SMITH & CROSS JAMAICAN RUM

smithcross

Its strong, flavorful and even a bit bitter..and it got ATTITUDE – this is Smith & Cross rum from Jamaica.

Oops..i`m a bit late to post after the Tales..but real life has hit me with something called work…yes i do have a real job;-) – i`m not sitting here experimenting with rare demeraras all days…but now its RUM TIME!

And better late than never..

I managed to bring back a few rum treasures like the Lemon Hart 151 and the since a long time wanted Jamaican pot still rum Smith&Cross. Now i also know what the fuss was all about – and yes they are so right to rave over this one.

I can`t really figure out how it happened but last year on Tales in New Orleans this rum was out for tasting and somehow i managed to miss it..can you believe that? i really wonder what i was doing..apparently i was doing something!

Anyway, so it took a year for me to get to try it out and get me a bottle…because as far as i know you need to go to the states to get hold of this rum as its not sold in Europe (yet) i really hope to see it sold in the UK..will it be? and if so…when? and why is not already?

The Smith & Cross brand goes back all the way to the 1788s when underground cellars near the river Thames in London stored Jamaican rum which was famous in the 19th and 20th century.

Smith & Cross contains only pot still distillates by Wedderbaum and Plummer – and its unfiltered so here`s flavor….of exotic fruits and island spice – its very deep, raw, flavorful and it kicks ass! – its what rum used to be..Its a bit too strong for sipping though ( 57% ABV – navy strength ) and more suitable for mixing and as a mixing rum its excellent.

Perfect for Tiki drinks as well! and it blends well with other rums. I haven´t had the time yet to play that much with it yet, But Jay over at Oh Gosh! made an excellent review of it last year.

So for now i have mostly had it by itself mixed with fresh fruit juices or with Batavia arrak to make a witchdoctor.. Here`s a few other ways to use it:

MIXOHAUS CHARTREUSE SWIZZLE

Can`t have enough of this iconic drink..its both strong and extremely refreshing at the same time. I miss all the evenings in the mixohouse with this grand drink passed around in flower vases..where additions of various rums were added. One of those that i like the most is the one with Smith&Cross.

chartreuse-swizzle1

1 1/2 oz Pineapple Juice

1 oz Lime Juice

1/4 oz Falernum

1 oz Smith&Cross

1 oz Green Chartreuse

2 dash Angostura Bitters

Fresh mint for garnish

Add ingredients to a glass full of crushed ice. Swizzle until the glass frost on the outside, lavishly garnish with mint, and add straw.

ELYSIAN TIKI PUNCH – A tiki drink in rememberance of the 2010 Mixohouse and those warm humid nights on the porch listening to the whole orchestra of cikadas sipping great cocktails and ice cold beers. The name comes from the street Elysian ave – a version with Zaya instead of ONO Cajun was made for the Zaya TDN last thursday.

This is a drink to sip and remember the summer, the syrup has a subtle touch of pecan nuts.

elysian-tiki-punch

1 oz pineapple juice

1 oz fresh orange juice

1 oz Old New Orleans Cajun Spice Rum

1 oz Smith & Cross Jamaican Rum

0.5 oz pecan butter syrup

0.5 oz fresh lime juice

Dash Bitter Truth Creole bitters on top of the ice

Mix in blender with crushed ice for 10 sek or shake vigoriously with ice, strain and serve in a glass filled with fresh crushed ice, add some extra ice to build it up over the glass a bit and add a few dashes of the Creole bitters on top. Garnish with fresh mint. Add straws.

PECAN BUTTER SYRUP

Lightly crush and toast a handful of pecan nuts in a dry iron pan until fragrant. make a simple syrup with 2:1 muscovado sugar and water, add the pecan nuts and slightly boil, set aside to cool. Strain into a clean bottle. Before using it warm up the amount you gonna use and add little bit of unsalted butter to it. When the butter is melted, stir it in and use for the drink.

smithcross-close2

Smith & Cross is imported to the US by Haus Alpenz LLC, Edina MN, www.alpenz.com

 

This is what i call a RUM! Can also be found online at DrinkUpNy

 

Sugarcane bar

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ORIGINAL NEW ORLEANS COCKTAILS pt1 – Vieux Carré & Ramos Gin Fizz

vieux-carre-cocktail

Vieux Carrè cocktail

Tales of the Cocktail may still seem far away but time flies and what is more fitting prior to the Tales than mixing up some genuine cocktails from the city where the cocktail was born and where the Tales of the Cocktail is celebrated each year since eight years back now.

