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

Rum barrel award 2
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Check out my review of Latitude 29!

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

Demerara Rums from Guyana


Demerara Rums Part Two


Demerara Rums Part Three


Cachaca and Rhum agricole, what`s the difference?


CACHACA – Around Brazil in 40.000 Alembics

cachaca seminar tasting weber haus 2



Tahitian Vanilla Syrup


Hibiscus Grenadine


Gomme syrup


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


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View my Cocktails on flickr p3

November 2015
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TOTC 2014 Blogging
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A Tour to the Donner-Peltier Distillery

DP sign

On the last day, after Tales, we went on a distillery tour to the Donner-Peltier Distillery in Thibodaux and that was just the right thing to do because it turned out a fabulous day!

Starting at the Palace Cafè with drinks and then into the bus and off we went towards the sugarcane fields in Thibodeaux. On the bus the mood was happy and Rum Punches with Rougaroux rums were served :-) I have reviewed the Rougaroux Fullmoon dark, blackstrap rum before on this blog and that rum is one of my favorite rums and it has found it`s way into many of my tiki drinks!

Now to see where this fabulous rum is made as well as the other products they are making like the white overproof rum, the Sugarshine as well as their 13 Pennies rum, LA1 Whiskey and Oryza gin and vodka.

The distillery is a little gem way out in Thibodaux….and we were welcomed with a real nice lunch with spicy tasty cajun food and then cocktails with their products and a brief overview of what they are doing. Then after the lunch and cocktails we walked into the distillery to learn how their products are made.

The name “Rougaroux” (Roo ga roo) comes from a Louisiana tale about the Rougaroux which is a mysterious creature lurking in the sugarcane fields and swamps, emerging only during a full moon to exact justice on the wicked… its curse lasting 101 days….and therefore the Sugarshine rum is 101 proof :-)

The legend of the Rougaroux is based on that the sugarcane fileds are quite a dangerous place for kids to play in, they can get lost or bitten by snakes or other dangerous creatures and so the legend was made to keep them away from playing there.

But the kids got scared by the Rougaroux so they couldn`t sleep….and so then the legend of the 13 Pennies was born….(which also is the name of one of their praline rum)

The legend has it that if you place 13 pennies outside your door on the ground you`ll confuse the Rougaroux because he can only count to 12….and when he comes and sees the 13 pennies he starts to count and when he gets to 13 he has to start all over again so he is busy counting all night and when the sun starts to rise he has to leave and go back to his lair….


13 pennies outside the door…..

The Rougaroux rums are made from local sugarcane and are distilled in both pot and column stills and there´s 3 rums, the Fullmoon Dark which is a blackstrap rum, made from a white rum that has been aged in white oak barrels and which to me tastes like something in between Cruzan blackstrap and El dorado 12, with the addition of dark sugary and fuel notes, it´s a very special rum! then the white Sugarshine rum which is a overproof “moonshine”rum also with a funky nose.

The 13 Pennies is a nice praline flavored rum, not so strong, more sweet and nutty, but it doesn`t have that much of praline in the flavor though, more just a sort of nuttiness.

The Rougaroux Fullmoon Dark Rum is aged on white oak with no extracts, caramel or artificial ingredients added. This rum is my favorite product of their range and it´s absolutely amazing in tiki drinks! but the Sugarshine rum is not to forget….it´s also a rum full of boldness and punch!

Then they make a whiskey, LA1, the Oryza vodka and a gin, and the Oryza vodka recenly was dubbed the “One of the best vodka in the US” by the “Fifty Best” –  the vodka is one of two in the nation that is distilled from rice.

They also have a littel gift shop on the premises and I bought a bottle of El Guapo Bitters, flavor – “Crawfish Boil”….there´s a “Gumbo” Bitters too, very punchy and a more gentle “Polynesian Kiss”. These bitters are unique to Louisiana.

As a gift we could chose between the Rougaroux Full Moon Dark or the Sugarshine rums and since I already have the dark I picked the white Sugarshine rum, espect a review of it later. This tour was educational and fun and it was an excellent day!

Here´s a picture parade from the tour:

DP drinks

We started out at the Palace Cafè with morning Bloody Mary`s, followed by Rum Punches on the bus heading to Thibodaux.

DP bar, cajun food

To continue with cocktails in the bar in the gift shop and a lunch with many different spicy cajun sausages, boudin and other tasty things.

DP Barrels and stills

Then further into the distillery to see the stills, barrels etc and learn about how their products are made.

DP Barrels

Rum barrels.


This raw sugar smelled and tasted heavenly….

DP sugarcane field sugar blackstrap

Sugarcane fields and black strap molasses, used to make the flavorful Rougaroux rums.

DP Distillery collage

If you get a chance, try to visit this distillery!


El Guapu Crawfish Boil Bitters


And to take home, I picked this one, the potent Sugarshine rum!

Stylish Cup and Glass Holders!

All bags

A friend of mine brought my attention to these stylish cup and glass holders, which you can use as gifts or bring along to a party and they allow you to carry a bottle or a wine glass or beverage and have hands free for cell phone, etc. while you for example wander a street festival or exhibition hall.

I think these are great gifts!

They are very stylish and comes in many different fabrics, sizes and color combinations. These are hand crafted by Caroline Hallak and are sold online at CHC-BeverlyHills.com and they also ship to Europe and worldwide.

Here are some pics I took of them in person, they are pretty nice and cool!

Big bottle bag red

Red rosy and orange bottle bag, perfect for example a bottle of wine or why not rum?

Bottle bag black and pink

Here`s black and old fashioned pink, glass and bottle holder.

Shot glass bags

Little shot glass holders….

Bottle bag gold 5

Gold…for a bottle of champagne maybe?

Shotglass bags and beer bag

Bring that beer with you….

Aren`t these nice?

Swig – Your Smartphone Guide to Craft Spirits



Here´s a handy little app to discover new spirits and of course new rums! I tried it and think it`s a quite handy little tool plus you get to interact with your fellow booze enthusiasts around the globe.

Here`s what:

For the most part, people`s usual spirit knowledge revolves around the mainstream brands, and with the wide assortment of craft liquors produced today, they’re definitely missing out. There’s for example more spiced rum varieties beyond Captain Morgan. As The Spirit Business document, “Along with bourbon and gin, craft rum is quickly becoming a firm favorite among spirits connoisseurs as distillers continue to drive experimentation and push premiumization in the category.”

Finding good craft rum may seem pretty difficult at first if you don’t have much experience in the area, unaware of any distillers or simply don’t know where to look, but with a smartphone or tablet in hand, you’ll be a connaisseur in no time. Thanks to advanced technologies and increased internet capabilities, mobile devices are now our go-to resource for many of our daily problems, thus an app like Swig would be beneficial for those with a curiosity or growing interest in spirit distillers and cocktails.

Touted as the Facebook for all drinkers, CNET describes the app as the ultimate bar and meeting place catering to drinkers with different tastes. With analysts anticipating the one billion global smartphone users in 2013, a statistic that was shared by the corporation running the mobile gaming hub Pocket Fruity, this figure is predicted to double by 2016, and with Swig, the app virtually connects you to a whole online community’s worth of expertise in craft spirits directly from your smartphone. From bartenders to sommeliers, there are plenty of people on the app that can teach you about the subject.

