Cachaca – Abelha Gold

 

This cachaca is silky like butter but not without letting you know its an alcoholic spirit…

A year ago i wrote about the Abelha organic cachaca and tried out their silver which I liked a lot. Now its time to try out their aged cachaca – Abelha Gold.

Abelha is a small batch organic cachaca and thus contains no chemical products. From the green sugar cane the natural yeasts are used for fermentation and the farmers in Bahia where Abelha is made grows 100% organic sugarcane which isn`t burnt ( a requirement for beeing called organic) and is distilled in small batches in traditional copper stills.

Abelha Gold is aged for 3 years in small 250L garapeira wooden barrels – and this species of wood which is native to Brazil does not change the flavor and character of the cachaca in the same way as an imported oak barrel does – instead it imparts a unique honey and spiced note to the spirit paired with a beautiful mellow tone resulting in a flavorful well-balanced cachaca.

The flavor has hints of dried tropical fruits, honey and vanilla and has a woody character…slightly topped off with the typical grassy notes of fresh sugarcane. Its on the sweet side but not too much. The nose is woody/grassy.

The cool lively and colorful bottle labels makes me happy and are made by Holly Wales and Anthony Sheret. I really would like to see this cachaca sold outside of the UK…more people deserves to taste this good stuff! let`s hope for that it will in a not too distant future. At the back of the label it says – Drink responsably – this cachaca is too good to mess about with.

That`s a good advice..and now its time for a  cocktail…I`m in a pineapple mood so a little twist on the Pineapple Delight is in order and really, this cachaca is made for that kinda drink.

GOLDEN BEE

golden-bee

6-7 fresh pineapple chunks

2 oz Abelha Gold

0.5 oz fresh lime juice

1 barspoon vanilla honey

1/4 oz sugarcane syrup

Top with Ting

Float Smith & Cross

Garnish pineapple leaves, slice and lime slice

Scoop out a pineapple and set aside and save a few leaves for garnish and a pineapple slice. Don´t scoop too deep as it will leak. Before serving fill it up with crushed ice.

Muddle pineapple chunks, vanilla honey and lime in shaker. Add Abelha cachaca and shake with ice and strain into the pineapple filled with crushed ice and top with Ting, then float Smith & Cross. Finally garnish with the pineapple leaves, slice and a wedge of lime, make sure these don`t touch too deep so the drink doesn`t become bitter.

This drink is so TASTY! please try it!

I also wanted to try out the Golden Fashioned from Detroit Bar in Covent Garden but that drink contains smoked sugar and since i have no equipment for smoking sugar i leave that for those who can. But here`s the recipe.

Golden Fashioned

50ml Abelha gold
Stirred up with smoked sugar (dash water to dissolve sugar)
Dash grapefruit bitters
Ice, and stir just like an old fashioned
Orange and lemon skin twist

Abelha is as far as i know only sold in London – a link is here: http://www.abelha.co.uk/where-to-buy-cachaca-abelha-in-london/

Abelha cachaca is certified by the IBD in Brasil, and the UK import is certified organic by the Organic Farmers and Growers.

MIXING THROUGH GROG LOG 8 – Boo Loo

boo-loo

When a classic cocktail is made right, it’s a marvel of balance of good flavours and it’s the same with tiki drinks. Everybody who has held a tall tiki mug or glass with a well crafted drink in it knows what I mean.

If there’s one thing I would want to repeat over and again whether its classic or tiki or other drinks it’s the use of fresh and good quality ingredients, it cannot be said enough many times. It starts right there.

Another aspect i like with the tikidrink mixing is that they allow such bountyful garnish – and here you really can play – and sometimes i like to make crazy garnishes too and with these drinks its perfect. Not that every tikidrink must or should be crowned with endless amounts of tropical garnish but the point is – with these drinks you can.

Also to serve the drink in a fruit or coconut thus making the vessel a garnish in itself is such a nice way to enjoy them. As they are tropical and everything tropical is colourful it just comes so natural with lush garnish too.

