Lapu Lapu Challenge 2015!

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So we`re moving into the fifth Challenge which is Lapu Lapu drinks! I really like that…

Look for the hashtag #lapulapuchallenge2015 on Instagram and make sure to follow @el_nova_1 for updates! make your own drink or order a Lapu Lapu in a tiki bar or bar and post up your picture to the #lapulapuchallenge2015 on Instagram! you might win a little something 🙂 and if you don`t you will have a lot of fun and good drinks, so it´s a win-win!

Lapu Lapus are some strong rum drinks and it is said that they bring magic and makes you “see things on the other side” – whatever that means…

Well I´m gonna find out! 🙂

The term Lapu Lapu drinks comes from a legend that for some obscure reason happened to be the name sake of the drink Chief Lapu Lapu. The name is after the Filipino chief Lapu Lapu – who defeated Magellan in 1521 (you can read about the legend in Remixed)

Lapu Lapu Collage

And how that name so many years later was used to name rum drinks served in the polynesian restaurants during the great tiki era is one more of those mysterious things that belongs to the rum soaked tiki drink world..

There´s also a Disney version of a Lapu Lapu served at the Polynesian resort in a hollowed out pineapple (like the Boo Loo) containing rums, orange juice and sour mix.

The Lapu Lapu drinks mentioned in Jeff Beachbum Berry`s Remixed are the Chief Lapu Lapu, Aku Aku Lapu and the lesser known Kikuya Lapu (all are on page 61-63 in Remixed)

These three are all different incarnations of the same drink and it´s a drink large enough to serve two people but of course they can be enjoyed by one, it´s just a lot of rum!

I can´t say which one of these i like the most, they are all tasty and the Aku AKu Lapu packs a serious punch. The one here is the one I made for the challenge:

Aku Aku Lapu

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1 oz lemon juice
1 oz unsweetened pineapple juice
1 oz grapefruit juice
1 oz orange juice
1 oz Falernum
1 oz gold rum (I used Lost Spirits 151 Cuban)
1 oz dark Jamaican rum (I used Blackwell)
1 oz Lemon Hart 151 Demerara rum or Hamilton 151 – I`m out of Lemon Hart and have no Hamilton 151 so I used Our Rums and Spirits 24 Year Demerara which is very woody and strong
16 oz crushed ice

Blend at high speed for about 20 seconds. Pour into large snifter or bowl and add more ice to fill. Traditional garnish is a gardenia, but I also added a thick orange peel and some fresh mint.

This one is from the Aku Aku restaurant in Las Vegas cirka 1960. In Intoxica it says the Aku Aku once fronted the Stardust hotel along with two massive moais or Easter Island (Rapa Nui) statues. The phrase Te pito o te henua has been said to be the original name of the island.

Aku Aku was the book title of Thor Heyedahl´s bestseller – an author i have enjoyed over the years. His theory on how those giant moais were moved gave name to the word aku aku:

Aku Aku – To move a tall, flat bottomed object (such as a bookshelf) by swiveling it alternatively on its corners in a “walking” fashion. [After the book by Thor Heyerdahl theorising the statues of Easter Island were moved in this fashion.] source: LangMaker.com. Aku Aku also has another meaning to the islanders: a spiritual guide.

Chief Lapu Lapu

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3 oz orange juice
2 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 oz sugar syrup
1 oz passion fruit syrup
1 1/2 oz dark Jamaican rum
1 1/2 oz light Puerto Rican (or Virgin Islands) rum

Shake well with ice cubes in a large shaker and pour into a large snifter. Add more ice to fill.

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A Pineapple Bowl is carried by two Tikis….

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….guarding the….

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CHIEF LAPU LAPU!!

(In a gorgeous pineapple tiki mug by Scott Taylor, @tikipop on Instagram)

I find this one to be as tasty as the Aku Aku Lapu even though it`s not as strong….but there´s always room for a float if you wish….

Here`s another one, the Royal Hawaiian Lapu Lapu, the picture is from an old post. This recipe dates back to cirka the 40’s and 50’s from the former Royal Hawaiian and like many old tiki bars the Royal Hawaiian Lapu Lapu is a well guarded secret and this recipe I found on Tiki Central, not sure how authentic it is but it seems to be the closest you can possibly get unless it actually is the real original recipe.

