So here`s Tiki month again! you know february is tiki month right? at least it is on the Pegu blog which every february since 8 years, turns into a tiki blog for one month. And I always follow suit even though every month is tiki month for me 🙂
The other day I read his first post where he talks about the tiki-transformation of his basement bar where he have installed a freakin`VOLCANO! it erupts too….you can see it here in this video, I think this volcano is brilliant! and he built it himself. That`s pretty freakin`cool isn`t it?
So since we are in the tiki month that requires me to post up something…and I have a drink that seems to keep living on despite it was back in 2009 I made it for the Mixoloseum TDN (Thursday Drink Night) when the theme was Zombie, so I posted it and then forgot about it, until years later I heard it was served at the former PKNY in New York.
Then a couple years after that it was found in the book the “Zombie Horde” by the Professor Cocktail (David J Montgomery) a whole book dedicated ONLY to the Zombie drink with no less than 86 different Zombie and Zombie style recipes included, spanning from Don the Beachcombers 1934 Zombie Punch and over the years to more modern takes in 2013.
Now in 2016 a new version of it has emerged…a fabulous take on this drink elevating it to new levels of booze heights – or rather 2 new versions has emerged, because there´s also a version of the 2016 which transforms the focus from coconut to banana…
Yeah we are geeks here…
This is obviously a drink you can have fun and tinker with a lot! it`s not a traditional Zombie per se, not really, because ther isn`t much it has in common with say the 1934 Zombie Punch but it´s more a “Zombie-like” drink and the name “Guyana Zombie” due to the demerara rum content has stuck with it.
The 2016 version is made by none other than Tacoma Cabanas tiki master and fire wizard, Jason Alexander and he has invented a fantastic thing called “Spiced Coconut Honey” which is crazy good! so what i`m gonna do for this tiki month is posting up these drinks including pics of Jason`s earlier takes on this drink which he made at the Tacoma because I think they look beautiful.
Then there´s another drink worth a mention, Jason`s Colada Noir…
Guyana Zombie (my origial version from 2009)
2 oz demerara rum
1 oz pineapple juice
1 oz honey-mix
1 tsp cream of coconut
0.5 oz fresh lime
A decent float of 151 demerara
Serve in goblet or other glass (or tiki mug) with crushed ice.
Blend with crushed ice at high speed for 5 sek. Pour into goblet with more crushed ice. Garnish with a little pinch of sprinkled demerara sugar, lime wedge and brandied cherry.
It`s boozy and full flavored in that kinda way that makes you feel satisfied but you still want more…
Next up is Jason`s brilliantly updated version, and now the cream of coconut and honey-mix has given way to “spiced coconut honey” and a dash of falernum makes it`s way with some extra zest:
2016 Guyana Zombie
A dash or two of Angostura bitters
3/4 oz lime
3/4 oz pineapple
1 oz Spiced Coconut Honey*
1/4 oz falernum
2 oz demerara rum
1 oz float of demerara 151
*Spiced Coconut Honey
9 oz Cream of Coconut (Lopez or Real)
9 oz Honey (not syrup!)
6 oz cinnamon syrup
3 oz Spices #2 (equal parts vanilla syrup and allspice liqueur)
Blend at high speed 5 sek or shake with ice, Pour into a snifter or fancy tiki glass or mug.
It´s a very tasty drink, no doubt!
I also made a version of this with banana syrup switching the flavor focus from coconut to banana. It turned out great! coconut, banana and pineapple they go very well together….
Guyana Banana Zombie
Served in one of Wim Thieleman`s fantastic tiki mugs the Marquesan Coconut!
A dash or two of Angostura bitters
3/4 oz lime
3/4 oz pineapple
1 oz Banana syrup
1/4 oz falernum
2 oz Hamilton Guyana
1 oz float of Cruzan Blackstrap
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a glass or tiki mug filled with crushed ice and garnsih with a piece of pineapple and tropical orchid.
And here is two of Jason`s takes on the original Guyana Zombie, made at Tacoma where this drink was very appreciated and no wonder when not only does it taste good, he makes them so pretty!
Also at Tacoma Cabana, Jason created a stunning version of the Pina Colada calling it Colada Noir…it´s the darker side of the normally so innocent Pina Colada…
1/2 oz lime
3/4 oz Cream of Coconut
3/4 oz Swedish Punsch
2 oz Pineapple juice
2 oz Rational Spirits Santeria (or Smith and Cross rum)
Shake with ice and strain into a tiki glass – and you may set it on fire too!
Which Jason did….and here´s a video in slow motion when Jason makes the flames filmed by Matt Pietrek aka Cocktailwonk. I`m totally mezmerized by this video…..it´s something hypnotic over fire filmed in slow motion and where the sound is like it´s coming from some mystic underworld…
And finally…I made a version of the Colada Noir but using banana syrup because I wanted to see how it tasted, i`m in love with banana syrup! I nowadays find myself “bananaize” a lot of drinks…good drinks to use banana syrup in are the Coladas, Boo Loo, Coconauts and drinks with citrus and tropical fruit juices as well as tiki drinks containing coffee which I shall post about soon.
Colada Noir Banane
0.5 oz lime juice
0.75 oz Cream of Coconut
0.5 oz strong Kona coffee (or Blue Mountain (Jamaica) or Community Coffee (New Orleans) brewed then cooled.
0.5 oz banana syrup
2 oz Rational Spirits Santeria (or Smith and Cross rum)
2 oz Pineapple juice
Blend in blender at high speed 5 sec with 1 cup crushed ice and pour into a snifter.
Fill up with more crushed ice if needed and garnish with a pineapple leaf and tropical orchid.
You can shake it too of course, but it gets more froothy with a blender.
Disclaimer – I may be the brand ambassador for Rational Spirits but this specific post is a post for the Tiki month as A Mountain of Crushed Ice.
