Two posts in one … the Nu Lounge Bar Tiki XMas Tribute to the Mai Kai party and a sumptuous tasty tropical rum dessert recipe.
I think it doesn`t matter when or where… we always need a decadent dessert every now and then to add some sweetness and spice to life … and when they are spiked with rum it´s even better!
Here`s a tropical tiki style dessert, using the amazing Alamea Spiced Rum and Hawaiian Coffee Liqueur created by Daniele Dalla Pola, owner of the Nu Lounge Bar in Bologna, which btw on december 18th threw THE party of the year, the Tiki Xmas Tribute to the Mai Kai at the bar with guest bartenders, seminars, tiki market, live tiki carving, Polynesian buffet, tiki drinks and show at the bar, plus a live rockabilly band, the Lucky Strike, playing all night, and a tattoo artist doing alamea tattoos and a very lovely aloha vibe all around the place for almost 12 hours straight! I have added a few pics and videos after the dessert.
I was actually supposed to make this dessert for the Polynesian buffet but then it turned out not practically possible so instead I present it here so you can make it at home and you should because it´s that good…
Aloha Coconut Ice Cream with Alamea Hawaiian Coffee & Spiced Rum Pineapple!
For 3 servings, you need:
1/2 pineapple cut in 2 quarters, one with leaves still attached.
1L coconut ice cream
¼ cup (1,25 dl) demerara sugar
2 oz (60ml) Alamea spiced rum
0.5 oz (15 ml) Alamea Hawaiian Coffee Liqueur
Tropical orchids for garnish.
Cut up the pineapple in 2 pieces and save one for garnish with the leaves still attached. Peel the other pieces and slice them in ½ inch slices (1.2 cm) and set aside.
Pour demerara sugar in a nonstick pan on high heat and make sure to coat the entire base with sugar and place the pineapple slices on top of the sugar in one layer filling the pan. Cook and stir occasionally for about 5 minutes or until caramelized.
Add Alamea spiced rum and Hawaiian coffee liqueur and cook for another 2 minutes or until it`s brownish and syrupy. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
Place coconut ice cream on a serving plate, just a little bit ahead of time so it becomes a little bit soft. Garnish with the quartered pineapple and tropical orchids at the base of the ice cream. Pour the rum sauce on top.
This is a variation of a dessert I saw somewhere and turning it tiki style! it fits any tiki or tropical party or any other occasion or just no occasion at all, it`s simply delicious! and ridiculously easy to make. The only thing to pay attention to really, is to let the sauce cool down to room temp before pouring and to not take out the ice cream too early, but at the same time allow it to become just a little bit softened.
The Alamea exotic infusions are available at various places in Europe, and soon in the US and an online source is in the works. I will post more info when I know.
Nu Lounge Bar and the Tiki Xmas Tribute to the Mai Kai Party
Nu Lounge Bar is amazing, ecclectic and one of those tiki bars so full of things everywhere that you never get tired of looking. And the drinks … they are great, the menu fun and variable (and beautiful) the bartenders excellent and the aloha vibe is embracing you like a soft Hawaiian breeze…
There`s a restaurant there too and you can eat both outside and in the bar and Italian food does not suck … personally I`m a huge pasta lover but there`s so much more. But the last thing I had there the day after the party was an amazing lasagna al forno with a Nu Painkiller! not a bad combo.
Before the party we had a tasty fusilli pasta dish for lunch with a lovely tomato sauce served in a huge pot, very typically italian and with tiki drinks to wash it down of course … or was it rums shots? and during the party there was a Polynesian luau style buffet with all kind of tasty things. You can say that both the”food-me” and “drink-me” was very happy! but it was so much more than just food and drink, the ambiance was fantastic, the seminars interesting, the Lucky Strike band great, the tiki market beautiful with plenty of mugs from Maka Tiki (mostly)and wood carvings from Tiki Matt and Tiki Sam.
Here`s a few photos and videos of the fun, not the best of quality but hey I wasn`t there as a professional photographer … I was there to meet friends, party and visit the Nu Lounge Bar!
It´s a Zombie…
The topic of this party, Tribute to the Mai Kai.
Tiki Diablo Mai Kai Mug 2017. This mug is based on the Barney West tiki, one of the tikis in the Mai Kai garden. Amazing mug!
The tribute drinks.
The man behind the party … Daniele Dalla Pola, owner of the Nu Lounge Bar and Tiki King is on his throne, so the party can start!
But before that, our lunch…
And of course, espresso!
Then tiki drinks… this is Kama` Aina`, a mix of Plantation OFTD, tropical juices and spices.
Don the Beachcomber is watching over us.
And the rums…
Cool tiki mugs on the shelves in the bar.
From another era…
The King of fruits!
Seminars, here with Oriol Elias talking about tiki in his “Expanding the tiki flavors palette” and Clementine Guillot presenting Rhum Damoiseau. There was also a Masterclass called “Banks: il Rum di nuova generazione” by Daniele “James” Pons, sponsored by Bacardi, but I didn`t see it because it was in italian and I wouldn`t have understood much 🙂
After the seminars, the tiki market started. Mugs from Maka Tiki and wood carvings from Tiki Matt and Tiki Sam.
Mugs and decanters from Maka Tiki. http://makaproject.altervista.org/ and https://www.facebook.com/MakaTikiProject/ and http://www.makatiki.it/
Carvings by Matteo Cappellozza aka Tiki Matt, https://www.facebook.com/Tiki-Matt-1198157160275432/ and Instagram – @tiki_matt_
Moai by Tiki Matt and it`s mine… 🙂 (happy happy)
And tiki carving by Samuele de Vietro aka Tiki Sam, https://www.instagram.com/the_tiki_sam/?hl=en
I bought this cool little tiki while Oriol scored the one and only pineapple jigger…
Bad mobile pic… the pineapple jigger on the left side, how cool is that!?
