Let´s get Tropical with Daniele Dalla Pola!

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Champion of the 42 Below cocktail world cup and owner of the Nu Lounge Bar in Bologna, Italy – master of tiki drinks and tasty libations and undisputed lover of pineapples, meet Daniele Dalla Pola!

Hailing from Milan and now living in Bologna where he resides at the Nu Lounge Bar when he`s not travelling the world spreading tiki and tropical drinks and aloha. UPDATE: He have now  opened a new bar in Miami called Esotico! 

I have been admiring the tiki drinks and vintage style photos of Daniele Dalla Pola for a long time, I hope to one day be able to have one in person! (UPDATE: Now I have! and they are every bit as good as I thought! his bar (I visited the Nu Lounge bar in Bologna) doesn`t deliver just fantastic drinks, they deliver an experience) When I first met Daniele was in New Orleans at the  2014 TOTC, at the event “Dynamic Duos” at the Cane and Table where Jeff Beachbum Berry did bartend together with Nick Detrich mixing up drinks with Plantation rum.

It was an evening of great friendship, fun and tasty cocktails as this picture by my friend Laura Godel can tell!

Daniele and Jeff Berry

Curious about how Daniele came into the world of tiki and what tiki means to him i asked him about his story:

pineapple small smallYou are one of the most prolific bartenders out there… tell us your story Daniele?

Thank you for a compliment! A long story short, to be a prolific bartender it`s essential to have passion for what you are doing, but passion without talent is nothing. My talent is all about hospitality. I learned how to improve my skills during my long time living in Miami, USA.

Everyday was a challenge, because I could loose my job in any moment. There was and there is still a lot of competitors-hardworkers so if you are not on focus you can lose your chance to success.

And it’s like this everywhere in the world. In last 10 years our world has been changing so much, a lot of “trains” (opportunities) pass by….you have to jump in.

pineapple small smallAnd tiki, how did you get into that?

I been a tropical oriented kind of person since I started this profession and I always dreamed about opening a bar in Hawaii. I just fell in love with this incredible world of cool fancy drinks many years a go. Then thanks to the new golden era of cocktails I even decided to make a radical change to my bar, like Trader Vic did in the past.

pineapple small smallI have seen tiki getting more popular in Europe, especially in the UK but it´s not near as big as in the US, naturally, and a lot of people seem to think tiki is just just all about the drinks, when the drinks are actually just a part of a whole movement and art form, what`s your thoughts on that?

Tiki Culture is the coolest era ever, sometime I just wish that I can travel back in time and walk into one of the Don The Beachcomber or participate in one of the amazing Luaus at the Encino Plantation, maybe make a Missionary`s Downfall to Clark Gable…

I agree that tiki is not just a type of cocktail, tiki can be a lifestyle, your home can be tiki style, you can buy outfit tiki style, you can have even a tattoo, but without Aloha Spirit all this won`t be possible.

pineapple small smallAnd as for the drinks, what´s your favorite tiki drinks?

I love to make the Pearl Diver and the Missionary s Downfall…. my favorite depends of the moment…. now it`s Don`s Special.

pineapple small smallI cannot do this interview without talking about pineapples, you really do promote the King of Fruits like no one else, why is it so special?

You just said it !!!! it`s the king of fruit and a symbol of friendship and of hospitality. It´s so good and i love the texture in cocktails and now it`s fashion too.

pineapple small smallObviously a silly question, but tell me why should I visit the Nu Lounge Bar?

Because of me !!!! is a joke !!!! 🙂 many reasons, one of them is for sure the location and all the good looking guys that work there…..

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pineapple small small I see you use a lot of coconut, pineapple and banana, are they your favorite flavor pairings?

That was an easy question – RUM and LIME…….. 🙂

pineapple small smallYour photos have a very nice vintage look, do you have any photography tips?

Just buy cool apps and practice, make sure that the background is nice and that there is nothing that can disturb, for example like a garbage bin, also I usually don t like pics with straws, try to have your style so the people can recognize your works easily. And change it when you dont like it anymore…..find a new style and start again.

pineapple small smallTell me something about Hawaii…. and what the Aloha shirt means to you!

Hawaii is magic, Hawaii is paradise…. all the islands are incredibly beautiful, everything there is so special, all the breathtaking views, the beaches, the sound of ukulele, the kalua pig, and the beers are amazing,[ liquid Aloha ] the Kona coffee… and you can see some cute hula girls dancing.

But you can live with Aloha Spirit everywhere you want.

Talking about Aloha Shirts, I`ll say just one thing, now we cross the line a bit because fashion industry in the last couple of years is doing a lot *Hawaiian Style* and people will get tired of this.

But I`ll not! One day I hope to become a Kamaʻāina, so I`ll have a discount in the Aloha Shirt Shop….

pineapple small smallAnd finally, you recently had a gorgeous pineapple mug made, is that a new signature mug for your bar?

