TDN NUKU HIVA

These days i rarely attend the TDNs since i`m not at the same lazy job i used to have in the good old days when i attended every thursday….:-) mind you, the TDN starts in the middle of the night where i am…but who can resist mixing up a tiki drink for TDN Nuku Hiva?

For those who doesn`t know, TDN stands for “Thursday Drink Night” and is a online gathering and celebration (but some also meet in person, i have done a TDN once in the US with Kaiserpenguin for example and i think i did one from New Orleans too) of cocktail mixing with cocktail bloggers, spirits writers, bartenders, and drinks enthusiasts.

It takes place on thursday nights, once a week mostly to chat and mix up tasty and sometimes crazy cocktails based on a given theme which can be a particular spirit, mixer, bitters, fruit, memorial or something else.

This thursday the theme was Nuku Hiva.

I have special appreciation for Polynesia and i have spent time reading many books about French Polynesia and the Marquesas islands over the years whose history i find fascinating. The Marquesas are a chain of ten large mountainous islands and some smaller islets in east-central Polynesia and it`s ancient name is Henua Enana – The land of men.

These are some of the most remote islands in Polynesia with a rich history as wild as the beautiful nature.

But the TDN topic Nuku Hiva have a scary back story…

This is what the Mixoloseum blog writes:

[The] theme will be “Nuku Hiva” based on recent events on that tropical Polynesian island. A little back story:

In early October, the charred remains of a German adventurer were discovered at a campfire site on a South Pacific island. The tabloid media were quick to portray the slaying as a possible case of cannibalism on Nuku Hiva, an island historically known for human sacrifice. But locals are offended and experts say such killings are a thing of the very distant past.

You can read the rest of the story here. Seems to me like a one mad man crime and i believe these sort of crimes are unusual there. But it´s not that sad and disturbing story that is the reason for inspiration of this TDN but rather the outstanding potential of tiki material here.

So this was the rule – Make a tiki drink with at least one German ingredient, bonus points if you use fire. Participants could log in to the Mixoloseum chat room to mix it up in real time with the rest of the boozenerds.

So i don´t need much encouragement to get going with a tiki drink and so a drink inspired by the Marquesan island Nuku Hiva i did and with fire of course, properly served in a tiki mug:

NUKU HIVA WARRIOR


1 oz Smith & Cross

1 oz Cruzan blackstrap

0.5 oz fresh lime juice

0.5 oz sugarcane syrup

0.25 oz FairTrade Coffee liqueur(or other)

0.25 oz The Bitter Truth Pimento Dram

1 oz pineapple juice

Shake hard with ice and strain into tiki mug with filled with crisp glistering crushed ice and throw in a fresh mint sprig. Or make it the way i did with a ice-cone.

Place half limeshell on top filled with overproof rum and set on fire.

HOW TO MAKE THE ICE CONE

Fill a pilsener glass with shaved or crushed ice and stick a straw through it all the way to the bottom. Put in freezer overnight. Next day warm up the glass with hot water so the cone slides out off the glass and then melt enough at the top to expose enough straw to drink from. Put in glass.

Okole Maluna!

Here´s the link to the drinks that were made that night on twitter.

MxMo LVI – Your Best

mxmologo

It was a while ago…i´ve missed a few…but its time for Mixology Monday again and hosting this monday is Chris from over at Spirited Remix.

He wants us to post the best cocktail we ever made:

Give me the best drink recipe you’ve ever created.

No, I’m not really talking about that awesome drink that you made under pressure and on the fly for your friends one evening. I’m not talking about that kickass nightcap that you whipped up using the last bits from those few bottles that you needed to throw away.

I’m talking about that one drink that you’ve worked on for quite a while. The one that you’ve carefully tweaked over time until you found that perfect recipe. The one you’ve made tons of times: sometimes alone in contemplation, sometimes for a guest so that you could get their opinion.

If you don’t have a drink that fits the above mold, then perhaps this is your excuse to revisit your old “original remixes”, as I call them, and decide or even tweak one to be your best. If you’ve never made such a drink before, then begin experimenting right now!

For me there´s one particular drink i`m gonna use for this post, its a drink made long ago but its probably a remix since it was a twist i made and i don`t think its changed up enough to be an all original. Nevertheless it has been used over and over to quench my own thirst and others.

It has been served at parties as well as at home. It has always been very well received and it has survived until now and will keep being alive. And it does have something very important in the list of ingredients – it has Ting.

But the main reason i choose to post this one is simply because its damned tasty and it`s in regular rotation and always will be as long as i live.

