Rhumfest Paris 2016!

Rhumfest glass

Rum, Rhum and Ron…

The 2016 Rhumfest Paris took place on April 2, 3 & 4 th at Parc Floral, Paris. This event has become huge!!!

The venue was completely jam-packed with people! – So much rum….so much people!! on both days! and the day for the industry/professionals was on the the last day, the monday, and it would have been nice to have been there that day since the industry days are much less crowded, but unfortunately I had to travel back. Rhumfest Paris seem to me to have been completely sold out, around 8000 tickets were sold.

There were 119 participating brands and 40 exhibitors, plus 500 rums to try from as varied places as Thailand with Issan – agricole rum, and from La Rèunion island – Isautier, Savanna, Charette and Chatel….all very interesting rums! from Guyana one of my favorite brands, La Belle Cabresse and they also had various exotic rum punches and spices…

And represented for the first time at Rhumfest Paris – Tahiti! with the Mana`o rum – which – was a very interesting and tasty rhum agricole, it was surprisingly good for coming from such a small and far away place. What I especially liked with the Paris rumfest was that there were so much interesting and varied brands of rhum agricoles to try. I like to see at least as many agricoles as molasses based rums! and especially also smaller brands and here there was all of that in abundance.

But big brands were there too of course, among them Angostura who during a master class presented their new bottles for their classic rum range and had out for taste also their Amaro di Angostura.

Velier brought out their new Habitation Velier rums together with their Rhum Rhum and Clairin rums. I spent a lot of time at their booth…my favorites was the Habitation Velier Foursquare 2013 and then the Caroni 17!

Ekte Spirits from Denmark had some interesting rums to try as well, my favorite there was the demerara expressions.

But we started already on the thursday with the judging of the rums for the Rhumfest Paris Awards at La Rhumerie, a very nice French Caribbean rum bar and restaurant which I can recommend, especially for their rums and food! And the results of the 2016 Paris Rhumfest Awards is here.

A rumfest with lots of rum sampling needs some good fuel and there was some really tasty food available on food trucks with food from Martinique and Venezuela among others. I had spicy accras with extra hotsauce (of course) and other things, all very tasty! but the food thing that left me a memory is the Baba au Rhum dessert from La Rhumerie! it was so good…melted in your mouth….and soooo rum soaked!

There were masterclasses too and here is a link to them – http://livestream.com/midjdeal/events/5101484

During the nights there were a lot of things to do, you could sample a really fantastic range of rums at Mabel, among them I tried were the new El Dorado Cask Strength rums…and then Caronis…and at Maria Loca there was the one and only Daniele Dalla Pola doing his fantastic drinks during his “Arcane Jungle Night” with Arcane rum tiki drinks and great show! the drinks were so good!! (visiting his Nu Lounge Bar in Bologna is a must do!) and there was also a night of cocktails with Ron Botran Añejo!

Here is some shaking and pouring:

 

Also at Maria Loca we tried the new Maca rum which was very interesting and for being a spiced rum it was good! the intent is to create a spiced rum that differs from most and shows that spiced rums can be good and does not have to be cloingly sweet or unbalanced and overspiced.

Maca spiced rum logo

Then we have the Dirty Dick Tiki bar where the exotic drinks were always flowing….don`t go to Paris without going to Dirty Dick!

Late nights in Paris during Rhumfest week and Paris Rhum Week is a recipe for exhaustion….but a LOT of fun! 🙂 but also during the days there´s interesting things to do for a rum fanatic, for example visiting Christian de Montaguère, the rumshop of sorts! with more than 900 different rums, and also rum and cocktail books, french caribbean rum and cook books and even spices and exotic perfumes! (among them amazing tiare and frangipani perfumes and banana oils…) on 20 Rue de l’Abbé Grégoire, 75006 Paris, and here is their website. This shop is a paradise….

I think the big win with this rum festival was the incredible diversity of rums, especially (and naturally) all the different agricole rums!

Here is my usual picture parade… – enjoy, a little piece of  Rhumfest Paris!

TI ARR 1

If there was a prize for most beautiful stand, or booth, it would surely have gone to “Ti Arrangès de Cèd” which was a fantastic display of colors and beautiful “rhum arrangès” made by Cèdric Brément. I have a few of those at home, among them the banane-cacao, these are some tasty little treasures!

Ti arranges booth 6   Ti arranges booth 8

The new one with hibiscus is on the left. Aren`t they just beautiful?