There´s no city in the world that knows how to throw a party like they do in New Orleans and with party usually comes also cocktails. I think there are “cocktails” and there are “drinks” –  like those popular go-cups you see on Bourbon st and they may have their own charm but here i`m gonna talk about genuinely hand crafted and wonderful cocktails, some of the best that have ever been made.

I`ll have to break down my posting about these awesome concoctions  into a few posts. If you`re interested in the history of the cocktails of New Orleans and have a chance you should visit the Museum of the American Cocktail now on april 5th when Darcy from Art of Drink will make a presentation on the influence of soda in cocktails, specifically those of New Orleans. You can read more about this here.

VIEUX CARRÉ COCKTAIL

This is the signature cocktail of the famous Carousel bar in the hotel Monteleone.This particular bar is especially interesting since its made from parts of an actual old carousel that revolves around the bar which is circular. Luckily is not moving fast…but its moving…and it’s a funny experience – and of course you get well crafted cocktails there – its a must try if you are going to New Orleans and the Tales.

You`ll sooner or later most likely find yourself in one of those marvellous barstools and when you do – take your chance and try the signature cocktail the Vieux Carrè – The old square – as its called – after the French quarter which is built like a square and where Monteleone also is. It was first mixed by Walter Bergeron in the 1930s.

the-famous-carousel-bar

3/4 oz. rye whiskey
3/4 oz. brandy
3/4 oz. sweet vermouth
1/8 oz. Benedictine
1 dash Peychaud’s bitters
1 dash Angostura bitters

Build over ice, in an Old Fashioned glass

Aromatic with the vermouth and nicely boozy but not too much, this cocktail is  actually easy to drink. If you like rye then this is for you.

The next one needs no presentation, really – but for those who doesn`t know – this is one of the most famous cocktails of New Orleans – The Ramos Gin Fizz – and its a great cocktail with a history dating back to 1888. A smooth awesomeness just like the Absinthe or Herbsaint Suissesse – a dream of fluffy clouds…and if i say “easy to drink” well this one defies the word “easy”. Its maybe a good thing its a bit laboursome to mix – it may become a natural precaution of making yourself  too many…unless you cheat with the handmixer;-)

What you do then is starting it up with a handmixer in the glass incorporating air into it, mix for 20 seconds, then add ice and shake as usual for another 30 seconds. Now you`ve gained a lot of time and pain. This is also traditionally a morning cocktail – a day after refreshener. Usually i don`t start my mornings with a cocktail, i more likely have a coffee…but during Tales its more of a chance i would do that. In the right environment its a very nice thing.

The Ramos gin fizz  was invented by Henry C Ramos in his bar Meyer`s Restaurant. It was orignally called the “New Orleans Fizz”  and an armada of “shaker boys” used to take turns to shake it to the right consistency. This was before the prohibition. The poularity of this drink faded away with new times and new speeds but today when old cocktails are ressurrected again its more served also outside of New Orleans.

The fluffy dreamy texture comes from the egg whites and using raw eggs in cocktails  is nothing to fear – but if raw eggs is an issue there´s also powdered egg whites and they are simply egg whites where water has been removed. I have never tried it though. The secret in this cocktail is the combination of egg white and a touch of orange flower water.

ramos-gin-fizz

RAMOS GIN FIZZ

1 1/2 oz gin
1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
1/2 oz. simple syrup
2 oz. milk (half & half or cream if preferred)
1 small egg white
2-3 drops of orange flower water (careful here! you don´t want this drink to taste and smell like a bottle of perfume)
Soda

Shake all ingredients except the soda and shake very well, when you think you`re done, shake some more –  the more the better – and shake first without ice and then with ice – so that the egg white emulsifies and the drink becomes very cold and frothy. (Or use the handmixer way to do it – but really if you want to follow tradition…shake, shake, shake..)Then strain into a chilled highball glass without ice. Top with a little club soda to get some fizz. No garnish – usually, but if you like to – a thin strip of orange, lemon or lime peel/slice is nice i think.

Now that`s a nice cocktail!

MIXING THROUGH GROG LOG 6 – Blackbeard`s Ghost

Tiki time again! and here we are, tiki cocktail number six – which is the Blackbeard`s Ghost.

It`s a Beachbum Berry original – a version of the Pirate`s Grog from Blackbeard`s Galley restaurant from cirka 1970`s which according to the description was a “feisty theme restaurant with decor to match its name.” There isn`t much more info to get on this drink, at least i didn´t find any.

