Like everyone else I`m happy to see 2020 go…. we have all endured all kinds of hardships and trauma, let´s hope for a better year in 2021! Here are two Christmas drinks I made with passion fruit sorrel, a very tasty version of the traditional sorrel. The passion fruit sorrel recipe was created by my favorite chef, Chris de la Rosa of caribbeanpot.com! I just changed the ratios a little bit to suit my two Tiki cocktails. But you may double my recipe and have some to drink during the Christmas days, I did, and it´s sooo tasty! I can barely pass the fridge without having a few sips of it.
2 oz fresh orange juice
0.25 oz fresh lemon juice
3 oz passion fruit sorrel
1.5 oz Tiki Lovers Dark rum
1.5 oz Tiki Lovers White rum
Shake well with ice cubes and pour into a double old fashioned glass with a large ice chunk. Garnish with green moss and a white tropical orchid.
Taste notes – Taste of hibiscus, a little spice, a little fruit and a little rum. Quite refreshing without being too heavy on the alcohol. This drink can be adjusted with how sweet or tart you want it by adding or reducing the lemon juice. The sweetness is in the sorrel, and I didn`t make it super-sweet, but there too, it can be adjusted by the amount of sugar added.
Passion Fruit Sorrel
1 cup Hibiscus flowers
3 cups water
1 bay leaf
1/3 stick of Ceylon cinnamon
3 slices of fresh ginger
3 tbsp light muscovado sugar
3 large or 6 small passion fruit depending on variety
1/2 orange, sliced
Add everything except the passion fruit to a pot with water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and simmer for eight minutes. Add passion fruit pulp and add the shells too, except one that is saved for the Campari float.
Add 3 tbsp light brown muscovado sugar and stir to dissolve the sugar. Add the sliced orange. Simmer for another 2 minutes, then turn the heat off, put the lid on and leave it to cool overnight in room temp. This can be used both as a cocktail ingredient and as a Christmas sorrel drink. Chill in the fridge.
Before use, add a little sprinkle of fresh lime juice (about 1 tsp) and adjust the sweetness with sugar, coconut sugar or honey if needed.
2 oz passion fruit sorrel
0.25 oz fresh lime juice
0.5 oz kombu seaweed infused Campari (to
float). Just Campari without seaweed works fine too.
0.5 oz Appleton Rare Blend (12 Year)
0.5 oz aged rhum agricole
0.5 oz Lemon Hart 151
Shake with ice and strain into a double old-fashioned glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a passion fruit shell containing the Campari float, and a cocktail umbrella.
Taste notes – it tastes like a mix of aged rum, passion fruit sorrel and Campari, exactly as what it is. It tastes like Christmas for grown-ups!
Kombu Seaweed infused Campari: Break off a 10 inch piece of kombu seaweed into 2-3 pieces, add to 1 cup/2.5 dl of Campari. Let sit overnight. The seaweed adds a hint of “salty sea” to the Campari. Just a “tingle,” but it makes itself known.
It`s pandan time in my kitchen and this day I wanted something really tasty and refreshing in a summer-kinda-way to accompany my lunch with spicy chicken biryani. I was inspired by Emanuele Codispoti`s latest drink the Missionary`s Colada, that I also made and posted on this blog here. So I came up with this pandan flavored version of a Missionary`s Downfall – a very famous classic Tiki cocktail.
And it IS tasty!! incredibly refreshing, tangy, zesty and yummy, I wish I had made two…. but the recipe is there and now I want to share it with you my readers, so here it is. Pandan leaves is the leaves from a type of pandanus plant and is used extensively in Asian cuisine. These leaves are incredibly fragrant. Finding fresh pandan leaves can maybe be tricky in these times depending on where you live. Luckily for me Sweden has a lot of Thai shops and online too. Pandan leaves can also be frozen which is very useful. I have now both pandan and kaffir lime leaves in my freezer. The pandan syrup I made from fresh leaves though. It`s very easy, just make a simple syrup with a raw sugar and add some chopped pandan leaves into it and let it simmer for a minute. Then take it off the heat and let it sit for a while until you find the flavor and fragrance strong enough. I let mine sit for 30 minutes before straining and bottling.
