It`s pandan time in my kitchen and this day I wanted something really tasty and refreshing in a summer-kinda-way to accompany my lunch with spicy chicken biryani. I was inspired by Emanuele Codispoti`s latest drink the Missionary`s Colada, that I also made and posted on this blog here. So I came up with this pandan flavored version of a Missionary`s Downfall – a very famous classic Tiki cocktail.
And it IS tasty!! incredibly refreshing, tangy, zesty and yummy, I wish I had made two…. but the recipe is there and now I want to share it with you my readers, so here it is. Pandan leaves is the leaves from a type of pandanus plant and is used extensively in Asian cuisine. These leaves are incredibly fragrant. Finding fresh pandan leaves can maybe be tricky in these times depending on where you live. Luckily for me Sweden has a lot of Thai shops and online too. Pandan leaves can also be frozen which is very useful. I have now both pandan and kaffir lime leaves in my freezer. The pandan syrup I made from fresh leaves though. It`s very easy, just make a simple syrup with a raw sugar and add some chopped pandan leaves into it and let it simmer for a minute. Then take it off the heat and let it sit for a while until you find the flavor and fragrance strong enough. I let mine sit for 30 minutes before straining and bottling.
1 oz/30 ml GunRoom 2Ports light rum
0.5 oz/15 ml Rhum JM XO
0.5 oz/15 ml RumFire overproof rum
1 oz/30 ml pandan syrup
0.5 oz/15 ml Alamea Peach Brandy Liqueur
0.5 oz/15 ml apricot cinnamon syrup
2 oz/60 ml fresh lime juice
2 oz/60 ml fresh pineapple chunks
10 mint leaves
1 cup/2.5 dl crushed ice
Pulse blend at high speed for 10 seconds. Pour into a cocktail coupe or snifter and garnish with pandan leaves and a pandan rose. (how to make those you can learn on Youtube) Sprinkle a little bit of cardamom on top.
Cut up a handful of ripe apricots with a strong orange/reddish color, a “handful” depends on size and type of apricot. But you should end up with about 2 dl of cut up apricot pieces. Crush 1 large Ceylon cinnamon stick (not cassia.) Make a 2:1 simple syrup with light muscovado sugar and water. Add the apricot pieces and the crushed cinnamon stick. Heat it up on medium heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved and mash the apricot pieces with a fork. Bring to a very quick boil, then immediately take it off the heat. Set aside and leave for a few hours. Strain and bottle.
It just happens to be the International Pina Colada day so who am I to say no to a lush Colada drink? I decided to make a slight twist of the iconic classic and without further ado here is the recipe:
Hawaiian Coffee Colada
15 ml/0.5 oz cream of Coconut
15 ml/0.5 oz roasted orgeat
15 ml/0.5 oz Alamea Hawaiian Coffee liqueur
45 ml/1.5 oz fresh lime juice
60 ml/2 oz fresh pineapple juice
45 ml/1.5 oz Rhum JM XO
45 ml/1.5 oz Dr Bird Jamaican rum
Flashblend for 5 seconds with 2.5 dl/ 1 cup crushed ice and pour into a frozen pineapple. Garnish with pineapple leaves.
Toast 60 ml/2 oz almond flakes in a dry pan or in the owen at 100C. Watch it carefully, and stir it a little because almond easily burn. But let them get some brown color. Crush them lightly and leave to cool on a plate.
Make a 2:1 simple syrup with light muscovado sugar and water. Add the toasted crushed almond flakes. Heat it up on medium heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved, let it simmer for a minute while stirring but do not boil. Set aside and leave for at least a few hours or overnight. Strain and bottle.
The Point G by Rhums de Cèd is a very special curiosity – it´s a rhum arrangè with Ananas Victoria (a special type of pineapple growing in la Rèunion island) that has been buried in a salt marsh for 2 months….
Yes you read that right, the bottles were buried in a salt marsh (marais salant) with seawater and clay in France for two entire months allowing the salt flavors to enter through the cork and thus give the rum inside a special flavor note. I especially like how there is still dried clay on the rum bottles!
I asked Cèd what the salt have done for the rum? he said the pineapple note is prolonged and salt helped approve its taste and smell with a little salty note. I have tried some of his other rhum arrangées and let me tell you he makes some quality stuff! (I earlier reviewed his Rhum Banane Cacao) he sure knows what he is doing.
