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

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

Demerara Rums from Guyana

demerara-private-bottlings1

Demerara Rums Part Two

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Demerara Rums Part Three

demerara-part-2

Cachaca and Rhum agricole, what`s the difference?

cachaca-and-rhum-agricole

Sugarcane!

sugarcane

Tahitian Vanilla Syrup

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Hibiscus Grenadine

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Gomme syrup

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

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A Whole Range of Rums at the Upcoming Miami Rumfest!

Miami Rumfest 2015

If you are planning to attend the Miami Rum Renaissance/Rumfest on april 17-19 you are in for a real rum TREAT! There are a lot of great news for this year. Here is a list of rums that will be debuting at the show. Many will be in the US for the FIRST TIME. Others have expressions available, but these are NEW to the brand and will debut at Miami Rum Festival.

AfroHead 7
AfroHead XO
Amrut White
Amrut Two Indies
Amrut Two Indies Old Port
Bayou Satsuma Rum Liquor
Bayou Select Barrel Reserve
Blue Chair Bay Banana
Blue Chair Bay Vanilla
Blue Water Ultra Premium
Blue Water Caribbean Gold
Borgoe 8
Bristol Barbados 2004
Bristol Black Spiced
Bristol Port Morant Demerara 1999
Bristol Reserve Rum of Haiti 2004
Bristol Trinidad Caroni 1996
Caray Reserva Del Artesano
Caray Platinum
Citrus Spice
Citrus Chocolate
Club Caribe Silver
Don Papa 10
DonQ 151
Duran
Fwaygo
Lost Spirits Prometheus
Mezan Jamaica 2000
Mezan Jamaica XO
Mezan Panama 2004
Monymusk Special Reserve
Mutineers Gold XO Special Reserve
Nine Leaves Clear
Nine Leaves Half American Oak Cask
Nine Leaves Half French Oak Cask
Opthimus 25
Opthimus Artesanal 25
Opthimus Artesanal 21
Opthimus Artesanal 18
Opthimus Artesanal 15
Opthimus Malt Whiskey 25
Opthimus OportO 25
Plantation Pineapple Stiggins Fancy
Pusser’s Gunpowder Proof
Pusser’s Spiced
Richland Single Estate Artesan Georgia
Siesta Key Distiller’s Reserve
Siesta Key Toasted Coconut
Siesta Key Spiced Beer Barrel Finish
Skotlander Rum III (Sea Buckthorn)
Skotlander Rum IV (Liquorice)
Skotlander Cask
Skotlander White
St. Nicolas Abbey 10
Stroh 160 Spiced
Travellers 5 Barrel
Westerhall Estate 10 XO
Wicked Dolphin Coconut
Wicked Dolphin Crystal
Wicked Dolphin Florida Spiced
Wicked Dolphin Strawberry RumShine
Yolo Gold 10
Yolo Silver

Read all the details about the Rum Renaissance Festival here

The Lost Spirits Distillery Reveals New Technology….

Lost Spirits Logo

I don`t usually post press releases on my blog, but here is one that might be of interest:

20 years in 6 days – the future of Aged spirits – California distillery unveils PROVEN disruptive new technology.

LOUISVILLE – KY, Lost Spirits LLC – California based Lost Spirits has built a new type of chemical reactor capable of making aged spirits with a near identical chemical signature to 20 year old barrel aged products. The new reactors are compact, portable, and will be deployed to 5 distilleries in a beta-test this summer. Currently, there are several patents pending that cover their approach.

While rapid aging of spirits is not a new idea, the Lost Spirits method is the first to accomplish a near identical chemical signature to a similar product aged conventionally for decades. The project has built on more than 5 years of research and investment to develop the approach that finally succeeded.

“Our compact reactors combine a series of alternative aging approaches, taking the best parts of each and then tuning them using gas chromatography and mass spectroscopy to clone the natural effects of age on a spirit. The end result offers a 98%-99% percent reduction in evaporation losses and a near perfect match to the semi-volatile organic fingerprint of the traditionally aged product. The reactors offer an average 6-day turn around time from fresh white spirit to the shelf, and no chemical additives are involved in the process.”

“The new technology will allow us to reshape the industry. As a consequence, expect prices to fall and quality to rise dramatically.” Said Bryan Davis the inventor of the new technology.

After completing the beta-test cycle, the team anticipates being able to fabricate 50 reactors per year. Empirical evidence to support the claims was published this morning under the science heading at www.lostspirits.net. The results of the project were made public yesterday at the American Distilling Institute Conference, in Louisville KY.

End of Press release

So Bryan took me through a presentation of this and as usual as is with his presentations it required your full concentration and was quite mind blowing…..

And no this is not an april fools joke…despite the date of the day.

I`m not going to try to explain what he`s doing with all these chemical terms, there are others that does that better but in short – (taken from their web site)

THE MODEL 1 IS A CHEMICAL REACTOR CAPABLE OF CONVERTING FRESHLY DISTILLED SPIRITS INTO WORLD CLASS PRODUCTS WITH THE SAME SMVO CHEMICAL PROFILE AS A 20 YEAR OLD PRODUCT – VERIFIED BY GC/MS (FORENSIC CHEMISTRY). 

 THIS IS NOT SMALL BARRELS OR ULTRASOUND TRICKS. THIS IS THE THING WE HAVE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR. THE REACTOR RUNS USING ENERGY AND OAK. THERE ARE NO CHEMICALS ADDED TO THE SPIRIT.

THE MODEL 1 IS PROVEN TO BIND THE VOC RANGE ESTERS. IT ALSO PARTLY DISINTEGRATES POLYMERS IN THE OAK RELEASING PHENOLIC ACIDS AND ALDEHYDES ALONG WITH ADDITIONAL CARBOXYLIC ACIDS. IT THEN ESTERIFIES THE FREE CARBOXYLIC ACIDS AND PHENOLIC ACIDS EXTRACTED FROM THE OAK, FORMING BOTH SHORT AND LONG CHAINED ESTERS. 

WHILE WE ARE PLAYING COY WITH EXACTLY HOW THE PATENT PENDING PROCESS WORKS, IT HAS BEEN SCIENTIFICALLY SHOWN TO MATCH THE CHEMICAL COMPOSITION OF TRADITIONALLY AGED SPIRITS, UP TO 20 YEARS IN AGE.

IT DOES THIS BY FORCING ALL THE SAME REACTIONS TAKING PLACE IN THE BARREL IN THE CORRECT SEQUENCE – AN ACCOMPLISHMENT THAT HAS, TO OUR KNOWLEDGE, ELUDED INDUSTRY UNTIL NOW.

WELCOME TO THE 21ST CENTURY

Lost Spirits Rum Prometheus bottle

Also they are soon releasing a new rum that is called Prometheus Rum – Promotheus was a Greek mythology figure who stole fire and technology and gave it to the humans and Prometheus stands for “Human Invention” – quite a fitting name right?

