BANKS FIVE ISLAND RUM

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This is a very intriguing rum that packs a lot of flavor…and its a white rum with an unusually strong dark rum character.

I don`t think i`ve come across a white rum that has so much of the dark rum flavor before..but on the other hand there´s many white rums i`ve never yet tasted.

I first saw it at the Tales this summer and got me a sample but i wasn´t prepared for how good this rum was. Its an intense white rum which is a blend of rums from five distilleries, each aged between three and twelve years and some is carbon-filtered to get a white color.

According to the label, 5 Island Rum is a “Sophiscated blend of Barrel-Aged rums. Pot stilled Jamaican and light Trinidadian, amber rums from Guyana and Barbados and Indonesian Java.. Enhanced and inspired by the journeys and discoveries of Joseph Banks, a gentleman, botanist and explorer. According to the neck band this is a dry Flavorful rum.

On the nose its light but with the typical Jamaican pot still lingering around. There has been descriptions of this rum with taste notes of both tropical florals, gardenia, citrus blossom, dark chocolate, habanero pepper, smoke, soursop and orange…gingery and peppery..wow..that´s a lot of flavor descriptions!

I find a rich multitude of flavors and among them dried apricot, tropical fruit and a slight buttery sugarcane flavor steadily backed up by the pot-still flavor but there`s no heaviness in this rum, its light and bright and yet it got a slight funk..in a good way – so much flavor. I also find a vegetal note in it..making it very suitable for many mixed drinks.

I would also say this rum is great for a daiquiri.

Banks Five Island Rum is blended in Holland and made for mixing cocktails really, but i find it`s also an excellent sipper. Its been nominated for the Golden Rum Barrel awards 2010 in the classes “Best White Rum”,”Best Premium White Rum” and “Best New Rum brand” – we will soon know the results since they were decided today.

You can soon read more on their website.

This smooth flavorful rum is like i said great for daiquiris..which allows the flavor to speak for itself which a rum like this deserves. But one can also go the other way and make a wild drink.

I´m gonna make a twist of the Witchdoctor which i was introduced and seduced to at Bar Tonique…using mint instead of basil (for garnish only in this drink) since that´s what i got and its always fun trying out new things.

So here we go:

BUSHDOCTOR

bushdoctor

1.5 oz Banks Five Island Rum

1.5 oz Batavia arrak

1/4 – 0.5 oz sugarcane syrup (Petit Canne)

0.5 oz fresh lime

Top with a little soda if you like

Garnish fresh mint

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass with ice, top with a little soda if you like and stick a mint sprig as garnish.

The Witchdoctor uses basil syrup and Smith & Cross, here i replaced the basil syrup with Petit Canne´s deep flavored sugarcane syrup and i think the Batavia arrak mixes well with Banks, increasing the tropical fruitiness and adding some deep mellowness to the drink. No wonder it mixes well with arrak since there´s rum from Indonesia in it.

The crisp clean lightness is still there but there´s a more earthy tone from the arrak with an aftertaste of dried tropical fruit. Basically this is a mojito sans muddled mint but the addition of Batavia arrak changes it into something else – and that´s what makes it a Bush doctor..

The next thing i REALLY had to do was making a Chartreuse Swizzle and since we more or less lived on them in the mixohouse serving them in flower vases communal style every night i took that awesome drink to heart and added it in my regular rotation here and YET i didn´t think about subbing the Smith & Cross with Banks…not until today and of course its a big win! its not a new idea at all, its just me lingering behind..

Then after having a couple sips i came to the conclusion that this is tasty! BUT floating some Smith & Cross would maybe improve it even more and really, it did – it was like adding the final touch if you like. And now..no more messing around!

CHARTREUSE SWIZZLE

chartreuse-swizzle

1 oz Green Chartreuse

1 oz Banks Five Island Rum

1 1/2 oz Pineapple juice

1 oz fresh lime juice

1/4 oz Falernum

2 dash Bitter Truth Aromatic Bitters (instead of Angostura)

Float Smith & Cross

Add ingredients to a suitable glass full of crushed ice. Swizzle to mix, float Smith & Cross and garnish with plenty of fresh mint, and add straw.

As good as it can be…and if you switch the pineapple juice for fresh grapefruit juice (white) you´re in for a VERY refreshing drink! The drink in the picture actually is the one with grapefruit juice.

Nothing wrong at all with Angostura but the Bitter Truth`s aromatic bitters added a slight bitter edge that i like.

My conclusion after this experiment is that Banks Five Island Rum is a rum i want to have in my bar regularly.

Sugarcane bar

 

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http://www.certkiller.com/exam-MB6-870.htm  http://www.eccouncil.org/

 

MIXOLOGY MONDAY XLX – BROWN, BITTER AND STIRRED

mxmo-brown-and-bitter

I don´t know what happened but it feels like i forgot the last MxMo or there was none…or maybe we`ve all were boozed by Tales of the Cocktail…but now MxMo has come to life again!