More drinks! this one in a Re`al mug designed for Daniele Dalla Pola by Baï Tiki ( http://bybai1.wixsite.com/artbybai )
The Last Fang with edible cinnamon straw… I get really happy when I get these kinda drinks in my hand! rummy, fruity, spicy, rich and big! (by Oriol Elias)
And here´s the recipe.
And the man behind it, Oriol Elias, www.threeofstrong.com
And the oh so tasty Elixir Tropical…
Created by Maurizio la Spina. It was so tasty I ordered more than one… This amazing cocktail was in the Bacardi Legacy Competition.
The Nu Mai Tai with passion fruit…
Happy bartenders 🙂
And the rockabilly band Lucky Strike kept playing all night…
Me getting the alamea tattoo, both a memory and a hommage.
One of the things I like about this place… among all the tiki stuff you see a deer horn? 🙂
And some videos…
What a party! they say this was the party of the year and I agree on that, it was amazing.
When I first heard about the Meermaid rum I got quite curious, “Meermaid rum” what on earth is that? then I saw some pictures posted and they picked my interest especially since I also read positive thoughts about it written by trustworthy people. Being an infused (or spiced) rum you tend you get a bit suspicious…..too many spiced rums are way too sweet….
But not this one! in fact there is no sugar or artificial additives at all – or as the label says on the back of the bottle – “17 real fruits & spices macerated in a blend of Jamaica/Trinidad rums. No sugar, artificial flavors or nonsense added” – Bravo! that elevated my hope! btw I like how they say “nonsense” ……..
Meermaid rum comes in two expressions, and they come in some really cool stoneware bottles – a 70ml 40% infused rum and then an overproof version of the same rum at 62% in a 500ml bottle, also stone, which is really cool. The one thing I feel could be improved is the wooden cork because it doesn`t hold very tight… I wouldn`t try to bring an opened bottle with me if I was going somewhere and that`s a pity. So a better tighter cork is needed!
What this rum is – is interesting, and with an overproof version of the same rum it opens up for some tiki fun and rum pairings!
Something to note – Meermaid rum is not to be mixed up with the “Mermaid rum” from Florida, the “Meermaid” rum is infused and bottled in Berlin, Germany.
Meermaid rum began with a passion to learn how to produce flavored rum…the thought is to preserve the actual rum flavor and with the 16 all natural ingredients like fruits, dried fruits and spices they add, just enhance the flavor. The rum is recommended for use in tiki cocktails (yay here I come…) or ginger beer or ginger ale, or on the rocks.
Recommended is also pineapple…..did they say pineapple? now this really talks to me!
Meermaid Infused Rum – Conceived in a long gone Tiki Bar….
And it got even more interesting when I learnt that Stefan Waltz, the maker of this infused rum, once set up a tiki bar on a boat….and later used to be the co-owner of the since now long gone tiki bar in Berlin called “Tabou Tiki Room“….
Where he had a mermaid painted on the door to the Ladies Room, which later on also became the design picture for the Meermaid rum, a name that he first discovered on a cup from the 60s where there was a recipe for a cocktail called “Meermaid”…I love when I stumble upon interesting things like this while researching for writing a rum post…that*s how it comes that I sometimes sit up all night…
The Tabou Tiki Room was inspired by Stefan`s visits to Trader Vic in London and Munich, and the Mai Kai and Tonga Room in America and the idea of escape from the outside world that real tiki bars is all about.
Here is the history of this infused rum as told on the website by Stefan Waltz:
I used to be the co-owner of the “Tabou Tiki Room”. An infamous tiki bar, and first of its kind, in Berlin, Germany. The place is long gone now, but it was there that the dream to produce my own infused rum was born.
“Tabou” was a bar that focused on the almost forgotten, rum based cocktails of the old days served in authentic tiki mugs, and an assortment of sipping rums fifty strong. I had the pleasure of acquiring these rums from around the world.
Don’t get me wrong, I know that there are fine spiced rums out there nowadays, but I want to show that it is possible to produce handcrafted infused rum at a reasonable price, while maintaining a far superior quality to the industry standard.
I began by trying several recipes using quality rum with an assortment of exotic spices and various types of fruit infusions. After several months of experimenting, analyzing, and taste-testing I concocted several unique possibilities, but felt that something crucial was missing. In the end, it was my girlfriend who suggested the last, key ingredient and I knew that we had crafted something special. Two weeks and several business meetings later, I had found a way to make naturally infused rum in small batches.
As you can imagine, it being in charge of searching and was a fun and exciting job. However, back in 2004 I just could not find a brand of spiced rum that met with my high standards. What I found was mass produced liquor, flavored with artificial vanilla to cover up the taste of what was quite obviously mediocre rum. It was through this search that the idea to make my own bottled rum began to form.
Quite interesting story isn`t it? And now he finally has his infused rum which btw is excellent!
Here`s my thoughts on the flavor:
Meermaid Infused Rum:
The color is lightly straw and when I swirl the rum in the glass, legs are quickly formed on the sides. The nose is very pleasant with a lot of citrus fruitiness, some herbs and a bit of spices with a very slight hint of rum in the background.
The nose is very mild yet has a lot of flavor notes in it.
The taste is spicy and herbal with he rum resting discreetly in the background, it´s mild and balanced and has an interesting flavor which is complex. It also has a pronounced fruitiness. It`s more mild and balanced than I expected and there`s no “overly sweetness” or “too much vanilla” in it, there´s a clear hint of cinnamon but there`s nothing that takes over.
