KAHLÙA COFFEE CREAM

kahlua-coffee-cream

This is  the newest product from Kahlùa (since 1936) and is a limited edition liqueur for this holiday season. The word Kahlúa means “House of the Acolhua people” in the old Veracruz Nahuatl languagein Mexico.The coffee used in the coffee cream liqueur grows in Veracruz, Mexico.

The coffee cream liqueur is made with Kahlùa which is made from 100%  Arabica coffee beans that are shade grown in Veracruz and fresh, natural cream. Mexican vanilla beans and rum, are key components in creating Kahlua’s flavour and the cream adds another dimension enhancing Kahlua’s notes of vanilla, caramel and hints of dark chocolate. I think the addition of the cream  adds a smooth creamy and very yummy taste and texture to the liqueur.

Kahlúa Coffee Cream will be available at retail in the US from october 1 through december 31 and be sold together with the rest of Kahlua’s range of coffee liqueurs, including Kahlua Mocha, Kahlua French Vanilla, Kahlua Hazelnut and Kahlua Especial.

The last TDN was sponsored by Kahlùa and so we got to try out this yummy product and mix a range of cocktails with it which was fun. I want to add one of mine here where Kahlùa Coffee Cream, Tequila reposado and Crema de Mezcal goes in the same glass:

ULÙA SUNRISE

ulua-sunrise

1.5 oz tequila reposado
0.5 oz kahlua coffee cream
1t (very small) creme de cacao
2 oz fresh pineapple juice.
Float Del Maguey Crema de Mezcal

Shake, strain and serve with crushed ice and add a good float Crema de Mezcal. Fill up with more crushed ice and garnish with a pineapple leaf.

This is a drink for those who loves sweet stuff! if you like it less sweet maybe 1/4th Kahlùa Coffee cream is better. The crema de mezcal gives a real nice touch to this.

My impression of Kahlùa Coffee Cream is good, its smooth and mellow, yummy and creamy.

Sugarcane bar

 

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MxMo XLII: Dizzy Dairy

mxmologo

Time again! This months MxMo is hosted by eGullet Society – thanks very much for hosting! Here is the announcement:

This month, fellow Society members, we are the hosts for a Mixology Monday on the theme of dizzy dairy. Any drink using a dairy product is fair game: milk, cream, eggs, butter, cheese, yogurt, curds, you name it. Given the importance of dairy products in drinks dating back centuries, there are lots of opportunities for digging through vintage receipts for a taste of the past, and as always innovation is highly encouraged.

This really gives room for a lot to play with and i`m a lover of egg whites in cocktails, but i suspect many will use that so therefore i have chosen another route – butter. In the form of honey-cream-mix which is equal parts honey, sugar and butter, no cream even though the name suggests that. As one may guess, the honey-cream-mix is a part of the tiki realm of cocktail mixing. The most well known is honey-mix which is equal parts honey and water. A similar mix is used in Pearl Diver`s Punch.

When using honey-cream-mix its necessary to keep it just above room temp before you mix it because of the butter solids. The preferred way to mix it is with a blender saving ice for last and blend at high speed no more than 20 sek. Then strain through a fine wire mesh sieve and serve immediately.

SMOKY PINEAPPLE

smoky-pineapple-delight

1 pineapple, hollowed
5-6 chunks of fresh pineapple
2 oz tequila reposado
0.5 oz Crema de mezcal (Del Maguey)
1 oz honey-cream-mix
¼  oz orgeat
Ting to top

Hollow out a whole pineapple to make a drink vessel, the easiest way is to use a pineapple corer. Preferably use a pineapple thats is newly matured, they are less sweet. To easily take out the core in the middle, cut a bit with a small knife and/or twist it. Then take 1-2 slices and cut out chunks. If you dont have a fresh pineapple, don`t use canned juice…rather use a cartoned juice.

