I`m a lover of agricole rums and St Aubin is new to me even though it`s not new on the market. Hailing from beautiful Mauritius it`s an exotic and exciting rum to review!
St Aubin plantation located on southern Mauritius has been cultivating sugarcane since 1890 and takes it´s name from one of it`s first owner Pierre de St Aubin. On the estate there`s both artisanal and a traditional rums made. And what more is, they also have a tea plantation, Bois Chéri and a vanilla plantation and that`s the vanilla they use in their vanilla flavored rums. The water used in the rum making comes from their own spring water from Bois Chéri. It`s all local produce here which is something i like.
Each rum has it´s specific terroir and on Mauritius there´s abundant sunshine and rich volcanic soil watered by tropical rains creating a micro climate perfect for growing good quality sugarcanes producing this rum made from pure sugar cane juice.
On Mauritius the first pressed sugar cane juice is called “fangourin” and it´s that what makes the artisanal rums at St Aubin. It is further fermented and distilled once in a copper alembic still before being bottled without ageing.
When you open the bottle the nose you get is mild, herbal, grassy, floral, hints of vanilla, crispy and that of green sugarcane. In the mouth it intensifies strongly and the herbal grassiness comes more upfront. It`s not too sweet and rather on the dry side, and it´s a very pleasant and flavorful rum.
I get a mental picture of me sipping on a ti punch….
St Aubin Ti Punch
2 oz St Aubin 50% White Rum
0.5 oz sugar cane syrup
A piece of lime, cut about 1/3 of a lime and squeeze the juice into the glass on top of the sugar, stir a little then add the rum and stir again. Adding ice or not is up to you…some people swear by no ice while others want some ice. I like it cold but you can also chill the glass, that way you don`t get any dilution from ice.
St Aubin 1819 white rum makes a very nice ti punch, flavorful, mild, crispy and refreshing! it´s a pleasure to sip on it. The daiquiri of the french islands! so simple and so tasty!
ST AUBIN FLAVORED RUMS
I also have three flavored rums here, coffee, vanilla and coconut. These flavored rums are made from fresh pressed sugar cane juice and they are flavored with natural ingredients. It`s tricky to make a good flavored rum, but these three here are all very well balanced and it tastes just natural.
Let`s start with the coconut…
It`s a very delightful coconut scent on the nose and the flavor is crispy brilliant with just a very slight hint of herbal grassiness and sugarcane. First you taste the coconut and then comes the sugarcane, it´s sweet but not overly-sweet. It sounds silly but i think it kinda transports you to a tropical beach…
The coconut rum is mild and caresses your palate like a soft tropical breeze…You can drink this on the rocks and also make nice cocktails with it as well as using it in tiki drinks.
Vanilla is my favorite spice and i have tried more than once to spice up rums with vanilla beans leaving the beans uncut in the bottle for various length of times but i have personally found it quite difficult to get it balanced and i don`t know how people manage to leave the beans in the bottle without the rum gets ruined by too much of the vanilla flavor. But this vanilla rum from St Aubin is excellent!
The nose is mild but deep and almost earthy.The herbal flavor is much more pronounced than i could feel in the coconut rum which to me tasted much lighter. This is spicy, with a deep vanilla flavor without being overpowering.
It`s a good vanilla rum and easy on the palate, good to drink as it is or in cocktails.
Freshly ground coffee on the nose! with hints of sugarcane. In the mouth a vibrant coffee flavor, sugarcane and even a slight hint of vanilla. It`s mild and nice and easy to drink as well. This could be used on the rocks with ice, in cocktails and even as cocktail ingredient. Would be great in tiki drinks too especially paired with pineapple juice.
I find that all three of these flavored rums are very good! and i like that they are made from local ingredients.The coffee used is coming from the region Chamarel on Mauritius, the vanilla is from their own vanilla plantation and the coconuts are of course from the island.
I decided to make three cocktails all based on the daiquiri – which by the way is the drink that almost all tiki drinks are based on…rum, sugar and lime and then some 🙂
2 oz/60 ml St Aubin Coconut Rum
1 oz/30 ml pineapple juice
0.5 oz/15 ml simple syrup
0.5 oz/15 ml fresh lime juice
Shake with ice and strain into a tall glass and garnish with a pineapple leaf.
Coffee – Pineapple Daiquiri
2 oz/60 ml St Aubin Coffee Rum
1 oz/30 ml pineapple juice
0.25 oz/7.5 ml dark muscovado syrup
0.5 oz/15 ml fresh lime juice
Shake with ice and strain into a fancy glass. Garnish with an orchid stem. I took a bit less sugar syrup in this one because i found the coffee rum to be a bit sweeter than the coconut.
1 oz/30 ml St Aubin Vanilla Rum
1 oz/30 ml St Aubin 50% White Rum
1.5 oz/45 ml pineapple juice
0.25 oz/7.5 ml sugarcane syrup
0.5 oz/15 ml fresh lime juice
Barspoon grenadine (preferably home/house made)
Shake everything except grenadine with ice and strain into a tall glass with ice cubes. Add the grenadine and garnish with vanilla beans.
My final conclusion: These are great rums! all of them, if i shall pick a favorite or two it has to be the 50% white and the coconut but they are all good rums and made with local and natural ingredients. I`d say St Aubin rums is a pleasant surprise!
Exciting rums…interesting (and tasty) seminars, good rum friends, carnival music and good food – that`s the UK Rumfest!(and in England good food to me spells either Caribbean food or Fish and Chips (with extra hotsauce) and there was Caribbean food in the venue and upstairs in the pub they had the most delicious and crispy fish and chips! oh how i miss that one now!