According to Bryan the rum is 45% ABV something they haven`t released before since all of their rums have been high proof rums but there might be a higher proof single cask expression made of this rum as well. The Prometheus rum has a nose of barbequed caramel and it´s related to the Bounty Hunter rum (the Colonial Inspired) but with more taste notes of caramel and it´s also slightly sweeter. The espresso coffee notes from the Bounty Hunter is still there but less pronounced due to the lower proof.

The Prometheus rum will debut at the Miami Rum Renaissance in April 2015.

I`m really looking forward to try it (and especially the single cask if they make it) and then i`m looking forward with great interest to see what happens next…….

Here`s the link to the Lost Spirits Distillery website where you can download a PDF document called “Model One White Paper” to read more.

Will this chemical reactor or”booze time machine”reshape the industry?

LSColonial label 1

Our Rum and Spirits 24 Year Old Guyana Enmore Demerara Rum

Deep from the barrel…

Our-Rum-and-Spirits-24-Year-Old-Guyana-Enmore-Demerara-Rum-barrel

24 year old Demerara rum….

wood….spices….molasses….leather….oh my what flavors!

Here`s a 24 year old rum from Guyana by Our Rum and Spirits which is an independent German bottler that all of a sudden ended up in my hands! you know i love demerara rums very very much! couldn`t wait to take a sip of this….

I had never heard of Our Rum and Spirits until now, they are a German independent bottler since 9 years that had 2 rums in the beginning and now have 30 rums. He opened a restaurant in 2011, Gasthaus im Brühl in the town of Hildesheim where they offer rum and fruit brandy tastings.

After being asked if they had rums to sell they started to sell rum from Guyana since june last year. The first batch was Diamond 2003-2014 which now is sold out. It was 60 bottles of 62.5 % ABV demerara rum. Only 3 bottles remain in the restaurant.

And then in december 2014 a load of 100 bottles of rum from Barbados came (43%) which are 48 euros each plus a barrel of this 24 year old demerara rum (61.2 %) , 178 bottles at 110 euros each. The demerara rum is not colored or cold filtered.

Grab it while you can!

Our-Rum-and-Spirits-24-Year-Old-Guyana-Enmore-Demerara-Rum-cask mark

This rum was first aged in Britain and came to Germany in 2013.

The barrel is marked MEV which stands for Maine Rum Enmore Versailles which tells us that still the rum was produced in was the Versailles still which is a pot still – it once belonged to the Enmore Distillery.

The Versailles still was first moved to the Enmore Distillery, and then was further moved to the Uitvlugt Distillery in 1993 and later again in the beginning of 2000 when Uitvlugt was closed to the Diamond Distillery, where the still is operating today.

The history of the Guyana sugar estates and their stills is a bit complicated….especially since a lot of information is incomplete or lacking, nevertheless…because of that there´s an air of mystique surrounding the demerara rums and it will most likely continue to stay that way.

But in short, during the hey day of sugar production in Guyana there were something in between 200-380 rum distilleries, that was in the 17th century when almost every sugar estate had their own distillery and then they were slowly declining over time into the mid 18th century and until the turn of the century when only 64 were left.

Then in the 70s only 3 remained, and that was Diamond, Enmore and Uitvlugt out of which Diamond Liquors (Diamond Distillery) and Guyana Distillers (Uitvlugt Distillery) were merged into Demerara Distillers Limited, the DDL which today is the only operating distillery left in Guyana and are mostly known for the El Dorado rums but also sell rums in bulk to private bottlers, like Our Rum and Spirits and the 24 year old demerara rum which i`m reviewing now.

Our Rum and Spirits 24 Year Old Guyana Enmore Demerara Rum 2

Now on to the review!

In the nose: it`s a deep barrel nose with wood, tropical fruits, leather, apricot, molasses, burnt sugar, hints of vanilla….

In the mouth: Oh wow….so many flavors! the wood flavor is deep without being so much wood that it totally overpowers everything else which sometimes can happen with very old rums, but deep! and it`s bordering the line. It tastes like “an old pirate ship”! hints of leather, dark molasses, apricot, raisin and plums, tropical fruits, orange peel, it´s thick and rich – it´s a woody flavor explosion….but to me there is something very satisfying with these deep rich flavors of very old rums.

Seeing to that there´s very few bottles of it i`d advise you get one if you can, it`s a good rum and for a demerara rum lover, you need this. Their online shop will be open in about 2 weeks from now, keep an eye open!

www.ourrumandspirits.de (website in the making)

Not gonna make a cocktail with my precious sample! but i bet it would make a killer Mai Tai! maybe when i get my big bottle…

Our-Rum-and-Spirits-Guyana-24-years-old

La Confrérie du Rhum Celebrates 2 Years!

 

la-Cuvée-anniversaire-TiArrangé-de-Céd-Ananas-Victoria-Sauternes-Finish-single-cask-en-édition-limitée-à-500-exemplaires

La Confrérie du Rhum Celebrates 2 Years on the 28th of march 2015, and for this celebration there´s a new rum made! This rum is La Cuvée Anniversaire Ananas Victoria Sauternes Finish (Single Cask, Label Rouge) in a limited edition of 500 bottles.

This infused rum has as a base white AOC rhum agricole from Martinique and has been aged for 8 months in sauternes casks before being infused with red labelled Victoria pineapples from Rèunion Island.

The red labelled Victoria pineapples are a high quality and rare product, cultivated and chosen under a very selective way. The standards of this variety of pineapples is very high in terms of cultivation and final results.

The 70cl bottle of this Cuvèe (32% abv) are labelled with a white and gold label with the logo of the group on it and this bottling  will be presented and sold exclusively at the shop Christian de Montaguère in Paris, starting at 2 (14h) o`clock sharp! What a rhum arrangè is you can read here and here you can read about Rhums de Cèd, amazing flavored/arranged rums made by Cèdric Brèment.

La Confrérie du Rhum is a Facebook group created in march 2013 and already counts more than 5000 members. Professionals and rumlovers talk and share their common passion about rum and distillates from sugarcane on it.

For the second birthday of this group, the administrators decided to bring out this “Cuvèe Anniversaire” and teamed up with Cédric Brèment, the famous French rhum arrangè producer of Les Ti`arrangès de Cèd.

I was lucky to get a little sample for pre-review and let me tell you this is some really nice stuff! the lush tropical and sunny fragrance of ripe pineapple is the first that hits me when i open the little bottle….

The taste is rich, floral and fruity, sweet and herbal, and the notes of the rhum agricole is in the front while the lush sumptuous and almost decadent pineapple is lingering in the back. It`s total sweet harmony…and it definetily makes me want to own a bottle….lucky are those who can go there and buy one!