Ti arranges booth 3    CDM TI MACADAMIA

Macadamia nuts and vanilla…

ananas victoria 2   ananas victoria

The star of the show…Ananans victoria!!!! this is the pineapple that is used for Plantation rums pineapple rum the Stiggin`s Fancy. This little pineapple grows on La Rèunion island outside of Africa. The one in the picure is a bit special though…it looks like a double pineapple and it had 6 or 7 shots! it was the wildest pineapple I ever seen! later I saw Daniele Dalla Pola walking around with it… I think he found himself a little “pineapple baby” 😀

Ti arranges booth ananas victoria    Ti arranges booth lime

Fresh, colorful, tasty and beautiful! pineapple, lime and rum!

manao    Ti Punch vieux Clement

Mana`o rhum!! this rhum agricole came all the way from Tahiti and it tasted very good! great sugarcane flavor. This is the first 100% organic rhum agricole produced in Tahiti. The name in the Tahitian language means “to think”, “to remember” and is a tribute to ancestral varieties of sugar cane. This is a purely local creation, produced from sugar cane from Taha’a, the first rhum agricole from French Polynesia. It was very interesting to try this! Read more here.

Rhum Clèment from Martinique had a little ti punch bar where you could get this very tasty little ti punch vieux!

Ekte Guyana 17    Ekte Guyana 23    Ekte Jamaica 12

Ekte Spirits sinle cask rums from Denmark. These are interesting! and they are all very good but are expensive.Then again, these are one of a kind rums, the number 2, the Jamaican 12 was made in 270 bottles only. The no 5, Guyana 17 years is 250 bottles and the 23 year old Guyana is 300 bottles made. Their website is here.

Ekte Spirits

And here is Ekte Spirits regular line of rums, I love the names! “Light & Dry”, “Pungent & Geeky”, “Spiced & Rich”, “Dark & Aged” and “Aged & Geeky”. These I tasted for the first time at the UK Rumfest last year. Also I like the fact that there `s a transparency concerning what the bottle contains, it´s stated on the website.

Angostura 1919 new package    Angostura new package 7

Angostura rums is changing “clothes” – but not rum! their classic rums are unchanged and they released the new package during a masterclass which you can watch online here and even though the website is in french the masterclasses are in english and also translated to french.

Velier signs2

When you see this sign…it works like a magnet…

Velier rums

Rows of pure goodness….Habitation Velier, Caronis, Rhum Rhum and Clairin rums!

HV Foursquare 2013    HV Forsyths 151

Now…we are talking! this Foursquare 2013 Barbados Pure Single Rum was the best of the rums I tried at the Rhumfest, it´s just hands down outstanding. The Forsyths WP 151 proof is another gem and this one would be perfect for tiki drinks!

HV Muller3177    HB Forsyths 502

More from Habitation Velier, the bottles looks really interesting I think and they contain really good rums!

Velier caroni 17    Velier Rhum Rhum frog labels

The 17 year Caroni is a wonder of explosive flavors! I think this lovely Caroni was my second best from the Rhumfest. Rhum Rhum Libération 2015 comes in a bottle with a very interesting and fun label and it comes in two strengths, go for the stronger one, the “version integrale” (the red label) This rhum was “liberated” from its cask in 2015 after six years of tropical ageing, Rhum Rhum Libération 2015 Full Proof is at 58.4° % ABV with no water added before bottling.

The Rhum Rhum brand was created by Luca Gargano of Velier in collaboration with Gianni Capovilla on the little island of Marie Galante which belongs to Guadeloupe.

Velier Clairin    Velier Rhum Rhum2

Clairin rhums from Haiti, these are very different from the rest and all very flavorful! Sajous is the “mildest” of the three followed by Vaval and then comes the horsekick, the Casimir, a rum that will kick your butt to the moon…..

Arcane Cane Crush    Issan rum

From two different parts of the world….Arcane rum comes from Mauritius and has some very nice and a bit different expressions while Issan hails from Thailand, and is a rhum agricole! it tastes good too!

La Belle Cabresse sign    CDM CANNE GRISE

More rhum agricole, La Belle Cabresse comes from French Guyana and is one of my old favorites, it has a flavor of it´s own, I think it´s the Guyana “terrorir”, it makes a nice ti punch! and so does the “Canne Grise” from Rhum Bielle, Marie Galante. Canne grise – grey cane is a type of sugarcane that originated from Barbados and that works very well on the small island of Marie Galante because it´s very resistant to drought. The rhum Canne Grise is very nice and fruity in flavor with an abv of 59%.

St James Excellence    Dormoy sirop de Canne

St James Cuvee Excellence is a very smooth and elegant rhum agricole which won a gold at the Paris Rhumfest Awards. St James rhums are always very very solid.

CDM PLANTATION RUMS    Pusser´s

Plantation rums….always present at any rumfest! And as usual you will also encounter Pusser´s rums at any rumfest! 🙂

CDM RUMPUNCH COCO MADRAS    CDM RUMPUNCH MON PEI

And here comes the rhum punches! I so love these! Punch Coco on the left from Guadeloupe and on the right are punches from french Guyana.

CDM RUMPUNCH CACAO 2     CDM RUMPUNCH EROTIKA

Punch Cacao and Punch Erotika and whatever is it is in that it probably works… 🙂 And here comes a few pictures of drinks, party, rum tasting, rum and fun!

