To me there`s nothing that tells me more that the spring and summer is on the way than fresh strawberries. Granted there´s some time left until the summer is here and the strawberries i see in the shops are imported but just seeing them is at least a promise…
The other day i saw a picture of a strawberry Hurricane over at a blog i really like – Suck The Heads – and when i saw that picture i immediately wanted to have one.
And that´s why i`m making it now, i decided to mix up my own version. To most people the Hurricane cocktail is the same as the red ones you get at Pat O’Brien’s but that´s not the whole truth. The original Hurricane is quite a different beast…
It contains fresh fruit juices and not that mixer in a bag – you can read all about here and here – that said, the “tourist-version” sure serves it´s purpose still and Pat O’Brien’s is a cool place but the real one is what i`m going for and in this post i wanna change it up a bit by adding one large muddled strawberry to the party plus some of one of my favorite rums, Old New Orleans Cajun Spiced.
The Hurricane is wonderful cocktail in the spring and summer and it´s huge! which in a way can be a “dilemma” because if you don´t want it to become too diluted and watery too fast you need to not drink to slow but at the same time if you drink fast you get drunk too quick…
To prevent quick dilution it´s a good idea to use fresh and very cold ice, shake it quick and enjoy!
1 teaspoon grenadine – i use homemade or B.G Reynold`s hibiscus grenadine which i find superior to any other grenadine
1 really large ripe strawberry or 2-3 small ones
1 small tsp golden fine sugar
Muddle the strawberry with sugar in a shaker, add the rest of ingredients and shake with ice and double strain into a hurricane glass half filled with crushed ice. Add more crushed ice to fill and garnish with speared strawberry slices and pineapple leaf tops.
With a taste of France and Louisiana…here is a lovely liqueur made from fermented perique tobacco from St. James Parish, Louisiana, Eau de vie and a hint of sweet sugarcane.
I was lucky to receive a sample earlier and now is the right time to review this interesting product, it´s funny how after a certain time of booze blogging you develop a feel as to when the right time to post a certain post or review is just right. And now perique is in the air…
Louisiana perique happens to be the rarest and strongest tobacco in the world – with aromas and spiciness provided by the unique terroir of the mighty Mississippi River. The perique tobacco liqueur is 31% abv (62 proof) and made for Jade Liqueurs by Distillerie Combier in France.
The perique tobacco liqueur is distilled since 2006 by Ted Breaux but since not much perique tobacco exists as of today, this purely artisanal liqueur is available only in limited quantity – where to buy is written at the bottom of this post – and there´s also plans to distribute in the US.
PERIQUE TOBACCO (Wiki)
When the Acadians made their way into Louisiana in 1719`s, the choctaw and chickasaw tribes were cultivating a variety of tobacco with a distinctive, strong and fruity aroma and flavor. A farmer named Pierre Chenet is credited with first turning this local tobacco into what is now known as perique in 1824 through the technique of pressure-fermentation. And since then the cultivating tradition has been continued for centuries.
The tobacco plants are pruned to exactly 12 leaves through their early growth. In late June, when the leaves are a dark, rich green and the plants are 24-30 inches tall, the whole plant is harvested in the late evening and hung to dry in a sideless curing barn.
Once the leaves have partially dried the leaves are moistened with water and stemmed by hand. The leaves are then rolled into “torquettes” of approximately 1 pound and packed into hickory whiskey barrels. The tobacco is kept under pressure using oak blocks and massive screw jacks, forcing nearly all the air out of the still-moist leaves.
Approximately once a month the pressure is released, and each of the torquettes is worked by hand to permit a little air back into the tobacco. After a year of this treatment, the perique is ready for consumption, although it may be kept fresh under pressure for many years. Extended exposure to air degrades the particular character of perique. The finished tobacco is dark brown, nearly black, very moist with a fruity, slightly vinegary aroma.
Most Louisiana perique has been cultivated by farmer Percy Martin in Grande Pointe, Louisiana. For reasons unknown, the particular flavor and character of Louisiana perique can only be acquired on a small triangle of Saint James Parish, less than 3 by 10 miles.