Cèdric Brèment is a master of his art!

Cuvèe Anniversaire

The rum will be sold for 36 euros and you read about the event on the Facebook page

We have the honor to see you there to discuss and share our common passion and also you will have a little surprise, namely, a special anniversary cuvée in the presence of its producer, Cedric Brement in person!

No need to book, or pre-order, you’re all just welcome from 14h until closing of the shop.

Christian de Montaguère
20, rue de l’Abbé Grégoire, 75006 Paris, France

Saturday march 28 at 2:00pm – 7:00pm

Cheers to the second Anniversary of La Confrérie du Rhum!

La Cofrerie du rhum cuvee anniversaire

Rum Nation Jamaica 8yo Pot Still Rum

Rum Nation jamaica 8 close

From a distillery in st Catherine, Jamaica is this pot still rum hailing but it has also spent time in Rum Nation`s Oloroso sherry casks, so it`s a 8 yo pot still rum with 50% Oloroso sherry finish.

It was distilled in 2006 and bottled in 2015. Aged in ex bourbon barrels in Jamaica for 7 years and one additional year in 1st fill ex sherry Oloroso top quality cask in Piedmont.The rum is 50% ABV or 100 proof and the residential sugar is (g/l):10.

The result is a well balanced and not overly sweet rum with notes of dark raisins, spicy cinnamon and cloves.

Rum Nation is a rum company based in Italy created by Fabio Rossi in 1999. Fabio travels around the Caribbean and Americas to find the best rums he can find and release in limited editions and as of today Rum Nation has a quite wide array of premium rums in their portfolio.

The bottle which I find to ve very nice, has the characteristic stamp on it – 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 – which I find lovely.

A very nice touch!

So how does this rum taste? let`s find out….

Rum Nation Jamaica 8 yo Pot Still Rum bottle

Color and nose: The color of the rum is golden amber and it has a very estery fruity nose with hints of spice and light wood. There´s also something i cannot put words on but it´s sort of funky in a good way.

In the mouth: Here´s that punch of Jamaican funk again same as in the nose and with hints of spice like cinnamon and raisin, followed by sultry tropical fruitiness, banana peel, rich, creamy, aromatic, oaky.

It has got some fire which is tamed by refinement, maybe from the Oloroso casks, it´s like a mix of estery Jamaican funk and refined oak washed in tropcial fruits and spices. The result is very sippable, very enjoyable and it sure must make a great daiquiri!

It has a long finish and after taste and it´s not dry but neither is it too sweet.

Rum Nation jamaica 8 tasting

Chocolate pairing: Rum Nation suggest Valrhona Caraibe which is balanced, creamy and velvety which the rum also is so they pair very well together.

I also tried the creamy chocolately Jivara with excellent results :-) Jivara which added some ultra creaminess to the taste experience.

Sumptuous!

This thing about Rum and chocolate pairing…I could get addicted to it :-)

Jamaican Rum Barrel 

Jamaican Rum Barrel

0.75 oz fresh lime juice

0.75 oz grapefruit juice (yellow)

0.75 oz pineapple juice (unsweetened)

0.75 oz sugarcane syrup

2 oz Rum Nation Jamaican 8 yo Rum

Dash Angostura bitters

Shake with ice and pour into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice.

Garnish with a tropical orchid and a rock candy swizzle stick (or other swizzle stick)

Final thoughts – iI can really recommend this rum to anyone, both the rum and the Valhrona chocolates! the rum can be both sipped and mixed without any problems in the world.

Rum Nation has once again launched a great rum!

Rum Nation Jamaica 8 valrhona

La Confrèrie du Rhum Cuvèe #2 – Guadeloupe 1998

La Confrèrie du Rhum Cuvee #2

Next up from La Confrèrie du Rhum! this is a molasses based rum from Guadeloupe! not what i expected……

Maybe you remember my first post with Cuvèe #1 which was a rum from Barbados? not too long ago….they are fast in creating these rums for the La Confrérie members! I can almost not keep pace…haven´t even got to know the first one deep enough yet!

La Confrèrie du Rhum” is a french rum forum on Facebook where everything rum/rhum/ron is discussed and was created by Benoit Bail in early 2013. The members are all rum lovers and professionals from the industry (salesmen, producers, distilleries, bottlers, barmen/women etc) from the rum world.

In this very active group everything about rum is discussed, and pictures, rum reviews, websites and ideas are shared almost round the clock and in the past 18 months the group has grown rapidly.

So on to the rum!

This rum is distilled at the Bellevue au Moule Estate and Distillery on Guadeloupe and owned and run by Mr Hervé Damoiseau.

On the label it says distilled in march 1998 and imported to Germany in sept 2013, and it was extracted from the barrel in nowv 2014 and bottled in january 2015, it`s 42% ABV or 84 proof. There`s 156 bottles being made so it´s a limited edition.

La Confrèrie du Rhum Cuvee #2 label

The bottle bears the typical red vax seal made by Benoit Bail like the first Cuvèe #1.

Color and nose: Deep golden amber, it´s a rich a bit darker hue than just brilliant gold. The nose is light and fruity with a hint of apricot, something i cannot define and wood.

In the mouth: the taste is a total surprise to me, it´s dry and astringent in a very pleasant way with lots of oaky wood, a little bit of tropical fruit, sugarcane, licorice and spice. It`s a very sippable, pleasant rum.

I was so surprised at it´s dryness because the nose did not reveal that at all, the nose was more like promising of a fruity semi sweet rum but nothing like that! here the oak dominates with a very dry finish! it´s definitely a good rum, well worth aquiring if you can…

With 156 bottles and first come first serve for over 5000 members…I better be alert like a cobra and hope to be online the day and time when they let go of this beast!

Thanks to Benoit Bail, Vincent Bidault de Villiers and Jerry Gitany for creating these rums for the members of La Confrèrie du Rhum!

La Confrèrie du Rhum Cuvee #2 sticker

Gunroom Navy Rum!

GunRoom label

When I went to a rum tasting at Renbjer & Magnusson recently, there was one that kicked it and stood out…. and the star of the show was the Gunroom Navy rum! – it`s their own creation/brand – gunpowder proof, strong and bold in the flavor, it`s a blend of rums from Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad and Barbados.

Navy Rum

Known as “Nelson’s Blood” rum was introduced to the service in the West Indies as a substitute for beer and brandy. There are two things to remember about navy rums. One is the strength. Navy strength is a spirit that has to be of high strength, over 57% alcohol.

There is also gunpowder strength which became the new navy strength at 54.5% and there is navy rum which traditionally was made from any rum bought from a distillery then blended back in the UK for sale to the navy. The rums could be from a single island, or blends. Because Guyana and Jamaica supplied most rums to the UK most navy rums had their country on the label.