Bonus recipe:

Royal Hawaiian Lapu Lapu

Royal-Hawaiian-LapuLapu-blog w

Half fill a brandy snifter of shaved ice, or if you can`t make that, use a crushed ice as finely crushed as possible but it won`t be the same.

A tsp each of simple syrup orgeat and passionfruit syrup

2 oz of light rum.

A mixture of 60% pineapple juice and 40% orange juice, which should fill up the glass almost all the way to the top. Leave just enough room for the floater, at least 2 oz.

A floater of really dark rum, like Whalers.

Not part of the recipe but I also added 0.5 oz of fresh lime juice to it because I like the freshness you get from freshly squeezed lime.

Enjoy the Lapu Lapus!

Don`t forget to follow @el_nova_1 on Instagram!

SPOOKY PINEAPPLE

SOMETHING RUMBOOLICIOUS!

I`m a bit late to the party with this post, i blame it on the working-week…but for this booo weekend i have a rum-barrel type of tiki drink served in a for the theme black pineapple.

I`m making it with – well you may have guessed it – rum – and after the UK rumfest one could believe i`d be tired of rum but no no no…that´s not the case, and i don´t think that`ll ever happen..

There`s a so much spooky drinks out there that i really didn´t know what to make…should i carve out a pumpkin or make a flaming drink? well i already did that last year, so no…Should i make a blood-red vampire type of drink?

I had no clue…but then i saw that nice pineapple in the shop and decided to paint it black and use as vessel for a heavy tiki drink that should quench the thirst at least for folks who likes exotic rum drinks.

This is grown-up treat:

SPOOKY PINEAPPLE


Not that this pineapple looks very spooky at all…it rather looks grilled…:-) So scoop out a pineapple and paint it black.

Muddle a handful of pineapple pieces with 0.5 oz butter-cinnamon syrup mix in shaker and add:

1 oz dark rum

1 oz rhum agricole

0.5 oz FairTrade Coffee liqueur

2-3 dashes Black Walnut Bitters (Fees)

0.5 oz fresh lime

Shake hard with ice and double strain into the pineapple filled with crushed ice and if you wish, top with a little Ting. Float Lemon Hart151

Garnish with something fun.

BUTTER-CINNAMON SYRUP MIX

Make cinnamon syrup by adding equal parts demerara sugar and water in a pan and heat to dissolve the sugar. Add crushed cinnamon sticks and lightly boil on low heat for just a little, then take off heat and leave to cool and let the flavors blend for an hour or two. Then strain and bottle. Or use B.G Reynold´s excellent cinnamon syrup.

Then melt one teaspoon butter for every 0.5 oz syrup. Add the melted butter to the syrup and stir together.

It´s simply a refreshing tiki drink, not the least spooky but there´s more than enough spooky drinks out there…in any case it´s tasty and most of all – relaxing. You can play with different rums too.

UK RRRUMFEST!! Let it flow…

Let it flow, let it flow, let it flow! and flowed it did…rum here, rum there, rum everywhere – the UK Rumfest & Cane Spirits Festival is heaven for rum lovers and it shows people that rum is more than a spirit – it´s a lifestyle with a whole culture surrounding it.

The UK RumFest brings together the industry’s plethora of blenders, distillers, bartenders and mixologists, writers, bloggers, brand ambassadors, rum enthusiasts – all joining in to celebrate all things rum.

Here you get a chance to try out both new and old, known and unknown rums and many cocktails , tiki drinks and rum punches of course, (oh the rum punches…) listen to sessions, dance with tropical dancers, taste caribbean food, watch bartender competitions – all to the rhythms of the caribbean and in the company of people who have that one thing in common – they all love rum!

The UK Rumfest 2011 took place from friday to sunday oct 14-16 at the Kensington’s Olympia in London with the friday reserved for the Boutique Rumfest (for the trade with tastings and sessions.) Saturday was the official Rumfest starting day and i don´t think i´ve seen a crazier crowd before when it comes to a room being packed with rum-lovers.