Our MxMo host Lindsey Johnson from Lush Life Productions says on her blog Brown and Bitter:

This MxMo will celebrate these styles of drink; whether it’s a basic Manhattan with a tinkered touch of Averna, or a revolutionary mixture of tequila, Campari and pure adrenaline, mix up your favorite brown-booze cocktail and put the details on your blog with a photo by the end of Monday August 30.

Brown spirits yay! this means for me – most of the time:

RUM, RUM and MORE RUM!!

Thank you Lindsey for both hosting and giving me the perfect excuse to completely indulge in RUMS! – AND to play with my new Dandelion&Burdock bitters and a dash or two of my favorite – the Creole Bitters!

Brown, bitter and stirred…doesn`t it sound delisicious?

I decided to go wild with the rums because that`s also deliscious and i wanted two bitters to spice up the drink. The rums chosen are all very flavorful and spicy so the result is a spicy boozy drink.

SUGARCANE AND SPICE

sugarcane-and-spice

1 oz Smith & Cross jamaican Rum

1 oz Old New Orleans Cajun Spice rum

0.5 oz Lemon Hart 151 demerara (if you don´t have this one, use another demerara)

0.5 oz Sugar Cane syrup (Petit Canne)

3 dashes Dandelion & Burdock Bitters

2 dashes Creole Bitters

1 piece of lemon peel for expressing the oil

Stir with ice, pour in a chilled cocktail glass, express the oil from the lemon peel and rim the glass, then discard the peel

Happy Monday! and thank you Linsey for hosting!

mxmologo

CREOLE BITTERS

creole-bitters1

With spring comes new bitters…

Released in Europe while awaiting approval for the US – the Bitter Truth has come up with a stunning product – the Creole Bitters – and they make a spicy intense Sazerac..

The Creole bitters are based on a sampling of a pre-prohibition version of Peychaud’s – which makes them similar to Peychaud`s yet different in that there´s a stronger herbal component here, more earthy/spicy and the nose is strong.The Creole bitters has slightly less of the anise even though anise is the dominating flavor –  with more complexity, spice and bitterness.

I think this its great that we now have these bitters as Peychaud`s is extremely difficult to find outside of the US and some classic cocktails really needs those bitters so with the Creole bitters it will now be possible for many to mix these cocktails and of course here we have a great potential to mix up a range of other exciting cocktails.

What an interesting nose and flavor these bitters have – i can`t exactly put my finger on what all these flavors are…more than “spicy” and hm…familiar yet different. And so of course immediately i wanted to make a Sazerac and then comes an intersting question up as these bitters are spicier than Peychaud`s – a little dash of Angostura or not?

The Sazerac do not originally have that in the recipe but a little dash of Angostura makes a nice Saz..and it`s used quite often together with the Peychaud`s.  But with these spicier bitters now i don´t think we need that.

Another thing that sometimes is used in the Sazerac cocktail is a little vanilla extract and that i can imagine could go quite well with the Creole bitters as well. I´ll try that but not just now – this time its a regular Saz…with only the Creole bitters because after all – i wanted to find out how they were in this cocktail.

SAZERAC

creole-sazerac1

1/2 teaspoon Herbsaint or Absinthe
1 teaspoon of simple syrup or 1 cube of sugar or 1 tsp of granulated sugar
4 dashes Bitter Truth Creole bitters
2 ounces rye whiskey
Strip of lemon peel

Fill a 3-1/2 ounce Old Fashioned (rocks) glass with ice. Place the sugarcube in another glass and moisten it with water until it saturates and crush it or use simple syrup. Mix with whiskey and bitters, add ice and stir to chill.

Discard the ice from the first glass and add herbsaint or absinthe and coat the sides of the glass, then discard the excess (i like to leave a drop or two in the glass) Strain the whiskey into the glass and twist a lemon peel over the glass to express the oils, then rim the glass with it as well. Discard the peel, or if you like use it as garnish – but don`t drop the entire peel back in the glass, it would give too much citrus flavor.

This made for an interesting – more intense and spicier Sazerac. Its actually amazing…

The Creole bitters are not only a lifesaver for those who cannot so easily find Peychaud`s, its also a great addition to the cocktail world and there´ll be many exciting cocktails coming i`m sure. I like Peychaud`s and will not abandon them but i`ll use these just as much and for my part i believe my cocktail experience will be greatly enriched by the Creole bitters. My mind of course also goes to tiki cocktails.

As soon as these bitters are available in the US – folks – go and try them out, you won´t regret it. As for Europe they`re in the shop!

MxMo XLVII: Punch

mxmologo

I have a feeling of slipping in on a banana peel here, i forgot it was monday yesterday..

