TDN NUKU HIVA

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

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

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

This thursday the theme was Nuku Hiva.

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

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

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

This is what the Mixoloseum blog writes:

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

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

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

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

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

NUKU HIVA WARRIOR


1 oz Smith & Cross

1 oz Cruzan blackstrap

0.5 oz fresh lime juice

0.5 oz sugarcane syrup

0.25 oz FairTrade Coffee liqueur(or other)

0.25 oz The Bitter Truth Pimento Dram

1 oz pineapple juice

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

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

HOW TO MAKE THE ICE CONE

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

Okole Maluna!

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

BOLS GENEVER TDN

bols-genever

Picture by John Hearn – The Bastard´s Booze Blog.

Genever manages to taste like gin and whisky at the same time..Initially gin was very similar to genever, but over time it developed a distinctive style, eliminating malt wine. But the original juniper flavored spirit was genever – originating from Holland.

As always this TDN was fun and educational. Little did i know about the history and making of Bols Genever but that was soon changed when Tal Nadari started to educate us on the history of the making of genever and gin.

There are several recipes for genever but this specific recipe do not use any sugar. There`s Jonge jenever “Jonge” (young) jenever which has been in existence since the 1950`s – and there´s Oude (old) jenever, often spelt as genever, is jenever prepared according to an old recipe.] So “oude” refers to an old “style”, rather than the spirit having been aged.

The malt wine content in actual Jonge Jenevers out there in average is around 5% while oude jenever this is around 20%.The reason why the distillers made a less malt wine genever is that they had just survived two world wars and the supply of grains was low.

Genever (or “jenever”, as it is often spelled in Holland and Belgium, or “genièvre” as is common in France) may only be labeled as such and sold as such in the EU if it is made in Holland, Belgium, the departments 59 (Nord) and 62 (Pas-de-Calais) of France and the provinces Nordrhein-Westfalen and Niedersachsen of Germany according to the European Union in EU declaration 110/2008.

Here´s how Bol´s Genever is made:

It starts with the malt-wine which is based on rye, wheat and corn.The whole grains are milled and treated with malt.The malt has to transfer the starch into fermentable sugars. After addition of the yeast it takes 5 days ( 5 x 24 hours) to finalize the fermentation.These 5 days are very important for the creation of all the critical taste components in the Bols maltwine. In a 3 step distillation( in copper stills) the alcohol percentage reaches 47% abv.

The maltwine needs a maturation period( the marriage time)of several weeks to balance the taste component.Only after this marriage time the maltwine is ready for blending in the final product.

The neutral grain spirit used in Bols Genever is base on wheat. After a 3 days fermentation and a distillation process in 6 copper columns ,the taste of this alcohol at 96% abv is very neutral.

Then the Juniperberry distillate is added. Bols Genever has a slightly juniperberry smell and taste.The juniperberries are soaked in maltwine and after some time distilled in copper pott-stills.

And  the mix of botanicals – as part of the taste profile there´s a mix of botanicals soaked in grain neutral spirit and after some time this mixture is distilled in copper pot- stills.

The final blend is adjusted to 42% abv by adding very neutral tasting de-mineralized water. A marriage time of several weeks is needed after blending to create the smooth, complex and well balanced taste of the 1820 recipe of Bols Genever.

And here are two drinks i fell in love with that night..

Craig Herman from Colonel Tiki created this concoction which i found extremely tasty and it also won the TDN:

G.V.D COCKTAIL

gvd-cocktail

2 oz Bols Genever
0.5 oz pineapple juice
0.5 oz fresh lemon juioce
0.5 vanilla syrup
3 slices serrano or jalapeno peppers
Pineapple chunks
Angostura bitters – dash

Muddle pineapple & pepper with juices and add the rest of ingredients and shake, strain and serve up.

Garnish lemon twist ( well..i added a jalapeno and a pineapple wedge instead – bec i was too lazy to make a lemon twist….yes for real…it was TDN..)

Then Rick from KaiserPenguin came up with this one – equally tasty…and no joke..the JWray has power.

I like the name – Malt Gasolene = Genever + JWray

MALT GASOLENE

malt-gasolene

2 oz Bols Genever
1 oz Citadelle Reserve
0.5 oz simple syrup
Dash orange bitters
Swizzle and float JWray overproof

There were much more tasty concoctions made, you can sample them at http://twitter.com/mixoloseum

Every week cocktail bloggers, bartenders, enthusiasts, experts, and novices get together for a virtual cocktail party mixing drinks in real time, tweaking, rearranging etc until the night is gone and well into the morning. Join us every thursday at the TDN!