Picture credit for this awesome picure of the Santeria bottle surrounded by two of Mark Holts tiki mugs: Cocktail Guru
So how to tame this beast?? that was my first question to myself when I had my first sip of the Santeria rum that was made by the Lost Spirits distillery for Rational Spirits, a Charleston based distillery focusing on rum and which was founded to exploit the new technological improvements made at Lost Spirits in California and the first licensee of Thea One.
This is not an “easy” rum, this is a full fledged ester bomb and a strong one too. It´s a wild beast that needs to be tamed…but how to do that will be a real challenge and at 57.5 it sure packs a punch. I believe the ones that gonna like it the most is the tiki community because it really does shine in certain even if not all, tiki drinks! but it also mixes well in other cocktails of the type that has fresh juices and syrups and stuff – like for example rum swizzles but also rum sours and to me, it`s in mixed drinks it makes it`s real magic ….
I find the bottle very cool and the label is beautiful and really does reflect the spirit of this rum! the label is made by a Swedish graphic designer, Christian Bjurinder.
To start from the beginning of the making of this rum, the first batch is made in a limited edition of 500 bottles and according to Bryan Davis it´s a pot stilled dunder pit style rum and he have used several strains of bacteria not used in rum before.
But I suspected that being the Lost Spirits Distillery it will of course have something of a signature taste to it and I think I`m right on that because there`s a flavor note that I have also found in their Colonial and Navy Style rums (minus the pronounced espresso coffee notes in the Colonial)
There has been a lot written already about the Lost Spirits Distillery and their way of rum making with their advanced post distillation technology and you can read about all of that here and here. In the Lost Spirits Distillery alchemy meets mad-science….
Its run through their new Thea One reactor, (Targeted Hyper-Esterification Aging) post distillation – and it`s a bit of “black magic” how he does it, hence the name of this rum, or partly – because the Santeria rum was actually inspired by the Jurassic Park movie.
Here`s what Bryan has to say:
When humans develop new technologies, they first replicate the past or the world we know. Then they begin to imagine and use their newfound capabilities to craft dreams into reality. Sometimes those dreams lead to glorious results and sometimes to tragic consequences.
Santeria Rum is designed, more born, to reflect this most human of aspirations. The rum begins its life by brining the most arcane of spirits production techniques, the dunder pit, into the lab environment.
In nature, dunder pits host a specific family of bacteria that grow natively in the Jamaican soil. The bacterium ferment the residue in the pit into a rich broth of precursor molecules. Later during yeast fermentation and during the obligatory barrel-aging period, those precursors develop into the dense rich signature flavor that we know as Jamaican high ester rum.
Santeria reproduces this process in the lab using bacteria that have never been used in rum fermentation before. Those bacteria were carefully selected, incubated, and nurtured to both survive in the new environment but also to create an equally rich aroma and flavor profile to their Jamaican cousins. Yet with completely different precursor molecules.
The dense white spirit was then matured with new American oak in a Thea One photocatalytic reactor. The result is a whole new category of rum never seen before. Will our dream be glorious, or an abomination? Only time will tell.
So actually it`s 21st century science technology behind it paired with quite a bit of the mad scientist……..
Obviously not everybody will like this method while others find it very interesting, exciting and quite mind boggling. I think that this whole thing what Lost Spirits are doing is interesting and fascinating….What`s important to know is that there are no additives in this rum, no coloring or sugar etc, it`s just pure pot still rum made from grade A molasses.
I think traditional made rum and this kind of rum are two entirely different animals though, and personally I like both – but this type is to me best for mixing rather than sipping and to me it`s like how the old saying goes – variety is the spice of life – and new and exciting experiences make life more interesting.
What I find intriguing is to see where all this gonna go? and this the first Rational Spirits release – Santeria is a whole new category of rum.
So on to the nose and flavor of this rum, I find it having slight notes of creme bruleè and mature tropical fruits and then something “wine-like”, and then a bit of sweet butterscotch.
In the mouth there´s a lot going on…it`s a strong ester bomb for sure with hints of molasses, burnt sugarcane, wood, astringency, sharpness, wood, tropical fruits, apricot, dark plums and then something I cannot define. It`s very strong, almost overwhelming and has a sharp kick to it, it´s like a wild horse….there´s no delicate refinement it`s just BOOM! – very wild…..
It`s not very sweet but that`s no surprise since there`s no added sugar but there`s still a hint of sweetness though, just not very much. The color of the rum is that of dark mahogany, almost switching to black in certain lights and yet there is no coloring added either.
This – like I said, is to me – a mixing rum, even though certain pirates (like Bryan and Mark Holt) like to sip it 🙂 Mark for example found it to have heat that kept increasing, yet it never burned. But me – I think it`s quite brutal when sipped neat even though it has great and complex notes without being inaccessible – but it really does better in mixing, and it mixed well in a variety of cocktails even though there´s a challenge with it there too.
It doesn`t fit with all tiki drinks for example but those it fits with it really makes them shine, so it takes quite some experimentation to find out which drinks it mixes well with, but on the other hand, experimenting with rum is fun.
It`s strong and can easily overpower other ingredients and I like to tame it a bit with either another “softer” rum to round it out a bit or use multiple fresh juices a la Don the Beachcomber.
Would I buy me a bottle? yes I would – because I find it “a great rum to make real tiki bombs!!”… (to quote my friend Oriol over at Three of Strong)
That it`s like made for tiki drinks is clear and it`s great in many other cocktails except for one thing – with coke, for some reason Santeria and coke does not like each other.
After the California Rumfest there was a Tiki Party over at Mark Holt`s amazing Tiki House high up in the hills in a place called the “Top of the World” where the Santeria was served and it also made it`s way into Paper Plane where marvellous drinks were made with it and here is one such drink, it´s a gorgeous swizzle called Swizzle My Nizzle.
The recipe originated from Jasper’s Corner Tap in San Francisco, but the rum was switched to Santeria.
