Rum Nation Jamaica Pot Still Limited Edition White Rum

RUM NATION JAMAICA POT STILL bottle close

From Rum Nation comes this outright fabulous unaged white rum, a Jamaican pot-still rum from Catherine, Jamaica.

First thought that hit me when i took the first sip was, this reminds me of a refined, deeper and more complex “third dimensional JWray” but that has much more going on… and it packs a decent punch with it´s 57% ABV or 114 proof.

Yet it´s smooth…and it has no sugar added.

The taste note that`s called glue or wood polish is the same that i call “kerosene” or “JWray” 😀 i find it very appealing, it adds a raw note and vibrant herbal deliciousness. It got that genuine Jamaican pot still funk to it.

And that herbal/wood polish character is part of the flavors in this rum but it got more…

This new limited edition from Rum Nation aims at taking the taster by surprise – it`s not a mainstream white rum they find here. Here`s a rum from a Jamaican distillery using pot stills and willing to experiment with slow fermentation and distillation times to provide a white rum with a markedly estery aromatic profile.

Do i see a slowly emerging trend here? it occurs to me that rums with more flavor are popping up both here and there…and i like that!

I made a grapefruit daiquiri and the drink turned out incredibly refreshing with the rum really shining through.You don`t need much of this rum to totally transform a cocktail.

And i think that`s one of the aims with this rum, to make a rum that can be used in cocktails both in lesser amounts or more, mixed with other rums or by itself to create cocktails of various degrees of flavor experiences. It would fit both in classic cocktails, modern takes or tiki drinks, it´s versatile and fits many styles.

So here are my taste notes:

Nose – Fruity….vibrant and crisp with green banana, tropical fruit mash and peel, caramelized cane sugar, “kerosene or herbal polish”, apricot, mango, citrus peel…green grass, white pepper.

Mouth – Immediately comes the fruity and herbal character of this rum forward, backed by that “kerosene” typically Jamaican flavor, it´s slightly peppery, spicy, vibrant and smooth.

I`d give it a 9/10

Also i need to say something about the bottle which i find lovely, it´s low and rounded, just lovely to hold and pour from and the label on the bottle with a silver colored engraved Jamaican stamp is beautiful! I also like the large black shadow of the name “Jamaica” on top of the grey, it looks classy and modern yet still has some genuine “old” feel to it.

Like old Caribbean..

The stamp on the bottle is due to Fabio Rosso being an avid stamp collector in younger years and now adding a touch of class to the bottles with the stamps and a nod to the country of origin. Nice touch!

I read about the stamps in an interview with Fabio made by Luca Chichizola and you can read the full interview here. It`s a very interesting story about how Rum Nation came to be.

In cocktails – a little goes a long way and here´s room for lots of experimentation since only a moderate amount of this rum is needed to change the flavor of a cocktail.

I wonder what happens if you pair this with a rhum agricole? i`m gonna test that later. Apart from that, the daiquiri really shines with it. And of course this would be great with Ting, the Jamaican grapefruit beverage!

Since i`m a fan of this kind of flavorful rums i go all in with the cocktails!

Grapefruit Daiquiri

Grapefruit daiquiri

2 oz Rum Nation Jamaica Pot Still Rum

0.5 oz fresh lime juice

0.5 oz sugarcane syrup

0.5 oz grapefruit juice (white)

4 dashes Bitter End Thai bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a well chilled cocktail coupe.

This is VERY refreshing…and the Thai bitters adds a bit of bite of spice.

In the Potions of the Caribbean i found a range of drinks i could do but i decided to make Jasper`s Rum Punch and switch out the JWray for Rum Nation Jamaican Pot Still Rum instead. I figured since the flavor profile is similar it would fit with this cocktail.

Jasper`s Rum Punch

RNJ Jaspers Rum Punch

1.5 oz Rum Nation Jamaican Pot Still Rum

1.5 oz Jasper`s Basic Stock Mix

Pour everything into a tall glass 2/3 filled with crushed ice and swizzle until well chilled. Top up with more crushed ice to fill, then swizzle again and finally garnish with mint sprig and lime slice speared to cocktail cherry.