The GunRoom Navy Rum is 65% ABV or 130 proof, which is a bit above what is defined as navy strength. It is said that in the old navy days sailors would “prove” the strength of their rum rations by checking that gunpowder doused with rum would still burn (thus verifying that rum was at least 57% ABV.)

This rum was distributed to sailors with one serving around midday and one late afternoon – called a tot. While rations were later cut several times over a period of time, before finally being abolished in the 1970s, (known as the “black tot day” that original proof test defined what we know today as Navy Strength rum—strong, potent overproof and powerful.

GunRoom Navy Rum

GunRoom tasting

GunRoom Navy Rum is still hand bottled in small square shaped bottles with a simple label. If i was french i`d say “trés sympa” (very nice) and indeed these bottles are cute, but don`t let that fool you, the content is not “cute” – it´s bold…with rums from Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad and Barbados in the blend you get a full flavored product packing a punch.

Nose: Wood, leather, raisin and sugarcane…dried tropical fruit peel, vanilla, toffee and spice.

In the mouth: It`s a strong and robust rum with quite a bit of wood, smoke, molasses and banana, tropical fruit, dark fruits and spices. It reminds me of a darker version of Smith and Cross. It`s bordering to rough but not in a bad way, it´s not harsh. If you like strong rum you`ll like this.

It feels like this rum could kick any cold to the moon…..and it really warms the chest.

A few drops of water opens up more fruitiness and mellows it down a bit. It´s a great rum for mixed drinks and especially well suited for tiki drinks, i think it can stand up to most mixers and juices. It´s ok to drink neat as well but it´s not for the faint of heart (or mouth) this is a rum for lovers of rums with attitude!

Navy Grog  (my version for GunRoom of Trader Vic`s from Martin Cate)

GunRoom Navy Grog

0.5 oz fresh lime juice

0.75 oz grapefruit juice (white)

0.5 oz sugarcane syrup

1/3 oz grog concentrate (if you have it) or 0.5 oz allspice/pimento dram (like St Elisabeth or Bitter Truth brands) or you can make it yourself.

1 oz gold rum (such as Appleton VX)

1.5 oz GunRoom Navy Rum

Shake together and strain into a rock`s glass with crushed ice, garnish with either a lime shell, a sugar swizzle stick or a ice cone and maybe a tropical orchid…

Potent drink!

The ice cone is made with Beachbum Berry`s ice cone mold the Navy Grog Cone Kit and it works just fine! easier than the old way of doing it by using a pilsener glass! it can be purchased at Cocktal Kingdom.

The next is the classic Trader Vic`s Mai Tai which with rums like this one can become strong and wild…

Traditionally since the 17 year old Wray and Nephew rum was gone the Mai Tai has been mixed with two rums but i also like Mai Tais mixed with just one rum, if that rum has full potential and the rum has some Demerara or Jamaican pot still rum in itself or in the blend.

In this blend i get four different rums in my Mai Tai.

GunRoom Mai Tai

GunRoom Mai Tai

2 oz  GunRoom Navy Rum

1 oz fresh lime juice

0.5 oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao

0.25 oz sugarcane syrup

0.25 oz orgeat

OR you can use 0.5 oz orgeat and omit the syrup, it`s tasty too…

Add 5 dl/2 cups of crushed ice, and shake 10 seconds.  Pour unstrained into a double old-fashioned glass. Sink your spent lime shell in the drink, and garnish with a mint sprig.

Final thoughts: If you can get the GunRoom Navy Rum and like strong rums and/or Tiki and tropical rum drinks, you should get yourself a bottle!

GunRoom bottle

Tiki Drink Wizard and Fire Artist at Tacoma Cabana – Meet Jason Alexander!

Jason A

“It was me, Beachbum Remixed and the Beachcomber.

That’s how it started”

If you`re on Facebook in the Rum and Tiki crowd or if you are in Tacoma up in Seattle you might not been able to miss that there´s a real tiki drink, rum afficionado and fire wizard residing at the Tacoma Cabana inventing the most amazing flaming tiki drinks with a great rum selection on hand – his name is Jason Alexander.

I count myself lucky to be one of his friends because not only is he a great guy but the inspiration he throws around is affectuos and his drinks and especially the flaming ones are a feast for the eye and mouth (but i have yet to go all the way to Seattle and try them in person) we been talking drink recipes for quite a while and he really have developed a style of his own.

When i saw all his amazing concoctions with mouth watering descriptions and fantastic photographs both on instagram and facebook i got curious, what is his story? how did he start with all of this ending up owning his own tiki bar? How about this obsession with strong rums and fire?

So i went and asked him a couple questions:

Orchid small  Tell me, how did you get into tiki and tiki drinks, how did it all start?

I got into tiki and the drinks when I first went to the Okolemaluna Tiki Lounge in Kona, Hawaii. After having artificially flavored sugar sludge Mai Tai’s and not knowing the history of the drink, my life was transformed that day that I stepped inside that little tiki heaven. I’ll never forget that first Mai Tai and Zombie. These were legit drinks and I had to know the story.

Orchid small  What are the greatest influences in tiki that have affected you the most?

My influences for tiki is pretty dynamic. I can find inspiration almost anywhere. That being said, I enjoy Donn the Beachcombers drinks the best. I like his style and the way he went about creating a drink. He always tinkered with his recipes and I’ve developed that habit too.

I’m almost always never satisfied with some of my recipes.They can always be better or built in a different manner. I admire the way Donn blended various styles of rum together to create a unique drink. I honestly never knew about these other guys doing tiki bars. I had never heard of any of them before this. It was me, Beachbum Remixed and the Beachcomber. That’s how it started.

Orchid small  You are obviously obsessed with fire….and are quite the fire artist with flaming tiki drinks, how did that happen?

A IMMOLATION!!!! — at Tacoma Cabana.

I’ve always been a little bit of a pyromaniac my whole life. I can sit and watch and play with a proper fire for hours. My obsession with lighting drinks on fire started shortly after the cabana opened. I could make a decent drink, but my garnishes left something to be desired.

I thought what could I do that nobody else that I knew of was doing as far as garnishes went. Fire was the immediate answer. So I set out on a mission. Did a little research and some trial and error until you see what you have now.

I wanted big flames and sparks. I wanted guests to feel slightly afraid for a moment until they had a sip of their drink and it immediately took them back to paradise. Most of the ridiculous fire rigs just come to me. I don’t know how or why, but they just do.

A - Three dots and a dash - Jason edition

Three dots and a dash….

I try and match them to a drink or a drink to the garnish. Just depends. I also won’t garnish a drink until the drink is solid or I won’t make the drink until the garnish is ready. You get it all or nothing. I’m only going to give you my best. Always. I think everybody on Instagram helped push me to develop bigger fire rigs too.

