Caroni 1999 Single Barrel Rum

Caroni 1999 bottle

Here´s another Caroni, also a single barrel rum, this one is 14 year old. It`s not as heavy as the last one but does have some punch with it´s 61% ABV. I find it fruity and pleasant.

Caroni Sugar Factory

There were originally more than 50 different rums brands produced in Trinidad – by 1950 that number had reduced to 8 and today there is only one left – Angostura. Caroni was established in 1918 on the site of the old Caroni Sugar factory and operated until 2002.

The Caroni sugar factory started to operate a cast iron still in 1918 and at that time there were some eight or ten other sugar factories operating, each producing different types of rums and these rums were bought up by merchants and sold to rum shops all over the island. There were all kinds of “blends” and concoctions being made by both the merchants and the rum shop owners and sold over the counter as “petit quarts”

Eventually Caroni increased the quality of the distilling process and went from the original cast iron still to use a wooden coffey still – until 1945 when they got a copper still which was followed by a single column in 1957 and then a four column Gerb Herman still in 1980.

For nearly 100 years Caroni has had large sugar estates on the island and was the major producer of molasses. Sadly now since it`s closed no more of their magnificient rums are produced and when it´s gone it´s gone.

And that is sad because the Caroni rums are unique. That said i must confess i haven`t yet tried many but the ones i`ve tried have all been outstanding and original in the same way as the demerara rums are.

And i must say the flavor of the so called “heavy” Caronis DOES remind me quite a bit of a demerara rum, it has the same full bodied character but without that demerara flavor that only demerara rums have but it has the same type of character despite of being a totally different rum.

Caroni 1999 Single Barrel

I wouldn`t call this one “heavy” though despite the strength because it has a very fruity character but neither would i call it “light”

Nose – The color is amber, like that of mashed mature banana and on the nose it´s fruity with hints of banana, apricot, papaya, orange peel and sugarcane.

Mouth – In the mouth undiluted i get wood, burnt molasses, tropical fruits (same as the nose) it´s smooth to sip despite it´s strength and it has a very warm feeling. It´s not heavy, it´s fruity and complex with an array of tropical fruit notes.

A lively and happy rum!

Adding a few drops of water to the glass brings out more fruitness and makes it taste sweeter while still having a punch. It´s easy to sip this rum!

I decided to make a daiquiri…and i was actually surprised…

This rum makes such a flavorful daiquiri that it´s ridiculous! i expected a good one but not THAT good, oh my…

I made it a little bit different and maybe it was the mix of lime juices also that helped this drink become something out of the ordinary daiquiri-wise…?

But it wouldn`t been that good without this premium rum that`s for sure! i could go and buy a bottle just to make daiquiris with it…

Sugarcane Daiquiri

Sugarcane daiquiri

1.5 oz Caroni – 99 Single Barrel Rum

0.5 oz Petit Canne sugarcane syrup

0.25 oz fresh lime juice

0.25 oz fresh lemon juice

0.25 oz key lime juice

Glass – Libbey SPKSY

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass, rimmed with demerara sugar.

I can recommend anyone who likes strong rum with good flavor to buy this Caroni – 99 single barrel rum.

Outside of Sweden it can be purchased online on the Master of Malt website.

TOTC 2014 – Top 10 Finalists for the Spirited Awards

TOTC Spirited Awards Logo

Tales of the Cocktail is kicking off in about one month and 3 weeks and here are the top ten finalists in 23 categories for the 2014 Spirited Awards which will take place at the Sheraton New Orleans on saturday, july 19.

They were chosen out of hundreds of nominees by American and International judging committees comprised of the most respected minds in the cocktail industry.

The event sponsors includes, 86 Company, American Harvest, Angostura, Bacardi USA, Beverage Media, Nicolas Feuillatte, Pernod Ricard USA, Pierre Ferrand and William Grant & Sons.

