MxMo LXXXVI, Pineapple!

Pineapple ready for cocktail mixing

The Hawaiians call me hala-kahiki, meaning hala from a foreign land….. who am i?

The PINEAPPLE !!

The mighty pineapple is the topic for this months Mixology Monday hosted by Thiago of the BartendingNotes blog. I haven`t participated in the MxMo in a very long time and so it´s long due…but who can resist such a topic? i love pineapples!

mxmologo

Here´s what was said in the MxMo announcement: Let’s bring the king of fruits back! After being canned, mixed with all sorts of sugary liquids and blended into… some 80s dreadful cocktails, the pineapple needs more respect! Once a symbol of hospitality, the King of Fruits might be know misunderstood.

One of the greatest non-citrus souring agents, used for crazy garnish ideas, infusions, old gum syrup flavoring, the pineapple is a fruit to be reckoned.

Be in a tiki cocktail, an old school classic like the Algonquin, a crazy flavor pairing or just mixed in a delicious Verdita, get creative and make a cocktail using any part of this delicious, juicy fruit or share you favorite pineapple cocktail with us!

The pineapple is called the “King of Fruits” for a reason – there is NO other fruit that has become so famous as the pineapple, not even banana! there is even pineapple houses built! And it´s so incredibly versatile, you can do so much with it, in drinks and food in a million ways….use as serving bowl, lamp, it´s sung about, painted, photographed…and no wonder, the fruit is beautiful! and a fabulous cocktail ingredient, and that`s where i use it the most and i use it extensively.

King of Fruits Swizzle

MxMo pineapple King of Fruits Swizzle 3

0.75 oz Koloa Kaua`i Coconut rum

0.75 oz Plantation overproof rum

0.5 oz Lost Spirits Navy Style rum (float)

1 oz Pineapple juice

0.5 oz honey-mix – equal parts honey and water, heated up to dissolve the honey and mix, then cooled to room temp

0.75 oz fresh lime juice

2 dash Bitter End Jamaican Jerk Bitters

Top with a little Sanpellegrino limonata

Swizzle all ingredients and top with Sanpellegrino limonata (sub Schweppes lemon)

Garnish with two pineapple leaves and a cocktail cherry.

A robust and typical tiki swizzle!

Mauna Kea

Mauna Kea

1 oz Rhum JM agricole blanc

1 oz Lost Spirits Polynesian Style rum

0.75 oz fresh lime

0.5 oz sugarcane syrup

1 oz pineapple juice

dash Mozart Chocolate bitters

1 egg white

Shake hard to emulsify the egg white, preferably dry shake first, then strain into a glass filled with cracked ice and partly rimmed, (with brown sugar) and top with grated nutmeg and cinnamon powder and then garnish with a pineapple leaf and speared cocktail cherry.

This drink is strong since the Lost Spirits rum is overproof but it´s still like drinking rum flavored silk…

And here´s a bonus – the rum sauce for pineapple skewers – as simple as it´s delicious, just rum, honey and cinnamon!

Last year at the Tales i went to a pineapple seminar and learnt a lot about this fruit and at the Angostura Rum pool party they served this rum sauce in pineapples to dip pineapple skewers in, a recipe i took with me, very tasty.

Rum Sauce to dip pineapple skewers in

RUM SAUCE

Fill a hollowed out pineapple fruit with rum, dissolved honey and cinnamon sticks. I first placed in a pan 4 oz aged rum (or rums) of choice, 2 roughly crushed Mexican cinnamon sticks (canela) and 2 tsp honey and slowly heated it up (carefully) just to dissolve the honey and let the cinnamon sticks start giving off their flavor.

Then leave to cool and sit for 15-30 min to let the flavors intensify. Then pour in the pineapple and dip pineapple skewers in the rum sauce, it´s delicious! and a perfect party or movie snack.

