A Mountain of Crushed Ice is Rum Blogger of the Year 2013 UK Rumfest Golden Rum Barrel Awards

Rum barrel award 2

How a Mai Tai should NOT be and how it should be

Rhum Arrangè de Cèd

Ced bottle

Rhum Arrangè Zwazo

zwazo label for blog

El Dorado the Liquid Gold…

el-dorado-15

Demerara Rums from Guyana

demerara-private-bottlings1

Demerara Rums Part One

dem-rums-port-royal

Demerara Rums Part Two

demerara-part-2

Cachaca and Rhum agricole, what`s the difference?

cachaca-and-rhum-agricole

Havana Club

havana-club-2

Old New Orleans Cajun Spiced Rum

ono-cajun-spiced-rum

St Nicholas Abbey 12 yo

Plantation 3 Stars White Rum

Blackwell Rum

Denizen Rum

Plantation Original Dark Overproof

Tiki Lovers Rum

Tahitian Vanilla Syrup

vanilla-syrup

Hibiscus Grenadine

hibiscus-grenadine-jar

Sugarcane!

sugarcane

Gomme syrup

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Learn how to easily open a coconut and mix up a tasty Coconaut.

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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” :-D 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!

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 1993.

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
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Home Bar Basics (and Not-So-Basics) Cocktail Guidebook, 2nd Edition by Dave Stolte
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Whiskey Women: The Untold Story of How Women Saved Bourbon, Scotch and Irish Whiskey by Fred Minnick

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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.

Tribute to the Shark 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

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 – only your imagination is the limit, really…

Cocktails with Rhums Arrangèes – Zwazo

Cocktails with Rhum Arrangé 2

More rhum arrangè cocktails!

So now i have got to try out two very nice rhum arrangèes made by Cèdric Brement and Benoit Bail, and since i wrote my reviews of Benoit´s exotic Zwazo ananas-vanille rhum arrangè and Cèd`s award winning Banane-Cacao, i feel i want to make more drinks with them and see what`s good – starting with the tropical Zwazo.

Even though the traditional way is mostly to drink these rhums neat since they contain so much flavor of their own, they are also used to make tropical punch style cocktails.

I don`t think they have been used very much in tiki style drinks….or have they? in any case it doesn`t hurt if i try right? i`m curious to see how they mix with other rums.

Don the Beachcomber was a master of creating balance with many exotic ingredients – and he was especially skillful when it came to the art of blending rums and so was the original Mai-Kai mixologist Mariano Licudine. One person today that i come to think about getting close in that direction is Martin Cate. (Smuggler´s Cove)

Starting with Zwazo ananas-vanille i needed to find drinks that had ingredients that would harmonize with the pineapple and agricole flavors of the rhum and then switch out the rums used in those drinks for the Zwazo and some other rums that i figured would go well with it.

Cocktails with Rhum Arrangé Book Potions

So i dived into the Bum`s new book the Potions…of the Caribbean for inspiration…and i sure found a lot.The book is filled with the one mouth watering drink after another (apart from all the interesting things there is to read in it) and the first drink that i decided to experiment with was the Siboney, which is a drink by Trader Vic circa 1950`s.

It`s basically a twist on the daiquiri with pineapple juice added and lemon instead of lime plus passionfruit syrup, mixed with Jamaican dark rum (but only 1 oz) I decided to simply just add 1 oz of Zwazo to give the drink more tropical depth.

And top it off with a generous float of something overproof…and my stomach feeling told me to grab my bottle of the Lost Spirits Polynesian Inspired rum.

The result was absolutely delicious! since the recipe called for dark Jamaican rum i took my Denizen Merchant`s Reserve which is a blend of plummer style pot still Jamaican rum and Rhum Grande Arome de la Martinique.

Now Rhum Grande Arome de la Martinique is not rhum agricole even if the name sounds like it – instead it´s molasses based rum.

The reason why it´s in the blend of the Denizen Merchant`s Reserve is that when they checked in with rum cocktail historians during the development process – they were told that Trader Vic likely blended this type of rum from Martinique with the 17 year Wray and Nephew in his original Mai Tai formula because it was cheapest rum available from Martinique at the time. 

Note, that it says “likely” so there´s no proof whether Vic used molasses based Martinique rum or rhum agricole in his blend with Jamaican rum in his Mai Tai`s when the 17 year Wray and Nephew rum was finished.

So here we got a rum that contains pot still Jamaican rum and a molasses based Martinique rhum, and then Zwazo – a rhum arrangè with pineapple and vanilla macerated in a rum base of 3 different rums from Martinique Trinidad and Guyana. 