“Point “G” is macerated with pineapple Victoria and was buried for 2 months in the salt marshes. It was covered with clay and then sea water. The result is quite surprising on the color and taste”
I also asked two rum cork makers and experts in London during the rumfest this past fall what their thoughts were about whether or not salt can actually enter through the cork into a bottle and affect the flavor of the rum and wooow did I get them to scratch their heads…I bet they never got such a question before… 🙂 Well, they had never heard of it before..but they did not deny it could happen.
In any case this rum does taste wonderful and I think it`s a VERY interesting experiment to say the least and btw who does this??
Gotta be a real rum geek right?
I just love it!
The nose of Point G is mature tropical pineapple paired with a musky earthy scent and in the mouth the pineapple flavor is of course dominant, paired with that earthy taste and then a tiny hint of something, could it be the salt? adding a bit of zing to the flavor.
The overall impression is a very tropical mellow flavor – soft, rich, full-flavored from ripeness and earth that is pleasantly agreeable.
The best way to enjoy a rhum arrangè in general is to drink it as it is with a little ice or without, but you can make cocktails with it too and since this rum is made with pineapple there´s a lot of drinks it can be used with. I would keep it simple though in order to not let these exquisite flavors get lost with too many other juices and stuff.
The Point G was an experiment and the limited amount of bottles are unfortunately long gone, but let`s hope he does this again in the future! but Cèd does indeed have some very good other rums, all excellent and made with real fresh, organic and seasonal fruit macerations – “rhum arrangè” – for sale on his web page and also in spirit shops in France.
He has rums such as Mangue-Passion, Ananas Victoria, Carambole-Passion, Banane-Cacao, Vanilla-Macadamia…(i`m drooling here 🙂 Another thing these rums can be used for is in desserts! i made baked papaya with vanilla, dark sugar and coconut milk “garnished” with the Banane-Cacao rhum…
So I keep it simple and serve this drink, and since the Point G is not available right now you may use his normal pineapple rhum arrangè which is made with the same ananas victoria and a hint of vanilla.
Mixed with fresh pomelo juice and lime plus a touch of dark sugarcane syrup and chilled with ice, the heavy earthiness is lifted up into a more fruity fresh character that would be very nice I imagine on a hot day on the beach.
Point G Rhum Punch
60 ml (2 oz) Point G or Rhum arrangè Ananas Victoria
30 ml ( 1 oz) Pomelo juice
15 ml (0.5 oz) fresh lime juice
15 ml (0.5 oz) dark sugarcane syrup (sucre de canne roux)
Don`t shake, just stir together like you would do a ti punch and add a chunky ice cube or two that doesn´t melt too fast.
Garnish with a slice of pomelo fruit.
This makes a very refreshing distinctively tropical drink to enjoy.
Isn`t it beautiful? (picture crèdit Cèdric Brement)
The Hawaiians call me hala-kahiki, meaning hala from a foreign land….. who am i?
The PINEAPPLE !!
The mighty pineapple is the topic for this months Mixology Monday hosted by Thiago of the BartendingNotes blog. I haven`t participated in the MxMo in a very long time and so it´s long due…but who can resist such a topic? i love pineapples!
Here´s what was said in the MxMo announcement: Let’s bring the king of fruits back! After being canned, mixed with all sorts of sugary liquids and blended into… some 80s dreadful cocktails, the pineapple needs more respect! Once a symbol of hospitality, the King of Fruits might be know misunderstood.
One of the greatest non-citrus souring agents, used for crazy garnish ideas, infusions, old gum syrup flavoring, the pineapple is a fruit to be reckoned.
Be in a tiki cocktail, an old school classic like the Algonquin, a crazy flavor pairing or just mixed in a delicious Verdita, get creative and make a cocktail using any part of this delicious, juicy fruit or share you favorite pineapple cocktail with us!
The pineapple is called the “King of Fruits” for a reason – there is NO other fruit that has become so famous as the pineapple, not even banana! there is even pineapple houses built! And it´s so incredibly versatile, you can do so much with it, in drinks and food in a million ways….use as serving bowl, lamp, it´s sung about, painted, photographed…and no wonder, the fruit is beautiful! and a fabulous cocktail ingredient, and that`s where i use it the most and i use it extensively.
Swizzle all ingredients and top with Sanpellegrino limonata (sub Schweppes lemon)
Garnish with two pineapple leaves and a cocktail cherry.
A robust and typical tiki swizzle!
1 oz Rhum JM agricole blanc
1 oz Lost Spirits Polynesian Style rum
0.75 oz fresh lime
0.5 oz sugarcane syrup
1 oz pineapple juice
dash Mozart Chocolate bitters
1 egg white
Shake hard to emulsify the egg white, preferably dry shake first, then strain into a glass filled with cracked ice and partly rimmed, (with brown sugar) and top with grated nutmeg and cinnamon powder and then garnish with a pineapple leaf and speared cocktail cherry.