I got a lot of great response from it and I wanted to see how much I could push the envelope. I make the rigs for my guests too. Most of the drinks you see on my feed or not regular menu items.

So you never know what you’re gonna get when you walk in the door. Some stuff is super labor intensive to make so, depending how much extra prep time I have will dictate what I can make that day.

Orchid small  Where is most of your drink inspiration coming from and what is your mission?

Most of my drink inspiration comes from the life I’ve lived and the non tiki things around me. HP Lovecraft has been a huge motivator for me. I like to think that tiki could have a dark side. Music has been a factor in what I create too. Bands like Nile and Devildriver have had a hand in helping theme out drink for me. For example my Necromancer of Fiji was inspired by the Nile song The Essential Salts.

There was an old thrash band in the 90’s that I used to listen to called Sacred Reich. Their song Surf Nicaragua came on the radio as I was driving to work and I wondered to myself what it might be like to Surf Nicaragua and what that drink would taste like. So I made one.

My time as a US Marine as influenced some drinks as well like my Golden Shellback, Drunken Helmsman and Sea Grave. A Golden Shellback is a person who has crossed the international dateline and there equator at their point of intersection. I happen to be a golden shellback and always wanted to make a drink that tasted like that.

My mission is to make and remake tiki drinks. Some of the old ones needed a breath of fresh air. Some are way too sweet, way too tart or just very one dimensional.

I like to take an old recipe and rework it a little bit while still staying true to the drink. From that comes my original creations which I would like to take to the darker more sinister side of tiki that doesn’t quite exist yet. We’ll see how that goes.

Orchid small  You use almost only rum at your bar, why? and which rums do you prefer the most?

A - Tacoma rums

When I opened the cabana I knew that I wanted to put a wall of rum up because most people who go to Hawaii expect rum over there and there is very little. At least on the Big Island which was 99.9% of my exposure. Keep in mind that this was before I had any idea of tiki bar history. I wanted my place to be very rum centric while trying to give rum and tiki drinks a good name again.

I feel like you can go to any bar and see a good, diverse selection of liquors except rum. There is always the usual suspects of Captain Morgan, Bacardi and Malibu, but there never was anything beyond that at most places here. I wanted to overcompensate for that by carry a vast array of rum while only carrying two of everything else. I do have a decent liqueur collection because that goes without saying.

Basically in use the rums that are gonna make my drinks taste the way I want them to and make them taste the best. Currently in my well and what In use to make the majority of the drinks on the menu is: Plantation Overproof, Original Dark, 5 year and 3 Star rounded out with Coruba Dark, Bacardi 8 and El Dorado 5 year.

I probably over use the Jamaica, Trinidad and Guyana combination as well as Guyana and Trinidad pairing, but they all work so well together. I also use and abuse any rum that speaks to me like Lost Spirits and anything over proof. I should probably use more agricole. I hardly use any of it for some reason.

Orchid small  Tiki can be a lot of things to different people, what does it mean for you?

Tiki means to me…to have fun. Not take things so seriously. Let loose. Live in the moment. For me tiki is play time. I get to help fulfill peoples fantasies of escapism for awhile. I get to facilitate all these drinks for tiki people that they always hear about, but are not able to always make at home or have the ability to. I get to be that guy for the tiki crowd and it is a tremendous honor.

Orchid small  The best tiki bars you have been to are?

The best tiki bars I’ve been to….every tiki bar I’ve been to and will go to is the best. I can always find something I like about a place. It’s not always about how cool and inventive the drinks are or how legitimate the decorations are and how much money you dumped into the place to make it hip and trendy.

It’s how you’re treated when you walk through the door. The best tiki bar could be the one that can only serve me a rum and coke while having the only thing tiki about the place being the bartender wearing an aloha shirt, but they made me feel like I was in the right place and that is what makes a bar the best.

Feeling welcome.

Orchid small  How do you see the future for tiki culture and tiki drinks?

I see the future of tiki expanding rapidly. Most bars nowadays have a tiki night. I think tiki drinks are the perfect drink to bridge the gap between your sports bar/chain restaurant bar and the hardcore cocktail bars. I think tiki drinks, if done right, can appeal to a lot of different people.

Orchid small  If you can pick one drink to try to convert somebody into tiki drinks, which one would it be?

If had to pick one drink to convert people over to tiki drinks, which one would that be? I don’t think I could pick just one. If I had to, I’d pick the Zombie without a doubt. To me that is everything that tiki is. Strong, flavorful, complex, not one flavor dominates but some how they all come together has one harmonious intoxicating note. But not everybody likes a Zombie and it can quickly turn people off from the whole experience.

You have to quickly read an inexperienced quest and get them into a tiki drink that suited to them so that they won’t think that all tiki drinks are too strong or too sour or too sweet or just too odd. There is a perfect tiki drink for most people. You just have to take a second and try and make that match. Luckily, most people will give you a second chance.

Orchid small  And what would you serve somebody who has had them all and is looking for something new and different?

If I had to serve a tiki professional something new that they’ve never had before, I think I’d serve them one of my originals like the Golden Shellback or the Drunken Helmsman. Or maybe one of the classics that I’ve tweaked a little bit. You may have had a shrunken skull before, but you haven’t had my shrunken skull yet. Seriously, you need to try my shrunken skull.

Orchid small

Thank you Jason!

And to show off a few of his amazing drinks –  here are some pictures and recipes by Jason to stir your appetite and if you can, head over to Tacoma Cabana and have one or a few of these incredible drinks!

A warning though…if you keep scrolling there´s a chance you gonna get VERY VERY thirsty! the rest of this post is nothing but a BIG dose of tiki drink p*rn!

Orchid small

There is a perfect tiki drink for most people!

A Jasons Spiritcutter 2

The Tiki drinks are calling….

A Aerial Tiki Fire!

Luau Scorpion Bowl…one that stings!

A - Golden Shellback

Golden Shellback

1 1/2oz pineapple
3/4oz lemon
1/2oz orgeat
1/2oz Swedish Punsch
1/2oz Benedictine
1 1/2oz Lost Spirits Polynesian Style Rum

Looks so tasty! i`m sure sure the moai in the aquarium agree :-) and the awesome tiki mug is created by Rob Hawes aka “Tiki Rob” who owns Maui Tiki Tours and makes awesome tiki mugs on Maui!

A - Shrunken Skull 2         

“You may have had a shrunken skull before, but you haven’t had my shrunken skull yet. Seriously, you need to try my shrunken skull”     

Shrunken Skull

2 dashes Horror In Clay Die Fiendishly Tropical Bitters
1/4oz Allspice Dram
1/4oz Falernum
3/4oz lime
3/4oz grenadine
1oz Plantation Original Dark
1oz El Dorado 5yr

A - Braddah Kimo's Big Island Pahoehoe for 2

Braddah Kimo’s Big Island Pahoehoe for 2!