And don`t forget the overproof Polynesian Inspired float…

It`s a lot of rums going on here…but to my joy the drink tasted fantastic, cool and refreshing yet with a strong rum bite. Deep flavor of mature tropical fruits, and then something “earthy”, maybe from the float of the Polynesian Inspired rum…I like the different layers in a tropical cocktail.

 Siboney – Swazo Style

Cocktails with Rhum Arrangé Siboney 5

1 oz dark Jamaican Rum
1 oz Zwazo
0.5 oz fresh lemon juice
0.5 oz unsweetened pineapple juice
0.5 oz passionfruit syrup
Float of Jamaican style overproof dark rum

Shake well with ice cubes and strain into a chilled cocktail glass rimmed with sugar. (if you like)

Now unfortunately, for the time being, Zwazo is only sold in Europe, locally in Luxembourg and then in Paris at Christian de Montaguère and it´s a small batch seasonal product – so if you cannot find it, my best advice would be to either try to find a pineapple-vanilla rhum arrangè from one of the French islands, such as Martinique (or a pineapple rhum arrangè paired with vanilla syrup) or make your own. (google how to make rhum arrangè, and there´s a great french site with a forum containing tons of recipes here)

Likewise when it comes to the Lost Spirits rums, they are only sold in the US but not Europe or elsewhere…so i would sub them with Smith and Cross mixed with Lemon Hart 151, to get that strong punchy flavor – even though the flavor will not be the same, but since Smith and Cross mixed with LH 151 is a great combo i believe it will still taste fantastic!

Next cocktail to play with was the Island of Martinique Cocktail, which is a Don Beach drink circa 1948. This drink is actually a tikified ti-punch…

It was described in Beachcomber´s 1948 menu as a drink with “Lusty Martinique rums aged in casks for 120 moons. Subtly combined with falernum, wild honey, Angostura bitters and Maui mountain limes”

How does that sound?? mouthwatering to me…

The original recipe which is found in the book Potions of the Caribbean was handed to the Bum by ex-Beachcomber bartender Tony Ramos.

Island of Martinique Cocktail – with a Pineapple Twist

Cocktails with Rhum Arrangé Island of Martinique Cocktail

1 oz rhum agricole vieux
1 oz Zwazo
0.5 oz fresh lime juice
0.5 oz falernum
0.25 oz honey-mix (equal parts honey and water, gently heat it up so the honey dissolves in the water, then cool to room temp)
Dash Angostura bitters
A handful (3 oz) crushed ice
Float Lost Spirits Navy Style Rum on top (or Lemon Hart 151)

Blend at high speed in a blender for 5 seconds, then strain into
a hollowed out pineapple and float the Navy style rum on top.

The drink tasted fruity and spicy, the flavor of fully matured tropical fruit from Zwazo came through and this drink was not as fruity and earthy as the first one but more mellow and spicy, with a kick from the float.

Now let`s dive deeper into this amazing book…

On page 164 i found the Voodoo Grog, a concoction created by Trader Vic, circa mid 1950`s. A drink containing equal parts lime, grapefruit and pimento.

First time i made it i was a bit overwhelmed by the pimento/allspice flavor so i took the Pimento dram down from 0.75 oz to 0.5 and it was better for my palate, but if you like a strong allspice flavor the 0.75 will be good.

Also it matters what brand of pimento dram/allspice dram you are using, the best i think are either homemade or St Elisabeth`s or Bitter Truth. For the moment i have St Elisabeth.

Voodoo Grog

Cocktails with Rhum Arrangé Voodoo Grog filt

1 oz Denizen Merchant`s Reserve Rum
1 oz Swazo
0.75 oz fresh lime juice
0.75 oz grapefruit juice (white)
0.75 oz honey
0.5 oz passion fruit syrup
1 egg white
Grated nutmeg
1 cup (8 oz) Crushed ice

Dissolve honey in lime juice and place this mixture plus the rest of ingredients except for nutmeg in a blender and blend for 20 seconds. Pour unstrained into a large snifter or tiki mug.

Dust with freshly ground nutmeg and garnish with mint and pineapple. (I also wrapped a pandan leaf around the glass)

Last cocktail is the quintessential rhum agricole drink…a ti-punch but with aged rhum agricole and therefore it´s called a punch vieux.

