St Aubin Melon Liqueur – Bring on the Summer!

St Aubin liqueur melon

I`ve been waiting for the warmer temps to arrive for my review of St Aubin melon liqueur which I think is just perfect for those fruity refreshing and a bit lighter summer drinks. Melon is to me – summer…..it´s such a refreshing fruit to eat in the heat.

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 but they make more than rums….

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.

And now they also have a melon liqueur!

The liqueur smells like fresh cut up honeydew or cantaloupe melon…….and the taste is light and fruity and not too sweet, I like that! it can even be drunk neat and still be refreshing. In cocktails it shines and i`m sure it would go very well in all kinds and types of cocktails.

Before i made drinks I decided to follow the advice on the bottle – serve on the rocks, and with a litttle ice and melon garnish it`s the quintessential summer refreshener! and here are a couple of fresh and fruity summer cocktails, tropical style:

Mauritius Exotique

Mauritius Exotique

0.5 oz fresh lemon juice

0.5 oz fresh lime juice

1.5 oz pineapple juice

0.5 oz vanilla syrup

0.5 oz St Aubin Liqueur Melon

2 oz St Aubin 50% White Rum

Dash Boy Drinks World passion fruit bitters

Shake with ice cubes and strain into a goblet with cracked ice and garnish with mint and tropical flower. Top off with a dust of grated nutmeg.

This drink turned out very fruity and refreshing, perfect for hot summer days!

Sundown

A cocktail for the setting of the sun…..

Sundown

1 oz grapefruit juice (yellow)

1 oz pineapple juice

0.5 oz fresh lime juice

0.5 oz St Aubin Liqueur Melon

2 oz St Aubin White Reserve Rum

0.5 oz grenadine, preferably hibiscus grenadine, home/house made or BG Reynold`s.

Float of JWray overproof (optional)

Muddle 2-3 lime wedges with grenadine and 8-10 mint leaves in a shaker. Add the muddle mix into a tall glass and add crushed ice almost to the top. Shake the rest of ingredients, strain and pour into the glass. Give it a little stir and add more crushed ice to fill.

Top with a little Club Soda, and if you wish, add a float of JWray on top.

Garnish with mint and orchid.

The melon is not obvious but it`s there and this drink is very refreshing.

Ti Melon

Ti Melon

This drink has a French name, “Ti Melon” means simply “little melon” (petit melon) and is a fresh green fruity take on the Ti Punch with added melon liqueur, ice and more lime than you usually find in a Ti Punch, and the drink turned out very tasty!

2 oz St Aubin 50% White Rum

0.5 oz St Aubin Liqueur Melon

0.25-0.5 oz sugarcane syrup depending on your taste

0.75 oz fresh lime juice

Stir with ice and garnish with a sugarcane stick and lime peel

Refreshing!

TOTC 2014 – Tastings – Plantation Pineapple Rum, Appleton Rum Brunch and Bulleit New Fashioned!

Plantation Pineapple Rum L pic2

Pineapple Rum Stiggin’s Fancy – Picture Laura Godel

Plantation Rum in Shades of Dark, White and Pineapple!

I was waiting with great excitement for the tasting and launch of the Pineapple Rum Stiggin’s Fancy by Plantation Rum – which I need to make it clear right away, is NOT for sale…..because this rum was an experiment by Alexandre Gabriel and David Wondrich….to be launched and tasted at the Tales of the Cocktail….

Well….I was not disappointed, the rum was delicious! with a deep well matured and slightly smoky pineapple flavor in the background of Plantation rums original dark rum. And the bottle is beautiful!! I asked Alexandre what made the flavor so deep and he told me it”s coming from that the pineapple skin has been distilled – together with pineapple fruit, which also has been macerated.

For being just an experiment I think the outcome was really delicious and very interesting!

Plantation Pineapple tasting queue2

The queue….a nightmare for anyone with a hangover….luckily I was not…and don’t mind all the yellow hats….it’s a Tales thing….

