TOTC 2014 – Tastings – Plantation Pineapple Rum, Appleton Rum Brunch and Bulleit New Fashioned!

Plantation Pineapple Rum L pic2

Pineapple Rum Stiggin’s Fancy – Picture Laura Godel

Plantation Rum in Shades of Dark, White and Pineapple!

I was waiting with great excitement for the tasting and launch of the Pineapple Rum Stiggin’s Fancy by Plantation Rum – which I need to make it clear right away, is NOT for sale…..because this rum was an experiment by Alexandre Gabriel and David Wondrich….to be launched and tasted at the Tales of the Cocktail….

Well….I was not disappointed, the rum was delicious! with a deep well matured and slightly smoky pineapple flavor in the background of Plantation rums original dark rum. And the bottle is beautiful!! I asked Alexandre what made the flavor so deep and he told me it”s coming from that the pineapple skin has been distilled – together with pineapple fruit, which also has been macerated.

For being just an experiment I think the outcome was really delicious and very interesting!

Plantation Pineapple tasting queue2

The queue….a nightmare for anyone with a hangover….luckily I was not…and don’t mind all the yellow hats….it’s a Tales thing….

Yep the queue to the tasting room was pure madness and the warm air stood still, but eventually we got in there….and deliciousness awaited…

Plantation pineapple tasting 2

Plantation rums, pineapple, white and dark as shots and in daiquiri cocktails…

Plantation Pineapple Rocky

Here served by Rocky – appropriately painted….I don’t know how he does it, but Rocky really is everywhere…

Plantation pineapple collage

Yours truly with pineapple rum in hand, Alexandre Gabriel – Cognac Ferrand proprietor and spirits mastermind – and more delicious pineapple rum!

Plantation pineapple DTO collage

The DTO – Daiquiri Time Out coin, a treasure/token that was handed out, and which a certain man did drop inside a cab and had the entire cab floor torn up to find it…wherewith the cab driver in utter amazement said that this gotta be a very valuable coin…..

But there’s more to the coin than just a token for the fun of it, according to what I’ve heard, navy officers carried a special coin. When drinking, everyone showed their crew coin. If one person did not have their coin, they had to buy a round of drinks. This gave value to the coin and the tradition.

Now I have one wish….that plantation rum makes more of this fine pineapple rum….I could make use of a bottle…launching a delicious rum like this only for the Tales is really a teaser…!

The Appleton Estate Jamaican Bartender’s Brunch – Rum, Reggae, Food, Sun and Fun!

Appleton brunch pool pic2

Oh my….this was a nice event! a yellow school bus fetching us up outside of Monteleone and serving cocktails on the way to the brunch filled with rum, reggae, Jamaican foods like jerked chicken, lots of fresh fruits and fresh cocktails, Jamaican fizzes, fixes & swizzles made with island flavors and fresh cane juice pressed on site.

And of course one of my favorite rums was there – the JWray overproof – paired with Sanpellegrino!! (to sub Ting) plus Aperol…all by the pool at the Country Club. Very very nice on a hot sunny summer day down here in New Orleans.

Appleton brunch 5 pic 2

Rum, fruits and fun in the sun!

Appleton Brunch collage 1

Of course some of the usual shady rum suspects were there….The first refreshment was freshly pressed sugarcane juice before continuing to the bar for rum punches and JWray….Appleton also treated us with large red Appleton bath towels and flip flops 🙂

Appleton Brunch collage 3

Well….I wouldn’t mind repeating this….that’s for sure. Just look at that pineapple!

Appleton Brunch collage 2

Or how about this….I dunno….can it get any better??

Appleton Brunch Collage

Jerked chicken, Coladas and sugarcane juice!

Appleton Brunch collage 4

And time for a JWray shot from the melon….Appleton Rum baby! Please come back next year….

And now to something totally different…..

Ruth’s Chris & Bulleit New Fashioned 1965-Style Luncheon

Bulleit New Fashioned 2 small pic

Bulleit Distilling Co needs no presentation….and this year they had a similar brunch as they did last year which then, was mint julep themed and absolutely fabulous! This years theme was the New Fashioned, a riff on the Old Fashioned…with Bulleit rye, Cherry Heering, orange rind, Italian Amarena cherry, Fee Brother’s black walnut and orange bitters.

The brunch was of course delicious…catered by Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse and if you haven’t tried their fantastic food it’s time you do if you have a chance. And the New Fashioned cocktail which will be served at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse was very tasty and the garnish was so beautiful with a shiny black “filthy Amarena cherry” from Filthy Food Premium Drink Garnish, speared on to a dehydrated orange slice.

The wild Amarena cherries are slow cooked in copper pots to produce a wonderful all natural, dark red cherry with a sweet front and tart finish.