Here`s the second post about this years UK Rumfest! (the first part is here) I liked it a lot this year, the venue was very good and more intimate than last year which allowed rum lovers and producers to have better and easier discussions, likewise the rum selection was good – but i do have a wish though…i`d love to see Velier rums and more french style rhum agricoles…
Combined with main stage presentations featuring Chef Hasan De Four on cooking with rum, London auction house Christie’s hosted The RumFest’s first ever auction for charity including £5,200 on the hammer for one of the oldest bottles of rum in the world, dating back to 1780 from the recently discovered Harewood House collection. The auction had over 20 precious and rare rum lots sold to the highest bidder, for prices that stretched into the thousands.
Ian Burrell was on hand to take spectators and bidders through the history of each of the rums, while Christie’s auctioneer David Elswood hosted the Saturday highlight and a grand total of £10,670 to be donated to the WaterAid Charity Fund and the Geraldine Connor Foundation in Leeds.
On Friday the trade-only Boutique RumFest returned in association with the Cork Supply company (which btw had an interesting short seminar about cork) and allowed buyers, distributors, distillers, press and industry figures from as far as Fiji and India to come together and discuss and sample rum.
So let there be rum…
OVD and Wood´s 100
That was the first stand i stumbled into on the saturday when the rumfest started, first thing i saw was the OVD bottle …
OVD is a demerara rum from Guyana and OVD stands for Old Vatted Demerara, a rum i know since a long time and also wrote about long ago on this blog. OVD was first imported in Scotland in 1838 and is a blend of demerara rums that is aged for seven years in oak casks and it´s the best selling dark rum in Scotland.
But there was also Wood`s 100 which i also have known about for long but had never tried so now i had my chance and disappointed i was NOT! this rum is bursting with good flavors! and a plus in my book – it´s a bit stronger, i have a special love for full proof rums. This is a perfect rum for tots and tiki drinks.
Wood`s 100 is an excellent overproof navy rum also from Guyana and distilled at the diamond distillery using a combination of spirits made in pot and column stills from sugarcane growing on the banks of the river Demerara. The appearance is dark and syrupy and the flavor is unrefined rich demerara with kick and depth.
Next stop was Ron Cubay, i wrote a little about them last year and remember i said i need to re-visit them. This year they had a new rum there, Ron Cubay Extra Viejo – a light gold colored rum which is mix of white rum and extra aged rum reserves. That is old Cuban rums that are aged for an average of seven years and then some of the best whites that are aged for nearly 13 years in white American oak barrels. From what i remember of the taste of this rum, it had a quite intense fruity flavor, balanced and no harshness at all which was expected. The bottles are individually numbered and comes in a velvet leather effect gift box.
Oh how i love these Caribbean rum punches! they serve them and sell them ready made at every UK Rumfest, some are small batch brands. Really, nothing is so Caribbean to me as a rum punch and i love their appetizing colors, usually red and the two i tried at this stand were all that.
The first i tried was the rum punch from River`s Rum from the River Antoine distillery in Grenada, and oh so tasty! after that i tasted W&D`s Caribbean Rum Punch, as tasty as as can be! it`s actually really nice to break off from all the neat rum sampling with a cold Rum Punch, it sort of clear the palate a bit too.
W&D Rum Punch also have a website where you can order both rum punches and Caribbean cakes for all occasions, they also offer non alcoholic punches! You can order from the website and also book them for catering at your events if you live in the UK. You can also check out their Facebook page and get the Party started with W&D’s Caribbean Punches!
More on rum punch later on this blog.
Excellent taste and so refreshing….
This distillery and it`s excellent rums and Richard Seale need no presentation. I spent a great deal of time here talking rum at this this stand. I tried a special one that was very interesting and oh so good…. not out for sale yet though. And luckily and finally the Doorly`s XO will soon be launched in the cold country where i happen to live…so a new Doorly`s XO will soon be comfortably installed in my home bar.
Here comes the next absolut top quality rum, also from Barbados, i wrote about this distillery and their rums last year and this year they are launching their very own 5 year old, made at the distillery from start to end. A very exciting new rum from St Nicholas Abbey! more on this rum and the white one later.
Real Mc Coy
Another good one, i tried their rum the first time last year, it´s really good stuff and the Real Mc Coy rum has an interesting history that i wrote about when i reviewed their 5 year old rum. I`m gonna write about the 12 year old soon, which is my favorite of the three. But i recommend trying them all.
This year there are two new rums arriving from Pusser`s to the UK, a 40.5 abv version of the current gunpowder proof rum (54.5%) and also a 100% natural spiced rum which is steeped for up to ten days with stem ginger, cinnamon, clove and vanilla.
Rhum Clemènt and Rhum JM
I wish there was more french caribbean rhum agricole at the rumfest! but at least there was Clemènt and Rhum JM both solid and good agricoles. I made sure i tried them all even though i`ve tried many of them before 🙂 Also on display they had the 25 year anniversary bottle from Rhum Clemènt made in collaboration with artist JonOne which i think is really really pretty! i want one! the glass too! and the content of the bottle is pure good rhum agricole…Clemènt V.S.O.P
Plantation had a hut this year with all kinds of rum suspects walking in and out…They had the whole range to try on the stand, well almost…including their famous Stiggin`s Fancy Pineapple rum and the new Jamaican -98 Tokai which was very good.
Angostura rum is always around, anywhere i go they are there and they are good, i like all of their rums and the bitters plus their amaro that was launched in the summer and which i`m gonna write about later. Angostura is always solid and consistent.
The flagship of demerara rum, they went big this year and had pop up bars and masterclasses around London, they even made a El Dorado pop-up bar which was built like a replica of the Golden City.I will always love their rums, especially my “first love” the 15 year old.
Unsuspecting i passed by their hut…and was gently dragged in with the words, “do you want to try a few cocktails”? then seated at a table and a wooden tray appeared with 3 cocktails that were each made with a different Bacardi rums. One was smoking, the next was blackish and the third was served in a egg shell. Interesting. I looked at the tray, tried them and was caught by surprise…they were amazing! especially the one in the egg cup.