So here`s my liquid baby:

PINEAPPLE DELIHT

vahinedelight11

1 cored pineapple.

In mixing glass:

A few large chunks of pineapple – muddled
2 juiced limes
1 barspoon orgeat
1.5 oz Rhum Agricole Blanc
2 tblsp fresh honey cream-mix* with a splash JWray overproof rum
Dash of grapefruit bitters

Shake hard and fast, strain and serve in the pineapple with crushed ice
Top with Ting. Garnish with 2 pineapple leaves and a piece of pineapple.
Believe me..this drink is worth the effort.

Honey-Cream Mix:

Equal parts Sugar, butter and liquid honey

Add in pot, heat and stir until it gets creamy. Add a splash JW&N overproof rum and stir again. You want a smooth creamy sauce. Keep a bit above room temp.

The problem with honey cream mix is the milk solids from the butter that forms when the mix gets chilled. It may help to use clarified butter or to dry shake first (without ice) before shake over ice.

Can also be made with just honey-mix (equal parts water and honey) if you wanna avoid the fuss with the butter. But the butter adds a silky buttery touch.

But when served in the pineapple as drinking vessel and filled up with crushed ice you won´t see much of the butter solids anyway.

Happy Monday!

remixmo_final1

 

Sugarcane bar

 

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MIXING THROUGH GROG LOG 12 – Ciro´s Special

Jamaican rum, lime, Grand Marnier and Creme de Cassis makes up Ciro´s Special which is the 12 th drink in Grog Log. Nothing much written about this one, it was made in Ciro´s nightclub in Hollywood. So let´s see what this one brings in terms of flavors…

My first impression was – too tart. But of course, that also may depend very much on the limes you´re using but 1 oz is quite much of tart if no syrup is there to balance it out. Instead there´s 0.75 oz of Creme de Cassis and 0.25 oz Grand Marnier.

I added a little bit of sugarcane syrup to see if it made the drink better and it did, at least to my palate. Well, this one – i have to say – is not one of my favorites from Grog Log. But friends, its drinkable, don´t get me wrong. Just pimp it up with some sugarcane syrup unless you like it tart.

CIRO´S SPECIAL

ciros-special

1 oz fresh lime

0.75 oz Creme de Cassis

0.25 oz Grand Marnier

1.5 oz Jamaican Rum ( i used 1 oz appleton extra and 0.5 oz Smith & Cross)

Shake and strain into a cocktail glass.

So now i needed a twist as well and i really looked forward to try to transfer this drink into something more tasty – that is the fun part, not sure if i succeeded though but here it is:

KAHUNA´S BOWL

kahunas-bowl

0.75 oz fresh lime

0.5 ox hibiscus syrup

0.25 oz Cherry Heering

0.25 oz Grand Marnier

1 oz pineapple juice

1.5 oz Smith & Cross

Shake and strain into a Tiki mug or glass with crushed ice.

Quite tasty, the pineapple juice with the hibiscus syrup adds some freshness – and with Smith & Cross in the glass you can´t go wrong, really.

It suits me just fine to have some Tiki drinks now just when the winter is trying to not let the spring come through and its not warm yet, so let the rum warm us instead.

BANKS FIVE ISLAND RUM

banks

This is a very intriguing rum that packs a lot of flavor…and its a white rum with an unusually strong dark rum character.

I don`t think i`ve come across a white rum that has so much of the dark rum flavor before..but on the other hand there´s many white rums i`ve never yet tasted.

I first saw it at the Tales this summer and got me a sample but i wasn´t prepared for how good this rum was. Its an intense white rum which is a blend of rums from five distilleries, each aged between three and twelve years and some is carbon-filtered to get a white color.

According to the label, 5 Island Rum is a “Sophiscated blend of Barrel-Aged rums. Pot stilled Jamaican and light Trinidadian, amber rums from Guyana and Barbados and Indonesian Java.. Enhanced and inspired by the journeys and discoveries of Joseph Banks, a gentleman, botanist and explorer. According to the neck band this is a dry Flavorful rum.

On the nose its light but with the typical Jamaican pot still lingering around. There has been descriptions of this rum with taste notes of both tropical florals, gardenia, citrus blossom, dark chocolate, habanero pepper, smoke, soursop and orange…gingery and peppery..wow..that´s a lot of flavor descriptions!

I find a rich multitude of flavors and among them dried apricot, tropical fruit and a slight buttery sugarcane flavor steadily backed up by the pot-still flavor but there`s no heaviness in this rum, its light and bright and yet it got a slight funk..in a good way – so much flavor. I also find a vegetal note in it..making it very suitable for many mixed drinks.