Add all ingredients to a blender saving ice for last and blend at high speeed for exactly 20 sek. Then strain through a fine wire mesh sieve into the pineapple filled with crushed ice. top with Ting and serve immediately.

Garnish a pineapple leaf and mezcal soaked cherry.

HONEY CREAM MIX

Take equal parts liquid honey, sugar and butter and heat it and stir to make a sauce.

smoky-pineapple-delight-close

 

Sugarcane bar

 

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COCKTAILS WITH MEZCAL part 2 – JALISCO SMOKE

In this second post in my series about cocktails with mezcal it starts with tequila:

After a visit to the Cocktail Chronicles this spring reading the recipe for the tequila libation ”Flor de Jalisco” made by Death & Co bartender Joaquin Simo, this cocktail caught my attention and sparkled my appetite. I made one and it was so nice, it`s easy to mix yet it does have that little extra omph. Then on my recent trip to the US and the Tales in New Orleans in july ending up in New York i visited Death & Co and among a range of great cocktails i also tried this one and i was not dissapointed – it was lovely.

I very much like tequila – it has a wonderful flavour and it mixes so nicely with fresh fruits and spices – my fav mixers.

FLOR DE JALISCO

2 oz tequila blanco

0.75 oz fresh lemon juice

0.5 oz agave syrup

1 tsp orange marmalade

Shake and strain into chilled coupe and garnish with an orange twist.

Back home i decided to have some fun and play with it and make it differently and so i added bitter seville orange marmalade instead, a reposado instead of blanco, lime instead of lemon, dried hibiscus flower rim and a dash rich cinnamon syrup. (2:1 demerara sugar, water and cinnamon stick)

Then i added a float of mezcal.

JALISCO SMOKE

jalisco-smoke2

2 oz tequila reposado ( i used XQ reposado)

0.75 oz fresh lime juice

0.5 oz rich cinnamon syrup

1 small tsp bitter seville orange marmalade

Float mezcal (I used Del Maguey San Luis Del Rio)

Rim the glass with crushed dried hibiscus flowers, or rim half. Shake, strain and serve  with crushed ice and garnish with a spiraled lime.

It looks like a Margarita but isn´t. A spiraled lime you get by inserting a chopstick through the lime and then you just cut around it in a spiral manner from the top end to the bottom and then take out the stick. The only thing i would like to change is the hibiscus rim, i would like to make it into powder instead.

Its fun how you can play with flavors by switching one or more of the ingredients and get a totally different drink and that`s the whole point of this post apart from sharing my passion for mixing with mezcal.

In my first post on cocktails with mezcal it was the only base spirit but here it plays a different role and is used as a float together with tequila as the base– i think it has a nice effect. Its really fun to use mezcal because of its rich flavours and smokiness, and there´s so many things you can do – mix, float, rinse, rim, spray…and mixing with both tequila and mezcal is fun, wonderfully tasty as well as economical.

COCKTAILS WITH MEZCAL part 1 – Old Ancho Cocktail

old-ancho-cocktail

I`m going to start a new series – cocktails with mezcal. The reason for doing this is that i think mezcal deserves to be used much more in cocktail mixing, its such a nice spirit. Actually its used quite much now compared to before and that is a good thing, but i have never yet seen it in my country. And even though you really should experinece the full flavours of mezcal by sipping it (its very nice in clay cups) it makes nice mixed drinks.

So i`m going to post cocktails using mezcal, hoping that more will try to mix with it. Mezcal is a real handcrafted spirit distilled from fermented juice of the pineapple-shaped core, the piña – of the agave plant. These cores are roasted in earthen mounds as opposed to cooked as is the practice in tequila making, to simplify it. And the distinctive woody smokiness of the mezcal comes from this roasting.

The smokiness can maybe be a challenge to get used to but premium mezcals like Del Maguey and Ilegal has a light smokiness that is not offensive. And the smokiness adds a very interesting punch –  a little smoke and fire to a drink.