Yep the queue to the tasting room was pure madness and the warm air stood still, but eventually we got in there….and deliciousness awaited…

Plantation pineapple tasting 2

Plantation rums, pineapple, white and dark as shots and in daiquiri cocktails…

Plantation Pineapple Rocky

Here served by Rocky – appropriately painted….I don’t know how he does it, but Rocky really is everywhere…

Plantation pineapple collage

Yours truly with pineapple rum in hand, Alexandre Gabriel – Cognac Ferrand proprietor and spirits mastermind – and more delicious pineapple rum!

Plantation pineapple DTO collage

The DTO – Daiquiri Time Out coin, a treasure/token that was handed out, and which a certain man did drop inside a cab and had the entire cab floor torn up to find it…wherewith the cab driver in utter amazement said that this gotta be a very valuable coin…..

But there’s more to the coin than just a token for the fun of it, according to what I’ve heard, navy officers carried a special coin. When drinking, everyone showed their crew coin. If one person did not have their coin, they had to buy a round of drinks. This gave value to the coin and the tradition.

Now I have one wish….that plantation rum makes more of this fine pineapple rum….I could make use of a bottle…launching a delicious rum like this only for the Tales is really a teaser…!

The Appleton Estate Jamaican Bartender’s Brunch – Rum, Reggae, Food, Sun and Fun!

Appleton brunch pool pic2

Oh my….this was a nice event! a yellow school bus fetching us up outside of Monteleone and serving cocktails on the way to the brunch filled with rum, reggae, Jamaican foods like jerked chicken, lots of fresh fruits and fresh cocktails, Jamaican fizzes, fixes & swizzles made with island flavors and fresh cane juice pressed on site.

And of course one of my favorite rums was there – the JWray overproof – paired with Sanpellegrino!! (to sub Ting) plus Aperol…all by the pool at the Country Club. Very very nice on a hot sunny summer day down here in New Orleans.

Appleton brunch 5 pic 2

Rum, fruits and fun in the sun!

Appleton Brunch collage 1

Of course some of the usual shady rum suspects were there….The first refreshment was freshly pressed sugarcane juice before continuing to the bar for rum punches and JWray….Appleton also treated us with large red Appleton bath towels and flip flops 🙂

Appleton Brunch collage 3

Well….I wouldn’t mind repeating this….that’s for sure. Just look at that pineapple!

Appleton Brunch collage 2

Or how about this….I dunno….can it get any better??

Appleton Brunch Collage

Jerked chicken, Coladas and sugarcane juice!

Appleton Brunch collage 4

And time for a JWray shot from the melon….Appleton Rum baby! Please come back next year….

And now to something totally different…..

Ruth’s Chris & Bulleit New Fashioned 1965-Style Luncheon

Bulleit New Fashioned 2 small pic

Bulleit Distilling Co needs no presentation….and this year they had a similar brunch as they did last year which then, was mint julep themed and absolutely fabulous! This years theme was the New Fashioned, a riff on the Old Fashioned…with Bulleit rye, Cherry Heering, orange rind, Italian Amarena cherry, Fee Brother’s black walnut and orange bitters.

The brunch was of course delicious…catered by Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse and if you haven’t tried their fantastic food it’s time you do if you have a chance. And the New Fashioned cocktail which will be served at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse was very tasty and the garnish was so beautiful with a shiny black “filthy Amarena cherry” from Filthy Food Premium Drink Garnish, speared on to a dehydrated orange slice.

The wild Amarena cherries are slow cooked in copper pots to produce a wonderful all natural, dark red cherry with a sweet front and tart finish.

Bulleit New Fashioned 1

Hollis Bulleit, Helen Mackey, VP of Menu Strategy & Innovation for Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Tom Bulleit, founder of Bulleit Distilling Company presenting the event and their companies, while the crowd enjoyed an excellent luncheon.

Bulleit New Fashioned 3 food

The Crawfish Monica that was served was fantastic! and everything else too!

Bulleit New Fashioned ingredients2

The ingredients to make the New Fashioned….the only thing not in the picture is the jar of “Filthy Amarena Cherries”.

