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 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 –
The owner’s choice. A superbly smooth but forthright blending of fine dark rums and tropical juices, subtly laced with coffee and truly refreshing.
* 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 )
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:
Let it flow, let it flow, let it flow! and flowed it did…rum here, rum there, rum everywhere – the UK Rumfest & Cane Spirits Festival is heaven for rum lovers and it shows people that rum is more than a spirit – it´s a lifestyle with a whole culture surrounding it.
The UK RumFest brings together the industry’s plethora of blenders, distillers, bartenders and mixologists, writers, bloggers, brand ambassadors, rum enthusiasts – all joining in to celebrate all things rum.
Here you get a chance to try out both new and old, known and unknown rums and many cocktails , tiki drinks and rum punches of course, (oh the rum punches…) listen to sessions, dance with tropical dancers, taste caribbean food, watch bartender competitions – all to the rhythms of the caribbean and in the company of people who have that one thing in common – they all love rum!
The UK Rumfest 2011 took place from friday to sunday oct 14-16 at the Kensington’s Olympia in London with the friday reserved for the Boutique Rumfest (for the trade with tastings and sessions.) Saturday was the official Rumfest starting day and i don´t think i´ve seen a crazier crowd before when it comes to a room being packed with rum-lovers.
Also it was the London Cocktail Week starting the week before with 3 days left when i came into town:-)
But back to the friday and Boutique Rumfest. There was of course lots of rum to be tasted and since it was a calmer event we also got a much better chance to meet and talk to the producers about their products.
There´s an incredible amount of rums to be tasted, especially on the two official rumfest days, and i wasn´t able to taste it all i´m sure! i think there was over 400 different rums from well known brands like Zacapa, Foursquare, Bacardi, Havana Club, Appleton, Cockspur, Mount Gay, Chairman´s Reserve etc to smaller unknown brands like Les Coliniéres.
And apart from the big brands i got to try some of the to me unknown rums and other rums i`ve never tried before. Some of my favorites among those i´d not tried before are st Nicholas Abbey from Barbados, a top notch fantastic rum! (a review of their 12 yo will follow)
And Les Colinières – from Mauritius – naturally infused, so called “rum/rhum arrangé” in the islands of Mauritius and La Réuinion. Their coffee and passionfruit rums were just amazing! and would be perfect in tiki drinks. As far as i know their rums is not yet sold outside of Mauritius..
Also Rumfire was new to me. That is a Jamaican overproof white rum from the Hampden Estate which in Jamaica is known for its full, intensely flavorful pot still rums sold in bulk. Today`s Rumfire that now is released to the public is yesterday´s JB rum which was on the black market. The Rumfire is like a smoother version of JWray overproof, it has hints of that flavor but it`s not as upfront. A very interesting and tasty rum.
They made me a daiquiri with it and that was a nice daiquiri indeed, this rum mixes wonderfully. Also it won silver medal at the Ministry of Rum Tasting competition this year.
Interesting but a bit odd was the Madagascar rum Dzama, it was quite good i think but i couldn´t be friends with the aftertaste which is what i found to be odd…so i have mixed feelings about this rum. An exotic bird…i wouldn´t mind taste the rums again and take more time.
Also i finally got to try out Elements 8 Spiced, which i found to be quite tasty.
New for 2011 rumfest was the Tropical Food Market which was an entire area downstairs devoted to tropical food and delicacies – that´s where i got my freshly cut coconut! – with rum in it of course…There was also a shop entirely dedicated to muscovado sugar…
Also there was sessions and masterclasses and the one´s i got a chance to attend first was the “Don`t Fear the Blender” with Beachbum Berry and then the El Dorado.