Of course ….the Sexy Colada! and here`s the MANOA:

Ingredients:

45 ml Bacardi Carta oro rum

30 ml Arcane cane crush rum

10 ml Pimento dram liqueur

15 ml Passion fruit syrup

15 ml Homemade falernum syrup

20 ml grapefruit juice

20 ml lime juice

For the garnish:

1/2  lime

1 sprig of mint

1 sugar cube

3 ml Absinthe

A sprinkle of ground cinnamon

1 cup/250g crushed ice

Pour lime juice, grapefruit juice, falernum syrup, passion fruit syrup, pimento dram liqueur, white rum and overproof rum into a shaker and fill the shaker with crushed ice and shake.

Pour together with ice into a tiki mug and garnish with a mint sprig and a half lime with a sugar cube soaked in absinthe. Set the sugar on fire and sprinkle it with ground cinnamon.

Mahalo Daniele!

After writing this post I know one thing for sure, someday I need to get myself over to Nu Lounge Bar….(and i did, and the Manoa I got was excellent and served in a cute wooden box surrounded by smoke….) and now they also have these super cool pineapple mugs, a part of the Marama Project for Nu Lounge Bar. I made a “Aku Lapu Lapu” in it and the mug is just the right size for a good tiki drink and the top has a hole in it for the straw.

I think the mug is so cool………

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And now let´s take a look at Daniele`s drinks! they are photographed in a lovely vintage tiki style and the garnishes and glassware and everything around are all creative and elaborate and the king is of course – the pineapple!

Here`s eye candy for tiki drink and tropical drink lovers! all are Daniele´s drinks and many of these are what you get if you head over to Nu Lounge Bar! I just love the vintage tiki style in these photos! and there´s such great attention to detail…. but beware – it´s  a VERY LOOOONG picture parade…..

Enjoy!

With a hint of coconut, pineapple and banana…..spices, smoke and fire…….

Aloha is the greeting…..let´s get tropical!

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Nu Lounge Bar Mai Tai

Start with a Mai Tai……

Nu Lounge Bar 58 Spiced Martinique Swizzle

Then get something spicy with a vibrant lively rhum agricole….the Spiced Martinique Swizzle!

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And then….here it is! – Daniele´s fresh yummy drooly Sexy Colada!

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Fragrant….cinnamon dusting on top…..

Painkillers

More pineapple! from Pina to Painkiller!

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Nu Lounge Bar 50 pAINKILLER

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palm tree parasol let`s get tropical

Sail away to the tropics…. and STAY tropical!!!

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Maori Sour

The Maori Sour ( Nu Lounge Bar )

20 ml. passion fruit puree
2 barspoon Guadeloupe sugar mixed with green tea ( powder )
20 ml. lime juice
1/2 passion fruit
60 ml. 42 below vodka
20 ml. manuka honey mix
Shake and pour unstrained in a cool glass
Add more ice ( crushed )
Garnish with the empty passion fruit filled with green tea , berrys, sugar
enjoy

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Ready for some heat? the Nu Volcano is erupting!

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Followed by smoke…..

Nu smoke and clam

Isn`t this just beautiful?

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Nu Lounge Big Bamboo

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Nu Lounge Bar 49 shaved ice Volcano

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Pineapple and coconut again!!! let`s kill some more pain….

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Yeah… we sure are in pineapple paradise!

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And we´re on island time aren`t we?

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Dreaming of Blue Hawaii…. can you hear the waves crashing?

Nu Lounge Bar 42 Nu Blue Hawaiian

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And the sweet island tones of the ukulele to soothe your soul.

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Missionary`s Downfall

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I spy a Scott Taylor mug….

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We know what DTO is…. and now it´s even BDT – Banana daquiri time!

Nu Lounge Bar 34 banana daiquiri

Nu Lounge Bar 60 Banana Beach Daiquiri

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Rum julep…..

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Uhaa Punch…..

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Aqua de Mai Tai….very innovative and stunning presentation!

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Missionary’s Flip Flop!

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Nu Lounge Bar 56 Navy Grog

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Nu Lounge Bar 35 Painkiller, Spice Colada and Boo Loo

Painkiller, Spice Colada and Boo Loo

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Nu Lounge Bar 43 The Key West

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Pineapple love  🙂

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As you can see, there´s a lot of attention to detail here…I mean down to the last tiny details….a sign of a true master! and a lot of Aloha spirit in his works! Beautiful pictures aren`t they? all pics in the picture parade are courtesy and credited to Daniele Dalla Pola, the pics of the smoke are courtesy Ariel from www.ascocktailproducts.eu  Mahalo for giving me permission to use them  here!

Nu Lounge Bar text

Address: Via Dè Musei, 6, 40124 Bologna, Italy
Phone:+39 051 222532
Hours:5:00 pm – 3:00 am

PS – sorry for the irregular picture sizes, but they became that way automatically after a program/theme update/change and you cannot change it unless you take out every pic and manually resize them… there´s too many pics here to do that  🙂

A Peek at Rational Spirits First Rum – Santeria

RS Santeria

Picture credit for this awesome picure of the Santeria bottle surrounded by two of Mark Holts tiki mugs: Cocktail Guru

SANTERIA

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.

Santeria Rum Bottles for blogy

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.

