Meermaid Infused Rum – A rum with a lot of love!

 Mermaid rum (16)

When I first heard about the Meermaid rum I got quite curious, “Meermaid rum” what on earth is that? then I saw some pictures posted and they picked my interest especially since I also read positive thoughts about it written by trustworthy people. Being an infused (or spiced) rum you tend you get a bit suspicious…..too many spiced rums are way too sweet….

But not this one! in fact there is no sugar or artificial additives at all – or as the label says on the back of the bottle – “17 real fruits & spices macerated in a blend of Jamaica/Trinidad rums. No sugar, artificial flavors or nonsense added” – Bravo! that elevated my hope! btw I like how they say “nonsense” ……..

Meermaid rum comes in two expressions, and they come in some really cool stoneware bottles – a 70ml 40% infused rum and then an overproof version of the same rum at 62% in a 500ml bottle, also stone, which is really cool. The one thing I feel could be improved is the wooden cork because it doesn`t hold very tight… I wouldn`t try to bring an opened bottle with me if I was going somewhere and that`s a pity. So a better tighter cork is needed!

What this rum is – is interesting, and with an overproof version of the same rum it opens up for some tiki fun and rum pairings!

Something to note – Meermaid rum is not to be mixed up with the “Mermaid rum” from Florida, the “Meermaid” rum is infused and bottled in Berlin, Germany.

Meermaid rum began with a passion to learn how to produce flavored rum…the thought is to preserve the actual rum flavor and with the 16 all natural ingredients like fruits, dried fruits and spices they add, just enhance the flavor. The rum is recommended for use in tiki cocktails (yay here I come…) or ginger beer or ginger ale, or on the rocks.

Recommended is also pineapple…..did they say pineapple? now this really talks to me!

Meermaid collage 2

Meermaid Infused Rum – Conceived in a long gone Tiki Bar….

And it got even more interesting when I learnt that Stefan Waltz, the maker of this infused rum, once set up a tiki bar on a boat….and later used to be the co-owner of the since now long gone tiki bar in Berlin called “Tabou Tiki Room“….

Where he had a mermaid painted on the door to the Ladies Room, which later on also became the design picture for the Meermaid rum, a name that he first discovered on a cup from the 60s where there was a recipe for a cocktail called “Meermaid”…I love when I stumble upon interesting things like this while researching for writing a rum post…that*s how it comes that I sometimes sit up all night…

The Tabou Tiki Room was inspired by Stefan`s visits to Trader Vic in London and Munich, and the Mai Kai and Tonga Room in America and the idea of escape from the outside world that real tiki bars is all about.

Tabou collage

Here is the history of this infused rum as told on the website by Stefan Waltz:

I used to be the co-owner of the “Tabou Tiki Room”. An infamous tiki bar, and first of its kind, in Berlin, Germany. The place is long gone now, but it was there that the dream to produce my own infused rum was born.

“Tabou” was a bar that focused on the almost forgotten, rum based cocktails of the old days served in authentic tiki mugs, and an assortment of sipping rums fifty strong. I had the pleasure of acquiring these rums from around the world.

Don’t get me wrong, I know that there are fine spiced rums out there nowadays, but I want to show that it is possible to produce handcrafted infused rum at a reasonable price, while maintaining a far superior quality to the industry standard.

I began by trying several recipes using quality rum with an assortment of exotic spices and various types of fruit infusions. After several months of experimenting, analyzing, and taste-testing I concocted several unique possibilities, but felt that something crucial was missing. In the end, it was my girlfriend who suggested the last, key ingredient and I knew that we had crafted something special. Two weeks and several business meetings later, I had found a way to make naturally infused rum in small batches.

As you can imagine, it being in charge of searching and was a fun and exciting job. However, back in 2004 I just could not find a brand of spiced rum that met with my high standards. What I found was mass produced liquor, flavored with artificial vanilla to cover up the taste of what was quite obviously mediocre rum. It was through this search that the idea to make my own bottled rum began to form.

Quite interesting story isn`t it? And now he finally has his infused rum which btw is excellent!

Bottles back collage

Here`s my thoughts on the flavor:

Meermaid Infused Rum:

The color is lightly straw and when I swirl the rum in the glass, legs are quickly formed on the sides. The nose is very pleasant with a lot of citrus fruitiness, some herbs and a bit of spices with a very slight hint of rum in the background.

The nose is very mild yet has a lot of flavor notes in it.

The taste is spicy and herbal with he rum resting discreetly in the background, it´s mild and balanced and has an interesting flavor which is complex. It also has a pronounced fruitiness. It`s more mild and balanced than I expected and there`s no “overly sweetness” or “too much vanilla” in it, there´s a clear hint of cinnamon but there`s nothing that takes over.

There`s also something else there I cannot put my finger on…cherry?