The herbal flavours of the agave and the earthy smoke from the roasting pairs really well with fruity flavours making sure you definetily won´t get a boring drink. If you have had bad mezcal as your first experience of this wonderful spirit, give it a new try – with a premium brand.

I have a tendency to use a lot of fresh fruit juices in my drinks so i`m not even sure this cocktail will do the mezcal enough justice. On the other hand –  it has a lot of smokiness that stands up well to most mixers. So here is the first cocktail with mezcal which i call Old Ancho.

To this cocktail i have made a ancho-chili syrup. The anco chili is really a dried poblano as they are referred to poblano when they are fresh. The ancho is dried, a reddish brown, flat and wrinkled chili and sweetest of the dried chilis originating in the state of Puebla, Mexico. The word ancho means “wide” in Spanish. Fresh poblanos are also sold under the name pasilla.

There´s another variety of dried poblano which is called mulato chile and which is darker in color,  sweeter and also softer in texture. Its heat rating is 2,500 to 3,000 Scoville units. (compared to ancho which is 1000-1500) The mulato has been described as tasting somewhat like chocolate or licorice, with undertones of cherry and tobacco. (mmm….)

The anco chile has a sweet slighly hot and earthy flavor. It is commonly used in Mexican cooking and is a staple in red chili and tamales.

The flavor in this syrup came out very nice, the palmsugar in it played well with the earhy flavor of the ancho, but to not have the palmsugar flavor overpowering the syrup i also used an equal part light raw sugar.To make this syrup you need 1:1 palmsugar and light raw sugar and i used a 2:1 ratio sugar to water. Then you need one large dried ancho chili. I only made a small batch this time.

ANCHO CHILI SYRUP

1 large dried ancho chili
1 dl light raw sugar (I used oxfam)
1 dl palmsugar
2 dl water

ancho1

I boiled this in my pan for about 10 minutes, then the chili seeds started to fall out. I let it boil a bit more and tasted. The flavor wasn´t very hot at all so i let it boil for another 3-4 minutes and tasted again. Now the seeds had given a bit of a hot flavor so i took it off and strained out the seeds. I also took out remaining seeds from the chili.

Then i put it all back again on the stove to simmer for another 4 miutes before i took it off to cool. The flavor was now a little bit hot but not too much, earthy, spicy and raw sugar sweet, just perfect.

The mezcal cocktail i made is a fruity and spicy twist on the mojito adding the ancho syrup instead of sugar and topped with Tonic water.

OLD ANCHO COCKTAIL

1.5 oz mezcal
1 lime, quartered
0.75 oz ancho chili syrup
5-6 mint leaves
Top with a good quality tonic

Muddle lime, mint and ancho syrup in shaker. Add mezcal and shake over ice. Strain into a cocktailglass with crushed ice. Top with tonic. Garnish mint and a speared ancho chili.

The mezcal and the acho syrup goes well together i think even though the mezcal somewhat overpowers the flavors of the syrup due to its smokiness. Nevertheless these two are friends. I find this cocktail quite refreshing. The ice also mellows the flavours a bit.

ancho-chile-syrup-making-21

 

Sugarcane bar

ILEGAL MEZCAL

ilegal-bottle1

The nose of the mezcal reaches me, its earhty…and smoky…but not overwelmingly so – in a pleasant way it invites you to take a sip.

I wrote this on my post on mezcal at theMixoloseum blog and its how i feel about mezcal.I wrote a little about how mezcal is made as well in that post so i`m not writing about the process in making it now – even though that´s a very interesting topic but what i´m going to write about is Ilegal mezcal which is a handcrafted small batch product and one of the best mezcals out there (of those i have tried)

Its a very smooth and pleasant mezcal which keeps the smokiness lingering in the background and not upfront – instead it grows upon you as it should if well made. At least that`s what i think.

I`ve tried two of Ilegal mezcals – the joven (young/unaged) which i graciously received here just before i left for the US and then the anejo which was brought to the Mixoloseum house in New Orleans courtesy Ilegal mezcal and which i was lucky to sample there. Both are very good, these mezcals are very smooth and they belong to the top shelf mezcals.