Some of the features of this Facebook/Instagram-like app include discovering beverages crafted by friends, bartenders and other community members, and an option to follow friends to learn about new producers, drinks, and bars. Swig is also packed with tasting notes, fun facts and videos for over 500,000 alcoholic beverages to educate you about some of the newest cocktail creations.

Swig is available on both Google Play and the App Store.

Rational Spirits Announces Helena Olsen as Brand Ambassador

Rational Logo

CHARLESTON, S.C., Aug. 16, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Rational Spirits, a new Charleston, SC based craft distillery announced today that it has hired Helena Olsen to serve as brand ambassador. Olsen, a well-known figure in the rum and tiki cocktail community, and voice of “A Mountain Of Crushed Ice”, which won the 2013 UK Rumfest Rum Blog of the Year, will be representing the brand’s upcoming series of rum, the first of which is expected out next month.

This announcement coincides with National Rum Day, a holiday founded to honor the spirit thought to be named after the old-English, “rumbullion” originally meaning “to cause ruckus”. The new distillery will be announcing more about its processes and methodology in September and expects to spark a bit of a rumbullion of its own among craft cocktail enthusiasts.

Olsen’s duties will include helping to create awareness of the rum, developing signature cocktail drinks, attending industry events and hosting tastings. Olsen will also be managing all of Rational Spirits social media presence. Regarding the new position, Olsen said, “I am very excited about this rum. I think the use of both historical research into rum production methods and new technological approaches brings an interesting new dimension to craft spirits.”

Founded earlier this year, Rational Spirits is the latest distillery in Charleston, SC, and is focused solely on producing pot still rum with no additives or added sugar. Their first rum, “Santeria Rum” will be produced in conjunction with Salinas, CA distillery, Lost Spirits. Santeria is a dunder pit style Jamaican rum, which is due out in September to select cities. The distillery expects to commence operations at its Charleston facility later this year.

“As a distillery with a passion for artisanal rum cocktails and a deep affection for the tiki community, we think Helena is the perfect choice to help us spread the word of a craft rum from Charleston,” said founder, Alex Burns.


Rational Spirits is a Charleston, SC based craft distillery founded in early 2015 focused on rum. The distillery, through its affiliate, Rational Cocktails, is producing a series of artisanal cocktail syrups to be paired with rum as well as other craft spirits. The name “Rational Spirits” comes from the idea that starting a micro-distillery is an irrational idea as there are many obstacles to navigate in order to successfully bring a brand to market and gain acceptance.



Helena Olsen

SOURCE Rational Spirits, LLC


Kahuna Kevin`s Tiki Cocktails Vol. III with 44 Tropical Drink Recipes!

Kahuna Kevins book collage

Following the two first books which I purchased at the last year´s Tiki Oasis, this is the new third volume of Kahuna Kevin`s Tiki Cocktails. The third book is in the same style as the two others, with 44 new recipes of tropical drinks to make with color photos and mixing instructions for each drink.

Within the pages of this book lies 3 years of cocktail making and there`s a lot of interesting drinks to try out, for example the “Ring of Fire” which contains Trinidad Amber rums and is garnished with a skewered red onion ring!

Or the “Pau Pau Punch” a gin based “secret” in this rum based book……which also has gin based drinks, and others that use blends of rum, whisky and even vodka spirits.

There is a cold remedy too….a hot botanical and rum elixir that cures what ailes ya! and if you`re into something special you can make Kahuna Kevin`s Black Spiced Grog Syrup and use in the “Kahuna Kevin`s Black Spiced Grog” – containing multiple and strong rums, fresh fruit juices and spice….sounds yum!

So this book contains a lot of things and I like the color photographs of the drinks and they are all beautifully garnished. The index contains “Drinks by Potency” and Ingredients in different cathegories – Rum, Liquor/Liqueur/Ale/Wine, Juice, Mixers/Soda, Syrup, Bitters, Herbs, Spices, Sugars, Garnish.

Well organized!

Kahuna Kevins book collage 2

There`s 2 cocktails that contains separate associated ingredient recipes. 1 is the Black Spiced syrup and the other is a gin infusion for the Voodoo Nectar cocktail. Drinks are rated by Potency Skulls, more skulls = stronger drinks. Strongest drink has 7 skulls, or 7oz average equivalent of 80 proof spirits per drink.

And if you want a tasty island twist of the Mai Tai, there`s Kahuna Kevin`s Guava Mai Tai which looks fabulous to me….. (in the top picture)

In all there´s 44 tropical tiki libations, enough to keep you fortified for a long time! the drinks are all over the spectrum, tropical, spirit forward, spicy, bitter, sweet and blends of multiple profiles. Focus is on higher end spirits, fresh ingredients, cane based sweeteners, for top quality cocktails.

So I wanted to try a drink or two from this book and here they are, and since I didn`t have all ingredients or garnishes I subbed some rums and used what garnishes I had on hand, and the drinks turned out very tasty!

The Third Dilemma

Kahuna Kevin Third Dilemma

This drink turned out very nice and rummy/spicy but also fruity. The next drink I tried is called “Escape Pod” which is a yummy cocoction of Coconut juice/water, dark rum, lime and other tasty, spicy ingredients topped with fragrant cinnamon bark….

You will find the recipes in the book….

Escape Pod

Kahuna Kevin Escape Pod

The book was launched earlier in july and can be purchased at www.KahunaKevin.com (main website, all books on sale from Aug 1 to Aug 16th to celebrate Tiki Oasis)

And Aloha and Mahalo to Jeanne Catahula Vidrine for lending me tiki glasses and stuff for this post since i`m not at home! and thanks New Orleans for producing such nice giant Gardenia flower bushes…. perfect for tiki drink garnish… :-)

Tiki Bars – Latitude 29

Latitude 19

And so finally I got to go the Latitude 29! I´ve been waiting since they opened with great anticipation and (high) expectancy…..well…I try to not have too high expectations whatever it is, better to have an open mind, but with this one i`s a bit different….because this is the BUM`s place….this is the man who uncoded all the secret codes and brought us all these lost drink recipes and who wrote no less than six stellar books on the subject if you count in Taboo Table.

His books have been my to go tiki drink (and history) books for years and so now he and his wife Annene Kay aka Mrs Bum opens a real tiki bar in my favorite city New Orleans!

And I wasn`t there when they opened….and had to wait all the way until this year´s Tales before I could finally go and see it  – and in the meantime I`ve been drooling over all the food and drink pictures (can you say Tahitian Steak Frites?) and the drinks…..oh the drinks….

I`ve seen so many beautiful pictures of these drinks that I didn`t know what to start with….but I ended up ordering a Pontchartrain Pearl Diver as my first drink – in the NEW Pearl Diver`s glass! :-)

The Pearl Diver`s glass, the Swizzle cup and the skull barspoons are all new for this summer in collaboration with Jeff Berry and Cocktail Kingdom and they were sold at the Tales but are also available online. The vintage Pearl Diver`s Punch glass is more or less impossible to find anymore so I`m really happy they are re-making them and same for the cool swizzle cup! I hope to see more re-making of these type of vintage tiki drink glasses….

And not only are the glasses really cool they come in beautiful vintage looking packages too!