I`m going to serve this Boo Loo in a pineapple.

BOO LOO

A few small chunks of fresh pineapple

2.5 oz unsweetened pineapple juice

1.5 oz fresh lime juice

1 oz honey

1.5 oz club soda

1.5 oz gold Puerto Rican Rum

0.75 oz dark Jamaican Rum

0.75 oz 151 demerara rum

1.5 oz Demerara rum

Heat honey until liquid and mix with juices and fruit in a blender. Stir in rums and soda. Pour into 36 ounce snifter filled with crushed ice, or serve in a hollowed out pineapple.

To prepare the pineapple you may use a pineapple corer which is a plastic device, quite handy. Or you cut off the top and hollow out the pineapple center with a knife. Then fill up with crushed ice and pour in the drink.

The top can be replaced if you wish, just put a long straw in and sip slowly.

Now as for these rums, i don`t have any gold PR rum and instead i use other golden rum such as Appleton VX. Demerara 151 is hard to find unless you have either an old bottle of Lemon Hart 151 left or can buy demeraras sold from Europe which are very expensive but also very good.

LH 151 is really hard to replace..and its a shame its not marketed anymore, really, its tragic. If you can`t get any of the fullproof demeraras from Europe i guess your best bet is to mix El Dorado 15 with El Dorado highproof or something similar.

If anyone has any good ideas here, please you are welcome to comment.

Now Boo Looo needs a twist and i love turtles so this one is called Honu Honu – the word Honu is Hawaiian for “turtle” and is most often applied to the green sea turtle.

HONU HONU

A few small chunks of fresh pineapple, muddled so it gets juicy too

1 oz fresh lime juice

0.5 oz honey

0.5 oz vanilla orgeat (mix equal parts vanilla syrup and orgeat or make orgeat with vanilla from scratch or add vailla beans to orgeat and heat and steep)

1  oz rhum agricole vieux

1 oz rhum agricole blanc

Top with Club Soda

Float JWray

Heat honey until liquid and mix with orgeat, juices and fruit in a blender. Stir in rums  except JWray and top with soda. Pour into a tall glass filled with crushed ice, or serve in a hollowed out pineapple and a decent float JWray.

The JWray float is what gives this drink its “kick”.

MxMo XLVIII: Pain in the Ass Drinks!

mxmologo

This months Mixology Monday has a fun topic – pain in the ass drinks – hosted by McSology.

This Month’s Theme is: Drinks that are a total pain in the ass to make!

Pain in the ass drinks..sure i can deliver that;-) actually i have no less than three for this MxMo which urges us all to come up with the most laboursome drinks you can think of. But laboursome doesn´t mean that they aren`t tasty, rather the contrary – often you´ll be greatly rewarded.

Its definetily a good idea to make these i`ll post here at home when you have plenty of time.

I`m lucky to be a cocktail blogger. That permits me to mix up my drinks at any pace i want and stop mixing when i`ve had enough, or play with the most impossible ideas for garnish. Its fun – but even me takes shortcuts and avoid certain drinks more often than not, especially when i`m about to mix drinks that are not for a blog post.

As most people already know, the worst drinks to make are the TIKI cocktails – not all – but many, say 6 out of 10, something like that. Its not uncommon with 8-13 ingredients and of course normal simple syrup will not do –  you need to at least make sure you have orgeat, falernum, grenadine, Donn`s spices #2, several flavored syrups and various tinctures and drams – like pimento dram. Not to mention the amount of rums, liqueurs and other spirits that are needed, some in very small quantities like say – drops. (absinthe) But for how to master all these exotic drinks there`s help.

I haven`t yet mentioned the garnish these drinks very often require to be properly crowned.

My drinks for this MxMo aren´t any specific and known tiki drinks though, its actually a few twists on the Pina Colada which isn`t a tiki drink – but the way they are made puts them into the tiki cathegory of labour i think.

