Orgeat and Grenadine from Almèns syrups

almens-syrups

Hailing from Sweden, the syrups by Gustav Almèn have now seen the light! the first two out is a orgeat and a grenadine and I can assure you these are very tasty and well made with all natural ingredients and no artifical things added.

Gustav started to make homemade syrups for drinks that they served in the bar that he worked it at the time, Papa Gede`s in Sydney. A bar which on their website says – Papa Gede’s bar is infused with the spirit of witch-doctor apothecary, home-made herbal elixirs, plenty of classic & tiki cocktails, a smorgasbord of absinthes traditionally served, great wine, funk, soul, reggae & rituals of relaxation.

Sounds like a quite ecclectic and creative environment to work at! And while working there Gustav made many different flavors like orgeat, grenadine, ginger & sugarcane, falernum…

One day a friend said to him that he should start selling syrups and the more he thought about it the more he realized that there were no companies in Sweden selling cocktail syrups. So during the last 6 months in Australia he started to experiment even more with different flavors and studied different kinds of sugar syrups.

Just in time when he was back in Sweden he felt that his syrups finally were as good as he wanted them to be and so it was then he decided to start his company – Alméns Syrups. His goal is to sell cocktail syrups to bars in Stockholm.

I have tried the homemade orgeat (which is made with real almonds) and grenadine and they are both very tasty! the only thing I could think of that would benefit by a change is the bottle desgn, it`s beautiful bottles, tall and elegant but not very practical in a bar 🙂

But the syrups are not yet out for sale so a few changes will most likely be made before the final product is out on the market.

Here are two drinks I have made, one with the orgeat infused with Kombu seaweed and one with grenadine.

Fire and Brimstone!

fire-and-brimstone-for-blog

1 oz/30 ml  aged Cuban style rum ( I used Rational Spirits 141 Cuban rum)
1 oz/30 ml Mezcal (I used Del Maguey Crema de Mezcal)
2 oz/60 ml fresh pineapple juice
0.5 oz/15 ml Almèns grenadine
0.75 oz/22.5 ml fresh lime juice
Hibiscus powder to rim the glass and top the ice
Crushed ice

Rim half a snifter with hibiscus powder and half fill with crushed ice. Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into the snifter, add more crushed ice to fill and dust some hibiscus powder on top, garnish with a lime wedge.

Kombu Sour

kombu-sour-for-blog

0.75 oz fresh lime juice
0.5 oz kombu seaweed infused Almèns orgeat
1 oz aged Cuban style rum ( I used Rational Spirits 141 Cuban rum)
1 oz Mezcal ( I used Del Magey Vida)
1.5 oz fresh grapefruit juice (yellow)
1 small piece of kombu, lime wheel for garnish
Small pinch hibiscus powder

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe with a cracked ice chunk.Garnish with kombu, limewheel and a pinch of hibiscus powder on top.

Infusing the orgeat – Add orgeat to a small pan ( I added a half cup, about 1.25 dl) or pot and add a piece of kombu seaweed (about 2 inches, 5cm long) you can brake it in two if you want and slightly heat up the mix, Then take off heat and leave to sit for a couple hours or overnight, taste to see until you find the flavor nice. It should add a bit of a sea-salty flavor to the orgeat.

I really like these syrups and have nothing more to say than I think it would be better with smaller more practical bottles 🙂 apart from that the syrups are very good, tastes wonderful!

When they are out for purchase I know I`ll buy them!

Cent´Anni Spirit Syrups

Cent`Anni bottles

Here`s a couple of exotic spirit syrups, they are made by Cent´Anni Spirit Syrups, created by Victoria D’Amato-Moran who hails from San Fransisco. I first met her at the Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans back in 2009 and now seven years later I hold her new syrups in my hand ready to try them out, see how Tales brings people together!

She`s the daughter of a local bartender and started her career in the restaurant business and her family, the D’Amato-Moran’s family owned D’Amato’s Bar on the historical Broadway strip, and with her grandparents – who were talented chefs themselves – making wine, grappa, liqueurs and vinegars.