1 oz/30 ml GunRoom 2Ports light rum
0.5 oz/15 ml Rhum JM XO
0.5 oz/15 ml RumFire overproof rum
1 oz/30 ml pandan syrup
0.5 oz/15 ml Alamea Peach Brandy Liqueur
0.5 oz/15 ml apricot cinnamon syrup
2 oz/60 ml fresh lime juice
2 oz/60 ml fresh pineapple chunks
10 mint leaves
1 cup/2.5 dl crushed ice
Pulse blend at high speed for 10 seconds. Pour into a cocktail coupe or snifter and garnish with pandan leaves and a pandan rose. (how to make those you can learn on Youtube) Sprinkle a little bit of cardamom on top.
Cut up a handful of ripe apricots with a strong orange/reddish color, a “handful” depends on size and type of apricot. But you should end up with about 2 dl of cut up apricot pieces. Crush 1 large Ceylon cinnamon stick (not cassia.) Make a 2:1 simple syrup with light muscovado sugar and water. Add the apricot pieces and the crushed cinnamon stick. Heat it up on medium heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved and mash the apricot pieces with a fork. Bring to a very quick boil, then immediately take it off the heat. Set aside and leave for a few hours. Strain and bottle.
It just happens to be the International Pina Colada day so who am I to say no to a lush Colada drink? I decided to make a slight twist of the iconic classic and without further ado here is the recipe:
Hawaiian Coffee Colada
15 ml/0.5 oz cream of Coconut
15 ml/0.5 oz roasted orgeat
15 ml/0.5 oz Alamea Hawaiian Coffee liqueur
45 ml/1.5 oz fresh lime juice
60 ml/2 oz fresh pineapple juice
45 ml/1.5 oz Rhum JM XO
45 ml/1.5 oz Dr Bird Jamaican rum
Flashblend for 5 seconds with 2.5 dl/ 1 cup crushed ice and pour into a frozen pineapple. Garnish with pineapple leaves.
Toast 60 ml/2 oz almond flakes in a dry pan or in the owen at 100C. Watch it carefully, and stir it a little because almond easily burn. But let them get some brown color. Crush them lightly and leave to cool on a plate.
Make a 2:1 simple syrup with light muscovado sugar and water. Add the toasted crushed almond flakes. Heat it up on medium heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved, let it simmer for a minute while stirring but do not boil. Set aside and leave for at least a few hours or overnight. Strain and bottle.
As always when I go to rumfests and try out rums I`ve never tried before I find something that sparks my attention and interest and the rums from Hèritiers Madkaud is one. They are not only very good rhum agricoles they also have an interesting story and I think they deserve to be more known. I`d recommend anyone interested in rhum agricole to try them out!
The rhum Hèritiers Madkaud is today owned by Stèphane Madkaud who re-launched the rum by the end of 2007 and most parts of the story was told to me directly by him.The story of the rum brand Madkaud is very old and goes back to the days of slavery on Martinique.
RHUM MADKAUD – THE HISTORY AS TOLD BY STEPHANE MADKAUD
The thing is that in the beginning, my ancestors, as slaves, had no names, no family names (no last names in fact) they just had first names. My slave ancestor was called “Louis”, and that’s all. And he had a number for identification. If you give me one minute, I will get you his real number….he was number “105”
So what is written is that “what we know today for sure, is that before being called “Madkaud”, my ancestors were black slaves who worked on a plantation in “Grand Anse – Lorrain”, in Martinique. ” In fact in 1849, one year after slavery was abolished, they decided they wanted to be called “Madkaud” because of a French former governor of Martinique who was called “Mackau” who, in 1845, as a congressman, produced a law which allowed the enslaved to buy their own freedom with their own work. So maybe this is how they got free, maybe a few years before slavery was officially abolished in 1848.
Louis had 9 sons and daghters among which was Félicien (the 9th) who was may grandfather’s grandfather and Félicien was born in 1857 as a free man and he created the rum brand in 1895. He was a distiller for a french man who owned a sugar factory, but the guy went bankrupt because there was sugar crisis in the years 1880s and he needed to leave Martinique.
Félicien could take the factory but to be able to make it financially, a marriage was arranged with a white lady whose father was a trader in France (in Bordeaux) They got married in 1893 and Félicien created Agricole rhum Madkaud in 1895.
In these years it was the end of molasses in Martinique and this is how agricole rum began…because of sugar crisis.
Félicien was the first Black man to own a factory. We know he had some difficulties because the owners around did not accept his presence at such a level. But he was also a fighter.
“Habitation Duvallon”, where rum Madkaud was created. The place is called “fond capot”, in the city of Carbet.