I grated a little nutmeg on top of the ice as well.

To make Jasper`s stock mix – Squeeze 2 oz fresh lime juice into a jar and add 1.5 oz white sugar. Put lid on and shake until sugar dissolves, then add 3 -4 dashes Angostura bitters and 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg. Leave in fridge overnight and shake before using.

And finally, a very beloved oldie – the Chartreuse Swizzle. But this time i changed it up a little bit and used equal parts green and yellow chartreuse to give it a slight more tropical sweetness, both floral and herbal.

Also i switched out the pineapple juice for fresh grapefruit juice, but pineapple juice is tasty too and makes a sweeter drink.

Tropical Chartreuse Swizzle

RNJ Tropical Chartreuse Swizzle

1.5 oz grapefruit juice (white)

0.75 oz lime juice

1/4 oz Falernum

1 oz Rum Nation Jamaican Pot Still Rum

0.5 oz Green Chartreuse

0.5 oz Yellow Chartreuse

2 dash Angostura bitters

Fresh mint for garnish

Add ingredients to a glass full of crushed ice. Swizzle until the glass frost on the outside, garnish with mint, and add straw.

Now Rum Nation knows how to deliver “that little extra” and this they delivered in the form of a box with Valrhona chocolates…so here´s for doing a little rum and chocolate pairing as well!

RUM NATION JAMAICA POT STILL bottle and vahlrona sample pack

The chocolates flavors are Jivara (40% creamy and chocolatey) Tanariva (33% sweet and caramelized) Alpaco (66% floral and oaky) Maniari (64% fresh and tangy) Tainori (64% fruity and intense) Caraibe (66% balanced and velvety) Guanaja (70% bittersweet and elegant) Abinao (70% powerful and tannic) – 8 flavors in all…

Obviously i can`t pair the rum with all of them in this post but after trying them i picked one that i think goes very well with this rum and which i warmly recommend – the bittersweet and elegant Guanaja. The bittersweet flavor pairs well with this rum i think.

So how do you perform a rum and chocolate pairing? well i`m not an expert in this area but rum with fruity or peppery flavors does go very well with chocolate and adding a little water or an ice cube to the glass will help mellow out the stronger flavor elements in the rum as to not overpower the chocolate.

RUM NATION JAMAICA POT STILL vahlrona sample pack

 

RUM NATION JAMAICA POT STILL bottle front

Rum lovers ? i sure i can recommend this rum! go get it if you have a chance…it´s a limited edition. Rum Nation have once again come up with a great rum!

Pimento! a Spicy drink with a Hot Chili bite!

Up for review is a downright fantastic fizzy drink made with ginger, tonic and hot pepper natural flavors and it is strong!! but let me tell you something…this is the best fizzy ginger drink i`ve tasted in a long time – if ever… yes it´s that good!

It was actually made as an alternative to alcohol that isn´t weak but very strong –  but it can be used with or without alcohol and bland is the last thing this drink is. It reminds me of ginger beer with a chili bite without being an actual ginger beer. I think it´s fantastic and it´s low in sugar and full of taste, and really delicious!

As a non alcoholic beverage it´s perfect if you want something that has a bite and a bucket load of flavor. Also it´s a great paired with spicy exotic food and it should always be served very cold! The cocktail recipes here can be used as non-alcoholic drink alternatives, just omit the alcohol, with Pimento in it they will have enough flavor.

Pimento mixes well with rum, tequila and vodka and there´s no end to the amount of tasty drinks you can make with it. Here´s four drinks i made, three are my own creations and one i picked from the recipe booklet i got with the Pimento drinks. I especially enjoyed the first drink:

Red Hot Chili Pepper

(created by Jeremy Kent and Anthony Nasty at the Saloon Bar (Val Thorens)

0.25 oz  ( 1 cl) grenadine ( i used homemade hibiscus grenadine)

2 oz ( 6cl) Havana Club Anejo Especial ( or use other similar type of dark rum)

0.5 oz (1.5 cl) fresh lime juice

Top with Pimento

Serve in highball glass or other with ice cubes.