Victoria managed her cousin’s bar, Tony Nik’s, in North Beach in 2000, where she knew classic bartending and cocktail design would be her art, along with creating innovative syrups to compliment.

She entered and won her first drink competition in 2003, and voted the Best Sidecar Cocktail in 2005 by San Francisco Magazine, and now 21 successful winning competitions later, which includes the most recent WSWA Las Vegas 2014, the Las Vegas Nightclub & Bar Show’s, Battle of the Mixologists 2012 & 2013.

Victoria has created cocktail portfolios for a whole number of companies including Square One Spirits, Pur Spirits, Campari USA, Preiss Imports, Iconic Brands, Arta Tequila, and started from the ground up the bars and cocktail menus for among many more, the Michael Chiarello’s Bottega, Yountville, Gaston Acurios’  and La Mar Cebicheria San Francisco and currently working in Half Moon Bay at the historical San Benito Ale House.

Cent`Anni drink

She has been recognized for her work in many noteworthy magazines such as the Examiner, Gary Regans’ 2011 & 2012 Bartenders Guide, Tasting Panel Magazine, San Francisco Magazine, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Don Julio Recipe Book 2011, Natalie Bovis’ Garden Cocktails 2012, Pur Spirits Cocktail Book and many more and was assistant to Tim Federle’s Tequila Mockingbird.

Cent’Anni Spirit Syrups started in 2004 and were used in both cocktail menus and cocktail competitions. Getting these syrups to bottling has been a long journey and with the support of many fans, and 10 years in the making!

Cent’Anni Spirit Syrups will initially launch these three signature syrups: Lemon Spice, Pineapple Spice and Chocolate Chili Spice, offered in 750 ml. size bottles. Her syrups were created for ease of cocktail preparation behind the bar, for the home bartender, helping cocktail enthusiasts create delicious cocktails at home, and for culinary recipes. The syrups can be used with any base spirit as well as in cooking.

The complex flavor profiles will create innovative cocktails and enhance the classics as well as create wonderful non alcoholic beverages. These syrups are an exotic blend of spices, real juice, and pure cane sugar. The three new syrups are these:

Lemon Spice – Lemon juice and spices and tastes like concentrated lemon juice, very “zingy”!

Pineapple Spice – Pineappple juice, vanilla extract and lemon juice, has a mildly spicy pineapple flavor.

Chili-Chocolate Spice – Dark cocolate chips, orange juice, cocoa beans, cane sugar and dried cloves. It has a mild chili bite and hints of cloves and chocolate.

Here are three cocktails I made with these amazing syrups!

Saffron Sour (Recipe by Victoria D’Amato-Moran)

Saffron Sour

1 oz Cent’Anni Lemon Spice Syrup
1.5 oz Old Raj 92 Gin
1.5 oz Fresh Orange Juice
0.5 oz Velvet Falernum
4-5 Spanish Saffron Threads
Egg White from 1 Organic Egg
Add ingredients in cocktail shaker. Shake hard 20 times. Add ice. Shake hard 20 more times. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish: Saffron threads

Well, I didn`t have saffron threads but I did have powdered saffron, it was still nice and added a lovely saffron flavor on the silky/creamy/foamy top of the drink…very rich and lush!

Rummy Way

Rummy Way

0.5 oz Cent´Anni Lemon Spice
0.5 oz Pineapple juice
0.5 oz Aperol
1 oz Fresh Lime Juice
2 oz Aged Rhum Agricole
Dash Zulu Orange Bitters
Garnish Cinnamon dust and dried Pineapple slice
Glass: Daniel Gallardo

My take on Victorias “Rumway” which was named for the airport runway near the beach in Half Moon Bay. Well, this drink is named for the rum it contains which may lead you into the way of rum….