Thank you Stèphane! – and the brief history of the rum itself is this:
In the 1950s and 60s the rums from Madkaud were well known on Martinique but they disappeared from the market to reappear in the 90s.
The cause of the brand`s collapse was the death of Stèphanes grandfather, aged 40 in the mid 60s causing bankruptcy. Some cousins did their best to keep the brandname alive but they were no more producers. However they succeeded in making the brandname survive through a partnership with a larger producer but this was only survival.
They were limited to just a small single quota with the production controlled by a third party, the family rum could no longer afford to be what it once was and only very small amounts of rum were sold locally.
Then in the 90s the quotas were suppressed in Martinique and they could go back to business but without a real marketing policy. In 2007 Stèphane created Heritiers Madkaud as a sign of a new era – with better casks, more beautiful bottles, and little by little…better communication.
This is why the story starts again 40 (!) years later… 40 years after Stèphanes grandfather’s death.
And in 2013 the Madkaud rum was awarded bronze for the white, and silver for the VSOP at the rumfest in Madrid and the same year also bronze and silver in HongKong. This was followed by a gold medal at the Paris rumfest in 2014 and in 2015 it was awarded gold in Madrid and double gold in Berlin for both expressions.
I think that`s quite amazing for a rum that almost disappeared and was more or less “gone” for 40 years….and now it`s time for the tasting – here are my thoughts, in short:
Héritiers Madkaud Blanc Cuvée Castelmore
The color is crystal clear and the nose is elegant with whiffs of fresh grassy notes followed by hints of citrus, and sugarcane. The taste is mild and balanced with hints of fresh sugarcane, citrus and white pepper. It has the typical grassy herbal notes of fresh cut sugarcane and is pleasant to sip and the crisp grassiness is more in the background than upfront, it doesn`t attack you, more like caressing your palate. It has a medium long finish.
Héritiers Madkaud VSOP Cuvée Castelmore
Well rounded nose, with hints of wood and herbal grassiness of the cane and tropical fruits. In the mouth it´s mild and pleasanly fruity and balanced with hints of spices, orange and wood, tropical fruits and sugarcane. It has a longer finish than than the blanc. This rum has been aged four years and has a clear amber color.
There`s no sugar or other “things” added, this is pure rhum agricole!
And of course, sipping it neat is the best and the given cocktail would be a ti punch but I wanted to make some tropical cocktails too, plus two tiki drinks as well, to see how they mix :
60 ml/ 2 oz Madkaud Rhum Agricole VSOP
15 ml/ 0.5 oz fresh pineapple juice
15 ml/ 0.5 oz fresh orange juice
15 ml/ 0.5 oz fresh lime juice
15 ml/ 0.5 oz banana syrup*
Dash Angostura bitters
Flash blend in blender on high speed with 2.5 dl/ 1 cup of crushed ice for 5 sec and pour into a snifter, top up with more crushed ice
*Banana syrup – Make a simple syrup with equal parts sugar to water, preferably raw sugar and add the slices from 1 banana and mash the banana slices into the syrup and give it a quick “cook up”, then take off heat to cool. Let sit for an hour to let the flavors marry before straining and bottling into a clean bottle.
2 oz (60ml) fresh pineapple juice
0.5 oz (15ml) honey cream mix
0.5 oz (15ml) orgeat
0.25 oz demerara syrup
1 oz (30ml) fresh lime juice
1 oz Madkaud Rhum Agricole VSOP
1 oz Madkaud Rhum Agricole Blanc
Decent float of overproof rum
Blend in blender at high speed for 5 sec with a cup of crushed ice and pour into a pineapple, add more crushed ice to fill.
Add the float and a couple dashes of aromatic bitters,(I used Zulu Aromatic bittters from Brazil, but Angostura works just as fine).
To make honey cream mix:
Mix 4 tsp honey with 2 oz (60ml) water
Heat up and stir until the honey is dissolved.
Add 1 tbsp unsalted butter and mix it all together, cool to roomtemp.
This is one of Don the Beachcomber’s greatest masterpieces, it was made back in 1940s, even though Jeff Berry have pointed out in his book “Beachbum Berry`s Remixed” that it may even be as old as back in 1937. It´s a masterpiece of refreshing herbal awesomeness! and it never gets old. In this recipe the rums are switched to Madkaud Agricole Blanc. And honey-mix is used here which is like the previous honey cream mix but without the butter.
