Aperol Summer Cocktails

aperol-and-prosecco

Aperol originated in 1919 in Padua Italy by the Barbieri brothers and was originally produced by the Barbieri company. The recipe is an infusion of more than 30 aromatic herbs and spices including bitter and sweet orange and the original recipe remains unchanged to this day. Aperol was named by Silvio Barbieri after the French word for aperitif, ‘apéro’, which, on a recent trip to France he had learnt  and found it seemed appropriate for their new bitter-sweet liqueur.

The majority of herbs and roots used in Aperol come from the Piedmont region of Northern Italy and the recipe have never been changed since it was created in 1919. There is no aging and immediately after blending the Aperol is ready to be bottled. At the time it was a revolutionary concept to make an aperitif with an alcohol content of only 11% and as it didn`t become a major success until after the 2nd world war, it was probably a bit before its time.

The brand was purchased by “Barbero 1891” in 1990 to assist them in building up their portfolio of products and today Aperol is owned by Gruppo Campari (since 2003) who have continued to build Aperol and gave it a new packaging in 2011 while boosting the international marketing of the popular Aperol Spritz drink.

The flavor of Aperol is very much orangey and has but a hint of bitterness, like a whisper in the background compared to Camparis more straight forward bitterness that hits you with a force if you aren`t used to it or is sensitive for bitter flavors. Aperol is more gentle and would be a good first time bitter aperitif. I love them both.

In a rocks glass add ice and a slice of orange, Prosecco, Aperol, and soda to top, now you have a classic Aperol Spritz..

The Spritz cocktail is believed to have been born during the 19th century Austrian occupation of Italy. Originally the spritz was drunk by the german soldiers and was made with Venetian wines dilluted with water. The Spritz aperitivo spread from northern Italy to the south and many variations were made , and the most popular is the one using Prosecco.

And no wonder, its a incredibly fresh and tasty drink and it*s perfect for the warm summer days and balmy evenings or  why not enjoying a Spritz while visiting betway for your soccer game pleasure. Or why not at the pool or the beach? Aperol Spritz is a perfect, low-alcohol refresher when it’s hot.

Aperol is also the perfect introduction to bitter aperitifs since it`s much milder and somewhat sweeter than Campari, its big bold and bitter cousin. And when mixed with Prosecco, the slight bitterness of Aperol becomes even more subtle.

For the summer heat…at the bar, the soccer, the beach…

Aperol Spritz

aperol-spritz

3 parts Prosecco
2 parts Aperol
1 part Soda to top
Orange wedge

Add to a rocks glass with ice and stir. Garnish with the orange wedge. So fresh! so tasty!

Summer Night Sour

Summer Night Sour txt

1 oz (30ml) Aperol
1 oz (30ml) Rhum agricole blanc
0.75 (22.5 ml) oz fresh lime juice
0.5 oz (30 ml) orgeat
1 oz (30ml) fresh pineapple juice

Shake and strain into a fancy glass with crushed ice

Smooth like silk and fresh!

TOTC 2014 – Tastings – Plantation Pineapple Rum, Appleton Rum Brunch and Bulleit New Fashioned!

Plantation Pineapple Rum L pic2

Pineapple Rum Stiggin’s Fancy – Picture Laura Godel

Plantation Rum in Shades of Dark, White and Pineapple!

I was waiting with great excitement for the tasting and launch of the Pineapple Rum Stiggin’s Fancy by Plantation Rum – which I need to make it clear right away, is NOT for sale…..because this rum was an experiment by Alexandre Gabriel and David Wondrich….to be launched and tasted at the Tales of the Cocktail….

Well….I was not disappointed, the rum was delicious! with a deep well matured and slightly smoky pineapple flavor in the background of Plantation rums original dark rum. And the bottle is beautiful!! I asked Alexandre what made the flavor so deep and he told me it”s coming from that the pineapple skin has been distilled – together with pineapple fruit, which also has been macerated.

For being just an experiment I think the outcome was really delicious and very interesting!

Plantation Pineapple tasting queue2

The queue….a nightmare for anyone with a hangover….luckily I was not…and don’t mind all the yellow hats….it’s a Tales thing….

Yep the queue to the tasting room was pure madness and the warm air stood still, but eventually we got in there….and deliciousness awaited…

Plantation pineapple tasting 2

Plantation rums, pineapple, white and dark as shots and in daiquiri cocktails…

Plantation Pineapple Rocky

Here served by Rocky – appropriately painted….I don’t know how he does it, but Rocky really is everywhere…

Plantation pineapple collage

Yours truly with pineapple rum in hand, Alexandre Gabriel – Cognac Ferrand proprietor and spirits mastermind – and more delicious pineapple rum!