There’s fruity orange and a bit of woody spicy aftertaste with hints of cinnamon, clove, cardamom, herbs…and the finish is medium long. It`s definetily one of the better spiced rums and this one distinguishes itself from the rest in that it`s a bit different.

Meermaid Overproof Infused Rum:

The overproof version has a naturally sharper nose with creamy fruitness in it, light on the spice and little bit herbal. I really like this creamy fruitness, it`s an intoxicating scent.

The flavor is also very fruity and herbal, even a little bit floral with a touch of woody spices like cinnamon and clove. It`s mild enough to sip, the alcohol doesn`t kill you. In all I would say that both these rums are well balanced and mild enough to not overpower anything which so many other spiced rums does.

They can be both sipped and mixed! and yes they are right, it really pairs well with pineapple!

Bottle overproof collage

Pretty cool labels, with a skeleton mermaid on the overproof…

Wim Thielemans from Flap`s Tikis made a special tiki mug for Meermaid rum – is it the captain with a mermaid tail? or is it a tiki face? a really cool mug!

Meermaid mug

Ok and now it`s time for the drinks! i`m in the mood for pineapple, rum, lime and coconut! so it´s a lot of fresh pineapple juice and tiki drinks…

First drink is a pineapple bowl…a mix of fresh pineapple and lime juices, orgeat and three rums to make it strong plus dashes of Angostura and Zulu bitters to make it nice! the whole awesomeness is served in a scooped out pineapple garnished with pineapple leaves, lime wheels and tropical flowers.

I wish I had one of those little plastic cocktail garnish mermaids to add to the bowl….she could swim around there in all the rum…

Meermaid Pineapple Bowl

Meermaid Pineapple Bowl

2 oz/60ml fresh pineapple juice
1 oz/30ml fresh lime juice
0.75 oz/22.5ml orgeat
1 oz/30ml Meermaid Infused rum
0.5 oz/15ml Meermaid overproof rum
1 oz/30ml demerara rum
A couple dashes of Angostura and Zulu* Aromatic bitters

Blend in blender with 1 cup crushed ice for 5 sec, then pour into a scooped out pineapple (or glass/tiki mug) and fill up wityh more crushed ice and garnish.

This drink is very refreshing!

*The Zulu bitters are hard to get outside of Brazil where they are made from local ingredients in the rainforest, ( try e-mail zuluheadbartender@gmail.com ) – Otherwise using Angostura is just fine!

The next drink….looks very innocent but it is not!

Naughty Mermaid

Naughty Meermaid

2 oz /60ml fresh pineapple juice
2 oz/60 ml fresh orange juice
1 oz/30ml  Coco Real or Lopez cream of coconut
0.25 oz/7.5ml cold brewed coffee
1 oz/30ml fresh lime juice
1 oz/30ml Meermaid Infused rum
1 oz/30ml Meermaid overproof rum
1 oz/30ml aged Jamaican rum

Blend in blender at high speed for 5 sec with 1 cup of crushed iced and pour into a large snifter.

Mermaid Ginger Cooler

Meermaid Ginger Cooler

In a rocks glass with large pieces of cracked ice, add:

1 oz/30ml Meermaid Infused rum
1 oz/30ml Meermaid overproof rum
A little squeeze of fresh lime
Top up with ice cold ginger beer and stir

Garnish with fresh mint and lime

It packs a bit of a punch!

Grande Pina Colada

Grande Pina Colada

2 oz/60ml fresh pineapple juice
1 oz/30ml Coco Real or Coco Lopez
2 oz/60ml roasted coconut water
1 oz/30ml fresh lime
1 oz/30ml Jamaican rum
1 oz/30ml Meermaid overproof rum
A couple dashes of Angostura bitters

Blend in blender at high speed for 6 sec with a cup (2.5dl) cracked ice)
Pour into a goblet or pineapple filled with cracked ice.
Add a generous float of black strap rum

Guanabana Kula

Guanabana Kula

2 oz/60ml Guanabana (soursop) juice
0.75 oz/22.5ml fresh lime juice
0.5oz/15ml macadamia nut syrup
1 oz/30ml Meermaid overproof rum
2 oz/60ml Santeria rum or a dark Jamaican rum

Flash blend in blender with 1 cup of crushed ice for 5 sec, pour into a tall glass and fill up with more crushed ice.

Garnish: wrap the glass in banana leaf and tropical orchid.

Overall I think for this infused rum, it´s a work well done! The Meermaid rum is for those who appreciate quality handmade flavored spirits – if you want your own bottle of Meermaid you can order it here. ( I do not know if they ship outside of Europe) And if you are going to the German Rum Festival in october (15-16) you can also find it there!

Okole Maluna!

FB LINK MERMAID

Cocktails with Pimento

Can`t stop mixing with this! i made a few drinks when i reviewed Pimento and when i did that post i wished i could of added a few more drinks but that had to be left to a later post.