Latitude29 Pearl Diver 3

The Pontchartrain Pearl Diver was good…..very very good – well balanced and oh so tasty! I didn`t try so very many drinks during the Tales because it was so incredibly busy….and so was I…so I decided to wait until after Tales and THEN go there for some serious drink tasting!

So last friday I went there early and I sat there and happily indulged Tahitian Steak Frites with luscious Coconut Butter and later a Mahi Mahi Bahn Mi accompanied by a whole array of drinks until in the evening, I actually spent a whole “working day” in the place!

And I had a nice chat with the Bum, about rums and rums and rums…and of course, tiki drinks. I was indeed a very good day….The place is so cool and relaxed, beautifully decorated and the music is great! with everything from real good and cool old style Jamaican reggae to surf music! and the co-bar manager Steven Yamada and his staff are very attentive, friendly and nice.

It`s really a place to go not only for the great drinks and food but also to escape from the world outside and it doesn`t matter if there´s big windows to the outside world…..because this is New Orleans! and the view from the beautiful arched windows is nothing but beautiful….over the pool and the tropical plants in the courtyard of Bienville House Hotel.

This used to be housing the former Iris restaurant, I went there in 2009 with all the Tales bloggers and now I cannot recognize the restaurant and bar anymore, it´s a total different world! quite the transformation….the only things that looks the same is the courtyard and the hotel lobby.

Take a look:

2009-2015 2

Back in 2009…Alan Walther tends the bar at Iris…..and he did serve some amazing cocktails! he later moved on to Loa, this was long before the Iris became what it is today – a true tiki haven!


The Tales Blogger Dinner in 2009 in the former Iris restaurant, the same view today of the beautiful courtyard and pool but the dining room has dramatically changed…..

Bienville House Hotel Courtyard

This is such a tranquil and peaceful place….if staying at this hotel you get both all this plus the Latitude29 in one place…..

Pool view through window

Eat Drink and be Merry!

drinks collage

Hurricane, Kea Colada and Royal Hawaiian Cocktail.

The food menu has something for everyone! executive Chef Chris Shortall and his staff creates their own take on modern Tiki Cuisine which is playful and tasty and there`s something for everyone including options for vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free guests.

First thing I opted for was the Tahitian Steak Frites which I`ve been dreaming about since they opened…..

The Tahitian Steak Frites are tender, luscious and juicy (I ordered mine medium-rare) served with hot crispy thin fries and a tasty dipping sauce plus a dollop of coconut butter on top! the Bum told me that in Tahiti they add coconut to the cow´s diet and therefore everything the cows are producing have a touch of coconut flavor…heavenly….and so they wanted to re-create that idea here with the coconut butter.

I LOVE it!

Steak frites collage

I`m not joking, I think I could eat this almost every day….the meat is so tender and melts in your mouth together with that lovely coconut butter….

The Mahi Mahi Bahn Mi is wild caught Mahi poached in coconut oil, jalapeño, sriracha, and shallot….and at a Chef`s Challenge before the Tales I tried the ribs which are very tasty too….and not to forget the crispy green beans!

Another nice dish is the Shrimps in Blanket, the gulf shrimps here really are something special. They are big and juicy….and have more shrimp flavor than shrimps I`ve tasted anywhere else.

Latitude shrimps in blankets

Shrimps in Blanket

Latitude 29 Sahimi beans

These green beans were amazing…..

An array of seductive tropical tiki drinks…..

Latitude 4

When you enter a tiki bar you want to be seduced….you want to forget the daily struggles and take a “trip to the South Seas” with exotic tropical drinks! (inspired by drinks in the Caribbean….) :-)

So I started with the Pontchartrain Pearl Diver….it`s such a good drink!…..balanced, fruity and rummy! The Pearl Diver is a mix of honey-butter-spice mix blended with passion fruit, lime and Jamaica rum. The butter adds a wonderful slightly viscous mouth-feel, if you didn`t know it was butter in the mix you wouldn`t know what it was but you would know there was something there….

After the Pearl Diver I had the namesake drink of this bar – the Latitude 29…..it comes in a tall glass wrapped in banana leaf for that real tropical feel – and you get that cool gorgeous swizzle stick! – made after the wall art by Bosko! The drink is made with eight-year Demerara rum, passion fruit purée, house made Madagascar vanilla syrup, orange, pineapple and lemon.

They are both gorgeous in their presentations with the Pontchartrain Pearl Diver in the new re-made super cool Pearl Diver`s glass.

Latitude29 collage

The Latitude 29

The Rum Barrel is according to the menu a communal drink but it says “For 2 to share, or 1 thirsty pirate to hoard. A kill-devil’s brew of 3 rums, 4 juices, multiple herbs, spices and sweeteners …” – so apparently I`m a “thirsty pirate” since I had no problem drinking it all by myself….

It sure makes you feel like a rummy pirate! 😀

It`s presentation is BEAUTIFUL! and fun! see the picture….they really take time to garnish up these beauties….and the drink itself is strong and rummy/fruity/spicy. One of my favorites!

Latitude 7

Rum Barrel, complete with pineapple peel, cherries, orchid, swinging monkeys and umbrella! superfun garnish :-)

And so is the Coffee Bongo…..also incredibly nicely garnished….with a pineapple leaf cut out to look like a palm tree frond…..topped with two coffee beans….stunning! the drink is also strong/spicy and rummy with lots of character and if you like coffee and pineapple together, you find it here.

Latitude 23

Every drink is not rum though….there´s a drink called “Outcast of the Islands” which was amazingly tasty and is a mix of London gin and Persian lime…with cinnamon, ginger, almond and anise, heavenly….

And it LOOKS heavenly too! it comes served with an ice shell…..how cool is that? and the Navy Grog comes with the iconic ice cone which is made with the Bum`s ice cone device sold by Cocktail Kingdom (as well as the Pearl Diver`s glasses, the swizzle cup and the skull bar spoons)

And there are drinks with bourbon, brandy, tequila, beer and vodka….but I haven`t tried them all yet….there`s something for everyone in the drink menu too. Me, I tend to mostly stick to the rums….

Ice cone shell drinks

Outcast of the Islands and the iconic Navy Grog

The Professor Remsberg`s Punch is a very interesting drink and very tasty too, the drink contains “Fine old Guadeloupe rum, gently stirred with lime and a Caribbean spiced syrup discovered over 30 years ago in San Juan by the Professor himself”…….I wonder what is in that syrup? If you didn`t know, Stephen Remsberg is the world´s biggest rum collector.

Latitude 21

Professor Remsberg`s Punch

All the drinks at Latitude 29 are good and well balanced, from the (real, no chemical-mix) Hurricane, Mai Tai, TOTC Swizzle, Nui Nui, Kea Colada, Royal Hawaiian Cocktail, Lapu Lapu, Hawaii 504, Missionary`s Downfall and the Paniolo….which is Kentucky bourbon and Hawaiian macadamia nut liqueur shaken with lime, house made cranberry syrup and a dash of molé bitters.

It`s evident to me that they pay as much attention to the garnishes as the drinks themselves because some of these drinks ar off the charts when it comes to beautiful presentations! you get a little work of art in your hand!

And the drink names alone takes you on a exotic journey…..a lot of them created back in the heydays of tiki.

Tasty, exotic and beautiful.