Plantation pineapple DTO collage

The DTO – Daiquiri Time Out coin, a treasure/token that was handed out, and which a certain man did drop inside a cab and had the entire cab floor torn up to find it…wherewith the cab driver in utter amazement said that this gotta be a very valuable coin…..

But there’s more to the coin than just a token for the fun of it, according to what I’ve heard, navy officers carried a special coin. When drinking, everyone showed their crew coin. If one person did not have their coin, they had to buy a round of drinks. This gave value to the coin and the tradition.

Now I have one wish….that plantation rum makes more of this fine pineapple rum….I could make use of a bottle…launching a delicious rum like this only for the Tales is really a teaser…!

The Appleton Estate Jamaican Bartender’s Brunch – Rum, Reggae, Food, Sun and Fun!

Appleton brunch pool pic2

Oh my….this was a nice event! a yellow school bus fetching us up outside of Monteleone and serving cocktails on the way to the brunch filled with rum, reggae, Jamaican foods like jerked chicken, lots of fresh fruits and fresh cocktails, Jamaican fizzes, fixes & swizzles made with island flavors and fresh cane juice pressed on site.

And of course one of my favorite rums was there – the JWray overproof – paired with Sanpellegrino!! (to sub Ting) plus Aperol…all by the pool at the Country Club. Very very nice on a hot sunny summer day down here in New Orleans.

Appleton brunch 5 pic 2

Rum, fruits and fun in the sun!

Appleton Brunch collage 1

Of course some of the usual shady rum suspects were there….The first refreshment was freshly pressed sugarcane juice before continuing to the bar for rum punches and JWray….Appleton also treated us with large red Appleton bath towels and flip flops 🙂

Appleton Brunch collage 3

Well….I wouldn’t mind repeating this….that’s for sure. Just look at that pineapple!

Appleton Brunch collage 2

Or how about this….I dunno….can it get any better??

Appleton Brunch Collage

Jerked chicken, Coladas and sugarcane juice!

Appleton Brunch collage 4

And time for a JWray shot from the melon….Appleton Rum baby! Please come back next year….

And now to something totally different…..

Ruth’s Chris & Bulleit New Fashioned 1965-Style Luncheon

Bulleit New Fashioned 2 small pic

Bulleit Distilling Co needs no presentation….and this year they had a similar brunch as they did last year which then, was mint julep themed and absolutely fabulous! This years theme was the New Fashioned, a riff on the Old Fashioned…with Bulleit rye, Cherry Heering, orange rind, Italian Amarena cherry, Fee Brother’s black walnut and orange bitters.

The brunch was of course delicious…catered by Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse and if you haven’t tried their fantastic food it’s time you do if you have a chance. And the New Fashioned cocktail which will be served at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse was very tasty and the garnish was so beautiful with a shiny black “filthy Amarena cherry” from Filthy Food Premium Drink Garnish, speared on to a dehydrated orange slice.

The wild Amarena cherries are slow cooked in copper pots to produce a wonderful all natural, dark red cherry with a sweet front and tart finish.

Bulleit New Fashioned 1

Hollis Bulleit, Helen Mackey, VP of Menu Strategy & Innovation for Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Tom Bulleit, founder of Bulleit Distilling Company presenting the event and their companies, while the crowd enjoyed an excellent luncheon.

Bulleit New Fashioned 3 food

The Crawfish Monica that was served was fantastic! and everything else too!

Bulleit New Fashioned ingredients2

The ingredients to make the New Fashioned….the only thing not in the picture is the jar of “Filthy Amarena Cherries”.

Bulleit 2

I get thirsty when I see this drink in the picture….and the cocktail WAS good! for people in the US – you can join Ruth” s Chris Steakhouse for a nationwide 5-course handcrafted cocktail dinner with the same menu across the US, participating restaurants and pricing vary, see more at Chris Ruth’s Steakhouse website.

Pictures Laura Godel

Next up….more tastings, parties, bars and restaurants…the last picture parade from the tales of the Cocktail 2014!

 

Lost Spirits Polynesian Inspired Rum

LOST SPIRITS RUM POLY BOTTLE

This is the second rum made by the Lost Spirits Distillery, the first was the “Navy Style” rum which i wrote a review of earlier. This rum is called “Polynesian Inspired Rum” and is made with the same methods as the Navy Style and for those who are interested in knowing how it`s made – I send you over to this page, called “Rum Super Geekdom” 

High ester rums in the making…using high quality ingredients and distilled in Bryan`s beautiful handmade copper pot still. I wrote a little about esters and dunder in my post on the Navy Style rum. (It´s hard to believe how that funky muck-looking “witches brew” can make such good rums but it does:-)

The Polynesian Inspired rum also comes in a similarly beautiful bottle as the Navy Style rum, with an artful label, this label has a Marquesan style tiki on one side and moais on the other.

