New Arrivals!

Posted by TraderTiki on August 23rd, 2007 — Posted in Bilge, Tasting


A new bottle of an as of yet tasted liquor is like a newborn child.  So much life to live, so many experiences and joys and failures.  Even a new bottle of what is regularly stocked can be like a dear friend, ready to sit and reminisce, or forge through new adventures.

And so, I am proud to announce a few new additions to the Shelf.

Fees Cordials and Bitters

I contacted Joe Fee of Fee Brothers a while back, as I was looking for sponsors for Tiki Kon.  After a few exchanges, we traded information, and care packages!  I sent a Tiki Kon 2007 mug, CD, and program (available for purchase at the Tiki Kon store), and soon received two great packages of Bitters and Cordials!

A few comments, of course, are to follow.  The first being that I am absolutely in adoration of Fees Old Fashioned Bitters.  It’s a really nice clove, allspice, woody taste to add into almost any old favorite where bitters are called for.  Angostura has its place, pretty much all over the place, but it’s so nice to have options and new ingredients available.  Along with Fees, and their amazing selection of bitters (mint, lemon, orange, grapefruit), There’s also Regan’s Orange Bitters, Stirring’s product line, Peychaud’s, and the list marches on.  Selection fantastique!  I’ m so very excited to have their bitters in my dirty little fingers.  I’m expecting to kick the mint in my mojito, make my martini a classic, stir up the grapefruit in a salty dog, and whatever mysteries can be unlocked with the lemon.

Okay, enough praise about the bitters.  Now, the cordials… what to say.  Well, I’ll just say I haven’t opened them yet.  Being an advocate of fresh squeezed juices, I must say I’m a bit halted in my willingness to accept almost any syrup not made in my home kitchen.  But, I’m more than willing to give their stuff a fair shake.  There’s even the suggestion on the bottles to mix the flavorings with rum or vodka to make a nice liqueur, and a few drink recipes.  I will say, however, that their Falernum is very strong on the clove and lime.  The orgeat and American beauty grenadine I’ve yet to try, but will definitely have to do a taste test.  Ever since I started making my own grenadine, well, life changed a bit, and my tongue got a lot redder.

The next arrival had me literally running towards the poor UPS delivery man.  I’m sure that man hasn’t had such fear in his eyes since the last Harry Potter novel came out.   Many thanks to Chuck Taggart for pointing out to me that had these in stock, with free shipping over $50.

Lucid, and that damn beautiful St. Germain bottle

 I can’t even begin to describe how happy I am.  Part of it may stem from the abundance of recipes from my bookshelf calling for Absinthe, not to mention its use in just about every damn Don the Beachcomber drink there is (Rum + drop of Absinthe + dash of bitters =  a Donn Beach recipe!).  I had to break into it tonight, just had to.  Understand, my palate is not versed in Absinthe, having only had a bit of “the czech stuff” ages ago.  But I am a huge fan of strong anise Pastise liqueurs.  Pernod on the rocks is a fantastic summer favorite.  Add some seltzer to Pernod for a real refreshing drink.  But man oh man, there’s something special about the real deal.  The color is a surprisingly gentle green, with a very sweet and calmly herbal smell, of course, with a nice hit of Anise.  The cork had turned green from the liquor.  The taste, when straight, was very nice, with the bit of alcoholic burn alongside the herbs and anise, as is, I believe, the way it should be.  Of course, I had to drip it in the traditional style.  The louche was spectacular, exploding in a cloud which expanded throughout the glass, a tiny universe of oils and delight spreading through the glass.  The taste has something spectacular to it.  More than just the flavor, there is a mouth/lips/head/throat feel to it, leeching through the skin into the bloodstream, soon taking away all pain in a haze of green-tinted glory.

It’s damn fine stuff.

 The St. Germain I had to get after seeing Martin Cate using it in a cocktail competition, the internet exploding about it, and, on Looka, probably the best reaction to anything ever.  I’ll be sampling this soon, with full review.


Distillers Festival!

Posted by TraderTiki on August 22nd, 2007 — Posted in Bilge

The 3rd annual Great America Distillers Festival is happening this weekend at the Gerding Theater in the Pearl District in sunny downtown Portland.