Also it was the London Cocktail Week starting the week before with 3 days left when i came into town:-)

But back to the friday and Boutique Rumfest. There was of course lots of rum to be tasted and since it was a calmer event we also got a much better chance to meet and talk to the producers about their products.

There´s an incredible amount of rums to be tasted, especially on the two official rumfest days, and i wasn´t able to taste it all i´m sure! i think there was over 400 different rums from well known brands like Zacapa, Foursquare, Bacardi, Havana Club, Appleton, Cockspur, Mount Gay, Chairman´s Reserve etc to smaller unknown brands like Les Coliniéres.

And apart from the big brands i got to try some of the to me unknown rums and other rums i`ve never tried before. Some of my favorites among those i´d not tried before are st Nicholas Abbey from Barbados, a top notch fantastic rum! (a review of their 12 yo will follow)

And Les Colinières – from Mauritius – naturally infused, so called “rum/rhum arrangé” in the islands of Mauritius and La Réuinion. Their coffee and passionfruit rums were just amazing! and would be perfect in tiki drinks. As far as i know their rums is not yet sold outside of Mauritius..

Also Rumfire was new to me. That is a Jamaican overproof white rum from the Hampden Estate which in Jamaica is known for its full, intensely flavorful pot still rums sold in bulk. Today`s Rumfire that now is released to the public is yesterday´s JB rum which was on the black market. The Rumfire is like a smoother version of JWray overproof, it has hints of that flavor but it`s not as upfront. A very interesting and tasty rum.

They made me a daiquiri with it and that was a nice daiquiri indeed, this rum mixes wonderfully. Also it won silver medal at the Ministry of Rum Tasting competition this year.

Interesting but a bit odd was the Madagascar rum Dzama, it was quite good i think but i couldn´t be friends with the aftertaste which is what i found to be odd…so i have mixed feelings about this rum. An exotic bird…i wouldn´t mind taste the rums again and take more time.

Also i finally got to try out Elements 8 Spiced, which i found to be quite tasty.

New for 2011 rumfest was the Tropical Food Market which was an entire area downstairs devoted to tropical food and delicacies – that´s where i got my freshly cut coconut! – with rum in it of course…There was also a shop entirely dedicated to muscovado sugar…

Also there was sessions and masterclasses and the one´s i got a chance to attend first was the “Don`t Fear the Blender” with Beachbum Berry and then the El Dorado.

DON´T FEAR THE BLENDER


I`m a friend of the blender, let me tell you that first.With the blender you get that aerated frothy thing you cannot really get with a shaker plus it does good things at the same time for you – it mixes, chills, dillutes, creates a froth)

The blender was first used in Havana in the Floridita, dating back to 1817 when it was first opened as “La Piña de Plata” – The Silver Pineapple in the place it still occupies, in the corner of Obispo and Monserrate streets. It got it´s name “El Florida” a 100 years later. The bartenders used to use 11 drinks shakers and you can just imagine the work…so when the blender appeared it was like a lifesaver and now it became easier to serve the never ending hords at Floridita. At the time the ice for the daiquiris was shaved.

Then Don the Beachcomber started to use the Hamilton Beach blender and more would follow.The blender aerates and dillutes some of the crushed ice just enough to “wake-up” the spirit. Some drinks requires just a quick flash blending while other wants 15-30 sek. In the Bum´s books the exact time for the blending is always written out.

This session was a real pleasure to attend and i wish it could be a weekendly habit…but alas…or if i could at least live neighbour with the Bum! i would go and borrow sugar…errr…rum…um…a tiki drink…

We got some tasty blended drinks too of course and here are the Bum`s recipes:

LEI

15 ml fresh lime juice

15 ml peach brandy

30 ml white rum

15 ml (0.5 oz) honey-mix

6 oz crushed ice

Blend for 20 sek, frappé

DEVIL´S ISLAND DAIQUIRI

22.5 ml fresh lime juice

60 ml Chairman´s Reserve Rum

22.5 ml honey butter mix

120 ml crushed ice (0.5 cup)

Let the blender go for a long time, 20 sek. Fine strain into a bitter-sugar rimmed glass, gently pressing the liquids.