Wax seals

Wax seals for the Santeria rum, picture by Cocktailwonk

Nose and taste of the Santeria

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)

Cocktails….

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.

I think it looks pretty incredibly tasty…………. !!!

Swizzle My Nizzle 2

Picture courtesy  Cocktailwonk

Swizzle My Nizzle

1.5 oz Rational Spirits Santeria Rum

1 oz vanilla agave syrup

1 oz passion fruit juice

0.75 oz lemon juice

4 dashes Habanero bitters

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.

Santeria Spindrift

Santeria Spindrift

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…….

Banana Boo Loo for blog

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

Aku Lapu Lapu with Santeria

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…

Living Dead for blog

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.

Passionfruit daiquiri

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.

LOGOS

Hamilton Jamaica, Demerara and Saint Lucia Rums!

Hamilton Rums

Up for review I have here three bottles of Hamilton rums from the Ministry of Rum Collection – a pot still Saint Lucian rum from 2006, aged 7 years, the Jamaican Pot Still Black Rum and then the 86 proof Demerara rum. These are rums I was wanting to review for a very long time but couldn`t get to do until now.

Ed Hamilton, who I first encountered at his Ministry of Rum website back in 2008 and who was my first rum mentor sailed the Caribbean for many years searching for rums, visiting distilleries and sampling rums and by the beginning of 2000 started to import rhum agricoles from the French Caribbean and imported rhums such as Neisson and La Favorite.

He also wrote rum books, Rums of the Eastern Caribbean and The Complete Guide to Rum: A Guide to Rums of the World that were published in the 1990s.

And now he hand select rums for his own Hamilton label and is the one who brought us the Hamilton 151 Demerara to help us survive the for now (and maybe forever) not longer produced Lemon Hart 151 (well,  the US for now since LH151 is still not yet dried up in Europe – but hurry up Ed and get it to Europe too before it runs out….) and as for the rest of the world I have no idea about the LH151 situation but I guess it´s pretty non existant?

The bottles are very nice, dark, and “rum looking” and the labels are beautiful with an old style map of the island or country producing the rums in the center.

Hamilton rums collage

Saint Lucian Pot Still, 2006, 63.8%

Starting with the one I was the most curious about, the pot still Saint Lucian. Each of the Saint Lucia Pot Still rums in the Ministry of Rum Collection were distilled and aged in Saint Lucia then shipped to the US in the barrels in which they were aged. For details of each of these rums can be found on the Caribbean Spirits webpage.

The molasses used at St Lucia Distillers was sourced from Guyana and contained 65% dissolved sugar, one of the highest sugar contents of any molasses found in the Caribbean. The high sugar content is attributed to the age of the Guyanese sugar mill. But it doesn’t matter what the sugar content of the molasses / juice is, after distillation there is no residual sugar left in the spirit and what comes out of the still is dry.

And the rum doesn`t taste very sweet, it more tastes like real unadultered rum, and there was no caramel color or flavoring of any kind added to this rum either.

I was met with a very pleasant nose of plenty of mature macerated tropical fruits, oak, orange peel, vanilla and creamy butter….

But taking a sip, be prepared for a taste chock…. it`s an explosion of heavy pot still punch and strong flavors! but the the thing that really hits you comes after when a dry earthy astringency lets itself be known….which immediately brought my mind to rhum agricole where I think I mostly have found these kind of flavors but here`s a rum made from molasses.

And it`s so very different!! really intriguing…It has flavors of the same tropical fruits i found in the nose, and then oak, leather, tannins, spice and dark plums….paired with this dry earhty astringency remniscent of an aged rhum agricole….it`s an amazing rum! heavy and vibrant.

Re-visitng this rum the next day and this time with a few drops of water I don`t think very much changed…more than that the astringency became even more pronounced….maybe it got a little smoother in appearance.

Oh my….this is very interesting rum!

I happen to really like strong rums with character and so I have no problem liking this one. Another thing that I like is the transparency which Ed puts out on the bottle label, it describes exactly what this rum is all about and at the Ministry of Rum website you can read a lot more!

Heavy rums like this tend to be a bit difficult to use in cocktails if used alone and so I think this one might be best together with something that can tame it a little bit….

Hamilton Jamaican Pot Still Black Rum, 46.5%

The next one is the Jamaican pot still black rum, this one is a blend of light, very light and heavy pot still rums from the Worthy Park Estate where rum has been made since 1670. And it has been colored with a double-strength black sugar-based caramel.

Here`s for a very pungent nose…mashed overripe bananas and other tropical fruits, burnt sugar, heavy molasses, hints of wood and pineapple….it`s a funky smell that attacks your senses.

But contrary to the taste chock of the Saint Lucian rum this one enters very smoothly…and that surprised me…

Fruity notes with overripe banana, pineapple and charred wood, molasses and tropical leaves. It`s not an elegant rum, nor is it light despite using two lighter pot still rums in the blend, but it´s smooth with a punchy heaviness and I like it.

Hamilton Guyana Rum, 43%

From the rivers of Demerara…my favorite rum region….