Sounds like a promising drink to set set you in a rummy mood…it calls for these exquisite ingredients:

BLACKBEARD`S GHOST

blackbeards-ghost

1 oz orange juice

0.5 oz falernum

2 oz sweet and sour ( i mix equal parts fresh lime and lemon – and an equal part simple syrup to the lime and lemon mix)

0.5 oz apricot brandy

2 dashes angostura bitters

1.5 oz light Puerto Rican rum

0.5 oz demerara rum

Mix in cocktail shaker with a glass-full of crushed ice. Then pour everything back into glass.

Real sweet and sour – not the chemical mix – is the way to go as far as sweet and sour is concerned – at least to me. At first i thought 2 oz would be too much but it isn`t and falernum is just the right thing to balance everything togehter in this drink. I like this one, its goes down easily – its  fruity, sweet, sour, and lightly rummy with a pinch of spice from the angostura bitters. I`m not dissappointed. I used hm..not a Puerto Rican white here but El Dorado 3 year old cask aged white, quite a different rum.

Let`s stay in the company of rummy ghostly tiki cocktails for a while – my twist of this is another and very different ghost – where the apricot brandy is switched for the subtle caressing of sweet vanilla, the angostura bitters for the more dark and spicy chocolately Mole bitters – to pair with the vanilla which is a natural companion to chocolate.

Finally the demerara ratio is upped and the light rum have to be set aside for a while:

GHOST OF THE GALLEY

ghost-of-the-galley

1 oz orange juice

0.5 oz falernum

2 oz sweet and sour ( I mix equal parts fresh lime and lemon – and an equal part simple syrup to the lime and lemon mix)

0.5 oz Navan vanilla liqueur (update: no longer made, use another vanilla liqueur containing real vanilla)

1 dash Xocoatl Mole bitters

2 oz demerara rum

Mix in cocktail shaker with a glass-full of crushed ice. Then pour everything back into glass.

This one of course tastes differently yet there´s some similarity, but here the demerara takes a step to the front lightly backed up by the xocolatl mole bitters and the sweet vanilla is lingering around binding it all together.

Of course the choice of rums is the main thing to consider in this kind of drinks and playing around with different rums may bring out some surprises for the better or worse (hopefully the better).  For dark demerara i used OVD (Old Vatted Demerara) El Dorado 12 or equal parts 12 and 15 i believe would be very good too.

I like this one too… I actually like them both – so go ahead and try and let me know what you think.

MIXING THROUGH GROG LOG 5 – Beachcomber´s Punch

The next drink from Grog Log is also a Beachcomber concoction named Beachcomber´s Punch. At first sight the recipe looks pleasant and uncomplicated and that`s exactly how i find this tiki drink. It contains my favorite rum which is demerara and just little pernod as well to give some dimension to this concoction.

Don the Beachcomber created this one circa 1937 according to Grog Log. The Angostura/Pernod combo was the Beachcomber`s “secret” ingredient when he used dark rum as the base. But it should be mentioned that back then he used Herbsaint. Now when the original Herbsaint is re-created i would choose it if i could. I`ll definetily try to get me a bottle later.

This is a sort of foolproof classic Beachcomber tiki drink, its very easy to make.

So here we go:

BEACHCOMBER´S PUNCH

beachcombers-punch

0.5 oz fresh lime juice

0.5 oz grapefruit juice (yellow)

0.5 oz apricot brandy

0.5 oz simple syrup

Dash Angostura bitters

1/8 tsp pernod

1.5 oz demerara rum

All this to blend with 6 ounces of crushed ice and no more than 5 sec. That`s important unless you are a fan of slushy drinks.. Pour into a 10 ounce pilsener glass. Add more crushed ice to fill and garnish with a sprig of mint. I also added an orchid,

Simple enough – and tasty. Contrary to how i found the previous cocktail this one is tasty and kind to you. Actually it should have had a kick of something, a float of high proof demerara maybe? its a bit too kind..

It does require a twist that is different enough so we can have some fun.

I decided first to switch the apricot brandy for Cherry Heering and take down the ratio to 1/4 oz as too much Cherry Heering isn`t desired. Then i switched the Pernod for a few dashes of Peychauds and finally i added that float of high proof demerara i was talking about..Now we be jazzin`…

A lack of better imagination from a tired brain in the middle of a friday night i just came up with this name, so it will have to do.