DDP drink    DDP and Marc Battais2

Arcane rum booth, tiki drinks by Daniele Dalla Pola and Marc Battais! refreshing after all neat rum sampling. Sometimes you need to clean your palate with a tiki drink!

maria loca - sexy colada (5)     maria loca - sexy colada (8)

And when Daniele comes to town it sure gonna be a Sexy Coladas and a party! this particular Sexy Colada was served on top of  a glass that contained fresh coconut water….a wonderful treat.

At Rhumfest Daniyel and Ian    The international judges of rhumfest Paris awards

No rumfest anywhere without these guys….and the International judges of rhumfest Paris awards, but there needs to be more women! I was the only one! maybe there´ll be some more next year?

DD menu cover    DD Marrero daiquiri

Time for tiki drinks at Dirty Dick! here is the Marrero daiquiri which is the Dirty Dick hommage to Ramon “Monchito” Marrero Pèrez, the creator of the original Pina Colada. (cirka 1954) It´s a fresh, light and sharp drink and I love the presentation…

DD drink 5    DD meny drink

Lovely drink! the “Mystic Fist of Ku” the drink that gives you unlimited power! and I love the garnish!

DD tiki handles    DD painkiller

Tiki tap handles and beautiful Painkiller.

ED CASK STRENGTH LINE

From Dirty Dick to Mabel…time for some serious rum tasting with the new El Dorado cask strength rums!

ED CS PM 1999     ED CASK STRENGTH PM

The 1999 Port Morant is just an explosion of flavors, it was my fav of the three, but that said, the Versialles was in it´s own way almost equally good, or at least it was more interesting because the flavors kinda kept growing on you….I would like to spend more time with it, with both! the Enmore I didn`t care so much about, not that it was not good, it was, but to me, it lacked something special…these two were for me the winners of the range.

MABEL MENU    Mabel - rum menu 2

This is a great place to go if you wanna try rums, they have an amazing collection!

la rhumerie baba au rhum    la rhumerie wall lamp

Baba au Rhum, a treat that waited for me until after the last part of the judging and it was so worth waiting for! what a dessert! and sooooo rum soaked….with wonderful flavorful rum and it melted in my mouth! if I had the time I would have tried more of the foods at la Rhumerie but I will simply have to return.

la rhumerie art    la rhumerie painting cane cutter

Beautiful art and sculptures on the walls and in the room at la Rhumerie!

CDM ATLAS BOOK    CDM Neisson

Rum books and rums at Christian de Montaguère, the “Atlas du Rhum” I hope to see in english soon!!

CDM LA FAVORITE    Off to Paris Rhumfest!

Unbelievable rhum from la Favorite! and my old Mixoloseum bag for booze is still going strong!

Rumfest bracelet 2

And that was all! hope to see Rhumfest again the next year! Cheers!

La Confrérie du Rhum Celebrates 2 Years!

 

la-Cuvée-anniversaire-TiArrangé-de-Céd-Ananas-Victoria-Sauternes-Finish-single-cask-en-édition-limitée-à-500-exemplaires

La Confrérie du Rhum Celebrates 2 Years on the 28th of march 2015, and for this celebration there´s a new rum made! This rum is La Cuvée Anniversaire Ananas Victoria Sauternes Finish (Single Cask, Label Rouge) in a limited edition of 500 bottles.

This infused rum has as a base white AOC rhum agricole from Martinique and has been aged for 8 months in sauternes casks before being infused with red labelled Victoria pineapples from Rèunion Island.

The red labelled Victoria pineapples are a high quality and rare product, cultivated and chosen under a very selective way. The standards of this variety of pineapples is very high in terms of cultivation and final results.

The 70cl bottle of this Cuvèe (32% abv) are labelled with a white and gold label with the logo of the group on it and this bottling  will be presented and sold exclusively at the shop Christian de Montaguère in Paris, starting at 2 (14h) o`clock sharp! What a rhum arrangè is you can read here and here you can read about Rhums de Cèd, amazing flavored/arranged rums made by Cèdric Brèment.

La Confrérie du Rhum is a Facebook group created in march 2013 and already counts more than 5000 members. Professionals and rumlovers talk and share their common passion about rum and distillates from sugarcane on it.

For the second birthday of this group, the administrators decided to bring out this “Cuvèe Anniversaire” and teamed up with Cédric Brèment, the famous French rhum arrangè producer of Les Ti`arrangès de Cèd.

I was lucky to get a little sample for pre-review and let me tell you this is some really nice stuff! the lush tropical and sunny fragrance of ripe pineapple is the first that hits me when i open the little bottle….

The taste is rich, floral and fruity, sweet and herbal, and the notes of the rhum agricole is in the front while the lush sumptuous and almost decadent pineapple is lingering in the back. It`s total sweet harmony…and it definetily makes me want to own a bottle….lucky are those who can go there and buy one!

