Tales of the Cocktail 2012 – Tiki Host to the Stars Stephen Crane

Steve Crane´s Luau Scorpion – Photo courtesy Matt Marchese aka mr Bali Hai 

It´s soon time for the 10 year anniversary of the Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans and here´s the first peek at some of the boozy seminars…

The two great fathers of the Tiki craze – we know who they were – Don the Beachcomber and Trader Vic. But how many knows anything about the third man – Stephen Crane?

Joseph Stephen Crane – Steve to his friends, and “High Talking Chief Stefooma” to all his customers at The Luau in Beverly Hills.

Crane opened his first restaurant in the late 1940s, and he also married Hollywood star actress Lana Turner – but he cemented his place in history with the 1953 opening of The Luau on Rodeo Drive and at which he created new innovative cocktails and took the food, drinks and decor to another level never seen before – the faux tiki/polynesian concept at it´s best.

The Luau became the destination for Hollywood celebrities and was the start of a chain of successful restaurants nationwide.

Join Smuggler’s Cove owner Martin Cate for a rare look back into the amazing world of Steven Crane.

Discover his talent for hospitality, mixology, and business through rarely seen images and artifacts and new interviews with his (and Lana Turner’s) only child, Cheryl Crane.

Enjoy tastes of The Luau’s famous exotic cocktails while discovering a story so amazing, it could only have happened in Hollywood.”

Only at the Tales of the cocktail! –  if you can – come join us! The seminar is hosted by Martin Cate and sponsored by Appleton Rum.

Location – Fleur de Lis Room, Royal Sonesta – New Orleans – 1:00pm — 2:30pm – wednesday july 25th.

See you there!

PLANTATION RUM ORIGINAL DARK OVERPROOF

Now this is really interesting – here is one more producer creating rum especially designed for today’s exotic and tiki cocktails. To me that is a proof that the tiki drink trend is here in full force but not just as a trend, i believe it´s here to stay – that the tiki drinks finally have gotten their recognition and place in the cocktail world.

They have been here for long i know but after they were abandoned and eventually replaced by overly sweet slushy concoctions not worthy the name “tiki drink” the so called faux tropical, exotic or tiki drinks have been very slowly coming back – and finally is today really getting more and more recognition everywhere.

To quote Paul Clarke over at Cocktail Chronicles:

The thing I like about many tiki drinks–is the kind of baroque complexity in the glass. Ideas of mixological structure and balance are thrown completely aside in many of these drinks, but if you keep a close eye on the proportions in your mix–you can create something that’s pleasantly unexpected.

And now we get rums especially designed for them! The next such rum i have on hand for review is Plantation rum original overproof made by the house of Cognac Ferrand.

I first tried this rum (yeah this one too!) at the UK rumfest or more specifically in the RumFrat House which is the HQ for the Rum XP folks. I really liked its rich deep taste and that little taste i got there did really spark my curiosity concerning this rum and i`ve been very eager to get going mixing with it.

This rum is like i said, created by the esteemed Cognac Ferrand estate, the birthplace of artisanal spirits owned by Alexandre Gabriel. Plantation Original Dark Overproof is bottled at 73% alcohol by volume making it 146 proof and is created in Trinidad. It is a stronger, bolder and more flavorful version of Plantation Original Dark Rum which is a blend of Trinidad dark rums aged in young bourbon casks.

Plantation Original Dark Overproof  is available both in the US and Europe – thanks for that! In the US it will retail for $29.99 for a 1-liter bottle and is available nationwide. In Europe you can get it from Drinkology and The Whiskey Exchange.

It joins the Plantation Rum portfolio as a unique addition for two reasons: 1) It is the only overproof rum in the collection and 2) It is the only rum that is not double aged, Ferrand’s proprietary rum finishing process which they are alone in using.

The double aging process is where the rums are distilled and aged in their country of origin and then shipped to the Ferrand estate in Cognac, France where they are perfected and aged for several more months in small, used French oak barrels. The reason Original Dark Overproof is not double aged is that at the delicate changes imparted by the double-aging technique would be lost on a rum that is such high proof.

So how does it smell and taste like?

Nose – I can feel sweet sugarcane, some wood, banana peels and spice. Especially the banana peels are present but not overpowering, it gets me to think about those exotic banana food wraps… The nose is very refined and so delightful i could sit and sniff all day..

