All Hail Coffee and Pineapple!

Last post for the tiki month! Here is a cathegory of tiki drinks that I like very much, those that contains some amount of coffee, often paired with pineapple and white grapefruit juices. Pineapple and coffee is a match made in heaven, adding an intriguing flavor profile and who invented it I have no idea, but since many tiki recipes includes Kona coffee it must of been someone on Hawaii…

The coffee adds extra depth and flavor notes that gives the drinks a special flavor and kick and these ingredients goes especially well with dark Jamaican and Demerara rums…

When it comes to coffee flavored tiki drinks, there´s the cold ones and the hot ones, but it´s the cold ones i`m writing about here. Some using cold brewed strong coffee, others coffee liqueur or coffee syrup, or muddled coffee beans in the shaker. I prefer to use either cold brewed coffee or coffee syrup rather than a coffee liqueur which I think, in some drinks will be too cloying and sweet.The coffee flavor 

The three types of coffee I prefer to use are Kona coffee, Jamaican Blue Mountian or dark roast Community Coffee from Louisiana. They all have a very lush rounded flavor.. and lots of it! So what I wanna do here is put together what I think are some of the best coffee flavored tiki drinks in one place, plus adding updated versions of 2 of my own drinks.

But let´s start with the Atomic Grog´s Tribute to the Mai Kai`s Black Magic….

Tribute to the Mai Kai`s Black Magic

Tribute to Black Magic

3/4 ounce fresh-squeezed orange juice
3/4 ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice
3/4 ounce white grapefruit juice
3/4 ounce rich honey mix
(2:1 honey to water, mixed and cooled)
1 1/2 ounces strong Kona coffee,
freshly brewed, then chilled
1 1/2 ounces Coruba dark Jamaican rum
1 1/2 ounces Kohala Bay dark Jamaican rum
(substitution suggestion below)
1/2 ounce Don’s Mix
(2 parts grapefruit juice to 1 part cinnamon syrup)
1 teaspoon Don’s Spices #2 (equal parts vanilla syrup and pimento liqueur)
2 dashes Angostura bitters

Blend with up to 1 1/2 cups of crushed ice in a top-down mixer for around 5 seconds, or until frothy. Pour into a large snifter glass with more crushed ice to fill. Garnish with a lemon peel.

Labor intensive for sure with all these ingredients, but you will get rewarded! my pro-tip is to make the vanilla and cinnamon syrups, the rich honey mix and Don`s Spices #2 a day ahead, then you don´t need to bother with that when you`re starting to mix the drink. Then start with making the Don`s mix and the coffee (to chill) and the fresh squeezed juices.

I don`t have any of the elusive Kohala Bay rum, so I sub with equal parts of Hamilton Jamaica Pot Still Black and El Dorado 15. Another tip is either Coruba or Blackwell rum, or equal parts El Dorado 12 year old (or 15) and Smith and Cross.

This drink is very coffee forward and well blended with the other ingredients. Of course the flavor will vary depending of which coffee is used, I used Community Dark Roast which is very full flavored and strong coffee.

The next is Atomic Grog´s Tribute to the Mutiny

Tribute to the Mutiny

3/4 ounce fresh-squeezed orange juice
3/4 ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice
3/4 ounce white grapefruit juice
1/2 ounce rich honey mix
(2:1 honey to water, mixed and cooled)
1/2 ounce passion fruit syrup
1 1/2 ounces strong Kona coffee,
freshly brewed, then chilled
1 1/2 ounces light Virgin Islands rum
1 1/2 ounces Kohala Bay dark Jamaican rum
1/4 ounce Don’s Mix
(2 parts grapefruit juice to 1 part cinnamon syrup)
2 dashes Angostura bitters
2 drops Pernod or Herbsaint

Blend with up to 1 1/2 cups of crushed ice in a top-down mixer for around 5 seconds, or until frothy. Pour into a large snifter glass with more crushed ice to fill.

This recipe was based heavily on Atomic Grog´s Black Magic tribute, adding a few elements of the rum barrel. Same rum substitution for Kohala Bay as with the Black Magic Tribute. This one is a bit lighter since there´s a light rum instead of two dark, and equally coffee flavored but less of Don`s mix and no spices #2 but instead an element of passionfruit is added as well as 2 drops of Herbsaint, adding that subtle lace of anise – something Donn Beach often used among his arsenal of secret weapons.

The Banda Islands

Next up is an updated version of my Banda Island Punch using freshly brewed coffee instead of coffee liqueur plus a nutmeg syrup not made from just grated nutmeg but a nutmeg syrup made in Grenada from boiled whole nutmegs with the fruit flesh and all. (Morne Delice)

But the drink got it´s name because of the connection of nutmeg syrup and the Banda islands in Indonesia which are seven volcanic tropical islands which have an interesting but sad history. The Bandanese had long used nutmeg as a currency, which they traded for food with people from other islands.

But when they were colonized by first the Portugese and then the Dutch who wanted to have all the control of the nutmeg trade – then most of the Bandanese were killed in the raids and it ended with the Dutch having to import farmers from the Netherlands to take over the nutmeg farms.

Today the beautiful Banda or Spice islands are quite unknown and their location is so isolated that they still do not appear on many present day maps. They are manly visited by sailors and smaller cruise ships. I`d like to see those islands…that´s a travel destination in my taste!

