In New Orleans there`s nothing but a giant party right now with both the Mardi Gras and Superbowl celebations going on with the big game being played tomorrow and then it´s just a week until Mardi Gras and that means it´s high time for me to come up with this years Mardi Gras cocktails.
Remember my posts about the King Cake vodka with carnival party cocktails during last mardi gras? now the company who made it – Lucky Player – has just released it´s new Fleur de Lis vodka in New Orleans and Louisiana.
It´s straight non flavor ultra premium vodka smooth as ice….that has been distilled 5 times. The Fleur de Lis vodka is just like the King Cake vodka made in France and is bottled at 40% ABV or 80 proof.
The bottle has a beautiful Fleur de Lis design which will make it a collectors item with both a Fleur de Lis label and engravings on the bottle. Why a Fleur de Lis? well….to celebrate life….and there are many ways to do that – the easiest is to enjoy it on the rocks with some fresh lime and simple cane sugar syrup – or do what i did add a dash of vanilla liqueur in the mix.
Here`s a couple of cocktails to make:
Black and Gold
2 oz Lucky Player Fleur de Lis Vodka
o.75 oz fresh lime juice
0.25 oz simple syrup
0.5 oz vanilla liqueur
Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a golden sugar rim and and a vanilla bean.
Fleur de Lis
2.0 oz pineapple juice
0.5 oz green Chartreuse
0.5 oz fresh lime juice
2 oz Lucky Player Fleur de Lis Vodka
0.25 oz sugarcane syrup
Shake with ice and strain into a tall zombie glass filled with crushed ice and garnish with mint and cherry.
Inspired by the Chartreuse swizzle this drink is very refreshing, fruity and herbal at the same time and light and easy to drink!
Here is where to find the Fleur de Lis Vodka:
Republic National Distributing Company is the Distributor in New Orleans 504.837.1500 Baton Rouge Lafayette area call 337.593.7801 & Shreveport 318.687.8110 Online orders visit www.crownwineandspirits.com
Here`s the second round of Mardi Gras drinks with the King Cake vodka…
The interest in this product is absolutely tremendous…and it seems like there´s a high demand for drink recipes too so here we go with a few more from here – easy to make yet good drinks which uses fresh natural fruit juices instead of chemical powder mixes.
This is a flavor combo that was suggested to me after i posted the review of the King Cake vodka – coffee – and especially New Orleans Community coffee. Now that`s a good thing, that`s the coffee i drink and i have several different blends at home so i thought, i need to try this.
I often use coffee in tiki drinks and knows how well it goes with pineapple so that´s the route i`m going. I was suggested to use Kahlua too so i`m gonna try that as well. It`s not that very often i have drinks with Kahlua but when i do i always enjoy and i do believe it`d do very very well with King Cake vodka and cream.
The King Cake vodka is sweet and has a lot of almond flavor so i thought that maybe the dark roast coffee would be good. If you don`t have Community Coffee dark roast use any dark roast coffee, it won´t be the same but it´s at least dark roast coffee…if i`d pick any substitutes i`d pick Hawaiian Kona or Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee.
And if needed, depending on how tart your passion fruit juice is – 0.5 oz simple syrup or passion fruit syrup.
Shake with ice and strain into a glass filled with crushed ice and that is rimmed with mixed gold and purple king cake sugar.
And here`s for all Kahlua lovers:
MARDI GRAS MORNING
1 oz King Cake vodka
1 oz Kahlua
1 oz cream
Shake it up and donate to a rocks glass with ice cubes, garnish with purple king cake sugar on the rim of the glass. Could be a good carnival day breakfast drink maybe?
And last…let´s try some of that coffee….
LAISSEZ LES BON TEMPS ROULER!
1.5 oz Lucky Player King Cake Vodka
12 crushed coffee beans…12th night you know…:-)
0.5 oz fresh lime juice
1.5 -2 oz pineapple juice
Crush but don´t pulverize the coffee beans in a shaker, then add the lime juice and muddle a little bit, then add the rest of ingredients and shake hard with ice, then double strain (strain into a fine mesh tea strainer) into a zombie (or other tall) glass filled with crushed ice. Have the glass rimmed with green king cake sugar before you pour.
If you want to you can use a good quality coffee liqueur instead of beans, you´ll get a more pronounced coffee flavor and a sweeter drink. I`d recommend FAIR coffee liqueur first of all, it tastes like freshly brewed coffee and it´s Fairtrade certified using organic coffee beans.
And by now the king cake vodka should be out in these stores:
It`s King Cake season and for the first time a King Cake flavored vodka of all things is being launched in New Orleans…and where else really?:-)
The Mardi Gras or Carnival season officially begins on January 6th or the “Twelfth Night,” also known to Christians as the “Epiphany” and to New Orleans from France the king Cake came – sometimes in the 1870s, so it´s a very old tradition and you can read more about it here and here is a pic and a recipe too of a traditional King Cake.