Build in footed pilsner/cobbled ice/swizzle/top with ice and garnish with mint sprig and top with 10 dashes peychauds
Here´s a take on a few tiki drinks that I made with it for this post, they are well worth the effort.
Here`s a really good tiki drink that for some reason you do not see very often, it´s underrated in my opinion. It´s one of the boozy ones thus fit for the Santeria rum!
3 oz orange juice
2 oz fresh lemon juice
1 oz passionfruit syrup
¾ oz simple syrup
0.5 t vanilla extract (I didn`t have that, it was still good)
2 oz Rational Spirits Santeria Rum
Blend with 2.5 cups crushed ice and pour into a large snifter.
This turned out really really tasty….rummy, fruity and zesty! the Spindrift is strong and fullbodied with a perfect balance of flavours.
Banana Boo Loo
Beware of it`s quiet strength…….
A few small fresh pineapple chunks
2 1/2 oz unsweetened pineapple juice
1 1/2 oz lime juice
1 oz banana-demerara syrup*
2 oz Rational Spirits Santeria Rum
Put pineapple chunks, banana-demerara syrup 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 rum and stir until well chilled.
As for the syrup – make a rich simple syrup (it takes 5-10 minutes) with 2:1 (or make a 1;1 syrup if you prefer a lighter one, but personally I prefer a more rich viscous syrupy syrup, it just add that mouth feel to the cocktail and richness) with dark demerara sugar and water and when the sugar is dissolved by heating it up, add banana chunks to it from one half fresh banana and mash it with a fork then take off from heat and leave to cool and set for a couple hours or overnight ( I did overnight, it deepens the flavor)
This drink tasted AMAZING………holy batman wow! it was the first drink I made with this rum and I`m blown away……..
It`s quite rum forward and don`t be tricked by the banana syrup and pineapple smoothness – it will creep up on you, it´s boozy in a quiet way…
Aku Aku Lapu
1 oz lemon juice
1 oz unsweetened pineapple juice
1 oz grapefruit juice
1 oz orange juice
1 oz Falernum
1 oz Gold Puerto Rican Rum
1.5 oz Rational Spirits Santeria rum
Float Lemon Hart 151 Demerara rum or Hamilton 151
16 oz crushed ice
Blend at high speed for about 20 seconds. Pour into large snifter, tiki mug or bowl and add more ice to fill. Traditional garnish is a gardenia but I a tropical orchid works too.
This Aku Aku Lapu was served in the supercool “Sexy Colada” pineapple mug from Nu Lounge Bar, courtesy of Daniele Dalla Pola.
The Living Dead
Here`s a take on my old Guyana Zombie which I made for the TDN in 2009. The living dead might come and hunt you down…
1 oz pineapple juice
0.5 oz passionfruit juice
0.5 oz rich demerara syrup
1 tsp cream of coconut (Lopez or Real)
0.75 oz fresh lime juice
2 oz Rational Spirits Santeria
Shake with ice and strain into a tiki mug filled with crushed ice.
Garnish with pineapple leaves, speared pineapple chunks and tropical flowers. Dust a little cinnamon on top
Let the Living Dead transport you to the land of mystery……..
Passion Fruit Daiquiri
Daquiri….one of the best rum cocktails ever made and the base for so many other drinks in it´s simpleness.
1.5 oz Rational Spirits Santeria Rum
0.75 oz fresh lime juice
0.5 oz passion fruit syrup*
Shake together with ice and strain into a well chilled cocktail glass or coupe.
Boozy…..if you like boozy daiquiris this is for you….
You can also easily make your own passion fruit syrup, just add the fruit meat from 2-3 fresh passion fruits into a simple syrup making and leave to set a couple hours and preferably overnight for a really bright zesty flavor. I used the same dark demerara sugar in both syrups and it came of super tasty.
Conclusion – Santeria can be sipped (if you`re a pirate 🙂 but it´s in tiki drinks and other suitable cocktails it really shines and oh my does it shine!!
The Santeria is not yet launched but a press release will be posted here when it does, it will be released to select cities currently anticipating Charleston, Boston and a few in California.
This specific post is an unbiased and independent review by A Mountain of Crushed Ice same as all other rum reviews on this site.
And so finally I got to go the Latitude 29! I´ve been waiting since they opened with great anticipation and (high) expectancy…..well…I try to not have too high expectations whatever it is, better to have an open mind, but with this one i`s a bit different….because this is the BUM`s place….this is the man who uncoded all the secret codes and brought us all these lost drink recipes and who wrote no less than six stellar books on the subject if you count in Taboo Table.
His books have been my to go tiki drink (and history) books for years and so now he and his wife Annene Kay aka Mrs Bum opens a real tiki bar in my favorite city New Orleans!
And I wasn`t there when they opened….and had to wait all the way until this year´s Tales before I could finally go and see it – and in the meantime I`ve been drooling over all the food and drink pictures (can you say Tahitian Steak Frites?) and the drinks…..oh the drinks….
I`ve seen so many beautiful pictures of these drinks that I didn`t know what to start with….but I ended up ordering a Pontchartrain Pearl Diver as my first drink – in the NEW Pearl Diver`s glass! 🙂
The Pearl Diver`s glass, the Swizzle cup and the skull barspoons are all new for this summer in collaboration with Jeff Berry and Cocktail Kingdom and they were sold at the Tales but are also available online. The vintage Pearl Diver`s Punch glass is more or less impossible to find anymore so I`m really happy they are re-making them and same for the cool swizzle cup! I hope to see more re-making of these type of vintage tiki drink glasses….
And not only are the glasses really cool they come in beautiful vintage looking packages too!
The Pontchartrain Pearl Diver was good…..very very good – well balanced and oh so tasty! I didn`t try so very many drinks during the Tales because it was so incredibly busy….and so was I…so I decided to wait until after Tales and THEN go there for some serious drink tasting!