Although at its peak Saint James Parish was producing around 20 tons of perique a year, output is now merely a few barrelsful. Most of the perique used in pipe tobacco is not perique at all, but green river burley that is processed in the same manner as perique. Although the process produces a strong, spicy tobacco, it is a far different product from the genuine perique grown on Percy Martin’s and the Poche family’s farms.
So the world”s supply of perique tobacco – all 12 acres of it…is farmed only 50 miles from downtown New Orleansand planted and harvested all by hand..no wonder this is a very exquisite liqueur. Moreover it`s the only tobacco crop in the US to be fermented in whiskey barrels – an unusual way for tobacco to be processed – but no fermentation is no perique.
From what i read nobody knows exactly why perique only grows in St James parish but there is three factors that makes perique distinct from all other tobacco – the soil of st James, the perique seed and the fermentation process which sweetens the tobacco by soaking it in its own sap.
Some says St James parish sits on top of a mineral deposit that apparently gives the tobacco it´s distinct, spicy and robust flavor but nobody knows for sure – this is one of the world`s mystery crops.
The perique liqueur is golden amber in color and the nose is that of fine tobacco, light and delicate yet masculine with warm woody notes – it´s light but certainly not weak. The flavor is the same but more intense and with some fire – yet very smooth, it´s like a fine cognac spiced with tobacco and leather sweetend with sugarcane – but still more on the dry side than sweet and perique liqueur is of course free from nicotine.
I find it very pleasant and so interesting! and even though the tobacco adds a leathery masculine touch it`s balanced by a light and feminine sweetness without being too sweet – it´s rather on the dry side – and the tobacco flavor is not overpowering in any way but still clearly present.
It makes an interesting drink-mixer but can also be sipped neat like a fine cognac. Also for those who doesn`t smoke (like me) but still enjoys the aroma of a good cigar or pipe this liqueur will allow you to do just that without any of the harmful elements you find in a cigarette.
Final thoughts – this stuff is just lovely! it goes well with not only cognac but also dark rum, whisk(e)y and tequila reposado or anejo.
I`m gonna make three very nice cocktails with it, the Louisiana Sour and the Smoky Sidecar plus a twist i made of the Louisiana Sour adding rum and curacao bitters to the party.. The Louisiana Sour was created by Amanda Humphrey at Paramount in London and the Smokey Sidecar was made by the Cocktail Lovers.
0.75 oz Perique Tobacco Liqueur
0.75 oz Pierre Ferrand Cognac Ambre
0.75 oz Fresh lemon juice
0.5 oz Sugarcane syrup
2 dashes Chocolate bitters
2 dashes orange bitters
Squeeze of egg white
Dry shake with no ice (or use a hand-mixer) for a few sec and then shake hard with ice and strain into a rocks glass and garnish with orange and lemon wheel, top with cherry.
Oh how refreshing! and the tobacco liqueur together with chocolate and orange bitters is sooo goood….this drink is a serious treat and so good i decided to make another but with st Nicholas Abbey 12 yo rum and curacao bitters – i think it was even better! – heaven in a glass…i made three of them.
Shake all ingredients together over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Spritz the orange peel over the drink before dropping into the glass.
This one surprised me…if the other drinks were refreshing in a fruity complex way this drink is much more masculine, a bit leather, a bit strong and very tasty! all three drinks are awesome, i hope you can try them!
Time to move in an Irish direction…it`s soon St Patrick`s Day (or St Paddy`s Day) and i`m gonna add a splash of Irish whiskey and dress up my cocktails in green.
For those who doesn`t know St Patrick´s day is a cultural and religious holiday in Ireland and also widely celebrated as a public holiday with parades etc in places such as England, Canada, the United States, Argentina, Australia, and New Zealand, among others.
The colour associated with Saint Patrick was actually originally blue, but over the years it has changed to be green – and green ribbons and shamrocks were worn in celebration of St Patrick’s Day as early as the 17th century.