Banda Island Punch (updated recipe)

Banda Island Punch

1 oz Coruba dark rum
1 oz St James 12 aged rhum agricole (or similar)
1 oz El Dorado 15
0.5 oz fresh lime
0.5 oz nutmeg syrup (Morne Delice brand from Grenada)
0.5 oz strong Kona coffee, freshly brewed, then chilled
2 oz fresh pineapple juice
Grated nutmeg on top
Garnish with a mini pineapple or other pineapple piece and tropical leaf wrapped around the glass

Blend in blender (or preferable a top-down mixer) at high speed for 5 sec and pour into a snifter, add more crushed ice if needed and garnish, finish with a little grated nutmeg on top.

Next up…a drink from Remixed that has the name of a volcano…

Krakatoa (from Jeff Berry`s Remixed)

Krakatoa2

1.5 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz fresh orange juice
1 oz fresh white grapefruit juice
1 oz apricot nectar
0.5 oz falernum
1 tsp coffee liqueur
1.5 oz gold Puerto Rican rum
1.5 oz Demerara rum
Dash Angostura bitters
2 oz strong Kona coffee
1 cup crushed ice

Blend all ingredients except the coffee in blender at high speed for up to 10 sec and pour unstrained into a 36 oz snifter filled with ice cubes, float coffee.

And after the powerful Krakatoa – here´s my tribute recipe to one of my favorite drinks ( they are a few….) at the Latitude 29 – the Espresso Bongo! not that I have the recipe for it…I can only make a guess the proportions – but on the menu it says “Gold Jamaican rum bestirred by pineapple, coffee syrup, passionfruit, orange and lime” My guess is that the gold Jamaican rum is Appleton VX…I didn`t have it, so instead I used Appleton Extra and Coruba.

Then the orange might be orange juice…but I instead decided to use the fabulous Brazilian Zulu bitters which i wrote about a while ago, the Zulu orange bitters which has a very vibrant flavor. They contain exotic local ingredients from the rainforest….but to sub with I recommend Angostura orange which does just as well.

….and then I totally copy the awesome pineapple leaf garnish… 😀

Tribute to the Espresso Bongo – the Coffee Bongo

Coffee Bongo

1/2 oz coffee syrup
1/2 oz passion fruit syrup
1 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz pineapple Juice
1 oz Appleton Extra
1 oz Coruba
2 dashes Zulu orange bitters or Angostura orange

Add all ingredients and 8oz of ice into blender. Blend by 5 one second pulses. Pour into double rocks glass. Garnish with a pineapple leaf cut like a palmfrond….and 3 coffee beans!

And then we have this, apparently me and  Craig Hermann aka Colonel Tiki have made one Dark Magic each that are totally different 🙂 his version is the oldest and I wonder if this is the recipe that inspired the Espresso Bongo? or is the Black Magic?

Dark Magic (version by Craig Hermann)

Black Magic by Craig H

1/2 oz coffee syrup
1/2 oz Licor 43
1/2 oz passion fruit syrup
3/4 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz Appleton V/X
1 oz Coruba
dash Herbsaint

Add all and 8oz of ice into blender. Blend by 5 one second pulses. Pour into double rocks glass. Garnish with maraschino cherry and lime wheel. With compliments to Jeff “Beachbum’ Berry and The Mai-Kai’s Black Magic.

Now there´s a lot less ingredients than what was used in the previous Black Magic recipes, also I got no cherries for the moment so I made a different garnish. And then of course – I made my own version….and “bananaized” it a bit…

Dark Magic #2 (version by Tiare)

Dark Magic #2

0.75 oz each of orange juice, grapefruit juice, fresh lime and honey-mix
1  oz cold strong Kona coffee
0.5 oz homemade banana syrup*
1 oz Hamilton Guyana rum
1 oz Ancient Mariner Navy Rum (Caroni)

1.5 cups crushed ice, blended at high speed 5 sec and poured in snifter filled with more crushed ice. Garnish with pineapple leaf and tropical orchid.

Coffee and grapefruit sweetened with homemade banana syrup and made strong with potent rum! To make banana syrup* – either make a 1:1 simple syrup with dark sugar or use one readymade if you have, slice one ripe banana and with a fork mash it a bit in the pan. Then heat up to a slight boil, let boil for 10 sec while stirring and then take off heat and leave to sit for an hour, then strain and bottle.

And then….I found this recipe on Atomic Grog, the Pain Reliever, a drink made by Brian Miller.

Pain Reliever
(Adapted from a recipe by Brian Miller of Tiki Mondays with Miller)

Pain Reliever

* 1 ounce Myers’s dark Jamaican rum
* 1 ounce Ron Zacapa 23 aged rum
* 1/2 ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice
* 1/2 ounce fresh-squeezed orange juice
* 1 ounce fresh-squeezed pineapple juice
* 1 ounce coconut cream
* 1/2 ounce Don’s Spices #4 (cinnamon simple syrup)
* 1/4 ounce double-strength Kona coffee, chilled

Pulse blend with 1 cup of crushed ice for 6-8 seconds, then pour into a Tiki mug – in this picture is a mug from Wild Thing Creations. Garnish with a pineapple wedge and grated coffee bean.

I don`t have any Zacapa or Myer`s, so I used Jamaican and Demerara rums, works just fine! Also note that coconut cream is not the same thing as “cream of coconut” (Lopez and Real) it´s the top part in the cans of coconut milk which is thick and creamy, (in most cans anyway) there´s also cans of just coconut cream. It´s also possible to make your own.

Now that was my last post for this tiki month! but like I said every month is tiki month for me so no changes here….