So last friday I went there early and I sat there and happily indulged Tahitian Steak Frites with luscious Coconut Butter and later a Mahi Mahi Bahn Mi accompanied by a whole array of drinks until in the evening, I actually spent a whole “working day” in the place!
And I had a nice chat with the Bum, about rums and rums and rums…and of course, tiki drinks. I was indeed a very good day….The place is so cool and relaxed, beautifully decorated and the music is great! with everything from real good and cool old style Jamaican reggae to surf music! and the co-bar manager Steven Yamada and his staff are very attentive, friendly and nice.
It`s really a place to go not only for the great drinks and food but also to escape from the world outside and it doesn`t matter if there´s big windows to the outside world…..because this is New Orleans! and the view from the beautiful arched windows is nothing but beautiful….over the pool and the tropical plants in the courtyard of Bienville House Hotel.
This used to be housing the former Iris restaurant, I went there in 2009 with all the Tales bloggers and now I cannot recognize the restaurant and bar anymore, it´s a total different world! quite the transformation….the only things that looks the same is the courtyard and the hotel lobby.
Take a look:
Back in 2009…Alan Walther tends the bar at Iris…..and he did serve some amazing cocktails! he later moved on to Loa, this was long before the Iris became what it is today – a true tiki haven!
The Tales Blogger Dinner in 2009 in the former Iris restaurant, the same view today of the beautiful courtyard and pool but the dining room has dramatically changed…..
This is such a tranquil and peaceful place….if staying at this hotel you get both all this plus the Latitude29 in one place…..
Eat Drink and be Merry!
Hurricane, Kea Colada and Royal Hawaiian Cocktail.
The food menu has something for everyone! executive Chef Chris Shortall and his staff creates their own take on modern Tiki Cuisine which is playful and tasty and there`s something for everyone including options for vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free guests.
First thing I opted for was the Tahitian Steak Frites which I`ve been dreaming about since they opened…..
The Tahitian Steak Frites are tender, luscious and juicy (I ordered mine medium-rare) served with hot crispy thin fries and a tasty dipping sauce plus a dollop of coconut butter on top! the Bum told me that in Tahiti they add coconut to the cow´s diet and therefore everything the cows are producing have a touch of coconut flavor…heavenly….and so they wanted to re-create that idea here with the coconut butter.
I LOVE it!
I`m not joking, I think I could eat this almost every day….the meat is so tender and melts in your mouth together with that lovely coconut butter….
The Mahi Mahi Bahn Mi is wild caught Mahi poached in coconut oil, jalapeño, sriracha, and shallot….and at a Chef`s Challenge before the Tales I tried the ribs which are very tasty too….and not to forget the crispy green beans!
Another nice dish is the Shrimps in Blanket, the gulf shrimps here really are something special. They are big and juicy….and have more shrimp flavor than shrimps I`ve tasted anywhere else.
Shrimps in Blanket
These green beans were amazing…..
An array of seductive tropical tiki drinks…..
When you enter a tiki bar you want to be seduced….you want to forget the daily struggles and take a “trip to the South Seas” with exotic tropical drinks! (inspired by drinks in the Caribbean….) 🙂
So I started with the Pontchartrain Pearl Diver….it`s such a good drink!…..balanced, fruity and rummy! The Pearl Diver is a mix of honey-butter-spice mix blended with passion fruit, lime and Jamaica rum. The butter adds a wonderful slightly viscous mouth-feel, if you didn`t know it was butter in the mix you wouldn`t know what it was but you would know there was something there….
After the Pearl Diver I had the namesake drink of this bar – the Latitude 29…..it comes in a tall glass wrapped in banana leaf for that real tropical feel – and you get that cool gorgeous swizzle stick! – made after the wall art by Bosko! The drink is made with eight-year Demerara rum, passion fruit purée, house made Madagascar vanilla syrup, orange, pineapple and lemon.
They are both gorgeous in their presentations with the Pontchartrain Pearl Diver in the new re-made super cool Pearl Diver`s glass.
The Latitude 29
The Rum Barrel is according to the menu a communal drink but it says “For 2 to share, or 1 thirsty pirate to hoard. A kill-devil’s brew of 3 rums, 4 juices, multiple herbs, spices and sweeteners …” – so apparently I`m a “thirsty pirate” since I had no problem drinking it all by myself….
It sure makes you feel like a rummy pirate! 😀
It`s presentation is BEAUTIFUL! and fun! see the picture….they really take time to garnish up these beauties….and the drink itself is strong and rummy/fruity/spicy. One of my favorites!
Rum Barrel, complete with pineapple peel, cherries, orchid, swinging monkeys and umbrella! superfun garnish 🙂
And so is the Coffee Bongo…..also incredibly nicely garnished….with a pineapple leaf cut out to look like a palm tree frond…..topped with two coffee beans….stunning! the drink is also strong/spicy and rummy with lots of character and if you like coffee and pineapple together, you find it here.
Every drink is not rum though….there´s a drink called “Outcast of the Islands” which was amazingly tasty and is a mix of London gin and Persian lime…with cinnamon, ginger, almond and anise, heavenly….
And it LOOKS heavenly too! it comes served with an ice shell…..how cool is that? and the Navy Grog comes with the iconic ice cone which is made with the Bum`s ice cone device sold by Cocktail Kingdom (as well as the Pearl Diver`s glasses, the swizzle cup and the skull bar spoons)
And there are drinks with bourbon, brandy, tequila, beer and vodka….but I haven`t tried them all yet….there`s something for everyone in the drink menu too. Me, I tend to mostly stick to the rums….
Outcast of the Islands and the iconic Navy Grog
The Professor Remsberg`s Punch is a very interesting drink and very tasty too, the drink contains “Fine old Guadeloupe rum, gently stirred with lime and a Caribbean spiced syrup discovered over 30 years ago in San Juan by the Professor himself”…….I wonder what is in that syrup? If you didn`t know, Stephen Remsberg is the world´s biggest rum collector.
