The Black Magic Cocktail and How to sub a Defunct Rum

Black Magic 1

Oh how i wish sometimes that i could just for a day or two transport myself back to the time where the tiki drinks were served with rums like the 17 year old JWray, the quintessential Mai Tai rum or for example the Jamaican Dagger rums…

Well, there IS still some of those rums left…maybe a bottle or three? and these are kept by a few rum collectors..but i actually once did have a smaller bottle of one of the dagger rums. And yep i won`t forget that rum. Or the other vintage rums i`ve luckily been able to taste in various places.

Many of these rums had a flavor profile that of old jamaican pot still plus so much more…and it seems to me that more and more rum companies are trying to re-create that flavor profile again – a good example is Smith and Cross. But these – even though they are very good to my taste – haven`t been able to duplicate the flavor those vintage rums had. We the rum drinkers who are or have not been in a position to collect some of those elusive vintage rums must make do with substitutions.

I`m going to make an example here with a vintage tiki drink called the Black Magic. Dark rums and coffee is what gave this drink it´s name and it was made by Mariano Licudine while he was still working for Don the Beachcomber in the Don the Beachcomber restaurant in Chicago. He later moved on to Fort Lauderdale to work at the Mai Kai.

I have read that he had 48 drinks on his cocktail menu that called for 43 different kinds of rum…so he knew his rums and how to blend different rums to create new flavor profiles for his cocktails – much like Don the Beachcomber.

So when he went to work at the Mai Kai he brought with him many of the recipes of Don Beach drinks and made his own twist on them.

What made the Black Magic so distinctive was not just the blend of dark rums and coffee which is delicious – but it was also the rums used and in this drink one of the Jamaican dagger rums played an important part.

dagger-punch-jamaican-dark-rum

Dagger was a Jamaican dark rum brand which is now defunct. The one i tried had a dark mahogany color and dark tones of burnt molasses and dried fruits, and it was spicy and woody, balanced and complex with a vintage feel.

There are different dagger rums with different agings and here´s what the Bum wrote about one of Mariano´s old dagger rums he tried at the Mai Kai´s back bar, stucked away on a shelf as it was.

“It puts the current dark Jamaican offerings on the market to shame; nothing in the Appleton or Myers’s portfolio even comes close.”

So what to do? how do we sub rums like that?

Reading more on the Atomic Grog`s website thought me that the same company that made the dagger rums now makes a rum that is hard to find – but not impossible – the Kohala Bay.

Now i have no way of finding Kohala Bay so then what to do? i kept reading and found out that they suggested an equal mix of Smith and Cross and El Dorado 12 year old demerara rum.

And finally – i can do that. What i can say is that these rums made a nice drink, tasty and strong but if it comes anywhere close to how the original Black Magic tasted when made with the jamaican dagger rum – it surely ain`t.

And close to how it tastes with the Kohala Bay rum? i cannot tell…all i can say that it´s a tasty drink and that the Smith and Cross/El Dorado 12 yo combo is a good one.

Try it for yourselves..this recipe is the Tribute to the Dark Magic as found on the Atomic Grog.

On the Mai Kai menu it said –

BLACK MAGIC

The owner’s choice. A superbly smooth but forthright blending of fine dark rums and tropical juices, subtly laced with coffee and truly refreshing.

Read the rest of the review here.

Black Magic 3

Tribute to The Mai-Kai’s Black Magic

* 3/4 ounce fresh-squeezed orange juice
* 3/4 ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice
* 3/4 ounce white grapefruit juice
* 3/4 ounce rich honey mix
(2:1 honey to water, mixed and cooled)
* 1 1/2 ounces strong Kona coffee,
freshly brewed, then chilled
* 1 1/2 ounces Coruba dark Jamaican rum
* 1 1/2 ounces Kohala Bay dark Jamaican rum
(substitution suggestion below)
* 1/2 ounce Don’s Mix
(2 parts grapefruit juice to 1 part cinnamon syrup)
* 1/2 teaspoon allspice dram (aka pimento liquor)
* 2 dashes Angostura bitters

Blend with up to 1 1/2 cups of crushed ice in a top-down mixer for around 5 seconds, or until frothy. Pour into a large snifter glass with more crushed ice to fill. Garnish with a lemon peel.

