BANKS FIVE ISLAND RUM

banks

This is a very intriguing rum that packs a lot of flavor…and its a white rum with an unusually strong dark rum character.

I don`t think i`ve come across a white rum that has so much of the dark rum flavor before..but on the other hand there´s many white rums i`ve never yet tasted.

I first saw it at the Tales this summer and got me a sample but i wasn´t prepared for how good this rum was. Its an intense white rum which is a blend of rums from five distilleries, each aged between three and twelve years and some is carbon-filtered to get a white color.

According to the label, 5 Island Rum is a “Sophiscated blend of Barrel-Aged rums. Pot stilled Jamaican and light Trinidadian, amber rums from Guyana and Barbados and Indonesian Java.. Enhanced and inspired by the journeys and discoveries of Joseph Banks, a gentleman, botanist and explorer. According to the neck band this is a dry Flavorful rum.

On the nose its light but with the typical Jamaican pot still lingering around. There has been descriptions of this rum with taste notes of both tropical florals, gardenia, citrus blossom, dark chocolate, habanero pepper, smoke, soursop and orange…gingery and peppery..wow..that´s a lot of flavor descriptions!

I find a rich multitude of flavors and among them dried apricot, tropical fruit and a slight buttery sugarcane flavor steadily backed up by the pot-still flavor but there`s no heaviness in this rum, its light and bright and yet it got a slight funk..in a good way – so much flavor. I also find a vegetal note in it..making it very suitable for many mixed drinks.

I would also say this rum is great for a daiquiri.

Banks Five Island Rum is blended in Holland and made for mixing cocktails really, but i find it`s also an excellent sipper. Its been nominated for the Golden Rum Barrel awards 2010 in the classes “Best White Rum”,”Best Premium White Rum” and “Best New Rum brand” – we will soon know the results since they were decided today.

You can soon read more on their website.

This smooth flavorful rum is like i said great for daiquiris..which allows the flavor to speak for itself which a rum like this deserves. But one can also go the other way and make a wild drink.

I´m gonna make a twist of the Witchdoctor which i was introduced and seduced to at Bar Tonique…using mint instead of basil (for garnish only in this drink) since that´s what i got and its always fun trying out new things.

So here we go:

BUSHDOCTOR

bushdoctor

1.5 oz Banks Five Island Rum

1.5 oz Batavia arrak

1/4 – 0.5 oz sugarcane syrup (Petit Canne)

0.5 oz fresh lime

Top with a little soda if you like

Garnish fresh mint

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass with ice, top with a little soda if you like and stick a mint sprig as garnish.

The Witchdoctor uses basil syrup and Smith & Cross, here i replaced the basil syrup with Petit Canne´s deep flavored sugarcane syrup and i think the Batavia arrak mixes well with Banks, increasing the tropical fruitiness and adding some deep mellowness to the drink. No wonder it mixes well with arrak since there´s rum from Indonesia in it.

The crisp clean lightness is still there but there´s a more earthy tone from the arrak with an aftertaste of dried tropical fruit. Basically this is a mojito sans muddled mint but the addition of Batavia arrak changes it into something else – and that´s what makes it a Bush doctor..

The next thing i REALLY had to do was making a Chartreuse Swizzle and since we more or less lived on them in the mixohouse serving them in flower vases communal style every night i took that awesome drink to heart and added it in my regular rotation here and YET i didn´t think about subbing the Smith & Cross with Banks…not until today and of course its a big win! its not a new idea at all, its just me lingering behind..

Then after having a couple sips i came to the conclusion that this is tasty! BUT floating some Smith & Cross would maybe improve it even more and really, it did – it was like adding the final touch if you like. And now..no more messing around!

CHARTREUSE SWIZZLE

chartreuse-swizzle

1 oz Green Chartreuse

1 oz Banks Five Island Rum

1 1/2 oz Pineapple juice

1 oz fresh lime juice

1/4 oz Falernum

2 dash Bitter Truth Aromatic Bitters (instead of Angostura)

Float Smith & Cross

Add ingredients to a suitable glass full of crushed ice. Swizzle to mix, float Smith & Cross and garnish with plenty of fresh mint, and add straw.

As good as it can be…and if you switch the pineapple juice for fresh grapefruit juice (white) you´re in for a VERY refreshing drink! The drink in the picture actually is the one with grapefruit juice.

Nothing wrong at all with Angostura but the Bitter Truth`s aromatic bitters added a slight bitter edge that i like.

My conclusion after this experiment is that Banks Five Island Rum is a rum i want to have in my bar regularly.