There´s so much nice drinks you can do with it and it´s just so nice to top up with a little pimento and you get a nice strong bite of ginger and chili to give any cocktail a kick!

So here´s a few more drinks with Pimento:

Pimento Punch

pimento punch

2 oz rhum agricole ( i used JM Reserve Special)

0.5 oz orgeat ( sugarcane syrup would work just fine too)

0.5 oz fresh lime juice

Top with Pimento

Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail coupe that is rimmed with dark molasses sugar (or other dark sugar) and drop a thin slice of fresh ginger in the glass.

The formula is like a daiquiri with rhum agricole and orgeat or maybe we should say ti punch with orgeat!

This drink is light and fresh with a gingery note, perfect summer drink. You can double the recipe if you want and serve in a rocks glass instead, it really does go down quick!

Amazon

Drink with no name

2 oz aged cachaca

0.5 oz sugarcane syrup

0.5 oz fresh lime juice

Top with pimento

Add a generous float peychauds bitters

Shake with ice, except the pimento and peychauds and strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice almost to the top. Top with pimento then add some more crushed ice to fill and finally pour a generous float of peychauds bitter on top of the ice.

Garnish with a roughly cut lime peel.

A spicy drink….

Pimento Mojito

MOJITO with Pimento

Gently muddle mint with sugarcane syrup (or fine sugar) and add 0.5 oz fresh lime juice and 2 oz white rum, i choose a flavorful rum like Plantation 3 Stars, El Dorado 3 year barrel aged or Denizen.

Top up with Pimento.

So here you go, Pimento is one of the perfect mixers!

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.

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.

 

MIXING TROUGH GROG LOG 15 – Colonel Beach`s Plantation Punch

colonel-beachs-plantation-punch-close

Here we have one of those genuine steady tropical tiki punches, made to relax with in a rattan chair while the sun sets and the cikadas start their nightly concert.

Made by Donn Beach and most likely as is stated already in the Log, a drink made for his steak and coffee house “The Colonel´s Plantation Beef Steak and Coffee House” in Waikiki Hawaii cirka 1950s. Sounds to me that those were the days..can someone please invent a real time-machine?

Thank God these recipes are still here (many due to some peoples hard work) so we can enjoy these drinks in our time.

All the ingredients in this drink are classic tiki cocktail ingredients including the pernod, one of the secrets at the time. This is a very rewarding drink to sip on. i think the ginger beer adds a very nice freshness while the three rums adds depth and complexity.

What you can do, if you wanna add some real funk to this drink is to make your own ginger beer, i bet it would make a fantastic flavor to this. I don´t have the time now to do that but i think i wanna try. That will have to be another blog post.

COLONEL BEACH´S PLANTATION PUNCH

colonel-beachs-plantation-punch

1 oz fresh lime juice

2 oz unsweetened pineapple juice

0.5 oz falernum

2 oz ginger beer

2 dashes angostura bitters

1/8 tsp pernod

2 oz dark Jamaican rum

1 oz gold Puerto Rican rum

0.5 oz Barbados rum

Shake with one cup crushed ice- Pour into tall glass with 3-4 ice cubes. Garnish with pineapple chunk and sprig of mint.

Well, i used a tiki mug instead..one that i find suitable for a plantation punch and which i found on the shelves in one of New Orleans liqueur stores.

The taste of the drink is both fresh, rummy and relaxed, just the way this kinda drink should be. I have nothing to complain on here.

And as usual, here´s a little twist of this drink and we move from the rattan chair to the beach, here`s a Beach Punch:

COLONEL BEACH PUNCH

colonel-beach-punch

0.75 oz fresh lime

1.5 oz pineapple juice

1.5 oz root beer

2-3 dash Creole bitters or Peychaud`s

0.5 oz demerara simple syrup

1 oz dark Jamaican rum (Smith & Cross)

1 oz aged rhum agricole

0.5 oz LH 151

Shake with crushed ice and pour everything into a glass or tiki mug.

A typical tiki punch with extra flavors from the root beer. Nothing that sticks out but its relaxing and tasty. If you take the mint garnish and down it in the drink and stir a bit you`ll start to think about a julep sans bourbon.

colonel-beach-punch-2

A peek in the glass..are you thirsty now?

colonel-beach-punch-in-the-glass

HOW DO YOU MAKE YOUR GINGER SYRUP?

ginger-syrup

When making ginger syrup there`s but one little problem – to get that fresh bity ginger flavour to stay. When i make the syrup the usual way aka the hot method where you make a simple syrup and add sliced ginger and boil it, then cool it – the syrup looses its fresh flavour quite quickly.

When it was ginger MxMo – Rick over at Kaiserpenguintook up this topic and his solution is to make it fresh everytime by muddling ginger with simple syrup which is a very good solution giving you this fresh zingy biting ginger flavour in your cocktails.