Something about the coffee…try to get real Hawaiian Kona coffee if you can but if you can`t try to get either Louisiana Community coffee dark roast or Jamaican Blue Mountain. I don`t think any other coffee will do. You need a full flavored and strong coffee like these.

Instead of a snifter i decided to let this drink christen my new awesome tiki mug created by Scott Taylor who lives on Maui, Hawaii. if you want to see the awesome and very detailed mugs he makes you can go and check out his pictures on instagram ( type the name tikipop )

Black Magic 4

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

If you go to Maui make sure to stop by the shop, you will find tiki mugs by Scott, Rob and some other local artists, tiki farm, etc.

Also Gecko on Oahu will be releasing Scott´s new Ka’oha design mug in a much more affordable run than the others that have sold..most likely in July on his Southseaarts.com website.

The pics below (by Scott Taylor) are some of Scott´s tiki mugs:

Scott Taylor mugs 4 Coconut Beachcomber & Tapa Tri-Foota

Scott Taylor mugs 5 Marquesan Pineapple bowl

Scott Taylor mugs 2

Aku Aku Drinks

After drinking all those lapu lapu drinks i wrote about in my previous post i`m now gonna make drinks that has the word aku or aku aku in the name and there`s no other reason for doing that other than tiki drink research..and because i like rum drinks.

In my previous post about lapu lapu drinks there was the Aku Aku Lapu and that one is a lapu style drink with the word aku in the name – which made me feel it`s maybe an aku aku drink but lapu lapu style…if that makes any sense…but if not, just enjoy a good rum drink!

What a lapu lapu drink is – go read here – but what is aku aku?

Well it`s many things – for one there was the Aku Aku restaurant in Las Vegas in cirka 1960 and it says in Intoxica that the Aku Aku once fronted the Stardust hotel along with two massive moais or Easter Island (Rapa Nui) statues. 

The restaurant took it`s name from Thor Heyerdahl`s book Aku Aku – which was the book title of his bestseller – Aku-Aku, the Secret of Easter Island – a 1958 book that described his research on the many giant stone statues or moai found on Easter Island and the culture that created them.

Thor Heyerdahl also wrote the world famous “Kon-Tiki”  – which is the record of a journey of 4,300 nautical miles across the Pacific Ocean by raft. Thor Heyerdahl suspected that the South Sea Islands had been settled by an ancient race from thousands of miles to the east, led by a mythical hero, Kon-Tiki. He decided to prove his theory by duplicating the legendary voyage.

And he also wrote the very interesting book “Fatu Hiva” or “Green Was the Earth on the Seventh Day”.

Fatu Hiva was written In the late 1930s, Thor Heyerdahl ( 22 year) left his home in Norway and set off with his new wife for paradise. Fulfilling a long-held ambition to return to nature, the couple sought, and to a degree found, a natural and unspoiled world on the remote island of Fatu-Hiva in the South Pacific.

Yes Thor Heyerdah was quite the adventurer…

But back to Aku Aku:

His theory on how those giant moais on the Easter islands were moved is what gave name to the word aku aku.

Aku Aku – To move a tall, flat bottomed object (such as a bookshelf) by swiveling it alternatively on its corners in a “walking” fashion. [After the book by Thor Heyerdahl theorising the statues of Easter Island were moved in this fashion.] source: LangMaker.com. Aku Aku also has another meaning to the islanders: a spiritual guide.

There`s also a tiki bar in Norway called Aku Aku, check it out!

And in the tiki drink world there`s of course drinks named after aku aku and that´s what i´m gonna deal with now, the drinks!

First drink is the Aku Gold Cup (Sippin`Safari) and it was served in a glass with a ice mold at the Aku Aku restaurant. There`s a picure of the menu and it says it was a mixure of Mexican limes, Cuban syrup, Jamaican rum, Puerto Rican rhum and dashes of almond and herbsaint.

Quite different from the recipe which makes me wonder if the drink was changed at some point? Lime is replaced with lemon, almond for falernum, Cuban syrup for powder sugar and herbsaint omitted.

So i went and asked the Bum about it and he said the menu photo was from the original 1950s menu, while the recipe was a later, modified version of the drink (Tiki places changed recipes regularly over the years, usually so they could make the drinks more cheaply or more quickly, which was probably the case here).

I`m using the later recipe here.