There`s also something else there I cannot put my finger on…cherry?
There’s fruity orange and a bit of woody spicy aftertaste with hints of cinnamon, clove, cardamom, herbs…and the finish is medium long. It`s definetily one of the better spiced rums and this one distinguishes itself from the rest in that it`s a bit different.
Meermaid Overproof Infused Rum:
The overproof version has a naturally sharper nose with creamy fruitness in it, light on the spice and little bit herbal. I really like this creamy fruitness, it`s an intoxicating scent.
The flavor is also very fruity and herbal, even a little bit floral with a touch of woody spices like cinnamon and clove. It`s mild enough to sip, the alcohol doesn`t kill you. In all I would say that both these rums are well balanced and mild enough to not overpower anything which so many other spiced rums does.
They can be both sipped and mixed! and yes they are right, it really pairs well with pineapple!
Pretty cool labels, with a skeleton mermaid on the overproof…
Wim Thielemans from Flap`s Tikis made a special tiki mug for Meermaid rum – is it the captain with a mermaid tail? or is it a tiki face? a really cool mug!
Ok and now it`s time for the drinks! i`m in the mood for pineapple, rum, lime and coconut! so it´s a lot of fresh pineapple juice and tiki drinks…
First drink is a pineapple bowl…a mix of fresh pineapple and lime juices, orgeat and three rums to make it strong plus dashes of Angostura and Zulu bitters to make it nice! the whole awesomeness is served in a scooped out pineapple garnished with pineapple leaves, lime wheels and tropical flowers.
I wish I had one of those little plastic cocktail garnish mermaids to add to the bowl….she could swim around there in all the rum…
Meermaid Pineapple Bowl
2 oz/60ml fresh pineapple juice
1 oz/30ml fresh lime juice
0.75 oz/22.5ml orgeat
1 oz/30ml Meermaid Infused rum
0.5 oz/15ml Meermaid overproof rum
1 oz/30ml demerara rum
A couple dashes of Angostura and Zulu* Aromatic bitters
Blend in blender with 1 cup crushed ice for 5 sec, then pour into a scooped out pineapple (or glass/tiki mug) and fill up wityh more crushed ice and garnish.
This drink is very refreshing!
*The Zulu bitters are hard to get outside of Brazil where they are made from local ingredients in the rainforest, ( try e-mail email@example.com ) – Otherwise using Angostura is just fine!
The next drink….looks very innocent but it is not!
2 oz /60ml fresh pineapple juice
2 oz/60 ml fresh orange juice
1 oz/30ml Coco Real or Lopez cream of coconut
0.25 oz/7.5ml cold brewed coffee
1 oz/30ml fresh lime juice
1 oz/30ml Meermaid Infused rum
1 oz/30ml Meermaid overproof rum
1 oz/30ml aged Jamaican rum
Blend in blender at high speed for 5 sec with 1 cup of crushed iced and pour into a large snifter.
Mermaid Ginger Cooler
In a rocks glass with large pieces of cracked ice, add:
1 oz/30ml Meermaid Infused rum
1 oz/30ml Meermaid overproof rum
A little squeeze of fresh lime
Top up with ice cold ginger beer and stir
Garnish with fresh mint and lime
It packs a bit of a punch!
Grande Pina Colada
2 oz/60ml fresh pineapple juice
1 oz/30ml Coco Real or Coco Lopez
2 oz/60ml roasted coconut water
1 oz/30ml fresh lime
1 oz/30ml Jamaican rum
1 oz/30ml Meermaid overproof rum
A couple dashes of Angostura bitters
Blend in blender at high speed for 6 sec with a cup (2.5dl) cracked ice)
Pour into a goblet or pineapple filled with cracked ice.
Add a generous float of black strap rum
2 oz/60ml Guanabana (soursop) juice
0.75 oz/22.5ml fresh lime juice
0.5oz/15ml macadamia nut syrup
1 oz/30ml Meermaid overproof rum
2 oz/60ml Santeria rum or a dark Jamaican rum
Flash blend in blender with 1 cup of crushed ice for 5 sec, pour into a tall glass and fill up with more crushed ice.
Garnish: wrap the glass in banana leaf and tropical orchid.
Overall I think for this infused rum, it´s a work well done! The Meermaid rum is for those who appreciate quality handmade flavored spirits – if you want your own bottle of Meermaid you can order it here. ( I do not know if they ship outside of Europe) And if you are going to the German Rum Festival in october (15-16) you can also find it there!
And so finally I got to go the Latitude 29! I´ve been waiting since they opened with great anticipation and (high) expectancy…..well…I try to not have too high expectations whatever it is, better to have an open mind, but with this one i`s a bit different….because this is the BUM`s place….this is the man who uncoded all the secret codes and brought us all these lost drink recipes and who wrote no less than six stellar books on the subject if you count in Taboo Table.
His books have been my to go tiki drink (and history) books for years and so now he and his wife Annene Kay aka Mrs Bum opens a real tiki bar in my favorite city New Orleans!
And I wasn`t there when they opened….and had to wait all the way until this year´s Tales before I could finally go and see it – and in the meantime I`ve been drooling over all the food and drink pictures (can you say Tahitian Steak Frites?) and the drinks…..oh the drinks….
I`ve seen so many beautiful pictures of these drinks that I didn`t know what to start with….but I ended up ordering a Pontchartrain Pearl Diver as my first drink – in the NEW Pearl Diver`s glass! 🙂
The Pearl Diver`s glass, the Swizzle cup and the skull barspoons are all new for this summer in collaboration with Jeff Berry and Cocktail Kingdom and they were sold at the Tales but are also available online. The vintage Pearl Diver`s Punch glass is more or less impossible to find anymore so I`m really happy they are re-making them and same for the cool swizzle cup! I hope to see more re-making of these type of vintage tiki drink glasses….