Thanks for reading, I hope you will find some inspiration to make a few tiki cofee drinks!

Lost Spirits Colonial American Inspired Rum – Big Bold Flavors!

LSColonial rum bottle 3

COLONIAL AMERICAN INSPIRED RUM 

The Lost Spirits Distillery have done it again! made a geeky rum that blew me away…this time it`s  a 62 % ABV monster with espresso coffee and sarsaparilla notes…

I read Cocktailwonk`s post earlier on this rum where i read the flavor description by Bryan –  “chocolate-dipped plums rolled in espresso powder.”  That made my mouth water….Now having tried it for myself i find that the description is quite on point.

This rum caught me by total surprise too…since i was expecting the Cuban Inspired Anejo Blanco rum to be launched and instead they launch this…albeit it´s a collaboration with Bounty Hunter Wine and Spirits in a very small batch – 225 bottles – and only sold at the Bounty Hunter thus only being available to people in the US and during a short time. It does have a different price tag than the other Lost Spirit rums, (a whopping $100 instead of  $45) due to the tiny production.

I see this rum as an indication of what`s to come because they are continuously developing their rums, experimenting with ways to improve them and reach new levels and what they are doing is total geekery. I wouldn`t be surprised if they come out with a couple more of these type of small batch rums and i`m very interested to see where their rum developments takes them.

I really like the Colonial Inspired rum, the dark coffee notes are subtle but noticeable. There`s also hints of wood, sarsaparilla  and vanilla in it. I like the fact that it`s made without any color or flavor additives, no extra sugar in this rum! just baking grade molasses, water and yeast culture.

The nose to me is tropical fruit, citrus peel and spices and in the mouth you get an initial burn, the rum packs a 62% punch after all, then mature tropical fruit notes, sugarcane, wood, sarsaparilla, dark plums and a hint of coffee.

It`s a strong dark rum and perfect for tiki drinks….just like the others they have made.

Also the label made by Bryan is truly stunning, and like the previous labels – really detailed and artistic, reflecting the flavor profile of the rum.

LSColonial rum drink label collage

LOST SPIRIT RUMS

There`s the Navy style with it`s rough smokiness, the Polynesian Inspired with it´s fruity pineapple notes and then the Grand Lady…. 151 Cuban which also had pineapple notes and rich vanilla and which I personally find to be very easy to sip…and that makes it a dangerous rum…I would suggest use 1 oz of it and 1 oz of another in a daiquiri for example and yeah occasionally go all 151 in and supercharge that lovely daiquiri bec they really gets good…

There was a post recently on the Tiki Central where the Lost Spirits rums were discussed and Bryan chimed in with an explanation about these rums and what he had in mind when creating them, a good read in my opinion and so therefore I forward it here for those who are interested:

To chime in and offer my own answer (which is actually a lot less important than yours). Most rum companies have been around for a long time. They don’t inherently create new products. They continue to make what they have always made and what their customers expect from them. There is nothing wrong with this. In fact when you have 100 employees to feed it’s essential to your survival and your community.

However, as a tiny new company (three people total) we have no such history. This freedom allows us to be super creative. Our engineering capability also lets us (to some extent) make what we can dream up. In fact we actually make the labels before we design the rum that goes in the bottle.

Short Summaries:

Navy Rum:
This was inspired by watching pirates of the Caribbean over and over again while asking ourselves the question: what would that rum in the movie taste like if it were a real thing. We engineered this one to have a significant wood smoke note to evoke the cannon fire and gun smoke with a tar esque quality reminiscent of wooden ships. Sort of an islay whiskey meets rum idea while still staying pretty close to classic navy rum.

Geeky summary: Phenolic & estery navy rum with the biggest semi-volatile (finish) profile in the industry – woot woot

Polynesian Rum:
Here we asked the question, if tiki was an actual place what would the rum taste like? We tried to make the chemical profile of the rum as close to that of a pineapple as possible. Tricky because we make rum not pineapples so it kept wanting to taste like rum not a pineapple.

Geeky summary: Heavy pot still rum with a big mid palette of carboxylic esters (fruity flavors) and minimal phenolic & semi-volatile influence. Designed to float on tiki drinks.

Cuban Inspired:
Here my dad was reminiscing about how good rum was when he was young (he is very old). So we wondered what the legendary cuban rum of 100 years ago was like. Since I don’t own any of that – I just let my imagination go. The idea here was to do a high rectification (read Spanish style rum) but in a pot still like they would have a LONG time ago. Then we designed the oak component to punch up the vanilla and accentuate the butterscotch notes of the white rum.

Geeky summary: Lighter base rum with a massive vanilla profile created from careful phenol management in the oak.

Colonial:
This one was a personal challenge. The commissioning party wanted a rum that could command the high price tag. For me this was the hardest project to date, because it meant it had to stand against my favorite rums (which are old).

So for this one I actually used a prototype of a set of new techniques that I have been working on in the shop for a long time. I actually had to file patents before I could sell the bottles or give the buyers samples. It was very kind of them to put that kind of faith in me.

Think of this one as a sneak preview of whats to come.

Geeky summary: Holy &@%t

Also here´s a link to a post by Cocktailwonk if you`re into the more technical details about this rum and I think it´s necessary to understand how this rum is made, so here is a link and one other to earlier posts and one new because this is not a rum made the conventional way, it´s just simply different and even though I`ve had no problems sipping their rums I do prefer to mix with them.