Bulleit 2

I get thirsty when I see this drink in the picture….and the cocktail WAS good! for people in the US – you can join Ruth” s Chris Steakhouse for a nationwide 5-course handcrafted cocktail dinner with the same menu across the US, participating restaurants and pricing vary, see more at Chris Ruth’s Steakhouse website.

Pictures Laura Godel

Next up….more tastings, parties, bars and restaurants…the last picture parade from the tales of the Cocktail 2014!

 

CREATIVE USE OF BANANAS IN COCKTAILS

First i want to say one thing – i`m not very fond of bananas in cocktails..and that`s the reason why i jumped on the task of writing this post, i simply see it as a challenge to try to create something interesting with bananas..

The first thing – it can`t be too sweet and second – it can´t be too bananaish.

Third – it can´t be too slushy and thick.

Fourth – find or invent a cocktail where the banana-whatever thing will fit in well and actually make the drink tasty.A commercial banana liqueur or spirit was out of the question – i wanted fresh stuff.

So what to do? well i rubbed my brain and then figured that if i make a banana peel syrup (and maybe just a little of the fruit) it may add just a hint of banana flavour without getting overly much banana-sweet. For the banana peel syrup i wanted greenish somewhat unripe bananas,they are less sweet and hopefully would lend a more interesting “green” flavour to the syrup.

Lesson number one (i noted to self) : get the right type of fruit. And when it comes to bananas – bananas are not just bananas.The varieties have very different sizes and textures.

Now the next challenge was to hit the stores when they happened to have some green unripe bananas.There´s an Indian-african-caibbean store here which now and then carries apple bananas and they are often in the unripe state in that shop.

Apple bananas (musa manzano) are much tastier than the regular bananas,they have a sort of apple flavour with a hint of strawberry and at the same time they actually have a bit of tang as the fruits are sweet yet have a slight tartness.They are smaller, rounder, firmer and less sweet than other bananas.These seemed to be exactly the type of banana i needed for this.

GREEN APPLE-BANANA DAIQUIRI

apple-banana-daiquiri

 * 1 1/2 oz light rum

* 3/4 oz lime juice

* 1 barspoon apple banana peel syrup

* ¼ oz honey water – honey and water mixed 1:1

Pour the rum, lime juice, honeymix and syrup into a shaker with ice cubes and shake, strain in to a glass and add a large chunk of ice and garnish with the other lime half

APPLE BANANA PEEL SYRUP

2:1 Sugar and water. ¾ part light muscovado sugar and ¼ part molasses. Peel from 1 apple banana and a few slices of the fruit.

To this syrup i used light muscovado sugar and a pinch of molasses plus the peel of one apple banana plus a few slices of the fruit as its not so sweet. Then i boiled it for 2 mins and then simmered very lightly for another 20 mins before cooling, straining and bottling. I got a very subtle banana flavor and so i think i could have used more of both peel and fruit. But it was a nice syrup, very rich in flavor.

Now we´ve had a cocktail that uses banana quite subtly, so what about making something that really is straight forward BANANA? despite my doubts about too much banana i decided to give it a go..and so here is something that is both a cocktail and a dessert, for your sweet tooth:

THE ULTIMATE BANANA COCKTAIL

the-ultimate-banana-cocktail

 2 oz demerara rum

1 tsp molasses

¼ oz fresh lime juice + a little extra for the bananas

¼ fresh lemon juice

2 oz fresh orange juice

Dash orange bitters

1 tsp Dark chocolate,chopped

1 tsp pecan nuts, caramelized and chopped.

2 small bananas – sliced lengthwise, halved and cut in quarters

Muddle lime, lemon and molasses in shaker. Add rum,juices and bitters. Shake and strain into a glass. Place the banana sticks in the glass and drizzle fresh lime juice over the bananas.Top with grated dark chocolate and caramelized pecan nuts.

And there you got it – the Ultimate Banana Cocktail.

CARAMELIZING THE PECAN NUTS

1 oz light sugar

A few drops lemon juice

A few pecan nuts

Melt the sugar very slowly in a mini pan with the lemon juice and when you have a brown caramel, and place the pan in a waterbath to cool. Add the pecan nuts, then take them out and leave to dry on a lightly buttered baking sheet.

Enjoy!