This drink is like…dang!! absolutely lovely and the chili flavor really comes through and marries just perfectly with the grenadine and dark rum. I loved it!

Pimento Storm

2 oz ( 6 cl) dark Jamaican rum

0.5 oz (1.5 cl) fresh lime juice

Top with Pimento

Shake all ingredients except Pimento, strain and top with Pimento, serve with cracked ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with a wedge of lime.

This tastes like a spicy strong Dark N Stormy with a sexy hot chili bite…

Mayahuel on Fire

2 oz ( 6 cl) tequila reposado

1 barspoon good coffee liqueur ( i used Fair Cafe)

0.75 oz ( 2 cl) pineapple juice

Top with Pimento

Shake and strain into a rocks glass or other filled with cracked ice and garnish with a pineapple leaf and cherry.

Pimento goes exceptionally well with tequila – not surprising since tequila and chili pepper is a natural match, this drink is refreshing and strong with that earthy character from tequila that tastes so good. The coffee fits in very well too adding a third dimension to the flavors.

Hot Pimento Swizzle

1 oz ( 2.5 cl) pineapple juice

1 oz fresh lime juice

1 barspoon falernum

1 oz dark Jamaican rum

1 oz green Chartreuse

Top with Pimento

Swizzle with crushed ice until frosty and top with Pimento, garnish with a good bunch of fresh mint.

This drink is a take on the Chartreuse swizzle and it´s herbal and fresh, gingery and strong!

My conclusion of this product is that i really like it! I find it very versatile and the flavor is awesome. The bottle itself is also a pleasure to both handle and look at and the label is beautiful. it looks classy and cool at the same time with that black chili pepper and red metallic text that says Pimento, simply beautiful and i love the chili red bottle cap!

Pimento is like a strong ginger beer with a hot bite of chili and a refreshing tonic quality.

As for now it`s sold in France, England, Holland, Denmark, Greece, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Africa, Caribbean, Indian Ocean, Tahiti, Australia, Guadeloupe and Haiti and they are looking for distributors and can be contacted on their website.

 

Swizzling with Arrack and Chartreuse

I was browsing around to find some drink inspiration and stumbled upon one of  Cocktailvirgin´s posts – the St Bruno Swizzle. What got me at first was the picture, it looked so tasty and reading the recipe finding out the drink contained green chartreuse and Batavia arrack i couldn`t wait to try it out.

And it didn`t hurt that there was a link to another interesting drink also with Chartreuse and Batavia arrack – the “Swamp Water Fix” – and that one i decided to turn into a swizzle and add some aged rum as well.

The Swamp Water Fix originates from a drink called Swamp Water containing green Chartreuse, pineapple juice and lime. That drink is from the 70s and the recipe can be found in Stan Jones’ Complete Barguide.

Both the Swamp Water drinks and the St Bruno Swizzle reminds me about the famous Chartreuse Swizzle which we the CSOWG gang (Cocktails and Spirits Online Writers Group) so happily imbibed from flower vases as drink vessels in the Mixohouse during the “good old days” in New Orleans.

I wrote a post or two about the Chartreuse Swizzle and really, there is something purely magic about the combination of green chartreuse, lime, falernum and pineapple and as we had it – JWray overproof Jamaican rum. (Can be made with other rums too with stunning results)

The garnish for the Swamp Water Fix is a wide strip of lime peel that should resemble a serpent in the swamp water.

But back to the first drink, the St Bruno Swizzle – it was created by bartender/Scott Marshall and the drink name refers to the founder of the Carthusian Order who established the enclosed monastic society in 1084.

It was the Carthusian monks who in the 1740s produced the Chartreuse liqueurs.