I made my version of two tiki drinks with it which turned out really good:

Magic of the Lost Spell

LSColonial Magic of the Lost Spell

This is a drink obviously (if you`re into tiki) inspired by the Black Magic and the Dark Magic drinks…the Dark Magic created by Colonel Tiki in 2010 was in turn inspired by Mai Kai`s Black Magic.

1 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz unsweetened pineapple juice
¼ oz dark muscovado syrup
¼ oz Passion Fruit Syrup
½ oz strong coffee like Kona, Blue Mountain or a Louisiana coffee like the Community Coffee dark roast (what i`m using)
2 oz Lost Spirits Colonial American Inspired Rum
1 dash Angostura bitters
8 drops (1/8th oz) Herbsaint

Blend ingredients with 8oz ice and pour into a crushed ice filled snifter and garnish with tropical orchids and leaves and 3 speared maraschino cherries.

As this rum is hard to get and if you can`t find it, sub with the Lost Spirits Navy style rum. The taste of the drink i found to be spicy and strong and “tiki” as in a dark mysterious tiki bar.

Let`s escape! lower the lights and set that drink on fire…..

LSColonial Magic of the Lost Spell 2

Lost Pilot

The next drink is my version of the Jet Pilot (Sippin`Safari) which was inspired by Don the beachcomber`s “Test Pilot” which was created during the mid century “golden age” of tiki drinks. There has been a number of drinks evolving from the original Test Pilot, like the Space Pilot, Astronaut, the Ace pilot and the Auto pilot 🙂

With this Lost Spirits rum here it becomes the Lost Pilot!

The big difference from the Jet and Test Pilots is that while they use multiple rums this uses only the Colonial and the reason i only use one rum in this drink is that i wanted to see how this bold flavorful rum would do all by itself in this drink.

Since i haven`t yet experimented with blending it with other rums i cannot say if that would make a tastier drink – and i certainly don`t try to duplicate the Mai Kai version (which btw contains four rums and some other things) and of course using several rums brings more depth but i do think that the rum is doing really well and that this version is tasty.

LSColonial rum Lost Pilot

1/2oz fresh lime juice
1/2oz grapefruit juice (yellow)
1/2oz cinnamon syrup
1/2oz falernum
2 oz Lost Spirits Colonial American Inspired Rum
1 dash Angostura bitters
6 drops Herbsaint or Pernod
4oz crushed ice

Throw everything into the blender, ice last. Flash-blend for less than 5 seconds. Pour into a glass or tiki mug filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a tropical orchid and leaf.

This is another strong and spicy tiki drink to help you escape into the eternal bliss of tropical fantasy island….

LSColonial rum Lost Pilot collage

This cool tiki mug is the result of a collaboration between the good folks at The Floating Rum Shack and Cheeky Tiki.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

I wish there was more made of the Colonial American Inspired Rum…..I like the full flavor, the in your face punch and the potent strength, coffee notes and all and wish it was more widely available…I count myself very lucky to have a bottle. I`m looking forward to see what they gonna make in the future.

If you happen to live in the US and can order from the Bounty Hunters Wine and Spirits you have a chance to get a bottle before they gone, only 225 bottles were made.

Flavorful, strong, and quite a different animal…and so well suited for the type of drinks I love the most…this is all about big, bold flavours.

LSColonial label back

St Aubin Rum from Mauritius

St Aubun 1819 bottle

I`m a lover of agricole rums and St Aubin is new to me even though it`s not new on the market. Hailing from beautiful Mauritius it`s an exotic and exciting rum to review!

St Aubin plantation located on southern Mauritius has been cultivating sugarcane since 1890 and takes it´s name from one of it`s first owner Pierre de St Aubin. On the estate there`s both artisanal and a traditional rums made. And what more is, they also have a tea plantation, Bois Chéri and a vanilla plantation and that`s the vanilla they use in their vanilla flavored rums. The water used in the rum making comes from their own spring water from Bois Chéri. It`s all local produce here which is something i like.

Each rum has it´s specific terroir and on Mauritius there´s abundant sunshine and rich volcanic soil watered by tropical rains creating a micro climate perfect for growing good quality sugarcanes producing this rum made from pure sugar cane juice.

On Mauritius the first pressed sugar cane juice is called “fangourin” and it´s that what makes the artisanal rums at St Aubin. It is further fermented and distilled once in a copper alembic still before being bottled without ageing.

When you open the bottle the nose you get is mild, herbal, grassy, floral, hints of vanilla, crispy and that of green sugarcane. In the mouth it intensifies strongly and the herbal grassiness comes more upfront. It`s not too sweet and rather on the dry side, and it´s a very pleasant and flavorful rum.

I get a mental picture of me sipping on a ti punch….

St Aubin Ti Punch

St Aubin Ti Punch

2 oz St Aubin 50% White Rum

0.5 oz sugar cane syrup

A piece of lime, cut about 1/3 of a lime and squeeze the juice into the glass on top of the sugar, stir a little then add the rum and stir again. Adding ice or not is up to you…some people swear by no ice while others want some ice. I like it cold but you can also chill the glass, that way you don`t get any dilution from ice.

St Aubin 1819 white rum makes a very nice ti punch, flavorful, mild, crispy and refreshing! it´s a pleasure to sip on it. The daiquiri of the french islands! so simple and so tasty!

ST AUBIN FLAVORED RUMS

I also have three flavored rums here, coffee, vanilla and coconut. These flavored rums are made from fresh pressed sugar cane juice and they are flavored with natural ingredients. It`s tricky to make a good flavored rum, but these three here are all very well balanced and it tastes just natural.