DON´T FEAR THE BLENDER
I`m a friend of the blender, let me tell you that first.With the blender you get that aerated frothy thing you cannot really get with a shaker plus it does good things at the same time for you – it mixes, chills, dillutes, creates a froth)
The blender was first used in Havana in the Floridita, dating back to 1817 when it was first opened as “La Piña de Plata” – The Silver Pineapple in the place it still occupies, in the corner of Obispo and Monserrate streets. It got it´s name “El Florida” a 100 years later. The bartenders used to use 11 drinks shakers and you can just imagine the work…so when the blender appeared it was like a lifesaver and now it became easier to serve the never ending hords at Floridita. At the time the ice for the daiquiris was shaved.
Then Don the Beachcomber started to use the Hamilton Beach blender and more would follow.The blender aerates and dillutes some of the crushed ice just enough to “wake-up” the spirit. Some drinks requires just a quick flash blending while other wants 15-30 sek. In the Bum´s books the exact time for the blending is always written out.
This session was a real pleasure to attend and i wish it could be a weekendly habit…but alas…or if i could at least live neighbour with the Bum! i would go and borrow sugar…errr…rum…um…a tiki drink…
We got some tasty blended drinks too of course and here are the Bum`s recipes:
15 ml fresh lime juice
15 ml peach brandy
30 ml white rum
15 ml (0.5 oz) honey-mix
6 oz crushed ice
Blend for 20 sek, frappé
DEVIL´S ISLAND DAIQUIRI
22.5 ml fresh lime juice
60 ml Chairman´s Reserve Rum
22.5 ml honey butter mix
120 ml crushed ice (0.5 cup)
Let the blender go for a long time, 20 sek. Fine strain into a bitter-sugar rimmed glass, gently pressing the liquids.
Mix 4 tbsp demerara sugar with Fee´s aromatic bitters (4 big dashes)
HONEY BUTTER MIX
Unsalted butter and honey in equal proportions, heated up to dissolve the honey and melt hte butter, leave to room temp before using it.
Also you can make a delicious honey-butter-cream by using sugar, butter, heavy cream and honey.
The butter-honey-mix or cream mix gives a silky mouth feel to the drink that unless you already know – will never know what it is…
We also got some other nice drinks to imbibe like the always so tasty Missionary´s Downfall.
I don´t think i need to present what this rum is, if you don´t know already go read my earlier post and check their website.
The session was hosted by Dave Broom (author of Rum) and Stefanie Holt, (El Dorado Global Brand Ambassador)
They took us through a journey to the land of many rivers, Guyana where the demerara rum is made. An interesting thing i learnt was that when the sugarcane fields are burnt a side effect is that the sugar in the cane is dissolved in the water that evaporates and thus makes the sugar content more concentrated and sweeter. The yeast is put in a molasses solution to get happy and multiply.
Further they spoke about the different stills and since i`m a DDL still geek i always find that interesting. What DDL does is simply to put as much Guyana as possible into the rum..
SATURDAY AND SUNDAY – RUMFEST!!
So saturday and sunday was the 2 days of Rumfest and these were 2 very intense days…rum tastings, cocktail and rum punches, tiki bartender of the year, sessions on rum, rum punch, rum, rum…and then the Golden Rum Barrel Awards.
This blog was one of four nominated “Rum Blog of the Year (Europe) and i`m very honored and wanna thank everyone who did vote for me. It didn´t make it all the way though..the prize was given to my good friends Peter and Pauline over at the Floating Rum Shack, who i think really deserved it! There was also four nominated blogs for the USA cathegory and the winner was Rumconnection.
All the awards you can read about at the bottom of this blog post.
Also there was the Tiki Bartender of the Year contest with the final on the sunday. There was 3 bartenders in the final and the winner was Mahiki`s head bartender Georgi.
What i particularly like about the Rumfest is that it is such a people thing, it´s relaxed and laid back with that caribbean feel spiced with quite a bit of tiki vibes, an environment i feel right at home in.
Yes there´s food too! i did eat some real good Caribbean food at Ian`s restaurant Cotton´s – a place i really can recommend if you go to London! i had their famous Mixed Jerk Fish Grill – parrot fish, tilapia, snapper and tiger prawns served with fried plantain and rice & peas and it was lovely! Washed down with cold Carib and Blue Marlin beers.