Tickets to the Spirited Awards can be purchased online at TalesoftheCocktail.com

 

Here are the finalists:

AMERICAN CATEGORIES:

American Bartender of the Year
Jeff Bell (New York)
Erick Castro (San Diego)
Marcovaldo Dionysos (San Francisco)
Bobby Heugel (Houston)
Sean Kenyon (Denver)
John Lermayer (Miami)
Ryan Maybee (Kansas City)
Ivy Mix (New York)
Jeffrey Morgenthaler (Portland)
Pamela Wiznitzer (New York)

Best American Brand Ambassador
Brooke Arthur (House of Spirits)
Colin Asare-Appiah (Bacardi)
Elayne Duff (Diageo Reserve)
Jamie Evans (Oxley gin)
Bernie Lubbers (Heaven Hill Distilleries)
Freddy May (Glenfiddich Single Malt Scotch Whisky)
Chris Patino (Pernod Ricard USA Portfolio)
Nick van Tiel (Plymouth Gin / Beefeater)
Neyah White (Suntory Japanese Whiskies)
Angus Winchester (Tanqueray Gin)

Best American Cocktail Bar
Anvil Bar & Refuge (Houston)
The Aviary (Chicago)
canon: whiskey and bitters emporium (Seattle)
Cure (New Orleans)
The Dead Rabbit (New York)
Noble Experiment (San Diego)
Prizefighter (Emeryville)
Smuggler’s Cove (San Francisco)
Trick Dog (San Francisco)
Williams & Graham (Denver)

Best American High Volume Cocktail Bar
Employees Only (New York)
Flatiron Lounge (New York)
Harvard & Stone (Los Angeles)
Honeycut (Los Angeles)
The NoMad (New York)
Polite Provisions (San Diego)
Sable Kitchen & Bar (Chicago)
Saxon + Parole Restaurant (New York)
Three Dots and a Dash (Chicago)
Trick Dog (San Francisco)

Best American Restaurant Bar
320 Main (Orange County)
Bestia (Los Angeles)
Clyde Common (Portland)
Gramercy Tavern (New York)
No. 9 Park (Boston)
The NoMad (New York)
nopa (San Francisco)
OAK at fourteenth (Boulder)
The Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange (Kansas City)
The Silver Dollar (Louisville)

Best American Hotel Bar
Bellocq (New Orleans)
Bemelmans Bar (New York)
The Broken Shaker (Miami)
Carousel Bar at the Hotel Monteleone (New Orleans)
Clyde Common (Portland)
The Hawthorne (Boston)
The Regent Cocktail Club (Miami)
Sable Kitchen & Bar (Chicago)
The Spare Room at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel (Los Angeles)
Vesper Bar (Las Vegas)

Best New American Cocktail Bar

Attaboy (New York)
Cane & Table (New Orleans)
Celeste (Chicago)
Golden Cadillac (New York)
Half Step (Austin)
Kimball House (Atlanta)
Mockingbird Hill (Washington, D.C.)
Multnomah Whisk{e}y Library (Portland)
Three Dots and a Dash (Chicago)
ZZ’s Clam Bar (New York)

Best American Bar Team – New Category

Attaboy (New York)
Clyde Common (Portland)
The Dead Rabbit (New York)
Drink (Boston)
Eastern Standard Kitchen & Drinks (Boston)
Employees Only (New York)
The NoMad (New York)
The Regent Cocktail Club (Miami)
Trick Dog (San Francisco)
Williams & Graham (Denver)

INTERNATIONAL CATEGORIES:

International Bartender of the Year
Marian Beke (London)
Monica Berg (London)
Simone Caporale (London)
Ryan Chetiyawardana (London)
Mario Kappes (Hamburg)
Zdenek Kastanek (Singapore)
Tim Phillips (Sydney)
Hidetsugu Ueno (Tokyo)
Tom Walker (London)
Jason Williams (Sydney)

Best International Brand Ambassador
Ian “Rum Ambassador” Burrell
David Cordoba (Bacardi)
Giuseppe Gallo (Martini & Rossi)
Tim Etherington Judge (Diageo Reserve)
George Nemec (Becherovka)
David Piper (Hendrick’s Gin)
Claire Smith (Belvedere Vodka)
Manuel Terron (Midori Melon Liqueur)
Camille Vidal (St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur)
Maximilian Warner (Chivas)