COCONUT

Let`s start with the coconut…

It`s a very delightful coconut scent on the nose and the flavor is crispy brilliant with just a very slight hint of herbal grassiness and sugarcane. First you taste the coconut and then comes the sugarcane, it´s sweet but not overly-sweet. It sounds silly but i think it kinda transports you to a tropical beach…

The coconut rum is mild and caresses your palate like a soft tropical breeze…You can drink this on the rocks and also make nice cocktails with it as well as using it in tiki drinks.

VANILLA

Vanilla is my favorite spice and i have tried more than once to spice up rums with vanilla beans leaving the beans uncut in the bottle for various length of times but i have personally found it quite difficult to get it balanced and i don`t know how people manage to leave the beans in the bottle without the rum gets ruined by too much of the vanilla flavor. But this vanilla rum from St Aubin is excellent!

The nose is mild but deep and almost earthy.The herbal flavor is much more pronounced than i could feel in the coconut rum which to me tasted much lighter. This is spicy, with a deep vanilla flavor without being overpowering.

It`s a good vanilla rum and easy on the palate, good to drink as it is or in cocktails.

COFFEE

St Aubin coffee

Freshly ground coffee on the nose! with hints of sugarcane. In the mouth a vibrant coffee flavor, sugarcane and even a slight hint of vanilla. It`s mild and nice and easy to drink as well. This could be used on the rocks with ice, in cocktails and even as cocktail ingredient. Would be great in tiki drinks too especially paired with pineapple juice.

I find that all three of these flavored rums are very good! and i like that they are made from local ingredients.The coffee used is coming from the region Chamarel on Mauritius, the vanilla is from their own vanilla plantation and the coconuts are of course from the island.

COCKTAILS

I decided to make three cocktails all based on the daiquiri – which by the way is the drink that almost all tiki drinks are based on…rum, sugar and lime and then some 🙂

Mauritius Sunshine

St Aubin Mauritius Sunshine

2 oz/60 ml St Aubin Coconut Rum
1 oz/30 ml pineapple juice
0.5 oz/15 ml simple syrup
0.5 oz/15 ml fresh lime juice

Shake with ice and strain into a tall glass and garnish with a pineapple leaf.

Coffee – Pineapple Daiquiri

St Aubin coffee pineaple daiquiri

2 oz/60 ml St Aubin Coffee Rum
1 oz/30 ml pineapple juice
0.25 oz/7.5 ml dark muscovado syrup
0.5 oz/15 ml fresh lime juice

Shake with ice and strain into a fancy glass. Garnish with an orchid stem. I took a bit less sugar syrup in this one because i found the coffee rum to be a bit sweeter than the coconut.

Fiery Sunset

St Aubin Fiery Sunset

1 oz/30 ml St Aubin Vanilla Rum
1 oz/30 ml St Aubin 50% White Rum
1.5 oz/45 ml pineapple juice
0.25 oz/7.5 ml sugarcane syrup
0.5 oz/15 ml fresh lime juice
Barspoon grenadine (preferably home/house made)

Shake everything except grenadine with ice and strain into a tall glass with ice cubes. Add the grenadine and garnish with vanilla beans.

My final conclusion: These are great rums! all of them, if  i shall pick a favorite or two it has to be the 50% white and the coconut but they are all good rums and made with local and natural ingredients. I`d say St Aubin rums is a pleasant surprise!

Here is St Aubin`s website.

See other St. Aubin White rum reviews on RumRatings

Selvarey Rum from Panama

Selvarey Rums

Hailing from Panama – Selvarey Rum comes in two different expressions – Selvarey White and Selvarey Cacao. It`s distilled in Panama by master blender Don “Pancho” Francisco Fernandez. The name Selvarey means “Jungle King”

Don Pancho was born in Cuba in 1938 and he first began working with cutting sugarcane in the fields with his father. He worked his way up and became the Cuban Minister of Rum. He spent 35 years running the famous Havana Club brand in Cuba before moving to Panama and opening his own distillery.

And he built his own distillery from scratch in a small town called Pesé in the Herrera Province– Panama’s premier sugarcane region and bought a warehouse on the outskirts of Panama City and began stocking it with barrels of rum and out of there i now have these two expressions here to try out and make a few cocktails with.

Selvarey rum is distilled in four copper column stills built in 1922 by American Copper & Brass Works. The rum is then aged in American white oak ex bourbon barrels imparting notes of vanilla and caramel. Water is added to bring Selvarey White down to 40% ABV and Selvarey Cacao to 35% ABV.

Selvarey rums are lush tropical rums, sweet and flavorful and you may sip on it´s own or mix with in various cocktails. The bottles are really beautiful, they look very exotic! they are also sturdy and quite heavy with a thick bottom.

Selvarey White

Selvarey Rum White

The white rum is a blend of three and five-year-old rums, distilled in 1922 copper column stills, aged in bourbon casks and carbon filtered to remove the color while keeping most of the flavors and it is made up of more than a single batch of rum adding to it`s complexity.

From his warehouse, Don Pancho chooses a 3 year-old for its youth and vibrancy of fresh-cut sugarcane, and then combines it with a rich, full bodied, more mature 5 year-old.

The nose is mild and sweet with hints of vanilla and fresh sugarcane plus a little bit of toffee and butterscotch.The mouth is quite viscous and the same notes comes through in the flavor along with creamy butterscotch. It`s designed to be a sipping rum enjoyed with some ice but it mixes well in cocktails like the daiquiri or mojito for example or any that contains citrus which it plays very well with plus the citrus cuts the sweetness a bit and adds that vibrant aromatic flavor.