The King Cake is similar to a coffee cake and has various fillings like pecan-praline, cream cheese, cinnamon, apple, lemon, cinnamon, strawberry etc. It´s covered with icing and dusted with colored sugar and the traditional colors are purple (justice), green (faith), and gold (power)
Last year Haydel`s bakery got in the Guinness record book for the worlds largest King Cake, it went twice around the Superdome.-) pretty cool if you ask me.. So now you know what a King Cake is unless you knew already… So now this year we have for the very first time – a King Cake vodka….it´s made by Lucky Player Brands and distributed in the US by Republic National Distributing Company.
Those who knows me knows me as a rum enthusiast but when i see that such a thing as a King Cake flavored vodka ready for Mardi Gras it picks my curiosity….even though i`m always suspicious when it comes to flavored products but there´s only one way to find out – try it!
Whether you`ll find it delicious or not i think it´s quite the perfect thing for Mardi Gras, and seeing to the HUGE interest among people from all over the US it´ll most likely be da bomb! I believe there´s no in the middle with this product though, you either like it or you don`t and i believe it very much depends on your sweet tooth…
And that´s why i`m gonna try it out, i wanna see how it tastes and mixes and what kinda cool party drinks you can make with it – does it stand up in the jungle of flavored products flooding the market?
The flavor profile is based on the king cake from Haydel’s Bakery, they even had King Cakes flewn to France where the vodka is made to get the flavor profile right. I think it has a lot of amaretto in the flavor, a mix of almond and sugar and then there`s also a taste of cake icing. I did expect some cinnamon flavor but i cannot detect any.
It`s smooth and has almost no alcohol burn, i have no problem with drinking it straight apart from of course that it´s too sweet to drink straight, it needs to be chilled with ice or mixed with things that cuts the sweetness and mellows and marries with the almond flavor. As a small shot with ice the almond flavor is less strong since the ice both dilutes and cuts the sweetness and it only has a very slight burn – but it really is sweet.
One shot of this and then a chaser with cold beer would probably do if you`re into that kinda drinking. Mixed in cocktails i believe it might do well with fruit juices, soda, sparkling wine or champagne and real natural sweet & sour-mix (no chemical sweet and sour powder mix – and more on the sour side) made from fresh lemon and lime.
And since this vodka is sweet in itself use any simple syrup a little bit at a time to taste. Then we have the bottle – it´s pretty, a work of art my friends, and made by artist Andrea Mistretta, the motif is the Mardi Gras Queen, and so right on the spot for a Mardi Gras product as you can get.
Clearly designed for the Mardi Gras reveler, it´s a party vodka so let´s see how ot mixes, here´s four drinks, two twists of classics and two originals.
PURPLE, GREEN AND GOLD
2 oz Lucky Player King Cake Vodka
0.5 oz fresh lime 0.25 oz sugarcane syrup
1 oz grapefruit juice (yellow)
1 oz pineapple juice a handful fresh mint leaves, teared
Add to shaker and shake hard with ice, double strain into a purple sugar rimmed cocktail glass and garnish with a mint crown.
This drink is the nicest of the drinks i think, not too sweet and it`s fresh without being overpowered by the amaretto flavor.
2 oz Lucky Player King Cake Vodka
2 oz pineapple juice
0.5 oz coconut syrup
0.5 fresh lime juice
Some soda or sparkling wine to top
Glass rimmed with gold colored sugar
Shake it all with ice and strain into a big glass with ice chunks and rimmed with gold sugar. Top with soda or sparkling wine.
This is like liquid candy…pineapple and coconut mixed with almond and sugar….for the sweet tooth! I like both sweet, sour and bitter so i liked this drink.
MARDI GRAS FIZZ
2 oz Lucky Player King Cake Vodka
1 oz heavy cream 1 egg white Juice of
1/2 lemon Juice of
1/2 lime 1 small tsp sugarcane syrup
Soda to top
Garnish with a King Cake green sugared rim and a lemon twist.
Shake for a good minute with cracked ice to incorporate the egg white or use a hand mixer, strain into a chilled green-sugar rimmed chimney glass and garnish with the lemon twist.
A simple twist of the famous Ramos Gin Fizz replacing gin with the King Cake vodka and omitting the orange flower water which isn`t needed here.
This drink tastes like a fizzy amaretto and lemony drink, quite light and bright and quite heavy on the King Cake vodka flavor, the subtlety of the original Gin fizz is transformed to an amaretto fizz.
Easy to drink up though, probably easy to get drunk with too…so careful.