BITTER-SUGAR

Mix 4 tbsp demerara sugar with Fee´s aromatic bitters (4 big dashes)

HONEY BUTTER MIX

Unsalted butter and honey in equal proportions, heated up to dissolve the honey and melt hte butter, leave to room temp before using it.

Also you can make a delicious honey-butter-cream by using sugar, butter, heavy cream and honey.

The butter-honey-mix or cream mix gives a silky mouth feel to the drink that unless you already know – will never know what it is…

We also got some other nice drinks to imbibe like the always so tasty Missionary´s Downfall.

EL DORADO


I don´t think i need to present what this rum is, if you don´t know already go read my earlier post and check their website.

The session was hosted by Dave Broom (author of Rum) and Stefanie Holt, (El Dorado Global Brand Ambassador)

They took us through a journey to the land of many rivers, Guyana where the demerara rum is made. An interesting thing i learnt was that when the sugarcane fields are burnt a side effect is that the sugar in the cane is dissolved in the water that evaporates and thus makes the sugar content more concentrated and sweeter. The yeast is put in a molasses solution to get happy and multiply.

Further they spoke about the different stills and since i`m a DDL still geek i always find that interesting. What DDL does is simply to put as much Guyana as possible into the rum..

SATURDAY AND SUNDAY – RUMFEST!!


So saturday and sunday was the 2 days of Rumfest and these were 2 very intense days…rum tastings, cocktail and rum punches, tiki bartender of the year, sessions on rum, rum punch, rum, rum…and then the Golden Rum Barrel Awards.

This blog was one of four nominated “Rum Blog of the Year (Europe) and i`m very honored and wanna thank everyone who did vote for me. It didn´t make it all the way though..the prize was given to my good friends Peter and Pauline over at the Floating Rum Shack, who i think really deserved it! There was also four nominated blogs for the USA cathegory and the winner was Rumconnection.

All the awards you can read about at the bottom of this blog post.

Also there was the Tiki Bartender of the Year contest with the final on the sunday. There was 3 bartenders in the final and the winner was Mahiki`s head bartender Georgi.

What i particularly like about the Rumfest is that it is such a people thing, it´s relaxed and laid back with that caribbean feel spiced with quite a bit of tiki vibes, an environment i feel right at home in.

THE FOOD


Yes there´s food too! i did eat some real good Caribbean food at Ian`s restaurant Cotton´s – a place i really can recommend if you go to London! i had their famous Mixed Jerk Fish Grill – parrot fish, tilapia, snapper and tiger prawns served with fried plantain and rice & peas and it was lovely! Washed down with cold Carib and Blue Marlin beers.

 

Also the awards dinner was an amazing experience – the Caribbean style dinner with the Butterscotch Pumpkin Soup with Goat Cheese and Spiced Pumpkin Seeds was really tasty.

And then came the Coconut Crumbled Chicken with Sweet Potato mash and Sauteed Spinach…finished off with a Rum drenched fruit dessert, coffee and plain dark chocolate…hmmmm…

AND DRINKS…

Three bars in London i would recommend are Trailer Happiness, Montgomery Place and Callooh Callay – you can´t go wrong with any of them and if you go Trailer you`ll most likely see Damien fire up the roof.

To finish it off here´s a whole parade of various pictures to drool over and enjoy…:-)

Amazing Queens Park swizzle at the Montgomery Place


Something beautiful and tasty from Trailer Happiness…

The Zombie at Trailer Happiness.

And their fire show…putting the overproof rum soaked copper roof on fire…displaying all kinda colors, awesome!

It`s caribbean carnival at the UK Rumfest!

 

Cockspur Rum Punch

Foursquare got 3 awards…


Three charming rum smiles in the Plantation stand..if you go to Trailer Happiness they´ll make tasty drinks for ya!

Three happy rum people…(Stanislav Vadrna, Yours truly (Tiare) and Carl Kanto (chemist, distiller, El Dorado) i love this about events like this – the friends you meet both new and old.


I haven`t yet been able to figure out this nifty outfit….was it somebody´s outfit for the Golden Rum Barrel Awards? ( i think heard something…)

Les Colinières – rum arrangé from Mauritius

We could get fresh cut coconuts too…with rum in it!