60 ml/2 oz Madkaud Rhum Agricole Blanc
30 ml/1 oz honey mix*
15 ml/0.5 oz Peach Brandy
15 ml/0.5 oz lime juice
45 ml/1.5 oz fresh pineapple juice
12-20 mint leaves
2.5 dl/1 cup crushed ice
Combine in a blender and blend at high-speed for 20 seconds. Pour into a goblet or coupe and garnish with mint sprig. (and a tropical flower if you like:-)
1 part honey
1 part water
Combine in a small sauce pan, heat up and stir until the honey dissolves.
Cool and bottle.
Ginger Coconut Sour
60 ml/ 2 oz Madkaud Rhum Agricole VSOP
22.5 ml/ 0.75 oz Campari
15 ml/ 0.5 oz fresh lime juice
30 ml/ 1 oz fresh pineapple juice
30 ml/ 1 oz fresh coconut water
15 ml/ 0.5 oz ginger syrup*
1 egg white
Shake hard and long to emulsify the egg white (or use blender) and pour into a chilled rocks glass. Dust grated nutmeg on top. Garnish with pineapple leaves.
*Make ginger syrup the same way as you do banana syrup. Peel the ginger before slicing, you need only a small piece of ginger, about 4 cm to 1 cup/2.5 dl of simple syrup.
30 ml/ 1oz Madkaud Rhum Agricole VSOP
30 ml/ 1 oz Madkaud Rhum Agricole Blanc
30 ml/ 1 oz pineapple juice
30 ml/ 1 oz coconut water
30 ml/ 1 oz Coco Lopez or Coco Real cream of coconut
30 ml/ 1 oz fresh lime juice
Dash Angostura bitters
Flash blend in blender at high speed for 5 sec with 2.5 dl/ 1 cup crushed ice. Pour into a coconut or rocks glass and top up with more crushed ice.
Well, no problem with the mixing! this rum both sips and mixes just fine! in other words, it´s very versatile. I`m glad it was brought back from “dormancy” by Stèphane!
Arcane rums are made from pure cane juice, so it`s a rhum agricole. As always when you come back from a rumfest, in this case the Rhumfest Paris, there`ll be rums to try out and to write about. I`m starting with the three expressions from Arcane, plus a spiced rum called “Beach House Rum” (not Arcane but from the same producer)
The three expressions in their range are the Delicatissime, Cane Crush and the Extra Aroma. The Extra Aroma I tried for the first time at Maria Loca during Daniele Dalla Polas Tiki Night and I was amazed by the strong banana flavor of this rum which mixed wonderfully with his amazing tiki drinks.
On the webpage it says – What Arcane stands for is this : in a white rum or in a 12 years old rum, you will always taste, in different versions,the magnificence of cane aromas. Arcane rum is always made from the distillation of pure cane juice.
So let´s start with the Cane Crush, it´s a very aromatic rum with lots of fresh “green” sugarcane flavors, grassy, floral and lively. It´s distilled twice, first in pot stills on Mauritius and then a second distillation in small alambics is made in Cognac. These alambics are the french variant of the alembic – which is an arabic word for a type of still that originally was used to make perfumes and it´s the alembic still the modern pot still is based on.
So in short, here´s my thoughts on the rums, remember this is how they taste to me, to you they may taste a bit different since we all have different taste perceptions:
Color – crystal clear
Nose – It´s crispy and fresh, grassy and a bit floral in the nose with slight hints of citrus.
Mouth – A very pleasant flavor, fresh and crispy just like like the nose but a little bit peppery with a fruitness and roundness backed up by the typical grassy agricole flavors of fresh cut cane.
Finish – I find the finish to be medium long with a fresh light cane flavor that stays for a little while.
A very pleasant and tasty rhum agricole that can be sipped easily and also mixed equally well.
Color – Golden light mahogany
Nose: Here´s something entirely different…. this rum has a strong nose of banana and coconut and the notes of grassy agricole flavors are quite restrained.
Mouth: Banana…. hints of coconut and something perfumey and floral, hints of sugarcane and some grassiness. It`s a tropically flavored aged agricole rum with strong banana and coconut flavors. It`s a spiced rum with coconut and banana and it`s quite sweet. I believe it´s a “like it or not” type of rum. Personally I like as a mixer because it mixes well in tiki drinks and tropical cocktails, but not as a sipping rum., it`s too sweet for that to my palate.