This rum is aged up to five years. and bottled from the same bulk of rum that makes up the Hamilton 151 Demerara which will be the next one of his for me to try. But let`s start with this lower proof demerara and see what it gives.

The nose is quite light with fruity, slightly woody and buttery notes, there´s hints of banana peel and dark sugar.

It has a smooth taste and a velvety buttery mouth feel, charred oak and mash of overripe tropical fruits, some smoke and charred wood, so typical for the demerara rums made with the last remaining original stills of their kind still operating in the world.

Here´s a great rum for mixing up those great tiki cocktails! what i`d do is use this as a base, maybe with another rum and then use the 151 for a float 🙂 and of course it´s also a good sipping rum.

Tribute to The Mai-Kai’s Oh So Deadly (Recipe by the excellent Atomic Grog,)

Tribute to The Mai-Kai’s Oh So Deadly

0.5 oz fresh-squeezed lime juice
0.25 oz orange juice
0.25 oz pineapple juice
3/8 oz (3 teaspoons) rich cinnamon syrup
0.5 oz rich honey mix (see below)
0.5 oz Hamilton Guyana rum
0.5 oz Hamilton Black Jamaican rum
1 oz light Virgin Islands rum
1 dash Angostura bitters

Blend at high speed with 4 ounces (1/2 cup) of crushed ice for 5 seconds. Pour into a specialty glass. Add more crushed ice to fill.

I recommend using an intense cinnamon syrup, such as the B.G. Reynolds. For the honey-mix use a ratio of 2:1 honey to water. Heat up slightly and dissolve the honey in the water, then cool in the fridge until use.

Hamilton Coconaut

Hamilton Coconut

8 oz Lopez or Real Coconut Cream

2 oz fresh lime juice

4 oz Hamilton St Lucia Pot Still rum

3 oz Hamilton Guyana rum

Put everything in a blender and fill to the top with ice cubes and blend until slushy. Pour into ceramic coconut mugs or other tiki mugs.

Serves 2-4

Thanks to Jeanne “Catahula” Vidrine for letting me use her tiki collection while away from home 🙂

My conclusion: Is very simple – I love these rums! I like that they are so full of flavors. All three are very different, especially the Saint Lucian which I find to be something else….

They are full of flavors, complexity and punch! – all three of them.

Well done Ed Hamilton!!

February is Tiki Month! An interview with Doug Winship!

 

FI mug

Tiki Month is here! AGAIN! we`re actually right in the middle of it….

On Doug`s blog the Pegu blog that is, because every year for the past six (!!) years Doug have transformed his Pegu blog into a Tiki blog for one month where he have dived deep into all things tiki – the history, decor, garments, torches, drinks, music etc and sometimes been posting with such a frenzy that i`ve had a hard time catching up…

You see, Doug wasn`t a tiki guy at all when he started and it takes some guts to get something like this rolling for the entire world to see with no knowledge whatsoever about tiki culture or tiki drinks and it´s been a joy to see how he have dug deeper and deeper into the pit of tiki over these years until one day he had his own home tikibar in the basement with a friggin`volcano!

This started in 2009 during the “golden booze blog era” when we had the CSOWG (Cocktails and Spirits Online Writers Group) with bloggers such as Rick “Kaiserpenguin” on board….oh those were the days!

It`s been a pleasure to follow his Tiki months year after year and see how for example the drinks have been transformed from quite the new beginners tiki drinks (especially when it comes to the style with garnish etc) to full fetched tiki libations worthy of any tiki afficionado`s approval.

In his basement Doug has a tiki bar but it`s not just a tiki bar…it has it´s own man-sized erupting volcano! complete with a light and smoke effects-enabled volcano – and he built it all by himself – how cool is that?

Watch it erupt here in this video:

He also describes how to make it in this post.

Damn….i wouldn`t mind having one like that myself…i`m deeply impressed!

So i went and asked Doug a few questions about tiki and his tiki month:

pineapple small small 2 It´s been six? years that you`ve been doing your tiki month every year in februari, what made you get into the idea?

Yep, about six years. About that time I was starting to feel like I had my feet under me with classic cocktails. Several of the blogs by my fellow early cocktail bloggers that I found I liked the most were the Tiki-centric ones like yours. The drinks were always visually stunning and sounded delicious. It was clear to me that there were some unique avenues with creativity in the Tiki neighborhood of cocktails.

What was also clear, whenever I tried out some of your recipes, was that doing Tiki right in a home environment was a serious commitment. The produce and syrup inventory issues made it so that any time I saw a drink I wanted to make, I never could.

So I decided to devote a whole month to tiki drinks, where that would be all I’d make, and see what all the fuss was about. It was fun and I decided to do it annually.

pineapple small small 2 Which are your three most favored tiki drinks and why?

Number one with a bullet is the Mai Tai. Trader Vic’s version is one of the true super weapons of the cocktail world, regardless of whether or not you are talking tiki.

Number Two is an oddball. It is called the Coconaut Grove. It is what I think of when someone drifts perilously close to asking for a Piña Colada. It has all the good parts of a PC, and none of the goopy syrupiness.