Aku Aku Gold Cup

0.75 oz fresh lemon juice

1 tsp powdered sugar

0.5 oz falernum

0.5 oz Myer`s dark rum

1.5 oz light Puerto Rican rum

Dissolve powder sugar in lemon juice and shake with the rest of ingredients and strain into a saucer with a “spanish comb” ice shell.

To make it simpler i used simple syrup instead (0.5 oz) and took down the lemon juice to 0.5 oz to suit my taste. And i really liked the drink, i found it very refreshing.

But making an ice shell is a lot of work…and unless you wanna do it, i think since this drink has the words “Aku Aku” in the name it`s perfectly fit to be served in a moai mug.

The moai mug uses the power of silence and has an air of mystique – the expression of the face of the moai makes you wonder what thoughts and powers are inside….

OK, its just a mug but still…at least the drink served has the power of making you drunk! So therefore, enjoy all booze in moderation, especially certain strong tiki drinks – because tiki drinks are seductive…

But if you wanna make the ice shell here`s how:

Place finely crushed ice in a large and wide glass, spread the ice along the bottom and sides of the glass gently tapped it pushing the ice up, and then finally pushed the whole ice shell up a bit on one side of the glass and then into the freezer to stay there for at least 1 hour.

The key to a nice ice shell is shaved ice and since i don`t have any ice shaver i´ll just have to do with the clumsier shell you get from an ice crusher. But if you look in the Bum`s books you`ll see how they are supposed to look.

The next drink is a very tasty twist of the Astro Aku Aku from Grog Log. It came to be one day when i didn´t have the papaya and apricot nectars the recipe calls for – so i used mango and guava juices instead and that was right on, oh so tasty… I also added a spoon of creamed coconut but it´s equally tasty without. And i switched the gold Puerto Rican rum for dark Jamaican.

Silent Aku

1.5 oz fresh lime juice

1 oz mango juice

0.5 oz guava juice

0.75 oz sugarcane syrup

0.5 oz falernum

1 tblsp creamed coconut

Dash Angostura bitters

1 oz 151 demerara rum

1.5 oz dark jamaican rum

Blend everything with half cup of crushed ice aqnd pour into a Moai mug (or other vessel or tiki mug) filled with cracked ice. If i`ve had a moai mug i would have used it for this drink, it would´ve been a perfect fit but since i have none (yet) i took one of my coconuts.

This twist of the already tasty Astro Aku Aku is so tasty i made it several times already both with and without the creamed coconut and switching out the rums. I found for example that it tastes very good with Tiki Lover´s dark rum. I´m out of Coruba unf but i can imagine it would be great in this drink.

I wish i had some left of the Caroni but alas…

Tiki Month – 2070 Swizzle

Third drink up for the Tiki Month hosted by the Pegu blog is a drink that was created by Martin Cate at Smuggler’s Cove – the nicely spicy 2070 Swizzle.

I`m serving it in my third mug from the Fireworks studio in Glagow, the coconut mug. I could have made a drink that contains coconut and the best one that comes to mind i the Coconaut but i have already had it on here so i went and searched for something else and found the 2070 Swizzle.

This swizzle contains Angostura 1919 and demerara rums, lime and honey, allspice dram, angostura bitters and what i believe is the secret to success . 4 drops of pernod which is an ingredient that was extensively used by Don the Beachcomber and which in very small amounts ( 4-6 drops usually) adds a third dimension to the drink by adding contrast, i really like it.

If you can`t find pernod you may use absinthe or herbsaint. The absinthe is less sweet than the other two which are not absinthes (pernod is a pastis and herbsaint is a brand name of anise-flavored liquor, originally made in New Orleans, Louisiana) – but since only only drops are used it doesn´t matter which one you use. Personally i used absinthe which are more to my liking in tiki drinks while i prefer herbsaint in say a sazerac.

2070 Swizzle (by Martin Cate)

1 oz Angostura 1919 Rum
1 oz 151 Demerara Rum
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
1/2 oz Honey Syrup
1/4 oz Allspice Dram
4 drops Pernod
2 dashes Bitters

Swizzle and sprinkle nutmeg on top.