Taking a look at the menu on the tray revealed the cocktail recipes and which rums they were made with. The first one on the left with smoke in a mini bottle was the Phoenix Daiquiri – made by Rob Libecans – Bacardi Gold rum (stone washed) smoked barrel stave pomegranate oil, citric acid, mineral sugar)
The second in the middle was the Black Butter – made by Rich Woods – Bacardi Black rum, cherry bark, cola and toffee popcorn reduction. The third one in the egg cup (my fav) was the Bacardi 8 PJB – made by Monica Berg – Bacardi 8 year old rum (peanut infused) fresh lime, Norfolk raspberry cordial. A sort of variety on the daiquiri with the raspberry cordial as a sweetener. All three of them were really tasty cocktails! they are welcome to “kidnap” me into that hut again if they want…anytime!
Over at the Don Q stand there were fantastic cocktails galore!
Made with the good Don Q Rums by Alexx Mouzouris – Don Q Brand Ambassador in Europe and bartender extraordinaire! I sampled one cocktail that was especially good, it was some kind of punch infused with chile peppers. He also decorated the booth with cymbidium orchids making it look tropical and almost tiki-ish…
The Don Q rums have recently redesigned their bottles honoring it`s heritage as one of America’s oldest family-owned and operated businesses. Destilería Serrallés has for over 149 years been producing many good rums .
Don Q Cristal, one of the classic rums from Don Q.
Alexx creating good flavors…
Genuinely Caribbean…rums, rum punches and hotsauces at this stand. I tried all the rums and punches and also bought a hotsauce and a green seasoning for my cooking at home – you can never have too many rums or hotsauces! Sunset strong rum is probably one of the strongest overproof rums there is (84.5% or 169 proof) and nah i didn`t try it neat but i had it in a rum punch.
Chocka´s Coconut Hub
Fresh coconuts with coconut water at Chocka`s Coconut Hub, freshly chopped in front of you. This is one of these things that i really like…and coconuts makes life go around….drink them fresh as is or pour some rum in it.
And there`s more….Mount Gay, Ron Botran, Havana Club, Gosling`s, Diplomatico, Mezan…there was over 400 rums at the rumfest and i cannot cover them all….and then we have the masterclasses/seminars and they were good!
Naval Style Rums Black Tot and Pusser`s with Martin Cate
This seminar about navy rum, the British Royal Navy and the black tot turned out to be a memorable one when sailors from the Royal British Navy took part in our sampling of the Black Tot Last Consignment Rum, telling their stories about how it was at the time and on that day. The so called Black Tot Day was the last day they could have their daily rum ration called a “tot”
It ended at precisely 6 bells in the forenoon watch (11am) when the last rum ration was issued aboard ships of the British Royal Navy. One of the sailors told me that he cried that day. The last tot was served on july 31 1970 and since then the Black Tot Day is celebrated every year in memory a 300 year old Royal Naval tradition.
So when the tot was not done anymore the British navy had no more use of those rum barrels they had stored in warehouses and so they emptied the barrels into wicker clad stone flagons which were sealed under HM Customs and Excise Supervision and were then transferred to Government bonded warehouses where they did sit for 40 years (!) and the rum was only used for state occasions and royal weddings.
Until when the stocks were acquired and bottled by Speciality Drinks who bottled them under the name Black Tot Last Consignment. When the flagons were opened there were three original solera rums there and these three were blended together to create the Black Tot rum. Original naval records states that the naval rums were rums from Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad.
Black Tot rum and story telling, cheers!
The Black Tot rum is the last that exists today from the barrels they used to have on the British Royal Navy ships and this rum fetch a price of 610 British pounds per bottle, or 76 pounds for 5 cl and in the US around USD 1000. This rum is literally a piece of history in a glass and that`s what you pay for, is precious not only because of it´s history but also because this is the last that remain from the original barrels and when it´s gone it´s gone.
The Black Tot rum is a very good rum, containing 54% strong navy rum and one of the rums in the blend is demerara rum from Port Morant Guyana and it really does have a very deep, very woody demerara flavor with a long finish. It tastes old….but in a good way, with hints of very dark coffee, leather, smoke and tar. Not everybody likes the flavor, but i do. It`s believed that these rums were distilled in the 1940s.
We also sampled Pusser’s and their Blue Label which is a classic British Navy style rum, and needs no presentation….it`s inspired by the recipe used to produce the tot and using the same four rums required to make a real navy rum, rums from Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad. And as most of you know it`s a great fullbodied rum as well.
Happiness and history in a glass…and yours truly enjoying a precious and memorable moment of tot cheering with the Royal Navy sailors.
Mahiki Cocktail Masterclass by Georgi Radew
This seminar followed the Navy rum seminar…so from navy rum straight to tiki drinks! not bad at all…i could spend every day like this…
Georgi spoke about the history of the tiki cocktails from the old favorites to the new twists that are made at Mahiki with demonstrations of a couple of those cocktails including their Treasure Chest, which was tastier than i expected. Overall, the seminar was very good and entertaining, the Mahiki cocktails were all well made and very tasty!
The seminar was sponsored by Duppy Share so we got a presentation of the Duppy by the founder George Frost and of course we got to drink Duppy Share both neat and in the cocktails.
Tiki drinks + Duppy Share, yes i totally enjoyed this seminar!
Awesome mugs made by Cheeky Tiki! i especially like that Zombie mug.
And the tiki drinks all made with fresh fruits and good rum were all well made!
The Mahiki Treasure Chest, it´s really tasty.
