SOUTHERN CROSS COCKTAIL

The Southern Cross is a cocktail that is most likely named after the star constellation Crux commonly known as the Southern Cross.

I stumbled upon a blog post by my friend Trader Magnus which featured this interesting cocktail from the book  “The Flowing Bowl” by William Schmidt’s in 1891.

I decided i needed to try this one, and then i also made a twist of it using Smith & Cross rum instead of Cruzan and Grand Marnier instead of orange Curacao and finally a pineapple infused soda water.

It`s important to not use too much soda or mineral water in this drink, it will become too dilluted i found out, so use only a little.

The recipe doesn`t call for any garnish so it`s not really necessary but since i happened to have both fresh cherries and pineapple at home i decided to use them.

There`s also a Swedish version from a book called Cocktails by Elsa af Trolle from 1927 with a slightly different recipe. i was forewarned that the Swedish version used too much sugar (1 tbsp) so it may be taken down to 1 barspoon.

But let´s start with the one using Smith & Cross Jamaican rum ( just because this rum is so damned good) I give it a new name since there´s more changes than just brand of base spirit.

SMITH & SOUTHERN CROSS


0.5 oz fresh lime juice
0.5 oz homemade demerara syrup
1.5 oz Smith & Cross rum
0.5 oz brandy
Dash Grand Marnier
Dash of pineapple infused soda water to top

Shake, and strain into a double old fashioned glass with crushed ice Garnish with speared pineapple chunk.

I would say that the Smith and Cross is what makes this cocktail the most. I also tried this recipe with aged Cachaca (Abelha Gold) and equal parts fresh lime and kalamansi juices and it was quite delicious.

Here`s the original Southern Cross from “The Flowing Bowl”

SOUTHERN CROSS


The juice of 1 lime
A dash of mineral water
a spoonful of sugar
2/3 of St. Croix rum
1/3 of brandy
1 dash of curacao

Stir this well, fill your glass with fine ice, stir again and strain into a sour glass.

I didn´t have any Cruzan so i used Plantation Barbados  instead. It was a bit too sour with juice from one whole lime in my opinion, but then again our Brazilian limes here are as big as two ordinary limes.

The Swedish recipe from the book Cocktails by Elsa af Trolle from 1927 follows here:

SOUTHERN CROSS (Swedish version from Cocktails 1927)

The juice of 1 lemon
Dash of soda water
A tblsp of sugar
2/3 of St. Croix rum ( Cruzan)
1/3 of cognac
1 dash of orange curacao

Stir this well, fill your glass with fine ice, stir again and strain into a sour glass. The Swedish recipe suggests shaking the ingredients and strain into a glass with some ice cubes.

A tablespoon of sugar might be too much, depending on how large your lemon is, so adjust accordingly.

To sum it up, the name of this cocktail is more exotic than the cocktail itself but since this cocktail is so simple it lends itself for playing around with – try different rums! Also it might be nice to sweeten partly with honey.

Overall a quite pleasant cocktail and worth trying out but not one of those that i keep.

NEW ORLEANS COCKTAILS pt 7 – Obituary Cocktail

This little cocktail is a strong fella that could wake up the dead..

It`s a very much New Orlean cocktail…combining all that which sums up the unique ambiance of this one of a kind city.

Equal parts absinthe and vermouth paired with gin is what we have here in this old classic tipple which is the signature cocktail of the Lafitte`s Blacksmith Shop and is a brilliant twist of the gin Martini where the absinthe is King.

But it`s not just the spirits in this cocktail – it´s also the feel of it. If you have been to New Orleans and appreciate the city you know what that feel is all about. Alas this cocktail takes you back in time as does so much things in New Orleans, it takes you back to the dark foggy quarters in the 1800s.

The name is not a nice one though, it means death and how come the cocktail got that name i have yet to find out, maybe it had to do with the ban of absinthe? However it does add to the mystery so let it stay that way, it´s part of its appeal.

The name is also used in other ways, there´s both a book and a society called “Obituary Cocktail” The book is written by New Orleans photographer Kerri McCaffety, a book i would like to get my hands on.