Hawaii 504

The Hawaii 504

You know, you need to go there and just try all these heavenly things! btw….between 3 and 6 pm every day it´s Happy Hour with a special menu….where among the drinks you`ll find the Banana Banshee and the Royal Hawaiian Cocktail….both perfect to cool you down when it´s hot outside which is a guaranteed thing in New Orleans during the summer.

And the best thing of all….you get the Steak Frites for half the price! what is there not to love?

The Banana Banshee is a frozen cocktail with Jamaican rum, lime, coconut milk and coconut cream, fresh banana and aztec bitters and topped with grated chocolate!

Lat29  Banana Banshee 2

Banana Banshee

I also ordered a few off-menu drinks with the help of Jeff Berry`s Total Tiki app, such a handy thing to have! and they were delivered top notch! I think Steve outdid himself with the Coconaut….coming beautifully garnished with a Cruzan Blackstrap float on the side. It tasted absolutely heavenly…..it was a mix of Hamilton 151 Demerara, El Dorado 5, for the rums plus that lovely float of blackstrap to pour yourself :-)

Coconaut collage

This Coconaut was incredible!

The Zombie was spicy and nice just as I expected, and just about right with the strength, and the Kamehameha Rum Punch did live up to it´s name…..

Kamehameha and zombie

Kamehameha Rum Punch and the Zombie…..

This interesting drink recipe is from Sippin`Safari and originates from the Hotel King Kamehameha in Kona, Hawaii, as the origin of the drink around 1960.

So who was King Kamehameha you might ask?  Kamehameha – also known as Kamehameha the Great was the head of a dynasty ruling the Hawaiian islands for more than a century. The name Kamehameha (pronounced kuh-may-ha-may-ha) means “the one set apart.” He conquered the Hawaiian islands and formally established the Kingdom of Hawai`i in 1810.

This drink is actually named after the Hotel King Kamehameha in Kona, Hawaii who took the name after the great Hawaiian King – Kamehameha.

Every year on Kamehameha Day (June 11, a state holiday in Hawai’i), National Statuary Hall is the scene of a ceremony in honor of the king and the statue of Kamehameha the Great is draped with lovely (and loooong) leis of fragrant flowers from Hawai’i. The Festival continues to pay tribute to Kamehameha and acts to preserve and perpetuate the Hawaiian culture.

Communal Drinks

And as every tiki bar should, there:s also a couple of different communal drinks on the menu, the newest one is a monster drink called the “Plantocracy Punch” for 6-8 people but we were only three so we tried the Lapu Lapu which uses a recipe which according to the menu is a Don The Beachcomber’s “lost” unpublished 1964 recipe, recently discovered by the Bum and presented here for the first time in over 40 years.

And of course it`s appropriately garnished with little mermaids taking a rummy ice bath…..

Lapu Lapu collage

Fruity, spicy, rummy Lapu Lapu and little mermaids swimming in the bowl….

Latitude 16


Samaroli rums collage

While sitting in the bar I spotted two Samaroli rum bottles….and so of course I ordered a sample of each….and with the rum samples you get a small shot glass with water and a dropper, neat.

One was the 13 year old Guadeloupe 1998 Rhum Agricole and the other 1988 Demerara Dark Rum. The Guadeloupe is spicy and a touch smokey, with a strong character but at the same time, not too aggressive, it´s fruity, peppery, balanced and picky but also smooth.

A few drops of water brings out a whole array of tropical fruits flavors! this rum is incredible. I REALLY liked it!

The 23 year old 1988 Demerara rum had flavors of wood, macerated tropical fruits, apricot, vanilla, banana peel, mango and something else I couldn`t define…..but here a few drops of water didn`t bring out much change….still very woody, strong and fruity. Also a very good rum! Both of these rums are distilled in the Caribbean and then matured in Scotland.

They are not cheap but they are unique rums and they give you something to remember.

Then I saw a curiosity on the menu….it had a sort of mellow toasty coconut flavor…interesting….and I think it also could be used as ingredient in some of the drinks maybe? how about a Toasted Coconut Daiquiri?

Toasted coconut collage

The Interior Decor…..

TD art

Here is top crafts….the first thing you notice is of course the big centerpiece which now is in the same spot as the huge mirror was when it was the bar at Iris. The centerpiece is a huge carving of the Pacific Islands in a map in the forms of small tikis made by Daniel Gallardo aka Tiki Tiablo, and it`s a stunning work of art!!

Here is a collage of close-ups of the “Islands” in the map and there´s a nod to New Orleans too…. :-)

TD map collage

Bosko Hrnjak did all the new (non-vintage) light fixtures and all of the new (non-vintage) tiki carvings, wall panels, etc, over 50 of them in total. And Dave “Basement Kahuna” Wolfe did 8 Easter Island carvings on the hut wall-dividers.

It`s all beautiful….

wall art collage

lamps collage

Another (practical) thing I greatly appreciate are the power outlets with USB ports located on each side of the tables, I wish more bars had that, it should be standard everywhere.

Tiki glasses, Barspoons and Orgeat

Latitude 11

All tikiphiles already knows about the Pearl Diver`s glass, the swizze cup and the cool skull bar spoons which you can find at the Cocktail Kingdom which I mentioned above….but a new thing is the Latitude29 orgeat which comes in a heavy round glass bottle and is sold in the bar.

I haven`t tried the orgeat yet even though I bought a couple of bottles (USD 15 each) but i`m out travellling so that will have to wait.

So to sum it all up, what I was looking for was how the food and the drinks tasted and were presented and if there´s consistency….(and yes I have returned) and how the decor and the feel of the place was, what music did they play and how loud? is it possible to have a conversation or do you have to scream? and how I was treated as a guest.

Personally I have nothing to complain about, the food and drinks are top class, the decor tasteful and genuinely tiki, it`s a laid back and relaxed feel, the staff attentive, professional and very sweet and so I`ll keep coming back, this is now my primarily watering hole in New Orleans :-).

That said there´s a lot of very good bars here, I just happen to really really like well made tiki drinks and in the relaxed vibe and environment of a good tiki bar, there I feel the most at home.

Samaroli Rums and Pearl Diver at latitude 29


Interior pole


Bum sign

Tiki Oasis 15 – “Yesterdays Future Today”!


Tiki Oasis is a family produced four-day Polynesian Pop lifestyle convention / party which takes place in Southern California each August, and is the only event of its’ kind on the planet earth!! Each year Tiki Oasis presents a different theme which explores, celebrates, and preserves mid-century aesthetics via entertainment, fashion, food, drink and education, while showing its’ relevancy in contemporary culture.

Tiki Oasis attendees experience four days of mixology, live and dj music sets, educational, symposiums, book signings, marketplace shopping, art, burlesque, comedy, vintage cars, fashion, food, kids events, and more!

EventOrganizers_von Stroheim Family 2014

Event organizers, Von Stroheim Family

Tiki Oasis attendees experience four days of mixology, live and dj music sets, educational symposiums, book signings, marketplace shopping, art, burlesque, comedy, vintage cars, fashion, food, kids events, and more!
Tiki Oasis was conceived in 2000 as a fundraiser to support the rehabilitation of the mid-century Palm Springs Caliente Tropics Motel which attracted a small gathering of tikiphiles.