It´s always a pleasure to listen to Alexandre Gabriel and Paul McFadyen when they tell you about Plantation rums, it´s both interesting and entertaining. And of course we got to sample the star of the show the Stiggin`s Fancy pineapple rum, i consider myself lucky to get a chance to do that for the third time now since last summer and then their new rum the 98 Jamaican tokai and single cask rums which of course, like the rest of the rums from the Plantation range, was nothing but excellent.
btw i love that Stiggin`s Fancy bottle… i wish i had one, full or empty to beautify my home bar…
There were many more great seminars i`d liked to attended but you know, you need to be out there in the big room too meeting the people and sampling the rums! and when you do….time flies! And that is all for this year, hopefully i`m back again the next!
RUMFEST PICTURE PARADE!
Chef Hassan de Four cooking with rum….
Global Rum Ambassador Ian Burrell at Christie´s rum auction
The lovely Duppy Share Rum, what a beautiful display!
The Real Mc Coy 12 Year Old Rum and their other rums as well are excellent! more on this 12 year old gem later!
There were not many agricoles from the french caribbean around for some reason but i did find Rhum Clemènt and Rhum JM….both brands makes excellent rhums.
Rhum Clemènt VSOP in the beautiful 25 Year Anniversary bottle. And yes indeed i do love me some Ti Punch!
Amazing expressions from El Dorado, i like all their single barrel rums a lot! they had all their rums up for sampling, some in exchange for golden tot tokens. There were also of course the 5, 8, 12, 15 and 21 to sample.
The single barrel rums are more for the rum connoisseurs as they are not blended and as sweet or “smooth” as the others since they are straight from the barrels.
Rhum JM, one of the classic good rhum agricoles from Martinique.
Only good things can come out from Pusser`s rums and fresh pineapples!
I love these colorful Caribbean rums with the sunshine vibe! and they really do have some interesting strong rums! one of my favorites is the Rivers…it tastes like a smoky JWray. Worthy Park Rum Bar is another good overproof, it actually won the best overproof at the Showrum 2014 in Italy, the Italy Rumfest.
I also got a chance to take a look in Luca Gargano`s (Velier Rum) new book “Atlas du Rhum” which is about rum and rum distilleries in the Caribbean. There´s only the french version out for now, it has recently been launched but the english version is on the way.
Beautiful display and another solid rum, Mount Gay from Barbados. I love their XO and the Black Barrel!
TIKI, TIKI, TIKI………….!
A collage from Trailer Happiness…excellent tiki bar! i really wish i had been able to visit more of London`s tiki bars but hopefully the next time! I wish i could spend all my time just visiting tiki bars….
Sign at the Pub “The George and Dragon”upstairs at the Ibis Hotel.
Last time i saw this Ron Jeremy figure was in San Diego this summer at the Tiki Oasis at one of the room parties…..Ron Jeremy is everywhere…..here adorned with a colorful lei!
Guiness World Record Certificate, Largest Rum tasting in the world! well done Ian!
And at last….
Check out my previous post about the Guiness World Record for the World`s Largest Rum Tasting and the Boutique Rumfest!
This rum surprises me… it´s that good…and it makes one hell of a “Corn `n`Oil!
Rougaroux Rum is made by Donner-Peltier Distillers located in the middle of the cane fields in Thibodaux, Louisiana using pure black strap molasses and raw sugar grown and milled from a family owned farm just down the road from the distillery. They also produce a gin, a vodka and a whiskey called LA1 Whiskey because it´s Louisiana`s first aged whiskey since prohibition.
“Deep in the heart of Southern Louisiana Cajun Country lurks a mysterious creature known as the Rougarou, (Roo ga roo). It lingers in the sugarcane fields and swamps, emerging only during a full moon to exact justice on the wicked”
– Because of their monster flavor, we chose this name for our rums”
And flavorful this rum sure is…
I have only tried this dark one and so i have yet to try the white rum which i have heard is also very good having a thick molasses and brown sugar character)
I had heard about Rougaroux rum but never yet tried it when i one day was sitting at the Carousel bar at the Monteleone in New Orleans with a few friends during the Tales of the Cocktail this past summer. One of them suggested i try a rum Alexander with Rougaroux dark which i did and i found it so good i felt i just had to review this rum, here we had something really interesting!
This is a blackstrap rum – but it´s quite different from the other two blackstrap rums i have. They do of course have similarities, like that typical “yummy” blackstrap/molasses flavor but Rougaroux has also an almost demerara-like flavor profile to it with a bold, mysterious, thick and full bodied flavor – and it is (of course) also perfect for tiki drinks…( a big plus in my book…)
But Rougaroux is not as black-ish in color as the others, instead it has a very dark brown color with beautiful almost”reddish” mahogany hues. The label is also really cool i think and so fitting for this rum.
Using Louisiana raw sugar cane and blackstrap molasses they create a white rum which is further aged in white oak barrels (for how long is not known) There is no caramel or other additives in this rum.
Nose: The nose gets me directly to think about a blackstrap with demerara aromas…Deep wood and sugarcane, mash of ripe tropical fruits, a hint of crispy citrus and fresh sugarcane. It`s big on the nose.
In the Mouth: Here comes some vanilla notes along with the wood, it`s deep and oaky with hints of orange peel, sugarcane and molasses. It`s rather balanced and pleasant to sip on and the flavor stays with you for quite some time.
What i find interesting is that it reminds me of El Dorado 12 year old…and i`m kinda puzzled by that – but i love it! I really like those dark, thick, flavorful rums that got “punch” (and can stand up in tiki cocktails) Also a white rum can have that same character – which i suspect their white “Sugarshine” rum may have…since it´s said to have thick molasses and brown sugar flavors – a tasting is required! and i can`t wait to try that one as well.
Rougaroux Full Moon Dark Rum won in 2013, bronze at the San Francisco World Spirits and gold
at the World Spirits Award and in 2014 it won silver at the World Spirits Award and gold at the Beverage Tasting Institute.