I would also say this rum is great for a daiquiri.

Banks Five Island Rum is blended in Holland and made for mixing cocktails really, but i find it`s also an excellent sipper. Its been nominated for the Golden Rum Barrel awards 2010 in the classes “Best White Rum”,”Best Premium White Rum” and “Best New Rum brand” – we will soon know the results since they were decided today.

You can soon read more on their website.

This smooth flavorful rum is like i said great for daiquiris..which allows the flavor to speak for itself which a rum like this deserves. But one can also go the other way and make a wild drink.

I´m gonna make a twist of the Witchdoctor which i was introduced and seduced to at Bar Tonique…using mint instead of basil (for garnish only in this drink) since that´s what i got and its always fun trying out new things.

So here we go:

BUSHDOCTOR

bushdoctor

1.5 oz Banks Five Island Rum

1.5 oz Batavia arrak

1/4 – 0.5 oz sugarcane syrup (Petit Canne)

0.5 oz fresh lime

Top with a little soda if you like

Garnish fresh mint

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass with ice, top with a little soda if you like and stick a mint sprig as garnish.

The Witchdoctor uses basil syrup and Smith & Cross, here i replaced the basil syrup with Petit Canne´s deep flavored sugarcane syrup and i think the Batavia arrak mixes well with Banks, increasing the tropical fruitiness and adding some deep mellowness to the drink. No wonder it mixes well with arrak since there´s rum from Indonesia in it.

The crisp clean lightness is still there but there´s a more earthy tone from the arrak with an aftertaste of dried tropical fruit. Basically this is a mojito sans muddled mint but the addition of Batavia arrak changes it into something else – and that´s what makes it a Bush doctor..

The next thing i REALLY had to do was making a Chartreuse Swizzle and since we more or less lived on them in the mixohouse serving them in flower vases communal style every night i took that awesome drink to heart and added it in my regular rotation here and YET i didn´t think about subbing the Smith & Cross with Banks…not until today and of course its a big win! its not a new idea at all, its just me lingering behind..

Then after having a couple sips i came to the conclusion that this is tasty! BUT floating some Smith & Cross would maybe improve it even more and really, it did – it was like adding the final touch if you like. And now..no more messing around!

CHARTREUSE SWIZZLE

chartreuse-swizzle

1 oz Green Chartreuse

1 oz Banks Five Island Rum

1 1/2 oz Pineapple juice

1 oz fresh lime juice

1/4 oz Falernum

2 dash Bitter Truth Aromatic Bitters (instead of Angostura)

Float Smith & Cross

Add ingredients to a suitable glass full of crushed ice. Swizzle to mix, float Smith & Cross and garnish with plenty of fresh mint, and add straw.

As good as it can be…and if you switch the pineapple juice for fresh grapefruit juice (white) you´re in for a VERY refreshing drink! The drink in the picture actually is the one with grapefruit juice.

Nothing wrong at all with Angostura but the Bitter Truth`s aromatic bitters added a slight bitter edge that i like.

My conclusion after this experiment is that Banks Five Island Rum is a rum i want to have in my bar regularly.

Sugarcane bar

 

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GLACIER ICE BALL CARVING AND CHARTREUSE SWIZZLES

glacier-ice-block

FROM ALASKA TO NEW ORLEANS..

What happens when a 400 year old block of Alaskan glacier ice is shipped down to New Orleans and ends up in the Mixohouse?

Last year in the old Mixohouse on Rampart st one night someone drove a large cart containing a huge block of ice into our living room where the bar was. I looked at it pretty wide-eyed i believe and asked what is this??? and was told it was Alaskan glacier ice to go in our cocktails….Wait…old glacier ice shipped from Alaska all the way to Nola?? who on earth would come up with such an idea??

It turns out that Nathan has acces to a 400 year old glacier…and so also this year a block of that ice was brought to the Mixohouse in Nola..this time to be carved to ice balls by bartenders to go in our cocktails..pretty cool i think.

ice-carving-4

Sounds crazy? – it is…geeky? definetily – and awesome.

Most everybody is fascinated by the ice balls and how they are made and this event was no exception.

The room was packed when the carving begun and as the carving went on and new ice balls were formed  i saw a couple of  interviews being done and much people were around so you`ll most likely find articles about this event or the other house parties in various places. Ice balls were made until the blocks of ice were finished and the round glistening balls went into our glasses..magic.

two-ice-balls

One thing for sure, if you get such an ice ball in your glass – when the drink is done you refill and after the second drink is done – you eat it.

The taste? well…ice. Clean ice.

