MxMo XLV: TEAS

mxmologo

Its tea time folks!

MxMo XLV says TEA…over at Cocktail Virgin Slut who is hosting the event this month is written: “Find or concoct a drink recipe that uses tea or tisane (a herbal “tea” which lacks tea leaves) as an ingredient. This can be hot tea, cold tea, tea syrups, or infusions and use it in a cocktail, punch, or other drink type.”

I like to drink tea, all kinds of tea but i must admit i rarely use it in cocktails. Now there´s a tea that i like, its called Kusmi and is a Russian-style tea and tea blends established in 1867 in St. Petersburg, Russia. But in 1917 after the Russian revolution the company relocated to France. These teas are blends of Ceylon, Indian and Chinese teas and are often flavored with fruits, spices and other scents.

One of my favorite blends is Kusmi mint and chocolate and i decided to try it and make a classic Cuban mojito with a twist adding some of the mint and chocolate Kusmi tea. This tea is flavored with only natural ingredients and tastes very good and should do well in a mojito. Really…the mojito is a summer drink – but i don`t care because i like to pretend its always summer and the mojito is always nice plus i could not resist trying this thing out to see what happened.

Here´s the recipe:

KUSMI MINT CHOCOLATE MOJITO

kusmi-chocolate-mint-mojito

2 oz white rum ( i should have used Havana Club blanco here but it`s finished so i used El Dorado 3 year cask aged white which is a superb rum in my opinion)
1 oz fresh lime juice
0.5 oz raw sugar syrup (light, i use Oxfam which is lightly tanned and fine to make this syrup)
10 mint leaves
2 oz Kusmi mint and chocolate tea – cooled
Top with some Club soda

Muddle mint, raw sugar syrup and lime in a glass. Fill glass with ice and add rum and tea and top with Club Soda, stir. Garnish with a mint sprig or why not tea leaves? Actually the drink turned out to be very refreshing and i think the mint and chocolate Kusmi tea played weill with the mojito. I think i might mix this one more times.

Adding Kusmi tea to a cocktail was an interesting experiment which i wouldn´t have got the idea to do  if it wasn´t for this Mixology Monday theme. Maybe  i`ll get busy playing with different Kusmi teas.

Thank you Cocktailvirgin for hosting!

kusmi-tea

HAVANA CLUB RUM

Havana Club is made in Santa Cruz del Norte, Cuba. The brand was established by José Arechabala in 1878 and flourished until the Cuban Revolution of 1959 which resulted in the nationalization of the sugar and rum industries. Having lost their business in Cuba, the Arechabala family emigrated to Spain and then to the United States.

Though the Havana Club brand remained popular in Cuba during the 70s and 80s, a joint venture with Pernod Ricard in 1993 has led to a significant increase in production and worldwide distribution.

Havana Club is one of those rums i`ll always like, one reason is pure nostalgia, it is together with El Dorado 15 my first rums to enjoy. And then because its a versatile rum and it tastes good. The ones i use the most, the 3 year and 7 year are also moderately priced which adds to their versatility and allows for more mixing. The 3 year old is light straw colored and has a bit of a vegetal-wood nose and a unique taste and it makes good Mojitos and Daiquiris!

RUMS

* Blanco (White or Dry Silver) said to be discontinued for foreign markets?

* Añejo Blanco (White)

* Añejo 3 Años (3 Years)

* Añejo Especial (Special)

* Añejo Reserva (Reserve)

* Añejo 7 Años (7 Years)

* Añejo 15 Años (15 Years)

* Máximo Extra Añejo

The 15 Años Gran Reserva variety is not generally available; it is relatively difficult to obtain outside of Cuba. It is the result of a fifteen years of a complex aging process. Añejo 15 Años has an alcohol content of 40% ABV.

Cuban Barrel Proof

Cuban Barrel Proof is bottled straight from the barrel. The alcohol content is slightly higher than Añejo 15 Años at 45% ABV. Don José Navarro blends selected aged rums that will compose the base for Cuban Barrel Proof. It is then ‘finished’ in younger oak casks in order to recreate its oak aroma and bouquet. The casks are then opened and the batch of rum is sent for bottling.

