Les Rhums de Ced – Punch au Rhum Banane Cacao

Rhum de Ced Banane-Cocoa Ced pic

If you like the french island style “arranged rums” or rhum arrangès here´s a very interesting one. Rhum arangĂ© is a speciality of the French islands, so most of them are made with rhum agricole, fruits and spices.

This rhum arrangè is made by Cèderic Brement who calls his rhums – Les Rhums de Ced/Ti’ arrangĂ©s de Ced.

What i have here is a rhum arrangè of cocoa and banana macerated in rhum agricole. Make no mistake here….this ain`t no overly sweet bananaesque concoction – instead you will meet a very elegant and mature flavor or pure raw cocoa upfront with a subtle rich flavor of tropical banana flambè in the background…and it´s absolutely lovely.

Cèdric who is a food engineer, started to create some rhums arrangĂ©s during his studies and produced his rhums at home during 10 years before he finally created his product – “Les Rhums de Ced”

He first tested his products on friends and family and then eventually friends of friends started to order his rhums and from there it got bigger. People appreciate the balance of fruits aroma, rum, vanilla and a little bit of sugar says Ced.

And with the success with the products he did quit his job to launch his products and he started with 6 products, which are 100% organic using fruits, spices and AOC rhum agricole from Martinique.

After that he developed a 6 months macerated product in oak barrel : Vanilla – Macadamia nuts.

I want to work to use only natural,  very high quality fruits and i’m looking for special and direct procurement. I want to highlight terroir.

Rhums de Ced medaille or

He won 8 medals in 2013 :

Gold for Victoria Pineapple at the Salon de l’Agriculture in Paris

Gold for Ginger Apple at the Salon de l’Agriculture in Paris

Gold for Mango Passion at the Rum Fest in Madrid

Silver for Pineapple Victoria at the Rum Fest in Madrid

In 2014 :

Gold for Cocoa Banana at the salon de l’agriculture in Paris

Impressive! of course i was dying to try one of his rhums and the one i have here to try out is the Cocoa Banana, and it´s as tasty as it sounds..

I was pleasantly surprised at the cut down sweetness of this rhum, it`s not like what you usually find when the ingredients banana and cocoa are in it. It has some sweetness of course, because it contains some sugarcane but it`s not cloingly sweet at all.

Nose – Cocoa, sugarcane, ripe bananas with a slight hint of vanilla. The balmy creamy sweetness from the cocoa lingers…

In the mouth – The mouthfeel is rich, then pure raw dark cocoa hits you but it doesn`t taste like an upfront chocolate rum, this is much more refined and the cocoa flavor is never anything near too sweet, rather it´s that raw quality of fresh dark cocoa beans. It`s rich and warm and it embraces you.

In the background you have a flavor of banana flambè sweetened by sugarcane and a very subtle hint of vanilla. The vanilla bean is still in the bottle, and how he managed to have it there without it adding too much vanilla flavor to the rhum is more than i know.

There`s only a very slight “rhum agricole grassiness” – the flavor trademark of rhum agricoles – that i can detect. It`s a very smooth rhum and there´s no alcohol burn at all, just a very subtle sharpness and it`s like the whole rhum is mellowed out…into a ripe fruity punch and then that raw cocoa flavor…

My impression:

It`s very tasty, well balanced, nuanced, quite complex, semi-sweet and of good quality.

It`s a very tropical rhum and is best sipped neat with or without ice – which is the way it really should be enjoyed – it has enough flavors all of  it´s own and nothing else is needed.

That said, of course you can make cocktails with it if you like and i decided to make a french island style tropical punch cocktail , it´s my version of a cocktail from the island of la Rèunion called “Mon ti cafrine”.

Punch Mon Ti Cafrine

Mon Ti Cafrine 3

3 oz (90 ml) Ti’ arrangĂ©s de Ced Banane-Cacao

Juice of 1/2 fresh lime

2 coffee beans in shaker

Muddle the coffee beans and lime juice, add the rhum and give it a quick shake. Double strain into a sugar rimmed glass.

Garnish with banana leaf.

“Mon ti cafrine” is a french crèole expression from la Rèunion and is an affectionate expression for a beloved woman.

Les Rhums de Ced`s webpage is here and Facebook page here and the rhums are sold at Christian de Montaguère´s rum shop in Paris. If you can`t go there he might send it, mail and ask.