I would recommend using real absinthe in this drink rather than herbsaint or pernod because of the prominent role absinthe plays here. With a substitute which you can use of course, it will simply become a bit too lame..so go get a decent absinthe for this cocktail.

Chuck over at Looka/Gumbopages recommend Jade Liqueurs absinthes and when Chuck recommends something i listen – and so should you – trust me. I think i would like to try their Jade Nouvelle-Orléans absinthe Definetily on my to order list later this fall.

Ice cold absinthe, vermouth and gin is perfect for the summer…i recommend two at the most. (no pun intended) The three ingredients balances each other perfectly here.

OBITUARY COCKTAIL


2 oz gin
1/4 oz dry vermouth
1/4 oz absinthe or substitute ( i used a very good handcrafted swiss absinthe- La Clandestine)

The preparation is very simple:

Pour the ingredients into a mixing glass filled with cracked ice. Stir well and train into a chilled cocktail glass.

12 Bottle Bar suggest you put both the mixing glass and cocktail glass in the freezer for at least 10+ minutes which to me is a very good idea since these kinda drinks really needs to be cold.

Chuck recommends “Shake vigorously for 13 seconds, or stir vigorously for no less than 26 seconds” – Whatever way you choose to mix this up the important thing is to get it well mixed and cold. It does benefit from some dilution of the ice i think.

This cocktail will of course look very different depending on if you use white or green absinthe.

And now step back in time and enjoy one of the great classics.

OLD CUBAN AND A HINT OF CHOCOLATE

After doing so many Mixing through Grog Log posts filled with tasty tiki drinks i now feel like doing a classic rum drink and was reminded of the Old Cuban cocktail by Douglas Ford over at Cold Glass.

The Old Cuban cocktail was invented by Audrey Saunders of New York’s Pegu Club and the original recipe used Bacardi 8 rum. But i didn´t have the Bacardi 8 either and so i reached for Smith & Cross. This is an excellent rum cocktail and very nice now when it´s summer.

Think of this cocktail as a grown-up mojito with a bit more complexity and aroma.

THE OLD CUBAN COCKTAIL


1.5 oz dark rum (Smith and Cross)
1 oz simple suger (Demerara)
0.75 oz fresh lime juice
1–2 dashes Angostura bitters, to taste
6 leaves of fresh mint
sparkling wine to top (champagne or prosecco)

Muddle mint and juiced lime hulls lightly. Add rum, syrup, bitters and lime juice. Shake until well chilled. Double strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Top up with champagne or prosecco. Garnish with mint or sugared vanilla.

I wanted to make a twist of it as well staying true to my habit of playing around with cocktails. I´m somewhat into chocolate right now for some reason and so i decided to add some chocolate flavors to the party adding a little bit of the excellent Mozart Dry Chocolate Spirit, a dash xocolatel mole bitters and a whiff of fresh chocolate mint and came up with the Chocolate Cuban.

Here´s the recipe, hope it pleases somebody:

CHOCOLATE CUBAN


1.5 oz Smith & Cross Jamaican rum
0.5 oz demerara sugar syrup
0.5 oz fresh lime
0.5 oz Mozart Dry chocolate spirit
1-2 dashes xocolatl mole bitters
6-8 leaves fresh chocolate mint
Prosecco to top

Muddle mint and juiced lime hulls lightly, be careful with the mint, it will become bitter if muddled too hard.

Add rum, Mozart Dry, xocolatl mole bitters and lime juice and shake well with ice cubes.
Double strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with mint and/or sugared vanilla.

I think chocolate goes very well with the Old Cuban and chocolate and vanilla are as we know old lovers. I really like the chocolate version of the Old Cuban.

These two cocktails are perfect on a warm summer evening, try them!

MIXING THROUGH GROG LOG 21 – Eastern Sour

Here`s and old favorite…the Eastern Sour. Orange and lemon juices, sugarcane syrup, orgeat and then rye or bourbon.