Cèdric Brèment is a master of his art!

Cuvèe Anniversaire

The rum will be sold for 36 euros and you read about the event on the Facebook page

We have the honor to see you there to discuss and share our common passion and also you will have a little surprise, namely, a special anniversary cuvée in the presence of its producer, Cedric Brement in person!

No need to book, or pre-order, you’re all just welcome from 14h until closing of the shop.

Christian de Montaguère
20, rue de l’Abbé Grégoire, 75006 Paris, France

Saturday march 28 at 2:00pm – 7:00pm

Cheers to the second Anniversary of La Confrérie du Rhum!

La Cofrerie du rhum cuvee anniversaire

Rhum Arrangè de Cèd – Point G – Rum Buried in Salt…

POINT G bottle

The Point G by Rhums de Cèd is a very special curiosity – it´s a rhum arrangè with Ananas Victoria (a special type of pineapple growing in la Rèunion island) that has been buried in a salt marsh for 2 months….

Yes you read that right, the bottles were buried in a salt marsh (marais salant) with seawater and clay in France for two entire months allowing the salt flavors to enter through the cork and thus give the rum inside a special flavor note. I especially like how there is still dried clay on the rum bottles!

I asked Cèd what the salt have done for the rum? he said the pineapple note is prolonged and salt helped approve its taste and smell with a little salty note. I have tried some of his other rhum arrangées and let me tell you he makes some quality stuff! (I earlier reviewed his Rhum Banane Cacao) he sure knows what he is doing.

“Point “G” is macerated with pineapple Victoria and was buried for 2 months in the salt marshes. It was covered with clay and then sea water. The result is quite surprising on the color and taste”

I also asked two rum cork makers and experts in London during the rumfest this past fall what their thoughts were about whether or not salt can actually enter through the cork into a bottle and affect the flavor of the rum and wooow did I get them to scratch their heads…I bet they never got such a question before… 🙂 Well, they had never heard of it before..but they did not deny it could happen.

In any case this rum does taste wonderful and I think it`s a VERY interesting experiment to say the least and btw who does this??

Gotta be a real rum geek right?

I just love it!

POINT G in the marsh

The nose of Point G is mature tropical pineapple paired with a musky earthy scent and in the mouth the pineapple flavor is of course dominant, paired with that earthy taste and then a tiny hint of something, could it be the salt? adding a bit of zing to the flavor.

The overall impression is a very tropical mellow flavor – soft, rich, full-flavored from ripeness and earth that is pleasantly agreeable.

The best way to enjoy a rhum arrangè in general is to drink it as it is with a little ice or without, but you can make cocktails with it too and since this rum is made with pineapple there´s a lot of drinks it can be used with. I would keep it simple though in order to not let these exquisite flavors get lost with too many other juices and stuff.

The Point G was an experiment and the limited amount of bottles are unfortunately long gone, but let`s hope he does this again in the future! but Cèd does indeed have some very good other rums, all excellent and made with real fresh, organic and seasonal fruit macerations – “rhum arrangè” – for sale on his web page and also in spirit shops in France.

One online (and physical in Paris shop) is Christian de Montaguère and another is La Gourmandine Rhumerie and they ship worldwide.

POINT G collage

He has rums such as Mangue-Passion, Ananas Victoria, Carambole-Passion, Banane-Cacao, Vanilla-Macadamia…(i`m drooling here 🙂 Another thing these rums can be used for is in desserts! i made baked papaya with vanilla, dark sugar and coconut milk “garnished” with the Banane-Cacao rhum…

So I keep it simple and serve this drink, and since the Point G is not available right now you may use his normal pineapple rhum arrangè which is made with the same ananas victoria and a hint of vanilla.

Mixed with fresh pomelo juice and lime plus a touch of dark sugarcane syrup and chilled with ice, the heavy earthiness is lifted up into a more fruity fresh character that would be very nice I imagine on a hot day on the beach.

Point G Rhum Punch

POINT G Rhum Punch

60 ml (2 oz) Point G or Rhum arrangè Ananas Victoria

30 ml ( 1 oz) Pomelo juice

15 ml (0.5 oz) fresh lime juice

15 ml (0.5 oz) dark sugarcane syrup (sucre de canne roux)

Don`t shake, just stir together like you would do a ti punch and add a chunky ice cube or two that doesn´t melt too fast.

Garnish with a slice of pomelo fruit.

This makes a very refreshing distinctively tropical drink to enjoy.

PONIT G in the marsh 2

Isn`t it beautiful? (picture crèdit Cèdric Brement)

Making Rhum Arrangè

RHUM ARRANGE ANANAS QUI PLEURE4 BOTTLE SIDE PINEAPPLE

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.

Here`s a link to a case study with limoncello.

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:

Here`s also a link to some pictures of the rhums.

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.

RHUM ARRANGE ANANAS QUI PLEURE 1

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.