For the last drink i decided to try the King Cake vodka more as an accent flavor, together with another spirit – rum, and since it tastes very much like amaretto i decided to use it instead of orgeat in a Mai Tai. I know…it´s a totally crazy idea…but fun. And really…that`s what cocktail bloggers do…
KING CAKE MAI TAI
1 oz Smith and Cross Jamaican rum
1 oz Appleton Extra Jamaican rum
0.75 oz fresh lime juice
0.5 oz orange Curacao
0.25 oz Lucky Player King Cake Vodka
0.25 oz sugarcane syrup
Fresh mint sprig 2 cups crushed ice and shake, strain into a double old fashioned glass rimmed with yellow
King Cake sugar and filled with crushed ice. Spank a sprig of mint and garnish, put a short straw near the mint. I downed the lime from the usual 1 oz to 0.75 since i found it a little bit on the too tart side.
Well, this tastes like a Mai Tai with amaretto, i think the other drinks suits this vodka much better so stick to the real Trader Vic´s Mai Tai if you gonna make that drink.
No need to garnish the drinks all up the way i done here unless you want to. This is for the blog and because i like to have fun! When you blog about cocktails and spirits you have all the time in the world to play with garnish.
A lime wedge on the glass would also do.
But where is the baby?
Of course there should be a plastic baby in the bottle…big enough to not fall out of the neck into somebody´s throat if drinking straight from the bottle – but the government didn`t approve a plastic baby in the bottle due to hazard reason of plastic mixing with alcohol.
Testings in France with a baby in the bottle has been done and is still in the works so hopefully there´ll be a baby in the bottle next year.
Conclusion: I think this is a funny product and definetily suitable for what it´s made for, it also has a festive bottle that would brighten up any Mardi Gras party table.
Since it´s quite heavy on the amaretto flavor and sweet i would suggest the drinks being made with lots of citrus and fresh juices, topped with soda, champage or sparkling wine rather than something like sweet fruit sodas or God forbid red bull.. If you like almond and sugar then you´ll like this, if not, pass.
I`m very curious to see how the reaction of the King Cake vodka will be since i know there´s such a tremendous interest… Of the drinks i made here there´s especially one i`ll do again and that is the Purple, Green and Gold, i liked that one.
I`m also intending to experiment more with it using it like an amaretto liqueur for example and so a few more drinks might find their way to this blog later on. Here´s a link to the KingCake Vodka page on FaceBook.
You can see Andrea Mistretta`s 27 years of Mardi Gras posters here.
It´s always inspiring to try out new great products and here´s 3 great products from Fair Trade Spirits. It`s organic coffee and goji liqueurs and quinoa vodka. Fair Trade is the first brand in the world that is Fair Trade Certified which means they use Fair Trade Certified ingredients and organic farming methods. I like that!
The three products i trying out from Fair are these:
Fair Coffee liqueur – Made from Fair Trade and organic coffee beans grown high up in the volcanic mountains of Mexico and Fair Trade sugarcane from Malawi. I love coffee and i love a good coffee liqueur which i often use as a drink ingredient in tiki drinks.(coffee and pineapple anyone? or coffee and grapefruit….)
When you open the bottle and smell it, on the nose it´s like freshly roasted coffee beans. The flavor is even better, it´s the closest to real freshly roasted coffee beans that i`ve ever tasted and it has depth. The sweetness is just perfect and the sugarcane flavor very natural. This is a seriously good coffee liqueur! and actually i don´t think i want any other after i´ve tried this.
Fair Goji liqueur – I assume you`ve heard of the goji berries? loaded with antioxidants they are sold in various health shops. Goji is the first Goji berry liqueur ever made and is the only one on the market as far as i know.
The goji liqueur has a somewhat mixed flavors of cranberries and plum. It´s an interesting flavor and it can be used in cocktails like grenadine for example. It`s simply a very interesing product.
Fair – Quinoa vodka – is the first vodka in the world using grains of quinoa in its formula.The quinoa used is comng from the Andes where the incas grew it 5000 years ago and the vodka is made in France.
The flavor of the vodka, and yes it takes that it has flavor to get me interested – it´s kinda dry and has some slight hints of grain, fruit and white pepper. The quinoa grains are brewed and distilled in the Cognac region in France.
It actually won Gold Medal at the Chicago Beverage Tasting Institute with 93 points and was voted the best tasting vodka at the New York Spirits Awards in June 2009.
That´s not bad! and when me who is a devoted rum fanatic say that about a vodka, well peeps…
I think Fair Trade makes very pleasing products and it feels better to know they are made with Fair Trade certified products and farming methods in a world where more and more of what we put into our bodies are more or less poisoned and stripped of natural flavors, minerals and vitamins.