Also the awards dinner was an amazing experience – the Caribbean style dinner with the Butterscotch Pumpkin Soup with Goat Cheese and Spiced Pumpkin Seeds was really tasty.
And then came the Coconut Crumbled Chicken with Sweet Potato mash and Sauteed Spinach…finished off with a Rum drenched fruit dessert, coffee and plain dark chocolate…hmmmm…
To finish it off here´s a whole parade of various pictures to drool over and enjoy…:-)
Amazing Queens Park swizzle at the Montgomery Place
Something beautiful and tasty from Trailer Happiness…
The Zombie at Trailer Happiness.
And their fire show…putting the overproof rum soaked copper roof on fire…displaying all kinda colors, awesome!
It`s caribbean carnival at the UK Rumfest!
Cockspur Rum Punch
Foursquare got 3 awards…
Three charming rum smiles in the Plantation stand..if you go to Trailer Happiness they´ll make tasty drinks for ya!
Three happy rum people…(Stanislav Vadrna, Yours truly (Tiare) and Carl Kanto (chemist, distiller, El Dorado) i love this about events like this – the friends you meet both new and old.
I haven`t yet been able to figure out this nifty outfit….was it somebody´s outfit for the Golden Rum Barrel Awards? ( i think heard something…)
Les Colinières – rum arrangé from Mauritius
We could get fresh cut coconuts too…with rum in it!
St Nicholas Abbey from Barbados
Elements 8 Spiced
Black Tot Last Consignment sold by the Whiskey Exchange
In the Rum Frat House – it´s like the Mixohouse in New Orleans but with rum lovers.
Rum Punch with Kraken Black Spiced
Dzama from Madagascar
God for Tiki drinks..
No Rumfest without Ting…and with Banks Five Island it`s wonderful.
Like a lighter and smoother version (flavorwise) of the JWray overproof…but don`t let that deceive you – this rum is strong.
And here`s the original JWray and Ting! which was my corps reviver on the sunday…backed up with chocolate muffins.
Don Q Rum – good for a lot of things
Ian Burrell – the one and only – Global Rum Ambassador and founder of the UK Rumfest.
THE GOLDEN RUM BARREL OF THE YEAR 2011 WINNERS
Rum Distillery of the Year 2011
The Foursquare Distillery, Barbados
Rum Distiller of the Year 2011
Richard Seale (Four Square, Barbados)
Rum Blender of the Year 2011
Tito Cordero (Venezuela: Diplomatico)
Rum Blogger of the Year (Europe) 2011
The Floating Rum shack
Rum Blogger of the Year (The America’s) 2011
Rum Ambassador of the Year (UK) 2011 sponsored by Bar Life UK
Meimi Sanchez (Havana Club)
Rum Ambassador of the Year (International) 2011 sponsored by Drink International
David Cordoba (Bacardi Rum)
Jim Wrigley (Ron St.Teresa)
Best New Rum (Gold) 2011 sponsored by Coco Re’al
Abuelo Centuria, Panama
Best New Rum (White) 2011 sponsored by Coco Re’al
Banks 5 Island, Several Countries
Best New Rum Package 2011
Boutique RumFest Award 2011 sponsored by Imbibe Magazine
Doorly’s XO Rum, Barbados
The Rum Experience Rum Pioneers Award
Joy Spence from Appleton Jamaica rum. The first female Rum master blender.
Ed Hamilton from the Ministry of rum. Founder of the pioneering web page and rum forum.
I wanna raise a toast of El Dorado 15 Year Old rum for George Robinson, the head man at the Diamond Distillery in Guyana who passed away just a little while before the UK Rumfest. A toast was also held at the Golden Rum Barrel Awards.
To continue my swizzle series…here`s the 151 Swizzle – and this is one hell of a tasty drink! it`s very simple too – and the combination of ingredients is brilliant. This drink was served by Tony Ramos at Don the Beachcomber`s in Hollywood in the 1960s.