I’m certainly planning on attending. $10 gets you in, plus a few samples. There are also cocktail competitions and distilling seminars. Fun!

PDF link with full info.


Posted by TraderTiki on August 21st, 2007 — Posted in Bilge

Many crazy, crazy things going on here in the Trader Tiki labs.

First, there’s the complete and aged Pimento Dram #3, recipe and development by Chuck Taggart. This is, so far, unbelievably good, and adds a whole new dimension to drinks. Just like the Cinnamon Syrup in Sippin’ Safari, there is a whole-mouth feeling to this, not only coating the tongue, but really bringing the spice up through the sinuses, down the back of the gullet, a real nice spicy surprise in just about any drink. I really have to recommend the Three Dots and a Dash. It’s a really superb blend.

The best part of these new ingredients are all the different feels and flavors, but particularly the way they blend with the rums. I’m seriously considering a case of the St. James’ Extra Old. It seems every drink made with it just sings on the tongue.

Further experiments, each deserving their own update:

  • Raspberry Syrup
  • Raspberry Rum (Amber)
  • Raspberry Rum (Light)
  • Dragonfruit Syrup (failed, will try again)
  • Bacon Vodka.

More as soon as the kitchen is clean.

Hey, Last Minuteers!

Posted by TraderTiki on August 19th, 2007 — Posted in Bilge

Don’t forget to enter the Tiki Photo Contest at Kaiser Penguin!

There are 2 copies of Sippin’ Safari up for grabs!  Already got a copy?  Donate to your local library, or your local watering hole, or keep an extra copy for your home bar.  Just enter!

These are not the Best Foods

Posted by TraderTiki on August 16th, 2007 — Posted in Bilge, Rum

My justification? Well, someone had to try it.

It all began with a comment on Kaiser Penguin’s Pearl Diver Punch post. For those not in the know, the Pearl Diver’s Punch has butter in it. Dairy, while not unpleasant, is not something typically associated with cocktails. Holiday nogs to be sure, but the a milk-tini or mint-butter mojito are not usually what come to mind with the image of a cocktail.

In the comments, Stephen Beaumont of World of quoted a story, and posted a link. Later, a link to an image was posted in a Cocktail Chronicles post on the subject.

The subject? Mayonnaise cocktails. I have never been one to quiver at the thought of what other cultures eat or drink. I revel in Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern’s shows on the Travel Channel. But rimming a drink with mayonnaise just seems like something of abject horror. So, naturally, I am inclined to try this.

My first thought is that I really wish I had some sort of ham-based liqueur to work with. Sadly, seeing as I haven’t yet attempted Bacon infused vodka, this will not be available. So, instead I threw this as a rim in a recipe I put together for a friend’s party.

Now, I present to you, the mayo-rimmed Passion Fruit Daiquiri!

Passion Fruit Daiquiri

  • 1.5 light rum
  • 1 oz lime
  • 3/4 oz. PF Syrup

Shake and Strain

OPTIONAL (but not recommended): Rim with Best Foods Mayonnaise

Passion Fruit Daiquiri, mayo rim

I rimmed the cocktail with mayo using a best foods squeezable bottle.  You can see a bit of it in the pictures.  There wasn’t enough in the house to make a proper bowl rim.

The results?  Well, the daiquiri was perfect, with Cruzan and some homemade passion fruit syrup.  The lime and the passion fruit mixed into a nice tangy blend, but without too much sharpness.  The cruzan melded well, so there was no alcohol smell, just a lovely tasty daiquiri.

The mayo rim?  Actually not too bad.  The tangy flavor using best foods actually melded fairly well with the citrus and sweet of the passion fruit and lime.  I’m not saying it’s something I would recommend daily, but it’s not a horrible experience.  Texturally, the mayonnaise didn’t chunk up like I was expecting, but stayed very creamy.  A really strange part of me thinks to try it in place of coco lopez for some down-south tropicals.  I try to keep that strange part repressed.

Why did I do this?  Because, with all the chatter someone had to!