Bulleit New Fashioned 1

Hollis Bulleit, Helen Mackey, VP of Menu Strategy & Innovation for Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Tom Bulleit, founder of Bulleit Distilling Company presenting the event and their companies, while the crowd enjoyed an excellent luncheon.

Bulleit New Fashioned 3 food

The Crawfish Monica that was served was fantastic! and everything else too!

Bulleit New Fashioned ingredients2

The ingredients to make the New Fashioned….the only thing not in the picture is the jar of “Filthy Amarena Cherries”.

Bulleit 2

I get thirsty when I see this drink in the picture….and the cocktail WAS good! for people in the US – you can join Ruth” s Chris Steakhouse for a nationwide 5-course handcrafted cocktail dinner with the same menu across the US, participating restaurants and pricing vary, see more at Chris Ruth’s Steakhouse website.

Pictures Laura Godel

Next up….more tastings, parties, bars and restaurants…the last picture parade from the tales of the Cocktail 2014!

 

RUM – A Global History

Welcome to all those interested in the lore of Rum – a beverage with a secret and fascinating history! Rum has been a beverage, a currency and an element of ritual, a symbol of debauchery among Temperance crusaders and of healthy moderation in the British Navy.

Do you love rum? if you do here is a book for you – RUM – A Global History – by Richard Foss who also has a website called rumhistory.com – which expands on the information and ideas that are in the book but for various reason were not included in it – plus as he says – provide a place to stretch out and discuss the more controversial aspects of rum history.

I got a preview of the book and i must say it really is interesting reading and a thorough work on all aspects of rum and rum history.

Here`s the book description:

The enjoyment of rum spread far beyond the scallywags of the Caribbean—Charles Dickens savored it in punch, Thomas Jefferson mixed it into omelets, Queen Victoria sipped it in navy grog, and the Kamehameha Kings of Hawaii drank it straight up.

In Rum, Richard Foss tells the colorful, secret history of a spirit that not only helped spark the American Revolution but was even used as currency in Australia. This book chronicles the five-hundred-year evolution of rum from a raw spirit concocted for slaves to a beverage savored by connoisseurs.

Charting the drink’s history, Foss shows how rum left its mark on religious rituals—it remains a sacramental offering among voodoo worshippers—and became part of popular songs and other cultural landmarks.

He also includes recipes for sweet and savory rum dishes and obscure drinks, as well as illustrations of rum memorabilia from its earliest days to the tiki craze of the 1950s. Fast-paced and well written, Rum will delight any fan of Mojitos and Mai Tais.

The book goes quite deeply into what rum is and it´s colorful and interesting history which is as colorful as you can wish with everything from rum smuggling and the triangle trade to rum runners and tik bars.

I have picked one drink from the book to mix up too – it´s a famous colonial rum punch dating back to the 1780s.

Martha Washington’s Rum Punch

  • 3 oz. white rum
  • 3 oz. dark rum
  • 3 oz. orange curacao
  • 4 oz. simple syrup
  • 4 oz. lemon juice
  • 4 oz. fresh orange juice
  • 3 lemons, quartered
  • 1 orange, quartered
  • 1/2 tsp. grated nutmeg
  • 3 cinnamon sticks (broken)
  • 6 cloves
  • 12 oz. boiling water

In a container, mash the orange and lemon pieces, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and nutmeg. Add the syrup, lemon and orange juice. Pour the boiling water over the mixture.

Let cool for several minutes before added the white rum, dark rum, and orange curacao. Strain well into a pitcher or punch bowl, and serve over ice in goblets.

Decorate with wheels of lemon and orange, and dust with a little nutmeg and cinnamon. Tasty, relaxing and refreshing! The book RUM – A Global History can be purchased here.

 

Sugarcane bar

 

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Sugarcane!

SUGAR…

I love sugarcane and sugars and especially i like flavorful unrefined raw cane sugar. My favorite sugars are many…muscovado, raw sugar, demerara, molasses. I´m a syrup geek too so i use a lot of different sugars and it can be a bit confusing with all these sugars, which one is what and which are best?

The most common is of course the ordinary refined white sugar, but as all refined things its stripped from flavorful components. Its not the sugar i prefer but its still useful for simple syrups.

I think there´s a type of sugar for different purposes and in cocktails i prefer dark sugars for drinks with dark base spirits, like dark rum, and white or golden sugars for light drinks. Then fine sugars are good for muddling.

Same with syrups, dark sugar goes with “dark” ingredients like Tahitian vanilla for example and light sugars go for say a mango syrup. When i make my vanilla sugar i mix two sugar types, a light and a dark muscovado which are mixed with the seeds and the beans from Tahitian vanilla.

Dark muscovado has a slight licorice flavor and a very rounded full taste and light muscovado is more toffee-like.

I buy Tate&Lyle or Billington`s which are very similar, sometimes i wonder if its even from the same source. Both are UK based.