Using 1.5 oz of the heavy Lemon Hart 151 demerara rum this drink is very distinct with a power of its own. Demerara rum is my favorite rum, it has the same pungent flavor as pot still Jamaican but is a bit smoky with a flavor that is unmatched.
The 151 Swizzle is also what is going to be made by 151 bartenders who will perform the very first unique swizzle ritual named 151 SWIZZLE-BE HERE NOW which i wrote about in my first pre-Tales post for TOTC 2011.
That means that all 151 bartenders will swizzle together at the same time in the same place with 151 original swizzle sticks from Guyana making the 151 Swizzle! and guess who´s gonna imbibe them?
Well, i`ll hopefully be one…together with the rest of the folks attending this seminar lead by Stanislav Vadrna. It`s a veritable 151 Swizzle party! and on top of that held in my favorite place on earth – my beloved New Orleans.
There might still be tickets left..check on the TOTC blog.
Now back to the 151 Swizzle, it`s tasty and it´s strong and has that extra touch of spiciness from freshly grated nutmeg and cinnamon stick, depth from the Lemon Hart 151 rum, a touch of anis from Pernod (or Herbsaint) and a balanced sweet-tartness from sugarcane syrup and fresh lime – it´s handsdown one of the best swizzles out there.
Here´s the recipe (from Remixed) to make it at home:
0.5 oz fresh lime juice
0.5 oz sugarcane syrup ( I use Petit Canne – because it has a special flavor)
1.5 oz Lemon Hart 151 (or El Dorado)
Dash Angostura bitters
6 drops Pernod ( i used Herbsaint)
8 oz crushed ice
Freshly ground nutmeg
Put everything except nutmeg in blender and blend for 5 sec. Pour unstrained into a tall glass with flaired top if possible to give more room for the freshly grated nutmeg on top. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.
Of course you can swizzle instead of blending, it´s a swizzle after all.. swizzle or blend and If you blend make sure to not blend for more than 5 sec unless you want it slushy..
And since this one is very strong even though the melting ice dilutes the heavy rum in it i think it´s good with just one unless you pace it, drink some water and let enough time pass in between drinks.
And that is said by one who likes strong rum drinks.
Time to revisit the Coconaut which is a very nice Tiki drink. I wrote about it long ago and now its the 13th drink from Grog Log i stumble over. It contains only three ingredients – rum, lime and cream of coconut (not coconut cream which is a different thing)
I like the coconut in all forms and yet i only use it occasionally, and i have tried without any success to figure out why since i really like it. Maybe some day i`ll find out.
So its rum, lime and coconut – a classic combination and such a simple drink really and very easy to play with – so let the fun begin!
8 oz Lopez Cream of Coconut
2 oz fresh lime juice
7 oz dark Jamaican rum (I broke down the recipe and used 1 oz Smith & Cross and 1 oz Pusser´s overproof)
Put everything into a blender and fill up with ice cubes and blend until slushy. This serves 2-4.
In Grog Log there´s also a flaming version called Coconaut Re-Entry using a flaming lime shell. You remove the pulp from the half lime shell and partly fill with overproof rum and ignite it. I´m gonna do that but with my own twist of this drink. I`m not gonna leave this drink now just when the fun has begun!
FLAMING DEMERARA COCONAUT
2 oz Cream of Coconut
0.5 oz fresh lime
1 oz Demerara rum
1 oz Lemon Hart 151
1/4 oz Kahlua Coffee Cream or other coffee liqueur
Proceed as with the Coconaut and set alight with some overproof rum in a lime shell.
Tasty, tasty, tasty! the Kahlua coffee cream added yummyness that goes very well with demerara rum.
Finally, the 2nd twist, let´s add some smoke now and see how that will taste. With smoke i mean mezcal and i`m gonna use my favorite, the crema – made for women and a few strong men! (that´s what it says on the label) such a true thing!
And i love crema de mezcal, it´s so smooth, lightly smokey, creamy and mixes wonderfully.