MxMo pineapple limonata

The limonata is one of my favorite soft drinks…

MxMo pineapple King of Fruits Swizzle 2

This awesome tiki mug is created by Scott Taylor who lives on Maui, Hawaii. if you want to see the awesome and very detailed mugs he makes you can go and check out his pictures on instagram ( type the name tikipop ) 

His shop “Beach Bumz” is one of the stops of Maui Tiki Tours owned by another great tiki mug artist – Rob Hawes – who`s Kala mug i featured in this earlier post. You find his pics on instagram too, (type tikirob) 

King of Fruits Swizzle

A loaded pineapple bowl..

MxMo Pineapple the rums

With potent delicious rums…

Happy Monday!

TOTC 2014 – A peek at some of the seminars

tales-monteleone8

That the Tales of the Cocktail is the world`s biggest cocktail and spirits event there is no doubt, all you need to do (apart from being in the Monteleone hotel lobby….) really is taking a look at the seminars. There´s so many seminars that it´s hard to pick which ones to go to. Also many are during the same times, making it even harder…you WILL miss more than a few…but the good thing is that there´s something for everyone, here are a few i hope to attend:

THE FLORIDITA: CRADLE OF THE DAIQUIRI

daiquiri

Without Havana’s Floridita bar there would be no Hemingway Daiquiri and possibly even no Mai Tai. In the 1930s, head bartender Constantino Ribalaigua Vert not only counted Ernest Hemingway and Errol Flynn among his regulars, but taught “Trader Vic” Bergeron how to make tropical drinks. Sample the menu and explore the legacy of Cuba’s legendary “Cradle of the Daiquiri” with cocktail historians (and Floridita customers) David Wondrich and Jeff “Beachbum” Berry.

I love daiquiris…and their history, it´s one of my favorite cocktails so i cannot let go of this seminar! and Jeff Berry and David Wondrich together is a lethal combo.

Thursday, July 17th at 10:00am – 11:30am, Queen Anne Ballroom, Hotel Monteleone.

WHICH RUM WHAT COCKTAIL AND WHY?

RUM Legends MG Black Barrel

Did you say rum? if you said rum, i`ll be there…and if it´s the Bum, Martin Cate, Alexandre Gabriel and Philip Duff having the seminar…i`ll be there!

Which styles of rums go best in which cocktails? What rums were the Gods of Tiki really using when they created landmark drinks like the Mai Tai, the Zombie, the Cobra’s Fang and the Pina Colada? What are the closest equivalents today?

And which rum actually tastes the best in which cocktail, regardless of whether it’s historically accurate or not?

Join tiki’s chief historian Jeff “Beachbum” Berry (author of “Potions of the Caribbean: 500 Years of Tropical Drinks and the People Behind Them”), Martin Cate (owner of Smugglers’ Cove, widely seen as America’s best modern tiki bar), Alexandre Gabriel (award-winning distiller and creator of the Plantation Rum range), and moderator Philip Duff (who once had a rum and coke by mistake and hated it) for a rollicking rum-soaked exploration of the real history of rum in cocktails and an extensive comparative tasting of cocktails made with different styles of rum.

Thursday, July 17th, at 1:00pm – 2:30pm, Grand Ballroom North, Royal Sonesta

Oh lovely Sonesta…for every year i go there during Tales i more and more fall in love with that beautiful hotel (especially it´s lush tropical courtyard…) it´s a treat to just be there! and that goes for Monteleone too!

And more about rum…

LIMITED EDITION AND VINTAGE RUMS

An exclusive interactive tasting seminar featuring a selection of rare editions, vintage rums, limited bottlings and collector’s private stock. The moderator and two panelists with in-depth experience of limited edition expressions will guide participants through an informative and entertaining tasting session featuring notable rums found principally the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Italy.

Friday, July 18th at 1:00pm – 2:30pm, Acadia-Madewood, Royal Sonesta.

With Robert Burr, Paul MacFadyen and Leonardo Pinto.

ABSINTHE COCKTAIL LAB

TB Tasting Nouvelle Orleans absinthe clsoe

Absinthe is along misunderstood spirit and cocktail ingredient. Often loved to the point of obsession by some and maligned by others, it has been used in cocktails arguably for as long as there have been cocktails.

This hands-on session with explore the ways in which absinthe has been used historically and can be used today as a cocktail ingredient.