The 2070 swizzle is an awesome drink and there´s also a version of it called “2070 Swizzle Redux” created by Jim Hurricane Hayward over at the Grogalizer. Let´s try it:

2070 Swizzle Redux

1 oz Angostura 1919 or other quality Gold Rum
1/2 oz Lemon Hart 151
1/2 oz Smith & Cross
1/2 oz Fresh Lime Juice
1/2 oz Cinnamon Infused Simple Syrup (If you use Trader Tiki/BG Reynold’s, you may need to cut it back. His syrup is extremely strong. Cut it in half)
1/2 oz Honey Mix
1/2 oz Strong Kona coffee (chilled of course)
1/4 oz St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
4 drops Pernod
2 dash Angostura bitters
1 pinch freshly ground nutmeg on top
Cinnamon Stick swizzle

Here is instructions from Swanky that i found on the Tiki Central:

Use about 1/2 cup crushed ice, flash blended for a few seconds. Lately I prefer to put everything in the blender but ice, set it to the lowest setting, on mine it is “Stir” and get all the ingredients mixed.

Then I add the ice and hit it on high. I zap it for a second, let it stop and repeat. Do that maybe 3 or 4 times. Pour into the proper glass (collins/zombie, or the classic aluminum ones) and add ice to fill. Grate some fresh nutmeg on top. Add cinnamon stick as swizzle.

If you use an aluminum glass, or even a collins, take a napkin and unfold it, then refold it longways. You should have a good frost on the glass. Lightly wet one corner of the napkin and press it to the glass so it freezes in place. Wrap around and do the same to the other end. This makes the drink easier to hold since it is so cold.

I didn`t have any Angostura 1919 but i do have some left of the Caroni -97 single barrel rum so i used that with excellent results in both drinks, awesome actually…

And my blender has broken down so this one is swizzled the old fashioned way with a wooden swizzle stick.

The 2070 Swizzle Redux tastes to me like a coffee spiced cousin to the first one with a  little bit less demerara flavor and more of the Jamaican funk and (in my case) strong Caroni heaviness – and even though Caroni is a rum from Trinidad many of their strong rums does resemble Jamaican pot still rum.

Happy Tiki Month!

Wrath of the Zombie

Happy Halloween everybody, here´s a drink to wake the living dead! – or at least to make YOU become like a zombie if you make too many…

It´s a variety of the classic 1934 Don the Beachcomber’s Zombie with a blend of aged and overproof rums, plus rhum agricole and then cinnamon, grapefruit and lime..

I`ve had the zombie on here before but it´s a damn good drink! and if it wasn`t for one man namely “Jeff Beachbum Berry” we wouldn´t have this recioe today…he dug down the rabbithole of lost ingredients and recipes and un-earhted the original 1934 Zombie Punch.

And that you can read all about in his book Sippin`Safari.

But this time to make something different i have omitted the pernod and grenadine in this recipe and added grapefruit juice and then switched gold Puerto Rican rum for aged agricole.

Same same but different..but not less strong…

Wrath of the Zombie

0.75 oz fresh lime

0.5 oz Don´s Mix ( either use Trader Tiki aka BG Reynold´s excellent Don`s Mix or make your own by mixing 2 parts Grapefruit Juice with 1 part Cinnamon Syrup.

0.5 oz Falernum ( Get BG Reynold`s or make your own)

1.5 oz Jamaican rum ( I used – Blackwell rum, and 0.5 oz Smith and Cross)

1.5 oz aged rhum agricole ( i used Clément VSOP)

1 oz demerara rum ( 0.5 oz El Dorado 12 yo, 0.5 oz Lemon Hart 151)

Dash Angostura bitters

Top with grapefruit juice

Blend everything with 6 oz crushed ice, blend at high speed for 5 sek. Pour into a zombie glass (chimney glass) and add more crushed ice to fill if needed.

Top up with grapefruit juice and garnish with pineapple leaf and slice and cherry.

This is a strong rum drink…

Boooo!!!

Sugarcane bar

 

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PLANTATION RUM ORIGINAL DARK OVERPROOF

Now this is really interesting – here is one more rum especially designed for today’s exotic and tiki cocktails. To me that is a proof that the tiki drink trend is here in full force but not just as a trend, i believe it´s here to stay – that the tiki drinks finally have gotten their recognition and place in the cocktail world.