So if you are lazy stop reading.

The drinks here are a bit labourous yes – but not difficult. If you have the time to elaborate a bit you`ll be rewarded with tropical extravaganza.

The Pina Colada is a very nice drink and i like it a lot but i don´t make it very often, maybe it has to do with that i prefer coconut milk in cooking rather than drinking and for drinking when it comes to the coconut i prefer the green coconut water. Anyway, i decided to make a few twists of the pina colada and after some experimenting i came up with three coladas that basically are very similar yet very different.

Another thing in this post is that many measurements are quite approximate, i try to be exact when i can but it doesn´t always work out, especially not with these kind of drinks.

playing-with-the-colada

TEPACHE COLADA

0.5 pineapple peeled and cored and cut into chunks. Save 2 chunks for the garnish along with 2 leaves. Puree the chunks and strain so you get fresh juice.

1.5 oz white rhum agricole
0.5 oz aged rhum agricole
2 oz coconut milk
2 oz fresh pineapple juice
1 oz tepache (made with an extra pinch of palmsugar)
4 cups ice

Blend in blender until smooth and pour into ice filled glass. Garnish with pineapple chunks and leaves.

Tepache

The basic recipe for tepache or pineapple beer is sugar, water, and pineapple skins. Its a Mexican fermented pineapple drink traditionally made with fresh sugarcane juice – known as guarapo and spices. But you can make tepache with raw sugar as well as fresh sugarcane juice is hard to find in many places.

The key is to use a pineapple that is ripe.There are some ways to see if a pineapple is ripe and what not to do is to base your judgment on its colour. Instead pick it up and sniff at the base, it should smell sweet. Next, the leaves should be fresh and green and the leaves in the middle should be easy to pull out. If the pineapple has brown soft spots, leave it and find another, it should be firm.

So now you have found a ripe nice pinapple, here´s what to do next:

Peel with about half inch of pineapple flesh attached to peel. Then chop into 1 inch pieces.

8 – 12 cups water

2 cups raw unrefined sugar plus a tsp palmsugar dissolved in 1 cup very hot water. The palmsugar is optional, but i l´like the deep flavour it gives.

1 lime, juiced (optional)

8 ounces ginger root, cut into small chunks (optional) or a few cinnamon sticks, cloves, and/or star anise

Place peel, sugar and spices  in a one gallon container that has a cover. Add enough water to top it off and seal the container. Leave the bottles in a sunny or warm area minimum overnight and maximum 5 days (more days = more fizz) its a clear advantage to have warm temps (for the fermentation) so unless you live in a warm place do this in the summer. Then add the lime juice. To serve, chill in refrigerator.

The leftover of this tepache can be served as is or why not mix it with some rum? I think the tepache goes very well with the rest of ingredients in this colada, it adds a bit of a mellow spiciness.

The next colada is using Crema de Mezcal. You can use any good quality mezcal you like in it but i think the crema is the one for this drink – giving to it a smoky flavour and then using some roast coconut milk to combine adds some charred nuttiness:

MEZCOLADA

05-1 pineapple peeled and cored and cut into chunks. Save 2 chunks for the garnish along with 1-2 leaves. Puree the chunks and strain so you get fresh juice.

1 oz reposado tequila
1 oz Del maguey Crema de Mezcal
2 oz roast coconut milk
2 oz fresh pineapple juice
1t orgeat
4 cups ice

Blend in blender until smooth and pour into ice filled glass or serve in pineapple shell. Garnish with roasted coconut chips (or why not a mezcal soaked cherry) and pineapple leaves.

coconut-chips

Roast Coconut milk – Toast a handful of shaved fresh coconut chips until well brown and mix with 1 can lukewarm coconutmilk in blender, leave to sit for a while, then strain through cheesecloth.This is my own way to make it easier.