Selvarey Cacao

Selvarey Rum Cacao

The cacao rum is made from five-year-old rum infused with locally sourced chocolate which doesn`t give the “chocolate bar” flavor but rather a fine flavor of the cocoa bean. Less sweet than the white rum and here you get vanilla notes plus some oak with a mild spice along with the flavor of  natural chocolate.

The color is dark amber/copper and when opening the bottle you immediately get the aroma of chocolate in the air. Selvarey Cacao won the gold medal at the 2014 Miami Rum Fest and was the first flavored rum ever to win the coveted Chairman’s Trophy at the 2014 Ultimate Spirits Challenge in New York City.

I decided to first make two cocktails found on the website for a change instead of making my usual tiki drinks and the Rey Cafè catched my attention, a cocktail made with the Cacao rum, coffee and unsweetened coconut milk but i switched the espresso coffee for what i have on hand (and prefer) which is New Orleans Community coffee dark roast – which is strong and flavorful in the same way as Hawaiian Kona and Jamaican Blue Mountain coffees.

Rey Cafè

Selvarey Rey Cafè

1.5oz Selvarey Cacao
1oz strong coffee (cold)
1oz unsweetened coconut milk
0.25 oz -0.5 oz simple syrup or sugar (taste your way)

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice cubes and grate some cinnamon and nutmeg on top.

A very nice cocktail indeed! here you get cacao, sugarcane, coffee, cinnamon and nutmeg wrapped up in creamy unsweetened coconut milk…This cocktail can also be made warm for those stormy fall or cold winter nights.

The next cocktail is a daiquiri for which, the Selvarey white rum is perfect:

Selvarey Jungle Daiquiri

Selvarey Jungle Daiquiri

2 oz of  Selvarey White Rum
0.75 oz fresh lime juice
0.5 oz dark sugar syrup

Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass, garnish with lime.

And here is another type of daiquiri, with grilled fruit, this is for the white rum:

Grilled Fruit Daiquiri

Selvarey rum Grilled-fruit-daiquiri

2-3 Pieces of Grilled Fruit (Mango, Pineapple, or Cantaloupe)

2 oz. Selvarey White Rum

1 oz. Simple Syrup (1 part superfine sugar to 1 part water, stir till dissolved)

3/4 oz. Fresh Lime Juice

Muddle the grilled fruit with the simple syrup and lime juice in a shaker. Add Selvarey White Rum and ice. Shake vigorously and fine strain into a cocktail coupe or other glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Grilled Fruit: De-core or de-seed fruit first and cut, so as to expose a large area of fruit flesh. Grill, flesh side down, until grill marks are present (about 2 minutes). Cut chunks of fruit from grilled flesh and use to muddle in cocktail.

You can check to see where to find Selvarey rums here.

See other Selvarey Cacao rum reviews on RumRatings

See other Selvarey White Rum reviews on RumRatings

Making Rhum Arrangè

RHUM ARRANGE ANANAS QUI PLEURE4 BOTTLE SIDE PINEAPPLE

First time i saw rhum arrangè being made by suspending the fruits above the rhum in large jars was when i saw a video from La Rèunion and i got quite curious. There were all kinds of fruits hanging there with all kinds of things (spices) sticking out of the fruits. I had known about rhum arrangè before but not being made that way. So i decided to try some day and now it´s the time.

The style is called in french –  “ananas qui pleure”  (the crying pineapple) since the pineapple is suspended in the jar above the rhum agricole as to not touch the rhum and thus avoiding any flavors from the skin to get into the rhum. This is typically done with citrus fruits which carries bitter flavors in their skin.

But also this kind of maceration above the rhum can be done with any fruits and in the French islands only the imagination is the limit, you see ALL kinds of things in intriguing jars…some you have NO idea what they are…

And there´s for example rhum arrangè with shrimp and snake…i`m actually wondering how it would taste with a crawfish rhum?

The one i`m experimenting with here has New Orleans community coffee pecan-praline coffee beans stuck into one side of the fruit and Tahitian vanilla beans in the other and the beans are cut in the ends so the juice from the pineapple can pass through like a “funnel” through the vanilla bean bringing some of the tiny vanilla seeds along down into the rhum.

And all the pineapple, vanilla-coffee goodness will slowly drop down to flavor the rhum…thus the name “ananas qui pleure…The whole thing will sit like that in the closed jar until the fall, at least 4 months.

I wrote a post about rhum arrangè before and i that post i included that video from the island of la Rèunion where there is a restaurant called Le Saint-Bernard that contains ONLY rhum arrangès (about 400 rhums) of all kinds of flavors made with fruits, roots, spices and God knows what…and many are suspended this way.

Unfortunately (very) the video i first saw is not there anymore but the article (in french) is. The place looks like a veritable laboratory of rhum arrangè, absolutely amazing and a place i`d love to visit.

In my earlier post i wrote about this method of hanging the fruit above the alcohol explaining it:

There´s two different ways of macerating, one is the traditional common way of submerging the fruits and spices into the rum. Then there´s another where you hang the fruits (usually citrus fruits) as they are or with things inserted into the fruits – like coffee beans and hung above the liquid.

The idea is that the aromatics and oils are derived from the citrus and spices without any bitterness from the pith and that´s the reason this method is usually used for citrus fruits.

Here`s a link to a case study with limoncello.