RHUM ARRANGE ANANAS QUI PLEURE CUT UP FRUIT COLLAGE

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…

RHUM ARRANGE ANANAS QUI PLEURE 3 PICS COLLAGE

And that is all!

Tropical Cocktails with Rhums Arrangè – Ti’ arrangés de Cèd

Cocktails with Ceds rhum Grog Colonial 2

Let`s continue with the tropical rhum/rum drinks made with rhum arrangè! i have found with my last post that rhum arrangè does mix very well with tropical rum drinks giving them a depth of flavor from the fruits and spices they have been macerated with paired with a touch of herbal grassiness from the rhum agricole most of them have had as their rum base.

The way they are usually enjoyed is as apertif or digestif or in a tropical punch or ti-punch and it´s fabulous but there´s more you can do with them than that…

It´s actually tiki drinks…with rhum arrangè.Yes.

In this post i`m using Cèd`s “Ti arrangès de Cèd” – banane-cacao – a mellow deep flavor of banana flambè with a distinct touch of dark raw cocoa.

The cocktail inspirations in this post (and the last) mainly comes from two sources; the “Potions of the Caribbean” by Jeff Berry and the tribute recipes to the Mai Kai cocktails on one of my favorite blogs – the Atomic Grog.

By switching out the rums in the recipes for the rhum arrangès paired with my newest other rums turns out a very interesting taste-test experiment – and a tasty one at that!

I cannot let go of my fascination for the french island style rhum arrangès, they ARE different from spiced rums. These are not spiced, they are long-time macerated and then because of the rums mostly used as base – the rhum agricoles and their tèrroir and then the tropical fruits used, accompanied by some spices and other things…

There´s something very refreshing and exotic about these rhums, and they add a deep mellow flavor from the fruits that`s been macerated in these rums for at least a month or more.

I discovered that they go very well into tiki and other tropical rum drinks, adding a deeper exotic touch.

So here are the drinks!

Myrtle Bank Swizzle #2

Cocktails with Ceds rhum Myrtle Bank Swizzle

This is a twist of the Myrtle Bank Punch, a drink which both Trader Vic and Donn Beach made their versions of after visiting the Myrtle Bank Hotel i Jamaica at the time. Read more about those drinks on page 181 in the Potions.

My version is a twist of  Don`s drink switching out the gold Jamaican rum for Cèd`s rhum and thus changing the drink by adding an element of deep mellow flavors of dark cocoa and banana flambè.

Also i switched Don`s honey for sugarcane syrup and took it down to 0.5 oz instead of 0.75 since Cèd´s rhum is naturally a bit sweet. But the amount of syrup in this drink can be tinkered with to suit the palate.

1.0 oz Appleton Extra
0.5 oz Lost Spirits Polynesian Inspired rum
1 oz Ti’ arrangés de Ced Banane-Cacao
0.75 oz fresh lime juice
0.75 oz grapefruit juice (white)
0.5 oz sugarcane syrup
2 dashes Angostura bitters

Swizzle all ingredients with crushed ice until the glass is frosty. Garnish with pineapple leaves and cherry.

Grog  Colonial 

Cocktails with Ceds rhum Grog Colonial 1

1.0 oz Ti’ arrangés de Ced Banane-Cacao
0.5 oz Lost Spirits Polynesian Inspired rum (or 50/50 LH151, Smith & Cross)
0.5 oz fresh lime juice
0.5 oz fresh orange juice
0.5 oz soda
0.25 oz sugarcane syrup
6 drops pimento dram
Dash Angostura bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a glass lined with an ice shell.

Ice Shell: Scoop a large amount of ice crushed to powder (if possible) in a preferably 6×6 inches glass and with a wooden muddler carefully move in a circular motion to hollow out the center of the mound and continue compressing the ice against the walls of the glass until there´s space to hold the drink and a solid coating inside the glass of about 1/4 inch thick ice.

These rums cannot be found everywhere so i have found that the best way to sub the Polynesian Inspired rum is with equal parts Lemon Hart 151 and Smith & Cross. Actually the Navy Style and Polynesian Inspired rums are very different, two different rums…but they are at the same time similar in style even if not altogether in flavor.

Still, the only thing i can come up with that you could sub them with is 50/50 LH151 and Smith and Cross. Well, i`d say that the Navy style has some more of the LH151 flavors in it while the Polynesian inspired has more of the Smith and Cross…if that makes any sense since they are still not the same rums, but it´s the best i can come up with.

And Cèd´s rum is even harder to sub, it cannot really be substituted by anything, the closest would be another similar rhum arrangè or something that can give a deep, mellow, soft flavor of mature banana flambè and very dark, dry, raw cocoa.

If you cannot find rhum arrangè you need to make it yourself and luckily it`s not too difficult, it just takes some patience since the ingredients need to macerate in preferably rhum agricole for about a minimum of 1-3 months or more, even a year is not unusual…

What`s the hardest part is to get the flavors just right and balanced, to add just enough of the fruits and spices and macerate the right time.

