth adds to a cocktail is both sweetness and acidity and bitters adds some spice and fun! The appeal of the Negroni is that it uses bitters, speaks of it`s place (Italy) and is a very special cocktail!
There was actually much more Negroni to come during this Tales…
There was also the Negroni with a Twist Party with the World’s largest Negroni cocktail ever made at the Sonesta and a more packed room than that one i have never seen before, i tweeted “How much people can they possibly fit into a room”??????
It was almost impossible to move…much less balancing two cocktails and a plate of food….seems like most everybody wanted a taste of the world´s biggest Negroni…which was served from a huge ice block. Well, huge crowds is very much a part of the Tales…
The recipe included Campari, Beefeater 24 London Dry Gin and M&R Sweet Vermouth. Also other twists of the Negroni was served made with talian brands such as Luxardo, Aperol and Mionetto Prosecco.
To go with the Negroni cocktails was served crispy grissini sticks, strawberries with balsamic vinegar, parmesan cheese and some very fat yummy green olives.
The third Negroni event was a Negroni toast hosted by Campari to celebrate the nominees of this year’s Annual Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Award and Negroni´s was served in the Monteleone lobby.
This was all for now – part two from Tales is soon to be posted. I apologize for being late with my posts but i just came back to Sweden after almost a month in New Orleans.
Next up are the sessions about the Mai Tai, the 151 Swizzling around the World, Vanilla and Agave spirits followed by part 2 about some good Nola food.
I keep coming back to Campari over and over again, not too often but regularly because i really appreciate this bitter and very special tasting aperitif.
It goes perfectly with all kinda citrus fruits and traditionally its the lemon and orange that is used, naturally since that`s what`s growing in Italy – the home land off Campari. Did i say that one of my heros is Gaspare Campari?
As an aperitif with soda, orange or lemon its an aquired taste for many, but there are also many who loves it – me included. As a cocktail ingredient its both challenging and rewarding, and in the right place it can make some fantastic cocktails.
It goes very well with dark rum, gin, tequila – well most spirits actually but especially with those that also goes well with citrus. So how about Campari in tiki drinks? The classic tiki drink with Campari is of course the Jungle Bird, to be found on page 44 in “Intoxica” by Beachbum Berry but is there anything else?
There has been so much written already about Campari in other types of drinks like the negroni or Campari anddark rums but not very much about tiki drinks and there isn´t very much info to find either.
I went out to search..and ended up with the conclusion that if i want a tiki drink with Campari other than the Jungle Bird or an occasional something i need to invent them myself. .not even in tiki central i found anything much..and that means there´isn`t anything much then.
So eventually, i ended up making these two cocktails:
ULA ULA PUNCH
1.5 oz Smith & Cross Jamaican rum
0.5 oz aged rhum agricole, (like Clemènt VSOP)
0.5 oz Campari
1 oz pineapple juice
0.5 oz *limone rosso (or regular lemon)
0.25 oz fresh lime
0.5 oz rich demerara syrup (2:1 demerara sugar and water)
1 tsp hibiscus grenadine
For garnish – 2 small pineapple leaves, 1 cherry, 2 lemon quarters, speared
Shake all ingredients and strain into a rocks glass filled to the brim with crushed ice and garnish with the speared fruits.
This is a grown-up drink…the rhum agricole flavor is nicely blending with the bitterness of the Campari and the sugarcane and molasses from the Jamaican rum is steady in the background. Its much flavors in this drink, but its not no easy flavors since both Campari and rhum agricole isn´t “easy” neither of them.
*Limone rosso is a lemon variety i recently found in our nursery, it has reddish and wrinkled skin and inside it looks a bit different too from the regular lemon.
The fragrance is also stronger and slightly more perfumed. I also found out by tasting the juices from both lemons that the rosso is much more aromatic, mellower and somewhat less sour.
I´m gonna make a tincture with this lemon and its peel, would be interesting to see how that would turn out. Booze nerds are always on the hunt for new flavors..and into experimenting with the sometimes most unlikely flavors.
I like this dink but i cannot say if the limone rosso makes the mixed drink more aromatic compared to a reular lemon but i know i did the taste test before with the juices alone and the rosso was more aromatic, perfumed and also sweeter and not so astringent tart as the regular lemon.
This is a fresh drink and packs a rummy punch as well. But you gotta like both Campari and rhum agricole to really appreciate this cocktail. After a while when the drink “settles” with the ice the flavors comes through mellower and quite wonderfully.
On the left side is the ordinary lemon and rosso on the right. I think the regular lemon looks quite boring and sleepy in comparaison..
Of course i needed to use it for my cocktails! i accuired my lemon by picking it up from the ground where it had fallen from the bush. I wish it was a staple in our grocery…but i guess i´ll need to buy one of the plants if i want to have more of it.
Cocktail number two uses rye and Campari and turned out very nice.
Muddle 1 small piece of Mexican canela (cinnamon) with 0.5 oz sugarcane syrup (Petit Canne) and 4-5 chunks of fresh pineapple, then add:
1 oz Rittenhouse bonded
1 oz Campari
0.25 oz lemon juice (limone rosso if possible)
a very small sprinkle of fresh lime
Shake and double strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon quarter and a leaf.
This drink has a balanced mellow flavor and is a very nice cocktail indeed – at least to my palate. The rye, lemon and Campari mixes wonderfully. One i will make again.
And so we come to the last tiki style drink with Campari and this one is a swizzle. Its a twist on the negroni swizzle (made by Giuseppe Gonzalez at Painkiller in New York) turning it from negroni to a rum-swizzle type drink but with both rum and gin.
1 oz gin (Martin Miller`s)
0.5 oz Pusser´s overproof
1 oz Campari
0.5 oz lemon juice (limone rosso if possible)
0.25 oz lime juice
0.5 oz pineapple syrup
1tsp hibiscus syrup
1 oz club soda
Fill a large glass or tiki mug with crushed ice and swizzle with a swizzle stick until frosty. Garnish with lemon peel.
I would define this campariliscious and bitterly fresh with strong undertones…if that makes any sense. I believe that if you like Campari you`ll like this.
I`ve gotten to really like the combo Campari-Pusser`s – the Pusser`s goes fantastic with Campari and then in this drink, there´s a background of an almost floral flavor of the gin that is excellent. One could also use Smith & Cross in this.