A Fogcutter variation by Jason

A Cabana Fogcutter…with Lost Spirits Polynesian Inspired Rum.

A - Rum Barrels

Here´s a whole load of Cabana Rum Barrels! aren`t they pretty?

A - Rum Barrel Tacoma Cabana

Cabana Rum Barrel! Four juices including lilikoi, special blend of barrel spices and a meticulous blend of Jamaica, demerara, Barbados and Trinidad rums.

It’s the perfect combination of ingredients that isn’t too sweet, not too sour with just enough spices for added depth and the right amount of rum to kick you in the ass!

A - Rum Bowl for Two

And a Flaming Rum Bowl for two…

“If it’s not on fire and Overproof, then why are you drinking it?” :-)

A - Necromancer of Fiji

The Necromancer of Fiji….

Black salt, black strap bitters, Donns Mix, lime, lemon, lilikioi, falernum, orgeat, Swedish Punsch, Campari, grenadine and a blasphemous blend of rum sure to make a Zombie crawl back into its grave!

(serves 2)

Pinch of black lava salt
4 dashes black strap bitters
12 drops absinthe
1oz Donns mix
1oz lime
1oz lemon
1oz passion fruit juice
1/4oz orgeat
1/4oz falernum
1/2oz grenadine
1/2oz campari
1/2oz Swedish Punsch
1 1/2oz Lemon Hart 151
1 1/2oz Plantation Overproof
1oz Plantation 3 Star

Flash blend for 5 seconds with two cups ice

A - Tacoma cabana 6

Pearl Diver`s Punch Bowl for Two…

A - Pearl Diver`s punch

Pearl Divers Punch Bowl! Lime, orange, pearl mix, falernum and rums.

A - Stiggins Jungle Fancy!

Stiggin’s Jungle Fancy with lime, lilikoi, Campari, falernum bitters and Plantation rums Stiggin’s Fancy Pineapple Rum. “You can take the bird out of the jungle…”

A - WAR BIRD!!!!

“War Bird” – Just look at that garnish….

Inspired by Cocktailwonk ‘s post “The Jungle Bird Goes to War” (where you can see the the original recipe)  Jason made this take on the Jungle Bird that Cocktailwonk had dubbed WAR BIRD!!!! – lime, lilikoi, campari, pineapple and Lost Spirits Distillery Polynesian Inspired Rum.

I`m thirsty….and if you are not thirsty by now you might just stop reading my blog…. :-)

A - pieces of eight

Pieces of Eight…with eight pieces of pineapple hearts…brilliant!

A - Grass Skirt Daiquiri

Jason`s interpretation of Moderntiki ‘s Grass Skirt Daiquiri complete with Hula Girl!

Dash of angostura
Dash Luxardo
1/4oz Spices No. 2
1/4oz cinnamon syrup
1/2oz falernum
1/2oz lime

A - Drunken Missionary

He even made his take on my “Drunken Missionary” which was in my review of the Lost Spirits 151 Cuban Inspired Rum and his looks soooo much nicer! that purple orchid with that deep sea green….wooow!

Drunken Missionary

0.5 oz fresh lime
0.5 oz honey syrup ( add liquid honey to simple syrup, warm it up a bit, stir and set aside to cool)
0.5 peach liqueur
1 oz Lost Spirits 151 Cuban Inspired Rum
1.5 oz pineapple-coconut juice
Crushed ice
Nutmeg
Fresh mint

Muddle mint with lime juice and honey syrup, add the rest of ingredients and shake it ice cubes until the shaker frosts on the outside, then strain into a tiki mug filled with crushed ice.

Garnish with a fresh and spanked mint sprig or two, a couple speared maraschino cherries and lime triangles and grate some nutmeg on top and enjoy!

A - Drunken Helmsman

Drunken Helmsman

– 1 oz lime, 1/2 oz maple, 1/2 oz falernum, 1/2 oz Amaro Meletti, 1 1/2 oz Plantation Overproof….

A Arkham Aku Lapu

The Arkham Lapu Lapu…looks mystic….like it has some superpowers…or maybe it is YOU that will get some mystic superpowers when you drink this?

A - Ed Hamilton Ministry of Rum ZOMBIE PREACHER

Ed Hamilton Ministry of Rum ZOMBIE PREACHER! can i have one of these please?

A - The Blackest Black Times Infinity Daiquiri.

The Blackest Black Times Infinity Daiquiri…Lemon Hart 151, Mauby Liqueur and just a small squeeze of lime. A drink that was made on Black Friday.

A - Coconaut Re-Entry2

Coconaut Re-Entry, looks delish doesn`t it?

A - Demerara Dry Float

Demerara Dry Float, served up.

A - Shrunken Zombie Fugu

A Shrunken Zobie Fugu, served on a plate like a dish…

 A - Tacoma Rum Barrels

Lovely Tacoma Rum Barrels! i think i could have them all!

A - Mug by Scott Taylor

Da’ Beachcomber tiki mug created by Scott Taylor aka on Instagram as Tikipop! he lives on Maui and makes outerwordly tiki mugs, well worth checking out! such attention to detail and craftmanship….

Da’ Beachcomber looks happy :-)

A - Guyana Zombie jasons version of my drink

Jason`s beautiful version of my Guyana Zombie!

A -  Mr Bali Hai

Mr Bali Hai….as cool as ever, comes loaded with fire and goodness!

A - Scott Taylor shot glass

Moai flask by Van Tiki and tiki shot glass by Scott Taylor.

A - Zombie Old Fashioned

A Zombie Old Fashioned…with Horror Infused Fiendishly Tropical Bitters!

A - Pahoehoe bowl with extra fire!

Pahoehoe Bowl with Extra Fire!

A - The Hawaiian 504 from L29

“A hint of danger always pushes a beverage from great to excellent” – VanTiki

(check out Van Tiki`s website and Facebook page)

“Yes, I really do serve the drinks I post to my guests. All you have to do is ask or maybe you just might get surprised”

“I love Zombies!!!! Woooooooooo!!!!

“It doesn’t matter how much fire is on top of the drink if it doesn’t taste good”

“Mostly, I’m thankful for the support from the tiki community, whether it be people drinking the drinks or making the drinks. It’s a pretty amazing crowd to be in”

Jason Alexander

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Follow Jason aka tikicommando on Instagram.

All pictures on this post courtesy of Jason Alexander.

St Nicholas Abbey 5 Year and White Rums

St Abbey Rums 2

The St Nicholas Abbey Distillery in Barbados operated by the Warren family is one of those gems in the rum world that you know always stand for impeccable quality and that will bring smiles to your face when you try their amazing rums which uses traditional distillation.