Petit Punch Vieux

Punch Vieux

1 oz Zwazo
1 oz rhum agricole vieux
0.5 oz sirop de canne
One half of a fresh lime

Cut the lime half in two and squeeze both edges into an old fashioned glass. Drop in the first spent wedge in the glass, then rub the rim of the glass with the other and then discard the second wedge. Add sirop, rums and ice and stir to chill. I also did rim the glass with brown sugar and added a sugarcane stick and roughly cut lime peel as garnish.

Rimming the glass with sugar and adding a lime peel is not traditional punch vieux but this is all about experiments!

Sirop de Canne is a thick, dark syrup made from a slow reduction of fresh sugar cane juice. Exported by brands such as Clèment, Dubois, Depaz, Dillon and La Mauny.

You can make a similar syrup by making a rich syrup (2:1 ratio sugar to water) with dark raw sugar.

Punch Vieux is always a nice treat as is the regular Ti-Punch…

Zwazo definitely mixes well in this style of tropical drinks, it gives a deep pineapple/tropical fruit flavor into the drinks which for tiki drinks fits so well into the flavor profile of a lot of them.

The aim with this particular post is to show that you can do a lot with rhum arrangè that goes beyond the traditional use…

Go and check out the Zwazo page on Facebook!

Caroni 1997 Single Barrel 16 Year Old Rum

Caroni 1997 Rum Swedes

The fifth rum bottled by Rum Swedes is a 16 year old Caroni, ABV 61.3% or 122.6 proof. This is the sister cask of the 15 year old Caroni 97 that they released a year ago and which i wrote about here. This Caroni is heavier and have a stronger character than the first one.

It`s a strong oaky, woody rum laced with tropical fruits.

It was distilled in 1997 by the Caroni distillery, then aged in a bourbon barrel and bottled in 2013, there are 249 bottles.

I just love Caroni rums – and it´s the heavy ones i love the most – and i think it´s such a shame they are no more produced, so make sure to try them and grab a few bottles before they are gone.

They are pricey yes – but the content in those bottles is really also something very special, and they are rum history.

Nose – I find the nose brimming with notes of tropical fruits and wood, apricot, mature banana, molasses, orange peel, toffee. It`s a very pleasant nose which invites you to have a sip.

In the mouth – The tropical fruits come clearly to the surface and there´s a pronounced tropical exotic fruit taste with a strong woody backbone. It`s easy to sip even though this is a strong rum and there´s a slight burn on the tongue which quickly fades and gives way to rich hints of wood and toast.

A few drops of water brings out a more woody character but at the same time it gets smoother.

This is a real nice Caroni – strong, rich, flavorful and does have a lot of character. I give it a 4 out of 5.

With such a nice rum i really feel like making a Mai Tai because i know it`s gonna be good…

Recently Rum Ambassador Ian Burrell made a VERY tasty Mai Tai for me at Koko-Mo, when he was guest bartending after his Rum Masterclass seminar and i used his recipe for this Mai Tai (just switching out the rums) which is a bit different from the usual Trader Vic`s and it´s not the Don Beachcomber Mai Tai either.

The flavor in this Mai Tai was pleasant, rummy and strong, giving a nice buzz…and a flavor with much character and personality, not on the too sweet side, just the way i like it! in other words – it`s a full flavored Mai Tai!

Rum Ambassador´s Mai Tai

Mai Tai Caroni 97 Rum Amb

2 oz Caroni-97

0.5 oz Don`s mix (a 2:1 mix of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice to cinnamon syrup used by Donn “Don the Beachcomber” Beach in his seminal 1934 Zombie Punch.

0.25 oz orgeat

0.25 oz rich demerara syrup

0.75 oz fresh lime juice

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a double old fashioned glass filled with crushed ice, garnish with a mint sprig, add a short straw near the mint.

This Caroni is available for purchase online at the Master of Malt website and in Sweden, here.

Lost Spirits Polynesian Inspired Rum

LOST SPIRITS RUM POLY BOTTLE

Concentrated bold flavor goodness…

This is the second rum made by the Lost Spirits Distillery, the first was the “Navy Style” rum which i wrote a review of earlier. This rum is called “Polynesian Inspired Rum” and is made with the same methods as the Navy Style and for those who are interested in knowing how it`s made – i send you over to this page, called “Rum Super Geekdom” 

High ester rums in the making…using high quality ingredients and distilled in Bryan`s beautiful handmade copper pot still. I wrote a little about esters and dunder in my post on the Navy Style rum.

It´s hard to believe how that funky muck-looking “witches brew” called dunder can make such good rums but it does:-)

The Polynesian Inspired rum also comes in a similarly beautiful bottle as the Navy Style rum, with an artful label, this label has a gorgeous Marquesan style tiki on one side and moais on the other.