Professor Remsberg`s Punch
All the drinks at Latitude 29 are good and well balanced, from the (real, no chemical-mix) Hurricane, Mai Tai, TOTC Swizzle, Nui Nui, Kea Colada, Royal Hawaiian Cocktail, Lapu Lapu, Hawaii 504, Missionary`s Downfall and the Paniolo….which is Kentucky bourbon and Hawaiian macadamia nut liqueur shaken with lime, house made cranberry syrup and a dash of molé bitters.
It`s evident to me that they pay as much attention to the garnishes as the drinks themselves because some of these drinks ar off the charts when it comes to beautiful presentations! you get a little work of art in your hand!
And the drink names alone takes you on a exotic journey…..a lot of them created back in the heydays of tiki.
Tasty, exotic and beautiful.
The Hawaii 504
You know, you need to go there and just try all these heavenly things! btw….between 3 and 6 pm every day it´s Happy Hour with a special menu….where among the drinks you`ll find the Banana Banshee and the Royal Hawaiian Cocktail….both perfect to cool you down when it´s hot outside which is a guaranteed thing in New Orleans during the summer.
And the best thing of all….you get the Steak Frites for half the price! what is there not to love?
The Banana Banshee is a frozen cocktail with Jamaican rum, lime, coconut milk and coconut cream, fresh banana and aztec bitters and topped with grated chocolate!
I also ordered a few off-menu drinks with the help of Jeff Berry`s Total Tiki app, such a handy thing to have! and they were delivered top notch! I think Steve outdid himself with the Coconaut….coming beautifully garnished with a Cruzan Blackstrap float on the side. It tasted absolutely heavenly…..it was a mix of Hamilton 151 Demerara, El Dorado 5, for the rums plus that lovely float of blackstrap to pour yourself 🙂
This Coconaut was incredible!
The Zombie was spicy and nice just as I expected, and just about right with the strength, and the Kamehameha Rum Punch did live up to it´s name…..
Kamehameha Rum Punch and the Zombie…..
This interesting drink recipe is from Sippin`Safari and originates from the Hotel King Kamehameha in Kona, Hawaii, as the origin of the drink around 1960.
So who was King Kamehameha you might ask? Kamehameha – also known as Kamehameha the Great was the head of a dynasty ruling the Hawaiian islands for more than a century. The name Kamehameha (pronounced kuh-may-ha-may-ha) means “the one set apart.” He conquered the Hawaiian islands and formally established the Kingdom of Hawai`i in 1810.
This drink is actually named after the Hotel King Kamehameha in Kona, Hawaii who took the name after the great Hawaiian King – Kamehameha.
Every year on Kamehameha Day (June 11, a state holiday in Hawai’i), National Statuary Hall is the scene of a ceremony in honor of the king and the statue of Kamehameha the Great is draped with lovely (and loooong) leis of fragrant flowers from Hawai’i. The Festival continues to pay tribute to Kamehameha and acts to preserve and perpetuate the Hawaiian culture.
And as every tiki bar should, there:s also a couple of different communal drinks on the menu, the newest one is a monster drink called the “Plantocracy Punch” for 6-8 people but we were only three so we tried the Lapu Lapu which uses a recipe which according to the menu is a Don The Beachcomber’s “lost” unpublished 1964 recipe, recently discovered by the Bum and presented here for the first time in over 40 years.
And of course it`s appropriately garnished with little mermaids taking a rummy ice bath…..
Fruity, spicy, rummy Lapu Lapu and little mermaids swimming in the bowl….
While sitting in the bar I spotted two Samaroli rum bottles….and so of course I ordered a sample of each….and with the rum samples you get a small shot glass with water and a dropper, neat.
One was the 13 year old Guadeloupe 1998 Rhum Agricole and the other 1988 Demerara Dark Rum. The Guadeloupe is spicy and a touch smokey, with a strong character but at the same time, not too aggressive, it´s fruity, peppery, balanced and picky but also smooth.
A few drops of water brings out a whole array of tropical fruits flavors! this rum is incredible. I REALLY liked it!
The 23 year old 1988 Demerara rum had flavors of wood, macerated tropical fruits, apricot, vanilla, banana peel, mango and something else I couldn`t define…..but here a few drops of water didn`t bring out much change….still very woody, strong and fruity. Also a very good rum! Both of these rums are distilled in the Caribbean and then matured in Scotland.
They are not cheap but they are unique rums and they give you something to remember.
Then I saw a curiosity on the menu….it had a sort of mellow toasty coconut flavor…interesting….and I think it also could be used as ingredient in some of the drinks maybe? how about a Toasted Coconut Daiquiri?
The Interior Decor…..
Here is top crafts….the first thing you notice is of course the big centerpiece which now is in the same spot as the huge mirror was when it was the bar at Iris. The centerpiece is a huge carving of the Pacific Islands in a map in the forms of small tikis made by Daniel Gallardo aka Tiki Tiablo, and it`s a stunning work of art!!
Here is a collage of close-ups of the “Islands” in the map and there´s a nod to New Orleans too….do you see the fleur de lis on top?
Bosko Hrnjak did all the new (non-vintage) light fixtures and all of the new (non-vintage) tiki carvings, wall panels, etc, over 50 of them in total. And Dave “Basement Kahuna” Wolfe did 8 Easter Island carvings on the hut wall-dividers.
It`s all beautiful….
Another (practical) thing I greatly appreciate are the power outlets with USB ports located on each side of the tables, I wish more bars had that, it should be standard everywhere.
Tiki glasses, Barspoons and Orgeat
All tikiphiles already knows about the Pearl Diver`s glass, the swizze cup and the cool skull bar spoons which you can find at the Cocktail Kingdom which I mentioned above….but a new thing is the Latitude29 orgeat which comes in a heavy round glass bottle and is sold in the bar.
I haven`t tried the orgeat yet even though I bought a couple of bottles (USD 15 each) but i`m out travellling so that will have to wait.