I have also tried a few bad mezcals and all i can say is that there´s a huge difference between a good one and a not so good.

The joven is a young mezcal, double and triple distilled made from espadin agave.The anejo is aged one year in medium charred new oak barrels.They also make a reposado which i haven´t tried. Its aged 4-5 months in the same type of barrels as the anejo.The bottle labels are also very nice and the paper has a special feel to it.

Try to find mezcal here in this country…just the thought of it is almost ridiculous, on the shelf i can count on one hand the brands of tequila that i can pick, so what does it take to get something like mezcal to be sold here? few people even knows what it is. Well, i`m happy i do because its deliscious, good to sip neat and good to mix with as well.

I had a few nice tequila and mezcal cocktails at Mayahuel in NYC and i specifically remember one called “Slight Detour” with  joven and reposado mezcals, agave and Xocoatl mole bitters and a trio of jalapeno tequila – and peppers is something i think goes really well with these spirits.

I`m currently experimenting with mezcal cocktails and infusions and there will definetily be more of it here.The fun thing with infusing mezcal is that you have its rich flavour profile and smokiness that challenges you. You can infuse it with many things but not all will end up with a good result.

For instance i have a green tomato infusion that have been sitting for a week now and the tomatos hasn´t yet imparted any much to the infusion because they are to light in flavour. I wanted to use tomatillos but they are only occasionally available here, say once a year or so. There´s no mexican food store here either and that is very unfortunate i think.

The pineapple infusion on the other hand turned out really good, the mexcal has just a hint of pineapple and its just the way i like it. I made a chorizo infusion as well and made it to be subtle too (1-2 days – you gotta taste your way) and i think it turned out well. When i make my infusion experiments i always make very small jars, just enough for about 2 drinks because i don´t want to waste the spirit. Two other infusions that works well with mezcal is habanero and jalapeno peppers.

I like to combine mezcal and tequila with freshly muddled herbs and spices combined with fresh juices and simple, flavoured or agave syrups – it`s a nice thing for the palate.

Here´s another cocktail i made using one of my favorite bitters – Bitter Truth´s celery bitters and my pineapple infused joven mezcal with fresh lime, raw sugar cane and aperol garnished with a mezcal soaked cherry from my backyard.

MELLOW

mellow1

2 oz pineapple infused Ilegal mezcal joven
1 oz Aperol
0.5 oz fresh lime
0.5 oz raw sugar syrup
3 dashes BT celery bitters

Shake over ice and strain into a glass filled with crushed ice.Garnish with a mezcal soaked cherry and a thin celery stick.

This cocktail turned out really fresh and nice tasting with the slightly pineapple flavoured mezcal playing nicely with both the aperol and celery bitters. But the big win was at the end – to eat the mezcal soaked cherry.That was nom nom.

To make mezcal soaked cherries:

Add fresh cherries to a jar filled with joven mezcal and soak for at least a week before use. I actually used this cherry a bit too early, only after a few days.They get even better with time but it was very flavourful already. Last year i soaked all my cherries in Luxardo maraschino, i had a supply that lasted the whole winter.This fall i`m gonna soak more cherries in mezcal and then make a jar with Luxardo and a jar with tequila.That should take me through the coming winter.

Just lately for the equal parts TDN i decided to use this mezcal in a drink that i called “Bitter Smoke”. I think this mezcal goes pretty well with Campari, and the Fevertree tonic is just what is needed to give it a fresh sparkle. Now this drink was made after the TDN rules of equal parts that night, so just a bit more tonic would be even nicer i believe. And add just a small a sprinkle of fresh lime as well.

BITTER SMOKE

bitter-smoke2

  • 1 oz Mezcal
  • 1 oz Campari
  • 1 oz Fevertree tonic water

Build over big chunks of ice.