If i would pick three words to describe this rum it would be dark, deep and balanced…they call it a whiskey sipper´s rum.
Well, after trying this i can safely say that i prefer to not be without it and that is despite i already have other blackstrap rums, but this one is more than just a blackstrap rum, it´s different. And it does go very well in tiki cocktails.
Dark Puka Punch
1 oz Rougaroux Full Moon Dark Rum
1 oz aged Rhum Agricole
1 oz fresh lime juice
0.75 oz orange júice
0.75 oz pineapple juice
0.75 z passionfruit syrup (lilikoi)
2 tsp honey-mix (equal parts honey and water, mixed and heated to dissolve the honey, then cooled to room temp)
0.25 oz * falernum
Float a little bit of 151 rum on top and finish with a couple dashes angostura bitters.
Classic tiki drink, tasty and rummy! the Rougaroux plays well here.
* Falernum – you can read about what it is here and how to make your own if you wish (it´s brighter and tastier) here and here.
And on to the next….did i say Rougaroux Full Moon Dark makes a mean Corn ´n`Oil? here it is:
Full Moon Corn ´n´ Oil
2 oz Rougaroux Full Moon Dark Rum
0.5 oz Falernum
And just a little squeeze of fresh lime…
Build in a rocks glass with crushed or cracked ice.
Squeeze a lime wedge over the top, stir, and throw in the spent lime wedge in the glass.
Sip and enjoy!
Three Dots and a Dash
Here´s one of my favorite tiki drinks, it´s a Don the Beachcomber drink and that`s quite appropriate here in this post since Donn Beach was a Louisiana native just like the Rougaroux rum is. He made this drink to commemorate the Allied victory and the name of the drink comes from the Morse Code for the letter “V.” Hence the garnish of the three cherries and either a pineapple leaf/spear or a long chunk representing the three dots and the dash for the Morse Code.
I have only switched the original recipe`s demerara rum for the Rougaroux.
1.5 oz amber Martinican Rhum
0.5 oz Rougaroux Full Moon Dark Rum
0.5 oz lime juice
0.5 oz orange juice
0.5 oz honey mix*
0.25 oz falernum
0.25 oz pimento Dram
6 oz crushed Ice
Combine all ingredients into a blender and blend at high speed for about 5 seconds. Pour into an appropriate glass and garnish with 3 cherries and a pineapple leaf spear or a long shaped chunk.
1 part Honey and 1 part Water, gently heated so the honey dissolves and then cooled to room temp.
Here`s some info on where to buy (only in the US and Louisiana for now)
See other Rougaroux Full Moon Dark rum reviews on RumRatings
The Lost Spirits Rums hit the world with a bang! I have already seen and read several great posts about this rum and have written myself also about the Navy Style and Polynesian Inspired rums.
The Lost Spirits latest addition – the 151 Cuban Inspired Rum – has already been spoken about as well but I`ve been unable to write about until now since I been away to New Orleans and California including a road trip with Bryan and Joanne from the distillery to the Tiki Oasis in San Diego and where I got time to get to know this rum a bit better but time alone with it was needed.
One thing is clear, it`s a very pleasant overproof rum and it both mixes and sips well, even though, if you sip it for a while you will get a “fried” palate due to it`s strength typically what happens when you drink overproof rums neat, which mostly I do not – I use them most of the time in drinks as floats or combined with other rums – but you should not let this rum fool you – it`s way too easy to sip.
That said, I recommend it to be used like you use other overproof rums, in drinks, as floats etc.
This femme fatale comes dressed up in a very innocent looking outfit…the stunning label is a work of art with light pastel colored retro style 1930s pre-Castro Cuban theme with palm trees and a Pan Am (?) plane taking off to the sun….(and Cuban daiquiris…) and there`s a lady dressed in fashionable 1930s tropical wear. It`s like the other labels from Lost Spirits, very detailed and in all it`s a stunning label made by Bryan himself.
1930s Cuba….isn`t it beautiful? makes me wanna go back in time…or at least have a couple of cold daiquiris which btw is one of my favorite rum drinks.
I suspect that the curved end of the label is inspired by the same curved pattern you see on top of the copper still, you can see it in this post by Cocktailwonk, it´s pic number seven from top.
Of course your mind goes straight to the daiquiri when you see this rum but it´s good for all sorts of drinks both classic, modern and tiki. And here is what i like so much about it, it gives enough flavor to the drink to make things happen, to make it exciting, yet it´s smooth as silk but it kicks your butt!
If you have never heard of Lost Spirits Rums before I advise you to go and read about them here, and here and here……..plus check out their own website. It`s well worth the time reading all the posts because Bryan Davis is like the “mad scientist” up there at the distillery producing both rums and whiskeys. I have noticed that posts about this distillery have a tendency to become quite lengthy and there´s a reason for that, so keep reading the posts…
You might see some fancy tiki drinks with their rums here on my blog – but this is where it starts:
Manipulating the biochemistry of the yeast or stressing the yeast, is one important part of the production, read more about that here. Picture Bryan Davis.
I asked Bryan how the idea came about making a 151 Cuban style rum? he said when making the navy style rum is was mostly about making rum with the biggest range of flavor from the fermenter coming through.
But how about making the opposite? With this Cuban style it was the opposite end of the spectrum starting with the super flavorful high quality molasses and then highly rectify it like a Cuban from 100 years ago and then age it using his own scientific approach. Bryan tried lots of different woods and finally blended the Cuban from all the experiments.
The Cuban inspired 151 proof rum differs greatly from the Polynesian Style and Navy Style rums in that it has less of those higher alcohols giving the other two rums their “heavy” type of flavor, this rum here has a totally different flavor profile, more “clean” but I wouldn`t say “light” because there is nothing “light” about any of the rums from the Lost Spirits Distillery. But at the same time as the 151 Cuban differs from the others they still have clear bonds of being from the same “family”.