This method is called D.S.M – or Delicious Scientific Magic!!

DSM – or diffusion – The alcohol, exerting a vapor pressure, will diffuse into the lemons saturating the lemon, thus the loss of alcohol in a closed system.

In turn, the lemon oil will also exert a vapor pressure; the lemon smell you get when you cut the skin. It will diffuse out of the lemon and saturate the alcohol.

In the Limoncello post they are talking about high proof or overproof spirits but the traditional rhum arrangè isn`t necessarily done with especially high proof  rhums, i think the common proof is between 45-55%

Here´s one of the videos about the rhums arrangès at Le Saint-Bernard:

Here`s also a link to some pictures of the rhums.

As you can see there´s absolutely no limit of what you can do with rhum arrangè…but what you need is a lot of patience because this ain`t no quick fix!

So here`s what i did to make this variation with pineapple, vanilla and coffee:

1 – Prepare everything you need, jar, rhum or rum, fruit (not too ripe), spices, a string to tie the fruit with. Cut the vanilla beans in half pieces and cut off the top ends. Make sure the jar and the string is clean and the fruit washed.

RHUM ARRANGE ANANAS QUI PLEURE 1

2 – Cut up the fruit to a size that fits the jar and discard the leaves, then cut small holes in the fruit and stick the coffee beans in one side and the vanilla beans in the other (the skin side) I had to cut up this pineapple because it was too big for the jar but one can also use whole fruits with this method.

RHUM ARRANGE ANANAS QUI PLEURE CUT UP FRUIT COLLAGE

3 – Add the rhum to the jar, then the sugarcane syrup (i took one bottle (75 cl rhum) and add 2-3 tsp of sugarcane syrup. (or 15 cl/o.5 oz)

4 – Suspend the fruit to the cover of the jar with strings so that the fruit do not touch the rum and close the jar good and SEAL it hermetically with tape and leave to macerate for a minimum of 4 months ( it can go 6 months without problem or longer, there are rhum arrangès that have been sitting 3-4 years…)

But i think 4-6 month is good for this one. I`m planning to open the jar in the fall and see what i got – exciting…

RHUM ARRANGE ANANAS QUI PLEURE 3 PICS COLLAGE

And that is all!

The Black Magic Cocktail and How to sub a Defunct Rum

Black Magic 1

Oh how i wish sometimes that i could just for a day or two transport myself back to the time where the tiki drinks were served with rums like the 17 year old JWray, the quintessential Mai Tai rum or for example the Jamaican Dagger rums…

Well, there IS still some of those rums left…maybe a bottle or three? and these are kept by a few rum collectors..but i actually once did have a smaller bottle of one of the dagger rums. And yep i won`t forget that rum. Or the other vintage rums i`ve luckily been able to taste in various places.

Many of these rums had a flavor profile that of old jamaican pot still plus so much more…and it seems to me that more and more rum companies are trying to re-create that flavor profile again – a good example is Smith and Cross. But these – even though they are very good to my taste – haven`t been able to duplicate the flavor those vintage rums had. We the rum drinkers who are or have not been in a position to collect some of those elusive vintage rums must make do with substitutions.

I`m going to make an example here with a vintage tiki drink called the Black Magic. Dark rums and coffee is what gave this drink it´s name and it was made by Mariano Licudine while he was still working for Don the Beachcomber in the Don the Beachcomber restaurant in Chicago. He later moved on to Fort Lauderdale to work at the Mai Kai.

I have read that he had 48 drinks on his cocktail menu that called for 43 different kinds of rum…so he knew his rums and how to blend different rums to create new flavor profiles for his cocktails – much like Don the Beachcomber.

So when he went to work at the Mai Kai he brought with him many of the recipes of Don Beach drinks and made his own twist on them.

What made the Black Magic so distinctive was not just the blend of dark rums and coffee which is delicious – but it was also the rums used and in this drink one of the Jamaican dagger rums played an important part.

dagger-punch-jamaican-dark-rum

Dagger was a Jamaican dark rum brand which is now defunct. The one i tried had a dark mahogany color and dark tones of burnt molasses and dried fruits, and it was spicy and woody, balanced and complex with a vintage feel.

There are different dagger rums with different agings and here´s what the Bum wrote about one of Mariano´s old dagger rums he tried at the Mai Kai´s back bar, stucked away on a shelf as it was.

“It puts the current dark Jamaican offerings on the market to shame; nothing in the Appleton or Myers’s portfolio even comes close.”

So what to do? how do we sub rums like that?

Reading more on the Atomic Grog`s website thought me that the same company that made the dagger rums now makes a rum that is hard to find – but not impossible – the Kohala Bay.

Now i have no way of finding Kohala Bay so then what to do? i kept reading and found out that they suggested an equal mix of Smith and Cross and El Dorado 12 year old demerara rum.

And finally – i can do that. What i can say is that these rums made a nice drink, tasty and strong but if it comes anywhere close to how the original Black Magic tasted when made with the jamaican dagger rum – it surely ain`t.

And close to how it tastes with the Kohala Bay rum? i cannot tell…all i can say that it´s a tasty drink and that the Smith and Cross/El Dorado 12 yo combo is a good one.

Try it for yourselves..this recipe is the Tribute to the Dark Magic as found on the Atomic Grog.

On the Mai Kai menu it said –

BLACK MAGIC

The owner’s choice. A superbly smooth but forthright blending of fine dark rums and tropical juices, subtly laced with coffee and truly refreshing.

Read the rest of the review here.