Sugarcane bar

 

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THE RUM BARREL

demerara-rum-barrel

This is a cool Tiki drink… and there´s something very relaxing and rewarding in having a BIG rum barrel mug filled with goodness to sip..like a giant pacifier for grownups..

Its also very well suited for parties since it can easily be made in batches. Seems like the first recipe came from Port O` Call in Tucson Arizona cirka 1960s, invented by Dean Short who owned several Polyensian restaurants.

I´m sitting here with my Beachbum´s Remixed checking out the three versions of the Rum Barell in it, one which is called the “Bum barrel” – love that!

The Remixed tells me that most Polynesian restaurants had a version of the rum barrel..and it seems to be one of those drinks you can play a lot with, switching rums and stuff. I decided to make my own version, just for the fun of it and since i`m on a constant demerara rum journey – its a Demerara Rum barrel.

This Tiki drink isn`t for the fainthearted when it comes to the amount of ingredients, but these versions are quite alike and so once you got the basic ingredients its easy to make different versions of this tasty mega rummy Tiki drink. Or while you`re at it – make a giant punch bowl and bring in a few friends for a Rum barrel party.

Here´s the Rum Barrel from Remixed:

3/4 oz fresh lime juice
3/4 oz orange juice
3/4 oz unsweetened pineapple juice
3/4 oz passionfruit puree or juice
3/4 oz sugar syrup
1 oz dark jamaican rum
1 oz amber 151-proof rum such as Cruzan, El Dorado or Bacardi.

Shake with ice and pour unstrained into a barrel ceramic mug.

This recipe differs from the one in Grog Log in that the Alize passionfruit liqueur is switched for passionfruit puree or juice and the 151 proof rum is upped to 1 oz instead of 0.75 oz.

And Steve´s Rum Barrel:

3/4 oz fresh lime juice
3/4 oz orange juice
3/4 oz unsweetened pineapple juice
3/4 oz grapefruit juice
0.5 oz passionfruit puree or juice
0.5 oz honey-mix
2 oz dark Jamaican rum
2 oz white Puerto Rican rum
Dash Angostura bitters
6 drops Pernod
3 drops Almond extract
4 oz (1/2 cup) crushed ice

Put everything in a blender and blend at high speed for 5 seconds. Pour unstrained into a Rum barrel. Garnish with a spiral-cut orange peel. Add ice cubes to fill.

Now – the Bum Barrel:

1 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz white grapefruit juice
1 oz orange juice
1 oz soda water
3/4 oz passionfruit syrup
3/4 oz honey-mix
2 oz dark Jamaican rum
2 oz Gold Virgin Islands rum
Dash Angostura bitters

Shake everything – except soda with plenty of ice cubes, then stir in soda. Pour into a double old fashioned glass or a Rum barrel mug.

Finally my version, the Demerara Rum Barrel:

1 oz fresh lime
1 oz unsweetened pineapple juice
1 oz fresh orange juice
1/4 oz sugarcane syrup
1/4 oz vanilla honey-mix
1 oz Smith & Cross
1 oz El Dorado 12 yo
1 oz Lemon Hart 151
Dash Angostura
Top with a little lemon soda

Shake everything with ice cubes thoroughly except the soda and pour unstrained into a Rum barrel mug and add more ice cubes. Garnish with fresh mint and pineapple skin. Make sure the pineapple skin only rests lightly on top of the  ice or is speared so the drink may not become bitter.

I´ve heard that drinking too many of these makes people start acting weird..so maybe its better to try them one by one on different days:-D

Sugarcane bar

 

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BRING BACK LEMON HART 151!

lh1512

Something is brewing…i can sense it – or is this only my own imagination?

But in a while i believe we might have LH151 available for the US to start with..(hoping Europe will follow)

LH151 was for a while believed of being discontinued – but that`s not what happened. Instead what actually happened was that Pernod were looking to sell the brand..and so eventually it was sold – as many of you already know – and is now being produced in Canada by Mosaiq who bought the formula and rights to the Lemon Hart brand from Pernod Ricard in feb 2010.

Pernod had been blending and bottling Lemon Hart 151 at their Corby Distillers plant in Windsor, Ontario since they bought Allied Domecq on July 26, 2005. This actually was one of the places where prohibition spirits once were manufactured before being smuggled to the US. Mosaiq now has a new bottle and label which is close to how the old one look like, you can find a picture of the new here and on their website – http://www.mosaiqinc.com

After a few trademark disputes over use of the ‘Demerara’ name, Demerara Distillers Limited has agreed to not only supply Mosaiq rum but has also licensed them to use the Demerara Rum name of the new Lemon Hart labels.