However if you want to also have the depth that real syrup making gives there´s a way too which is a slight variation of this method. But how long the shelf life is i cannot say bec i`m making very small batches that goes fast.

GINGER SYRUP – With both hot & cold methods

To make a ginger syrup that has both depth of flavor and a rich roundness as well as the typical sharp zing or bite of the ginger its necessary to use both the hot and cold methods in syrup making, or at least that`s what my own experience is telling me.

First you use the hot method and boil, simmer and cool the syrup before adding additional fresh ginger – muddling it and then leaving it to steep until you have got the desired flavor and zing. Doing it this way you`ll get a lovely ginger syrup, rich and sharp.

Make it in  small amounts as ginger flavor decreases rapidly. Don´t ask me why it does but it does, i first discovered how short lived fresh ginger really is when making ginger beer. Now ginger syrup isn`t the same as ginger beer but also the syrup looses its fresh flavour quite fast.

Here´s how to make the syrup:

Take 2 parts sugar of choice (i use a light raw sugar – Oxfam brand plus a pinch of light muscovado) to 1 part water.Then grate a piece of fresh ginger and boil for 2 mins.Then lower the heat and simmer for another 5 mins. Cool.

Add some more fresh ginger, muddle it a bit to squeeze out the flavours and leave to steep until you find the flavor is good.

Easy to make and very useful.

Its that sharp citrusy bite actually that makes ginger so special so let´s do all we can to preserve it and further it into our drinks, so if anyone has more ideas of how to do that in ginger-syrup making i would like to hear it.

Maybe someone knows why fresh ginger flavour is so shortlived?

Here is a drink with some bite from the ginger and the slightly bitter orangey flavour from Aperol to accompany the wonderful round herbal flavours of the lovely gin from Martin Miller.

FRIENDLY GHOST

* 2 oz Gin (Martin Miller`s)
* 2-3 pineapple chunks
* 1/2 oz ginger syrup
* sprinkle of fresh lime
* 1 oz Aperol
* Tonic, to top

Muddle the pineapple, and ginger syrup. Add gin and aperol, shake with ice. Double-strain into a  glass with crushed ice and fill up with more crushed ice if needed. Top with tonic.

How do you make your ginger syrups ?

Sugarcane bar

 

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MXMO XL – GINGER

mxmologo1

This months Mixology Monday is all about ginger and is hosted by our own RumDood and he says:

For the MxMo: Ginger, participation is relatively simple.

  • Find or concoct a cocktail recipe that uses ginger in one of its many forms as an ingredient.  This can be muddled ginger, sliced ginger, ginger syrup, ginger beer (commercial or homemade), ginger liqueur, ginger candy, or pieces of a shredded photo of Ginger from Gilligan’s Island.
  • Make this recipe, take a picture of it, and then post the recipe, your thoughts about the recipe, and your photo on your blog or at the eGullet Spirits and Cocktails forum.

I think Dood have picked a great theme and no surprise – its very rum-friendly.

Indeed ginger is one of my favorite spices, its one of my essentials and not only for cooking and cocktail mixing and infusions its my no 1 cold remedy as well. You just boil up some chopped ginger root with 1L water and leave overnight to steep, then drink it as tea with milk and honey or just as is.

Using ginger in cocktail mixing – there are almost unlimited options here, you can use the lovely fragrant and biting ginger in so many ways and in so many cocktails. I think ginger pairs exceptionally well with rum but also with cachaca, tequila, mezcal, bourbon..you name it – actually i wonder what ginger wouldn`t pair well with?

As its summer and hot (well..at least its supposed to be but someone told me the Swedish summer has moved to the US)  i wanted to make something refreshing and oh..this wonderful spicy flavor and aroma is so addictive!

Yesterday i passed by the multi-equipped Indian-Caribbean shop here to see if they have yet gotten any more Ting but they didn´t.. so i picked a can of ginger beer instead and decided to use it for this MxMo post.

Then i also decided to make a cocktail that is  gingery in every way i can make it including using ginger leaves for the garnish and here it is:

ZINGIBER COCKTAIL

ginger-queen1

1-2 thin slices fresh ginger and 1/4 oz simple syrup – muddle
Add 2 oz dark rum like Appleton extra
Add 0.5 oz JWray overproof
Dash Bob`s ginger bitters
Top with ginger beer

Shake and strain – serve in glass with crushed ice. Garnish slice of ginger and if you have it – a ginger leaf

I really should have made homemade ginger beer but i didn`t have the time – ok i admit…i was lazy –  so i used Old Jamaica ginger beer, more or less the only ginger beer sold here. I find ginger beer to be a lovely cocktail mixer and it goes very well with JWray too.


Well, this cocktail here is all about the ginger really – and rum – and both are friends of mine.