But don`t put away the swizzle stick! here`s another swizzle:

Swizzle Èpicè

Swizzle epice

This drink is a variation of Jason Alexander´s Spiced Swizzle where Cèd`s rhum adds a deep mellow flavor of mature tropical banana with a hint of that dark raw cocoa.

0.75 oz lime
0.75 oz allspice dram
1.0 oz Lost Spirits Navy Style Rum (or 50/50 LH151, Smith & Cross)
1.5 oz Ti’ arrangés de Ced Banane-Cacao
A small dash of sugarcane syrup

Swizzle until frosty with crushed ice. Garnish pineapple leaf and brandied cherry.

Cacao Bite

Cocktails with Ceds rhum Shark Bite

A twist on the Shark Bite that turned out zesty and spicy with a wonderful aroma of tropical banana and dark cocoa, aged premium rum and a bite from the Polynesian float.

0.75 oz fresh lime juice
0.5 oz unsweetened pineapple juice
0.5 oz rich sugarcane syrup (2:1 ratio brown sugar to water)
1/8 0z rich cinnamon syrup
1 oz Ti’ arrangés de Ced Banane-Cacao

Float Lost Spirits Poynesian Inspired Rum (or 50/50 LH151, Smith & Cross)
Serve in a low wide glass with ice-shell and garnish with mini pineapple and dust a little cinnamon on top of the ice

So with this post i just wanna show that you can do more with rhum arrangè than the traditional – which – i still must say is the best use though but that said it´s fun to experiment…

Cocktails with Rhums Arrangèes – Zwazo

Cocktails with Rhum Arrangé 2

More rhum arrangè cocktails!

So now i have got to try out two very nice rhum arrangèes made by Cèdric Brement and Benoit Bail, and since i wrote my reviews of Benoit´s exotic Zwazo ananas-vanille rhum arrangè and Cèd`s award winning Banane-Cacao, i feel i want to make more drinks with them and see what`s good – starting with the tropical Zwazo.

Even though the traditional way is mostly to drink these rhums neat since they contain so much flavor of their own, they are also used to make tropical punch style cocktails.

I don`t think they have been used very much in tiki style drinks….or have they? in any case it doesn`t hurt if i try right? i`m curious to see how they mix with other rums.

Don the Beachcomber was a master of creating balance with many exotic ingredients – and he was especially skillful when it came to the art of blending rums and so was the original Mai-Kai mixologist Mariano Licudine. One person today that i come to think about getting close in that direction is Martin Cate. (Smuggler´s Cove)

Starting with Zwazo ananas-vanille i needed to find drinks that had ingredients that would harmonize with the pineapple and agricole flavors of the rhum and then switch out the rums used in those drinks for the Zwazo and some other rums that i figured would go well with it.

Cocktails with Rhum Arrangé Book Potions

So i dived into the Bum`s new book the Potions…of the Caribbean for inspiration…and i sure found a lot.The book is filled with the one mouth watering drink after another (apart from all the interesting things there is to read in it) and the first drink that i decided to experiment with was the Siboney, which is a drink by Trader Vic circa 1950`s.

It`s basically a twist on the daiquiri with pineapple juice added and lemon instead of lime plus passionfruit syrup, mixed with Jamaican dark rum (but only 1 oz) I decided to simply just add 1 oz of Zwazo to give the drink more tropical depth.

And top it off with a generous float of something overproof…and my stomach feeling told me to grab my bottle of the Lost Spirits Polynesian Inspired rum.

The result was absolutely delicious! since the recipe called for dark Jamaican rum i took my Denizen Merchant`s Reserve which is a blend of plummer style pot still Jamaican rum and Rhum Grande Arome de la Martinique.

Now Rhum Grande Arome de la Martinique is not rhum agricole even if the name sounds like it – instead it´s molasses based rum.

The reason why it´s in the blend of the Denizen Merchant`s Reserve is that when they checked in with rum cocktail historians during the development process – they were told that Trader Vic likely blended this type of rum from Martinique with the 17 year Wray and Nephew in his original Mai Tai formula because it was cheapest rum available from Martinique at the time. 

Note, that it says “likely” so there´s no proof whether Vic used molasses based Martinique rum or rhum agricole in his blend with Jamaican rum in his Mai Tai`s when the 17 year Wray and Nephew rum was finished.

So here we got a rum that contains pot still Jamaican rum and a molasses based Martinique rhum, and then Zwazo – a rhum arrangè with pineapple and vanilla macerated in a rum base of 3 different rums from Martinique Trinidad and Guyana. 

And don`t forget the overproof Polynesian Inspired float…

It`s a lot of rums going on here…but to my joy the drink tasted fantastic, cool and refreshing yet with a strong rum bite. Deep flavor of mature tropical fruits, and then something “earthy”, maybe from the float of the Polynesian Inspired rum…I like the different layers in a tropical cocktail.