Best International Cocktail Bar
28 Hong Kong Street (Singapore)
69 Colebrooke Row (London)
Bramble Bar (Edinburgh)
Buck and Breck (Berlin)
Bulletin Place (Sydney)
Candelaria (Paris)
Chainaya. Tea & Cocktails (Moscow)
Door 74 (Amsterdam)
Eau De Vie Melbourne (Melbourne)
Happiness Forgets (London)

Best International High Volume Cocktail Bar
Big Easy Covent Garden (London)
Black Angel’s Bar (Prague)
The Attic at the Black Pearl (Melbourne)
The Cufflink Club (Singapore)
Dvars (Amsterdam)
Eau De Vie Melbourne (Melbourne)
Frank’s (Buenos Aires)
The Lobo Plantation (Sydney)
London Cocktail Club (London)
Schumann’s American Bar (Munich)

Best International Restaurant Bar
The Red Bar at Bam-Bous (London)
The Bon Vivants (Edinburgh)
Delicatessen (Moscow)
The Gilbert Scott (London)
Spitalfields Bar at Hawksmoor (London)
Hix Soho (London)
The Lui Bar at Vue De Monde (Melbourne)
Oblix Restaurant (London)
Porteno Restaurant (Sydney)
Blind Pig at Social Eating House (London)

Best International Hotel Bar
Artesian at the Langham (London)
Bar at Home Hotel (Buenos Aires)
Beaufort Bar at The Savoy Hotel (London)
Black Angel’s Bar (Prague)
Clive’s Classic Lounge (Victoria)
Connaught Bar at the Connaught (London)
Ohla Boutique Bar at Ohla Hotel (Barcelona)
Punch Room at The London Edition (London)
Scarfes Bar at Rosewood London (London)
Widder Bar at the Widder Hotel (Zurich)

Best New International Cocktail Bar
The Barber Shop (Sydney)
Blind Pig at Social Eating House (London)
Hello Sailor (Sydney)
Holmens Kanal (Copenhagen)
Imperial Craft Cocktail Bar (Tel Aviv)
The Liquor Rooms (Dublin)
Little Jumbo (Victoria)
NOLA (London)
Punch Room at The London Edition (London)
White Lyan (London)

Best International Bar Team – New Category
28 Hong Kong Street (Singapore)
The American Bar at The Savoy (London)
Artesian at the Langham (London)
The Baxter Inn (Sydney)
The Black Pearl (Melbourne)
Blind Pig at Social Eating House (London)
Connaught Bar at the Connaught (London)
Le Lion – Bar de Paris (Hamburg)
The Nightjar (London)
Ruby Cocktail Chronicles (Copenhagen)

WRITING CATEGORIES:

Best Cocktail & Spirits Writer
Jenny Adams (United States)
Sam Bygrave (Australia)
Toby Cecchini (United States)
Paul Clarke (United States)
Camper English (United States)
Jeffrey Morgenthaler (United States)
Darcy O’Neil (Canada)
Daniel Priseman (United Kingdom)
Jane Ryan (United Kingdom)
Robert Simonson (United Kingdom)

Best Cocktail & Spirits Publication
Alcademics.com (United States)
Australian Bartender magazine (Australia)
BarLifeUK (United Kingdom)
DRINK (China)
Ginger Magazine (France)
Imbibe Magazine (United States)
Liquor.com (United States)
PUNCH (punchdrink.com) (United States)
The Cocktail Lovers magazine (United Kingdom)
The Spirits Business (United Kingdom)

Best New Cocktail/Bartending Book (Top 9)
The Art of the Shim by Dinah Sanders
Apothecary Cocktails: Restorative Drinks from Yesterday and Today by Warren Bobrow
Beachbum Berry’s Potions of the Caribbean by Jeff Berry
Cocktail for a Crowd by Kara Newman
The Curious Bartender by Tristan Stephenson
The Drunken Botanist by Amy Stewart
Home Bar Basics (and Not-So-Basics) Cocktail Guidebook, 2nd Edition by Dave Stolte
Wine Cocktails (Planet of the Grapes) by Jason Wilson
Whiskey Women: The Untold Story of How Women Saved Bourbon, Scotch and Irish Whiskey by Fred Minnick

OVERALL CATEGORIES:

Best Bar Mentor
Erik Adkins
Bridget Albert
Jacob Briars
Jackson Cannon
Wayne Collins
Doug Frost
Francesco LaFranconi
Jim Meehan
Andy Seymour
Dushan Zaric

Best New Product
Ancho Reyes
Beefeater Burrough’s Reserve gin
Crawley’s Imperial Shaker Machine
Del Maguey Ibérico mezcal
iSpoon by Monkey Shoulder
Martini Gran Lusso Vermouth
Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky
Plantation Original Dark Rum
Sipsmith VJOP Gin
Small Hand Foods Tonic Syrup

World’s Best Cocktail Menu
69 Colebrooke Row (London)
The Aviary (Chicago)
canon: whiskey and bitters emporium (Seattle)
Eau De Vie (Sydney)
The Nightjar (London)
The NoMad (New York)
Polite Provisions (San Diego)
Pouring Ribbons (New York)
Three Dots and a Dash (Chicago)
Trick Dog (San Francisco)

World’s Best Drinks Selection
Baba Au Rum (Athens)
Connaught Bar at the Connaught (London)
The Dead Rabbit (New York)
Eau De Vie Melbourne (Melbourne)
Hard Water (San Francisco)
Liberty Bar (Seattle)
Multnomah Whisk{e}y Library (Portland)
Old Crow (Zurich)
Scopa Italian Roots (Los Angeles)
Tommy’s (San Francisco)

Congrats to all the finalists and good luck!

Making Rhum Arrangè

RHUM ARRANGE ANANAS QUI PLEURE4 BOTTLE SIDE PINEAPPLE

First time i saw rhum arrangè being made by suspending the fruits above the rhum in large jars was when i saw a video from La Rèunion and i got quite curious. There were all kinds of fruits hanging there with all kinds of things (spices) sticking out of the fruits. I had known about rhum arrangè before but not being made that way. So i decided to try some day and now it´s the time.

The style is called in french –  “ananas qui pleure”  (the crying pineapple) since the pineapple is suspended in the jar above the rhum agricole as to not touch the rhum and thus avoiding any flavors from the skin to get into the rhum. This is typically done with citrus fruits which carries bitter flavors in their skin.

But also this kind of maceration above the rhum can be done with any fruits and in the French islands only the imagination is the limit, you see ALL kinds of things in intriguing jars…some you have NO idea what they are…

And there´s for example rhum arrangè with shrimp and snake…i`m actually wondering how it would taste with a crawfish rhum?

The one i`m experimenting with here has New Orleans community coffee pecan-praline coffee beans stuck into one side of the fruit and Tahitian vanilla beans in the other and the beans are cut in the ends so the juice from the pineapple can pass through like a “funnel” through the vanilla bean bringing some of the tiny vanilla seeds along down into the rhum.

And all the pineapple, vanilla-coffee goodness will slowly drop down to flavor the rhum…thus the name “ananas qui pleure…The whole thing will sit like that in the closed jar until the fall, at least 4 months.

I wrote a post about rhum arrangè before and i that post i included that video from the island of la Rèunion where there is a restaurant called Le Saint-Bernard that contains ONLY rhum arrangès (about 400 rhums) of all kinds of flavors made with fruits, roots, spices and God knows what…and many are suspended this way.

Unfortunately (very) the video i first saw is not there anymore but the article (in french) is. The place looks like a veritable laboratory of rhum arrangè, absolutely amazing and a place i`d love to visit.

In my earlier post i wrote about this method of hanging the fruit above the alcohol explaining it:

There´s two different ways of macerating, one is the traditional common way of submerging the fruits and spices into the rum. Then there´s another where you hang the fruits (usually citrus fruits) as they are or with things inserted into the fruits – like coffee beans and hung above the liquid.

The idea is that the aromatics and oils are derived from the citrus and spices without any bitterness from the pith and that´s the reason this method is usually used for citrus fruits.

Here`s a link to a case study with limoncello.

This method is called D.S.M – or Delicious Scientific Magic!!

DSM – or diffusion – The alcohol, exerting a vapor pressure, will diffuse into the lemons saturating the lemon, thus the loss of alcohol in a closed system.