And not only are the glasses really cool they come in beautiful vintage looking packages too!
The Pontchartrain Pearl Diver was good…..very very good – well balanced and oh so tasty! I didn`t try so very many drinks during the Tales because it was so incredibly busy….and so was I…so I decided to wait until after Tales and THEN go there for some serious drink tasting!
So last friday I went there early and I sat there and happily indulged Tahitian Steak Frites with luscious Coconut Butter and later a Mahi Mahi Bahn Mi accompanied by a whole array of drinks until in the evening, I actually spent a whole “working day” in the place!
And I had a nice chat with the Bum, about rums and rums and rums…and of course, tiki drinks. I was indeed a very good day….The place is so cool and relaxed, beautifully decorated and the music is great! with everything from real good and cool old style Jamaican reggae to surf music! and the co-bar manager Steven Yamada and his staff are very attentive, friendly and nice.
It`s really a place to go not only for the great drinks and food but also to escape from the world outside and it doesn`t matter if there´s big windows to the outside world…..because this is New Orleans! and the view from the beautiful arched windows is nothing but beautiful….over the pool and the tropical plants in the courtyard of Bienville House Hotel.
This used to be housing the former Iris restaurant, I went there in 2009 with all the Tales bloggers and now I cannot recognize the restaurant and bar anymore, it´s a total different world! quite the transformation….the only things that looks the same is the courtyard and the hotel lobby.
Take a look:
Back in 2009…Alan Walther tends the bar at Iris…..and he did serve some amazing cocktails! he later moved on to Loa, this was long before the Iris became what it is today – a true tiki haven!
The Tales Blogger Dinner in 2009 in the former Iris restaurant, the same view today of the beautiful courtyard and pool but the dining room has dramatically changed…..
This is such a tranquil and peaceful place….if staying at this hotel you get both all this plus the Latitude29 in one place…..
Eat Drink and be Merry!
Hurricane, Kea Colada and Royal Hawaiian Cocktail.
The food menu has something for everyone! executive Chef Chris Shortall and his staff creates their own take on modern Tiki Cuisine which is playful and tasty and there`s something for everyone including options for vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free guests.
First thing I opted for was the Tahitian Steak Frites which I`ve been dreaming about since they opened…..
The Tahitian Steak Frites are tender, luscious and juicy (I ordered mine medium-rare) served with hot crispy thin fries and a tasty dipping sauce plus a dollop of coconut butter on top! the Bum told me that in Tahiti they add coconut to the cow´s diet and therefore everything the cows are producing have a touch of coconut flavor…heavenly….and so they wanted to re-create that idea here with the coconut butter.
I LOVE it!
I`m not joking, I think I could eat this almost every day….the meat is so tender and melts in your mouth together with that lovely coconut butter….
The Mahi Mahi Bahn Mi is wild caught Mahi poached in coconut oil, jalapeño, sriracha, and shallot….and at a Chef`s Challenge before the Tales I tried the ribs which are very tasty too….and not to forget the crispy green beans!
Another nice dish is the Shrimps in Blanket, the gulf shrimps here really are something special. They are big and juicy….and have more shrimp flavor than shrimps I`ve tasted anywhere else.
Shrimps in Blanket
These green beans were amazing…..
An array of seductive tropical tiki drinks…..
When you enter a tiki bar you want to be seduced….you want to forget the daily struggles and take a “trip to the South Seas” with exotic tropical drinks! (inspired by drinks in the Caribbean….) 🙂
So I started with the Pontchartrain Pearl Diver….it`s such a good drink!…..balanced, fruity and rummy! The Pearl Diver is a mix of honey-butter-spice mix blended with passion fruit, lime and Jamaica rum. The butter adds a wonderful slightly viscous mouth-feel, if you didn`t know it was butter in the mix you wouldn`t know what it was but you would know there was something there….
After the Pearl Diver I had the namesake drink of this bar – the Latitude 29…..it comes in a tall glass wrapped in banana leaf for that real tropical feel – and you get that cool gorgeous swizzle stick! – made after the wall art by Bosko! The drink is made with eight-year Demerara rum, passion fruit purée, house made Madagascar vanilla syrup, orange, pineapple and lemon.
They are both gorgeous in their presentations with the Pontchartrain Pearl Diver in the new re-made super cool Pearl Diver`s glass.
The Latitude 29
The Rum Barrel is according to the menu a communal drink but it says “For 2 to share, or 1 thirsty pirate to hoard. A kill-devil’s brew of 3 rums, 4 juices, multiple herbs, spices and sweeteners …” – so apparently I`m a “thirsty pirate” since I had no problem drinking it all by myself….
It sure makes you feel like a rummy pirate! 😀
It`s presentation is BEAUTIFUL! and fun! see the picture….they really take time to garnish up these beauties….and the drink itself is strong and rummy/fruity/spicy. One of my favorites!
Rum Barrel, complete with pineapple peel, cherries, orchid, swinging monkeys and umbrella! superfun garnish 🙂
And so is the Coffee Bongo…..also incredibly nicely garnished….with a pineapple leaf cut out to look like a palm tree frond…..topped with two coffee beans….stunning! the drink is also strong/spicy and rummy with lots of character and if you like coffee and pineapple together, you find it here.
Every drink is not rum though….there´s a drink called “Outcast of the Islands” which was amazingly tasty and is a mix of London gin and Persian lime…with cinnamon, ginger, almond and anise, heavenly….