Tiki Oasis was conceived in 2001 as a fundraiser to support the rehabilitation of the mid-century Palm Springs Caliente Tropics Motel which attracted a small gathering of tikiphiles. The event, which moved to San Diego in 2006 and has grown to include two locations, three hotels, over 28 symposiums, 100 vendors, numerous sponsors, a slew of talent including live bands, disk jockeys, burlesque and go-go dancers, visual artist and carvers, guitar and ukulele instructors, vintage cars, mixology experts and well over 3000 attendees.

Tiki Oasis 15 “Yesterday’s Future Today”

This year’s Tiki Oasis Theme is “Yesterdays Future Today” The Space Age ran parallel to the Modern Primitivism of Tiki Culture. While technology propelled modern man to the moon, the common man celebrated isolated islander cultures that were equally unattainable. Tiki Oasis celebrates this mid-century take on the future. Expect to be entertained, educated and visually stimulated. Tiki Oasis attendees always go full-throttle with event theme costuming!

At Tiki Oasis 2015, Pull on your jet pack and jump into the air; grab your raygun and become a space invader; or just relax poolside soaking in the sights and sounds of your own moonage daydream.



Photo: Scott Saw / VIXEN Photography
Model: Stephanie Castro

Captain James Cook desired to go “farther than any other man has been before”. He discovered many remote islands as well as sailing to Antarctica and being the first to chart parts of Alaska, the final frontier of the Age of Discovery. Ironically we ended up putting a man on the moon decades before we discovered the last tribes in the mountains of Papua New Guinea.

Just as Captain Cook’s Endeavor sailed uncharted seas, Star Trek Captain James T. Kirk’s Enterprise took voyages into outer space to discover “strange new worlds, uncharted civilizations, and exotic people.”

Symposiums and Special Events…

Tiki Oasis is offering over 35 Symposiums this year. Be prepared to blast off into a universe of music, mixology, yoga, dance, architecture, fashion, Science Fiction, tiki history, art, pin-up hair and make-up and a whole score of book signings! Special events include the Miss Tiki Oasis Pageant, Cigar and Rum Pairing Lounge, Tiki Oasis Beauty Bungalow and Glamour Pin-Up Packages!

Special symposium educators feature the likes of original Mothers of Invention keyboardist Don Preston, Rodenberry Entertainment CEO Rod Roddenberry, legendary author and Tiki expert Sven Kirsten, mid-century historian and entertainer Charles Phoenix and many more!

Tiki Oasis 15: “Yesterday’s Future, Today” entertainment includes…

Tiki Oasis - D7100 Friday-0484

Picture: Albertine Feurer-Young

On the main stage:
Host: King Kukulele, Man or Astroman?, The Chocolate Watchband, Tikiyaki Orchestra, The Phenomenauts, The Phantom Surfers, Clouseaux, Fono66, The Devil-Ettes, Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid, The Neptunas, Project: Pimento, The Outta Sites, The Little Richards, The Rosalyns, The Ding Dong Devils, Diddley Daddies, The Angel and Robot Show, Point Doom, Slim Jenkins, and more!

DJs for the weekend include:
Howie Pyro, Lee Joseph, Anja and Mike Stax, Tanoa Samoa Boy, Agent Kari, El Nova, Duke Weiss, Lukino Ungawa, Johnny Bartlett, Tiki Tena & Jeff BigTikiDude, Axle, Eric Musick, Switched on Audrey, Astro 138, Jon Burchard, Nuria Alsina, Patrick Robinson, Sid Presley, Strike, Suzy Moran, Xerox, Burnie Gipson, and the crew of LuxuriaMusic.com!

Marketplace Information
Tiki Oasis is the crossroads of the Tiki world. Craftsmen, artists, tinkerers, and traders haul their wares to the Oasis creating an Exotica emporium unmatched throughout the world. Many vendors create limited edition items specifically for Tiki Oasis weekend shoppers!

Tiki Oasis 2015 Art Show “Yesterday’s Future Today”…
Our 6th annual art show features over 30 top Tiki artists from around the globe. All original artwork is for sale. Meet the Tiki Oasis Artists and the 2015 Winner of the Miss Tiki Oasis Pageant, Saturday from 1-2!

Artist include:
Arnold Pander, Atomikitty, Big Toe Art, Chris Crites, Christine Benjamin, CraigR, David Krys, Dawn Frasier, Derek Yaniger, Doug Dorr, Doug Horne, Eddy Crosby, Edmund Gabriel, Erin Joy, Eric October, Harry Decker, Ken Ruzic , Kymm! Bang, Maya Rodgers, Michael Fleming , Michael Grider, Mike Mass, Norm Daniels, REESENIK, Robert Jimenez, Ryan Hungerford, Sandra Fremgen, Scott Saw, Tiki King, Tiki Pop, Tiki Tony, Vestige Photography, Woody Miller and more!

Burlesque Show – Midnight at Tiki Oasis!
Check out a cavalcade of captivating burlesque stars that are out of this world! Once you enter the Lagoon Room you will lose all sense of time and space as you are engulfed in the sights and sounds of wild burlesque dancers and frantic, primitive intoxicating sounds from Howie Pyro and on Saturday only Slim Jenkins.

Tiki Oasis 7th Annual Car Show
Two days of vintage and specialty cars, plus vendor marketplace, tiki carver village, DJs spinning, the Beauty Bungalow, and on Sunday we will feature these food trucks: Devilicious, My Urban Eats and Chubbys! The car show will feature live music from The Els A Phonics and The Millionaire Kids.

Sunday night at Tiki Oasis Garage Rock Showcase!
60s legends, The Chocolate Watchband! Also featuring The Rosalyns (all girl band!), Diddley Daddies (Mike Stax, Ugly Things Magazine), The Devil-Ettes (San Francisco), Emcee: Otto von Stroheim, Sid Presley Disc Jockeying

for times and details please visit: www.tikioasis.com

Tiki Oasis Yoga
Singalong with King Kukulele
Out of this world Fitness Class
Oblong Box Shop – Poolside Fashion Show
Tiki Oasis Bookclub: A Wrinkle in Time
Miss Tiki Oasis – Poolside Strut

Let’s Get Hip to Hula!
Tiki Oasis 2015 Booksigning with Merrell Fankhauser, Domenic Priore, Jeff Chenault, Danny Biederman, Java from Bachelor Pad, Neil Norman
7th Annual Car Show

Tiki Tots Tour with King Kukulele
Hula Hooping with Szandora
7th Annual Car Show
Uke Jam

All Weekend Long
Tiki Oasis Marketplace
2015 Pop-Up Artshow
Tiki Tot Playroom
DJ’s and Bands: Poolside, Sushi Bar, Car Show


TO symposium collage
Martin Cate, Kelly Patterson, Ram Udwin


Symposium Educators

Merrell Fankhauser: Book Signing

Duke Weiss: Blast Off MusicSzandora: Hula Hoop

Darren Bradley: Honolulu Modern: Architecture in Paradise

Eric October: Paper Craft

Penny Starr JR: SCI-FASHION: a history of sci-fi costume design

Will the Thrill & Scott: FUTURE SCHLOCK: Vintage Visions of Time and Space

Richard Foss: COCKTAIL: History of Rum

Pin-Up Posing: Pin-Up Posing 101

Shana Astrachan: Space Age Pin-Up Hair

Tana the Tattooed Lady: Tiki Oasis Yoga

Kelly Patterson: Countdown To A Spectacular Celebration!