St Nicholas Abbey from Barbados

Elements 8 Spiced

Black Tot Last Consignment sold by the Whiskey Exchange


 

In the Rum Frat House – it´s like the Mixohouse in New Orleans but with rum lovers.

Rum Punch with Kraken Black Spiced

Dzama from Madagascar

God for Tiki drinks..


 

No Rumfest without Ting…and with Banks Five Island it`s wonderful.

 

Like a lighter and smoother version (flavorwise) of the JWray overproof…but don`t let that deceive you – this rum is strong.


And here`s the original JWray and Ting! which was my corps reviver on the sunday…backed up with chocolate muffins.

Don Q Rum – good for a lot of things

Ian Burrell – the one and only – Global Rum Ambassador and founder of the UK Rumfest.


THE GOLDEN RUM BARREL OF THE YEAR 2011 WINNERS

Rum Distillery of the Year 2011

The Foursquare Distillery, Barbados

Rum Distiller of the Year 2011

Richard Seale (Four Square, Barbados)

Rum Blender of the Year 2011

Tito Cordero (Venezuela: Diplomatico)

Rum Blogger of the Year (Europe) 2011

The Floating Rum shack

Rum Blogger of the Year (The America’s) 2011

RumConnection.com

Rum Ambassador of the Year (UK) 2011 sponsored by Bar Life UK

Meimi Sanchez (Havana Club)

Rum Ambassador of the Year (International) 2011 sponsored by Drink International

David Cordoba (Bacardi Rum)
Jim Wrigley (Ron St.Teresa)

Best New Rum (Gold) 2011 sponsored by Coco Re’al

Abuelo Centuria, Panama

Best New Rum (White) 2011 sponsored by Coco Re’al

Banks 5 Island, Several Countries

Best New Rum Package 2011

Bacardi 1909

Boutique RumFest Award 2011 sponsored by Imbibe Magazine

Doorly’s XO Rum, Barbados

The Rum Experience Rum Pioneers Award

Joy Spence from Appleton Jamaica rum. The first female Rum master blender.
Ed Hamilton from the Ministry of rum. Founder of the pioneering web page and rum forum.

And last…

I wanna raise a toast of El Dorado 15 Year Old rum for George Robinson, the head man at the Diamond Distillery in Guyana who passed away just a little while before the UK Rumfest. A toast was also held at the Golden Rum Barrel Awards.

Can you have too much rum?

Sugarcane bar

 

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MxMo LVI – Your Best

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It was a while ago…i´ve missed a few…but its time for Mixology Monday again and hosting this monday is Chris from over at Spirited Remix.

He wants us to post the best cocktail we ever made:

Give me the best drink recipe you’ve ever created.

No, I’m not really talking about that awesome drink that you made under pressure and on the fly for your friends one evening. I’m not talking about that kickass nightcap that you whipped up using the last bits from those few bottles that you needed to throw away.

I’m talking about that one drink that you’ve worked on for quite a while. The one that you’ve carefully tweaked over time until you found that perfect recipe. The one you’ve made tons of times: sometimes alone in contemplation, sometimes for a guest so that you could get their opinion.

If you don’t have a drink that fits the above mold, then perhaps this is your excuse to revisit your old “original remixes”, as I call them, and decide or even tweak one to be your best. If you’ve never made such a drink before, then begin experimenting right now!

For me there´s one particular drink i`m gonna use for this post, its a drink made long ago but its probably a remix since it was a twist i made and i don`t think its changed up enough to be an all original. Nevertheless it has been used over and over to quench my own thirst and others.

It has been served at parties as well as at home. It has always been very well received and it has survived until now and will keep being alive. And it does have something very important in the list of ingredients – it has Ting.

But the main reason i choose to post this one is simply because its damned tasty and it`s in regular rotation and always will be as long as i live.

So here`s my liquid baby:

PINEAPPLE DELIHT

vahinedelight11

1 cored pineapple.

In mixing glass:

A few large chunks of pineapple – muddled
2 juiced limes
1 barspoon orgeat
1.5 oz Rhum Agricole Blanc
2 tblsp fresh honey cream-mix* with a splash JWray overproof rum
Dash of grapefruit bitters

Shake hard and fast, strain and serve in the pineapple with crushed ice
Top with Ting. Garnish with 2 pineapple leaves and a piece of pineapple.
Believe me..this drink is worth the effort.

