5 Minutes of RUM!

5 Minutes of Rum

If you love rum you need to listen to “5 Minutes of Rum” – which is notes of rum, 5 minutes at a time. It`s a great podcast that is just starting out and episode 5 is just out. You can find it on the web – here – and then you can also find it on itunes if type in “5 minutes of rum”.

It`s made by Kevin Upthegrove aka heylownine and it´s a great podcast and who doesn´t have five minutes for rum?

The five episodes are these and talks about:

Episode 1 – 

Barbados (wikipedia) Plantation rum –  Plantation Grande Reserve 5 years  – Ministry of Rum

OXO citrus squeezer – Beachbum Berry – Grog Log – Beachbum Berry Remixed

 

Episode 2 – 

Regional variations of rum – Don Q Cristal – Syrup bottles (Cost Plus)

Google search for history of the Daiquiri

 

Episode 3 – 

Regional variations of rum – Solera – Coruba rum – Coruba Dark Jamaican rum: Ministry of Rum –

A Mountain of Crushed Ice passion fruit recipe – BG Reynolds passion fruit syrup

– Monin passion fruit syrup – Beachbum Berry Remixed – Trader Vic’s Tiki Party

 

Episode 4 – 

Microdistillery (wikipedia) – Portland’s Distillery Row – House Spirits

Photos of House Spirits (Flickr) – Smuggler’s Cove Triumverate Rum

Old Fashioned Glass (wikipedia) – Aeration of wine

 

Episode 5 – 

Rhum Agricole (wikipedia) – Rhum Agricole – Martinique (wikipedia)

Martinique AOC specification – Rhum JM – ‘Ti Punch @ RumDood.com

 

So go and check it out! it only takes 5 minutes per episode! and you learn a lot plus there´s recipes on the website.

MxMo XLVIII: Pain in the Ass Drinks!

mxmologo

This months Mixology Monday has a fun topic – pain in the ass drinks – hosted by McSology.

This Month’s Theme is: Drinks that are a total pain in the ass to make!

Pain in the ass drinks..sure i can deliver that;-) actually i have no less than three for this MxMo which urges us all to come up with the most laboursome drinks you can think of. But laboursome doesn´t mean that they aren`t tasty, rather the contrary – often you´ll be greatly rewarded.

Its definetily a good idea to make these i`ll post here at home when you have plenty of time.

I`m lucky to be a cocktail blogger. That permits me to mix up my drinks at any pace i want and stop mixing when i`ve had enough, or play with the most impossible ideas for garnish. Its fun – but even me takes shortcuts and avoid certain drinks more often than not, especially when i`m about to mix drinks that are not for a blog post.

As most people already know, the worst drinks to make are the TIKI cocktails – not all – but many, say 6 out of 10, something like that. Its not uncommon with 8-13 ingredients and of course normal simple syrup will not do –  you need to at least make sure you have orgeat, falernum, grenadine, Donn`s spices #2, several flavored syrups and various tinctures and drams – like pimento dram. Not to mention the amount of rums, liqueurs and other spirits that are needed, some in very small quantities like say – drops. (absinthe) But for how to master all these exotic drinks there`s help.

I haven`t yet mentioned the garnish these drinks very often require to be properly crowned.

My drinks for this MxMo aren´t any specific and known tiki drinks though, its actually a few twists on the Pina Colada which isn`t a tiki drink – but the way they are made puts them into the tiki cathegory of labour i think.

So if you are lazy stop reading.

The drinks here are a bit labourous yes – but not difficult. If you have the time to elaborate a bit you`ll be rewarded with tropical extravaganza.

The Pina Colada is a very nice drink and i like it a lot but i don´t make it very often, maybe it has to do with that i prefer coconut milk in cooking rather than drinking and for drinking when it comes to the coconut i prefer the green coconut water. Anyway, i decided to make a few twists of the pina colada and after some experimenting i came up with three coladas that basically are very similar yet very different.

Another thing in this post is that many measurements are quite approximate, i try to be exact when i can but it doesn´t always work out, especially not with these kind of drinks.

playing-with-the-colada

TEPACHE COLADA

0.5 pineapple peeled and cored and cut into chunks. Save 2 chunks for the garnish along with 2 leaves. Puree the chunks and strain so you get fresh juice.

