Old English Gin

Here´s a real nice gin which i`ve had the pleasure of reviewing – the Old English Gin.

This Old English Gin is made from a 1783 recipe, distilling eleven botanicals in Angela, the oldest pot still being used in England today. And by using recycled bottles, organic sealing and silk printed labels, all as they did back in 1783, we are reinvigorating the way English Gin was made and distributed back then.

http://www.oldenglishgin.com/oldenglishgin.html

When i look at the bottle it reminds me of a bottle of champagne and the cork is sealed with black wax. The dark green glass with engraved old style beautiful writing in white instead of a paper label makes for a distinct and elegant style. It`s distilled and bottled in England by Hammer & Son Ltd.

This gin is pure old pot still and it has a deep flavor that is full bodied and round with a sharp but pleasant bite and a burst of botanical aromas backed up by that distinct gin juniper flavor without being too junipery, or at least that´s what my taste buds tell me.

I first did meet Henrik Hammer back in 2010 in New Orleans just when he had launched his first gin the Geranium gin which is a handcrafted London Dry gin with the addition of geranium which adds a delicate “flowery” aroma – and now i have in my hands here this beautiful bottle of Old English Gin.

Well, i actually tasted it already at a cocktail competition which well…worked as an appetizer…:-) but now i have it here to try out in a couple of mixed drinks and it´s nothing but a pleasure to work with.

The nose is very light with a hint of botanicals, juniper and citrus and in the mouth it has a fiery kick that comes with an explosion of flavors…but it´s not harsh, it´s smooth and very tasty.

This is quality stuff!

I made 3 drinks with it, Gin Julep,  Key Lime Martini and then i created a drink of my own which i call St Barth, with pineapple juice which btw i found to pair extremely well with the Old English Gin.

 Old English Gin Julep

2 oz (6 cl) Old English Gin

1 oz (3 cl) Curacao Liqueur (i used Ferrands Dry Curacao)

1 oz (3 cl) fresh lime juice

Large sprig of mint

Dash of club soda to top

Gently muddle mint leafs and Curacao and shake with gin. Double strain over crushed ice and top with club soda. Garnish with mint and fruits of the season.

This drink has the typical julep flavor but with the herbal aromas of the Old English gin with it´s distinct aroma, you can`t go wrong with it!

St Barth

2 oz ( (6 cl) Old English Gin

0.75 oz (2 cl) fresh lime juice

0.5 oz (1.5 cl) pineapple juice

0.5 oz (1.5 cl) St Germain

Dash sugarcane syrup

Shake together and strain into a chilled cocktail glass with a white sugar rim. Garnish with speared pineapple chunk and a small sprig of mint.

The combination of Old English gin, pineapple, lime and St Germain creates a tropical summer flavor that i found irresistible!

Key Lime Martini

1 oz (3 cl) Old English Gin

0.75 oz ( 2 cl) Grand Marnier

1 oz (3 cl) fresh lime juice (key limes if you have)

0.5 oz (1.5 cl) sugarcane syrup

Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass or coupe rimmed with dark brown molasses. Garnish with a lime peel in the glass.

This is a light summer drink with a hint of orange and the dark molasses rim adds a very pleasant and interesting aroma.

I think i got the Old English gin just right in time when the spring is here and the summer is on the way so i can make plenty of these nice summer drinks! at the same time the Old English Gin is very distinct and has enough fire to keep you warm during the fall and winter.

My conclusion is that this is an outstanding and versatile quality gin well worth adding to the bar or home bar. It def gets thumbs up from me!

 

The Boo Loo – Beware of it`s quiet strength

Here` s a quick post on one of the more well known tiki drinks the Boo Loo. A while ago i had a Boo Loo weekend together with a few people on instagram, yes really…there´s quite a bit of tikiphiles and other tropical drink lovers out there..and it´s fun when everybody post up their Boo Loo pictures.

The Boo Loo is usually served in a pineapple but i think it also looks fantastic in a goblet a la Forbidden island style – or other cool glass. I made a traditional one served in the pineapple and then another in a glass that night and only switched out some of the rums for variety and there´s quite a lot of rum in this drink…

Speaking of which – as in all rum forward drinks make sure to use good rums!