I tried it the the first time in Paris at Maria Loca when Daniele Dalla Pola did his “Arcane Jungle Bar” tiki night and made tiki drinks with among others, this rum which mixed wonderfully in his drinks.
The pronounced banana and coconut flavors (and some other tropical fruits) paired with the aged rhum agricole notes makes a statement to try to best describe it, if you like those flavors you`ll probably like this rum, if you don´t like sweet flavors of banana and coconut you won`t like this. In tiki drinks and exotic cocktails it´s wonderful and I like the aftertaste of coconut.
In the description it says “12 year old solera aged in oak barrels” which does not mean that all the rum in the bottle is 12 years old, but that there´s a percentage, how small, we do not know, that should be 12 years old in the blend of younger rums. If you don`t know that then you may believe it`s all 12 year old rum which is it not.
Finish: Aftertaste of coconut that lingers in your mouth for a while that gets me to think of a brown coconut that has been cracked and all the brown pieces spread out on the ground. The name “Extra Aroma” surely is true, this rum has a LOT of extra aroma! but as a sipper it`s a sugar-bomb warning.
Color – very light golden
Nose – A bit herbal and spicy, with hints of freshly cut grass, vanilla and some spice.
Mouth – Hints of vanilla, peppery, pronounced herbal grassiness and hints of floral notes as well, lively agricole flavors.
Finish – Spicy finish that ends with sweet notes of vanilla
This rum mixes as well as the Extra Aroma in exotic cocktails and I found that mixing the two, or any of them with Cane Crush is just as great, any of these rums adds a lively flavor to cocktails. This is a young golden rum that has been aged for 18 months in oak barrels and it`s kinda dryish but with sweet vanilla aromas.
For sipping, the one I prefer is the Cane Crush because it´s the cleanest and driest of them to me and for sipping neat I prefer a bit drier rums that has nothing added to them. It also makes a fine ti punch of course.
For mixing I find them quite versatile, especially with tropical type of drinks, the flavors just comes together.
I have no idea if these rums contains any additives but I`m positively sure that there´s some sugar added to the Extra Aroma since it has such strong banana and coconut notes. I believe it may have natural flavors added or at least so I hear, and then some sugar, but there´s no info… and that is a pity! anyway, it´s not cloingly sweet, it more makes a real strong statement of banana and coconut.
Then we have the bottles, I really like them, they have a cool design and the labels look exotic which pairs well with the rums they contain seeing to where the rum is made. But I would like to see more info on the labels as to what the rums contain as well, the more transparency the better.
BEACH HOUSE SPICED
And now on to the last one, a sort of bonus in this post, it´s a spiced rum.
This spiced rum is not the Arcane brand, it´s called “Beach House Spiced” which is a rum infused with tropical floral and spicy flavors dominated by orange which comes in a very pretty bottle at 40% abv. The nose is very floral and perfumey with hints of orange and spice. To be honest it´s too sweet for my palate but I can see it as a cocktail ingredient and also as a dessert rum – or if you like it sweet, as a sip on the beach at sundown which it says it´s designed for. I think this rum would benefit from a reduction of the sweetness though especially since the spice flavor is a bit on the floral side. But those with a sweet tooth will probably love it.
Now on to the drinks!
With some funky grassy, sugarcane, banana and coconut flavors from the rums paired with the darker roasted coconut water and nutty macadamia and orgeat flavors, this is my funky Colada!
30 ml/1 oz Arcane Extra Aroma
30 ml/1 oz Arcane Cane Crush
30 ml/ 1 oz fresh pineapple juice
30 ml/ 1 oz roasted coconut water
7.5 ml/ 0.25 oz macadamia nut syrup
7.5 ml/ 0.25 oz orgeat
15 ml/ 0.5 oz Coco Real
30 ml/ 1 oz fresh lime
Dash pimento dram
Blend all ingredients at high speed for 5 sec in a blender with 2.5 dl/ 1 cup crushed ice. Pour into snifter and add more crushed ice to fill. Garnish with a pineapple crown. The roasted coconut water can be difficult to find but can be subbed with unsweetened and if possible, fresh coconut water.
The Pina Colada is in my opinion an underestimated drink and it´s one of my favorites. It`s also a fun drink since it lends itself to a lot of experimentations!
A coffee flavored take on the ”Three dots and a dash” which is one of the classic tiki drinks. Coffee is one of my favorite tiki drink ingredients,so why not combine the two? That´s how “Coffee Dots” was born…
Adding an agricole rum with rich banana aromas gives this drink an extra tropical dimension.