METAXA – MORE THAN A BRANDY

metaxa1

Hailing from Greece, this is truly a unique spirit – a blend of brandy and wine – produced from three varietes of grapes, Savatino, Sultanina and Black Corinth. These are blended with aged muscat wines from Samos and Lemnos. Then its aged for a minimum of 3 years before being flavored with a secret mix of herbs including rose leaves and distilled water. The mix is then allowed to marry for a least 6 months and is then chilled at -6C for 48 hrs and after that finally filtrered before bottled. The final product has a very complex and unique aromatic character that has aromas of pepper and roses, bay leaf, cinnamon and nutmeg, aromatic and spicy indeed and at the same time its very smooth.

Metaxa was invented by Spyros Metaxas in 1888, from the Attica region –  the province of Athens, and who wanted to make a drink that conqered the world and it has actually even survived the 2 world wars and was the first alcoholic drink consumed in space. Now its exported all over the world and is among the top 50 spirits brands in the world. So conquered the world his drink did indeed!

By just reading these taste descriptions before i tried it i could almost feel the spiciness and i wasn`t dissappointed. Its rich, smooth, warm, spicy and earthy with undertones of citrus and something i cannot put my finger on what it may be – but its very pleasant. I was also quite astonished to discover that some drinks brought out a hint of a sort of slight medical aftertaste while others didn`t. Its surely a very intriguing spirit and certainly this is more than a brandy, it sits somewhere between a brandy and a liqueur.

The one Metaxa i can find here i is the 5 star and as far as i understand from what i hear its quite different from the 7 star which everybody from the US used during the Metaxa TDN. The 5 star is a dark honey color, woody with a light fruit taste, aged in oak for 5 years. Its rich, smooth and mellow and as i described above. The 7 star is  even smoother as its aged longer and therefore i wonder if the 5 star isn`t a bit better suited for mixed cocktails. Its nice too on its own though with some ice.

There`s also the Private Reserve, which includes some very old distillations – roughly some 50 years old  and is said to have marvellous aromatic flavours of  cocoa, vanilla, wood, pepper and dried fruits. Fullbodied and meant to sip like you sip a fine cognac.

Further we have also the 12 year which contrary to the others do not contain any muscat wine and is more tasting like a whisky with a smoky flavour profile and with more burn. Dry, rich, but sharper than the rest, with perfumes balancing well with the fruit, wood and spices. There are also released a 15 year old “Grand Fine” and a few other exclusive anniversary bottlings such as Metaxa Centenary, Rhodes, Golden Reserve, Grand Olympian and Golden Age.

I myself wouldn`t mind laying my hands on a Metaxa Centenary Private Reserve which comes in a beautiful ceramic bottle shaped like a greek amphora and plaited with 18k gold.This bottle was launched for celebrating 100 years of success (1888-1988) and is now a unique collectors item. The content in this beautiful bottle is Metaxas oldest distillates.

metaxa-tdn

So the TDN was a always pretty crowded with all manner of cocktail related folks in the Mixoloseum chat room, and there were the SF crew too, all gathered in Erik`s house doing their best to wreck his homebar. The winning cocktail for this TDN will receive a Bitters Blueberry courtesy of Greg Boehm from Mud Puddle and it will also enter the Imbibe Ultimate Metaxa Cocktail Contest.

As always, there was an array of cocktails made and fun it was! (it always is) All the cocktail recipes you can find at twitter – Mixoloseum. Naturally Metaxa mixes very well with lemon but i also used lime in one of my recipes, it also goes well with honey.

Here are my drinks for the night:

ATTICA STAR

metaxa-attica-star

1.5 oz Metaxa
0.5 oz Tequila blanco
0.75 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz honeymix (1:1honey and water)
1:1 Sweppes lemon and Fevertree bitter lemon to top.

Shake, strain into chilled cocktail glass.Top with 1:1 Fevertree bitter lemon and  Schweppes lemon.Garnish lime twist.

This drink really was tasty and i was surprised as to how well Metaxa mixes with certain (or many) ingredients, this drink i had only one of during the evening as i had so many other tasty drinks  but i could have drunk buckloads of it. One of my rare lucks i guess, and it seems to me like Metaxa goes well with my preferred type of drinks (the fruity-spicy ones)

METAXA SMASH

metaxa-smash

1 oz Metaxa
1 oz Gin (Beefeater)
5-6 Thai sweet-basil leaves for the muddle and a bunch of sprigs for the garnish
0.5 oz honey-mix (1.1 honey and water)
Sprinkle of fresh lemon
Top with Ting or a grapefruit or lemon soda.