Also Les Rhums de Cèd will be displayed and ready for tasting at the Rhumfest Paris in april 6-7.

Ced bottle

Zwazo Rhum Arrangè – Ananas/Vanille

zwazo label for blog

Rhum arangĂ© is a speciality of the French islands, so most of them are made with rhum agricole but there´s also some people doing it with molasses rums. BenoĂ®t Bail – the maker of Zwazo uses a blend of both styles to get this particular taste and the blend is of 3 different rums from Martinique Trinidad and Guyana.

So what  i have here is a rhum arrangè that is a special mix between agricole and molasses rums, pineapple and vanilla. The difference between a spiced rum ( “rhum Ă©picĂ© “) and rhum arrangè (arranged rum:-) is that rhum arrangĂ© also contains fruits or just fruits. And rhum arrangĂ© is a sexier name than rhum Ă©picĂ©, don`t you think?

It`s quite low in ABV, 25% – because it`s made  especially for the persons who don’t like rums or don’t know them or even don’t drink strong alcohol for example people who like sweet fruity tastes without a strong alcohol taste.

And that`s also a great way to introduce rum to non rum lovers isn`t it?! and i can vouch for that this rum here tastes fantastic!

Benoît uses only organic seasonal fruits so the flavors available will vary throughout the year and since this is a highly artisanal product there´s limited quantity.

The two first Zwazo rums made by Benoit was this pineapple/vanilla and a banana/vanilla which i hope to try sometimes. New flavors are coming up in february!

ZWAZO  bottle for blog

At the beginning BenoĂ®t was just doing some rhums arrangĂ©s at home for himself, friends and family but with the time they began calling him to ask if he wouldn’t sell some because they would need some for friends or at barbecues.

So BenoĂ®t got the idea to make business with it and build his own brand and people much appreciated the idea and the taste of his flavoured rums – so he began making a business plan and looking for funds and now one and a half year later Zwazo is here!

And now i`m tasting this delicious Pineapple and vanilla rhum arrangè and all can say is that i`m really impressed because this rum is lovely!

I prefer to drink it neat with ice but it can be used mixed as well and one way to mix it is making a Ti Punch, either with just Zwazo or mixed with another white rhum agricole to boost up the alcohol punch.

ZWAZO ti punch for blog filt

It would be a waste to use it in drinks like the Zombie that contains a lot of other rums and mixers because it´s flavor is quite delicate and it would be a shame to mask it with other things. But i could do well in tiki drinks with just a few ingredients in them, and i can see it shine in a daiquiri for example or mixed with champagne.

The bottle is pretty, it looks very exotic with the pineapple chunks and vanilla beans inside and the tropical looking label and exotic name –  Zwazo means bird in french creole. The bird Benoit first had in mind was the Toucan but then the rhum Toucan came out from french Guyana and so they switched to another Caribbean bird – the Hummingbird…

On the nose it smells of ripe tropical fruits, vanilla and pineapple and you are transported to a tropical island…

The taste is sweet with mature tropical fruit, a bit like burnt sugar and pineapple or roast pineapple maybe,  with hints of apricot. Slight notes of agricole rum that gives a freshness to the blend paired with a hint of sexy vanilla…

And once the bottle is empty you can also take out the fruits inside and eat them or make jam with it, or put them in cakes.

It`s such a perfect rum when you want to be on the light side, make a wonderful summer drink – or on the contrary – something to escape the winter with.

I love it!

I made a simple Ti Punch with 2 oz Zwazo, the juice of 1/3 piece of the lime and 0.5 oz sugarcane syrup, stirred together with some ice.

ZWAZO Ti Punch glass for blog

As for now you can get Zwazo rums from one of the best rum shops in Europe – Christian de Montaguèrein Paris. If you can`t go there he might send it, mail and ask. They sell for for 25€.

Rhum Arrangè

The term “rhum arrangè” means “arranged rums” – or rather – flavored.

Rhum arrangé comes from the islands of la Rèunion, Mauritius and nearby Madagascar as well as the french islands in the Caribbean.

It`s house or home made rums flavored with fruits, roots and spices that are macerated for a minimum of 1 month – but it´s actually recommended to let it macerate for 6 months or even longer in many recipes.