They have been here for long i know but after they were abandoned and eventually replaced by overly sweet slushy concoctions not worthy the name “tiki drink”.  The so called faux tropical, exotic or tiki drinks have been very slowly coming back – and finally is today really getting more recognition everywhere.

To quote Paul Clarke over at Cocktail Chronicles:

The thing I like about many tiki drinks–is the kind of baroque complexity in the glass. Ideas of mixological structure and balance are thrown completely aside in many of these drinks, but if you keep a close eye on the proportions in your mix–you can create something that’s pleasantly unexpected.

And now we get rums especially designed for them! The next such rum i have on hand  is Plantation rum original overproof made by the house of Cognac Ferrand.

I first tried this rum at the UK rumfest, in the so called “RumFrat House” which is the HQ for the Rum XP folks. I really liked its rich deep taste and that little taste i got there did spark my curiosity and i`ve been very eager to get going mixing with it.

This rum is like i said, created by the Cognac Ferrand estate, owned by Alexandre Gabriel. Plantation Original Dark Overproof is bottled at 73% alcohol by volume making it 146 proof and is created in Trinidad. It is a stronger, bolder and more flavorful version of Plantation Original Dark Rum which is a blend of Trinidad dark rums aged in young bourbon casks.

Plantation Original Dark Overproof  is available both in the US and Europe. In the US it will retail for $29.99 for a 1-liter bottle and is available nationwide. In Europe you can get it from Drinkology and The Whiskey Exchange.

It joins the Plantation Rum portfolio as a unique addition for two reasons: 1) It is the only overproof rum in the collection and 2) It is the only rum that is not double aged.

The double aging process is where the rums are distilled and aged in their country of origin and then shipped to the Ferrand estate in Cognac, France where they are aged for several more months in small, used French oak barrels. The reason Original Dark Overproof is not double aged is that at the delicate changes imparted by the double-aging technique would be lost on a rum that is such high proof.

So how does it smell and taste like?

Nose – I can feel sweet sugarcane, some wood, banana peels and spice. Especially the banana peels are present but not overpowering, it gets me to think about those exotic banana food wraps… The nose is very refined and delightful, I could sit and sniff all day..

Palate – Toasted and dried tropical fruits, strong but not unpleasant alcohol burn, wood, molasses and tropical dried fruit.

The sum of it – I`d say it´s a pleasant tasting strong, complex and fruity rum that is great to mix exotic drinks with, but i also do believe it would make a stunning daiquiri paired with some other rum or Plantation Original Dark.

I decided to make a few of Martin Cate´s drinks with it since i`m a big fan of his flavorful and inventive rum cocktails. So here we go – starting with a favorite:

DEAD RECKONING (Martin Cate, Smuggler’s Cove, San Francisco)

0.5 oz Plantation Original Dark Overproof

1.5 oz Plantation Original Dark

0.5 oz Navan Vanilla Liqueur

0.5 oz Maple Syrup

0.5  oz Tawny Port (Sandeman)

1 oz Lemon Juice

1 oz Pineapple Juice

1 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a tall glass or tiki mug filled with cracked ice. Top with 1 oz of soda

Garnish with a fresh and spanked mint sprig, pineapple leaves and lemon peel.

Tasty as always, i choosed to go Plantation all the way instead of using 1 oz of another type of rum but you can always experiment! This is one of Martin`s legendary drinks. He is a drink-genious did i tell you that?

TRINIDAD DRY FLOAT (This is the demerara dry float with Plantation overproof… name courtesy Martin Cate)

2 1/2 oz fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 oz passion fruit syrup

1/4 oz sugar syrup

1 oz  Plantation Original Overproof Rum

1/4 ounce 151 Demerara rum to float

1/4 ounce Maraschino liqueur

Shake everything except the 151 rum with ice, strain into double old-fashioned glass filled with crushed ice, and carefully float the 151. Do not stir.

This version of the Demerara Dry Float is a killer cocktail! – a dangerous drink… so tasty and so strong since it contains no less than two overproof rums… so be careful. I really enjoyed this one.

TRINIDAD HOOK (Martin Cate, Smuggler’s Cove, San Francisco)

1 oz Plantation Trinidad Overproof

1 oz Plantation Original Dark

1 oz passion-honey mix

.5 oz – .75 oz fresh squeezed lime juice (to taste)

2 dashes Angostura bitters

Combine all in an ice-filled cocktail shaker; shake and double strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lime peel spiral.