The topic is punch. There are many different kinds of punch and the host Hobson`s Choice states that “There aren’t really any specific limitations on this month’s subject”  and “Keep in mind that we are at that time of year when there are some wonderful citrus varieties available at the market. And in the warmer climates, we are already seeing the first of the Spring berries.”

There`s along tradition of punches and it would have been interesting to go more into it but i feel i don´t have time now as i need to whip up a cocktail pronto so i`ll keep it simple and mix up another type of punch that belongs to warm tropical days and nights.

I´ll go for lime and i`ll make a punch inspired by the Ti Punch – but not a traditional Ti Punch. The traditional Ti Punch is a simple as its delicate and so well suited for the tropical climate in where it was born.

Its rhum agricole, lime and sugar or cane syrup, maybe an ice cube or two, stirred in a rocks glass.

I`m using rhum agricole too – both aged and white, together with fresh lime juice and palmsugar and raw sugar, Trader Tiki`s exquisite vanilla syrup and then topped with a little Ting ( my faithful companion).

PALMSUGAR PUNCH

palmsugar-punch

1 oz rhum agricole vieux

1 oz rhum agricole blanc

1 tsp palmsugar

1/4 tsp golden raw sugar

1/4  oz Trader Tiki`s vanilla syrup

Lime and mint for garnish

Add ingredients in mixing glass and stir together well with ice, then strain into a punch glass and top with Ting. Garnish with lime and mint. You may adjust the levels of syrup and sugar to your own taste, this drink is forgiving.

This is a drink that talks about summer, well – its not summer yet but i pretend all year that it´s summer.

Happy Monday! (well-tuesday)

Mixology Monday XLVI – All About Absinthe!

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Time flies so fast that i did forget about the date and realized today that its time again for Mixology Monday…and how can i not participate when the topic is absinthe?

Its Sonja over at “Thinking of Drinking” who is hosting and she says this:

The topic for February is Absinthe. That much maligned, misunderstood, mistreated spirit, suddenly plentiful again in the US and other parts of the world. Absinthe played a role, whether large or small, in a variety of great cocktails from the 1800’s and early 1900’s – the Sazerac, Absinthe Suissesse, Corpse Reviver No. 2… I’m getting thirsty.

So let’s celebrate absinthe’s history, and it’s future, with all manner of cocktails using absinthe.

Here’s how to participate:

* Find or concoct a recipe using absinthe as an ingredient.
* Make the drink and write about it. Include the recipe, ideally a photo, and something about how you liked (or didn’t like, or tweaked, or…) the drink.

There´s one drink with absinthe that i really like a lot apart from the Sazerac which i`m addicted to, and that`s the Absinthe Suissesse. Its smooth like silk! so fluffy..and good for breakfast. Its actually a classic New Orleans breakfast cocktail originally made with Herbsaint and none could be better and more soothing than this one.

But for this MxMo i wanted to make a twist of something and that something is of course the Suissesse. I really prefer the original recipe but now i`m gonna go astray a bit and change the drops of orange flower water for some Mozart Dry chocolate spirit.

Then i turned down the orgeat from 0.5 oz to 1/4 and used 1 oz milk and 1 oz heavy cream instead of 2 ounces of the cream. I used one whole egg instead of an egg white, i think the whole egg adds more yumminess and roundness to this cocktail. Finally i garnished the glass with a rim of cocoa powder to accent the Mozart Dry.

Mozart Dry is not a chocolate liqueur, its a chocolate spirit and its not on the sweet side, rather dry and very pleasant to mix with or on its own.

CHOCOLATE SUISSESSE

chocolate-suissesse

1-1/2 to 2 ounces absinthe (to taste)
1/4 ounce orgeat (I used trader Tiki`s thick orgeat)
1 whole egg
0.5 oz Mozart Dry
1 oz  milk
1 oz heavy cream
1/2 cup crushed or cubed ice

Either you shake with crushed ice or you blend with ice cubes, i did blend this one.

I also did rim the glass with some cocoa powder to accent the Mozart and make a garnish. I think Mozart Dry did very well in this cocktail, so well that i`m gonna use it more times in my Suissesses.

Happy monday everyone and thanks Sonja for hosting! this drink is exactly what i needed today after coming back home from work turned into an icecube as that`s how cold it is here now. The Suissesse warmed me up!

MxMo XLV: TEAS

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Its tea time folks!

MxMo XLV says TEA…over at Cocktail Virgin Slut who is hosting the event this month is written: “Find or concoct a drink recipe that uses tea or tisane (a herbal “tea” which lacks tea leaves) as an ingredient. This can be hot tea, cold tea, tea syrups, or infusions and use it in a cocktail, punch, or other drink type.”