Reading Fred´s flavor description got me both thirsty and curious if i would find it as tasty as he did:

The St. Bruno Swizzle offered up a chocolate aroma that was paired with caramel notes from the aged rum. The citrusy sip preceded the funky Batavia Arrack flavors, the Green Chartreuse herbal notes, and the Yellow Chartreuse savory ones. At the end, instead of the drink drying out from the floated bitters, it got pleasantly chocolaty.

There was only one way to find out of course and luckily i had all the ingredients on hand. So here are the drinks:

St Bruno Swizzle

1 oz Batavia Arrack
1/2 oz Green Chartreuse
1/2 oz Yellow Chartreuse
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Lime Juice

Add the ingredients in a tall glass half filled with crushed ice and use a swizzle stick to swizzle up and down to chill until frost forms on the outside of the glass. Top of with more crushed ice and float 1/2 oz Plantation Barbados 5 Year Rum and 2 dash Bittermen`s Mole Bitters, and add a straw.

I also added a piece of lemon peel and a cherry for garnish.

I didn´t have Plantation Barbados 5 Year Rum but i have Plantation Original Dark Overproof Rum….much better to float with i think…

The flavor of the drink is what i would call aromatic…I love the funky notes from the Batavia arrack and the green chartreuse is very herbal – while the yellow chartreuse is herbal too i find it more tropical in flavor and paired with some fresh lime…it´s mouth watering and yummy.

There´s a hint of sexy chocolate in the mix…from the mole bitters. Then the float of overproof dark rum on top is like the icing on the cake or the cream on the coffee…

I liked this cocktail but one cocktail is never enough…

Swamp Water swizzle

1 1/2 oz Green Chartreuse
1 oz Batavia Arrack
1/2 oz Pineapple Syrup
1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
3/4 oz Lime Juice
2 drop Bitter Truth Celery Bitters

Add ingredients to a tall glass and fill with crushed ice and swizzle to mix. Insert a wide lime twist in the glass, top with more ice, dust some cinnamon on top and add a straw.

This drink was rounder in flavor, probably because of the pineapple juice and the celery bitters. It had a similar flavor though since both drinks contains Batavia arrack and Chartreuse but definitely more “round” and “full” and if i was to choose one of them i`d take this one.

Such aromatic drinks…i hope yall will and can try them out sometimes. I call the green Chartruse the “green magic potion”…

 

Sugarcane bar

 

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Bitter Truth Pink Gin

This is a gin from the Bitter Truth that i think was launched this fall. It´s pink, it´s spiced with bitters and it lives in a real beautiful bottle.

It started with sea sickness…that`s from where the tradition of blending gin and bitters began by the Royal Navy. And that`s why i now sit here with a bottle of the “Pink Gin” which is a blend of gin and aromatic bitters.

The nose is very light and floral and very delightful, it`s like a whiff of light perfume..The taste is complex, light on the juniper but it´s definitely there, lightly spicy and floral. The mouthfeel is gentle, there´s no alcohol burn and it´s easy to drink.

It`s quite exquisite and i believe too many mixers would ruin it, best of all would be a fresh gin and tonic or a drink with fresh grapefruit juice ( or another) There isn´t very much more to say about this product than that it´s a modern gin, light and floral containing aromatic bitters and perfect for martini cocktails, gin and tonics or fruity drinks.

I`m gonna try this in a drink that is called the Bali Highball – a mix of gin, guava nectar and pomegranate syrup with the zing of fresh lime juice.To the pomegranate syrup or grenadine i`ll add hibiscus flowers thus making it a hibiscus grenadine and homemade of course – unless you can get hold of B.G Reynold´s excellent hibiscis grenadine.

Not sure why it`s called “Bali Highball” though since usually a highball is made with two ingredients and served in a high glass – the original highball was made with Scotch whisky and carbonated water. I guess this is a tropicalized highball…

BALI HIGHBALL (From the book The Ultimate Bar Book by Mittie Hellmich)

1.5 oz Bitter Truth Pink Gin

2 oz Guava nectar ( or use juice if you can´t find nectar)

0.5 oz fresh lime juice

1 oz Hibiscus grenadine

4 oz chilled Club Soda

Lime wheel and orange blossom or other edible flower for garnish

Shake everything (except soda) hard with ice and strain into a highball glass with ice. I didn´t use a highball glass, i used a rocks glass instead with cracked ice.