But the best way to take full advantage of and enjoy all the complex flavours of a good mezcal is to sip it neat.

There´s something mysterious in the feel about mezcal, something ancient… and it transports you.

Sugarcane bar

 

MEZCAL – DEL MAGUEY

del-maguey2

The nose of the mezcal reaches me, its earhty…and smoky…but not overwelmingly so – in a pleasant way it invites you to take a sip.

Its a long time i wanted to try out Del Maguey mezcals and at the Tales i got my chance during their session Agavepalooza. I also got my chance to finally bring home the samples which were laying about in the US with this beautifully handcrafted spirit from the villages in Oaxaca, Mexico using old traditional methods. I was amazed to learn that even airborne microbes at different levels in the air affects the flavour of the mezcal.

In this video Ron Cooper from Del Maguey explains the myths and the seven factors that affects the quality and flavor of the mezcal. You should really watch this video, its very interesting.

In short, those seven factors are the following:

Plant Species – there are about a dozen maguey plants that produces good mezcal, so the plant variety is important as each one gives different flavours.

Altitude – its here the airborne microbes plays their role and at every 300 feet up (100m) its different species of microbes. These airborne microbes affects the fermenting. In commercial tequila and mezcal production chemicals are used but in the production of Del Maguey they wait between 4-30 days to let the airborne microbes start the fermenting.

The soil – Different soils are used, and soil definetily adds a flavour component. Del Maguey uses a soil type that is called tierra amaria. Its a well drained granite-rich soil thus letting the water drain off fast which is very important as water from the soil is not good for the maguey as water through the roots and up in the plant makes it bitter. Instead the plants opens up its poores in the night and absorbs moisture.

Wood – the kind of wood that is used to heat the rocks that roast the hearts on gives off different flavours.

Water – the water of the village also has a flavour effect and the water is used after the hearts are ground and everything is placed in tanks or vats. Different village waters affects the flavours.

The hand of the maker – This is that magic personal touch that every producer of mezcal adds to the product and its possible to by blind tasting tell which village and which specific producer has made a certain mezcal.

Time – is one of the most important factors in a good mezcal – as mezcal is a real slow-food product – this is how flavour is made.

clay-cup

DEL MAGUEY MEZCAL

Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal is produced in different tiny remote villages in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico and each Del Maguey mezcal carries the name of the village where its produced. Only two ingredients are used – water and the heart of the maguey (agave) plant.The traditions used in the production are over 400 years old.

Over hot stones the hearts are roasted in a pit in the ground, covered with banana leaves, woven palm-fiber mats or other plant material and finally earth for 3-5 days absorbing flavors from the earth and wood smoke and oils on the rocks.

After roasting the pinas are removed from the pit and being rested covered by palm mats in the shade for a week – they begin to ferment naturally with the help of airborne microbes.

The roasted hearts are then ground by horse-power into a mash followed by a long natural fermentation period in wooden vats – its here the water of the village plays its role as well as its own yeasts and microbes. Then its slowly distilled twice – in wood-fired clay or copper stills.

The mezcal has both social, ceremonial and medical uses among the villagers and is very highly esteemed.

I received four samples of Del Maguey mezcals and i`ll try to describe them as good as i can:

CHICHICAPA

Made in the village of Chichicapa south of Oaxaca, this mezcal has a lightly earthy nose. It has a earthy flavour too with a hint of smoke and which stays long with you. Its also a bit sweet, a very nice mezcal indeed. Its like a premium all-round mezcal good for both sipping and mixing.

CREMA DE MEZCAL

This one is my favorite, it`s hands down outstanding with a full creamy flavour and a hint of smoke lingering in the background and which slowly grows on you. I spent the entire last night in New York sitting on a rooftop terrace under the stars sharing a bottle of this awesome mezcal with a good friend and so I have fond memories linked with it as well. Its so easy to sip it…. According to Del Maguey this mezcal is made “for women only – and a few strong men”.