1.5 oz white rhum agricole
0.5 oz aged rhum agricole
2 oz coconut milk
2 oz fresh pineapple juice
1 oz tepache (made with an extra pinch of palmsugar)
4 cups ice

Blend in blender until smooth and pour into ice filled glass. Garnish with pineapple chunks and leaves.

Tepache

The basic recipe for tepache or pineapple beer is sugar, water, and pineapple skins. Its a Mexican fermented pineapple drink traditionally made with fresh sugarcane juice – known as guarapo and spices. But you can make tepache with raw sugar as well as fresh sugarcane juice is hard to find in many places.

The key is to use a pineapple that is ripe.There are some ways to see if a pineapple is ripe and what not to do is to base your judgment on its colour. Instead pick it up and sniff at the base, it should smell sweet. Next, the leaves should be fresh and green and the leaves in the middle should be easy to pull out. If the pineapple has brown soft spots, leave it and find another, it should be firm.

So now you have found a ripe nice pinapple, here´s what to do next:

Peel with about half inch of pineapple flesh attached to peel. Then chop into 1 inch pieces.

8 – 12 cups water

2 cups raw unrefined sugar plus a tsp palmsugar dissolved in 1 cup very hot water. The palmsugar is optional, but i l´like the deep flavour it gives.

1 lime, juiced (optional)

8 ounces ginger root, cut into small chunks (optional) or a few cinnamon sticks, cloves, and/or star anise

Place peel, sugar and spices  in a one gallon container that has a cover. Add enough water to top it off and seal the container. Leave the bottles in a sunny or warm area minimum overnight and maximum 5 days (more days = more fizz) its a clear advantage to have warm temps (for the fermentation) so unless you live in a warm place do this in the summer. Then add the lime juice. To serve, chill in refrigerator.

The leftover of this tepache can be served as is or why not mix it with some rum? I think the tepache goes very well with the rest of ingredients in this colada, it adds a bit of a mellow spiciness.

The next colada is using Crema de Mezcal. You can use any good quality mezcal you like in it but i think the crema is the one for this drink – giving to it a smoky flavour and then using some roast coconut milk to combine adds some charred nuttiness:

MEZCOLADA

05-1 pineapple peeled and cored and cut into chunks. Save 2 chunks for the garnish along with 1-2 leaves. Puree the chunks and strain so you get fresh juice.

1 oz reposado tequila
1 oz Del maguey Crema de Mezcal
2 oz roast coconut milk
2 oz fresh pineapple juice
1t orgeat
4 cups ice

Blend in blender until smooth and pour into ice filled glass or serve in pineapple shell. Garnish with roasted coconut chips (or why not a mezcal soaked cherry) and pineapple leaves.

coconut-chips

Roast Coconut milk – Toast a handful of shaved fresh coconut chips until well brown and mix with 1 can lukewarm coconutmilk in blender, leave to sit for a while, then strain through cheesecloth.This is my own way to make it easier.

The traditional way to make roast coconut milk is to first roast chunks of fresh coconut in a charcoal fire until blackened on all sides.Then brush off the charred exterior and grate the flesh before adding it into a bowl and add 2 cups of lukewarm water. Then squeeze and knead the coconut thoroughly for 1 minute, then strain through cheesecloth into a bowl to obtain thick coconut milk. Probably the traditional way makes for a tastier roast coconut milk but i haven`t tried as i have no place to make a fire. There`s a lot of yummy flavours in this drink, the agave from the tequila and mezcal plus the smoke, roast coconut milk, almond and pineapple.

The task of opening a coconut, shave the flesh and toast it may seem laboursome but it actually isn´t, here is a link on how to do it easily.

HONEYCREAM COLADA

HONEY CREAM COLADA

The last colada is flavoured with baked banana honeycream. That is a mixture of baked banana, honey, sugar and water. It was used in a cocktail comp in Copenhagen and their version used water not cream. But in this drink i use heavy cream instead of water to cream it up with the coconut milk.

Here`s how to do it: Bake your bananas in the oven untill they get a bit of color and blend it with equal parts honey and heavy cream, add a bit of  sugar ( i used muscovado) to bring out the banana and reduce it in a pan.