Number Three, off the top of my head is the Missionary’s Downfall. It stands out among a drink genre that celebrates ludicrously boozy drinks as one that is just this side of non-alcoholic. But it is marvelously delicious and totally Tiki.

pineapple small small 2 It`s clear that a lot us booze and tiki bloggers have been of great influence especeially during your first years of tiki month, but what other influenses have really affected you?

Beachbum Berry is number one, of course. The fact that when I first met him, he knew who I was was one of the biggest fanboy moments in my life. At 45 years old, I was squeeing like a teenage girl. Tiki or not, The Bum is what booze writing is all about. My wife is actually another big influence. She is a cook, not a mixer, but no one has taught me more about how to analyze a recipe and modify it, nor how important precision is.

And precision is the soul of Tiki mixology.

pineapple small small 2 Today, six years after you first started with tiki, what would you say to a tiki newbie wanting to explore tiki?

If you are doing it yourself, take it in bites, but big bites. When you are still learning, dive deep, then get out of the pool for a bit. Repeat.

If you are trying out tiki bars as an intro, pay attention to everything. The chemistry of Tiki is totally different from that of Brown, Bitter, and Stirred.

pineapple small small 2 Which tiki bars do you recommend?

Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco stands out above all others I’ve visited. Martin Cate has made a bar where every damn element was better than I’d previously imagined. Go in a slow night, when you can absorb all the spectacular detail.

pineapple small small 2 You WILL continue with the yearly tiki months for yet a couple years  won`t you? i mean there gotta be more areas you haven`t been exploring? (hint “flaming drinks”, “tiki food”………)

I love Tiki Month. And my local friends who drink with me would hardly let me stop!

As for places to go, I love the fact that a new area of concentration presents itself each year, without much effort on my part. I just put up the decor, make some syrups, and something new demands my attention.

pineapple small small 2 What`s your most memorable tiki experience?

That first visit to Smuggler’s Cove. And my first real, honest to God Mai Tai. Transformative experiences.

pineapple small small 2 What do see in the future for tiki in terms of the survival of the culture and standard of tiki bars and drinks?

This goes to what I’m focusing on as this year’s Tiki Month theme. I think that Tiki bars are awesome, and may well be in that sweet spot of coolness but not hotness, in the US, where they can become a sustainable thing.

What is more interesting is that the modern Craft cocktail movement has resulted in hordes of non-Tiki bars that have the skill and infrastructure to deliver complex recipe drinks with oddball syrups and multifarious fresh juices. The result is a lot of Tiki drinks showing up AMONG other styles on “regular” Craft menus.

There is some great stuff being done in expanding the true Tiki portfolio buy guys and gals who are not Tiki specialists. If Tiki can burrow into the high-end drink mainstream, I think it will avoid the boom and bust that accompanied its first appearance.

T Tikiroom Tiki4

Mahalo Doug! now y`all go and check out his tiki month, it´s still february! and when the month is gone the Pegu blog will still be there…

And finally i`d like to re-post a few of his drinks that has been on his blog during the tiki months, each using a different spirit – enjoy! (picture courtesy Doug)

Three Dots and a Dash

Pegu blog - Three-Dots-and-a-Dash

1 part fresh lime juice
1 part orange juice
1 part honey mix
3 parts amber rum
1 part Demerara rum
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1/2 part falernum
1/2 part pimento dram (allspice liqueur)
12 parts small ice

Flash blend all ingredients for about five seconds. Serve in a fun vessel, and garnish as below. Classic serving is 1/2 ounce per part per person. The classic garnish is a long skewer with three cherries and a pineapple spear; three dots, and a dash, see? In this version is the cherries nestled in a pod of a pineapple leaf. It is still three short things, and one long.

Three dots and a dash stand for the Morse Code letter ‘V’. The drink was invented during World War Two, and V for Victory was an important part of the mindset of most involved in the war effort on the Allied side.

Regal Daiquiri (Doug`s version of Don Beach`s Royal Daiquiri)

Regal-Daiquiri-sq-450x450

1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
1/2 oz. Creme Yvette
1/2 oz. OYO Honey Vanilla Vodka
1 1/2 oz. silver rum
4 oz. small ice

Combine in a blender and flash blend for 5-7 seconds. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a cocktail coupe. Garnish with a lime and perhaps a preserved hibiscus flower.

Margarita Atoll (made for the National Margarita Day in 2014)

Pegu blog - Margarita-Atoll-

1 1/4 oz. good silver tequila
strong 1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
1/4 oz. Cointreau
1/4 oz. Bols Blue Curaçao
1/4 oz honey mix

Combine in shaker with ice and agitate until frigid. Strain into a cocktail coupe rimmed with crushed Hawaiian salt.

Happy Tiki Month!

 

pineapple small small 2       pineapple small small        pineapple small small 2       pineapple small small      pineapple small small 2      pineapple small small

Lost Spirits Colonial American Inspired Rum – Big Bold Flavors!