Its made in Oaxaca and is a combination of Miel de Maguey (unfermented syrup of the roast agave) and Mezcal San Luis del Rio. I cannot enough recommend this one.

SAN LUIS DEL RIO

Omg..this one is NICE! no wonder Crema de Mezcal is so tasty if it has this one in it. Its earthy, its deep, its spicy and a bit of smoke. Its citrusy too in the nose, so pleasant and my second favorite of these four awesome mezcals.

San Luis del Rio is appr 8000 feet above sea level and south of Oaxaca.

SANTO DOMINGO ALBARRADAS

This mezcal is pretty light and also fruity with a hint of the typical smoke. Its as smooth as the others, very nice and flavourful. If I were to mix with this one I would be careful to not use too much other flavours but rather mix with few ingredients.

Santo Domingo Albarradas is located at high altitude in the high Mixe (Mee-Hay) region south of Oaxaca.

OVERAL IMPRESSION

Well what can i say? Del Maguey is the top notch of mezcals. Of course I haven`t tried all mezcals but Del Maguey is good. In New Orleans I also tried the Tobala which is made from wild Maguey that grows in the shade of oak trees at high altitude. The Tobala is sweet and fruity as well as spicy.

Another interesting mezcal I tried was the Pechuga – triple distilled – which is made with wild mountain apples and plums and is only made by the end of the year when these are in season. Other things they add is pineapples, red plantains, figs, almonds, hazelnuts and uncooked white rice.

Furthermore – and this is interesting – a whole chicken breast with skin removed is suspended by strings hanging over the still for 24 hrs and this is the final 3rd distillation.The vapor passes over the chicken breast and condenses it to a clear liquid and only the bones remain. My memory of tasting it is that it was good – no surprise – and spicy, smoky and nope – I didn`t detect any chicken flavour in it but maybe others do.

I like the colorful labels on the bottles too, a bit childlike, very happy and gets me to think about sunshine.

The only final conclusion I can make is that I must try to get more Del Maguey mezcals and never be out of the Crema.

Mezcal is traditionally sipped, and a good mezcal is indeed a wonderful sipper but is also more and more used in cocktail mixing – and that`s part of the reason why i write about cocktails with mezcal as I think it deserves to be used much more. It`s also a very interesting spirit to work with and adds an interesting flavour and may also be floated, rimmed etc.

I recently made a batch of the hibiscus tisane that is called jamaica and I wanted to try it with mezcal, lime and agave syrup. Its a very simple cocktail with only natural ingredients where the mezcal adds some fire and smoke to the tangy lime and jamaica.

SMOKY CLOUD

jamaica-cloud-cocktail

The name comes from that the mezcal is produced in Oaxaca, which is the historic home of the Zapotec and Mixtec peoples – mixtec meaning “place of the cloud-people”.

2 oz Del Maguey mezcal chichicapa
¼ oz agave syrup
¼  oz bitter seville orange syrup
0.5 oz fresh lime juice
Top with Jamaica

Shake over ice and strain into a glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a speared orange wedge and a lime twist.

This cocktail turned out to be very light, fruity and refreshing with a punch of smoke from the mezcal. You may also use just agave or simple syrup if you dont want to make your own bitter seville orang syrup which is very simply made by making a simple syrup with 1:1 (or 2.1 if you prefer) light raw cane sugar and water, then adding 5-6 tblsp of bitter seville orange marmalade. Then cook it for a while , cool and strain.

As for the jamaica just follow the recipe here. If you cannot find hibiscus flowers to make your own jamaica you could use just orange juice or maybe something different like cranberry or pomegranate?

JAMAICA

2 cups water to 2 handful of dried hibiscus flowers
3 oz agave syrup
Boil for 5 minutes
Cool for 2 hrs

When cool, strain and bottle.

If you get a chance to try Del Maguey just do it.

del-maguey-bottles

There´s something mysterious in the feel about mezcal, something ancient… and it transports you.