Well, i have to say the end result is nothing but spectacular!
They are only three people at the Lost Spirits Distillery, Bryan Davis, Joanne Haruta and Joanne`s brother James and if you haven`t seen the distillery and the hand built pot still with it`s smoking dragon head check it out here and here
And check out this video, (click on the left play button at the bottom) :
The smoking dragon pushing out the steam from the still at night….(video by Bryan Davis)
Pretty cool eh? it´s all hand built on site.
The nose is to me fruity (slightly like pineapple and apricot but not at all as pineapple forward as the Polynesian style, and here´s also vanilla) with a wonderful whiff of lovely soothing butterscotch.
The flavor is intense and has the same fruitness beautifully rounded out by the aforementioned butterscotch, vanilla and toffee aromas. It`s so strong yet it caresses your palate like silk!…that`s why it´s so dangerously sippable.
With a little water in the glass i think it becomes much more Pineapple flavored but compared to the Polynesian (also with a few drops of water in it) it`s actually smoother despite it´s higher strength.
I have used their rums specifically in tiki drinks simply because well, I love tiki drinks – and because they fit so well in these kind of drinks because the bold flavors of these strong rums stand up so well against the fresh mixers and us tiki drink loving folks we just LOVE bold rums don`t we?? At the Tiki Ti we had Nui Nuis made with it and they were nothing but awesome!
But Lost Spirits rums are not only fit for tropical and tiki drinks, they can be used in any kind of cocktails thus making this rum very versatile. One example is the classic daiquiri…so I made one and of course it made an excellent daiquiri that also packs a punch! drink one of these and you`ll dance!
Also, use it as a float in a variety of cocktails..
Then i was pondering what to do next and got to think about two of my old favorites, the Missionary`s Downfall and the classic Pago Pago.
The Missionary`s Downfall is a very tasty drink but it´s not a strong one…so I decided to make a twist of it and change that with the 151 Cuban rum. Be warned though, this drink is potent!
The Drunken Missionary
This drink is so potent it makes the tiki mug “sweat” and “moan”!
0.5 oz fresh lime
0.5 oz honey syrup ( add liquid honey to simple syrup, warm it up a bit, stir and set aside to cool)
0.5 peach liqueur
1 oz Lost Spirits 151 Cuban Inspired Rum
1.5 oz pineapple-coconut juice
Muddle mint with lime juice and honey syrup, add the rest of ingredients and shake it ice cubes until the shaker frosts on the outside, then strain into a tiki mug filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a fresh and spanked mint sprig or two, a couple speared maraschino cherries and lime triangles and grate some nutmeg on top and enjoy!
This drink packs a punch and is VERY tasty!
The Pago Pago dates to at least 1940, when it appeared in a book called The How and When, andthis classic cocktail is a longtime favorite of mine and i`ve had it on this blog before but not with this rum though – so i decided to give it a try. What makes this drink so nice is the addition of Green Chartreuse which not only adds lively vibrant herbal aromas to the drink but also goes very very well with rum!
1 oz Lost Spirits Cuban Inspired Rum
3 squares of fresh pineapple (about 1 oz)
0.5 oz fresh lime juice
0.5 oz green Chartreuse
0.25 oz white crème de cacao
Add all ingredients except the rum in a cocktail shaker and muddle the pineapple with a muddler. Add the rum and a lot of ice. Shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass (double-strain through a mesh tea strainer in order to filter out the little bits of pineapple)
Beware of this drink`s strength…
151 Cuban Nui Nui
Another favorite of mine is the Nui Nui….and with the Lost Spirits 151 Cuban it becomes a high octane real treat!
1.5 oz Lost Spirits Cuban Inspired Rum
0.5 oz lime juice
0.5 oz orange juice
0.25 oz cinnamon syrup
0.25 oz Don’s Spices #2
1 dash Angostura bitters
Combine all ingredients with a handful of crushed ice, blend for 5 seconds and pour unstrained into a chimney or tiki glass with more crushed ice. Insert a long strip (6+ inches) of orange peel into the drink and let some of it hang out.
Well I poured mine into a tiki mug and also added fresh mint.
I was pondering what next to make ( yeah that`s what happens when i have Lost Spirits rums in my hands…) and then i remembered that yummy Coconut Punch i had in London made by Martin Cate at the last years UK Rumfest and decided to make a twist of it starting with making a baked pineapple syrup.
Flaming Coconut Punch
1.5 oz Lost Spirits 151 Cuban Style Rum
0.5 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz Coconut and pineapple juice
5-6 dashes Oriol`s Dark Magic Bitters* for that pineapple and coffee touch. (sub with some coffee flavored bitters and use dashes depending on how bitter they are)
Baked pineapple sugarcane syrup*
Shake all ingredients well and strain into a coconut filled with crushed ice, that is placed on top of a larger coconut that is filled with cracked ice. (or use a tiki coconut mug)
Garnish with pineapple leaves.
Fill a lime shell with overproof rum or drench a few sugar cubes and set alight, dust with cinnamon powder to get the volcano effect.
Baked Pineapple Sugarcane Syrup
Place 5-6 chunks of pineapple in a pan and bake them on high heat until they get brownish, then lower the heat and add dark sugar syrup on top, let it sizzle for a few seconds then take off heat and mash the pineapple chunks with a fork. Set aside to cool and leave for about 15-20 min for the flavors to set.
Oriol`s Dark Magic Bitters is a homemade product by Oriol over at the Three of Strong blog, write to him and see if you can get some. They are not sold commercially. You can sub with some other coffee flavored bitters, or make a different variety by for example muddle fresh coffee beans to get the coffee flavor. Do not use any coffee liqueur as you cannot omit the baked pineapple syrup in this drink.