LSColonial rum bottle 3

COLONIAL AMERICAN INSPIRED RUM 

The Lost Spirits Distillery have done it again! made a geeky rum that blew me away…this time it`s  a 62 % ABV monster with espresso coffee and sarsaparilla notes…

I read Cocktailwonk`s post earlier on this rum where i read the flavor description by Bryan –  “chocolate-dipped plums rolled in espresso powder.”  That made my mouth water….Now having tried it for myself i find that the description is quite on point.

This rum caught me by total surprise too…since i was expecting the Cuban Inspired Anejo Blanco rum to be launched and instead they launch this…albeit it´s a collaboration with Bounty Hunter Wine and Spirits in a very small batch – 225 bottles – and only sold at the Bounty Hunter thus only being available to people in the US and during a short time. It does have a different price tag than the other Lost Spirit rums, (a whopping $100 instead of  $45) due to the tiny production.

I see this rum as an indication of what`s to come because they are continuously developing their rums, experimenting with ways to improve them and reach new levels and what they are doing is total geekery. I wouldn`t be surprised if they come out with a couple more of these type of small batch rums and i`m very interested to see where their rum developments takes them.

I really like the Colonial Inspired rum, the dark coffee notes are subtle but noticeable. There`s also hints of wood, sarsaparilla  and vanilla in it. I like the fact that it`s made without any color or flavor additives, no extra sugar in this rum! just baking grade molasses, water and yeast culture.

The nose to me is tropical fruit, citrus peel and spices and in the mouth you get an initial burn, the rum packs a 62% punch after all, then mature tropical fruit notes, sugarcane, wood, sarsaparilla, dark plums and a hint of coffee.

It`s a strong dark rum and perfect for tiki drinks….just like the others they have made.

Also the label made by Bryan is truly stunning, and like the previous labels – really detailed and artistic, reflecting the flavor profile of the rum.

LSColonial rum drink label collage

LOST SPIRIT RUMS

There`s the Navy style with it`s rough smokiness, the Polynesian Inspired with it´s fruity pineapple notes and then the Grand Lady…. 151 Cuban which also had pineapple notes and rich vanilla and which I personally find to be very easy to sip…and that makes it a dangerous rum…I would suggest use 1 oz of it and 1 oz of another in a daiquiri for example and yeah occasionally go all 151 in and supercharge that lovely daiquiri bec they really gets good…

There was a post recently on the Tiki Central where the Lost Spirits rums were discussed and Bryan chimed in with an explanation about these rums and what he had in mind when creating them, a good read in my opinion and so therefore I forward it here for those who are interested:

To chime in and offer my own answer (which is actually a lot less important than yours). Most rum companies have been around for a long time. They don’t inherently create new products. They continue to make what they have always made and what their customers expect from them. There is nothing wrong with this. In fact when you have 100 employees to feed it’s essential to your survival and your community.

However, as a tiny new company (three people total) we have no such history. This freedom allows us to be super creative. Our engineering capability also lets us (to some extent) make what we can dream up. In fact we actually make the labels before we design the rum that goes in the bottle.

Short Summaries:

Navy Rum:
This was inspired by watching pirates of the Caribbean over and over again while asking ourselves the question: what would that rum in the movie taste like if it were a real thing. We engineered this one to have a significant wood smoke note to evoke the cannon fire and gun smoke with a tar esque quality reminiscent of wooden ships. Sort of an islay whiskey meets rum idea while still staying pretty close to classic navy rum.

Geeky summary: Phenolic & estery navy rum with the biggest semi-volatile (finish) profile in the industry – woot woot

Polynesian Rum:
Here we asked the question, if tiki was an actual place what would the rum taste like? We tried to make the chemical profile of the rum as close to that of a pineapple as possible. Tricky because we make rum not pineapples so it kept wanting to taste like rum not a pineapple.

Geeky summary: Heavy pot still rum with a big mid palette of carboxylic esters (fruity flavors) and minimal phenolic & semi-volatile influence. Designed to float on tiki drinks.

Cuban Inspired:
Here my dad was reminiscing about how good rum was when he was young (he is very old). So we wondered what the legendary cuban rum of 100 years ago was like. Since I don’t own any of that – I just let my imagination go. The idea here was to do a high rectification (read Spanish style rum) but in a pot still like they would have a LONG time ago. Then we designed the oak component to punch up the vanilla and accentuate the butterscotch notes of the white rum.

Geeky summary: Lighter base rum with a massive vanilla profile created from careful phenol management in the oak.

Colonial:
This one was a personal challenge. The commissioning party wanted a rum that could command the high price tag. For me this was the hardest project to date, because it meant it had to stand against my favorite rums (which are old).

So for this one I actually used a prototype of a set of new techniques that I have been working on in the shop for a long time. I actually had to file patents before I could sell the bottles or give the buyers samples. It was very kind of them to put that kind of faith in me.

Think of this one as a sneak preview of whats to come.

Geeky summary: Holy &@%t

Also here´s a link to a post by Cocktailwonk if you`re into the more technical details about this rum and I think it´s necessary to understand how this rum is made, so here is a link and one other to earlier posts and one new because this is not a rum made the conventional way, it´s just simply different and even though I`ve had no problems sipping their rums I do prefer to mix with them.