 Siboney – Swazo Style

Cocktails with Rhum Arrangé Siboney 5

1 oz dark Jamaican Rum
1 oz Zwazo
0.5 oz fresh lemon juice
0.5 oz unsweetened pineapple juice
0.5 oz passionfruit syrup
Float of Jamaican style overproof dark rum

Shake well with ice cubes and strain into a chilled cocktail glass rimmed with sugar. (if you like)

Now unfortunately, for the time being, Zwazo is only sold in Europe, locally in Luxembourg and then in Paris at Christian de Montaguère and it´s a small batch seasonal product – so if you cannot find it, my best advice would be to either try to find a pineapple-vanilla rhum arrangè from one of the French islands, such as Martinique (or a pineapple rhum arrangè paired with vanilla syrup) or make your own. (google how to make rhum arrangè, and there´s a great french site with a forum containing tons of recipes here)

Likewise when it comes to the Lost Spirits rums, they are only sold in the US but not Europe or elsewhere…so i would sub them with Smith and Cross mixed with Lemon Hart 151, to get that strong punchy flavor – even though the flavor will not be the same, but since Smith and Cross mixed with LH 151 is a great combo i believe it will still taste fantastic!

Next cocktail to play with was the Island of Martinique Cocktail, which is a Don Beach drink circa 1948. This drink is actually a tikified ti-punch…

It was described in Beachcomber´s 1948 menu as a drink with “Lusty Martinique rums aged in casks for 120 moons. Subtly combined with falernum, wild honey, Angostura bitters and Maui mountain limes”

How does that sound?? mouthwatering to me…

The original recipe which is found in the book Potions of the Caribbean was handed to the Bum by ex-Beachcomber bartender Tony Ramos.

Island of Martinique Cocktail – with a Pineapple Twist

Cocktails with Rhum Arrangé Island of Martinique Cocktail

1 oz rhum agricole vieux
1 oz Zwazo
0.5 oz fresh lime juice
0.5 oz falernum
0.25 oz honey-mix (equal parts honey and water, gently heat it up so the honey dissolves in the water, then cool to room temp)
Dash Angostura bitters
A handful (3 oz) crushed ice
Float Lost Spirits Navy Style Rum on top (or Lemon Hart 151)

Blend at high speed in a blender for 5 seconds, then strain into
a hollowed out pineapple and float the Navy style rum on top.

The drink tasted fruity and spicy, the flavor of fully matured tropical fruit from Zwazo came through and this drink was not as fruity and earthy as the first one but more mellow and spicy, with a kick from the float.

Now let`s dive deeper into this amazing book…

On page 164 i found the Voodoo Grog, a concoction created by Trader Vic, circa mid 1950`s. A drink containing equal parts lime, grapefruit and pimento.

First time i made it i was a bit overwhelmed by the pimento/allspice flavor so i took the Pimento dram down from 0.75 oz to 0.5 and it was better for my palate, but if you like a strong allspice flavor the 0.75 will be good.

Also it matters what brand of pimento dram/allspice dram you are using, the best i think are either homemade or St Elisabeth`s or Bitter Truth. For the moment i have St Elisabeth.

Voodoo Grog

Cocktails with Rhum Arrangé Voodoo Grog filt

1 oz Denizen Merchant`s Reserve Rum
1 oz Swazo
0.75 oz fresh lime juice
0.75 oz grapefruit juice (white)
0.75 oz honey
0.5 oz passion fruit syrup
1 egg white
Grated nutmeg
1 cup (8 oz) Crushed ice

Dissolve honey in lime juice and place this mixture plus the rest of ingredients except for nutmeg in a blender and blend for 20 seconds. Pour unstrained into a large snifter or tiki mug.

Dust with freshly ground nutmeg and garnish with mint and pineapple. (I also wrapped a pandan leaf around the glass)

Last cocktail is the quintessential rhum agricole drink…a ti-punch but with aged rhum agricole and therefore it´s called a punch vieux.

Petit Punch Vieux

Punch Vieux

1 oz Zwazo
1 oz rhum agricole vieux
0.5 oz sirop de canne
One half of a fresh lime

Cut the lime half in two and squeeze both edges into an old fashioned glass. Drop in the first spent wedge in the glass, then rub the rim of the glass with the other and then discard the second wedge. Add sirop, rums and ice and stir to chill. I also did rim the glass with brown sugar and added a sugarcane stick and roughly cut lime peel as garnish.

Rimming the glass with sugar and adding a lime peel is not traditional punch vieux but this is all about experiments!

Sirop de Canne is a thick, dark syrup made from a slow reduction of fresh sugar cane juice. Exported by brands such as Clèment, Dubois, Depaz, Dillon and La Mauny.

You can make a similar syrup by making a rich syrup (2:1 ratio sugar to water) with dark raw sugar.