And it LOOKS heavenly too! it comes served with an ice shell…..how cool is that? and the Navy Grog comes with the iconic ice cone which is made with the Bum`s ice cone device sold by Cocktail Kingdom (as well as the Pearl Diver`s glasses, the swizzle cup and the skull bar spoons)
And there are drinks with bourbon, brandy, tequila, beer and vodka….but I haven`t tried them all yet….there`s something for everyone in the drink menu too. Me, I tend to mostly stick to the rums….
Outcast of the Islands and the iconic Navy Grog
The Professor Remsberg`s Punch is a very interesting drink and very tasty too, the drink contains “Fine old Guadeloupe rum, gently stirred with lime and a Caribbean spiced syrup discovered over 30 years ago in San Juan by the Professor himself”…….I wonder what is in that syrup? If you didn`t know, Stephen Remsberg is the world´s biggest rum collector.
Professor Remsberg`s Punch
All the drinks at Latitude 29 are good and well balanced, from the (real, no chemical-mix) Hurricane, Mai Tai, TOTC Swizzle, Nui Nui, Kea Colada, Royal Hawaiian Cocktail, Lapu Lapu, Hawaii 504, Missionary`s Downfall and the Paniolo….which is Kentucky bourbon and Hawaiian macadamia nut liqueur shaken with lime, house made cranberry syrup and a dash of molé bitters.
It`s evident to me that they pay as much attention to the garnishes as the drinks themselves because some of these drinks ar off the charts when it comes to beautiful presentations! you get a little work of art in your hand!
And the drink names alone takes you on a exotic journey…..a lot of them created back in the heydays of tiki.
Tasty, exotic and beautiful.
The Hawaii 504
You know, you need to go there and just try all these heavenly things! btw….between 3 and 6 pm every day it´s Happy Hour with a special menu….where among the drinks you`ll find the Banana Banshee and the Royal Hawaiian Cocktail….both perfect to cool you down when it´s hot outside which is a guaranteed thing in New Orleans during the summer.
And the best thing of all….you get the Steak Frites for half the price! what is there not to love?
The Banana Banshee is a frozen cocktail with Jamaican rum, lime, coconut milk and coconut cream, fresh banana and aztec bitters and topped with grated chocolate!
I also ordered a few off-menu drinks with the help of Jeff Berry`s Total Tiki app, such a handy thing to have! and they were delivered top notch! I think Steve outdid himself with the Coconaut….coming beautifully garnished with a Cruzan Blackstrap float on the side. It tasted absolutely heavenly…..it was a mix of Hamilton 151 Demerara, El Dorado 5, for the rums plus that lovely float of blackstrap to pour yourself 🙂
This Coconaut was incredible!
The Zombie was spicy and nice just as I expected, and just about right with the strength, and the Kamehameha Rum Punch did live up to it´s name…..
Kamehameha Rum Punch and the Zombie…..
This interesting drink recipe is from Sippin`Safari and originates from the Hotel King Kamehameha in Kona, Hawaii, as the origin of the drink around 1960.
So who was King Kamehameha you might ask? Kamehameha – also known as Kamehameha the Great was the head of a dynasty ruling the Hawaiian islands for more than a century. The name Kamehameha (pronounced kuh-may-ha-may-ha) means “the one set apart.” He conquered the Hawaiian islands and formally established the Kingdom of Hawai`i in 1810.
This drink is actually named after the Hotel King Kamehameha in Kona, Hawaii who took the name after the great Hawaiian King – Kamehameha.
Every year on Kamehameha Day (June 11, a state holiday in Hawai’i), National Statuary Hall is the scene of a ceremony in honor of the king and the statue of Kamehameha the Great is draped with lovely (and loooong) leis of fragrant flowers from Hawai’i. The Festival continues to pay tribute to Kamehameha and acts to preserve and perpetuate the Hawaiian culture.
And as every tiki bar should, there:s also a couple of different communal drinks on the menu, the newest one is a monster drink called the “Plantocracy Punch” for 6-8 people but we were only three so we tried the Lapu Lapu which uses a recipe which according to the menu is a Don The Beachcomber’s “lost” unpublished 1964 recipe, recently discovered by the Bum and presented here for the first time in over 40 years.
And of course it`s appropriately garnished with little mermaids taking a rummy ice bath…..
Fruity, spicy, rummy Lapu Lapu and little mermaids swimming in the bowl….
While sitting in the bar I spotted two Samaroli rum bottles….and so of course I ordered a sample of each….and with the rum samples you get a small shot glass with water and a dropper, neat.
One was the 13 year old Guadeloupe 1998 Rhum Agricole and the other 1988 Demerara Dark Rum. The Guadeloupe is spicy and a touch smokey, with a strong character but at the same time, not too aggressive, it´s fruity, peppery, balanced and picky but also smooth.
A few drops of water brings out a whole array of tropical fruits flavors! this rum is incredible. I REALLY liked it!
The 23 year old 1988 Demerara rum had flavors of wood, macerated tropical fruits, apricot, vanilla, banana peel, mango and something else I couldn`t define…..but here a few drops of water didn`t bring out much change….still very woody, strong and fruity. Also a very good rum! Both of these rums are distilled in the Caribbean and then matured in Scotland.
They are not cheap but they are unique rums and they give you something to remember.
Then I saw a curiosity on the menu….it had a sort of mellow toasty coconut flavor…interesting….and I think it also could be used as ingredient in some of the drinks maybe? how about a Toasted Coconut Daiquiri?
The Interior Decor…..
Here is top crafts….the first thing you notice is of course the big centerpiece which now is in the same spot as the huge mirror was when it was the bar at Iris. The centerpiece is a huge carving of the Pacific Islands in a map in the forms of small tikis made by Daniel Gallardo aka Tiki Tiablo, and it`s a stunning work of art!!