I made my version of two tiki drinks with it which turned out really good:

Magic of the Lost Spell

LSColonial Magic of the Lost Spell

This is a drink obviously (if you`re into tiki) inspired by the Black Magic and the Dark Magic drinks…the Dark Magic created by Colonel Tiki in 2010 was in turn inspired by Mai Kai`s Black Magic.

1 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz unsweetened pineapple juice
¼ oz dark muscovado syrup
¼ oz Passion Fruit Syrup
½ oz strong coffee like Kona, Blue Mountain or a Louisiana coffee like the Community Coffee dark roast (what i`m using)
2 oz Lost Spirits Colonial American Inspired Rum
1 dash Angostura bitters
8 drops (1/8th oz) Herbsaint

Blend ingredients with 8oz ice and pour into a crushed ice filled snifter and garnish with tropical orchids and leaves and 3 speared maraschino cherries.

As this rum is hard to get and if you can`t find it, sub with the Lost Spirits Navy style rum. The taste of the drink i found to be spicy and strong and “tiki” as in a dark mysterious tiki bar.

Let`s escape! lower the lights and set that drink on fire…..

LSColonial Magic of the Lost Spell 2

Lost Pilot

The next drink is my version of the Jet Pilot (Sippin`Safari) which was inspired by Don the beachcomber`s “Test Pilot” which was created during the mid century “golden age” of tiki drinks. There has been a number of drinks evolving from the original Test Pilot, like the Space Pilot, Astronaut, the Ace pilot and the Auto pilot 🙂

With this Lost Spirits rum here it becomes the Lost Pilot!

The big difference from the Jet and Test Pilots is that while they use multiple rums this uses only the Colonial and the reason i only use one rum in this drink is that i wanted to see how this bold flavorful rum would do all by itself in this drink.

Since i haven`t yet experimented with blending it with other rums i cannot say if that would make a tastier drink – and i certainly don`t try to duplicate the Mai Kai version (which btw contains four rums and some other things) and of course using several rums brings more depth but i do think that the rum is doing really well and that this version is tasty.

LSColonial rum Lost Pilot

1/2oz fresh lime juice
1/2oz grapefruit juice (yellow)
1/2oz cinnamon syrup
1/2oz falernum
2 oz Lost Spirits Colonial American Inspired Rum
1 dash Angostura bitters
6 drops Herbsaint or Pernod
4oz crushed ice

Throw everything into the blender, ice last. Flash-blend for less than 5 seconds. Pour into a glass or tiki mug filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a tropical orchid and leaf.

This is another strong and spicy tiki drink to help you escape into the eternal bliss of tropical fantasy island….

LSColonial rum Lost Pilot collage

This cool tiki mug is the result of a collaboration between the good folks at The Floating Rum Shack and Cheeky Tiki.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

I wish there was more made of the Colonial American Inspired Rum…..I like the full flavor, the in your face punch and the potent strength, coffee notes and all and wish it was more widely available…I count myself very lucky to have a bottle. I`m looking forward to see what they gonna make in the future.

If you happen to live in the US and can order from the Bounty Hunters Wine and Spirits you have a chance to get a bottle before they gone, only 225 bottles were made.

Flavorful, strong, and quite a different animal…and so well suited for the type of drinks I love the most…this is all about big, bold flavours.

LSColonial label back

Kōloa Kaua`i Spice Rum!

Koloa bottle

Up for review is the spiced rum from Kōloa Rum in Hawaii. I wrote about Kōloa rums before and their range of rums including the spiced, but now i got a chance to sit down with it all by itself.

This is to me a cocktail rum, great for mixing up delicious tropical cocktails and tiki drinks, it fits well with from where it comes but of course it can be used in other types of cocktails as well. But me i`m sticking to the tropics!

Interesting is that Kōloa Rum is not made from molasses but instead it´s made from crystallized sugar (but it contains molasses – it actually has a high level of molasses in it) but that sets it apart from both pure molasses based rums and rhum agricole which is made from sugar cane juice. All of the rums are distilled twice in a 1210 gallon copper pot still with a copper column and condenser. The still was built by Liberty Coppersmiths in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1947 and later refurbished for use in the distillery.

The Kōloa Rum company is very young! they have only made rum since 2009 and have already won no less than 17 awards – most of them at the Rum Renaissance Festival in Miami and then at the  San Francisco World Spirits Competition, well done!

Koloa awards

Kauai, also known as the Garden Island, is where Kōloa Rum is made and Kōloa rum is a handcrafted single batch rum containing pure mountain waters of  Mt. Wai`ale`ale, one of the wettest spots on Earth. The Kōloa plantation was established in 1835 in Kōloa Town and the first harvest which produced two tons of raw sugar was in 1837 and it was around that time that rum production began, so rum does have quite some history on the Hawaiian islands.