Passion-honey mix:

Gently heat honey until liquid and whisk in an equal amount of pure unsweetened passion fruit nectar. Let cool and refrigerate.

I made my passion-honey mix with homemade passionfruit syrup and honey instead since i can´t find any passionfruit nectar. It worked like a charm, very tasty. If you need a recipe for passionfruit syrup it´s here – or go get B.G Reynold´s.

This is a strong and very yummy daquiri-ish cocktail that went down waaaay to easily….very tasty!

So what`s next? there´s a whole parade of strong tiki drinks to use this rum in, Jeff “Beachbum” Berry mentioned the Zombie…. but be careful with overproof rums, too much will give you a headache, just right is the way to go.

For more information about Cognac Ferrand, visit www.cognacferrand.com or www.plantationrum.com or www.facebook.com/PlantationRum

UK RRRUMFEST!! Let it flow…

Let it flow, let it flow, let it flow! and flowed it did…rum here, rum there, rum everywhere – the UK Rumfest & Cane Spirits Festival is heaven for rum lovers and it shows people that rum is more than a spirit – it´s a lifestyle with a whole culture surrounding it.

The UK RumFest brings together the industry’s plethora of blenders, distillers, bartenders and mixologists, writers, bloggers, brand ambassadors, rum enthusiasts – all joining in to celebrate all things rum.

Here you get a chance to try out both new and old, known and unknown rums and many cocktails , tiki drinks and rum punches of course, (oh the rum punches…) listen to sessions, dance with tropical dancers, taste caribbean food, watch bartender competitions – all to the rhythms of the caribbean and in the company of people who have that one thing in common – they all love rum!

The UK Rumfest 2011 took place from friday to sunday oct 14-16 at the Kensington’s Olympia in London with the friday reserved for the Boutique Rumfest (for the trade with tastings and sessions.) Saturday was the official Rumfest starting day and i don´t think i´ve seen a crazier crowd before when it comes to a room being packed with rum-lovers.

Also it was the London Cocktail Week starting the week before with 3 days left when i came into town:-)

But back to the friday and Boutique Rumfest. There was of course lots of rum to be tasted and since it was a calmer event we also got a much better chance to meet and talk to the producers about their products.

There´s an incredible amount of rums to be tasted, especially on the two official rumfest days, and i wasn´t able to taste it all i´m sure! i think there was over 400 different rums from well known brands like Zacapa, Foursquare, Bacardi, Havana Club, Appleton, Cockspur, Mount Gay, Chairman´s Reserve etc to smaller unknown brands like Les Coliniéres.

And apart from the big brands i got to try some of the to me unknown rums and other rums i`ve never tried before. Some of my favorites among those i´d not tried before are st Nicholas Abbey from Barbados, a top notch fantastic rum! (a review of their 12 yo will follow)

And Les Colinières – from Mauritius – naturally infused, so called “rum/rhum arrangé” in the islands of Mauritius and La Réuinion. Their coffee and passionfruit rums were just amazing! and would be perfect in tiki drinks. As far as i know their rums is not yet sold outside of Mauritius..

Also Rumfire was new to me. That is a Jamaican overproof white rum from the Hampden Estate which in Jamaica is known for its full, intensely flavorful pot still rums sold in bulk. Today`s Rumfire that now is released to the public is yesterday´s JB rum which was on the black market. The Rumfire is like a smoother version of JWray overproof, it has hints of that flavor but it`s not as upfront. A very interesting and tasty rum.

They made me a daiquiri with it and that was a nice daiquiri indeed, this rum mixes wonderfully. Also it won silver medal at the Ministry of Rum Tasting competition this year.

Interesting but a bit odd was the Madagascar rum Dzama, it was quite good i think but i couldn´t be friends with the aftertaste which is what i found to be odd…so i have mixed feelings about this rum. An exotic bird…i wouldn´t mind taste the rums again and take more time.

Also i finally got to try out Elements 8 Spiced, which i found to be quite tasty.

New for 2011 rumfest was the Tropical Food Market which was an entire area downstairs devoted to tropical food and delicacies – that´s where i got my freshly cut coconut! – with rum in it of course…There was also a shop entirely dedicated to muscovado sugar…

Also there was sessions and masterclasses and the one´s i got a chance to attend first was the “Don`t Fear the Blender” with Beachbum Berry and then the El Dorado.