I find the new bottle and labels to be quite nice, not too different from the ones we are used to, so that`s ok with me – or really – they could use any label and bottle as long this rum continues to be produced..

So LH151 will continue to be produced as was before Mosaiq bought the brand, but now it will be blended and bottled – from the same Demerara Rum as before – but at a facility in Newfoundland.

Well..the US is waiting to be able to buy it..and not only in the US are people waiting..hoping…dying of thirst for LH151..

Lemon Hart 80 proof is widely available in Canada, but Lemon Hart 151 isn’t sold anywhere as far i`ve heard, due to a lack of demand. Considering the lack of attention paid to the brand by Pernod,that might change. In the meantime there are only a few pallets of Lemon Hart 151 quietly waiting in a Windsor, Ontario warehouse for the dust to settle from the acquisition of the Lemon Hart brand.

So what’s the problem? Windsor Ontario is just across the river from Detroit and you can see the US from the warehouse. Well, in order for the last cases of Lemon Hart 151 that Pernod bottled to be sold, Mosaiq has to make a deal with a US importer to import and market this rum.

Then in addition to paying for the rum, there is the Federal Tax that has to be paid when the rum is carried across the border. The old labels say ‘Imported by Pernod.’ This isn’t a big deal but it takes time to get a letter of exception for the rum to be imported by a third party or a sticker has to be added to the bottle, and Mosaiq has yet to appoint an importer.

THE LEMON HART BRAND

This brand was established in 1804 by Mr. (Lehmynn) Lemon Hart who also became one of the first rum suppliers to the Brittish Navy, so this rum has some history…and rum were brought over the seas to be blended at his Lemon Hart Rum Company in London.

Actually there are two 80 proof rums, but in the US and Canada there is no Jamaican Lemon Hart which is sold in Europe and also exists in an overproof (73%) version and then we have the 151 demerara – so there´s four different Lemon Hart rums in the world.

In Canada the Demerara rums will be bottled at 80 and 151 proof. Probably the Jamaican Lemon Hart rums are going to go away. The Canadian label only shows 80 proof since that is the only label that is currently sold in Canada. According to Mosaiq there has never been any demand for Lemon Hart 151 in Canada – but i`m sure there must be some fans of this rum there…?

The 151 demerara is a jewel of rum and which really is irreplacable and the reason we can`t let this rum go.. This is a rum so perfectly suited for real full flavored rum drinks and absolutely necessary for many exotic tiki drinks.

LH151 really got that flavor..its absolutely full bodied, strong and so satisfying and makes for perfect floats – really its the ideal floating rum..and as its a highproof rum it should of course be used in moderation but it defenetily makes cocktails kick ass.

At one session at the Tales this summer (Full Sail) the message was clear – Bring back LH151!

I sit here with my one bottle of the precious stuff which i`m gonna try to really pace with..but that´s not so easy, neither is it fun, i wanna be able to enjoy this rum whenever i want without having to worry about not being able to find it again once its finished.

I know there`s many that, like me, sit with their last bottles..or their last three bottles, and wonder if they will ever see another bottle. And there are even more that wish they even had a bottle of Lemon Hart 151. Those of you who managed to stock up – you are lucky!

It still seems to be available in some remote places and a few of the good tikibars still pour it, but only because they were able to buy it up as the supply dried up in the US. There are many more bars that have pulled drinks from their menu because they can’t get LH 151 at all. To complicate the problem, in the US, state rules prohibit bars from buying alcohol from out of state and pouring it in the bar so even if a bartender can find the odd bottle or even rarer case of Lemon Hart, they can’t legally pour it.

But for most of us, we all had the same questions, when will it come back and if so, to WHERE? – well folks..now we know..the new questions are: When and where will it be available to the US? and then – internationally? There is a Lemon Hart 151 Facebook fan page where you can check for the latest news.

In the meantime while i´m waiting to get an answer i`ll swizzle up something that needs a little LH151 in it because rum is supposed to be enjoyed right?

CHERRY SWIZZLE

cherry-swizzle

1 oz El Dorado 8 yo

0.5 oz LH151

0.5 Smith & Cross

0.5 oz fresh lime

0.5 oz Cherry Heering

1/4 oz Sugarcane syrup (Petit Canne)

Dash Cherry bitters

Dash Xocolatl Mole bitters

Top with lemon soda

Crushed ice

Swizzle everything except lemon soda in a tall glass until it frost, top with the lemon soda and garnish with mint.

 

Sugarcane bar

 

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