This is a Lapu Lapu type of drink, and it`s  enough in the pineapple or glass to be shared by two but can of course be good for one as well, heck i had two myself… It´s a polynesian restaurant style drink and similar to the Chief Lapu Lapu, Aku Lapu Lapu and the lesser known Kikuya Lapu ( all are on page 61-63 in BB Remixed)

These three are all different incarnations of the Chief Lapu Lapu which got it´s name after the Filipino chief Lapu Lapu who defeated Magellan in 1521 (you can read about the legend in Remixed) and how a rum drink served in tiki bars can get it´ name after that event is part of the mystery..

And so the Boo Loo is that kinda drink, boozy in a quiet way…and very relaxing.

Try it!

BOO LOO

  • A few small fresh pineapple chunks
  • 2 1/2 oz unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 1 1/2 oz lime juice
  • 1 oz honey
  • 1 1/2 oz club soda
  • 1 1/2 oz Demerara Rum
  • 1 1/2 oz gold Purto Rican rum
  • 3/4 oz dark Jamaican rum
  • 3/4 oz 151 Demerara Rum

Put pineapple chunks, honey and lime and pineapple juices in blender and blend without ice until liquefied. Pour unstrained into a hollowed out pineapple filled with crushed ice (or goblet) Add rums and soda and stir until well chilled.

As for the honey – heat until liquid and lightly cool it before adding to the blender. I always use liquid honey to make it even easier to mix.

I know the drink was created around 1965 but by whom i have no idea but it`s on the menu at the Fobidden Island. The Boo Loo is in Beachbum Berry`s Grog Log and Remixed.

This drink is quite rum forward and don`t be tricked by the honey and pineapple smoothness – this drink will creep up on you. But i like boozy drinks especially if the booze is rum…

If you add some coffee and mole bitters you get a Princess Kalakau which is a twist i made and you can call it the Boo Loo`s spicier cousin.

Tiki Month – Hala Kahiki

Tiki Month is already half gone…at least on the Pegu blog and therefore it´s time i come up with a drink in my next mug of the three i got from the Fireworks Studio.

There`s so many great tiki mug makers out there and i have a bunch on my list. I`m not obsessed with collecting yet but that has very much to do with that most mugs are made in the US and the shipping is high. If they were more easily accessible i`m sure i would have had many many more…

Today the theme is Pineapple!

For the pineapple mug i wanna make a drink containing pineapple but not a Pina Colada even though this specific mug is made for the Glasgow Tiki Bar´s Pina Coladas.

I`m very vey fond of the combination of strong Jamaican rum and aged rhum agricole and so that´s what`s going into this drink which is my own creation. And i`m gonna add some sparkling white wine to the party.

The name of the drink means “Pineapple” in Hawaiian which is just about right since the drink has it and the mug has it´s shape…I`ll also add some coffee for contrast – pineapple and coffee is a match made in heaven and a well known flavor combo when it comes to tiki drinks.

Hala Kahiki (hah.lah-kah-hee-kee)

5-6 fresh pineapple chunks (or enough to give about 2 oz juice)

0.25 oz demerara syrup + 0.25 oz liquid honey

0.25 oz coffee liqueur

1.5 oz Jamaican dark rum – preferably a flavorful and strong one like Smith and Cross

0.5 oz aged rhum agricole

0.5 oz fresh lime juice

A little sparkling white wine to top

Crushed ice

Muddle the pineapple slices with the syrup and honey in a shaker. Add coffee liqueur, rum and lime and shake well with ice. Double strain into a tiki mug filled with crushed ice and top with sparkling white wine.

Garnish with pineapple leaves, chunks and maybe a cherry.

One thing when garnihing with pineapple leaves, don`t let them sit in the drink for very long because the drink will get bitter.