The traditional way to make roast coconut milk is to first roast chunks of fresh coconut in a charcoal fire until blackened on all sides.Then brush off the charred exterior and grate the flesh before adding it into a bowl and add 2 cups of lukewarm water. Then squeeze and knead the coconut thoroughly for 1 minute, then strain through cheesecloth into a bowl to obtain thick coconut milk. Probably the traditional way makes for a tastier roast coconut milk but i haven`t tried as i have no place to make a fire. There`s a lot of yummy flavours in this drink, the agave from the tequila and mezcal plus the smoke, roast coconut milk, almond and pineapple.

The task of opening a coconut, shave the flesh and toast it may seem laboursome but it actually isn´t, here is a link on how to do it easily.

HONEYCREAM COLADA

HONEY CREAM COLADA

The last colada is flavoured with baked banana honeycream. That is a mixture of baked banana, honey, sugar and water. It was used in a cocktail comp in Copenhagen and their version used water not cream. But in this drink i use heavy cream instead of water to cream it up with the coconut milk.

Here`s how to do it: Bake your bananas in the oven untill they get a bit of color and blend it with equal parts honey and heavy cream, add a bit of  sugar ( i used muscovado) to bring out the banana and reduce it in a pan.

0.5 pineapple peeled and cored and cut into chunks. Save 2 chunks for the garnish along with 1-2 leaves.
1.5 oz rhum agricole blanc
0.5 oz JWray overproof
2 oz  coconut milk
2 oz fresh pineapple juice
1 tsp baked banana honey cream
4 cups ice
Hibiscus tincture (optional, just for that little extra ( labour)

Blend in blender until smooth and pour into ice filled glass. Garnish with the pineapple chunks, and pineapple leaf and a few dashes hibiscus tincture for a little extra flavor contrast and color.

Hibiscus tincture

Mix 1oz crushed dried hibiscus flowers (jamaica) with 5oz highproof grain spirit or overproof rum like JWray and leave for a few days, then strain and bottle. Use it in drops.

To play further with these coladas you may use vanilla beans, demerara rum, muscovado sugar, cinnamon syrup, cachaca, macadamia nut syrup, Trader Tiki`s syrups to name a few ingredients.

Have fun! thanks Mike for hosting with a fun topic!

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2010!

2010-new-year-tiki-drinks

Happy 2010 folks!

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

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

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

DRUNKEN MOAI

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

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

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

NEHE NEHE

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

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

THE RISING SUN

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

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

Garnish with a sprig of mint.

Happy New Year and Okole Maluna!

Sugarcane bar

 

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MxMo XLII: Dizzy Dairy

mxmologo

Time again! This months MxMo is hosted by eGullet Society – thanks very much for hosting! Here is the announcement:

This month, fellow Society members, we are the hosts for a Mixology Monday on the theme of dizzy dairy. Any drink using a dairy product is fair game: milk, cream, eggs, butter, cheese, yogurt, curds, you name it. Given the importance of dairy products in drinks dating back centuries, there are lots of opportunities for digging through vintage receipts for a taste of the past, and as always innovation is highly encouraged.

This really gives room for a lot to play with and i`m a lover of egg whites in cocktails, but i suspect many will use that so therefore i have chosen another route – butter. In the form of honey-cream-mix which is equal parts honey, sugar and butter, no cream even though the name suggests that. As one may guess, the honey-cream-mix is a part of the tiki realm of cocktail mixing. The most well known is honey-mix which is equal parts honey and water. A similar mix is used in Pearl Diver`s Punch.

When using honey-cream-mix its necessary to keep it just above room temp before you mix it because of the butter solids. The preferred way to mix it is with a blender saving ice for last and blend at high speed no more than 20 sek. Then strain through a fine wire mesh sieve and serve immediately.