I like to drink tea, all kinds of tea but i must admit i rarely use it in cocktails. Now there´s a tea that i like, its called Kusmi and is a Russian-style tea and tea blends established in 1867 in St. Petersburg, Russia. But in 1917 after the Russian revolution the company relocated to France. These teas are blends of Ceylon, Indian and Chinese teas and are often flavored with fruits, spices and other scents.

One of my favorite blends is Kusmi mint and chocolate and i decided to try it and make a classic Cuban mojito with a twist adding some of the mint and chocolate Kusmi tea. This tea is flavored with only natural ingredients and tastes very good and should do well in a mojito. Really…the mojito is a summer drink – but i don`t care because i like to pretend its always summer and the mojito is always nice plus i could not resist trying this thing out to see what happened.

Here´s the recipe:

KUSMI MINT CHOCOLATE MOJITO

kusmi-chocolate-mint-mojito

2 oz white rum ( i should have used Havana Club blanco here but it`s finished so i used El Dorado 3 year cask aged white which is a superb rum in my opinion)
1 oz fresh lime juice
0.5 oz raw sugar syrup (light, i use Oxfam which is lightly tanned and fine to make this syrup)
10 mint leaves
2 oz Kusmi mint and chocolate tea – cooled
Top with some Club soda

Muddle mint, raw sugar syrup and lime in a glass. Fill glass with ice and add rum and tea and top with Club Soda, stir. Garnish with a mint sprig or why not tea leaves? Actually the drink turned out to be very refreshing and i think the mint and chocolate Kusmi tea played weill with the mojito. I think i might mix this one more times.

Adding Kusmi tea to a cocktail was an interesting experiment which i wouldn´t have got the idea to do  if it wasn´t for this Mixology Monday theme. Maybe  i`ll get busy playing with different Kusmi teas.

Thank you Cocktailvirgin for hosting!

kusmi-tea

MXMO XLIV – “MONEY DRINKS”

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To quote from “Beers in The Shower” who are hosting this months Mixology Monday:

“I feel a “Money” drink is something you can put in front of anyone, regardless of tastes or distastes about the spirits involved. Come up with a drink or a list based on spirits about drinks that would appeal to anyone. example: turning someone onto a Corpse Reviver #2 when they like lemon drops.”

For those of us with access to top shelf spirits, Make an upscale twist on a classic. To quote an email from Paul, (Clarke, Cocktail Chronicles) :

“Along with what you mentioned, I’m thinking it could include stuff along the lines of “there are some drinks that really prompt you to break out the good stuff”, including ways people upgrade drinks for special occasions — having old friends over, birthday drinks, etc, for example mixing your regular Sazerac, but breaking out the Red Hook Rye and the Jade Edouard absinthe for a Sazerac capable of breaking the sound barrier.” – the only rule to this one is you actually have to make it “

So i want to upgrade a drink and i know what i want to make, i want to mix up the best Cuba Libre or Rum & Coke ever!

Now,  i`m not a person that is or ever have been very fond of rum and coke but i have noticed that many are. But also – and this is important, after i once tried it with sugarcane coke instead of the ordinary corn-fructose coke i felt a huge difference. So i`m going to mix up a Cuba Libre with two of the best rums i have and i`m gonna use sugarcane coke plus i`m also going to spice it up. Actually this is more of a twist of the Cuba Libre than an actual Cuba Libre.

I`m not going to dig into its history here, and as with so many other cocktails the exact way it was invented are told in different versions. Bacardi and Havana Club have their own versions for example, not surprisingly. Cuba Libre used to have a dark syrup made of cola nuts and coca.

Charles H. Baker points out in his Gentlemen’s Companion of 1934, the Cuba Libre “caught on everywhere throughout the [American] South … filtered through the North and West”.

To spice it i`m gonna use a splash of Catdaddy Carolina Moonshine because i love its spicy flavour and it goes well with coke. Also Root can be used or some Rootbeer i think, if you can`t find Catdaddy.

What we are stepping up from is the use of the corn-fructose sweetened coke to real sugarcane coke paired with premium rums and a bit catdaddy spiced up as well which makes this drink to become transformed.

SPICED SUGARCANE RUM AND COKE

spiced-sugarcane-rum-and-coke

1 oz good demerara ( i used Port Morant demerara 1990 but try El Dorado 15 year old or Banks XM 10)
1 oz Havana Club 7 (sorry..sub with Appleton Extra, which in no way is similar but equally good)
0.75 oz Catdaddy Carolina Moonshine
Small sprinkle of fresh lime juice
Fill up with sugarcane coke
Crushed ice

Build quickly all ingredients in a rocks glass filled halfway with crushed ice, add more ice to fill. Garnish with lime wedge.

It turned out to be rummy and boozy, spicy and fresh at the same time.

Happy MxMo and thank you Kevin for hosting this month!