So to sum it all up, what I was looking for was how the food and the drinks tasted and were presented and if there´s consistency….(and yes I have returned) and how the decor and the feel of the place was, what music did they play and how loud? is it possible to have a conversation or do you have to scream? and how I was treated as a guest.
Personally I have nothing to complain about, the food and drinks are top class, the decor tasteful and genuinely tiki, it`s a laid back and relaxed feel, the staff attentive, professional and very sweet and so I`ll keep coming back, this is now my primarily watering hole in New Orleans :-).
That said there´s a lot of very good bars here, I just happen to really really like well made tiki drinks and in the relaxed vibe and environment of a real good tiki bar, there I feel the most at home.
Jamaica, that tiny island in the Caribbean is internationally known for it’s cultural exports such as Bob Marley, Reggae, Usain Bolt, Herbs* and even Bob-sleighing, but it has also influenced some famous cocktails with it’s biggest and most re-known of exports… RUM. Global Rum Ambassador, Ian Burrell brings to life some of the historical Jamaican stories with a few samples of new & world exclusive rums & cocktails for you to taste as you learn what influence Jamaica has had on cocktail culture. Yeah Mon
* You know what herbs I’m talking about.
There are more things than we maybe think about that has Jamaica as it´s homeland and that has been and is influencing the cocktail world. This senminar was moderated by the Global Rum Ambassador Ian Burrell and the speakers were George Freegard (International Brands Manager, Pusser’s rum Ltd) David Morrisson (Appleton Estate’s Senior Blender) and Erik Seed (Principal, Haus Alpenz)
Here are a few things that are genuinely Jamaican and which have had a great influence on cocktail culture:
Ian Burrell, Global Rum Ambassador.
Jamaican quassia bark: is actually a very important part of vermouth, did you know?
Ting: Who haven`t heard or tasted JWray and Ting? if not you`re missing out….and need to try! Ting, this Jamaican grapefruit beverage containing real grapefruit is the best in the world and traditionally paired with JWray overproof rum for an extremely refreshing, tasty and potent drink.
Allspice/Pimento – How many tiki and tropical drinks doesn`t contain a dash or two of pimento dram? for example the Nui Nui and the Navy Grog. Also used in jerk recipes.
Sorrel – (Hibiscus) usd in for example Rum Punches and other cocktails and is traditionally used in Christmas drinks with (or without) rum.
Flor de Jamaica – also Hibiscus, used in tea and as cocktail ingredient.
Ginger: Came to Jamaica in 1525 and is in Jamaica also known as “jake”. The prohibition brought arise in soft drinks containing ginger but also abuse of ginger essence. Also in Jamaica ginger beer is a common drink, both homemade and commercial varietes.
Jamaican Rum – Did you know that 69 of Jerry Thomas cocktails were punches and 35 of them called for Jamaican rum?
Many of Don the Beachcomber`s drinks were inspired by his trips to Jamaica and Jamaican rums were used because of their depth and flavor.
Jamaican rum was first used by the Royal Navy in 1655 and Pusser`s Rum by the original navy recipe was based Jamaican rum but as Jamaican rum became more expensive other English colonial rums were used in the navy blend. Today Pusser`s does not contain any Jamaican rum but instead are blends from 5 different stills located in Guyana and Trinidad.
Smith & Cross is another flavorful pungent Jamaican rum and is a blend of Plummer and Wedderburn styles and is from the Hampden Estate and is blended in the UK,
Appleton Reserve is a blend of 18 different rums and is estate blended, it`s made from pot and column stills at 43%.
During this seminar we also tasted a special Appleton estate blend that was made for Tales of the Cocktail in only 6 bottles. The youngest rum in the blend was 12 years old and some of the rums are rums never to be tasted again. The rum was very deep and flavorful.
Also during this seminar we got a great rum lecture by Richard Seale from Foursquare telling us some truths about rums and to sum it all up in a short note – fake rums contains rum flavors that are added, are not aged, wood essense is used and sugar and coloring added.
It`s called flavored alcohol and it is not rum.
Personally I think these 3 questions would be good to ask yourself before buying rum:
1 – which is the actual distillery? 2 – how long has the rum been aged? 3 – is there any additives?
And of course you won`t get all that information on the bottle label or company websites of most rums but you can start doing some research….just make sure that you know what you pay for, make sure it´s real rum and not flavored alcohol.
Flor de Cana Tasting
Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America. Bordering Honduras to the South and Costa Rica to the North, Nicaragua’s land is a volcanic, the air is humid and the conditions to produce rum: perfect!
Come taste the range of Flor de Caña rums, from Nicaragua, presented neat as well as in delicious cocktails created by some of the best and most exciting bartenders of our generation:
Each cocktail station will represent one aspect of Flor de Caña’s production and heritage to ensure that you leave this Tasting Room knowing more about Flor de Caña than you did when you entered. Calling all bartenders – come and learn!
Dating back to 1890 at the San Antonio Sugar Mill, in Chichigalpa, Nicaragua, Flor de Caña has grown to be Central America’s leading brand of rum and I like this rum, it`s a great mixer for awesome cocktails and at this tasting we also got to try the Family Reserve Rum…..
The Flor de Cana tasting was one my favorite tastings, much due to the amazing tropical cocktails and lovely tropical decor…providing much inspiration for a tiki geek like me….
And then they had cocktails… very beautiful and tasty cocktails…. look and see….
This was a tropical feast!!
Very fruity refreshing tropical cocktails….perfect for the Flor de Cana rum which just was perfectly mellow and added a wonderful rum flavor to these drinks.
And the next one was even tastier, it was wonder of fresh flavors with a house made plantain syrup adding depth and complexity, I really loved that one and with the rum coming through just nicely, rimmed with coffee sea salt! and garnished with banana mint – this cocktail was wow!!
The plantain syrup interested me and i`m gonna try to make that myself, it was so tasty.