This drink is strong since the Lost Spirits rum is overproof but it´s still like drinking rum flavored silk…
And here´s a bonus – the rum sauce for pineapple skewers – as simple as it´s delicious, just rum, honey and cinnamon!
Last year at the Tales i went to a pineapple seminar and learnt a lot about this fruit and at the Angostura Rum pool party they served this rum sauce in pineapples to dip pineapple skewers in, a recipe i took with me, very tasty.
Rum Sauce to dip pineapple skewers in
Fill a hollowed out pineapple fruit with rum, dissolved honey and cinnamon sticks. I first placed in a pan 4 oz aged rum (or rums) of choice, 2 roughly crushed Mexican cinnamon sticks (canela) and 2 tsp honey and slowly heated it up (carefully) just to dissolve the honey and let the cinnamon sticks start giving off their flavor.
Then leave to cool and sit for 15-30 min to let the flavors intensify. Then pour in the pineapple and dip pineapple skewers in the rum sauce, it´s delicious! and a perfect party or movie snack.
The limonata is one of my favorite soft drinks…
This awesome tiki mug is created by Scott Taylor who lives on Maui, Hawaii. if you want to see the awesome and very detailed mugs he makes you can go and check out his pictures on instagram ( type the name tikipop )
His shop “Beach Bumz” is one of the stops of Maui Tiki Tours owned by another great tiki mug artist – Rob Hawes – who`s Kala mug i featured in this earlier post. You find his pics on instagram too, (type tikirob)
First time i saw rhum arrangè being made by suspending the fruits above the rhum in large jars was when i saw a video from La Rèunion and i got quite curious. There were all kinds of fruits hanging there with all kinds of things (spices) sticking out of the fruits. I had known about rhum arrangè before but not being made that way. So i decided to try some day and now it´s the time.
The style is called in french – “ananas qui pleure” (the crying pineapple) since the pineapple is suspended in the jar above the rhum agricole as to not touch the rhum and thus avoiding any flavors from the skin to get into the rhum. This is typically done with citrus fruits which carries bitter flavors in their skin.
But also this kind of maceration above the rhum can be done with any fruits and in the French islands only the imagination is the limit, you see ALL kinds of things in intriguing jars…some you have NO idea what they are…
And there´s for example rhum arrangè with shrimp and snake…i`m actually wondering how it would taste with a crawfish rhum?
The one i`m experimenting with here has New Orleans community coffee pecan-praline coffee beans stuck into one side of the fruit and Tahitian vanilla beans in the other and the beans are cut in the ends so the juice from the pineapple can pass through like a “funnel” through the vanilla bean bringing some of the tiny vanilla seeds along down into the rhum.
And all the pineapple, vanilla-coffee goodness will slowly drop down to flavor the rhum…thus the name “ananas qui pleure…The whole thing will sit like that in the closed jar until the fall, at least 4 months.
I wrote a post about rhum arrangè before and i that post i included that video from the island of la Rèunion where there is a restaurant called Le Saint-Bernard that contains ONLY rhum arrangès (about 400 rhums) of all kinds of flavors made with fruits, roots, spices and God knows what…and many are suspended this way.
Unfortunately (very) the video i first saw is not there anymore but the article (in french) is. The place looks like a veritable laboratory of rhum arrangè, absolutely amazing and a place i`d love to visit.
In my earlier post i wrote about this method of hanging the fruit above the alcohol explaining it:
There´s two different ways of macerating, one is the traditional common way of submerging the fruits and spices into the rum. Then there´s another where you hang the fruits (usually citrus fruits) as they are or with things inserted into the fruits – like coffee beans and hung above the liquid.
The idea is that the aromatics and oils are derived from the citrus and spices without any bitterness from the pith and that´s the reason this method is usually used for citrus fruits.
This method is called D.S.M – or Delicious Scientific Magic!!
DSM – or diffusion – The alcohol, exerting a vapor pressure, will diffuse into the lemons saturating the lemon, thus the loss of alcohol in a closed system.
In turn, the lemon oil will also exert a vapor pressure; the lemon smell you get when you cut the skin. It will diffuse out of the lemon and saturate the alcohol.
In the Limoncello post they are talking about high proof or overproof spirits but the traditional rhum arrangè isn`t necessarily done with especially high proof rhums, i think the common proof is between 45-55%
Here´s one of the videos about the rhums arrangès at Le Saint-Bernard:
As you can see there´s absolutely no limit of what you can do with rhum arrangè…but what you need is a lot of patience because this ain`t no quick fix!