A silly name i know.-) but that´s so appropriate in the Tiki world..
2 oz Cream of Coconut
1 oz Smith & Cross Jamaican rum
1 oz Del Maguey Crema de Mezcal
0.5 oz fresh lime
1/4 Kahlua Coffee cream (again, but yes – i insist)
0.5 oz sugarcane syrup (Petit Canne)
Oh wow! if the other two were tasty but actually quite similar, this was a entirely different beast. The mezcal added depth, smoke, complexity and well…a bit of mysticism actually even if it sounds ridiculous.
I guess mezcal has that kinda thing to it and crema de mezcal is so smooth and mixing that with a thing like Kahlua coffee cream and good rum, well you sure are in for a tasty treat.
The downside is that Kahlua coffee cream is probably not available anymore unless they have made it a regular, since it was a limited edition that was launched around x-mas 2009. I used it since i need to make more use of the bottle i have. But any good coffee liqueur could be used here.
Well, rum, coconut, lime, coffee, mezcal – this was really yummy and how can you possibly go wrong with these ingredients?
It took a while but now i have finally been able to try out El Dorado`s eight year old rum. This is a blend of pot still and column still rums – aged in used whisky and bourbon barrels and was launched in the UK at Trailer Happiness in october-09 just after the UK Rumfest. I was so close to go but things weren´t in my favor so i never made it, maybe i have better luck next time.
When it comes to El Dorado rums i`m always so curious to know more about their stills, one can maybe say that i`m slightly obsessed with these old stills..and the process with which rum is made – i find it totally fascinating. What is missing for me is to actually go there and see them for myself and taste some rum – that would be totally awesome.
The stills used for the 8yo are between the 5yo and the 12yo – it is predominantly the EHP (wooden column still) with a tiny bit of the PM (double wooden pot still) and a couple of metal column stills. The 12yo and upwards all have more pot still than the 8yo whereas the 3yo & 5yo are 100% column still.
But i have a treasure here…its called liquid gold and i wanna tell you how i think it tastes.
The first thing i noticed when i took my first sip was that this one is lighter than the 12 year old, but heavier than the 5 year old so it places itself somewhere in between. The mouthfeel is a bit thinner than the 12 but the balance of flavors is as good as you would expect a rum from El Dorado and its not a weak rum. I totally expect every single rum from them to be good and so far i have never been disappointed and i don´t think i ever will be.
The new bottles are cool with a rounded shape but i really hope they never ever change the bottles of the 12,15 , 21 and 25 year old rums because those bottles are the very essence of really rummy bottles. All their bottles also has some stunning labels.
But back to the flavor… this rum is fullbodied and has notes of both vanilla, toffee, dried fruit and citrus and then molasses, wood and spice. Its hard to try to describe flavors and notes and taste is also so personal but i try to give words to the flavors that fills my palate. Its also a training thing – the more rums you taste the better you can detect the various flavors and rum has many flavors!
The nose is to me somewhat woody and spicy with some hints of vanilla. If i close my eyes i see old rum barrels…and the lingering of the flavor stays long with you. This is much rum you get to a good price and all i can say is that El Dorado has come up with yet another outstanding rum.
Its very mixable too and that is a good thing because now we´re gonna mix up two rum swizzles and we`re gonna do it in style with a real sturdy El Dorado wooden swizzle stick! I love the sound of swizzling as much as the sound of the shaker, its something about the sound of crushed ice chilling a cocktail – its like music – and then when the drink arrives, ice cold and eye-pleasingly garnished unless its a non-garnish drink – its one of life`s true pleasures.
So let`s swizzle!
Swizzling is fun and the sound of the crushed tells you about the tastiness that`s gonna soon be ready to be imbibed. When you see the glass has become frosted on the outside, then you know the drink is cold enough.