Further, we will explore effects of both variations in quantity and of different styles of absinthe used to create unique cocktails. We will discuss and mix a number of classic cocktail recipes, and then allow attendees to mix variations of both classic and modern cocktails with different quantities and styles of absinthe.

Friday, July 18th at 3:00pm – 4:30pm, Riverview Room, Hotel Monteleone

The moderator is Stephen Gould and the panelists are Ted Breaux, Noah Heaney and Joshua Peter Smith.

Here`s the entire list of seminars and tickets can be purchased here!

ML lobby

TOTC 2014 – Top 4 Finalists for the Spirited Awards

Spirited Awards logo 2014

So finally, the top four finalists for the Spirited Awards are nominated!

Following a rigorous judging process by the most respected minds in the cocktail industry, the top four finalists have been selected for the 8th Annual Spirited Awards. The top four from each category are invited to attend the Spirited Awards on July 19, 2014 at the Sheraton New Orleans.

Tickets to the Spirited Awards ceremony can be purchased online at TalesoftheCocktail.com for $125 per individual ticket and $1250 per table of 10 seats.The Spirited Awards are just one part of the exciting 12th Anniversary Tales of the Cocktail taking place in New Orleans,July 16-20, 2014.Visit TalesoftheCocktail.com to learn more about the many other spirited events.

Without further ado, here are the top four finalists in each category:

AMERICAN CATEGORIES:

American Bartender of the Year:
Jeff Bell (New York)
Marcovaldo Dionysos (San Francisco)
Bobby Heugel (Houston)
Sean Kenyon (Denver)

Best American Bar Team:
Attaboy (New York)
Employees Only (New York)
Trick Dog (San Francisco)
Williams & Graham (Denver)

Best American Brand Ambassador:
Brooke Arthur (House Spirits)
Chris Patino (Pernod Ricard USA Portfolio)
Neyah White (Suntory Japanese Whiskies)
Angus Winchester (Tanqueray Gin)

Best American Cocktail Bar:
Canon (Seattle)
The Dead Rabbit (New York)
Smuggler’s Cove (San Francisco)
Williams & Graham (Denver)

Best American High Volume Cocktail Bar:
Employees Only (New York)
Honeycut (Los Angeles)
Polite Provisions (San Diego)
Trick Dog (San Francisco)

Best American Hotel Bar:
Clyde Common (Portland)
The Hawthorne (Boston)
Sable Kitchen & Bar (Chicago)
The Spare Room (Los Angeles)

Best American Restaurant Bar:
Clyde Common (Portland)
Gramercy Tavern (New York)
The NoMad (New York)
nopa (San Francisco)

Best New American Cocktail Bar:
Attaboy (New York)
Half Step (Austin)
Three Dots and A Dash (Chicago)
ZZ’s Clam Bar (New York)

INTERNATIONAL CATEGORIES:

International Bartender of the Year:
Simone Caporale (London)
Zdenek Kastanek (Singapore)
Hidetsugu Ueno (Tokyo)
Tom Walker (London)

Best International Bar Team:
28 Hong Kong Street (Singapore)
The American Bar at The Savoy (London)
Artesian at the Langham (London)
The Black Pearl (Melbourne)

Best International Brand Ambassador:
David Cordoba (Bacardi)
Giuseppe Gallo (Martini)
David Piper (Hendrick’s Gin)
Claire Smith (Belvedere Vodka)

Best International Cocktail Bar:
28 Hong Kong Street (Singapore)
Bramble Bar (Edinburgh)
Candelaria (Paris)
Door 74 (Amsterdam)

Best International High Volume Cocktail Bar:
Eau de Vie (Melbourne)
The Black Pearl (Melbourne)
London Cocktail Club (London)
Schumann’s (Munich)

Best International Hotel Bar:
Artesian at the Langham (London)
Beaufort Bar at The Savoy Hotel(London)
Black Angel’s Bar (Prague)
Connaught Bar at the Connaught(London)

Best International Restaurant Bar:
The Bon Vivant (Edinburgh)
Delicatessen (Moscow)
Spitalfields Bar at Hawksmoor(London)
Blind Pig at Social Eating House(London)