This was fun and quite exceptional – hope its repeated next year..

CHARTREUSE SWIZZLES

famous-chartreuse-swizzle

Living in a house full of bloggers assures many different things to happen, one was to drink chartreuse swizzles every night served in flower vases. The swizzles were made communal style, the vase was fit for 5-6 people and was passed around. One night when i was on my computer for a while it knocked on my door and in came a hand with a vase containing the famous swizzle – wanna swizzle? YES!!!

The contents also varied – depending on our mood and the contents in our bottles – sometimes JWray was added – guess who was responsable for that? and i ain`t gonna fight the additon of JWray in this drink. Othertimes various rums. So really how many variations of this swizzle i´ve had i have no idea but the original recipe is here. Another variation here. Please try it – its deliscious. I really like the idea of adding rum to it though.

The Mixohouse this year was much bigger than last year and nicely located near Frenchmen st with all the music venues like The spotted Cat, Blue Nile, Snug Harbour,The Apple Barrel, Cafe Negril and my favorite d.b.a. – where i almost lived.

Another thing i like about living in the Mixohouse is the idea itself – to live with friends in a house. You get that home feel and its really fun.

ch-swizzle

mixohouse-banner

mixohouse-551

bloggers

mixofood

frenchmen-tiles

Love Love love Nola tiles..

MXMO XLIV – “MONEY DRINKS”

mxmologo

To quote from “Beers in The Shower” who are hosting this months Mixology Monday:

“I feel a “Money” drink is something you can put in front of anyone, regardless of tastes or distastes about the spirits involved. Come up with a drink or a list based on spirits about drinks that would appeal to anyone. example: turning someone onto a Corpse Reviver #2 when they like lemon drops.”

For those of us with access to top shelf spirits, Make an upscale twist on a classic. To quote an email from Paul, (Clarke, Cocktail Chronicles) :

“Along with what you mentioned, I’m thinking it could include stuff along the lines of “there are some drinks that really prompt you to break out the good stuff”, including ways people upgrade drinks for special occasions — having old friends over, birthday drinks, etc, for example mixing your regular Sazerac, but breaking out the Red Hook Rye and the Jade Edouard absinthe for a Sazerac capable of breaking the sound barrier.” – the only rule to this one is you actually have to make it “

So i want to upgrade a drink and i know what i want to make, i want to mix up the best Cuba Libre or Rum & Coke ever!

Now,  i`m not a person that is or ever have been very fond of rum and coke but i have noticed that many are. But also – and this is important, after i once tried it with sugarcane coke instead of the ordinary corn-fructose coke i felt a huge difference. So i`m going to mix up a Cuba Libre with two of the best rums i have and i`m gonna use sugarcane coke plus i`m also going to spice it up. Actually this is more of a twist of the Cuba Libre than an actual Cuba Libre.

I`m not going to dig into its history here, and as with so many other cocktails the exact way it was invented are told in different versions. Bacardi and Havana Club have their own versions for example, not surprisingly. Cuba Libre used to have a dark syrup made of cola nuts and coca.

Charles H. Baker points out in his Gentlemen’s Companion of 1934, the Cuba Libre “caught on everywhere throughout the [American] South … filtered through the North and West”.

To spice it i`m gonna use a splash of Catdaddy Carolina Moonshine because i love its spicy flavour and it goes well with coke. Also Root can be used or some Rootbeer i think, if you can`t find Catdaddy.

What we are stepping up from is the use of the corn-fructose sweetened coke to real sugarcane coke paired with premium rums and a bit catdaddy spiced up as well which makes this drink to become transformed.

SPICED SUGARCANE RUM AND COKE

spiced-sugarcane-rum-and-coke

1 oz good demerara ( i used Port Morant demerara 1990 but try El Dorado 15 year old or Banks XM 10)
1 oz Havana Club 7 (sorry..sub with Appleton Extra, which in no way is similar but equally good)
0.75 oz Catdaddy Carolina Moonshine
Small sprinkle of fresh lime juice
Fill up with sugarcane coke
Crushed ice

Build quickly all ingredients in a rocks glass filled halfway with crushed ice, add more ice to fill. Garnish with lime wedge.

It turned out to be rummy and boozy, spicy and fresh at the same time.

Happy MxMo and thank you Kevin for hosting this month!

EL DORADO 3 YEAR CASK AGED WHITE DEMERARA RUM

eld-3-year-rum-small

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.

el-dorado-ehp-wooden-coffey-still

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..!

el-dorado-pm-double-wooden-pot-still-ed12

The double wooden pot still.

el-dorado-vsg-pot-still-ed121

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.