15 ml/0.5 oz each of fresh lime and orange juices
15 ml/0.5 oz honey-mix
60 ml/2 oz Arcane Extra Aroma rum
15 ml/0.5 oz strong Kona coffee, cold
7.5 ml/0.25 oz pimento dram
Dash Angostura bitters
Blend in blender at high speed with 2 dl/ 1 cup crushed ice, 5 sec and pour into a snifter
Garnish with a pineapple leaf and 3 coffee beans
Banana Daiquiri Speciale
A Banana Daiquiri a day….is the #DRINKTROPICAL way!
Banana, both fresh and in syrup paired with rich coconut palmsugar syrup flambèed in 80% Stroh for the sweet…
Fresh lime juice for the sour and for the strong, Arcane Extra Aroma and Delicatissime blends together into a sumptuous tropical daiquiri drink….there´s no other “weak” in this except for the crushed ice….but the spice “to make it nice” is there in the dust of cinnamon and in the rums. Now this is not a Planter`s Punch but an extra lush banana daiquiri!
22.5 ml/0.75 oz fresh lime juice
1/2 banana, sliced
30 ml/1 oz Arcane Extra Aroma
30 ml/1 oz Arcane Delicatissime
15 ml/0.5 oz banana-palmsugar syrup*
Blend in blender with 1 cup crushed ice for 10 sec and pour into a double old fashioned glass. Garnish with a piece of frozen banana and a dust of cinnamon.
To make the banana-palmsugar syrup:
For a small bottle of syrup, make a simple syrup with 2.1 ratio of coconut palmsugar and water (about 1 cup of sugar) and slice 1/2 banana in it and mash slightly with a fork and boil on medium heat for a couple minutes but do not let it caramelize. Take off heat and add 2 tbsp 80% Stroh ¨(or other overproof rum good for flambeeing) and flambè before leaving to cool and flavors to set for about 30 mins, then strain and bottle.
Beach House Bird
This drink is an experiment, since I wanted to try the Beach House Spiced as a cocktail ingredient and due to it`s pronounced orange aroma I decided to use equal parts hibiscus grenadine and the spiced rum instead of simple syrup in a Jungle Bird since orange and Campari pairs so well.
It tasted like a sort of lightly floral Jungle Bird with hints of bitterness…
As for the Beach House Spiced as a cocktail ingredient, it works just fine and can be used instead of for example orange liqueur or simple syrup giving a subtle floral, slightly exotic perfumey character to the drink. Now this drink has Campari which in itself adds a lot of flavor with it´s herbal, bitterness so you get it in double measure here :-).
22.5 ml/0.75 oz Campari
30 ml/1 oz fresh lime juice
7.5 ml/0.25 oz hibiscus grenadine
7.5 ml/0.25 oz Beach House Spiced
45 ml/1.5 oz Appleton Extra
Shake with plenty of cracked ice, strain and pour into a old fashioned glass filled with fresh cracked ice.
I think that was all for now….enjoy the drinks if you decide to try them 🙂
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!
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.
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!
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!
The new one with hibiscus is on the left. Aren`t they just beautiful?
Macadamia nuts and vanilla…
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” 😀
Fresh, colorful, tasty and beautiful! pineapple, lime and rum!
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 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.
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 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.
When you see this sign…it works like a magnet…
Rows of pure goodness….Habitation Velier, Caronis, Rhum Rhum and Clairin rums!
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!
More from Habitation Velier, the bottles looks really interesting I think and they contain really good rums!
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.
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…..
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!
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 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.
Plantation rums….always present at any rumfest! And as usual you will also encounter Pusser´s rums at any rumfest! 🙂
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.
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!
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!
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.
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?
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…
Lovely drink! the “Mystic Fist of Ku” the drink that gives you unlimited power! and I love the garnish!
Tiki tap handles and beautiful Painkiller.
From Dirty Dick to Mabel…time for some serious rum tasting with the new El Dorado cask strength rums!
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.
This is a great place to go if you wanna try rums, they have an amazing collection!
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.
Beautiful art and sculptures on the walls and in the room at la Rhumerie!
Rum books and rums at Christian de Montaguère, the “Atlas du Rhum” I hope to see in english soon!!
Unbelievable rhum from la Favorite! and my old Mixoloseum bag for booze is still going strong!
And that was all! hope to see Rhumfest again the next year! Cheers!