Palate – Toasted and dried tropical fruits, strong but not unpleasant alcohol burn, wood, molasses and tropical dried fruit.

The sum of it – I`d say it´s a very pleasant strong, complex and fruity rum that is fantastic to mix exotic drinks with but i also do believe it would make a stunning daiquiri paired with some other rum or Plantation Original Dark.

I decided to make a few of Martin Cate´s drinks with it since i`m a big fan of his flavorful and inventive rum cocktails. So here we go – starting with a favorite:

DEAD RECKONING (Martin Cate, Smuggler’s Cove, San Francisco)

0.5 oz Plantation Original Dark Overproof

1.5 oz Plantation Original Dark

0.5 oz Navan Vanilla Liqueur

0.5 oz Maple Syrup

0.5  oz Tawny Port (Sandeman)

1 oz Lemon Juice

1 oz Pineapple Juice

1 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a tall glass or tiki mug filled with cracked ice. Top with 1 oz of soda

Garnish with a fresh and spanked mint sprig, pineapple leaves and lemon peel.

Tasty as always, i choosed to go Plantation all the way instead of using 1 oz of another type of rum but you can always experiment! This is one of Martin`s legendary drinks. He is a drink-genious did i tell you that?

TRINIDAD DRY FLOAT (This is the demerara dry float with Plantation overproof…name courtesy Martin Cate)

2 1/2 oz fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 oz passion fruit syrup

1/4 oz sugar syrup

1 oz  Plantation Original Overproof Rum

1/4 ounce 151 Demerara rum to float

1/4 ounce Maraschino

Shake everything except the 151 rum with ice, strain into double old-fashioned glass filled with crushed ice, and carefully float the 151. Do not stir.

This version of the Demerara Dry Float is a killer cocktail! – a dangerous drink… so tasty and so strong since it contains no less than two overproof rums…so be careful. I really enjoyed this one.

TRINIDAD HOOK (Martin Cate, Smuggler’s Cove, San Francisco)

1 oz Plantation Trinidad Overproof

1 oz Plantation Original Dark

1 oz passion-honey mix

.5 oz – .75 oz fresh squeezed lime juice (to taste)

2 dashes Angostura bitters

Combine all in an ice-filled cocktail shaker; shake and double strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lime peel spiral.

Passion-honey mix:

Gently heat honey until liquid and whisk in an equal amount of pure unsweetened passion fruit nectar. Let cool and refrigerate.

I made my passion-honey mix with homemade passionfruit syrup and honey instead since i can´t find any passionfruit nectar. It worked like a charm, very tasty. If you need a recipe for passionfruit syrup it´s here – or go get B.G Reynold´s.

This is a strong and very yummy daquiri-ish cocktail that went down waaaay to easily….very tasty!

So what`s next? there´s a whole parade of strong tiki drinks to use this rum in, Jeff “Beachbum” Berry mentioned the Zombie….but be careful with overproof rums, too much will give you a headache, just right is the way to go.

For more information about Cognac Ferrand, visit www.cognacferrand.com or www.plantationrum.com or www.facebook.com/PlantationRum

Sugarcane bar

 

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Tiki Drink Master Martin Cate hits Stockholm

To my joy our good friend and Exotic/Tiki drinks master Martin Cate – owner of Smuggler´s Cove in San Francisco came all the way to Stockholm to pamper us with tasty exotic cocktails.

He spent two days talking about and mixing up tiki drinks on the roof terrace at 7 på Sjöfart which is an awesome location for this type of thing overlooking the water, the boats and the city while the summer sun slowly goes down.

It was fun, interesting, tasty, yummy, rummy and hands down delicious!

Martin also spoke about the virtues of the blender which was used in the golden tiki era and which, failed in popularity is making a come back among tiki drink mixers as it seems to me.

Also at the Tales this summer during the Mai Tai PaternityTest session with Jeff Berry, Ian “Rum ambassador” Burrell and Steve Remsberg the blender was discussed and Steve had brought his own very neat portable blender.

The blender does 3 things at the same time apart from the obvious, it chills, dillutes and airs the drinks in a blink. And especially when it comes to tiki drinks i think the blender is a really great tool because it´s also unmatched when it comes to blend heavier things like honey-cream-mix that contains butter for example.

It also gives a pretty yummy foam as well and at least for me when i see that foam spilling over i drool and get THIRSTY!