Poly Insp Rum label tiki and moai

The Polynesian Style rum isn`t out for purchase yet but it will hopefully soon be. Like i said in my earlier post, i think i see a steady trend for pot stilled rums with rich bold flavors suitable for both sipping and mixing of exotic and tiki drinks and other rum drinks and i welcome that.

I think rum – regardless of style – is supposed to taste rum! its supposed to have flavor and both of Lost Spirits rums has that in abundance paired with a fiery bite. If the Navy Style rum was full of funk and punch this one is sharper and more fiery. It has a bit lower proof at 66%.

To me the Navy style rum is rounder in it´s flavor profile and thus the Navy style rum is more sippable to me but you can sip this rum too if you like to sip strong rums. Personally i do not prefer overproof rums for sipping and second, i think this rum and Navy Style as well, are best suited for cocktails.

And for most, i suggest to use this rum in drinks – and as a mixing rum it´s really great – especially if you wanna make tropical, exotic and tiki drinks.

Here is their description:

“POLYNESIAN INSPIRED” Rum

NITROGEN DEPRIVED FERMENTATION

GRADE A MOLASSES

WILD BACTERIA BANANA DUNDER

LATE HARVEST RIESLING

SEASONED VIRGIN AMERICAN OAK

“Nitrogen deprived fermentation” is a way to trigger stress response in the yeast which leads to higher production of esters in the fermentation which in turn leads to more flavors completed from the acids.

There are many ways to trigger this stress response and it turns out nitrogen deprivation is one of them.

I think it`s amazing what they are doing at the Lost Spirits Distillery…which btw they built nearly everything at the distillery with only their tiny team of three people…how cool is that?

Lost Spirits Still

 The 600 gallon copper pot still…see more amazing pictures from the distillery here.

Aroma and flavor

So let´s move on to the tasting – the rum has a beautiful golden amber color and the nose is fruity with notes of apricot and ripe tropical fruits like macerated banana, it´s warm and inviting.

In the mouth the woodiness hits you and there´s a strong alcohol sharpness, a burn which slowly mellows down and warms your throat. It`s a bit astringent, some citrus notes and ripe tropical fruits same as in the nose followed by some caramel that smooths it out. The finish is quite long.

It´s strong and quite sharp but definitely not harsh, and if you like sipping on strong rums i believe you`ll like this, but when you mix with it, it´s a whole different thing and i think this rum really shines in cocktails. It`s made in a different way than the traditional long barrel aging so i won`t compare it with those rums, this is a rum on it´s own. And now, let`s wrap it up with a few rum drinks:

I was all of a sudden craving one of my favorite tiki drinks, the Painkiller but not with Pusser`s rum this time….

POLYNESIAN PAINKILLA

Poly Painkiller

4 oz unsweetened pineapple juice
1 oz orange juice
1 oz Coco Real (or Coco Lopez) coconut cream
3 oz Lost Spirits Polynesian Inspired Rum

Shake all ingredients with crushed ice and pour unstrained into a coconut shell or other suitable glass or tiki mug. Dust with grated nutmeg or cinnamon and garnish with a mini pineapple. (or pineapple chunk, leaf and cinnamon stick)

OCHO RIOS

Ocho Rio filt

My version of Battery Harris’ Ocho Rios Cocktail, using Lost Spirits Polynesian Inspired rum and garnished with brown sugar-coffee rim and a tropical leaf.

2.o oz Lost Spirits Polynesian Inspired Rum
0.5 oz Aperol
1 oz honey syrup

Shake ingredients with ice and pour into a brown sugar-coffee rimmed rocks glass and top with a splash of Soda. Garnish with a tropical leaf but make sure the leaf doesn´t touch the drink.

The drink turned out tasting like a good rum sour minus the egg foam, very refreshing and the rum did it justice in every way.

Does this rum lend itself to these type of drinks? YES!!! it really does…and with 3 oz of 132 proof rum it packs a punch..

So here´s my final thoughts - It sips well but i really recommend it for all kind of rum drinks and it really does have both the flavor and punch required for tiki drinks (and so does their Navy Style Rum) To me this rum is – along with the Navy Style rum – a keeper for my tropical and tiki drinks! These two rums from the Lost Spirits Distillery are two very different rums even though they – my guess – are made in about the same way but probably aged differently.

You find Lost Spirits website here. For those who are going to the Miami Rumfest on april 25-27 – there will be a seminar on the Navy Style rum, ” Bryan Davis on making Lost Spirits Navy Style Rum” - where you get a chance to taste it and learn directly from Bryan how he makes his rums.