0.5 pineapple peeled and cored and cut into chunks. Save 2 chunks for the garnish along with 1-2 leaves.
1.5 oz rhum agricole blanc
0.5 oz JWray overproof
2 oz  coconut milk
2 oz fresh pineapple juice
1 tsp baked banana honey cream
4 cups ice
Hibiscus tincture (optional, just for that little extra ( labour)

Blend in blender until smooth and pour into ice filled glass. Garnish with the pineapple chunks, and pineapple leaf and a few dashes hibiscus tincture for a little extra flavor contrast and color.

Hibiscus tincture

Mix 1oz crushed dried hibiscus flowers (jamaica) with 5oz highproof grain spirit or overproof rum like JWray and leave for a few days, then strain and bottle. Use it in drops.

To play further with these coladas you may use vanilla beans, demerara rum, muscovado sugar, cinnamon syrup, cachaca, macadamia nut syrup, Trader Tiki`s syrups to name a few ingredients.

Have fun! thanks Mike for hosting with a fun topic!

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.

 

UPCOMING TDN – Trader Tiki’s Exotic Syrups

donns-mix-label

Heard about Trader Tiki`s Exotic syrups yet? no??

If not – let me tell you what lovely genuine yummy and handcrafted syrups these are…I`m really happy to see these syrups now avalable and for purchase. Long ago i tried a few of them and they were pretty fast used up! and mind you i`m not a bad syrup maker myself. Theses syrups have something little extra in them, it can be a thickness…or something in the flavor that is there but you can´t exactly say what it may be. But after trying them you know for sure that this is genuine homemade syrups made with love and craftmanship.

Here is where to get these marvellous syrups – http://www.tradertiki.com/store/

Now….in a about a week and a half (feb 11) there will be a Trader Tiki Exotic Syrups TDN! Here´s your chance to indulge in a range of exotic cocktails being made right on the spot during the evening and night using these exotic syrups – and to have fun with a bunch of cocktail folks of all sorts.

You are totally free to add your own drinks or just to drink others or even to just lurk – the choice is yours but y`all are very much welcome to log in to the Mixoloseum chatroom at 7 pm est on feb 11. As it is almost two weeks left until this exciting TDN takes off you have the time now to get yourself a bottle or two of these handmade  flavorful exotic syrups!

Mixoloseum is a Creative Place! keep mixing…keep shaking…keep stirring..

HOW DO YOU MAKE YOUR GINGER SYRUP?

ginger-syrup

When making ginger syrup there`s but one little problem – to get that fresh bity ginger flavour to stay. When i make the syrup the usual way aka the hot method where you make a simple syrup and add sliced ginger and boil it, then cool it – the syrup looses its fresh flavour quite quickly.

When it was ginger MxMo – Rick over at Kaiserpenguintook up this topic and his solution is to make it fresh everytime by muddling ginger with simple syrup which is a very good solution giving you this fresh zingy biting ginger flavour in your cocktails.

However if you want to also have the depth that real syrup making gives there´s a way too which is a slight variation of this method. But how long the shelf life is i cannot say bec i`m making very small batches that goes fast.

GINGER SYRUP – With both hot & cold methods

To make a ginger syrup that has both depth of flavor and a rich roundness as well as the typical sharp zing or bite of the ginger its necessary to use both the hot and cold methods in syrup making, or at least that`s what my own experience is telling me.

First you use the hot method and boil, simmer and cool the syrup before adding additional fresh ginger – muddling it and then leaving it to steep until you have got the desired flavor and zing. Doing it this way you`ll get a lovely ginger syrup, rich and sharp.

Make it in  small amounts as ginger flavor decreases rapidly. Don´t ask me why it does but it does, i first discovered how short lived fresh ginger really is when making ginger beer. Now ginger syrup isn`t the same as ginger beer but also the syrup looses its fresh flavour quite fast.

Here´s how to make the syrup:

Take 2 parts sugar of choice (i use a light raw sugar – Oxfam brand plus a pinch of light muscovado) to 1 part water.Then grate a piece of fresh ginger and boil for 2 mins.Then lower the heat and simmer for another 5 mins. Cool.