Violetta Beretta: Let’s Get Hip to Hula!

Devil-Ettes: Dance class – Galactic Au Go Go!

Don Preston: Former Mothers keyboardist discusses Frank Zappa

Ruby Joule: Tahitian Dance

Sven Kirsten: Treasures of Tiki Archeology

Jason Lee: Surf Guitars from Outer Space!

Martin Cate: Where Did My Rum Come From?

Pin-Up Make-Up: The Sophisticated Art of Pin-Up Make-Up

Jeff Chenault: Kahiki: Hear the untold stories of Columbus, Ohio’s legendary Tiki temple

Neil Norman: Conversation with the last great Space Rock composer

Charles Phoenix : Big Retro Outer Space Slide Show

Danny Biederman: Sci-Fi Meets Spy-Fi

Ram Udin: Advanced Bartending Techniques for the Atomic Age

Domenic Priori: Pacific Ocean Park: The Rise and Fall of Los Angeles’ Space-Age Nautical Pleasure Pier

Tiki Oasis market

What: Tiki Oaisis 15 “Yesterdays Future Today” www.tikioasis.com
2014 Festival Re-Cap and Press Lnks –  www.reverberationsmedia.com/tiki-oasis-14-festival-recap/
When: August 13-16, 2015

Where: August 13: Meet and Greet at Bali Hai, Shelter Island, San Diego  – www.balihairestaurant.com

August 14-16: Main Event at Crown Plaza, Hotel Circle, San Diego – www.crowneplaza.com/SanDiego
See all the symposiums here.
Pictures: Lee Joseph and Albertine Feurer-Young

TOTC 2015 – Events, Competitions and Tastings!

It`s fun at the Tales! so many tastings, so much to try and so many events and parties…..well you can only do so much…..and you will STILL be uber busy…. :-) When I try to remember all the things that we did it all get`s a bit confusing, but here are as a sort of Tales wrap-up of a couple of the fun things we did:

angostura cocktail challenge finals

House of Angostura Brand Ambassador, the one and only, Daniyel Jones, picture Laura Godel.

House of Angostura Cocktail Challenge Finals at the House of Blues!

Angostura collage

This was a great event and with great food! The House of Angostura always takes well care of you….and this time we got to make our own roast-beef poboys…. :-) how cool is that!? then try and vote for the contestants drinks. My favorite drink was the Trinidad Cobbler made by Elizabeth Michiewicz and she also won! see her beautiful winning cocktail here and get the recipe to both the cobbler and her other drink, “The Lost Days”!

The House of Angostura also won the Spirited Awards cathegory for Best New Spirit or Cocktail Ingredient!! with their latest product the Amaro di Angostura! a product I have tried and reviewed earlier and it`s such a nice product, congrats! well deserved!

Angostura Pool Party

Angostura also had a pool party -“Orange is the new Black” but we did not manage to get there early unfortunately…and that was a bummer because I really wanted to get me on of those gorgous bath towels….oh well… and the place was so packed you could barely walk…..

And then they also had a tasting which I sadly missed because I was at a seminar….that`s the problem, there`s many things that happens at the same time…and sometimes it´s damn near impossible to pick or make it in time…

Tiki Titans at the Cane and Table

cane and table jet pilot

Cane & Table Featuring Flor De Cana

The Dynamic Duo so powerful they sprouted a third head! Get ready for a night of rum-filled misadventures when three modern masters of the exotic cocktail pour their takes on three vintage drinks from the big three: Donn Beach, Trader Vic, and Steve Crane!

With a little help from our friends at Flor De Cana, you’ll find respite from the NOLA heat inside the historic confines of Decatur Street’s own Cane & Table.

Sip on refreshing rummy libations lovingly served by Nick Detrich (co-owner, Cane & Table, bartender, and affable ginger), Paul McGee (co-owner Lost Lake Chicago, bartender, and beard connoisseur), and Martin Cate (owner Smuggler’s Cove San Francisco, plays a bartender at Tales).

The seductive sounds of bongo drums and electric drink mixers will guide you to safe haven in our rum-filled port! Come thirsty!

The Dynamic Duo`s were back this year again!

Cane and table collage

It was hot and yes we were thirsty………

Cane and table collage 2

The Lost Lake and the Jet pilot!

cane and table collage 3

Brought to us by these hard working guys!

Bulleit Family Affair Presented by Bulleit Bourbon

Bulleit fam affair

Every year the Bulleit family presents a lavish tasting or dinner at the Tales and this year was no exception, the Bulleit tastings are simply NOT to miss! not only is this a nice bourbon (and rye) but it`s also a very nice family; they are really nice people.

This year they caught me by surprise though…because they had King Cake!! I didn`t expect that at all….not in the middle of the summer! but when I think about it, I remeber last year, they had Crawfish Monica….so obviously they are trying to pamper us with some of the best of the out of season things you can get here! :-)

And did I enjoy!

But it was not just the King Cake and the grits and the everything else you could eat, it was also great cocktails served and not the least, nice people and a good time to be had!

Bulleit King Cake

Bulleit King Cake…

Bulleit King Cake coll 2

….and more King Cake…where else can you get both king cake and cheese grits on the same freakin`plate?! only at the Tales! and it made a fab breakfast :-)

Plantation Stiggin`s Fancy Pineapple rum!

More nice tastings….refreshing cocktails from Rhum Barbancourt and then of course, the famous Stiggin`s Fancy! all these tastings everywhere….it`s one of the best things I think! that and meeting all the people but of course also the seminars.

plantation stiggins tasting 2

And not only did I see a whole lotta pineapples at the Stiggin`s tasting but I also met a real pineapple man!! ;-D I don`t know how he does it…but Rocky is everywhere!

An interesting take on the Mai Tai was also presented –  the “Mai Oh Mai Stiggins Fancy” based on the Trader Vic`s recipe but with a twist, containing Plantation Stiggins’ Fancy Pineapple rum, fresh lime, Ferrand Dry Curacao, salted macadamia nut syrup, and Fee`s barrel aged Whiskey bitters and then garnished with such a thing as a savory blue cheese stuffed olive!

Plantation Stiggins tasting

The elusive Stiggin`s Fancy, the Plantation Pineapple rum that tastes like a dream!

Rhum Barbancourt

Quickly we passed Rhum Barbancourt`s tasting on our way to a seminar…..but we tried a a cocktail with Rhum Barbancourt and the Pango. It was very nicely set up with beautiful tropical decor but too little time……

Barbancourt 12

Rhum Barbancourt and Pango.


TOTC 2015 – Jamaicas Influence on Cocktail Culture and Flor de Cana Tasting


Jamaicas Influence on Cocktail Culture

Jamaica, that tiny island in the Caribbean is internationally known for it’s cultural exports such as Bob Marley, Reggae, Usain Bolt, Herbs* and even Bob-sleighing, but it has also influenced some famous cocktails with it’s biggest and most re-known of exports… RUM. Global Rum Ambassador, Ian Burrell brings to life some of the historical Jamaican stories with a few samples of new & world exclusive rums & cocktails for you to taste as you learn what influence Jamaica has had on cocktail culture. Yeah Mon
* You know what herbs I’m talking about.