DON´T FEAR THE BLENDER


I`m a friend of the blender, let me tell you that first.With the blender you get that aerated frothy thing you cannot really get with a shaker plus it does good things at the same time for you – it mixes, chills, dillutes, creates a froth)

The blender was first used in Havana in the Floridita, dating back to 1817 when it was first opened as “La Piña de Plata” – The Silver Pineapple in the place it still occupies, in the corner of Obispo and Monserrate streets. It got it´s name “El Florida” a 100 years later. The bartenders used to use 11 drinks shakers and you can just imagine the work…so when the blender appeared it was like a lifesaver and now it became easier to serve the never ending hords at Floridita. At the time the ice for the daiquiris was shaved.

Then Don the Beachcomber started to use the Hamilton Beach blender and more would follow.The blender aerates and dillutes some of the crushed ice just enough to “wake-up” the spirit. Some drinks requires just a quick flash blending while other wants 15-30 sek. In the Bum´s books the exact time for the blending is always written out.

This session was a real pleasure to attend and i wish it could be a weekendly habit…but alas…or if i could at least live neighbour with the Bum! i would go and borrow sugar…errr…rum…um…a tiki drink…

We got some tasty blended drinks too of course and here are the Bum`s recipes:

LEI

15 ml fresh lime juice

15 ml peach brandy

30 ml white rum

15 ml (0.5 oz) honey-mix

6 oz crushed ice

Blend for 20 sek, frappé

DEVIL´S ISLAND DAIQUIRI

22.5 ml fresh lime juice

60 ml Chairman´s Reserve Rum

22.5 ml honey butter mix

120 ml crushed ice (0.5 cup)

Let the blender go for a long time, 20 sek. Fine strain into a bitter-sugar rimmed glass, gently pressing the liquids.

BITTER-SUGAR

Mix 4 tbsp demerara sugar with Fee´s aromatic bitters (4 big dashes)

HONEY BUTTER MIX

Unsalted butter and honey in equal proportions, heated up to dissolve the honey and melt hte butter, leave to room temp before using it.

Also you can make a delicious honey-butter-cream by using sugar, butter, heavy cream and honey.

The butter-honey-mix or cream mix gives a silky mouth feel to the drink that unless you already know – will never know what it is…

We also got some other nice drinks to imbibe like the always so tasty Missionary´s Downfall.

EL DORADO


I don´t think i need to present what this rum is, if you don´t know already go read my earlier post and check their website.

The session was hosted by Dave Broom (author of Rum) and Stefanie Holt, (El Dorado Global Brand Ambassador)

They took us through a journey to the land of many rivers, Guyana where the demerara rum is made. An interesting thing i learnt was that when the sugarcane fields are burnt a side effect is that the sugar in the cane is dissolved in the water that evaporates and thus makes the sugar content more concentrated and sweeter. The yeast is put in a molasses solution to get happy and multiply.

Further they spoke about the different stills and since i`m a DDL still geek i always find that interesting. What DDL does is simply to put as much Guyana as possible into the rum..

SATURDAY AND SUNDAY – RUMFEST!!


So saturday and sunday was the 2 days of Rumfest and these were 2 very intense days…rum tastings, cocktail and rum punches, tiki bartender of the year, sessions on rum, rum punch, rum, rum…and then the Golden Rum Barrel Awards.

This blog was one of four nominated “Rum Blog of the Year (Europe) and i`m very honored and wanna thank everyone who did vote for me. It didn´t make it all the way though..the prize was given to my good friends Peter and Pauline over at the Floating Rum Shack, who i think really deserved it! There was also four nominated blogs for the USA cathegory and the winner was Rumconnection.

All the awards you can read about at the bottom of this blog post.

Also there was the Tiki Bartender of the Year contest with the final on the sunday. There was 3 bartenders in the final and the winner was Mahiki`s head bartender Georgi.

What i particularly like about the Rumfest is that it is such a people thing, it´s relaxed and laid back with that caribbean feel spiced with quite a bit of tiki vibes, an environment i feel right at home in.