I love banana leaves and bananas! as much as I love the pineapple almost……and oh….the coconut!
Tropical fruity and spicy flavors works so good with this rum!
The Ponche de Cristobal had a little bit more of a fresh herbal character, also very good, it had some sort of different complexity probably due to the tea and herbs.
Seehuusens Coffee and Chocolate bitters is made by a Swedish bartender, Daniel Seehuusen. They are new on the market in Sweden (for now) and I must say, these bitters are very good!
Here is his story:
Taste has always been something that has interested me, and when I received Saturday candy as a child I always thought it was very interesting to first take a red candy, then a yellow and finally take one red and one yellow to see if it got better together.
I got interested in cooking early, something that today is still a great passion and usually is what I do to unwind and relax. After high school I knew I wanted to work in a restaurant, but I was unsure if it was in the kitchen I wanted to be or in the bar, but as an 18 year old it was easy to pull up to the bar’s magical world. I joined an intensive training and worked a few months.
But I realized quite quickly that my education didn`t really deliver what it promised so I decided to take the other road into the bar, from the bottom and up. I worked a few years as a dishwasher and barback and began after a while to run the bar again.
Quickly I realized the beauty of working in front of the guest and to get feedback immediately. Cooking remained a hobby.
I have for many years macerated ingredients in spirits to to use in cocktails so making bitters turned out quite natural. I had it as pretty relaxed projects for quite a few years but for 1½ years ago I decided to make it more seriously, I started to weigh and measure, keeping records and I became interested in what alcohol proof worked best for each individual ingredient.
I began to think it was funnier to make new bitters than to use up my old. The problem that arose with too many bitters was simply solved by giving them away to friends and acquaintances.
Last summer I broke two fingers in a bicycle accident, and I got a quite a long sick leave but after a while I started “climbing the walls” and that`s when I decided to start my own business. Said and done, I started Seehuusen Spirits AB and sent samples to Systembolaget (The Swedish spirits retail shop, alcohol is state owned in Sweden) and won their request for a new cocktail bitters.
Part of the reason I began making bitters was because I felt that many of the available bitters on the market has a chemical taste, I simply doesn`t think everything out there tastes authentic and natural. And therefore it has been very important for me to use natural ingredients and not compromising on quality. The ingredients in Seehuusen’s Bitters are of course a secret, but the three main ingredients are coffee, chocolate and cocoa.
I have been extra careful and have only selected products that are produced in a sustainable and responsible manner and of course of really high quality. My goal is that Seehuusen’s Bitters Coffee & Chocolate should be entirely organic in 2016.
I have also chosen the bottle with care and the dark purple glass lets through very little light. As you probably already know, light break down flavors and reduce sustainability and so I picked this dark purple glass to be able to guarantee the highest quality and longest possible shelf life.
My plan with Seehuusen Spirit is to work as much as possible with the launch of the “Coffee & Chocolate”at Systembolaget, and in the fall / winter there will be new flavors that will only be sold to restaurants.
Seehuusen’s Bitters Coffee & Chocolate will be in the normal range in 70 Systembolaget shops. It is 200 ml, 35% and the price is 149 SEK. Systembolaget’s part number: 450 – http://www.systembolaget.se/dryck/sprit/seehuusens-bitters-45004
So, I tried the bitters in two drinks, one recipe created by Daniel and then a “bitterized” Shrunken Skull – since there has already been published classic and modern cocktails on the bitters website, someone needs to try them in a tiki drink too right? well somebody gotta do it….seems that somebody is me… 🙂
But before I present the drinks, let me say what I think of the bitters:
First the bottle, it is a very nice looking one with a beautiful label in dark purple and gold to match the dark purple bottle and even the seal is beautiful. But it´s the inside that counts right? so first the nose, you get a whiff of coffee at first followed by warm cocoa, and the final impression is that it´s a yummy balanced smell of both cocoa and coffee.
Tasting a few drops of it reveals more of the coffee-cocoa flavor with a slight bitterness but it´s not more bitter than say Angostura, you can use this in larger quantities too if you want to make cocktails in the style of Trinidad Sour. But how much flavor a dash or two gives different cocktails is something to experiment with.
Here´s the two drinks:
Micedymac Flip (recipe Daniel Seehuusen)
4 cl ( about 1.5 oz) Venezuelan rum and 2 cl ( about 0.75 oz) Trinidad rum
3 barspoons maple syrup
3 dash Seehusens bitters coffee and chocolate
Dry shake and then shake with ice, strain into a glass, dust a little cocoa on top, garnish with wrapped around vanilla beans.
This drink did really let the rum come forward….soft like velvet and somewhat “cool” for a lack of better word, and not too sweet! the cinnamon on top added that extra spice…
Shrunken Skull with a twist!
1 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz grenadine
1 oz gold Puero Rican rum (instead, I used Denizen Rum Merchant`s Reserve)
1 oz demerara rum
Several good dashes of Seehuusen`s Coffee and Chocolate Bitters
Shake vigoriously with ice cubes and pour unstrained into a tiki mug.
As of recipe from the 1950s………it`s believed that the Shrunken Skull is a drink that was inspired by Don the Beachcomber’s Skull & Bones. As far as I know there´s only two tiki bars in the world still serving Donn Beach original Skull and Bones – Mai Kai and Tiki Ti.
The Seehuusens coffe and chocolate bitters added a rounded yummy touch to the drink! I submitted this one also for the Shrunken Skull Challenge on Instagram.
So, if you happen to live in Sweden (for now at least), give these bitters a try….you won`t be disappointed!
This weekend it was all about the Puka Punch! and that`s a nice drink using many rums so you can play around a bit with it!
The Puka Punch was made by Ray Buhen of the Tiki Ti in the 1960s (in 1961 Ray opened the Tiki Ti, now owned by Ray`s son Mike and grandson Mike Jr)
For this Challenge, I made two Puka Punches, the first one (in the picture on top of this post) was made with the recipe above but using different rums, Old New Orleans white rum, Blackwell rum and floats of demerara and blackstrap.