So here`s what i did to make this variation with pineapple, vanilla and coffee:
1 – Prepare everything you need, jar, rhum or rum, fruit (not too ripe), spices, a string to tie the fruit with. Cut the vanilla beans in half pieces and cut off the top ends. Make sure the jar and the string is clean and the fruit washed.
2 – Cut up the fruit to a size that fits the jar and discard the leaves, then cut small holes in the fruit and stick the coffee beans in one side and the vanilla beans in the other (the skin side) I had to cut up this pineapple because it was too big for the jar but one can also use whole fruits with this method.
3 – Add the rhum to the jar, then the sugarcane syrup (i took one bottle (75 cl rhum) and add 2-3 tsp of sugarcane syrup. (or 15 cl/o.5 oz)
4 – Suspend the fruit to the cover of the jar with strings so that the fruit do not touch the rum and close the jar good and SEAL it hermetically with tape and leave to macerate for a minimum of 4 months ( it can go 6 months without problem or longer, there are rhum arrangès that have been sitting 3-4 years…)
But i think 4-6 month is good for this one. I`m planning to open the jar in the fall and see what i got – exciting…
So now i have got to try out two very nice rhum arrangèes made by Cèdric Brement and Benoit Bail, and since i wrote my reviews of Benoit´s exotic Zwazo ananas-vanille rhum arrangè and Cèd`s award winning Banane-Cacao, i feel i want to make more drinks with them and see what`s good – starting with the tropical Zwazo.
Even though the traditional way is mostly to drink these rhums neat since they contain so much flavor of their own, they are also used to make tropical punch style cocktails.
I don`t think they have been used very much in tiki style drinks….or have they? in any case it doesn`t hurt if i try right? i`m curious to see how they mix with other rums.
Don the Beachcomber was a master of creating balance with many exotic ingredients – and he was especially skillful when it came to the art of blending rums and so was the original Mai-Kai mixologist Mariano Licudine. One person today that i come to think about getting close in that direction is Martin Cate. (Smuggler´s Cove)
Starting with Zwazo ananas-vanille i needed to find drinks that had ingredients that would harmonize with the pineapple and agricole flavors of the rhum and then switch out the rums used in those drinks for the Zwazo and some other rums that i figured would go well with it.
So i dived into the Bum`s new book the Potions…of the Caribbean for inspiration…and i sure found a lot.The book is filled with the one mouth watering drink after another (apart from all the interesting things there is to read in it) and the first drink that i decided to experiment with was the Siboney, which is a drink by Trader Vic circa 1950`s.
It`s basically a twist on the daiquiri with pineapple juice added and lemon instead of lime plus passionfruit syrup, mixed with Jamaican dark rum (but only 1 oz) I decided to simply just add 1 oz of Zwazo to give the drink more tropical depth.
The result was absolutely delicious! since the recipe called for dark Jamaican rum i took my Denizen Merchant`s Reserve which is a blend of plummer style pot still Jamaican rum and Rhum Grande Arome de la Martinique.
Now Rhum Grande Arome de la Martinique is not rhum agricole even if the name sounds like it – instead it´s molasses based rum.
The reason why it´s in the blend of the Denizen Merchant`s Reserve is that when they checked in with rum cocktail historians during the development process – they were told that Trader Vic likely blended this type of rum from Martinique with the 17 year Wray and Nephew in his original Mai Tai formula because it was cheapest rum available from Martinique at the time.
Note, that it says “likely” so there´s no proof whether Vic used molasses based Martinique rum or rhum agricole in his blend with Jamaican rum in his Mai Tai`s when the 17 year Wray and Nephew rum was finished.
So here we got a rum that contains pot still Jamaican rum and a molasses based Martinique rhum, and then Zwazo – a rhum arrangè with pineapple and vanilla macerated in a rum base of 3 different rums from Martinique Trinidad and Guyana.
And don`t forget the overproof Polynesian Inspired float…
It`s a lot of rums going on here…but to my joy the drink tasted fantastic, cool and refreshing yet with a strong rum bite. Deep flavor of mature tropical fruits, and then something “earthy”, maybe from the float of the Polynesian Inspired rum…I like the different layers in a tropical cocktail.