As i write this the coffee flavor is still there in my mouth, it has a very long aftertaste…
2 oz Fair Trade Quinoa Vodka
0.5 oz homemade passionfruit syrup ( or please – use t B.G Reynolds (former Trader Tiki), it´s awesome)
0.5 oz fresh lemon juice
1 egg white
0.5 oz sugarcane syrup
Shake very hard to emulsify the egg white (dry shake first without ice and then with ice or use blender) and pour into an old fashioned glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
1 oz white rum (I used Banks Five islands white rum)
1 oz dark rum (I used Havana Club 7)
0.5 oz Fair Trade Goji liqueur
0.5 oz fresh lemon and lime juices
0.25 oz sugarcane syrup (or more if you like)
1 oz grapefruit juice (white grapefruit)
1 oz fresh orange juice
Shake with ice and strain into a tall glass with crushed ice and garnish with a lime spiral or twist. (Maybe an orange slice too would be nice.)
And finally, the last drinks, i made two with the coffee..the first is a little bit more elaborate – it´s a tiki drink after all.
1.5 oz dark rum (Coruba)
0.5 oz aged rhum agricole (Clemént VSOP)
0.5 os Fair Trade Coffee liqueur
1 oz unsweetened pineapple juice
0.25 oz sugarcane syrup – (if you like it sweeter)
Pineapple and muscovado burn off
Garnish with pineapple and mint
Start making the pineapple and muscovado burn-off. Cut a few chunks from a pineapple and place in a pan, top with medium dark muscovado sugar (about a tsp) and a little dark rum and heat it up and get going for a little while on the stove until the pineapple is soft.
Then add some dark overproof rum to burn, i don´t like to burn LH151 since it´s so precious but it really does taste best! Flambeè the mix and then leave to cool. Add to shaker and muddle it a bit, add the rest of ingredients and shake with ice. Double strain into a zombie glass or tiki mug filled with crushed ice. Garnish with pineapple and mint.
Since the Mai Taii is my favorite cocktail this also was a must seminar. The contoversy of the who made the Mai Tai has been going on for so long but after this seminar the whole thing is a bit clearer at least to me.
I have always been of the opinion that the Mai Tai is Vic´s but how it became his has been a bit blurry, was it a copy of the QB Cooler or not? well now i know – it was a drink in it´s own right inspired by the QB Cooler which by the way we also were served during this seminar. I will never cease to be amazed at how alike they taste – the Mai Tai and the QB Cooler despite the different ingredients.
The seminar took us through the history of the great Tiki bars and then the Mai Tai controversy which now is pretty much cleared up. It`s amazing how a topic can keep being discussed year after year after year and still manage to fascinate people all over the world, that says something about the power of the Mai Tai..
Despite it´s appeal, the Mai Tai wasn´t an immediate success like the Zombie was which also is the very first Tiki drink. It wasn´t until in the year 1954 with the Matson Line that the Mai Tai became famous and the Mai Tai did for Vic what the Zombie did for Don.
So Trader Vic´s Mai Tai is a drink in it´s own right folks! and is one of these drinks that has a perfect balance and flavor.
The 1937 QB Cooler
Remsberg`s oh do cool portable blender.
Ian did bring along a big antique style shaker which he used to ROCK and SWING the drink instead of shaking it…i told ya these guys are amusing!
We also tasted the Florida daiquiri #2 which is very alike the Mai Tai, only a few ingredients differ.
It was a very interesting and also amusing session with a solid trio in the tiki drink and rum world.
VANILLA VANILLA BABY!
This seminar was another not to miss session since i love vanilla and find the vanilla to be one of the most interesting plants and spice on earth.
The session was held by Philip Duff and he took us through how vanilla is made, it´s history and chemical components – this orchid is iamazing. Since i´ve been growing orchids for over a decade and have vanilla as my favorite spice i`m very familiar with it but there´s always something more to learn when it comes to this exotic spice.
Is there any more exotic and sweet smelling mellow spice on this planet? i don´t think so and Philip did a great job presenting it with both knowledge and humour. Of course we were served some good cocktails as well as tasting samples of vanilla extract, Cariel vanilla vodka, Licor 43 and Stoli Vanil who were the sponsors of this seminar.
One of the cocktails had fresh passionfruit in it and a half shell for garnish and i have never tasted such yummy, fresh and s´crsip passionfruits before, those we get in sweden does not have that same great flavor, these were amazing!
Those who knows me and/or read my blog knows that i use a lot of vanilla in my cocktails and to make syrup and extract. Vanilla is so versatile and my favorite is the Tahitian bean which is fatter, thicker and more floral.
Beautiful, intriguing, sweet smelling, expensive, sexy and irresistible – that is vanilla…and in combo with passionfruit as in this cocktail we got it´s a killer! maybe it´s time to try to dream up a vanilla and passionfruit cocktail?