This drink tastes just awesome, it´s fruity, strong and spicy but of course the choice of rums will have a great impact on the flavor in the first place but also the choice of coffee liqueur. I used Fair Cafè which is made from organic fair trade coffee and is very tasty. I once wrote a review of it and the link is here.

Now say “Inu A Kena”…which in Hawaiian means to “drink until satisfied” or “drink to quench thirst” – and it also is the name of a very good blog worth checking out!

Aloha….

SPOOKY PINEAPPLE

SOMETHING RUMBOOLICIOUS!

I`m a bit late to the party with this post, i blame it on the working-week…but for this booo weekend i have a rum-barrel type of tiki drink served in a for the theme black pineapple.

I`m making it with – well you may have guessed it – rum – and after the UK rumfest one could believe i`d be tired of rum but no no no…that´s not the case, and i don´t think that`ll ever happen..

There`s a so much spooky drinks out there that i really didn´t know what to make…should i carve out a pumpkin or make a flaming drink? well i already did that last year, so no…Should i make a blood-red vampire type of drink?

I had no clue…but then i saw that nice pineapple in the shop and decided to paint it black and use as vessel for a heavy tiki drink that should quench the thirst at least for folks who likes exotic rum drinks.

This is grown-up treat:

SPOOKY PINEAPPLE


Not that this pineapple looks very spooky at all…it rather looks grilled…:-) So scoop out a pineapple and paint it black.

Muddle a handful of pineapple pieces with 0.5 oz butter-cinnamon syrup mix in shaker and add:

1 oz dark rum

1 oz rhum agricole

0.5 oz FairTrade Coffee liqueur

2-3 dashes Black Walnut Bitters (Fees)

0.5 oz fresh lime

Shake hard with ice and double strain into the pineapple filled with crushed ice and if you wish, top with a little Ting. Float Lemon Hart151

Garnish with something fun.

BUTTER-CINNAMON SYRUP MIX

Make cinnamon syrup by adding equal parts demerara sugar and water in a pan and heat to dissolve the sugar. Add crushed cinnamon sticks and lightly boil on low heat for just a little, then take off heat and leave to cool and let the flavors blend for an hour or two. Then strain and bottle. Or use B.G Reynold´s excellent cinnamon syrup.

Then melt one teaspoon butter for every 0.5 oz syrup. Add the melted butter to the syrup and stir together.

It´s simply a refreshing tiki drink, not the least spooky but there´s more than enough spooky drinks out there…in any case it´s tasty and most of all – relaxing. You can play with different rums too.

Favorite Flavor Combinations: Coffee and Pineapple

A touch of coffee and pineapple..

The fragrance of coffee is one of those lovely things that belongs to our comfort-zone, really, what would we do without it?

I`m gonna write a little series on my favorite flavor combinations and coffee and pineapple is first out. The pairing of flavors is something that i`ve always been interested in and i`m more or less always on the hunt for new flavors to play with.

But also old and proven flavor pairings are fun to mix with and good to imbibe and like the classic cocktails always will be there. One such flavor combination is coffee and pineapple and especially in the tiki drink world it`s a classic.

Pineapple goes well with cinnamon too – another tiki classic. But in this post i`ll deal with the coffee. Every coffee lover knows how important it is to choose good quality and flavorful coffee – beans or blends. I have over the years tried many different coffees and i have now settled with 3 types that i think is superior to any other.

These 3 coffees are first the coffee from Louisiana (especially Community Coffee) then Kona coffee from Hawaii and finally Jamaican Blue Mountain. These three are more flavorful, strong and fullbodied than any other i have tried from anywhere. The Community Coffee is my house coffee of the three.

I recently introduced that coffee to a co-worker and he said i have turned his coffee-world upside down and that he´ll never want another coffee…that´s how good he found it to be and i`m not going to say against that. He did put it above Blue Mountain which is a good coffee..

So good coffee for great cocktails! and coffee in cocktails is a wonderful thing, it creates a contrasting flavor and paired with pineapple is a marriage in heaven. When it comes to flavor pairings a rule of thumb is that the things that grows together in the same climate also goes best together.