Punch Vieux is always a nice treat as is the regular Ti-Punch…

Zwazo definitely mixes well in this style of tropical drinks, it gives a deep pineapple/tropical fruit flavor into the drinks which for tiki drinks fits so well into the flavor profile of a lot of them.

The aim with this particular post is to show that you can do a lot with rhum arrangè that goes beyond the traditional use…

Go and check out the Zwazo page on Facebook!

Les Rhums de Ced – Punch au Rhum Banane Cacao

Rhum de Ced Banane-Cocoa Ced pic

If you like the french island style “arranged rums” or rhum arrangès here´s a very interesting one. Rhum arangé is a speciality of the French islands, so most of them are made with rhum agricole, fruits and spices.

This rhum arrangè is made by Cèderic Brement who calls his rhums – Les Rhums de Ced/Ti’ arrangés de Ced.

What i have here is a rhum arrangè of cocoa and banana macerated in rhum agricole. Make no mistake here….this ain`t no overly sweet bananaesque concoction – instead you will meet a very elegant and mature flavor or pure raw cocoa upfront with a subtle rich flavor of tropical banana flambè in the background…and it´s absolutely lovely.

Cèdric who is a food engineer, started to create some rhums arrangés during his studies and produced his rhums at home during 10 years before he finally created his product – “Les Rhums de Ced”

He first tested his products on friends and family and then eventually friends of friends started to order his rhums and from there it got bigger. People appreciate the balance of fruits aroma, rum, vanilla and a little bit of sugar says Ced.

And with the success with the products he did quit his job to launch his products and he started with 6 products, which are 100% organic using fruits, spices and AOC rhum agricole from Martinique.

After that he developed a 6 months macerated product in oak barrel : Vanilla – Macadamia nuts.

I want to work to use only natural,  very high quality fruits and i’m looking for special and direct procurement. I want to highlight terroir.

Rhums de Ced medaille or

He won 8 medals in 2013 :

Gold for Victoria Pineapple at the Salon de l’Agriculture in Paris

Gold for Ginger Apple at the Salon de l’Agriculture in Paris

Gold for Mango Passion at the Rum Fest in Madrid

Silver for Pineapple Victoria at the Rum Fest in Madrid

In 2014 :

Gold for Cocoa Banana at the salon de l’agriculture in Paris

Impressive! of course i was dying to try one of his rhums and the one i have here to try out is the Cocoa Banana, and it´s as tasty as it sounds..

I was pleasantly surprised at the cut down sweetness of this rhum, it`s not like what you usually find when the ingredients banana and cocoa are in it. It has some sweetness of course, because it contains some sugarcane but it`s not cloingly sweet at all.

Nose – Cocoa, sugarcane, ripe bananas with a slight hint of vanilla. The balmy creamy sweetness from the cocoa lingers…

In the mouth – The mouthfeel is rich, then pure raw dark cocoa hits you but it doesn`t taste like an upfront chocolate rum, this is much more refined and the cocoa flavor is never anything near too sweet, rather it´s that raw quality of fresh dark cocoa beans. It`s rich and warm and it embraces you.

In the background you have a flavor of banana flambè sweetened by sugarcane and a very subtle hint of vanilla. The vanilla bean is still in the bottle, and how he managed to have it there without it adding too much vanilla flavor to the rhum is more than i know.

There`s only a very slight “rhum agricole grassiness” – the flavor trademark of rhum agricoles – that i can detect. It`s a very smooth rhum and there´s no alcohol burn at all, just a very subtle sharpness and it`s like the whole rhum is mellowed out…into a ripe fruity punch and then that raw cocoa flavor…

My impression:

It`s very tasty, well balanced, nuanced, quite complex, semi-sweet and of good quality.

It`s a very tropical rhum and is best sipped neat with or without ice – which is the way it really should be enjoyed – it has enough flavors all of  it´s own and nothing else is needed.

That said, of course you can make cocktails with it if you like and i decided to make a french island style tropical punch cocktail , it´s my version of a cocktail from the island of la Rèunion called “Mon ti cafrine”.

Punch Mon Ti Cafrine

Mon Ti Cafrine 3

3 oz (90 ml) Ti’ arrangés de Ced Banane-Cacao

Juice of 1/2 fresh lime

2 coffee beans in shaker

Muddle the coffee beans and lime juice, add the rhum and give it a quick shake. Double strain into a sugar rimmed glass.

Garnish with banana leaf.

“Mon ti cafrine” is a french crèole expression from la Rèunion and is an affectionate expression for a beloved woman.

Les Rhums de Ced`s webpage is here and Facebook page here and the rhums are sold at Christian de Montaguère´s rum shop in Paris. If you can`t go there he might send it, mail and ask.

Also Les Rhums de Cèd will be displayed and ready for tasting at the Rhumfest Paris in april 6-7.

Ced bottle