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

HOW TO MAKE PASSIONFRUIT SYRUP

passionfruits1

Passionfruit is one of my favorite fruits, and luckily we now have two varietes of passionfruits here not just one which we had for many years. Its that small wrinkled little dark brownish-purple-green variety. But lately there`s another type – a golden bigger, twice the size and also much sweeter. Watching one of videos from Leblon i marvelled when i saw the size of the Brazilian passionfruits..they were just WOW! big like a large grapefruit.

I have for a long time been a fan of the Port Light cocktail which uses passionfruit syrup and bourbon, a combination i find incredibly tasty. Playing with drink recipes born from that drink has made me discover how well rye also goes with passionfruit and also cognac.

These are all warm flavors that pairs well with the sweet-tart passionfruits and adding a sprinkle of lime or lemon here and a dash of syrup, honey or grenadine, along with warm spices such as cinnamon, vanilla and clove, it gets very tasty. Passionfruit also goes very well together with rum, cachaca, tequila, mezcal..

There are many varietes of edible passionfruits, they are flowering wines growing in the tropics and temperate areas and the flowers are very beautiful. There seems to be very different tasting commercial passionfruit juices and syrups and so the amount of other sweeteners needs to be adjusted to what you got.I decided to use both types of passionfruits for my syrup figuring that one sweet and one tart type would mix well –  and here´s what to do:

passionfruit-seeds

In a pan add 2:1 or 1:1 sugar and water and make a simple syrup by heating it up. When the sugar is dissolved add the passionfruit seeds from all the fruits but two and bring to a slight boil for a couple minutes, then take off from the heat, add the seeds from the other fruits and leave to cool.

The addition of fruit seeds that are not boiled i imagine adds some extra freshness to the syrup while the boiled fruit imparts a deeper flavor. When its cooled, let stand for about 2 hours more so the flavors get a chance to really come out and settle, then strain and bottle.

Here´s a cocktail to try the syrup with unless you wanna make a PortLight;-)

BLOOD AND GOLD

blood-and-gold

2 oz tequila reposado ( i used Los Tres Tonos which has a little smoke)
0.5 oz passionfruit syrup
1 oz passionfruit juice
1 oz fresh blood orange juice
Mint and blood orange slice for garnish

Add to shaker, shake, strain into a glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish blood orange slice and mint. Sprinkle a few of the passionfruit seeds on top of the crushed ice.

A drink to be reminded that there will actually be a summer this year too.