Honey-Cream Mix:

Equal parts Sugar, butter and liquid honey

Add in pot, heat and stir until it gets creamy. Add a splash JW&N overproof rum and stir again. You want a smooth creamy sauce. Keep a bit above room temp.

The problem with honey cream mix is the milk solids from the butter that forms when the mix gets chilled. It may help to use clarified butter or to dry shake first (without ice) before shake over ice.

Can also be made with just honey-mix (equal parts water and honey) if you wanna avoid the fuss with the butter. But the butter adds a silky buttery touch.

But when served in the pineapple as drinking vessel and filled up with crushed ice you won´t see much of the butter solids anyway.

Happy Monday!

remixmo_final1

 

Sugarcane bar

 

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MxMo XLVII: Punch

mxmologo

I have a feeling of slipping in on a banana peel here, i forgot it was monday yesterday..

The topic is punch. There are many different kinds of punch and the host Hobson`s Choice states that “There aren’t really any specific limitations on this month’s subject”  and “Keep in mind that we are at that time of year when there are some wonderful citrus varieties available at the market. And in the warmer climates, we are already seeing the first of the Spring berries.”

There`s along tradition of punches and it would have been interesting to go more into it but i feel i don´t have time now as i need to whip up a cocktail pronto so i`ll keep it simple and mix up another type of punch that belongs to warm tropical days and nights.

I´ll go for lime and i`ll make a punch inspired by the Ti Punch – but not a traditional Ti Punch. The traditional Ti Punch is a simple as its delicate and so well suited for the tropical climate in where it was born.

Its rhum agricole, lime and sugar or cane syrup, maybe an ice cube or two, stirred in a rocks glass.

I`m using rhum agricole too – both aged and white, together with fresh lime juice and palmsugar and raw sugar, Trader Tiki`s exquisite vanilla syrup and then topped with a little Ting ( my faithful companion).

PALMSUGAR PUNCH

palmsugar-punch

1 oz rhum agricole vieux

1 oz rhum agricole blanc

1 tsp palmsugar

1/4 tsp golden raw sugar

1/4  oz Trader Tiki`s vanilla syrup

Lime and mint for garnish

Add ingredients in mixing glass and stir together well with ice, then strain into a punch glass and top with Ting. Garnish with lime and mint. You may adjust the levels of syrup and sugar to your own taste, this drink is forgiving.

This is a drink that talks about summer, well – its not summer yet but i pretend all year that it´s summer.

Happy Monday! (well-tuesday)

COCKTAILS WITH MEZCAL part 3 – Fresh herbs

MEZCAL AND FRESH HERBS

– Basil

Its so much fun to experiment with mezcal in cocktails as it has so much flavour of its own –  earhty, vegetal and then it also has that interesting smokiness which truly adds another dimension.

Many flavours naturally fits together and after a while with trial and errors you more or less learn which flavours marries well and which doesn`t, and even if taste is something personal in general those flavour combinations that are natural companions (and these often also comes from in the same type of climate or area)  goes best together.

When i experiment with flavours i try to look for either matching or contrasting – like when you paint a room and paint one wall in a contrasting colour which sticks out but in the end still harmonizes with the rest of the room. Something like that.

Naturally mezcal pairs with the same things that tequila goes well with such as citrus fruits, agave syrup (and other syrups like for example balsamic syrup which has an earthy flavour) spices like ginger, fresh herbs, peppers like jalapeno, habanero and ancho to name a few. And believe it or not but mezcal pairs very well with Campari – another of my favorite libations.

I`m very fond of fresh ingredients and at the farmers market (which here is only open once a year (!) for a few weeks i think it is) i picked up two varietes of basil i haven´t tried before, cinnamon basil and ararat basil. The cinnamon basil has green leaves and look somewhat like thai basil but i was surprised that the flavour was so strong and so crisp fresh! it has stronger flavour than the thai basil. I didn´t exactly pick up any pronounced cinnamon flavour but it did have something spicy.