It´s drink number 20 in Grog Log and is also featured in Remixed where i also found the Western Sour which contains grapefruit juice and falernum. I find yellow grapefruit juice much tastier in mixed drinks than the pink one, it´s simply fresher and has that sourness which balances so well with sweeteners yet still contains that sour freshness.

The Eastern Sour was made sometimes in the 50s by Trader Vic. He also made the London Sour (sub scotch for the bourbon) and Munich Sour ( cognac) These sours were made for the various Trader Vic`s restaurants.

The Western Sour was featured at Steve Crane`s Kon-Tiki restaurant chain operating in Sheraton hotels across the U.S. Steve Crane and Trader Vic did really compete and in the end Vic did outlast Steve and the Kon_Tiki`s.

So…bourbon or rye?

I like both..but shame on me! –  i`m out of bourbon…so it´s rye to go in both drinks, and i`m using Rittenhouse bonded.  Also i found a few fresh kalamansi limes so i`m gonna use them in both drinks to see what happens.

EASTERN SOUR

Juice of 1/2 orange

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1/4 oz orgeat syrup

1/4 oz rock candy syrup (well, i didn´t have that, so i used Petit Canne´s sugarcane syrup)

2 oz rye or bourbon

Now i added: juice of 1 kalamansi lime and garnished also with a sugared rim

Shake well with plenty of crushed ice. Pour unstrained into a double old fashioned glass or short stemmed goblet. Sink spent orange and lemon shells into the drink.

Since the kalamansi is both sweet and sour but a bit more on the sour side i decided to make a sugared rim on the glass to add some extra sweetness. I think it was very tasty with some tangy kalamansi juice in the Eastern Sour even though it doesn´t make itself very much noticed in this drink – just subtle. That said it was very very tasty.

WESTERN SOUR


1 oz white grapefruit juice

0.5 oz fresh lime juice

0.5 oz falernum

0.25 oz sugarcane syrup

2 oz Bourbon (or rye)

Shake well with ice cubes and por unstrained into a double old fashioned glass.

As i suspected, white grapefruit juice and kalamansi limes like each other and plays together very well..and here the two together is da bomb! this drink is so tasty!

The kalamansi transforms the drink from quite average to one step higher. Otherwise the Eastern Sour is in my opinion better than the Western but when kalamansi is in the game it`s slightly the contrary.

Interesting how the addition of just one thing can change things around!

I think i need to go and get me a kalamansi plant so i can have fresh kalamansi limes and make these  drinks all summer!

LEMON HART TO EUROPE

Yes folks, the Lemon Hart rum including the 151 will be sold in Europe by Distillerie Kammer-Kirsch who are the exclusive distributor for Lemon Hart in Germany and Austria who will start with the reintroduction of the product latest beginning of August.

That was some great news me thinks!

Lemon Hart 151 (75.5% vol.) and Lemon Hart Original (40% vol.) are the authentic blends of select Demerara rums, distilled, aged and blended on the East Bank of the age-old, world famous colony of Demerara in Guyana.

As many of us know there were in excess of 200 small distilleries operating in Guyana in the 17th and 18th centuries which eventually were closed down and today, there remains just one distillery (DDL) situated at the historical Plantation Diamond Estate. At this distillery, the time honored techniques, standards and methods of the age-old art of rum distillation, aging and blending are maintained even to this day.

Kammer-Kirsch are one of the preeminent importers of premium spirits in Germany today, representing international brands such as Tia Maria, Seagram’s Gin, Buffalo Trace Bourbon and Benriach Single Malt Scotch.

In the world of overproof rums, there is only one legend, one that is called for by name. distilled, aged and blended in Guyana, Lemon Hart 151 is a high proof (75.5% vol.) Demerara rum, best used in moderation as a float in tiki drinks and signature cocktails alike.

According to most tiki drinks aficionados including myself, there is no substitute to Lemon Hart 151. Last available in the German market in 2009, Lemon Hart 151 was at that time a favorite of mixologists and as a result, the leading dark rum for cocktails in bars and nightclubs in Germany.