The St Nicholas Abbey plantation was purchased by the Warren family in 2006 who restored the property to it´s original state and it´s one of the last surviving 17th century plantations on the island. Their mission is to make it self supporting and it also contains a cottage industry of sugar cane related products such as tasty brown sugars, molasses, sugar honey and rum cakes to name a few of the lovely products they make on the estate.

My first experience with their rums was at the UK Rumfest 2011 (and later in 2013) when i tried their range of rums and got totally blown away and among them was one peculiar rum that not yet had a name, an unaged white rum called the “see through”

The-see-through-768x1024

The unaged “see through” was made with estate grown cane, crushed in a traditional steam press and then made into sugar cane honey and fermented before being transferred into a pot/column hybrid still named Annabelle for a double distillation. And then after distillation only water is added and there`s no chill-filtration used. It was a rum with a rich fruit and vanilla finish.

This lovely white rum later got a name – simply St Nicholas Abbey White Rum – and became the winner of the Bronze Medal at the 2012 International Wine and Spirits Competition in London and in 2014 it won the Premium White Rum Category at the Bartender’s Best Awards.

Now at this past years UK Rumfest was out for tasting a portion of this white rum that was laid to rest and aged for five years and thus creating their first estate produced 5 Year Old Rum.. It`s their first rum distilled and aged entirely on the estate (the previous rums were made exclusively for the plantation by master Distiller Richard Seale from R.L Seale and Foursquare) and was ready in 2014.

The St Nicholas Abbey Rum 5 Year Old is a beautiful Rum and commemorates a beautiful story – not least, the first generation of Warren’s, Arthur and Henry, born into St. Nicholas Abbey 21st May 2014. I believe the 5 Year Old Rum will be released soon during this year.

Fermented sugar cane juice

Sugarcane honey

Interesting also with St Nicholas Abbey rums is that these are not molasses rums! but neither are they rhum agricoles – they are made from fermented sugar cane juice, called “sugarcane honey”. Rhum agricole is made from fresh sugar cane juice and tastes totally different.

The fermented sugar cane juice is thick, syrupy and very dark brown in color, almost black – it looks like molasses but it is not and it doesn`t taste very much like molasses either. It has a sort of funny smell, i cannot really describe it, it´s like a mix of earth, dirt, molasses, old sugarcane syrup, yeast and overripe purple plums.

The taste is somewhat like that too, like a mix of  Steen`s sugarcane syrup, earth, dirt, yeast and overripe plums…it´s not very sweet, rather semi-sweet. It has that kind of earhtiness (not heat) as say, chipotle peppers. Could be used for a earhty ti-punch…

Interesting how it can bring forth such rums as these!

Here´s a short description of my impressions of these two wonderful rums:

St Nicholas Abbey White Rum:

St Nicholas Abbey White

The nose is intense with fruity and sugar cane notes and somewhat slight peppery, this is a rum that got both attitude, complexity and flavor.

In the mouth it`s rich, a bit fiery with white pepper notes, tropical fruits and vanilla. It has the same sort of intensity as a rhum agricole but lacks the agricole`s pronounced grassiness, instead it has a mellow fruity and slightly green vegetal note. And it has a little “bite” but in a good way, it´s not at all harsh, it`s round and very very nice.

The bottle is simple, tall and elegant.

Very pleasant rum and for mixing it`s perfect but it`s just as good for sipping. I would say it´s a very good all-round white rum that got it´s own personality with a slightly peppery attitude.

Try it in a refreshing daiquiri!

Now let´s move on the five year old version of the former “see through”:

St Nicholas Abbey 5 Year Old Rum:

St Nicholas Abbey 5

In the nose: It has a brilliant golden amber color and when opening the bottle and pouring a little of the golden goodness into a tasting glass the velvety rich nose is filling the air with sweet, toffee-like notes that are totally addictive. I smell depth here too, not just toffee-like sweetness, there`s a hint of wood from the barrel it has been resting in adding some depth and character.

The taste: Here you can feel the rum is young but it´s exceptionally well balanced and the same soft velvety character that was in the nose comes forth here too. It`s rich, warm, welcoming with notes of toffee, vanilla, orange peel and tropical fruit backed up by some spicier woody notes.

The slightly peppery notes from the unaged white rum is not present, instead it´s mellow and soft but does have a lively character.

I have tried their 12 and 15 year olds and they are both incredible rums, especially the 15 year, and this one is like their little sister. It has the richness of what i have got to know as the trademark of the St Nicholas Abbey rums but it lacks the extreme depth and complexity that the 12 and 15 year olds have and of course, it´s a lot younger! that said, it´s a very good rum and you can safely go and purchase a bottle without any hesitation, this is good stuff.

I would actually use this as both sipper and mixer and leave the older rums entirely for the sipping glasses.

The decanter bottle is a masterpiece of beauty, simple and yet distinctive, elegant and with a personal touch with the beautiful engravings of the St Nicholas Abbey estate mansion and palmtrees (they do personal engravings too with for example your name on the bottle when you purchase directly at the plantation) hand applied labels and the mahogany cork topped with embossed leather which is symbolic of the islands first mahogany trees, planted 250 years ago on Cherry Hill.

It`s really a thing of beauty!

St Nicholas Abbey cork top

Final thoughts:

I cannot enough say how good the rums from St Nicholas Abbey are, everyone of them! this is quality at it´s best! and there are of course no extra sugar or additives in this rum. Go get a bottle of these and their other expressions and you will have treasures in your house.

They are on the higher price level yes but you will get really good value for the money.

Everyone knows i`m in love with the tropics, so let`s make a daiquiri dressed up in tropical attire:

Bajan Daiquiri

Bajan Daiquiri

2 oz St Nicholas Abbey White Rum

0.5-0.75 oz fresh lime juice

0.5 oz sugarcane syrup

Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail coupe or glass and garnish with something tropical….i used speared pink bougainvillea, braided palm leaves and a lime slice.

Enjoy!

 

Bajan Daiquiri collage

 

 

See other St Nicholas White rum reviews on RumRatings

See other St Nicholas 5 Year Old rum reviews on RumRatings

February is Tiki Month! An interview with Doug Winship!

 

FI mug

Tiki Month is here! AGAIN! we`re actually right in the middle of it….

On Doug`s blog the Pegu blog that is, because every year for the past six (!!) years Doug have transformed his Pegu blog into a Tiki blog for one month where he have dived deep into all things tiki – the history, decor, garments, torches, drinks, music etc and sometimes been posting with such a frenzy that i`ve had a hard time catching up…

You see, Doug wasn`t a tiki guy at all when he started and it takes some guts to get something like this rolling for the entire world to see with no knowledge whatsoever about tiki culture or tiki drinks and it´s been a joy to see how he have dug deeper and deeper into the pit of tiki over these years until one day he had his own home tikibar in the basement with a friggin`volcano!