The second one is Puka Punch double! a wicked combination of Smith and Cross, Rougaroux Fullmoon Dark, Rhum JM agricole blanc with big rich floats of Lost Spirits Distillery 151 Cuban and Cruzan Blackstrap! to round up the#PukaPunchChallenge2015
This rum combo turned out fantastic! and the recipe is a twist of the classic one:
Puka Punch Double
2 oz fresh lime juice
2 oz mango juice
0.75 oz passion fruit syrup
0.75 oz orange honey mix
0.25 oz falernum
1 oz Smith and Cross
1 oz Rougaroux Fullmoon Dark
2 oz Rhum JM agricole blanc
Floats of equal amounts of Lost Spirits Distillery 151 Cuban and Cruzan Blackstrap, to taste
2 dashes Angostura bitters
14 oz crushed ice
Blend in blender at high speed for no more than 5 seconds and pour unstrained into a 25 oz snifter and add more crushed ice if needed. Pour the floats and don`t be shy! Garnish with 2 speared pineapple chunks and 2 maraschino cherries, two orchids and two tropical leaves.
So we`re moving into the fifth Challenge which is Lapu Lapu drinks! I really like that…
Look for the hashtag #lapulapuchallenge2015 on Instagram and make sure to follow @el_nova_1 for updates! make your own drink or order a Lapu Lapu in a tiki bar or bar and post up your picture to the #lapulapuchallenge2015 on Instagram! you might win a little something 🙂 and if you don`t you will have a lot of fun and good drinks, so it´s a win-win!
Lapu Lapus are some strong rum drinks and it is said that they bring magic and makes you “see things on the other side” – whatever that means…
Well I´m gonna find out! 🙂
The term Lapu Lapu drinks comes from a legend that for some obscure reason happened to be the name sake of the drink Chief Lapu Lapu. The name is after the Filipino chief Lapu Lapu – who defeated Magellan in 1521 (you can read about the legend in Remixed)
And how that name so many years later was used to name rum drinks served in the polynesian restaurants during the great tiki era is one more of those mysterious things that belongs to the rum soaked tiki drink world..
There´s also a Disney version of a Lapu Lapu served at the Polynesian resort in a hollowed out pineapple (like the Boo Loo) containing rums, orange juice and sour mix.
The Lapu Lapu drinks mentioned in Jeff Beachbum Berry`s Remixed are the Chief Lapu Lapu, Aku Aku Lapu and the lesser known Kikuya Lapu (all are on page 61-63 in Remixed)
These three are all different incarnations of the same drink and it´s a drink large enough to serve two people but of course they can be enjoyed by one, it´s just a lot of rum!
I can´t say which one of these i like the most, they are all tasty and the Aku AKu Lapu packs a serious punch. The one here is the one I made for the challenge:
Aku Aku Lapu
1 oz lemon juice
1 oz unsweetened pineapple juice
1 oz grapefruit juice
1 oz orange juice
1 oz Falernum
1 oz gold rum (I used Lost Spirits 151 Cuban)
1 oz dark Jamaican rum (I used Blackwell)
1 oz Lemon Hart 151 Demerara rum or Hamilton 151 – I`m out of Lemon Hart and have no Hamilton 151 so I used Our Rums and Spirits 24 Year Demerara which is very woody and strong
16 oz crushed ice
Blend at high speed for about 20 seconds. Pour into large snifter or bowl and add more ice to fill. Traditional garnish is a gardenia, but I also added a thick orange peel and some fresh mint.
This one is from the Aku Aku restaurant in Las Vegas cirka 1960. In Intoxica it says the Aku Aku once fronted the Stardust hotel along with two massive moais or Easter Island (Rapa Nui) statues. The phrase Te pito o te henua has been said to be the original name of the island.
Aku Aku was the book title of Thor Heyedahl´s bestseller – an author i have enjoyed over the years. His theory on how those giant moais were moved gave name to the word aku aku:
Aku Aku – To move a tall, flat bottomed object (such as a bookshelf) by swiveling it alternatively on its corners in a “walking” fashion. [After the book by Thor Heyerdahl theorising the statues of Easter Island were moved in this fashion.] source: LangMaker.com. Aku Aku also has another meaning to the islanders: a spiritual guide.
Chief Lapu Lapu
3 oz orange juice
2 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 oz sugar syrup
1 oz passion fruit syrup
1 1/2 oz dark Jamaican rum
1 1/2 oz light Puerto Rican (or Virgin Islands) rum
Shake well with ice cubes in a large shaker and pour into a large snifter. Add more ice to fill.
A Pineapple Bowl is carried by two Tikis….
CHIEF LAPU LAPU!!
(In a gorgeous pineapple tiki mug by Scott Taylor, @tikipop on Instagram)
I find this one to be as tasty as the Aku Aku Lapu even though it`s not as strong….but there´s always room for a float if you wish….
Here`s another one, the Royal Hawaiian Lapu Lapu, the picture is from an old post. This recipe dates back to cirka the 40’s and 50’s from the former Royal Hawaiian and like many old tiki bars the Royal Hawaiian Lapu Lapu is a well guarded secret and this recipe I found on Tiki Central, not sure how authentic it is but it seems to be the closest you can possibly get unless it actually is the real original recipe.
Royal Hawaiian Lapu Lapu
Half fill a brandy snifter of shaved ice, or if you can`t make that, use a crushed ice as finely crushed as possible but it won`t be the same.
A tsp each of simple syrup orgeat and passionfruit syrup
2 oz of light rum.
A mixture of 60% pineapple juice and 40% orange juice, which should fill up the glass almost all the way to the top. Leave just enough room for the floater, at least 2 oz.
A floater of really dark rum, like Whalers.
Not part of the recipe but I also added 0.5 oz of fresh lime juice to it because I like the freshness you get from freshly squeezed lime.