Máximo Extra Añejo

This Rum came 2006 and is a complex blend of many years of fine rum, blended with fresh sugarcane distillate and then further aged. This rum is very hard to find and its retail value is set to a whopping $1200 per bottle

Bacardi`s version of Havana Club

Bacardi purchased the rights and original recipe from the originators (the Arechabala family, who fled Cuba with the recipe) of Havana Club Rum, and started to distribute it in the U.S in 2006. This new Bacardi version utilizes the original (Pre-1960) recipe, and is a different version than what the Cuban Government currently produces, and these are two entirely different products just being marketed under the same name.

The result seems to be a clear, smooth spirit that is equivalent to the platinum version of Bacardi Silver.(I have never tired it) Without going into the struggle over the Havana Club name which dates back more than a decade, for the time being, there are two Havana Clubs—one distilled in Puerto Rico by Bacardi and sold in the United States and another made in Cuba and distributed around the world.

Now sold in India

Havana Club Añejo Blanco is being launched by Havana Club International.The rum will be made in Cuba, imported in barrels and then bottled in India.

Finally i have these 3 cocktail recipes all using Havana Club rum, but it can of course be subbed by another white rum of choice.

OUR MAN IN HAVANA (name courtesy of Jeffrey Morgenthaler)

2 oz Havana Club 3 year old
Float of Havana Club 7 year.
1 oz tangerine juice 0.5 oz fresh lime juice 0.5 oz simple syrup
1 drop banana-tobacco “bitters”

Add all ingredients in a shaker and shake, strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with a vanilla bean.

BANANA-TOBACCO BITTERS

Made with White Rum, a steamed cigar, Cascarilla bark, Bitter Orange, Peppercorns, Clove, 1drop Pimento dram, Orange peel, Cardamom seeds, Star Anise.

These are not real bitters in that sense, its a short cut-quick recipe i got from a friend in London, they were used in a cocktail comp. There wasn`t any exact measurments in this recipe.

Take a handful dried banana chips, white rum, a few pieces from a steamed cigar ,a drop of pimento dram, lemon zest,  a little Cascarilla bark, bitter orange, a few black peppercorns, some lime juice, a star anise and the black seeds inside the green cardamom and warm up in a pan and then leave to cool. It becomes very tobacco flavored and only a little is needed, one drop that is. I steamed my cigar in a bamboo steam cooker.

GRILLED LIME MOJITO

1 teaspoon powdered sugar or simple syrup
2 oz fresh lime
4 mint leaves
1 sprig of mint
1 oz Havana Club white Rum, 1 oz Havana Club 3 years
Top up with Club soda

Cut the lime in 2 halves and cut slices from one for the garnish and grill the cut side of one halve and both sides of the slices until you get nice grill marks.Let cool a little before squeezing it. Place the mint leaves into a tall glass and squeeze the juice from the grilled lime over it. Add the powdered sugar, (or simple syrup) then gently smash the mint into the lime juice and sugar with a muddler.

Add ice (preferably crushed) then add the rums and stir well, drop the grilled slices except one into the glass and top off with the club soda (you can also stir the club soda in as per your taste).
Garnish with a mint sprig and a lime slice.

COCONUT WATER MOJITO

This is a recipe i got from my good friend Hank Koestner from the Ministry of Rum, its a Mojito with coconut water ice cubes and coconut water, very refreshing! If you can use fresh coconut water…mmm..

2 oz Havana Club 3 year
6-7 mint leaves and more mint to garnish
1 oz fresh coconut water
1 lime
Top with Soda

Simply fill the ice tray with pure coconut water and freeze.

Pound the mint leaves carefully to release the oil but not break the leaves together with the juice of i lime. Fill the glass to the top with ice and add the rum, then the coconut water and a splash of soda. Garnish with mint.