This drink turned out pretty good! actually VERY tasty! I really like it and I`m gonna keep this one. I think the rum married so well together with the rest of the ingredients. And I love that it also packs a punch…
Now I should be very drunk right? well no…not really…the truth is I don`t make all the cocktails for a post like this in one evening…I prefer to sip and savour over a week or two because with rum it works like this – you need to re-visit a rum several times to get the flavors of it and to make cocktails too.
And since this rum is overproof it´s better to pace it…actually I recommend to drink just one of these in one sitting.
So…the Lost Spirits 151 Cuban Style Rum…have you not tried it yet and are able to get it? – my advice…do not wait!
Not too long ago i wrote about the excellent Jamaica Pot Still Limited Edition rum from Rum Nation which i`m very impressed with and now they are launching their next rum which is none other than a Caroni….
I hold the Caroni rums and especially the heavy types very dear to heart because they are so incredibly GOOD! and i`m so sorry about the fact that the old Caroni distillery is no more making these fabulous rums and unfortunately one day they will be nothing but a sweet memory.
But luckily we are not yet there….and so there is still time to enjoy them and they really are true treasures to sip and savor both neat and in cocktails.
The Rum Nation Caroni is 16 years old have been aged both in the tropics, thus imparting the thickness the angels share produce…(the tropical conditions causes a 60% loss of the distilled spirit due to evaporation) and then aged further in Europe in American Oak casks that contained bourbon then rum Peruano 8yo.
It`s distilled in 1998 and bottled this year, in 2014. The sugar content is only 5 g/l and the alcohol proof is 110 or 55%
The result is an intense dark rum with notes of wood, cloves, cola, coffee and aromatic herbs.
The bottle is a beauty to behold…and the label a work of art – it has the characteristic stamp on it – the stamp on the bottle is due to Fabio Rosso being an avid stamp collector in younger years and now adding a touch of class to the bottles with the stamps and a nod to the country of origin – which i find lovely.
The Caroni Sugar Factory
There were originally more than 50 different rums brands produced in Trinidad – by 1950 it was only 8 and today only Angostura is left. Caroni was established in 1918 on the site of the old Caroni Sugar factory and operated until 2002.
The Caroni sugar factory started to operate a cast iron still in 1918 and at that time there were some eight or ten other sugar factories operating, each producing different types of rums and these rums were bought up by merchants and sold to rum shops all over the island. There were all kinds of “blends” and concoctions being made by both the merchants and the rum shop owners and sold over the counter as “petit quarts”
Eventually Caroni increased the quality of the distilling process and went from the original cast iron still to use a wooden coffey still – until 1945 when they got a copper still which was followed by a single column in 1957 and then a four column Gerb Herman still in 1980.
They produced a number of products like Superb White Magic Rum, Creole Punch Rum, Special Old Cask Rum, Felicité Gold Rum, Caroni Puncheon Rum and Caroni Bay Rum.
For nearly 100 years Caroni has had large sugar estates on the island and was the major producer of molasses. Sadly now since it`s closed no more of their magnificient rums are produced and when it´s gone it´s gone.
And that is sad because the Caroni rums are unique. That said i must confess i haven`t yet tried many but the ones i`ve tried have all been outstanding and original in the same way as the demerara rums are.
And i must say the flavor of the so called heavy Caronis DOES remind me quite a bit of a demerara rum, it has the same full bodied character but without the demerara flavor – but there`s something similar…it has the same type of character despite of being a totally different rum.
My taste notes:
Nose – In the nose i feel wood, orange peel, sugarcane and tropical fruits.
Mouth – It`s smooth with hints of wood, kola and toffee, aromatic spice and tropical fruits.
A few drops of water mellows it out and brings out more fruitiness and i get the flavor of apricot. I like the fruitness in it and it´s not too sweet either with a sugar content of 5 g/l.
I tried it in a daiquiri and as expected it made a great daiquiri and what i call a “Caroni daiquiri” with it´s distinct flavor from the Caroni rum.
But i have had so many daiquiris posted on this blog that i lost count, so i opted for something else and here`s my take of a really nice cocktail called Creole Fix which i found on Pinterest and which led me to this post (this awesome cocktail was created by Ania Robbins for Texas Tiki Week)
2.0 oz Rum Nation Caroni-98
0.75 oz fresh orange juice
0.75 oz lemon/lime juice
0.5 oz rich cinnamon syrup
A couple good dashes of Bitter Truth creole bitters (or Peychaud`s) on top of the ice gives the drink both a pretty color and a layer of spicy “creole-bitters/peychaudish” flavor that you`ll feel the taste of by the end of drinking.
Speared cinnamon powdered orange slice and maraschino cherry for garnish!
Shake and pour into tall glass filled with crushed ice.
This is a refreshing fruity-rummy drink and it got a wonderful aroma from the cinnamon powdered orange slice…it`s rummy, fruity, a little spicy and the Caroni rum flavor does shine through.
The Rum Nation Caroni-98 is a excellent sipping rum and also equally good for various cocktails thus making it a versatile rum fit for a king or queen:-)
If there´s anything i could think of that could make it even better would be a bit higher proof, like 61% to give it some more punch – but in that case, not really for sipping – more for say…tiki drinks 🙂 – but at 55% it´s good for everyone. And besides, nothing stops a tiki drink maker from adding a overproof float if you wish…i think we are quite notorious for that…
If this rum was on the shelves here i`d definitely buy it as a staple for my homebar. I must say that Rum Nation does not disappoint me!
Browsing through Don the Beachcomber´s “Little Hawaiian Tropical Drink Book” it´s clear that Don used a lot of honey cream mix. Trader Vic also used it but it seems to me that Don used it more. I tried it the first time many years ago ( in 2007) when i tried to make Don`s Pearldiver´s Punch which i found on Rick`s blog the Kaiserpenguin.