THE FOOD


Yes there´s food too! i did eat some real good Caribbean food at Ian`s restaurant Cotton´s – a place i really can recommend if you go to London! i had their famous Mixed Jerk Fish Grill – parrot fish, tilapia, snapper and tiger prawns served with fried plantain and rice & peas and it was lovely! Washed down with cold Carib and Blue Marlin beers.

 

Also the awards dinner was an amazing experience – the Caribbean style dinner with the Butterscotch Pumpkin Soup with Goat Cheese and Spiced Pumpkin Seeds was really tasty.

And then came the Coconut Crumbled Chicken with Sweet Potato mash and Sauteed Spinach…finished off with a Rum drenched fruit dessert, coffee and plain dark chocolate…hmmmm…

AND DRINKS…

Three bars in London i would recommend are Trailer Happiness, Montgomery Place and Callooh Callay – you can´t go wrong with any of them and if you go Trailer you`ll most likely see Damien fire up the roof.

To finish it off here´s a whole parade of various pictures to drool over and enjoy…:-)

Amazing Queens Park swizzle at the Montgomery Place


Something beautiful and tasty from Trailer Happiness…

The Zombie at Trailer Happiness.

And their fire show…putting the overproof rum soaked copper roof on fire…displaying all kinda colors, awesome!

It`s caribbean carnival at the UK Rumfest!

 

Cockspur Rum Punch

Foursquare got 3 awards…


Three charming rum smiles in the Plantation stand..if you go to Trailer Happiness they´ll make tasty drinks for ya!

Three happy rum people…(Stanislav Vadrna, Yours truly (Tiare) and Carl Kanto (chemist, distiller, El Dorado) i love this about events like this – the friends you meet both new and old.


I haven`t yet been able to figure out this nifty outfit….was it somebody´s outfit for the Golden Rum Barrel Awards? ( i think heard something…)

Les Colinières – rum arrangé from Mauritius

We could get fresh cut coconuts too…with rum in it!

St Nicholas Abbey from Barbados

Elements 8 Spiced

Black Tot Last Consignment sold by the Whiskey Exchange


 

In the Rum Frat House – it´s like the Mixohouse in New Orleans but with rum lovers.

Rum Punch with Kraken Black Spiced

Dzama from Madagascar

God for Tiki drinks..


 

No Rumfest without Ting…and with Banks Five Island it`s wonderful.

 

Like a lighter and smoother version (flavorwise) of the JWray overproof…but don`t let that deceive you – this rum is strong.


And here`s the original JWray and Ting! which was my corps reviver on the sunday…backed up with chocolate muffins.

Don Q Rum – good for a lot of things

Ian Burrell – the one and only – Global Rum Ambassador and founder of the UK Rumfest.


THE GOLDEN RUM BARREL OF THE YEAR 2011 WINNERS

Rum Distillery of the Year 2011

The Foursquare Distillery, Barbados

Rum Distiller of the Year 2011

Richard Seale (Four Square, Barbados)

Rum Blender of the Year 2011

Tito Cordero (Venezuela: Diplomatico)

Rum Blogger of the Year (Europe) 2011

The Floating Rum shack

Rum Blogger of the Year (The America’s) 2011

RumConnection.com

Rum Ambassador of the Year (UK) 2011 sponsored by Bar Life UK

Meimi Sanchez (Havana Club)

Rum Ambassador of the Year (International) 2011 sponsored by Drink International

David Cordoba (Bacardi Rum)
Jim Wrigley (Ron St.Teresa)

Best New Rum (Gold) 2011 sponsored by Coco Re’al

Abuelo Centuria, Panama

Best New Rum (White) 2011 sponsored by Coco Re’al

Banks 5 Island, Several Countries

Best New Rum Package 2011

Bacardi 1909

Boutique RumFest Award 2011 sponsored by Imbibe Magazine

Doorly’s XO Rum, Barbados

The Rum Experience Rum Pioneers Award

Joy Spence from Appleton Jamaica rum. The first female Rum master blender.
Ed Hamilton from the Ministry of rum. Founder of the pioneering web page and rum forum.

And last…

I wanna raise a toast of El Dorado 15 Year Old rum for George Robinson, the head man at the Diamond Distillery in Guyana who passed away just a little while before the UK Rumfest. A toast was also held at the Golden Rum Barrel Awards.

Can you have too much rum?

Sugarcane bar

 

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