There`s a restaurant calld Le Saint-Bernard on La Rèunion (article in french) carrying 400 different rhums arrangées and there´s  actually some rhums being macerated as long as 3-4 years!

And here`s a video from the same place:

So it´s not the same thing as spiced rums which are made with spices and roots and not macerated as long as these. And there is no end to what things are put into those bottles to “arrange” the rums…in the first video there was even a jar with a snake and in the second video another with something that looks like sea urchins…but when i look at pictures of rhum arrangè with fruits and spices – it all look so delicious…

Also if you notice there´s two different ways of macerating seen in both videos, one is the traditional common way of submerging the fruits and spices into the rum. Then there´s another where you hang the fruits (usually citrus fruits) as they are or with things inserted into the fruits – like coffee beans and hung above the liquid.

The idea is that the aromatics and oils are derived from the citrus and spices without any bitterness from the pith and that´s the reason this method is usually used for citrus fruits.

Here`s a link to a case study with limoncello.

This method is called D.S.M – or Delicious Scientific Magic!!

DSM – or diffusion – The alcohol, exerting a vapor pressure, will diffuse into the lemons saturating the lemon, thus the loss of alcohol in a closed system.

In turn, the lemon oil will also exert a vapor pressure; the lemon smell you get when you cut the skin. It will diffuse out of the lemon and saturate the alcohol. I find this very interesting and fascinating and i have yet to try it.

Right now i have a traditional rhum arrangè going with tahitian vanilla, it has been macerating 3 weeks, here´s how the color changed for each week:

So what you do to male rhum arrangè vanille is to split 5-8 vanilla beans in two and add to the bottle of rum and then add some sugar or simple syrup, i took a tbsp of brown sugar. Then leave to macerate at least 6 months – or up to a year to bring out the whole flavor.

When you have got the flavor you want in your rum you remove whatever you did put in the bottle otherwise it will keep changing the flavor.

Below is a picture of a ginger flavored rum or rhum arrangè gingembre made by my friend Benoit Bail who operates “Boutey” – which is from the the french crèole word “boutèy” – which is none other than the french word “bouteille” – bottle.

He makes all kinds of rhum arrangees and the top picture plus this one of the ginger rum are courtesy of Benoit. You can visit his page on facebook here.

On the island of La Rèunion there´s a tradition of using the leaves from a regulated wild orchid – Jumellea fragrans, called Faham in rhum arrangĂ© for it´s special flavor which is described as “strange and unforgettable” – hm…that sounds interesting i think..

This orchid is indigenous to the Mascarene Islands in the Indian Ocean, in particular La Réunion. Although it appears to be a protected species, live specimens are occasionally sold in local markets, but usually it´s sold dried in a small packets together with other local herbs and spices, such as cinnamon leaf, cloves, tonka beans etc

You can get the dried faham leaves online and one source is right here where you can find various things for your rhum arrangè.

I have made a few bottles of rhum arrangè over the years and my favorite has always been vanilla and pineapple but there`s some very exotic recipes to try out as well and i tried one long ago. The recipe for it plus the cocktail i made i will re-post now, it´s rum flavored with combava or kaffir lime peel and vanilla.

The word combava is another name for the kaffir lime on la Reunion and combava is used in the creole cuisine on those islands.

RHUM COMBAVA

1 liter of white rum (traditionally Rhum Charette) or rhum agricole

Grated zest of one combava/kaffir lime

1 vanilla bean, split in two

150g raw cane sugar

Mix and infuse the rum for at least 2 months.

I don`t have Rhum Charette so i took some of my agricole rum from Guyana, La Belle Cabresse which is a very good and interesting rhum agricole and it does have a slightly different flavor than the agricoles from Martinique.

To make the Punch Combava when the rum is ready is simple:

Shake some of this infused rum with ice and serve in a chilled glass with mint and grated coconut rim and ice. I wanted to add some juice to my punch so i added passionfruit juice.

As i didnt have any mint i used only grated coconut on the rim. So the recipe looks like this:

PUNCH COMBAVA

2 oz rhum combava

2 oz passionfruit juice

0.5 oz sugarcane syrup

Shake and serve over cracked ice, rim the glass with grated coconut.

Top with some sprinkled nutmeg.

One of this life`s great pleasures is to taste new rums, and new rums always finds their way into the glasses of the true appreciators.