TIKI QUEEN PUNCH

tiki-queen-punch

0.5 oz fresh lime juice

1 oz grapefruit juice (yellow)

1/4 oz Cherry Heering

1/4 oz simple syrup

1/4 Trader Tiki`s vanilla syrup (or other)

2-3 dashes Peychaud`s bitters

1.5 oz demerara rum

0.5 oz float overproof demerara rum

All this to blend with 6 ounces of crushed ice and no more than 5 sec. Then i garnished with one of those red nice swizzle sticks that came with Trader Tiki`s all syrups and a sprig of mint.

This one i like much more, it has more punch and i like Cherry Heering as long as its not allowed to overpower the drink. The little touch of Trader Tiki`s yummy vanilla syrup was also pleasant. If you can`t get Trader Tiki`s yummy vanilla its easy to make your own. But i can tell you that Trader Tiki`s vanilla has a lot of flavor, and that is flavor that is all natural.

Don`t think that i`m just trying to promote a friend now, he has no problems doing that all by himself but i really do like his syrups and they are very professionally made and has that little extra something that many other syrups lack.

Next drink up from Grog Log in a while will be something called Blackbeard`s Ghost, soon to come.

This series called Mixing through Grog Log is inspired by my fellow boozeblogger Erik`s “Stomping through the Savoy” over at Underhill Lounge.

Sugarcane bar

 

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MIXING THROUGH GROG LOG – 3 Aurora Bora Borealis and a Tiki drink in honor of the preservation of the sea turtle.

We all know that Tikidrinks has exotic and/or weird names and the third drink in Grog Log certainly has exactly that: Aurora Bora Borealis…what does that mean? it sounds like the name of some sort of exotic sea creature…or the scientific name of some parasitic plant species living in the cloud forest or maybe some sort of sea star?

Seeing that name on a drink menu in a tiki bar wouldn’t give any hint of what this exotic drink may contain but to tell you the truth, I could order it for the name alone.. The “Bora” in it reminded me of the beautiful  island Bora Bora.

I had to find out the meaning of this name and the only way to do it was to turn to the author of Grog Log himself, namely our own Jeff Beachbum Berry who says the name is a combination of space-age and Tiki references — the Aurora Borealis and the island of Bora Bora. Well, i accept that – Bora Bora is like i said, my dream destination after Moorea..

In my opinion a  good cocktail starts with fresh ingredients and there´s good fresh juices in this one.

AURORA BORA BOREALIS

aurora-bora-borealis1

0.5 oz Coco Lopez coconut cream
0.5 oz fresh lime juice
¼ oz orange juice
tsp orgeat syrup
1 oz dark Jamaican Rum
1 oz light Puerto Rican Rum

Blend with ½ cup crushed ice on low speed for 15 sec. Pour into large cocktail glass.

I find this cocktail very tropical indeed and also quite refreshing. If you don`t like coconut then this isn`t for you but if you like me just love it, well – then give it a try! Its a bit on the sweet side.

The next, which is made in honor of the preservation of the sea turtle is a twist on this one using blood orange juice, fresh lime, vanilla syrup and honey. To this goes El Dorado 3 year old cask aged white rum and Old New Orleans Cajun Spiced rum, two of my favorite rums. Its also a little bit sweet and tropical drink – as it should be in this case. But the Angostura bitters and spice from the ONO rum saves it from going too girlie i think.

The name Honu iti means little or small turtle. On Bora Bora there´s a sea turtle sactuary at Le Méridien which may be the only resort in the world with its own colony of this endangered specie. It may sound like a tourst trap but its about much more than entertaining tourists. They have returned some 500 turtles to the wild  – which in reality is only one teardrop in the ocean but none of those 500 turtles would be alive today had they not been rescued by the resort.

The green sea turtle is green because thier body fat is green – because they turns vegetarian as they mature. They can become 80-90 years old in comparaision to the tortoise which can reach an age of 250. Only one out of  1000  baby sea turtles will reach adult size, so they are very vulnerable. The turtle or Honu is my lucky animal and no matter what how good people say turtle soup is, i could never eat my lucky animal..

Here you can read more about the sea turtles on Bora Bora.

HONU ITI

honu-iti

0.5 oz Coco Lopez coconut cream
0.5 oz fresh lime juice
¼ oz fresh blood orange juice
0.5 oz tahitian vanilla syrup
1 tsp liquid honey
dash Angostura
1 oz El Dorado 3 year old white cask aged rum
1 oz ONO Cajun Spiced rum

Blend with ½ cup crushed ice on high speed for 15 sec. Pour into large cocktail glass. Garnish with a vanilla bean and if you have it – a lovely orchid.

MXMO XLIV – “MONEY DRINKS”

mxmologo

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!