In turn, the lemon oil will also exert a vapor pressure; the lemon smell you get when you cut the skin. It will diffuse out of the lemon and saturate the alcohol.

In the Limoncello post they are talking about high proof or overproof spirits but the traditional rhum arrangè isn`t necessarily done with especially high proof  rhums, i think the common proof is between 45-55%

Here´s one of the videos about the rhums arrangès at Le Saint-Bernard:

Here`s also a link to some pictures of the rhums.

As you can see there´s absolutely no limit of what you can do with rhum arrangè…but what you need is a lot of patience because this ain`t no quick fix!

So here`s what i did to make this variation with pineapple, vanilla and coffee:

1 – Prepare everything you need, jar, rhum or rum, fruit (not too ripe), spices, a string to tie the fruit with. Cut the vanilla beans in half pieces and cut off the top ends. Make sure the jar and the string is clean and the fruit washed.

RHUM ARRANGE ANANAS QUI PLEURE 1

2 – Cut up the fruit to a size that fits the jar and discard the leaves, then cut small holes in the fruit and stick the coffee beans in one side and the vanilla beans in the other (the skin side) I had to cut up this pineapple because it was too big for the jar but one can also use whole fruits with this method.

RHUM ARRANGE ANANAS QUI PLEURE CUT UP FRUIT COLLAGE

3 – Add the rhum to the jar, then the sugarcane syrup (i took one bottle (75 cl rhum) and add 2-3 tsp of sugarcane syrup. (or 15 cl/o.5 oz)

4 – Suspend the fruit to the cover of the jar with strings so that the fruit do not touch the rum and close the jar good and SEAL it hermetically with tape and leave to macerate for a minimum of 4 months ( it can go 6 months without problem or longer, there are rhum arrangès that have been sitting 3-4 years…)

But i think 4-6 month is good for this one. I`m planning to open the jar in the fall and see what i got – exciting…

RHUM ARRANGE ANANAS QUI PLEURE 3 PICS COLLAGE

And that is all!

Tropical Cocktails with Rhums Arrangè – Ti’ arrangés de Cèd

Cocktails with Ceds rhum Grog Colonial 2

Let`s continue with the tropical rhum/rum drinks made with rhum arrangè! i have found with my last post that rhum arrangè does mix very well with tropical rum drinks giving them a depth of flavor from the fruits and spices they have been macerated with paired with a touch of herbal grassiness from the rhum agricole most of them have had as their rum base.

The way they are usually enjoyed is as apertif or digestif or in a tropical punch or ti-punch and it´s fabulous but there´s more you can do with them than that…

It´s actually tiki drinks…with rhum arrangè.Yes.

In this post i`m using Cèd`s “Ti arrangès de Cèd” – banane-cacao – a mellow deep flavor of banana flambè with a distinct touch of dark raw cocoa.

The cocktail inspirations in this post (and the last) mainly comes from two sources; the “Potions of the Caribbean” by Jeff Berry and the tribute recipes to the Mai Kai cocktails on one of my favorite blogs – the Atomic Grog.

By switching out the rums in the recipes for the rhum arrangès paired with my newest other rums turns out a very interesting taste-test experiment – and a tasty one at that!

I cannot let go of my fascination for the french island style rhum arrangès, they ARE different from spiced rums. These are not spiced, they are long-time macerated and then because of the rums mostly used as base – the rhum agricoles and their tèrroir and then the tropical fruits used, accompanied by some spices and other things…

There´s something very refreshing and exotic about these rhums, and they add a deep mellow flavor from the fruits that`s been macerated in these rums for at least a month or more.

I discovered that they go very well into tiki and other tropical rum drinks, adding a deeper exotic touch.

So here are the drinks!

Myrtle Bank Swizzle #2

Cocktails with Ceds rhum Myrtle Bank Swizzle

This is a twist of the Myrtle Bank Punch, a drink which both Trader Vic and Donn Beach made their versions of after visiting the Myrtle Bank Hotel i Jamaica at the time. Read more about those drinks on page 181 in the Potions.

My version is a twist of  Don`s drink switching out the gold Jamaican rum for Cèd`s rhum and thus changing the drink by adding an element of deep mellow flavors of dark cocoa and banana flambè.