Poly Insp Rum label tiki and moai

The Polynesian Style rum isn`t out for purchase yet but it will hopefully soon be. Like I said in my earlier post, I think I see a steady trend for pot stilled rums with rich bold flavors suitable for both sipping and mixing of exotic and tiki drinks and other rum drinks and I welcome that.

If the Navy Style rum was full of funk and punch this one is sharper and more fiery. It has a bit lower proof at 66%.

To me the Navy style rum is rounder in it´s flavor profile but you can sip this rum too if you like to sip strong rums. Personally I do not prefer overproof rums for sipping and second, I think this rum and the Navy Style as well, are best suited for cocktails.

And for most, I suggest to use this rum in drinks – and as a mixing rum it´s really great – especially if you wanna make tropical, exotic and tiki drinks.

Here is their description:

“POLYNESIAN INSPIRED” Rum

NITROGEN DEPRIVED FERMENTATION

GRADE A MOLASSES

WILD BACTERIA BANANA DUNDER

LATE HARVEST RIESLING

SEASONED VIRGIN AMERICAN OAK

“Nitrogen deprived fermentation” is a way to trigger stress response in the yeast which leads to higher production of esters in the fermentation which in turn leads to more flavors completed from the acids. There are many ways to trigger this stress response and it turns out nitrogen deprivation is one of them.

I think it`s amazing what they are doing at the Lost Spirits Distillery…they built nearly everything at the distillery with only their tiny team of three people.

Lost Spirits Still

 The 600 gallon copper pot still…see more amazing pictures from the distillery here.

Aroma and flavor

So let´s move on to the tasting – the rum has a golden amber color and the nose is fruity with notes of apricot and ripe tropical fruits like macerated banana, it´s warm and inviting.

In the mouth the woodiness hits you and there´s a strong alcohol sharpness, a burn which slowly mellows down and warms your throat. It`s a bit astringent, some citrus notes and ripe tropical fruits same as in the nose followed by some caramel that smooths it out. The finish is quite long.

It´s strong and quite sharp but when you mix with it, it´s a whole different thing and I think this rum really shines in cocktails. It`s made in a different way than the traditional long barrel aging so I won`t compare it with those rums, this is a rum on it´s own. And now, let`s wrap it up with a few rum drinks:

I was all of a sudden craving one of my favorite tiki drinks, the Painkiller but it´s a version of it….

POLYNESIAN PAINKILLA

Poly Painkiller

4 oz unsweetened pineapple juice
1 oz orange juice
1 oz Coco Real (or Coco Lopez) coconut cream
3 oz Lost Spirits Polynesian Inspired Rum

Shake all ingredients with crushed ice and pour unstrained into a coconut shell or other suitable glass or tiki mug. Dust with grated nutmeg or cinnamon and garnish with a mini pineapple. (or pineapple chunk, leaf and cinnamon stick)

OCHO RIOS

Ocho Rio filt

My version of Battery Harris’ Ocho Rios Cocktail, using Lost Spirits Polynesian Inspired rum and garnished with brown sugar-coffee rim and a tropical leaf.

2.o oz Lost Spirits Polynesian Inspired Rum
0.5 oz Aperol
1 oz honey syrup

Shake ingredients with ice and pour into a brown sugar-coffee rimmed rocks glass and top with a splash of Soda. Garnish with a tropical leaf but make sure the leaf doesn´t touch the drink.

The drink turned out tasting like a good rum sour minus the egg foam, very refreshing and the rum did it justice in every way.Does this rum lend itself to these type of drinks? YES!!! it really does…and with 3 oz of 132 proof rum it packs a punch.

So here´s my final thoughts – I really recommend it for all kinds of rum drinks and it really does have both the flavor and punch required for tiki drinks (and so does their Navy Style Rum) These two rums from the Lost Spirits Distillery are two very different rums even though they – my guess – are made in about the same way but probably aged differently.

You find Lost Spirits website here. For those who are going to the Miami Rumfest on april 25-27 – there will be a seminar on the Navy Style rum, ” Bryan Davis on making Lost Spirits Navy Style Rum” – where you get a chance to taste it and learn directly from Bryan how he makes his rums.