Muddle basil, lemonjuice and honeysyrup in glass, add ice, Metaxa and gin. Stir.
Top with Ting or a grapefruit or lemon soda. Garnish with a veritable forest of fresh Thai sweet-basil.

As the muddled basil leaves are still in the glass its no good idea to use a straw but dip your nose deep into the Thai basil garnish and let it attack your senses. This drink is really refreshing and it was way much tastier than i first expected, enjoy! (if you like basil)

SIESTA

metaxa-siesta

2.5 oz Metaxa
0.75 oz Aperol
Top with Prosecco, garnish lemon wedge. Rocks glass. Very simple and Metaxa works well with both Aperol and Prosecco, in fact i have found that it works well with a lot of things.

GOLDEN SUN

metaxa-golden-sun

2 oz Metaxa
Sprinkle of lemon
Absinthe rinse
Top with Sanpellegrino Limonata. Garnish lemon twist. Rocks glass.

Rinse the glass with absinthe and fill with cracked ice. Add Metaxa and a sprinkle of fresh lemon juice, stir. Top with some Sanpellegrino limonata or other lemon soda. Garnish with a lemon twist.

First i didn`t know what to mix this with but through all my experimenting during this Metaxa TDN i have found out one thing, and that is that it definetily mixes well with many ingredients as well as being very tasty neat. Its now a part of my drink mixing arsenal. Actually i wonder how come i haven´t tried it before? it was a pity i was a bit underage when i was in Greece.

metaxa-logo-1

TDN Z O O O O M B I E!!!

TDN This thursday was Zombie time! the Zombie is one of my favorite tiki drinks and my favorite Zombie is the Zombie-punch from 1934 (Sippin Safari) But TDN is not about making already known cocktails, its about creating new, and out of every TDN some quality cocktails are made. But also in true TDN fashion some of the recipes are wild, it tends to become more and more imaginative the later it gets..That means all are not true Zombies, more “Zombie-like” maybe…in typical TDN style…

This was the description: Thursday Drink Night Some may praise it as the quintessential tiki drink, others may tout it as a horrific explosion of bad rum and candy-red syrup, but to know the Zombie truly is to have seen paradise. A wild mix of rums complimented by a perfect dose of citrus and more than a handful of complex and absolutely required drips and dashes.

Want to try a Zombie made with a float of gin? How about with a few dashes of creme de violette? Or maybe a few drops of orange flower water? Come up with the best new Zombie recipe and you’ll find yourself in the possession of a custom-designed, Zombie-themed mug forged by Cass McClure (aka Ocea Otica). Not only that, but your name will be emblazoned upon its visage.

A whole array of Zombies were made through the night in true TDN style, but this was the first TDN i was almost falling asleep in front of the computer during the late part of the night well zombied out. It was impossible to make them all but the recipes are on twitter. The winning Zombie voted for among 5 finalists at the Mixoloseum blog was posted today at the Kaiserpenguin and  Mixoloseum blogs. Congrats to the winner!

Here are my Zombies for the TDN  night:

BLOODY ZOMBIE

tdn-bloody-zombie1

1.5 oz white rum

1.5 oz white rhum agricole

Generous float JWray overproof

1 oz passionfruit juice

1 oz pineapple juice

0.5 oz fresh lemon juice

0.5 oz simple syrup

¼ oz vanilla syrup

Dash pimento dram.

A good and healthy float of Jwray overproof rum, and then generously float hibiscus grenadine. Shake and pour into a chimney glass almost filled with crushed ice, throw in a pineapple leaf for garnish.

MEXICAN ZOMBIE

mexican-zombie

1.5 oz tequila reposado

1 oz absinthe

1 oz pineapple juice

0.5 oz passionfruit liqueur

0.5 oz lime

0.5 oz agave syrup

Float JWray overproof rum.

Shake it all and pour into glass with crushed ice. Garnish with pineapple.

GUYANA ZOMBIE

guyana-zombie1

2 oz demerara rum

1 oz pineapple juice

1 oz honey-mix

1 tsp cream of coconut

0.5 oz fresh lime

A decent float of 151 demerara.

Serve in goblet with crushed ice. Sprinkle demerara sugar on top.

Blend with crushed ice at high speed for5 sek. Pour into goblet with more crushed ice. Garnish with sprinkled demerara sugar, limewedge and brandied cherry.

Cheeeeers!

Sugarcane bar