There are more things than we maybe think about that has Jamaica as it´s homeland and that has been and is influencing the cocktail world. This senminar was moderated by the Global Rum Ambassador Ian Burrell and the speakers were George Freegard (International Brands Manager, Pusser’s rum Ltd) David Morrisson (Appleton Estate’s Senior Blender) and Erik Seed (Principal, Haus Alpenz)

Here are a few things that are genuinely Jamaican and which have had a great influence on cocktail culture:

Ian Burrell

Ian Burrell, Global Rum Ambassador.

Jamaican quassia bark: is actually a very important part of vermouth, did you know?

Ting: Who haven`t heard or tasted JWray and Ting? if not you`re missing out….and need to try! Ting, this Jamaican grapefruit beverage containing real grapefruit is the best in the world and traditionally paired with JWray overproof rum for an extremely refreshing, tasty and potent drink.

Allspice/Pimento – How many tiki and tropical drinks doesn`t contain a dash or two of pimento dram? for example the Nui Nui and the Navy Grog. Also used in jerk recipes.

Sorrel – (Hibiscus) usd in for example Rum Punches and other cocktails and is traditionally used in Christmas drinks with (or without) rum.

Flor de Jamaica – also Hibiscus, used in tea and as cocktail ingredient.

Ginger: Came to Jamaica in 1525 and is in Jamaica also known as “jake”. The prohibition brought arise in soft drinks containing ginger but also abuse of ginger essence. Also in Jamaica ginger beer is a common drink, both homemade and commercial varietes.

flu cocktail

Jamaican Rum – Did you know that 69 of Jerry Thomas cocktails were punches and 35 of them called for Jamaican rum?

Many of Don the Beachcomber`s drinks were inspired by his trips to Jamaica and Jamaican rums were used because of their depth and flavor.

Jamaican rum was first used by the Royal Navy in 1655 and Pusser`s Rum by the original navy recipe was based Jamaican rum but as Jamaican rum became more expensive other English colonial rums were used in the navy blend. Today Pusser`s does not contain any Jamaican rum but instead are blends from 5 different stills located in Guyana and Trinidad.

Smith & Cross is another flavorful pungent Jamaican rum and is a blend of Plummer and Wedderburn styles and is from the Hampden Estate and is blended in the UK,

Appleton Reserve is a blend of 18 different rums and is estate blended, it`s made from pot and column stills at 43%.

During this seminar we also tasted a special Appleton estate blend that was made for Tales of the Cocktail in only 6 bottles. The youngest rum in the blend was 12 years old and some of the rums are rums never to be tasted again. The rum was very deep and flavorful.

Also during this seminar we got a great rum lecture by Richard Seale from Foursquare telling us some truths about rums and to sum it all up in a short note –  fake rums contains rum flavors that are added, are not aged, wood essense is used and sugar and coloring added.

It`s called flavored alcohol and it is not rum.

Personally I think these 3 questions would be good to ask yourself before buying rum:

1 – which is the actual distillery? 2 – how long has the rum been aged? 3 – is there any additives?

And of course you won`t get all that information on the bottle label or company websites of most rums but you can start doing some research….just make sure that you know what you pay for, make sure it´s real rum and not flavored alcohol.

Flor de Cana Tasting


Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America. Bordering Honduras to the South and Costa Rica to the North, Nicaragua’s land is a volcanic, the air is humid and the conditions to produce rum: perfect!

Come taste the range of Flor de Caña rums, from Nicaragua, presented neat as well as in delicious cocktails created by some of the best and most exciting bartenders of our generation:

Each cocktail station will represent one aspect of Flor de Caña’s production and heritage to ensure that you leave this Tasting Room knowing more about Flor de Caña than you did when you entered. Calling all bartenders – come and learn!

Dating back to 1890 at the San Antonio Sugar Mill, in Chichigalpa, Nicaragua, Flor de Caña has grown to be Central America’s leading brand of rum and I like this rum, it`s a great mixer for awesome cocktails and at this tasting we also got to try the Family Reserve Rum…..


The Flor de Cana tasting was one my favorite tastings, much due to the amazing tropical cocktails and lovely tropical decor…providing much inspiration for a tiki geek like me….

And then they had cocktails…   very beautiful and tasty cocktails….   look and see….

This was a tropical feast!!

Flor de Cana cocktail The Gold Coast

Very fruity refreshing tropical cocktails….perfect for the Flor de Cana rum which just was perfectly mellow and added a wonderful rum flavor to these drinks.

Flor de cana cocktail 2

And the next one was even tastier, it was wonder of fresh flavors with a house made plantain syrup adding depth and complexity, I really loved that one and with the rum coming through just nicely, rimmed with coffee sea salt! and garnished with banana mint – this cocktail was wow!!

flor de caca cocktail 1

The plantain syrup interested me and i`m gonna try to make that myself, it was so tasty.


I love banana leaves and bananas! as much as I love the pineapple almost……and oh….the coconut!

flor de cana collage.

Tropical fruity and spicy flavors works so good with this rum!

flor de cana collage3

The Ponche de Cristobal had a little bit more of a fresh herbal character, also very good, it had some sort of different complexity probably due to the tea and herbs.


Another nice drink!


Photos Laura Godel and me

TOTC 2015 – CACHACA – Around Brazil in 40.000 Alembics


“Around Brazil in 40.000 Alembics” is a seminar conducted by Felipe Jannuzzi, a journalist and researcher at Mapa da Cachaça, a reference about cachaça recognized as one of the best cultural projects in Brazil by the Federal Ministry of Culture, and Jean Ponce, one of the most respected mixologists in Brazil with experience commanding the bar at “DOM”, from the chef Alex Atala, elected as the seventh-best restaurant in the world. Felipe has been studying cachaça and traveling around Brazil discovering some of the best alembics in the country.

While tasting some outstanding cachaças, he is also creating content (videos, articles, infographics, music) to show what this sugarcane spirit is all about. Although cachaça is the third most consumed spirit in the world, very few is known about the artisanal cachaças – a category represented by thousands of alembic producers spread all around Brazil. Jean Ponce has been studying cachaças and Brazilian ingredients for the past fifteen years and will bring to the seminar his philosophy and approach concerning the use of the spirit in mixology.

This seminar will be an opportunity to share some of these stories mapped along the Brazilian alembics and a way to demonstrate all aspects involving cachaça, proposing a new look at its history, production techniques (industrial x artisanal), regional terroir, customs, flavors, cocktail recipes and its relations with the Brazilian culture, mixology and gastronomy.

This seminar was one of the most interesting to me during this Tales, they really went deep into the world of cachaca and had quite a few interesting things to show, not the least the different kinds of woods used to age the cachaca in imparting different flavors, smells and colors to this interesting sugarcane spirit.

cachaca seminar tasting 2

Moderated by Felipe Jannuzzi, speakers – Jean Ponce and Tony Harion and sponsored by Leblon.

There are 4000 registered labels of cachaca in Brazil and about 40 000 unregistered….and there`s about 1.7 billion litres of cachaca produced every year and of that only 1%, yes ONE is exported….so there´s a whole array of cachacas in Brazil to be discovered….