Tasting notes: hints of burnt caramel, dried apricot and baked apples with that typical a bit smoky flavor of a true demerara rum.

So folks, we thought it was going to be gone but luckily for us imbibers instead it´s now sold in the US and soon also in Europe – the legend lives on.

I´ll happily drink to that!

TOTC 2011 – Who’s Your Daddy? A Mai Tai Paternity Test

It`s only about five weeks left until the Tales of the Cocktail 2011 kicks off in New Orleans and it´s time to present a few of the sessions i`m planning to attend this year. If you`re planning to go it`s high time to book your sessions they´re running out FAST!

And the Mai Tai war goes on…..come and listen to what Beachbum Berry, Steve Remsberg and Ian Burrel (UJ Rum Ambassador) has to say about this matter while shakin`up different samples of Mai Tai recipes for us….oh YUM!

We will also see vintage slide-show images and new information learned after the publication of Jeff’s most recent book, Beachbum Berry Remixed.

Beachbum Berry needs no presentation – but you can read about him here and his blog is here

Steve Remsberg owns the world’s largest private rum collection and has lectured on rum and participated on rum judging panels and tropical drink competitions across the U.S. and the Caribbean, read more about him here and here.

Ian Burrel is the UK Rum Ambassador and founder of the UK Rumfest – read about him here.

I have had the pleasure of meeting them all and i can vouch for their expertize and knowledge in all things rum (and tiki)

Do you love the Mai Tai? do you love rum? then this session is for you!

Time: 1 PM to 2:30 PM
Date: Friday the 22nd of July, 2011
Venue: Grand Ballroom South, The Royal Sonesta Hotel
Moderators: Jeff Berry

The session is sponsored by Banks 5 Island Rum.

MIXING THROUGH GROG LOG 20 – Don´s own Planter´s

Time for a planter´s again! drink number 20 from Grog Log is Don`s own Planter´s. These are what i would call comfort drinks.

The history of the old Planter´s punch has been told many times and it´s not that long ago i did a post on it with eight different variations where Don`s own is one of them. Now i`m back with the planter`s again since it`s one of the drinks i need to try and post from Grog Log since i`ve taken upon myself the task to do that inspired by Erik`s stomping through the Savoy – a real heroic effort since that book is not a small one.

Well, mixing through Grog Log is both great fun and educational!

This Planter`s punch was made by Don the Beachcomber in Honolulu in the 50s. It must have been nice to be around in the great tiki era when it comes to tasty drinks.

DON´S OWN PLANTER`S


1 oz fresh lemon juice

1 oz soda water

2 dashes Angostura bitters

1 oz honey-mix (equal parts honey and water, heated up to dissolve and mix, then cooled to room temp. Can be stored in fridge and will stay liquid)

1.5 oz dark Jamaican rum

1 oz Light Puerto Rican rum

Shake with ice cubes and pour everything into a pilsener glass and garnish with mint, cherry and pineapple finger.

I didn´t have any pineapple at home, so i used an orange peel for garnish instead plus a cherry and some fresh mint. Then i topped with a few extra dashes Angostura bitters on the ice.

This drink is what you put in it, you can play with various rums and get different flavors. For example i made one with 1 oz aged cachaca and 0.5 oz Smith & Cross. An aged rhum agricole would make it yet different and add some grassy notes.

But to entirely change things around i decided to make a Planter´s punch with bourbon instead of rum,

PLANTER´S BOURBON PUNCH


0.5 oz lemon juice

0.5 oz sugarcane syrup

1.5 oz Bourbon

0.5 tsp hibiscus grenadine

0.5 tsp falernum

1 dash Angostura bitters

6 oz crushed ice

Blend everything in blender for no more than 5 sec. Pour everything into a tall glass and garnsih with pineapple and cherry.

It was tasty with bourbon too! and very refreshing. Yeah me loves me some Bourbon!

This is a lazy drink..meant to be sipped and savored in a rocking chair on the porch..watching the tropical sun go down.