Some of the drinks i had was demerara Dry Float, Jet Pilot and Dead Reckoning, all fantastic exotic cocktails – well proven since a long time. I also had a very tasty Corn`n Oil.

Here´s the recipes for these if you wanna make them:

DEAD RECKONING (created by Martin Cate – from Remixed)

2 oz     Cockspur 12 yo or Mount Gay Extra Old Rum
1/2 oz     Navan Vanilla Liqueur – or other good quality vanilla liqueur
1/2 oz     Tawny port
1/2 oz     Maple syrup (only grade A)
1 oz     Fresh lemon juice
1 oz     Unsweetened pineapple juice
1 oz     Club soda
1 dash     Angostura Bitters

Shake everything except soda with ice and strain into a tall glass with fresh ice. Stir in soda water. Garnish with a fresh mint sprig and a lemon spiral

DEMERARA DRY FLOAT (created by Don the beachcomber cirka 1941 – from Intoxica)

2 1/2 ounces fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 ounces passion fruit syrup
1/4 ounce sugar syrup*
1 ounce Demerara rum
1/4 ounce 151 Demerara rum
1/4 ounce Maraschino

Shake everything except the 151 rum with ice, strain into double old-fashioned glass filled with crushed ice, and carefully float the 151. Do not stir.

JET PILOT (Beverly Hills Restaurant cirka 1958 – from Sippin`Safari)

1/2oz lime juice
1/2oz grapefruit juice
1/2oz cinnamon syrup
1/2oz falernum
1oz dark Jamaican rum
3/4oz gold Puerto Rican rum
3/4oz 151-proof demerara 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 an old fashioned glass and garnish with something yummy.

These three cocktails are undeed yummy all of them.

To close this post, here`s  some pictures from the event that took place on sunday night. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Okole Maluna!

MARTIN CATE OPENS NEW RUM BAR

SMUGGLER’S COVE COMING FALL 2009 TO SAN FRANCISCO

smugglerscove

This is some really great news! now i have no excuses anymore for not visiting the US more often…actually i never made it to Forbidden Island yet – let´s hope i make it to Smuggler´s Cove soon enough!

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – This fall, San Francisco will become home to Smuggler’s Cove, a new bar designed to celebrate the incredible diversity and versatility of the world’s most exciting spirit: Rum.

Smuggler’s Cove offers a whole new approach to rum by featuring a vast array of traditional Caribbean drinks, classic libations of Prohibition-Era Havana, and famous exotic cocktails from legendary tiki bars- all under one roof.

In addition, Smuggler’s Cove will offer an unparalleled selection of rare and premium rums from around the world carefully selected for enjoying on their own or skillfully blended into cocktails.  For over a decade, owner and creator Martin Cate has been passionate about rum & tropical cocktails.

He was the co-creator, designer and chief mixologist for Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge in Alameda, CA.  He has judged in international rum competitions, met with over a dozen rum distillers in five countries, and lectured at Bourbon and Branch’s Beverage Academy, Tales of the Cocktail, and Tiki Oasis.  “I am very excited to help showcase this wonderfully varied spirit both on its own and in delicious cocktails.

A great rum drink can be simple and elegant, or complex and dynamic, but it must always be balanced, approachable, and just a pleasure to drink,” says Martin Cate. “Too often, people associate rum with syrupy and artificial drinks and we’re here to change that.”

Martin has traveled the world to learn the rich history and explore the traditional spices and regional ingredients of the world’s rum producing countries in order to feature them in the cocktails of Smuggler’s Cove.

As an award-winning mixologist and member of the United States Bartenders Guild for the last four years, Martin is committed to using only the best quality spirits, fresh-squeezed juices, and housemade ingredients.

But while Martin is serious about the drinks, he knows that people are looking for a memorable and fun experience as well.  “Smuggler’s Cove will be more than just a tiki bar, but it will feature the kind of dramatic, mysterious, and escapist atmosphere that makes a tiki bar so special- and makes rum taste better!”

Smuggler’s Cove will include waterfalls, vintage nautical décor and rum memorabilia, and relics from some of San Francisco’s most famous historic watering holes.

Smuggler’s Cove will open November 2009 in San Francisco, CA.

For more information, please visit http://www.smugglerscovesf.com/ and sign up on our mailing list to get all the latest news.

About Martin Cate: http://www.martincate.com/press.php

Contact Martin Cate at info@smugglerscovesf.com or 415-999-7929