There is a Tasting Room & Company Store, located on the grounds of the Historic Kilohana Plantation where visitors can sample from the range of rums and purchase Kōloa rum items and also Hawaiian Fruit Specialties and its Kukui Brand which was founded in 1931 by the Tateishi Family as a means of preserving the wild guava, pineapple, lilikoi, and other abundant fruits of Kaua`i.

I was happily surprised when i heard that they were going to feature one of my cocktails that i made in my other post, the Spiced Coconaut on their new bag that soon will be in the shop! i used some of this spiced rum as a float in that drink. I hope i can one day go there and visit them! i have always been dreaming about going to Hawaii…and here is the bag, this is where your purchases from the store goes…

Koloa bag collage

Nose and Taste

The first thing that hits my nose from the spiced rum is vanilla and cinnamon with clear notes, followed by caramel and spice. In the mouth i taste cinnamon, vanilla, caramel, spice, sugarcane, some oak, quite well balanced and smooth. It would add some real nice spice notes to cocktails, especially if they contain pineapple juice since the strongest flavor is cinnamon.

It´s sweet but not too sweet,  it´s spicy but well balanced – and there´s some hints of roots and also something astringent, i guess that´s what brings me to roots.

Kōloa Kaua`i Spice is a rich and fragrant rum.

Kōloa Kaua`i Spice in Cocktails

As for cocktails with the Kōloa Spiced Rum, the Spiced Coconaut was as i mentioned earlier really appreciated by the folks at the Kōloa Rum and and they made it to be featured on their cocktail catalogue as well as on their Facebook page and it looked this nice:

The recipe doesn`t call for just the spiced rum, rather it´s used as a float together with Kōloa Kaua`i Dark rum and as such it did very well. Here`s the recipe again:

Koloa Rum Spiced Coconaut cocktail

Spiced Coconaut

2 oz Lopez or Coco Real Cream of Coconut

2 oz fresh lime juice

2 oz Kaua`i Dark rum

Float Kōloa Kaua`i Spice ( about 0.25 oz)

Shake it hard to get the Cream of Coconut well mixed in and strain into a coconut mug with ice cubes and float Kōloa spiced rum on top.

Garnish with tropical flower and pineapple leaves.

Next tropical cocktail is strong and tall…and deceptive:

Hawaiian Scratch…  instead of Tropical Itch…

Koloa Hawaiian Itch

Tiki drinks often have some funny names, the Tropical Itch which is the inspiration for this drink was created by Harry Yee, “The Dean of Hawaiian Bartenders,” who is said to have been the first to garnish a drink with an orchid and a paper parasol.

2 oz Kōloa Kaua`i Spice rum
0.5 oz Lost Spirits 151 Cuban Rum
1 oz Bourbon
0.5 oz Ferrand Dry Curacao
6 oz passion fruit juice
1/2 tsp juice from a maraschino cherry jar to top
A couple dashes angostura bitters to top
Squeeze of fresh lime juice (about 1/4th oz)
Garnish pineapple leaves and slice, maraschino cherry, mint

Shake with ice cubes and strain into a tall glass filled with crushed ice, add a half tsp of juice from a maraschino cherry jar and a couple dashes angostura bitters.

Fruity, spicy and quite mild but very yummy…but it´s deceptive – the 151 Cuban will sneak up on you…

Here`s another cocktail for you from Jeff Berry`s Grog Log with the rums switched out for Kōloa Kaua`i Spice and Coconut:

Noa Noa

Koloa Noa Noa

1oz lime juice (or 3/4 of a lime cut into wedges)
1tsp brown sugar
1 dash Angostura bitters
6 mint leaves
1 oz Kōloa Kaua`i Spice rum
2 oz Kōloa Coconut rum
mint sprig, for garnish

Muddle lime juice or wedges with sugar, bitters, and mint. Add ice and rum, and shake. Strain into a double rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with mint sprig and spent lime shell.

Cool and not too sweet, spicy, minty and with a hint of coconut.

The spiced rum is funny to play with and is versatile to mix with in a lot of cocktails and tiki drinks, i could do many more but time doesn`t permit…that`ll be another time.

Kōloa rums can be purchased at various retailers in the US and also in Australia, Canada and China (see the website) and in Europe at La Gourmandine Rhumerie in France, also online.

From Hawaii to you with Kōloa rum – Aloha!

See other Koloa Spice rum reviews on RumRatings

Lost Spirits 151 Cuban Inspired Rum – A Femme Fatale Dressed to Kill

LS151 Label 4

Dangerously easy to sip…

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.

Lost Spirits 151 Cuban label collage 2

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.

Lost Spirits 151 Cuban label collage

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:

Nitrogen deprivation

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.

Tasting

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

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

Crushed ice

Nutmeg

Fresh mint

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!

Pago Pago

Pago pAGO SMALL

The Pago Pago dates to at least 1940, when it appeared in a book called The How and When, and this 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

Nui Nui LS 151 Cuban

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

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!

Distributors are found here.

LS151 Label 2

The label is really gorgeous!

Lost Spirits 151 Cuban bottle 2

The rum has a beautiful amber color i think.

LS smoking dragon still

Anyone passing by this at night must really wonder what´s going on….