GOLDEN SUN SWIZZLE
1.5 oz passionfruit juice
0.5 oz fresh orange juice
0.5 oz fresh lime
2 oz El Dorado 8 year old rum
1/4 simple syrup
1/4 passionfruit syrup
Dash Angostura bitters
Dash homemade greandine
Swizzle it all in a tall glass half filled with crushed ice, then add a dash grenadine and fill up with more crushed ice. Garnish with fruits, a little mint and your swizzle stick.
I was a bit worried that the rum flavor wouldn`t come through with all this fruit but it did and the rum is enough present – as it should. I also think its important with homemade grenadine here as the natural flavors blends beautifully while a commercial grenadine probably would take over the flavor too much plus tasting – well – “evil”.
I wouldn`t mind a float of LH151 in this… Let`s make another one with a touch of exquisite dark chocolate:
SAVAGE GOLD & RAW CHOCOLATE
2 oz pineapple juice
1/4 oz Campari
1/4 oz Mozart Dry chocolate spirit
2 oz El Dorado 8 year old rum
0.5 oz fresh lime
1/4 oz simple syrup
Swizzle all ingredients in a highball glass and garnish with pineapple leaves.
I think i like this one much better, the chocolate flavor comes through and marries so well with both the rum, pineapple, and the campari which adds that little extra. If you like a less sweet drink you may omit the 1/4 oz of simple.
This is an outstanding all-round rum and El Dorado hasn`t disappointed me this time either, but i didn`t expect that. I have only mixed with it here but i can assure you – its great sipped neat.
I`ve been thinking about it for a very long time now – to mix every single drink in the Grog Log and blog about them.
This is going to be similar to what my fellow blogger Erik Ellestad over at Underhill Lounge is doing with his enourmous “Stomping through the Savoy project” which means he is mixing every drink from the book from A – Z, take pictures of them and write about them on his blog. I don`t think i would have the patience to go through such a book as the Savoy, the much thinner Grog Log is more suiting my pace i think.
I`m doing this for 5 reasons, one is that it will ensure i never run out of topics for my blog, (not that it has been happening to me yet and probably never will but still) Second – i`haven`t made all the drinks from the Grog Log, now i`ll make sure i do. And third, i have for a long time felt inspired to go through all the drinks in the Grog Log and blog about them. Then fourth – i`ll learn a lot during the process and will be able to share the knowledge i find. Finally and last but not the least – i really like like Tiki drinks!
I`m going to make this a little bit different though from how Erik is doing his project. I`m going to make 2 versions of many of the drinks, first the original version and then a little twist of it, just for the fun of it. I`m intending to try to make the drinks with the ingredients called for to the best of my ability and when i can`t find an ingredient, or make it – which will happen, then I´ll sub it with what i can find here that is the closest.
So let the fun begin with the first drink in Grog Log which is “The Ancient Mariner” which is an original creation by Jeff Berry. Its made with 6 ingredients – 2 rums, lime, grapefruit, sugar and pimento liqueur. As the recipe calls for Pimento liqueur which i don`t have, i`m gonna sub it with homemade pimento dram.
¾ oz fresh lime juice
0.5 oz grapefruit juice
0.5 oz sugar syrup
¼ pimento liqueur – i used a little bit less of my pimento dram
1 oz demerara rum (i used El Dorado 12)
1 oz Dark Jamaican rum (i used Appleton Extra)
Shake and serve in old-fashioned glass with crushed ice and garnish with lime wedge and mint sprig.
This drink surprised me a little, i find it reminding me of a lighter and fruitier version of a demerara Mai Tai. And when you check the ingredients many are the same, its just the grapefruit juice and pimento liqueur or dram instead of orgeat and orange curacao. Different – yes but the flavour still has that familiar Mai Tai note to it. I find this drink very tasty indeed.
As my homemade pimento dram is quite strong i took down the measurement a bit.
Now its time for a twist of this drink – i call it Polynesian Triangle. The idea of making a twist of the drinks is not so bad – when have you ever heard of someone having just one tiki drink?