On this blog i`m gonna cheer with a green cocktail and an irish toast:
May you have all the happiness
and luck that life can hold—
And at the end of all your rainbows
may you find a pot of gold.
1.5 oz lightly peated irish whiskey
0.5 oz absinthe
1 egg white
0.5 oz heavy cream
0.5 oz milk
0.25 oz orgeat
0.25 oz green curacao
freshly grated nutmeg
Lime slice, cherry and shamrock for garnish
Mix in blender with cracked ice and strain into a chilled cocktail coupe, garnish with lime slice, cherry and a shamrock.
This is a gin from the Bitter Truth that i think was launched this fall. It´s pink, it´s spiced with bitters and it lives in a real beautiful bottle.
It started with sea sickness…that`s from where the tradition of blending gin and bitters began by the Royal Navy. And that`s why i now sit here with a bottle of the “Pink Gin” which is a blend of gin and aromatic bitters.
The nose is very light and floral and very delightful, it`s like a whiff of light perfume..The taste is complex, light on the juniper but it´s definitely there, lightly spicy and floral. The mouthfeel is gentle, there´s no alcohol burn and it´s easy to drink.
It`s quite exquisite and i believe too many mixers would ruin it, best of all would be a fresh gin and tonic or a drink with fresh grapefruit juice ( or another) There isn´t very much more to say about this product than that it´s a modern gin, light and floral containing aromatic bitters and perfect for martini cocktails, gin and tonics or fruity drinks.
I`m gonna try this in a drink that is called the Bali Highball – a mix of gin, guava nectar and pomegranate syrup with the zing of fresh lime juice.To the pomegranate syrup or grenadine i`ll add hibiscus flowers thus making it a hibiscus grenadine and homemade of course – unless you can get hold of B.G Reynold´s excellent hibiscis grenadine.
Not sure why it`s called “Bali Highball” though since usually a highball is made with two ingredients and served in a high glass – the original highball was made with Scotch whisky and carbonated water. I guess this is a tropicalized highball…
BALI HIGHBALL (From the book The Ultimate Bar Book by Mittie Hellmich)
1.5 oz Bitter Truth Pink Gin
2 oz Guava nectar ( or use juice if you can´t find nectar)
0.5 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz Hibiscus grenadine
4 oz chilled Club Soda
Lime wheel and orange blossom or other edible flower for garnish
Shake everything (except soda) hard with ice and strain into a highball glass with ice. I didn´t use a highball glass, i used a rocks glass instead with cracked ice.
Top up with soda and add garnish.
After the first sip i said zzzziiiiiiiing!!! how refreshing can a drink possibly be??? fruity and tart at the same time. Didn´t feel any juniper flavor though but the gin just seemed to fit perfectly in the puzzle of fruity flavors even though it almost dissappeared. And you can always up the gin with another 0.5 oz if a stronger drink is required.
It happens to still be winter but i can assure that this drink will be PERFECT later on in the hot summer, it´s the ultimate thirst quencher! That said, of course it´s good now as well, i really enjoyed it and i certainly could have another, this one went down way to fast.
But i`m moving on to the next drink because there´s a next drink to be made, it´s never just one.
SPRING BREAK (My own)
1.5 oz Bitter Truth Pink Gin
0.5 oz green chartreuse
1 oz pineapple juice
0.25 oz sugarcane syrup
0.5 oz fresh lime juice
Shake together with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail coupe. Garnish with speared citrus leaves and cherry.
While the other drink was a refreshing and delicious fruit bomb this one takes on a much more adult flavor with pronounced flavors of the gin and the bitters it contains and the green chartreuse also was very prominent with it´s herbals. I first tried it without any simple syrup but adding just a little syrup made all the difference and took the edge off the bitterness.
My conclusion is that even though i haven´t tried this gin in any Martini for the simple reson that i happen to not like Martinis very much, it would suit perfectly for that drink but also as i have found out here it goes well with fruity drinks. It`s a given summer gin i`d say.
You can buy the Bitter Truth Pink Gin in many places and two examples are here or here.