Add some more fresh ginger, muddle it a bit to squeeze out the flavours and leave to steep until you find the flavor is good.

Easy to make and very useful.

Its that sharp citrusy bite actually that makes ginger so special so let´s do all we can to preserve it and further it into our drinks, so if anyone has more ideas of how to do that in ginger-syrup making i would like to hear it.

Maybe someone knows why fresh ginger flavour is so shortlived?

Here is a drink with some bite from the ginger and the slightly bitter orangey flavour from Aperol to accompany the wonderful round herbal flavours of the lovely gin from Martin Miller.

FRIENDLY GHOST

* 2 oz Gin (Martin Miller`s)
* 2-3 pineapple chunks
* 1/2 oz ginger syrup
* sprinkle of fresh lime
* 1 oz Aperol
* Tonic, to top

Muddle the pineapple, and ginger syrup. Add gin and aperol, shake with ice. Double-strain into a  glass with crushed ice and fill up with more crushed ice if needed. Top with tonic.

How do you make your ginger syrups ?

Sugarcane bar

 

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Let`s make some lovely Tahitian vanilla bean syrup

vanilla

Have anyone who knows me missed that i love vanilla? I use it all the time and i even grow 4 varietes of vanilla orchids but not to try to get any beans of course, i just find those climbing plants lovely and exotic also without flowers.

Vanilla is apart from a flavour and aroma booster both a beautiful and fun garnish, i mean really.. just look at this. I have more than once received the question how to make a good vanilla syrup, and so i decided to write about it, its really simple. First – there are different vanillas and they taste differently. The most common is the bourbon or Madagascar vanilla.It’s a nice vanilla – with that lingering warm – inviting and exotic flavor typical for the vanilla bean after its cured.

The Tahitian vanilla bean is a different variety and is highly prized among chefs for its unique lovely floral character, probably developed over many years in the rich volcanic soil in the Tahitian islands. Its believed that the Tahitian vanilla – vanilla tahitensis has evolved from the original vanilla planifolia and developed into its own species with its own flavor and character. The beans are fatter, shorter, more plump and oily than other vanilla varietes and the fragrance and flavor is really special. This is the vanilla of choice also for me. Its usually not cheap, not if grown on Tahaa also known as the vanilla island in French Polynesia.

But the species vanilla tahitensis as its called is also grown on Papua New Guinea and those grown there are less costly but they are also very flavorful with the typical character of the Tahitian vanilla bean. Still these cannot exactly compare to those from Tahaa even though very good. The difference isn´t that big though but its the soil creating a slight difference and nuance in aroma and its also about the feel. It was a while ago that I had beans straight from French Polynesia, after that I`ve had those from Papua but these are certainly not bad at all. So when i make my vanilla syrups i use the Tahitian vanilla bean almost all the time, but why not mix the two sometimes? Or even adding a third, the Mexican bean? Which is also regarded in flavor to be close to the bourbon vanilla.

I always let my syrups boil for about 2 mins and then simmer for a while before finally being taken off to cool. I prefer the boiled syrup for two reasons – one is that the 2 minute boiling helps to prevent molding, and second -–a boiled syrup has a thicker more viscous and rich mouthfeel than syrup made with the cold method (shaking the sugar and water in a jar until it disolves) At least that`s my own experience.

To make the vanilla syrup here`s what to do:

vanilla-syrup

 

Take 2-3 beans and split them lengthwise and scrape out all those wonderful tiny little black dots – the seeds. Add to a pan 2.1 or 1.1 sugar to water and add the beans and seeds. Choose a good sugar, like a finely textured light or dark raw cane sugar. Heat up and slightly boil for about a minute, then let simmer on low heat for about 5 minutes and stir sometimes.

A little trick i`m frequently using for a tasty syrup when using a light sugar is to add a pinch of light muscovado – that adds a deeper flavor. Take off the heat and cool. The longer you leave it to cool and steep the more vanilla flavor you`ll get. Then strain and pour in clean bottles. I sometimes leave the beans in the bottles as well. So what are you waiting for? Get working on the stove and before you know it you`ll have a wonderful vanilla syrup  – vanilla syrup really enhances the flavor in many cocktails.