This started in 2009 during the “golden booze blog era” when we had the CSOWG (Cocktails and Spirits Online Writers Group) with bloggers such as Rick “Kaiserpenguin” on board….oh those were the days!

It`s been a pleasure to follow his Tiki months year after year and see how for example the drinks have been transformed from quite the new beginners tiki drinks (especially when it comes to the style with garnish etc) to full fetched tiki libations worthy of any tiki afficionado`s approval.

In his basement Doug has a tiki bar but it`s not just a tiki bar…it has it´s own man-sized erupting volcano! complete with a light and smoke effects-enabled volcano – and he built it all by himself – how cool is that?

Watch it erupt here in this video:

He also describes how to make it in this post.

Damn….i wouldn`t mind having one like that myself…i`m deeply impressed!

So i went and asked Doug a few questions about tiki and his tiki month:

pineapple small small 2 It´s been six? years that you`ve been doing your tiki month every year in februari, what made you get into the idea?

Yep, about six years. About that time I was starting to feel like I had my feet under me with classic cocktails. Several of the blogs by my fellow early cocktail bloggers that I found I liked the most were the Tiki-centric ones like yours. The drinks were always visually stunning and sounded delicious. It was clear to me that there were some unique avenues with creativity in the Tiki neighborhood of cocktails.

What was also clear, whenever I tried out some of your recipes, was that doing Tiki right in a home environment was a serious commitment. The produce and syrup inventory issues made it so that any time I saw a drink I wanted to make, I never could.

So I decided to devote a whole month to tiki drinks, where that would be all I’d make, and see what all the fuss was about. It was fun and I decided to do it annually.

pineapple small small 2 Which are your three most favored tiki drinks and why?

Number one with a bullet is the Mai Tai. Trader Vic’s version is one of the true super weapons of the cocktail world, regardless of whether or not you are talking tiki.

Number Two is an oddball. It is called the Coconaut Grove. It is what I think of when someone drifts perilously close to asking for a Piña Colada. It has all the good parts of a PC, and none of the goopy syrupiness.

Number Three, off the top of my head is the Missionary’s Downfall. It stands out among a drink genre that celebrates ludicrously boozy drinks as one that is just this side of non-alcoholic. But it is marvelously delicious and totally Tiki.

pineapple small small 2 It`s clear that a lot us booze and tiki bloggers have been of great influence especeially during your first years of tiki month, but what other influenses have really affected you?

Beachbum Berry is number one, of course. The fact that when I first met him, he knew who I was was one of the biggest fanboy moments in my life. At 45 years old, I was squeeing like a teenage girl. Tiki or not, The Bum is what booze writing is all about. My wife is actually another big influence. She is a cook, not a mixer, but no one has taught me more about how to analyze a recipe and modify it, nor how important precision is.

And precision is the soul of Tiki mixology.

pineapple small small 2 Today, six years after you first started with tiki, what would you say to a tiki newbie wanting to explore tiki?

If you are doing it yourself, take it in bites, but big bites. When you are still learning, dive deep, then get out of the pool for a bit. Repeat.

If you are trying out tiki bars as an intro, pay attention to everything. The chemistry of Tiki is totally different from that of Brown, Bitter, and Stirred.

pineapple small small 2 Which tiki bars do you recommend?

Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco stands out above all others I’ve visited. Martin Cate has made a bar where every damn element was better than I’d previously imagined. Go in a slow night, when you can absorb all the spectacular detail.

pineapple small small 2 You WILL continue with the yearly tiki months for yet a couple years  won`t you? i mean there gotta be more areas you haven`t been exploring? (hint “flaming drinks”, “tiki food”………)

I love Tiki Month. And my local friends who drink with me would hardly let me stop!

As for places to go, I love the fact that a new area of concentration presents itself each year, without much effort on my part. I just put up the decor, make some syrups, and something new demands my attention.

pineapple small small 2 What`s your most memorable tiki experience?

That first visit to Smuggler’s Cove. And my first real, honest to God Mai Tai. Transformative experiences.

pineapple small small 2 What do see in the future for tiki in terms of the survival of the culture and standard of tiki bars and drinks?

This goes to what I’m focusing on as this year’s Tiki Month theme. I think that Tiki bars are awesome, and may well be in that sweet spot of coolness but not hotness, in the US, where they can become a sustainable thing.

What is more interesting is that the modern Craft cocktail movement has resulted in hordes of non-Tiki bars that have the skill and infrastructure to deliver complex recipe drinks with oddball syrups and multifarious fresh juices. The result is a lot of Tiki drinks showing up AMONG other styles on “regular” Craft menus.

There is some great stuff being done in expanding the true Tiki portfolio buy guys and gals who are not Tiki specialists. If Tiki can burrow into the high-end drink mainstream, I think it will avoid the boom and bust that accompanied its first appearance.

T Tikiroom Tiki4

Mahalo Doug! now y`all go and check out his tiki month, it´s still february! and when the month is gone the Pegu blog will still be there…

And finally i`d like to re-post a few of his drinks that has been on his blog during the tiki months, each using a different spirit – enjoy! (picture courtesy Doug)

Three Dots and a Dash

Pegu blog - Three-Dots-and-a-Dash

1 part fresh lime juice
1 part orange juice
1 part honey mix
3 parts amber rum
1 part Demerara rum
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1/2 part falernum
1/2 part pimento dram (allspice liqueur)
12 parts small ice

Flash blend all ingredients for about five seconds. Serve in a fun vessel, and garnish as below. Classic serving is 1/2 ounce per part per person. The classic garnish is a long skewer with three cherries and a pineapple spear; three dots, and a dash, see? In this version is the cherries nestled in a pod of a pineapple leaf. It is still three short things, and one long.

Three dots and a dash stand for the Morse Code letter ‘V’. The drink was invented during World War Two, and V for Victory was an important part of the mindset of most involved in the war effort on the Allied side.

Regal Daiquiri (Doug`s version of Don Beach`s Royal Daiquiri)

Regal-Daiquiri-sq-450x450

1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
1/2 oz. Creme Yvette
1/2 oz. OYO Honey Vanilla Vodka
1 1/2 oz. silver rum
4 oz. small ice

Combine in a blender and flash blend for 5-7 seconds. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a cocktail coupe. Garnish with a lime and perhaps a preserved hibiscus flower.

Margarita Atoll (made for the National Margarita Day in 2014)

Pegu blog - Margarita-Atoll-

1 1/4 oz. good silver tequila
strong 1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
1/4 oz. Cointreau
1/4 oz. Bols Blue Curaçao
1/4 oz honey mix

Combine in shaker with ice and agitate until frigid. Strain into a cocktail coupe rimmed with crushed Hawaiian salt.

Happy Tiki Month!

 

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