¾ oz fresh lime juice
0.5 oz grapefruit juice
0.5 oz tahitian vanilla syrup
dash barrel aged bitters
1 oz demerara rum (i used OVD (Old Vatted Demerara) which has a woody flavour)
1 oz aged rhum agricole ( Clemènt VSOP)
0.5 oz Old New Orleans Cajun Spiced Rum
Shake, strain and serve in a glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a fresh Gardenia.
Tahitian Vanilla Syrup: The recipe is in the left sidebar of this blog.
When i first heard about this rum I got really excited, it took long though before i finally got the chance to try it myself and in the meantime i heard only good about it so expectations were high.
The 3 year old cask aged came to be when the DDL were asked if they could produce an aged white rum as opposed to their unaged white.
I can safely say that this ED rum places itself among the better white rums. The nose has hints of sugarcane and vanilla, its very inviting. It`s a rum of sweet complexity, raining notes of vanilla, chocolate, toasted coconut, cane sugar and buttery caramel. This rum is a bit sweet but not bad, flavourful, and aromatic.
It sips easy and it mixes well in cocktails that does not have too much other ingredients to kill the delicate flavor. Maybe it could have a bit more bite so it would stand up better against mixers in rum cocktails so the rum is dominating ingredient. This one is just a tad too delicate and therefore needs to be mixed in such cocktails as a classic daiquiri for example. In a tiki drink i`m afraid it would almost disappear.
But its a good rum and it has been aged for a minimum of 3 years in oak casks and then double-filtered through charcoal and distilled by Demerara Distillers Ltd – Guyana.
The Chicago Beverage Testing Institute (BTI) have in their latest release of the 2009 International Review of Spirits awarded this El Dorado product a Gold Medal (and Best Buy) with a rating of 93 points bringing it to the top in the White rums category with the 4 Year Old Flor de Cana and Rhum Clement Premiere Canne Rum.
In the last century, the remaining Guyanese distilleries were consolidated by Demerara Distillers Limited on the site of the Diamond Plantation, and today operates as the sole rum producer in Guyana. With a production capacity of more than 26M liters of pure alcohol annually, DDL sell bulk rum to a number of international blenders and bottlers and bottles rum under their own El Dorado and other labels.
Today, DDL operates a number of stills used to make their typical light and heavy type rums. DDL also operates the last remaining wooden stills in the Caribbean.
This is their EHP wooden coffey still in all its awesome glory.
The old wooden coffey still is the last operating still of its kind in the world today and is made of rectangular frames stacked on top of each other with metal perforated trays in between. The rectifier has cooling coils passing through some of the sections.These wooden stills are made of local hard wood. I really want to go and visit the DDL to see these old stills and also their heritage center.
As for how they maintain these old stills they do it by changing the wood in a very clever way. They do of course not change all the wood at the same time – that would ruin the unique flavour as the wood soaks up some of what is being distilled in it as well as giving flavours & complexity to what is being distilled.
So instead they change it in small sections so there´s always some old and some new wood mixed in the still. On average each section is changed every 15-20 years and once they finish all the sections they just start again at the other end. There are in operation 4 column Savalle stills, 2 wooden pots, 1 wooden coffey and 2 metal columns. ( as far as i know)
Here (below) you can see the double wooden pot still. El Dorado 12 contains predominantly copper coffey still rum from Diamond blended with this double wooden pot still at Port Mourant and also marques from the Enmore wooden Coffey which you see above in the big picture.
The 15 year old (my fav rum) contains equally double wooden pot from Port Mourant and metal coffey from Diamond, blended with single wooden pot still (Versailles) and marques from the Enmore wooden coffey still.
Its a lot of stills..!
The double wooden pot still.
El Dorado VSG pot still.
I´m a bit of a geek when it comes to these unique stills. I really need to go and visit the DDL distillery some day, i hope it can be possible.
And there´s another El Dorado on the horizon…an 8 year old, stay tuned.
For full disclosure picture courtesy and sample was provided by DDL – Read more on El Dorado rums here.