SMOKY PINEAPPLE

smoky-pineapple-delight

1 pineapple, hollowed
5-6 chunks of fresh pineapple
2 oz tequila reposado
0.5 oz Crema de mezcal (Del Maguey)
1 oz honey-cream-mix
¼  oz orgeat
Ting to top

Hollow out a whole pineapple to make a drink vessel, the easiest way is to use a pineapple corer. Preferably use a pineapple thats is newly matured, they are less sweet. To easily take out the core in the middle, cut a bit with a small knife and/or twist it. Then take 1-2 slices and cut out chunks. If you dont have a fresh pineapple, don`t use canned juice…rather use a cartoned juice.

Add all ingredients to a blender saving ice for last and blend at high speeed for exactly 20 sek. Then strain through a fine wire mesh sieve into the pineapple filled with crushed ice. top with Ting and serve immediately.

Garnish a pineapple leaf and mezcal soaked cherry.

HONEY CREAM MIX

Take equal parts liquid honey, sugar and butter and heat it and stir to make a sauce.

smoky-pineapple-delight-close

 

Sugarcane bar

 

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J WRAY & TING ! and a Pineapple Delight…

TING AND JWRAY ARE MADE FOR EACH OTHER..

There are a few things that just seems to be made for each other, like JW&N Jamaican overproof rum and the likewise Jamaican grapefruit beverage called TING! Just pour some ice, fresh lime juice and Ting in a glass and top with JWray…i mean can it get much better?

Ting was first created by Guinness of Jamaica, later acquired by D & G (Desnoes & Geddes) brewers of Red Stripe Beer. It contains a small amount of sediment consisting of grapefruit juice pulp. A relative newcomer to the citrus clan, the Jamaican grapefruit was originally believed to be a spontaneous sport of the pomelo.

James MacFayden, in his Flora of Jamaica in 1837  separated the Jamaican grapefruit from the pomelo, giving the Jamaican grapefruit the botanical name, Citrus paradisi Macf. About 1948, citrus specialists began to suggest that the Jamaican grapefruit was not a sport of the pomelo but an accidental hybrid between the pomelo and the orange.

The botanical name has been altered to reflect this view, and the Jamaican grapefruit is now generally accepted as Citrus X paradisi. The Jamaican grapefruit was first described in 1750 by Griffith Hughes who called the Jamaican grapefruit the “forbidden Jamaican grapefruit” of Barbados.

In Hortus Jamaicensis, it mentions the “Jamaican grapefruit” as a variety of the shaddock, (old name of the “pomelo” (Citrus maxima – which the now defunct “Forbidden fruits liqueur” was made of ) but not as large; and as forbidden Jamaican grapefruit – a variety of the shaddock – but the Jamaican grapefruit is much smaller, having a thin, tough, smooth, pale yellow rind.

Another wonderful drink that contains both Ting and JWray is a drink that i call Pineapple Delight. Its my take of the Mango-Pineapple Float. Its fresh muddled pineapple, honey cream mix , fresh lime juice, orgeat, JW&N overproof rum, dash of grapefruit bitters and rhum agricole topped with Ting.

PINEAPPLE DELIGHT

1 cored pineapple. In mixing glass add:

A few large chunks of pineapple – muddled

2 juiced limes

1 barspoon orgeat

1.5 oz Rhum Agricole Blanc 100 proof

2 tblsp fresh honey cream-mix* with a splash JWray overproof rum

Dash of grapefruit bitters

Shake hard and fast, strain and serve in the pineapple with crushed ice Top with Ting. Garnish with 2 pineapple leaves and a piece of pineapple. Believe me..this drink is worth the effort..

HONEY CREAM MIX

Equal parts Sugar, butter and liquid honey

Add to pot, heat and stir until it gets creamy. You want a smooth creamy sauce. Keep a bit above room temp. The problem with honey cream mix is the milk solids from the butter that forms when the mix gets chilled. It may help to use clarified butter or to dry shake first (without ice) before shake over ice.

After discussing with friends who cannot find the JWray rum i also made another version using Lemon Hart 151 Demerara instead of the JWray. Tasty too.

Nothing made with Ting can go wrong – Ting is the universal cocktail redeemer!