The ararat basil looked different, its leaves are variegated in green and purple and it has a slight anis taste and is not as strong and pungent as the cinnamon variety. The cinnamon basil plants had flowers on them as well, very pretty.

So my first experiment with these basil plants and mezcal was to muddle a few chunks of fresh pineapple with both types of basil and some simple syrup. A flavoured syrup here would only disturb the other flavours i think. Then i added mezcal, fresh lime and to boost the hint of anise from the ararat basil i added 1 tiny tsp of absinthe. To crown the drink and add aroma i garnished with sprigs of the ararat basil and the blooming cinnamon basil.

Don`t neglect the garnish in those kind of drinks where garnish may add completeness and a feast for the eye. Before we drink with our mouths we drink with our eyes.

Here´s the recipe:

ARARAT COCKTAIL

ararat-cocktail-1

2 oz mezcal

1t absinthe

A handful of fresh pineapple chunks and a handful of basil, preferably two different varietes

0.5 oz fresh lime juice

0.5 oz simple syrup

Crushed ice

Muddle pineapple, basil and syrup in shaker, be gentle with the basil so start with the pineapple. Add mezcal and absinthe. Shake and strain into a glass with crushed ice. Garnish with a sprig of basil.

– Thyme

One of my favorite herbs, thyme is lovely and it has such a fresh yet “grassy” aroma, everytime i get fresh thyme i bury my nose in it. This experiment includes muddled thyme and honeysyrup, pineapple infused mezcal and habanero infused tequila, some fresh lime, a little Ting and finally a mezcal soaked cherry to enjoy when the drink is finised.

Both Ting and thyme is common use in Jamaica and married with the Mexican flavours ut turns out fresh and flavourful at least to my palate but i don`t claim to be an expert on flavours, just a happy experimenter.

The best part in making cocktails is the playing with flavours and trying out the result or letting others imbibe it and give their opinion (hopefully they like it) and the worst part is naming the drink. I hate to try to name cocktails sometimes, its so hard! Camper once said that if i didn`t take so long to name my drinks i would get much more things done in life – i think that was fun..well finally i came up with this:

SABROSO

1 oz pineapple infused mezcal

1 oz habanero infused tequila reposado

0.5 oz fresh lime juice

0.5 oz honey syrup

Fresh thyme

Ting to top

Garnish sprig of thyme.

Muddle the thyme and honey, then add the tequila and mezcal. Squeeze a half lime and shake, strain into a ice filled collins glass. Top with a little Ting (Jamaican grapefruit beverage). Garnish with a fresh aromatic sprig of thyme.

Sugarcane bar

 

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A TOAST TO TEQUILA

tt-toast

One thing i`ve noticed about the US is that they have tons of days they celebrate, like today – its National Tequila Day. I ask myself why can`t that be an International Tequila Day? anyway, i don´t want to miss an occasion to raise a toast with one of my favorite spirits and therefore i decided to infuse some tequila with red habanero pepper and mix up a drink to toast.

The classic Margarita calls for tequila, orange liqueur and lime juice. Its a wonderful drink in all its simplicity and very thirst quenching. The fact that tequila mixes so well with fruity flavors is one reason why i like it so much, the other and most important is of course its flavour.

It also mixes well well with hot peppers and i love peppers so here we go, i took my favorite pepper which is the habanero, sliced off a little bit and infused a tequila blanco, just long enough (a few hours in this case) to give it a bit of a peppery bite without being too hot.

I made a similar drink when i was in the US for the New Orleans TDN called the MixoHouse Cocktail but with jalapeno infused tequila, seems i`m on a pepper infusion craze these days. Another of my addictions is as some of you know, Ting – the jamaican grapefruit beverage which traditionally is paired with JWray overproof rum. But Ting pairs well with much things and tequila is one of the best partners i know so don`t be surprised – here is T&T – Tequila and Ting and a toast to tequila.

T&T TOAST

2 oz red habanero infused tequila

0.5 oz fresh lime juice

0.5 oz agave syrup

Top with Ting

Rim a rocks glass with lime-sugar (raw sugar and grated lime zest) Add the ingredients except for Ting in a shaker and shake, strain and pour into the glass filled with large ice cubes, top with Ting. Garnish with a speared habanero.

Happy tequila day!