Here is a collage of close-ups of the “Islands” in the map and there´s a nod to New Orleans too….do you see the fleur de lis on top?
Bosko Hrnjak did all the new (non-vintage) light fixtures and all of the new (non-vintage) tiki carvings, wall panels, etc, over 50 of them in total. And Dave “Basement Kahuna” Wolfe did 8 Easter Island carvings on the hut wall-dividers.
It`s all beautiful….
Another (practical) thing I greatly appreciate are the power outlets with USB ports located on each side of the tables, I wish more bars had that, it should be standard everywhere.
Tiki glasses, Barspoons and Orgeat
All tikiphiles already knows about the Pearl Diver`s glass, the swizze cup and the cool skull bar spoons which you can find at the Cocktail Kingdom which I mentioned above….but a new thing is the Latitude29 orgeat which comes in a heavy round glass bottle and is sold in the bar.
I haven`t tried the orgeat yet even though I bought a couple of bottles (USD 15 each) but i`m out travellling so that will have to wait.
So to sum it all up, what I was looking for was how the food and the drinks tasted and were presented and if there´s consistency….(and yes I have returned) and how the decor and the feel of the place was, what music did they play and how loud? is it possible to have a conversation or do you have to scream? and how I was treated as a guest.
Personally I have nothing to complain about, the food and drinks are top class, the decor tasteful and genuinely tiki, it`s a laid back and relaxed feel, the staff attentive, professional and very sweet and so I`ll keep coming back, this is now my primarily watering hole in New Orleans :-).
That said there´s a lot of very good bars here, I just happen to really really like well made tiki drinks and in the relaxed vibe and environment of a real good tiki bar, there I feel the most at home.
The Lost Spirits Distillery have done it again! made a geeky rum that blew me away…this time it`s a 62 % ABV monster with espresso coffee and sarsaparilla notes…
I read Cocktailwonk`s post earlier on this rum where i read the flavor description by Bryan – “chocolate-dipped plums rolled in espresso powder.” That made my mouth water….Now having tried it for myself i find that the description is quite on point.
This rum caught me by total surprise too…since i was expecting the Cuban Inspired Anejo Blanco rum to be launched and instead they launch this…albeit it´s a collaboration with Bounty Hunter Wine and Spirits in a very small batch – 225 bottles – and only sold at the Bounty Hunter thus only being available to people in the US and during a short time. It does have a different price tag than the other Lost Spirit rums, (a whopping $100 instead of $45) due to the tiny production.
I see this rum as an indication of what`s to come because they are continuously developing their rums, experimenting with ways to improve them and reach new levels and what they are doing is total geekery. I wouldn`t be surprised if they come out with a couple more of these type of small batch rums and i`m very interested to see where their rum developments takes them.
I really like the Colonial Inspired rum, the dark coffee notes are subtle but noticeable. There`s also hints of wood, sarsaparilla and vanilla in it. I like the fact that it`s made without any color or flavor additives, no extra sugar in this rum! just baking grade molasses, water and yeast culture.
The nose to me is tropical fruit, citrus peel and spices and in the mouth you get an initial burn, the rum packs a 62% punch after all, then mature tropical fruit notes, sugarcane, wood, sarsaparilla, dark plums and a hint of coffee.
It`s a strong dark rum and perfect for tiki drinks….just like the others they have made.
Also the label made by Bryan is truly stunning, and like the previous labels – really detailed and artistic, reflecting the flavor profile of the rum.
LOST SPIRIT RUMS
There`s the Navy style with it`s rough smokiness, the Polynesian Inspired with it´s fruity pineapple notes and then the Grand Lady…. 151 Cuban which also had pineapple notes and rich vanilla and which I personally find to be very easy to sip…and that makes it a dangerous rum…I would suggest use 1 oz of it and 1 oz of another in a daiquiri for example and yeah occasionally go all 151 in and supercharge that lovely daiquiri bec they really gets good…
There was a post recently on the Tiki Central where the Lost Spirits rums were discussed and Bryan chimed in with an explanation about these rums and what he had in mind when creating them, a good read in my opinion and so therefore I forward it here for those who are interested:
To chime in and offer my own answer (which is actually a lot less important than yours). Most rum companies have been around for a long time. They don’t inherently create new products. They continue to make what they have always made and what their customers expect from them. There is nothing wrong with this. In fact when you have 100 employees to feed it’s essential to your survival and your community.
However, as a tiny new company (three people total) we have no such history. This freedom allows us to be super creative. Our engineering capability also lets us (to some extent) make what we can dream up. In fact we actually make the labels before we design the rum that goes in the bottle.
This was inspired by watching pirates of the Caribbean over and over again while asking ourselves the question: what would that rum in the movie taste like if it were a real thing. We engineered this one to have a significant wood smoke note to evoke the cannon fire and gun smoke with a tar esque quality reminiscent of wooden ships. Sort of an islay whiskey meets rum idea while still staying pretty close to classic navy rum.
Geeky summary: Phenolic & estery navy rum with the biggest semi-volatile (finish) profile in the industry – woot woot
Here we asked the question, if tiki was an actual place what would the rum taste like? We tried to make the chemical profile of the rum as close to that of a pineapple as possible. Tricky because we make rum not pineapples so it kept wanting to taste like rum not a pineapple.
Geeky summary: Heavy pot still rum with a big mid palette of carboxylic esters (fruity flavors) and minimal phenolic & semi-volatile influence. Designed to float on tiki drinks.