Chili-Chocolate Banana Daiquiri

Chili-Chocolate Banana Daiquiri 2

0.5 oz Cent’Anni Chocolate Chili Spice
0.5 oz Cent’Anni Pineapple Spice
1 oz Fresh Lime Juice
1/2 Banana, well mature and thinly sliced
2 oz Appleton Extra Jamaican Rum
4 oz Crushed Ice

Blend in blender at high speed for 30 sec and pour unstrained into a fancy glass with ice.
Garnish banana slice cut diagonally.

Chili-Spice Coconut

Chili-Spice Coconut

1 oz Cent’Anni Chocolate Chili Spice
1.5 oz Ron Abuelo 12
2 oz Coconut Milk
Squirt of fresh lime
Add ingredients, to cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until frothy. Pour into a glass with ice. Garnish with a tropical orchid.

This is a twist of Victorias Chili-Spice Cream Soda but i didn`t have half and half or cream soda (not available here) so instead I used coconut milk. The drink tastes creamy rummy and coconutty with a hint of spice.

Conclusion: These are well made organic syrups fit for everything from cocktails to tikidrinks to culinary adventures!

Agave Syrup – Not so Natural and worse than HFCS

agave

 Picture credit Dominik MJ Schachtsiek

Agave Nectar Is Not A Natural Sweetener!

Stumbled upon an article about agave syrup while browsing around in the Dubai Bartender Club. The article is written by Dominik MJ Schachtsiek – bartender and writing a blog called  “The Opinionated Alchemist”. I had no idea that it was that bad with agave syrup – and therefore i wanna share his article here.

Here´s a a part of it:

Truth has to be told, I was always under the impression, that agave syrup is similar healthy as honey. It is natural, so it has to be good, duh…

Turns out, that it isn’t! Agave nectar is not a traditional product, it is not a “pre-stage” of pulque [the quite nasty agave brew, which are nowadays rarely consumed, however was the alcohol of choice for the indigenous civilisations of Latin America, before the conquestadors shared their distilling and beer brewing expertise].

Agave nectar is very similar produced like high fructose corn syrup. It is produced by breaking down the inulin [a complex carbohydrate] of the agave piña into mostly fructose.

Which stuns me is, that it is obviously even worse than HFCS. While latter contents 55% fructose, agave syrup contains 70%.

Read the whole article here.

I had no idea…me too was thinking that it was as good as honey – which btw i just heard that nowadays the honey you buy in usual grocery stores is NOT good for you. It has been modified with chemicals. The only good honey is purchased at natural food stores.

Geez…what CAN we safely eat?

As for syrups…better stick to the old fashioned way…i make my syrups at home, it´s easy, it´s cheap and you know what you get. Unless you buy from someone you know does it right – like BG Reynolds – for example.

UPCOMING TDN – Trader Tiki’s Exotic Syrups

donns-mix-label

Heard about Trader Tiki`s Exotic syrups yet? no??

If not – let me tell you what lovely genuine yummy and handcrafted syrups these are…I`m really happy to see these syrups now avalable and for purchase. Long ago i tried a few of them and they were pretty fast used up! and mind you i`m not a bad syrup maker myself. Theses syrups have something little extra in them, it can be a thickness…or something in the flavor that is there but you can´t exactly say what it may be. But after trying them you know for sure that this is genuine homemade syrups made with love and craftmanship.

Here is where to get these marvellous syrups – http://www.tradertiki.com/store/

Now….in a about a week and a half (feb 11) there will be a Trader Tiki Exotic Syrups TDN! Here´s your chance to indulge in a range of exotic cocktails being made right on the spot during the evening and night using these exotic syrups – and to have fun with a bunch of cocktail folks of all sorts.

You are totally free to add your own drinks or just to drink others or even to just lurk – the choice is yours but y`all are very much welcome to log in to the Mixoloseum chatroom at 7 pm est on feb 11. As it is almost two weeks left until this exciting TDN takes off you have the time now to get yourself a bottle or two of these handmade  flavorful exotic syrups!

Mixoloseum is a Creative Place! keep mixing…keep shaking…keep stirring..