Best New International Cocktail Bar:
Blind Pig at Social Eating House (London)
Hello Sailor (Sydney)
NOLA (London)
White Lyan (London)

WRITING:

Best Cocktail & Spirits Publication:
Alcademics.com (United States)
Imbibe Magazine (United States)
PUNCH (punchdrink.com) (United States)
Ginger Magazine (France)

Best Cocktail & Spirits Writer:
Toby Cecchini (United States)
Paul Clarke (United States)
Jeffrey Morgenthaler (United States)
Robert Simonson (United States)

Best New Cocktail/Bartending Book:
Beachbum Berry’s Potions of the Caribbean by Jeff Berry
Cocktail Culture by Shawn Soole & Nate Caudle
The Curious Bartender by Tristan Stephenson
The Drunken Botanist by Amy Stewart

OVERALL CATEGORIES:

Best Bar Mentor:
Jacob Briars
Jackson Cannon
Jim Meehan
Dushan Zaric

Best New Product:
Ancho Reyes
Crawley’s Imperial Shaker Machine
Del Maguey Ibérico mezcal
Martini Gran Lusso Vermouth

World’s Best Cocktail Menu:
The Aviary (Chicago)
The Nightjar (London)
Pouring Ribbons (New York)
Trick Dog (San Francisco)

World’s Best Drinks Selection:
Connaught Bar at the Connaught (London)
The Dead Rabbit (New York)
Multnomah Whisk{e}y Library (Portland)
Tommy’s (San Francisco)

Congrats to all the finalists and good luck!

TOTC Spirited Awards Logo

Rum Nation Jamaica Pot Still Limited Edition White Rum

RUM NATION JAMAICA POT STILL bottle close

From Rum Nation comes this outright fabulous unaged white rum, a Jamaican pot-still rum from Catherine, Jamaica.

First thought that hit me when i took the first sip was, this reminds me of a refined, deeper and more complex “third dimensional JWray” but that has much more going on… and it packs a decent punch with it´s 57% ABV or 114 proof.

Yet it´s smooth…and it has no sugar added.

The taste note that`s called glue or wood polish is the same that i call “kerosene” or “JWray” 😀 i find it very appealing, it adds a raw note and vibrant herbal deliciousness. It got that genuine Jamaican pot still funk to it.

And that herbal/wood polish character is part of the flavors in this rum but it got more…

This new limited edition from Rum Nation aims at taking the taster by surprise – it`s not a mainstream white rum they find here. Here`s a rum from a Jamaican distillery using pot stills and willing to experiment with slow fermentation and distillation times to provide a white rum with a markedly estery aromatic profile.

Do i see a slowly emerging trend here? it occurs to me that rums with more flavor are popping up both here and there…and i like that!

I made a grapefruit daiquiri and the drink turned out incredibly refreshing with the rum really shining through.You don`t need much of this rum to totally transform a cocktail.

And i think that`s one of the aims with this rum, to make a rum that can be used in cocktails both in lesser amounts or more, mixed with other rums or by itself to create cocktails of various degrees of flavor experiences. It would fit both in classic cocktails, modern takes or tiki drinks, it´s versatile and fits many styles.

So here are my taste notes:

Nose – Fruity….vibrant and crisp with green banana, tropical fruit mash and peel, caramelized cane sugar, “kerosene or herbal polish”, apricot, mango, citrus peel…green grass, white pepper.

Mouth – Immediately comes the fruity and herbal character of this rum forward, backed by that “kerosene” typically Jamaican flavor, it´s slightly peppery, spicy, vibrant and smooth.

I`d give it a 9/10

Also i need to say something about the bottle which i find lovely, it´s low and rounded, just lovely to hold and pour from and the label on the bottle with a silver colored engraved Jamaican stamp is beautiful! I also like the large black shadow of the name “Jamaica” on top of the grey, it looks classy and modern yet still has some genuine “old” feel to it.

Like old Caribbean..

The stamp on the bottle is due to Fabio Rosso being an avid stamp collector in younger years and now adding a touch of class to the bottles with the stamps and a nod to the country of origin. Nice touch!