Here my dad was reminiscing about how good rum was when he was young (he is very old). So we wondered what the legendary cuban rum of 100 years ago was like. Since I don’t own any of that – I just let my imagination go. The idea here was to do a high rectification (read Spanish style rum) but in a pot still like they would have a LONG time ago. Then we designed the oak component to punch up the vanilla and accentuate the butterscotch notes of the white rum.
Geeky summary: Lighter base rum with a massive vanilla profile created from careful phenol management in the oak.
This one was a personal challenge. The commissioning party wanted a rum that could command the high price tag. For me this was the hardest project to date, because it meant it had to stand against my favorite rums (which are old).
So for this one I actually used a prototype of a set of new techniques that I have been working on in the shop for a long time. I actually had to file patents before I could sell the bottles or give the buyers samples. It was very kind of them to put that kind of faith in me.
Think of this one as a sneak preview of whats to come.
Geeky summary: Holy &@%t
Also here´s a link to a post by Cocktailwonk if you`re into the more technical details about this rum and I think it´s necessary to understand how this rum is made, so here is a link and one other to earlier posts and one new because this is not a rum made the conventional way, it´s just simply different and even though I`ve had no problems sipping their rums I do prefer to mix with them.
I made my version of two tiki drinks with it which turned out really good:
Magic of the Lost Spell
This is a drink obviously (if you`re into tiki) inspired by the Black Magic and the Dark Magic drinks…the Dark Magic created by Colonel Tiki in 2010 was in turn inspired by Mai Kai`s Black Magic.
1 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz unsweetened pineapple juice
¼ oz dark muscovado syrup
¼ oz Passion Fruit Syrup
½ oz strong coffee like Kona, Blue Mountain or a Louisiana coffee like the Community Coffee dark roast (what i`m using)
2 oz Lost Spirits Colonial American Inspired Rum
1 dash Angostura bitters
8 drops (1/8th oz) Herbsaint
Blend ingredients with 8oz ice and pour into a crushed ice filled snifter and garnish with tropical orchids and leaves and 3 speared maraschino cherries.
As this rum is hard to get and if you can`t find it, sub with the Lost Spirits Navy style rum. The taste of the drink i found to be spicy and strong and “tiki” as in a dark mysterious tiki bar.
Let`s escape! lower the lights and set that drink on fire…..
The next drink is my version of the Jet Pilot (Sippin`Safari) which was inspired by Don the beachcomber`s “Test Pilot” which was created during the mid century “golden age” of tiki drinks. There has been a number of drinks evolving from the original Test Pilot, like the Space Pilot, Astronaut, the Ace pilot and the Auto pilot 🙂
With this Lost Spirits rum here it becomes the Lost Pilot!
The big difference from the Jet and Test Pilots is that while they use multiple rums this uses only the Colonial and the reason i only use one rum in this drink is that i wanted to see how this bold flavorful rum would do all by itself in this drink.
Since i haven`t yet experimented with blending it with other rums i cannot say if that would make a tastier drink – and i certainly don`t try to duplicate the Mai Kai version (which btw contains four rums and some other things) and of course using several rums brings more depth but i do think that the rum is doing really well and that this version is tasty.
1/2oz fresh lime juice
1/2oz grapefruit juice (yellow)
1/2oz cinnamon syrup
2 oz Lost Spirits Colonial American Inspired Rum
1 dash Angostura bitters
6 drops Herbsaint or Pernod
4oz crushed ice
Throw everything into the blender, ice last. Flash-blend for less than 5 seconds. Pour into a glass or tiki mug filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a tropical orchid and leaf.
This is another strong and spicy tiki drink to help you escape into the eternal bliss of tropical fantasy island….
I wish there was more made of the Colonial American Inspired Rum…..I like the full flavor, the in your face punch and the potent strength, coffee notes and all and wish it was more widely available…I count myself very lucky to have a bottle. I`m looking forward to see what they gonna make in the future.
If you happen to live in the US and can order from the Bounty Hunters Wine and Spirits you have a chance to get a bottle before they gone, only 225 bottles were made.
Flavorful, strong, and quite a different animal…and so well suited for the type of drinks I love the most…this is all about big, bold flavours.
The Hawaiians call me hala-kahiki, meaning hala from a foreign land….. who am i?
The PINEAPPLE !!
The mighty pineapple is the topic for this months Mixology Monday hosted by Thiago of the BartendingNotes blog. I haven`t participated in the MxMo in a very long time and so it´s long due…but who can resist such a topic? i love pineapples!
Here´s what was said in the MxMo announcement: Let’s bring the king of fruits back! After being canned, mixed with all sorts of sugary liquids and blended into… some 80s dreadful cocktails, the pineapple needs more respect! Once a symbol of hospitality, the King of Fruits might be know misunderstood.
One of the greatest non-citrus souring agents, used for crazy garnish ideas, infusions, old gum syrup flavoring, the pineapple is a fruit to be reckoned.
Be in a tiki cocktail, an old school classic like the Algonquin, a crazy flavor pairing or just mixed in a delicious Verdita, get creative and make a cocktail using any part of this delicious, juicy fruit or share you favorite pineapple cocktail with us!
The pineapple is called the “King of Fruits” for a reason – there is NO other fruit that has become so famous as the pineapple, not even banana! there is even pineapple houses built! And it´s so incredibly versatile, you can do so much with it, in drinks and food in a million ways….use as serving bowl, lamp, it´s sung about, painted, photographed…and no wonder, the fruit is beautiful! and a fabulous cocktail ingredient, and that`s where i use it the most and i use it extensively.
Swizzle all ingredients and top with Sanpellegrino limonata (sub Schweppes lemon)
Garnish with two pineapple leaves and a cocktail cherry.
A robust and typical tiki swizzle!