They also had very rare artisanal cachacas to try, among one, was a cachaca that had been aged in stone!!

What is Cachaca?

It`s a sugarcane spirit and has to be from Brazil, it is obtained by the distillation of the fermented juice of the sugarcane, it´s 38-48% ABV, you may only add 6g/sugar/liter unless it`s a so called cachaca adocada which allows up to 30g/sugar/liter added.

It`s aged in different woods, there`s industrial (column) cachaca and artisan (alembic) cachaca.

Cachaca is the spirit of Brazil and it has many many different names and it`s used in many different ways, one of the more unknown to us outside of Brazil is the use of cachaca in certain religious rituals where men shower in cachaca….

During the 17th century (around 1750-1770) was the gold rush and gold was mined in Minas Gerais and was brought to Europe and slaves were brought to Brazil, also sugarcane spirit was exchanged for slaves and during the “golden era” a lot of cachaca was spread around in Brazil.

The end of the gold-era came in the 1800th century when coffee replaced cachaca since it was considered a more “noble” drink.

The difference between industrial (column) and artisanal (alembic) cachaca:

Artisanal Cachaca:

Is produced in small quantities, (around 200 000 litres per year) and is made from manually selected and harvested sugarcane, without the use of burning techniques. It`s fermentated for 24 to 36 hours with wild or selected yeasts. No chemical additions are allowed.

It`s distillated in batches, in copper stills, which favors the formation of important congeners for adding aromas and flavors to cachaca and “heads and tails” are separated, only the “heart” is kept. It`s aged in different types of woods. The end product has complex aromas and flavors.

Industrial Cachaca

Produced in large quantities (millions of litres per year) Made with sugarcane grown in large areas and harvested by machines. It is common practice to burn the sugarcane crop before the harvesting.

Use of chemicals, such as amonium sulphate, and antibiotics. fermentation period is 8 to 16 hours. Made with continuous distillation in stainless steel columns and there is no separation of the “head”, the “heart”, and the “tail”.

Usually not aged, and when aged, caramel color is added to give it a yellow hue.

It is a standardized and controlled product, but loses in sensory complexity, in other words….it`s a very “soul-less” industrial mass-product.

Infused Cachaca

There`s infused cachaca with all kinds of fruits and spices, like the french makes their rhum arrangè and those I believe gotta be nice. Then one kind I find interesting and fun are those bottles you see that have whole crabs in them…..and yep these are drunk too…..even though they are said to be not very good….they more look cool….I would love having one of those hanging as decoration in my home tiki bar :-)

Here are a few pics of those kinds of infused cachacas. My guess is that the crab infused cachacas are mostly a tourist souvenir. I was always wondering how they got the whole crabs into the bottles, but what they do from what I heard is sawing the bottom of the bottles open and then insert the crab, then glue the bottle back.


Amendoim-bravo is a wood that is videly available in Brazil and it`s perfect for making storage barrels. It has a subtle scent and imparts a slight yellow tone and a mildly astringent taste to the cachaca. It also stabilizes the cachaca and enhances the aroma of sugarcane and also preserves the spirit. Cachacas stored in barrels made of this wood are perfect for making mixed drinks and caipirinhas.

Araruva or canarywood, also called araribà is indigenous to Southest and center-west regions of Brazil. Cachaca aged in this wood gets a slightly yellowish color and a delicate floral aroma. It`s distict difference from other Brazilian woods is that it imparts viscosity and oiliness to the cachaca.

Cabrèuva or Bálsamo

This wood can be found from southern Bahia to Rio Grande do Sul. It gives the cachaca very intense herbacious aromas due to it´s greenish-yellow coloration and also adds slightly astringent flavors. It is used in “blends” of cachacas aged in oak and/or cherry wood.


Also known as cerejeira imparts an intense color, a distict characteristic aroma with notesof vanilla and a slightly sweet flavor. The cachaca aged in amburana is widely known and available in Brazil and is often used in “blends” of cachaca aged in European oak barrels intensifying the aromas and flavors.


Widely found in Brazil and is suitable for barrels used to store cachaca as it releases almost unnoticeable flavors, aromas and colors. The jequitibà-rosa imparts a golden color, pleasant flavors and complex boquet comparable to those of American oak.


Oak is not native to Brazil but grows in temperate areas in the northern parts of the globe. Several species are used the most common are European and American oak. Oak barrels are widely used to age cachaca and the import of barrels that has been previously used to age other alcoholic products like wines, whiskeys and cognac imparts cachaca with even more various flavors and aromas.

Cachaca aged in American oak has a golden color and distinctive aromas of vanilla and coconut, mild flavor and complex aromatic boquet.

The ageing in European oak gives an amber color, intense aromas and flavors characteristic of almonds, toasted wood and tannins.


tasting collage

They had some very interesting cachacas for us to try, some that we will never try again, like the one that was aged in stone, Sèculo XVIII which had a very deep flavorful taste, herbal and woody and I remember I was thinking, “where does the woody, spicy flavor come from if it`s rested in stone” ? a Brazilian mystery…..this cachaca was exceptional.

We tasted several cachacas that had been aged in the various woods and also the excellent Weber Haus Extra Premium which is aged in both oak and bàlsamo.

cachaca seminar tasting weber haus 2

We tried one called Anísio Santiago which was incredibly flavorful and very rare, it has been aged in bàlsamo wood. Then we tried “Maria Izabel”, made by a woman (Maria Izabel) who makes artisan cachaca in small batch…

It`s rested in jequitibà wood and wild yeast is used for fermentation. It has a floral, slightly sweet flavor and is very pleasant. They showed us a short video of it´s production.

Sanhacu was a very flavor cachaca, rested in amburana and had a lot of flavor from the wood.

Then they had made something called “Fecha Corpo” – a herbal infusion – a cachaca elixir….with cachaca that had been infused with various herbs that are good for your health and according to folk belief is a “holy medicine” against envy and the evil eye.

It tastes very herbal, as expected but not bitter.


In the two small bottles are the Fecha Corpo cachaca elixir and the small wood squares are samples of different Brazilian woods used to age cachaca.

We also got Garapa – freshly pressed sugarcane juice….a very common drink in Brazil and I love it! sweet and fresh and soothing.

Rainforest Priprioca Root

And then there was a very interesting little thing….in a small dark brown spray bottle…

They told us to spray our cocktail glass containing the Amazonia cocktail 3 times in the glass to impart a slight fragrance of the rainforest into the cachaca cocktail….then spray some on our arms and rub it in, as a “rainforest perfume” of sorts…

Very interesting! this “root-spray” is made from a root called priprioca which is a medicinal and aromatic root from the Amazon rainforest. The priprioca root contains an incredible range of aromas similar to vanilla, but with another flavor nuance, with slight earthy and smoky hints and aromatic notes oscillating between herbal and woody.

This root is extensively used in cosmetics and is now also being used by culinary chefs, and now also finding it`s way into cachaca cocktails….

root spray

The priprioca root has a very interesting look…


Freshly pressed sugarcane juice!


Cachaca is fun! just like rum! :-) Felipe and Ponce.


Tony Harion!

Please come back the next year!!

And here you can read all about Cachaca!

Photos: Mapa de Cachaca, Laura Godel and me.