I was new to tiki drinks at the time and found the honey cream mix quite a challenge. Not so much that it´s a bit time consuming to make but because the butter solids has a way of separating when getting cold and create an un-appetizing look for the drink.
Honey cream mix is a concoction of butter and honey which gives a mysteriously and wonderful velvety feel to the drink…you know there´s something there but cannot really put your finger on what it is…unless you know..
Honey cream mix was invented by Don the Beachcomber and there`s two recipes that i know of :
½ lb. Sweet cream butter
½ lb. Honey
½ lb. Light cream
Melt butter in a double boiler.
Heat mixture to 160° F.
At the same time, heat honey in a double boiler to 160° F.
Pre-warm the bowl of a blender by filling it with water to 120° F.
Empty and dry the bowl and immediately transfer to it the butter-cream mix and honey.
Blend at high speed for five (5) minutes.
Allow to stand for ten (10) minutes.
And we also have the Pearl Diver´s Punch mix which is a part of the Pearl Diver`s Punch recipe and involves clarified butter – in an attempt to bring the butter solids out – see recipe further down at the drink recipe.
And then this one from “Don the Bachcomber`s Little Hawaiian Tropical Drink Book”
One part sweet butter + One part honey
Heat the honey and butter separately, do not boil. When sufficiently heated pour honey over the sweet butter into one container.
Turn off the heat and commence whipping with a wire whip until both ingredients are well blended. Store in freezer until ready to use.
So they are lightly different with the first one containing cream and is blended. The one i mostly been using is the last one because it´s simpler and requires no blender.
This honey cream mix is around in slightly different versions, there´s one that contains equal parts honey, sugar and cream for example and then we have the “honey-mix” which is equal parts water and honey but no butter – the easiest to make of them all.
When i do honey (cream) mixes i always use liquid honey and i warm up just enough to let it all dissolve and mix nicely together. It shouldn`t be too warm – a bit above room temp is good. Once the honey is dissolved and mixed with the water it stays liquid and mixes easily in the drink.
It`s a bit different when you use butter…
You see, butter is a bit tricky because it contains butter solids that fatten up the glass and make it look – well..less appetizing and it happens when it cools. So to get around that problem – or at least make things better here´s a few steps to keep in mind:
Make the honey cream mix just a little before it´time to shake the drinks to avoid it cools to quick.
Always blend the drink at high speed when butter is involved and add the ice last, blend at high speed for 15 seconds and it should mix well.
To surely avoid the glass looking fat with butter solids, serve these drinks in a hollowed out pineapple or tiki mug – problem solved.
In any case – it might sound like too much work to do this butit´s actually not that bad and it´s well worth it every now and then to create these drinks the way they were intended because they really are a treat.
The Pearl Diver’s Punch is a classic old school tiki drink and Don invented in 1937. It`s the one i made my first attempts to make the honey cream mix with. It contains it`s own version called the Pearl Diver’s Punch Mix containing clarified butter and spices.
Pearl Diver’s Punch
0.75 oz Pearl Diver’s Mix
0.75 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz fresh orange juice
1 tsp Falernum
1.5 oz Gold Puerto Rican rum
0.75 oz Demerara rum
0.5 oz gold Jamaican rum
6 oz crushed ice
Pearl Diver’s Punch Mix:
1 oz unsalted butter (or ghee, clarified)
1 oz honey (use liquid)
1 tsp cinnamon syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla syrup
1/2 tsp pimento dram
Heat butter and honey in microwave for 10 seconds to melt. Add the spices and pimento dram and then add the juices and blend. Add rums.
This is quite a complete and well balanced drink, sweet and sour, spicy and strong, complex and velvety smooth…
The next drink is as exotic as the first one, it´s called Don`s Pearl and the original drink did actually contain a real south sea pearl with every 5th drink.
0.5 oz fresh lime juice
0.5 oz fresh passionfruit juice
1 oz fresh guava juice
0.25 oz honey cream mix
0.25 oz club soda
2 oz Puerto Rican light rum
Pour ingredients in a blender and blend for 30 sec and then strain into a special glass.
For added excitement, add one real pearl into every fifth creation….
Paradise – Don the Beachcomber, host to 23 million dinner guests at his Don the Beachcomber restaurants often said – ” If you can`t get to paradise i`ll bring it to you”
Tahitian Rum Punch
0.75 oz fresh lime + 0.75 oz fresh lime juice
0.5 oz passionfruit juice
0.5 oz falernum
0.5 oz honey cream mix
0.75 oz Jamaican white rum
0.75 oz Bacardi rum ( i`d use the 8 yo here)
Pour ingredients into a blender and add 6 oz cracked ice. Blend for 15 sec and strain into special frozen molds. Serve with straws.
Well, if you don`t wanna take the time and effort to create an ice mold – and who does that unless it´s for a special occasion? ( or a post on this blog:-) so just fill the glass with crushed ice, it works just fine.
Other Don Beach drinks that contains honey cream mix are the Mystery Gardenia, PiYi, Beachcomber`s Punch and the later made, streamlined version of the Pearl Diver´s Punch called just Pearl Diver.
0.5 oz lime juice
0.5 oz grapefruit juice
1 oz orange juice
0.5 oz Puerto Rican dark rum
0.5 oz Jamaican dark rum
1 oz Old St Croix rum (use Cruzan white)
Dash angostura bitters
Blend everything except the dark rum in blender with crushed ice and pour into a 12 oz glass and float the dark rum on top. Garnish with fresh mint and pineapple spear.
I also made a very tasty drink with honey cream mix a couple years ago that is so tasty that i still have it in my regular rotation and most likely always will have, it`s the Pineapple Delight and the recipe is here.