Siboney – Swazo Style
1 oz dark Jamaican Rum
1 oz Zwazo
0.5 oz fresh lemon juice
0.5 oz unsweetened pineapple juice
0.5 oz passionfruit syrup
Float of Jamaican style overproof dark rum
Shake well with ice cubes and strain into a chilled cocktail glass rimmed with sugar. (if you like)
Now unfortunately, for the time being, Zwazo is only sold in Europe, locally in Luxembourg and then in Paris at Christian de Montaguère and it´s a small batch seasonal product – so if you cannot find it, my best advice would be to either try to find a pineapple-vanilla rhum arrangè from one of the French islands, such as Martinique (or a pineapple rhum arrangè paired with vanilla syrup) or make your own. (google how to make rhum arrangè, and there´s a great french site with a forum containing tons of recipes here)
Likewise when it comes to the Lost Spirits rums, they are only sold in the US but not Europe or elsewhere…so i would sub them with Smith and Cross mixed with Lemon Hart 151, to get that strong punchy flavor – even though the flavor will not be the same, but since Smith and Cross mixed with LH 151 is a great combo i believe it will still taste fantastic!
Next cocktail to play with was the Island of Martinique Cocktail, which is a Don Beach drink circa 1948. This drink is actually a tikified ti-punch…
It was described in Beachcomber´s 1948 menu as a drink with “Lusty Martinique rums aged in casks for 120 moons. Subtly combined with falernum, wild honey, Angostura bitters and Maui mountain limes”
How does that sound?? mouthwatering to me…
The original recipe which is found in the book Potions of the Caribbean was handed to the Bum by ex-Beachcomber bartender Tony Ramos.
Island of Martinique Cocktail – with a Pineapple Twist
1 oz rhum agricole vieux
1 oz Zwazo
0.5 oz fresh lime juice
0.5 oz falernum
0.25 oz honey-mix (equal parts honey and water, gently heat it up so the honey dissolves in the water, then cool to room temp)
Dash Angostura bitters
A handful (3 oz) crushed ice
Float Lost Spirits Navy Style Rum on top (or Lemon Hart 151)
Blend at high speed in a blender for 5 seconds, then strain into
a hollowed out pineapple and float the Navy style rum on top.
The drink tasted fruity and spicy, the flavor of fully matured tropical fruit from Zwazo came through and this drink was not as fruity and earthy as the first one but more mellow and spicy, with a kick from the float.
Now let`s dive deeper into this amazing book…
On page 164 i found the Voodoo Grog, a concoction created by Trader Vic, circa mid 1950`s. A drink containing equal parts lime, grapefruit and pimento.
First time i made it i was a bit overwhelmed by the pimento/allspice flavor so i took the Pimento dram down from 0.75 oz to 0.5 and it was better for my palate, but if you like a strong allspice flavor the 0.75 will be good.
Also it matters what brand of pimento dram/allspice dram you are using, the best i think are either homemade or St Elisabeth`s or Bitter Truth. For the moment i have St Elisabeth.
1 oz Denizen Merchant`s Reserve Rum
1 oz Swazo
0.75 oz fresh lime juice
0.75 oz grapefruit juice (white)
0.75 oz honey
0.5 oz passion fruit syrup
1 egg white
1 cup (8 oz) Crushed ice
Dissolve honey in lime juice and place this mixture plus the rest of ingredients except for nutmeg in a blender and blend for 20 seconds. Pour unstrained into a large snifter or tiki mug.
Dust with freshly ground nutmeg and garnish with mint and pineapple. (I also wrapped a pandan leaf around the glass)
Last cocktail is the quintessential rhum agricole drink…a ti-punch but with aged rhum agricole and therefore it´s called a punch vieux.
Petit Punch Vieux
1 oz Zwazo
1 oz rhum agricole vieux
0.5 oz sirop de canne
One half of a fresh lime
Cut the lime half in two and squeeze both edges into an old fashioned glass. Drop in the first spent wedge in the glass, then rub the rim of the glass with the other and then discard the second wedge. Add sirop, rums and ice and stir to chill. I also did rim the glass with brown sugar and added a sugarcane stick and roughly cut lime peel as garnish.
Rimming the glass with sugar and adding a lime peel is not traditional punch vieux but this is all about experiments!
Sirop de Canne is a thick, dark syrup made from a slow reduction of fresh sugar cane juice. Exported by brands such as Clèment, Dubois, Depaz, Dillon and La Mauny.
You can make a similar syrup by making a rich syrup (2:1 ratio sugar to water) with dark raw sugar.
Punch Vieux is always a nice treat as is the regular Ti-Punch…
Zwazo definitely mixes well in this style of tropical drinks, it gives a deep pineapple/tropical fruit flavor into the drinks which for tiki drinks fits so well into the flavor profile of a lot of them.
The aim with this particular post is to show that you can do a lot with rhum arrangè that goes beyond the traditional use…