Also i switched Don`s honey for sugarcane syrup and took it down to 0.5 oz instead of 0.75 since Cèd´s rhum is naturally a bit sweet. But the amount of syrup in this drink can be tinkered with to suit the palate.

1.0 oz Appleton Extra
0.5 oz Lost Spirits Polynesian Inspired rum
1 oz Ti’ arrangés de Ced Banane-Cacao
0.75 oz fresh lime juice
0.75 oz grapefruit juice (white)
0.5 oz sugarcane syrup
2 dashes Angostura bitters

Swizzle all ingredients with crushed ice until the glass is frosty. Garnish with pineapple leaves and cherry.

Grog  Colonial 

Cocktails with Ceds rhum Grog Colonial 1

1.0 oz Ti’ arrangés de Ced Banane-Cacao
0.5 oz Lost Spirits Polynesian Inspired rum (or 50/50 LH151, Smith & Cross)
0.5 oz fresh lime juice
0.5 oz fresh orange juice
0.5 oz soda
0.25 oz sugarcane syrup
6 drops pimento dram
Dash Angostura bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a glass lined with an ice shell.

Ice Shell: Scoop a large amount of ice crushed to powder (if possible) in a preferably 6×6 inches glass and with a wooden muddler carefully move in a circular motion to hollow out the center of the mound and continue compressing the ice against the walls of the glass until there´s space to hold the drink and a solid coating inside the glass of about 1/4 inch thick ice.

These rums cannot be found everywhere so i have found that the best way to sub the Polynesian Inspired rum is with equal parts Lemon Hart 151 and Smith & Cross. Actually the Navy Style and Polynesian Inspired rums are very different, two different rums…but they are at the same time similar in style even if not altogether in flavor.

Still, the only thing i can come up with that you could sub them with is 50/50 LH151 and Smith and Cross. Well, i`d say that the Navy style has some more of the LH151 flavors in it while the Polynesian inspired has more of the Smith and Cross…if that makes any sense since they are still not the same rums, but it´s the best i can come up with.

And Cèd´s rum is even harder to sub, it cannot really be substituted by anything, the closest would be another similar rhum arrangè or something that can give a deep, mellow, soft flavor of mature banana flambè and very dark, dry, raw cocoa.

If you cannot find rhum arrangè you need to make it yourself and luckily it`s not too difficult, it just takes some patience since the ingredients need to macerate in preferably rhum agricole for about a minimum of 1-3 months or more, even a year is not unusual…

What`s the hardest part is to get the flavors just right and balanced, to add just enough of the fruits and spices and macerate the right time.

But don`t put away the swizzle stick! here`s another swizzle:

Swizzle Èpicè

Swizzle epice

This drink is a variation of Jason Alexander´s Spiced Swizzle where Cèd`s rhum adds a deep mellow flavor of mature tropical banana with a hint of that dark raw cocoa.

0.75 oz lime
0.75 oz allspice dram
1.0 oz Lost Spirits Navy Style Rum (or 50/50 LH151, Smith & Cross)
1.5 oz Ti’ arrangés de Ced Banane-Cacao
A small dash of sugarcane syrup

Swizzle until frosty with crushed ice. Garnish pineapple leaf and brandied cherry.

Cacao Bite

Cocktails with Ceds rhum Shark Bite

A twist on the Shark Bite that turned out zesty and spicy with a wonderful aroma of tropical banana and dark cocoa, aged premium rum and a bite from the Polynesian float.

0.75 oz fresh lime juice
0.5 oz unsweetened pineapple juice
0.5 oz rich sugarcane syrup (2:1 ratio brown sugar to water)
1/8 0z rich cinnamon syrup
1 oz Ti’ arrangés de Ced Banane-Cacao

Float Lost Spirits Poynesian Inspired Rum (or 50/50 LH151, Smith & Cross)
Serve in a low wide glass with ice-shell and garnish with mini pineapple and dust a little cinnamon on top of the ice

So with this post i just wanna show that you can do more with rhum arrangè than the traditional – which – i still must say is the best use though but that said it´s fun to experiment…