1 oz Rhum JM agricole blanc
1 oz Lost Spirits Polynesian Style rum
0.75 oz fresh lime
0.5 oz sugarcane syrup
1 oz pineapple juice
dash Mozart Chocolate bitters
1 egg white
Shake hard to emulsify the egg white, preferably dry shake first, then strain into a glass filled with cracked ice and partly rimmed, (with brown sugar) and top with grated nutmeg and cinnamon powder and then garnish with a pineapple leaf and speared cocktail cherry.
This drink is strong since the Lost Spirits rum is overproof but it´s still like drinking rum flavored silk…
And here´s a bonus – the rum sauce for pineapple skewers – as simple as it´s delicious, just rum, honey and cinnamon!
Last year at the Tales i went to a pineapple seminar and learnt a lot about this fruit and at the Angostura Rum pool party they served this rum sauce in pineapples to dip pineapple skewers in, a recipe i took with me, very tasty.
Rum Sauce to dip pineapple skewers in
Fill a hollowed out pineapple fruit with rum, dissolved honey and cinnamon sticks. I first placed in a pan 4 oz aged rum (or rums) of choice, 2 roughly crushed Mexican cinnamon sticks (canela) and 2 tsp honey and slowly heated it up (carefully) just to dissolve the honey and let the cinnamon sticks start giving off their flavor.
Then leave to cool and sit for 15-30 min to let the flavors intensify. Then pour in the pineapple and dip pineapple skewers in the rum sauce, it´s delicious! and a perfect party or movie snack.
The limonata is one of my favorite soft drinks…
This awesome tiki mug is 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)
First time i saw rhum arrangè being made by suspending the fruits above the rhum in large jars was when i saw a video from La Rèunion and i got quite curious. There were all kinds of fruits hanging there with all kinds of things (spices) sticking out of the fruits. I had known about rhum arrangè before but not being made that way. So i decided to try some day and now it´s the time.
The style is called in french – “ananas qui pleure” (the crying pineapple) since the pineapple is suspended in the jar above the rhum agricole as to not touch the rhum and thus avoiding any flavors from the skin to get into the rhum. This is typically done with citrus fruits which carries bitter flavors in their skin.
But also this kind of maceration above the rhum can be done with any fruits and in the French islands only the imagination is the limit, you see ALL kinds of things in intriguing jars…some you have NO idea what they are…
And there´s for example rhum arrangè with shrimp and snake…i`m actually wondering how it would taste with a crawfish rhum?
The one i`m experimenting with here has New Orleans community coffee pecan-praline coffee beans stuck into one side of the fruit and Tahitian vanilla beans in the other and the beans are cut in the ends so the juice from the pineapple can pass through like a “funnel” through the vanilla bean bringing some of the tiny vanilla seeds along down into the rhum.
And all the pineapple, vanilla-coffee goodness will slowly drop down to flavor the rhum…thus the name “ananas qui pleure…The whole thing will sit like that in the closed jar until the fall, at least 4 months.
I wrote a post about rhum arrangè before and i that post i included that video from the island of la Rèunion where there is a restaurant called Le Saint-Bernard that contains ONLY rhum arrangès (about 400 rhums) of all kinds of flavors made with fruits, roots, spices and God knows what…and many are suspended this way.
Unfortunately (very) the video i first saw is not there anymore but the article (in french) is. The place looks like a veritable laboratory of rhum arrangè, absolutely amazing and a place i`d love to visit.
In my earlier post i wrote about this method of hanging the fruit above the alcohol explaining it:
There´s two different ways of macerating, one is the traditional common way of submerging the fruits and spices into the rum. Then there´s another where you hang the fruits (usually citrus fruits) as they are or with things inserted into the fruits – like coffee beans and hung above the liquid.
The idea is that the aromatics and oils are derived from the citrus and spices without any bitterness from the pith and that´s the reason this method is usually used for citrus fruits.
This method is called D.S.M – or Delicious Scientific Magic!!
DSM – or diffusion – The alcohol, exerting a vapor pressure, will diffuse into the lemons saturating the lemon, thus the loss of alcohol in a closed system.
In turn, the lemon oil will also exert a vapor pressure; the lemon smell you get when you cut the skin. It will diffuse out of the lemon and saturate the alcohol.
In the Limoncello post they are talking about high proof or overproof spirits but the traditional rhum arrangè isn`t necessarily done with especially high proof rhums, i think the common proof is between 45-55%
Here´s one of the videos about the rhums arrangès at Le Saint-Bernard:
As you can see there´s absolutely no limit of what you can do with rhum arrangè…but what you need is a lot of patience because this ain`t no quick fix!
So here`s what i did to make this variation with pineapple, vanilla and coffee:
1 – Prepare everything you need, jar, rhum or rum, fruit (not too ripe), spices, a string to tie the fruit with. Cut the vanilla beans in half pieces and cut off the top ends. Make sure the jar and the string is clean and the fruit washed.
2 – Cut up the fruit to a size that fits the jar and discard the leaves, then cut small holes in the fruit and stick the coffee beans in one side and the vanilla beans in the other (the skin side) I had to cut up this pineapple because it was too big for the jar but one can also use whole fruits with this method.
3 – Add the rhum to the jar, then the sugarcane syrup (i took one bottle (75 cl rhum) and add 2-3 tsp of sugarcane syrup. (or 15 cl/o.5 oz)
4 – Suspend the fruit to the cover of the jar with strings so that the fruit do not touch the rum and close the jar good and SEAL it hermetically with tape and leave to macerate for a minimum of 4 months ( it can go 6 months without problem or longer, there are rhum arrangès that have been sitting 3-4 years…)
But i think 4-6 month is good for this one. I`m planning to open the jar in the fall and see what i got – exciting…