I read about the stamps in an interview with Fabio made by Luca Chichizola and you can read the full interview here. It`s a very interesting story about how Rum Nation came to be.

In cocktails – a little goes a long way and here´s room for lots of experimentation since only a moderate amount of this rum is needed to change the flavor of a cocktail.

I wonder what happens if you pair this with a rhum agricole? i`m gonna test that later. Apart from that, the daiquiri really shines with it. And of course this would be great with Ting, the Jamaican grapefruit beverage!

Since i`m a fan of this kind of flavorful rums i go all in with the cocktails!

Grapefruit Daiquiri

Grapefruit daiquiri

2 oz Rum Nation Jamaica Pot Still Rum

0.5 oz fresh lime juice

0.5 oz sugarcane syrup

0.5 oz grapefruit juice (white)

4 dashes Bitter End Thai bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a well chilled cocktail coupe.

This is VERY refreshing…and the Thai bitters adds a bit of bite of spice.

In the Potions of the Caribbean i found a range of drinks i could do but i decided to make Jasper`s Rum Punch and switch out the JWray for Rum Nation Jamaican Pot Still Rum instead. I figured since the flavor profile is similar it would fit with this cocktail.

Jasper`s Rum Punch

RNJ Jaspers Rum Punch

1.5 oz Rum Nation Jamaican Pot Still Rum

1.5 oz Jasper`s Basic Stock Mix

Pour everything into a tall glass 2/3 filled with crushed ice and swizzle until well chilled. Top up with more crushed ice to fill, then swizzle again and finally garnish with mint sprig and lime slice speared to cocktail cherry.

I grated a little nutmeg on top of the ice as well.

To make Jasper`s stock mix – Squeeze 2 oz fresh lime juice into a jar and add 1.5 oz white sugar. Put lid on and shake until sugar dissolves, then add 3 -4 dashes Angostura bitters and 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg. Leave in fridge overnight and shake before using.

And finally, a very beloved oldie – the Chartreuse Swizzle. But this time i changed it up a little bit and used equal parts green and yellow chartreuse to give it a slight more tropical sweetness, both floral and herbal.

Also i switched out the pineapple juice for fresh grapefruit juice, but pineapple juice is tasty too and makes a sweeter drink.

Tropical Chartreuse Swizzle

RNJ Tropical Chartreuse Swizzle

1.5 oz grapefruit juice (white)

0.75 oz lime juice

1/4 oz Falernum

1 oz Rum Nation Jamaican Pot Still Rum

0.5 oz Green Chartreuse

0.5 oz Yellow Chartreuse

2 dash Angostura bitters

Fresh mint for garnish

Add ingredients to a glass full of crushed ice. Swizzle until the glass frost on the outside, garnish with mint, and add straw.

Now Rum Nation knows how to deliver “that little extra” and this they delivered in the form of a box with Valrhona chocolates…so here´s for doing a little rum and chocolate pairing as well!

RUM NATION JAMAICA POT STILL bottle and vahlrona sample pack

The chocolates flavors are Jivara (40% creamy and chocolatey) Tanariva (33% sweet and caramelized) Alpaco (66% floral and oaky) Maniari (64% fresh and tangy) Tainori (64% fruity and intense) Caraibe (66% balanced and velvety) Guanaja (70% bittersweet and elegant) Abinao (70% powerful and tannic) – 8 flavors in all…

Obviously i can`t pair the rum with all of them in this post but after trying them i picked one that i think goes very well with this rum and which i warmly recommend – the bittersweet and elegant Guanaja. The bittersweet flavor pairs well with this rum i think.

So how do you perform a rum and chocolate pairing? well i`m not an expert in this area but rum with fruity or peppery flavors does go very well with chocolate and adding a little water or an ice cube to the glass will help mellow out the stronger flavor elements in the rum as to not overpower the chocolate.

RUM NATION JAMAICA POT STILL vahlrona sample pack

 

RUM NATION JAMAICA POT STILL bottle front

Rum lovers ? i sure i can recommend this rum! go get it if you have a chance…it´s a limited edition. Rum Nation have once again come up with a great rum!