 

From upper left and clockwise is:

1) Oxfam bio cane sugar from Paraguay, 2) Billingtons Fairtrade unrefined demerara (from Malawi), 3) Billingtons unrefined cane sugar, 4) Billingtons molasses, 5) Billingtons light muscovado 6) Billington´s dark muscovado (the rest of Billingtons are produced in Mauritius)

This is how i find these sugars:

1) Oxfam bio cane sugar: Very fine textured, the color is not white but has a yellowish tint. The flavor is very much like Billingtons unrefined cane sugar #3

2) Billingtons unrefined demerara: is much coarser and typically one of those “home baking” sugars.

3) Billingtons unrefined cane sugar: Is a golden glistening and very pleasant allround sugar, gritty. Sweet and flavorful taste, i like this one in tea and coffee

4) Billingtons molasses, very dark, it forms clumps and is extremely flavorful and might be used where it will not overpower other flavors.

5) Billingtons light muscovado: The most tasty of all these sugars in my opinion, the texture is smooth and its really yummy with toffee flavors. A perfect allround sugar.

6) Billingtons dark muscovado: Same flavor as the light but with a lot more “dark” flavors and a hint of liqorice. Its like the molasses, best used with things suited for these strong flavors.

Many of these sugars, especially the muscovados get hard when exposed to air and needs to be softened again, it might work by placing a warm wet towel over the jar for a while. Best way is to keep the lid tight on.

MUSCOVADO

Muscovado is a type of unrefined brown sugar with a strong molasses flavour. It is very dark brown, and slightly stickier and coarser than most brown sugars.

Unlike most other brown sugars, which are made by adding molasses to refined white sugar, muscovado takes its flavor and color from its source, sugarcane juice when processors of Muscovado boil down cane-sugar juice to make the sugar. It offers good resistance to high temperatures and has a reasonably long shelf life.

MOLASSES

Molasses is a byproduct of the sugar making process. Its dark and very flavorful. Most rum made from molasses is made from imported molasses. Raw sugar is covered by a thin film of molasses, which is a dark thick syrup containing sugar, water, plant material, minerals, and other non-sugars. The layer of molasses is removed by dissolving the sugar and separating in centrifuges and carbon filtering.

DEMERARA

Demerara has the natural brown color of cane sugar and it takes its name from the Demerara colony in Guyana, which was the original source of this type of sugar, but is produced today mainly in Mauritius.

For some reason the name demerara is still used even though produced so far away from Guyana. My package from Billington`s fairtrade natural demerara is actually produced in Malawi..

TURBINADO AND SUCANAT

Turbinado sugar, also known as turbinated sugar, is a type of sugar cane extract. It is made by steaming unrefined raw sugar. Turbinado sugar is similar in appearance to brown sugar but paler. A popular brand name is Sugar in the Raw.

Sucanat is sometimes confused with Turbinado – but they are fundamentally different. Turbinado sugar contains only a trace amount of its original molasses content, making it more or less like refined sugar except with a golden color and a hint of molasses flavor. Sucanat, on the other hand, retains its full molasses content and flavor, and its pure dried cane juice.

Turbinado is more crystalline and clear in its form compared to the grainy Sucanat. Unfortunately there are lot of bar syrups which are made from high fructose corn syrup which is very unhealthy and does not carry the same flavor as natural sugar.

In all fruits and vegetables we can find sugar (sucrose) which is a natural carbohydrate. Sugarcane contains 12-14% sucrose and are harvested after 9-12 months growth.

PETIT CANNE

Petit Canne sugarcane syrup is a interesting syrup as its made by dissolving raw Martinique sugar cane sugar in hot water to make a saturated syrup retaining the flavor of the raw sugar.

SPICY SUGARCANE GIRL

This cocktail brings together Jamaican and Guyanese dark rums, cane sugars, fresh blood orange and lime juices, with a touch of spice, all spiked with a JWray kick.

1 oz dark Jamaican rum (Appleton extra)

1 oz demerara rum (Banks XM10)

0.5 oz fresh lime juice

0.5 oz 3 sugar simple syrup

1 oz fresh pineapple juice

1 oz fresh blood orange juice

1 drop spice tincture (cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, steeped in some overproof rum for 2 weeks)

3 drops pernod

Splash JWray overproof rum.

Shake all ingredients over ice, strain and pour into highball filled with crushed ice. Top with a splash of JWray overproof rum. Garnish blood orange wedge and fresh mint or if you have it, a sugarcane stick.

3 SUGAR SIMPLE SYRUP

Its a 1:1 simple syrup,made from 3 different sugars. I used 1 part light muscovado, 1 part unrefined cane sugar and 1 part demerara sugar. Add sugars and water to a pan and heat it gently and stir until all sugars have dissolved, then cool, strain and bottle.

For those who really wants to go into some in-depth reading on sugarcane then Netafim is for you.