Black Magic 3

Tribute to The Mai-Kai’s Black Magic

* 3/4 ounce fresh-squeezed orange juice
* 3/4 ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice
* 3/4 ounce white grapefruit juice
* 3/4 ounce rich honey mix
(2:1 honey to water, mixed and cooled)
* 1 1/2 ounces strong Kona coffee,
freshly brewed, then chilled
* 1 1/2 ounces Coruba dark Jamaican rum
* 1 1/2 ounces Kohala Bay dark Jamaican rum
(substitution suggestion below)
* 1/2 ounce Don’s Mix
(2 parts grapefruit juice to 1 part cinnamon syrup)
* 1/2 teaspoon allspice dram (aka pimento liquor)
* 2 dashes Angostura bitters

Blend with up to 1 1/2 cups of crushed ice in a top-down mixer for around 5 seconds, or until frothy. Pour into a large snifter glass with more crushed ice to fill. Garnish with a lemon peel.

Something about the coffee…try to get real Hawaiian Kona coffee if you can but if you can`t try to get either Louisiana Community coffee dark roast or Jamaican Blue Mountain. I don`t think any other coffee will do. You need a full flavored and strong coffee like these.

Instead of a snifter i decided to let this drink christen my new awesome tiki mug 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 )

Black Magic 4

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)

If you go to Maui make sure to stop by the shop, you will find tiki mugs by Scott, Rob and some other local artists, tiki farm, etc.

Also Gecko on Oahu will be releasing Scott´s new Ka’oha design mug in a much more affordable run than the others that have sold..most likely in July on his Southseaarts.com website.

The pics below (by Scott Taylor) are some of Scott´s tiki mugs:

Scott Taylor mugs 4 Coconut Beachcomber & Tapa Tri-Foota

Scott Taylor mugs 5 Marquesan Pineapple bowl

Scott Taylor mugs 2

Favorite Flavor Combinations: Coffee and Pineapple

A touch of coffee and pineapple..

The fragrance of coffee is one of those lovely things that belongs to our comfort-zone, really, what would we do without it?

I`m gonna write a little series on my favorite flavor combinations and coffee and pineapple is first out. The pairing of flavors is something that i`ve always been interested in and i`m more or less always on the hunt for new flavors to play with.

But also old and proven flavor pairings are fun to mix with and good to imbibe and like the classic cocktails always will be there. One such flavor combination is coffee and pineapple and especially in the tiki drink world it`s a classic.

Pineapple goes well with cinnamon too – another tiki classic. But in this post i`ll deal with the coffee. Every coffee lover knows how important it is to choose good quality and flavorful coffee – beans or blends. I have over the years tried many different coffees and i have now settled with 3 types that i think is superior to any other.

These 3 coffees are first the coffee from Louisiana (especially Community Coffee) then Kona coffee from Hawaii and finally Jamaican Blue Mountain. These three are more flavorful, strong and fullbodied than any other i have tried from anywhere. The Community Coffee is my house coffee of the three.

I recently introduced that coffee to a co-worker and he said i have turned his coffee-world upside down and that he´ll never want another coffee…that´s how good he found it to be and i`m not going to say against that. He did put it above Blue Mountain which is a good coffee..

So good coffee for great cocktails! and coffee in cocktails is a wonderful thing, it creates a contrasting flavor and paired with pineapple is a marriage in heaven. When it comes to flavor pairings a rule of thumb is that the things that grows together in the same climate also goes best together.

Now the pineapple – it gotta be FRESH! i like the ones that are not yet fully ripe but still fragrant since they are really fresh and not too sweet. You can check if a pineapple is ripe by tearing off one of the top leaves, it should go off easily and by sniffing on it, it should be very fragrant. The kinda almost-ripe ones i like are lightly fragrant, the leaf goes off but not too easily and they are a bit greenish.

Put pineapple and coffee together with dark rum, lime and sugar and you´re in for a treat. Here´s a very classic type of tiki drink, i call this one Coffee Barrel, a bit boring name i know but it fits with the rum barrel mug i used. (These cool rum barrel mugs are from Smuggler´s Cove)

COFFEE BARREL


Place 5-6 coffee beans in a shaker and crush them but don´t make powder out of it. Add 5-6 chunks of fresh pineapple and muddle with the crushed beans.

Add:

0.5 oz fresh lime juice

1/4 oz orgeat

0.5 oz sugarcane syrup (i used Petit Canne)

Dash Aphrodite bitters (Dr Adam Elmegrab`s)

1 oz Jamaican dark rum ( I used Coruba)

1 oz white cachaca ( i used Abelha which is very smooth without being industrial – it´s handcrafted small batch)

Shake hard with ice and double strain into a tiki mug or chimney glass with crushed ice. If using a large mug like the rum barrel mug you may make a double recipe.

Float Smith & Cross (a good float)

Garnish mint sprig and pineapple chunks

This tastes rummy, spicy and tiki! and the addition of aphrodite bitters blends well with the pineapple-coffee theme since the bitters contains coffee as well. So let´s move on to one of my favorite cocktails, the daiquiri. And here´s my version of the Aphrodite Daiquiri:

APHRODITE DAIQUIRI


1 oz white rum ( i used Havana Club 3 yo)

1 oz Smith & Cross

0.75 0z fresh lime juice

0.5 oz pineapple syrup

2-3 dashes Aphrodite bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled coupe.

Garnish with a rough golden sugar rim.

Liquid gold with just a touch of coffee and pineapple…