Top up with soda and add garnish.

After the first sip i said zzzziiiiiiiing!!! how refreshing can a drink possibly be??? fruity and tart at the same time. Didn´t feel any juniper flavor though but the gin just seemed to fit perfectly in the puzzle of fruity flavors even though it almost dissappeared. And you can always up the gin with another 0.5 oz if a stronger drink is required.

It happens to still be winter but i can assure that this drink will be PERFECT later on in the hot summer, it´s the ultimate thirst quencher! That said,  of course it´s good now as well, i really enjoyed it and i certainly could have another, this one went down way to fast.

But i`m moving on to the next drink because there´s a next drink to be made, it´s never just one.

SPRING BREAK (My own)

1.5 oz Bitter Truth Pink Gin

0.5 oz green chartreuse

1 oz pineapple juice

0.25 oz sugarcane syrup

0.5 oz fresh lime juice

Shake together with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail coupe. Garnish with speared citrus leaves and cherry.

While the other drink was a refreshing and delicious fruit bomb this one takes on a much more adult flavor with pronounced flavors of the gin and the bitters it contains and the green chartreuse also was very prominent with it´s herbals. I first tried it without any simple syrup but adding just a little syrup made all the difference and took the edge off the bitterness.

My conclusion is that even though i haven´t tried this gin in any Martini for the simple reson that i happen to not like Martinis very much, it would suit perfectly for that drink but also as i have found out here it goes well with fruity drinks. It`s a given summer gin i`d say.

You can buy the Bitter Truth Pink Gin in many places and two examples are here or here.

A Tiki Drink for Valentines Day – Ma’ane’i No Ke Aloha ~ For love is here and now

Tiki month of february continues with a little something for the valentine`s day…i see more and more romantic cocktails for the upcoming Valentine´s day in the making but nowhere do i see a romantic tiki drink?  – looks like somebody has to do something about that and what can be better timing for that than now since it also is the tiki month?

When thinking of romantic-tiki i visualize polynesian tropical sunsets, palm fronds gently swaying in the soft breeze and flickering tiki torches – often two tiki torches are crossed together, like two lovers…and then we have the distant waves crashing against the reef and melodic ukulele music – the whole Hawaiian dream – so i think we´re going to Hawaii for this valentine´s tiki drink…

Hawaii means aloha and aloha is not just hello and goodbye, it also means love – The aloha spirit is a spirit of love. It’s a spirit of caring, sharing, and giving and it puts the needs of others first. Isn’t that what love is all about?

So here is a tiki drink for valentine´s day, with a Hawaiian name of love of course:

Ma’ane’i No Ke Aloha ~ For love is here and now

1 oz white rum (i used Tiki Lover´s white)

0.5 oz rhum agricole blanc ( i used La Mauny)

0.5 oz dark Jamaican rum – Smith & Cross – for a funky punch

1 oz Coco Lopez cream of coconut

1 oz Coconut milk

4 oz fresh pineapple juice

0.5 oz green chartreuse

0.5 oz fresh lime juice

0.25 oz sugarcane syrup (i used Petit canne)

Shake with ice cubes and pour into a wide large glass with a pink sugar rim and garnish with orchid and pineapple leaves. You may choose some other garnish…i decided to go for cerise-pink because that´s what i had at home and that´s also a color of love, it´s not just red. You may add some grated some nutmeg on top as well

This drink is inspired by the classic pina colada which becomes soooo much better if a golden or even dark rum is used (adding some character)

This drink isn´t exactly weak in the flavor since it contains both rhum agricole and Smith and Cross but i think these rums funks it up in a good way – and the lovely green chartreuse adds some herbal notes and mystery..

Me Ke Aloha! (with love)