Now the pineapple – it gotta be FRESH! i like the ones that are not yet fully ripe but still fragrant since they are really fresh and not too sweet. You can check if a pineapple is ripe by tearing off one of the top leaves, it should go off easily and by sniffing on it, it should be very fragrant. The kinda almost-ripe ones i like are lightly fragrant, the leaf goes off but not too easily and they are a bit greenish.

Put pineapple and coffee together with dark rum, lime and sugar and you´re in for a treat. Here´s a very classic type of tiki drink, i call this one Coffee Barrel, a bit boring name i know but it fits with the rum barrel mug i used. (These cool rum barrel mugs are from Smuggler´s Cove)

COFFEE BARREL


Place 5-6 coffee beans in a shaker and crush them but don´t make powder out of it. Add 5-6 chunks of fresh pineapple and muddle with the crushed beans.

Add:

0.5 oz fresh lime juice

1/4 oz orgeat

0.5 oz sugarcane syrup (i used Petit Canne)

Dash Aphrodite bitters (Dr Adam Elmegrab`s)

1 oz Jamaican dark rum ( I used Coruba)

1 oz white cachaca ( i used Abelha which is very smooth without being industrial – it´s handcrafted small batch)

Shake hard with ice and double strain into a tiki mug or chimney glass with crushed ice. If using a large mug like the rum barrel mug you may make a double recipe.

Float Smith & Cross (a good float)

Garnish mint sprig and pineapple chunks

This tastes rummy, spicy and tiki! and the addition of aphrodite bitters blends well with the pineapple-coffee theme since the bitters contains coffee as well. So let´s move on to one of my favorite cocktails, the daiquiri. And here´s my version of the Aphrodite Daiquiri:

APHRODITE DAIQUIRI


1 oz white rum ( i used Havana Club 3 yo)

1 oz Smith & Cross

0.75 0z fresh lime juice

0.5 oz pineapple syrup

2-3 dashes Aphrodite bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled coupe.

Garnish with a rough golden sugar rim.

Liquid gold with just a touch of coffee and pineapple…

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!

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2010!

2010-new-year-tiki-drinks

Happy 2010 folks!

Here are three New Year tiki drinks to imbibe at the end of this year (and thereafter) Thanks for reading my blog and commenting on my posts which helps keeping the blog alive.

I`m happy to now be on the right side of the year soon – now we move towards spring and summer again even though very slowly..so here its not going to get any darker but slowly lighter, but i won`t see any change until beginning of march. For the moment it gets dark around 3pm.

I hope to mix many many drinks in the year to come..

DRUNKEN MOAI

A handful fresh pineapple chunks
Dash cinnamon powder
1t liquid honey
0.5 oz fresh lime juice
2 oz aged cachaca
A little champagne to top
Garnish hibiscus sugar rim, pineapple leaves and slice.

Crush dried hibiscus flowers into a fine powder and mix with a golden fine sugar. Rim a tall glass and fill up halfway with crushed ice – carefully to not ruin the rim, Muddle pineapple, cinnamon, honey and lime in a shaker, add cachaca and ice and shake well.

Double strain into the glass, fill up with some more crushed ice and top with a little bit of champagne.

NEHE NEHE

2 oz rhum agricole blanc
0.5 oz golden raw sugar syrup
0.5 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz fresh grapefruit juice
Dash Angostura bitters
Small dash hibiscus grenadine
Garnish golden sugar rim and citrus leaves

Rim the glass with golden fine sugar and fill up halfway with crushed ice – carefully to not ruin the rim,.Shake ingredients and strain into the glass and add more crushed ice to fill  Garnish with a few citrus leaves.

THE RISING SUN

2 oz El Dorado 3 year old cask aged rum
¼ oz Mozart Dry
1 oz pineapple juice
A little champagne to top
Garnish cocoa rim and mint

Rim the glass with cocoa powder, fill up with crushed ice. Shake ingredients except the champagne and strain into the glass. Carefully add more crushed ice to fill and top with a little champagne.

Garnish with a sprig of mint.

Happy New Year and Okole Maluna!

Sugarcane bar

 

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