MxMo Rum Wrap-up

Posted by TraderTiki on May 12th, 2008 — Posted in Events, MxMo, Rum

Mixology MondayWhen toasting to friends and close relations, it is often best to toast with a bit of the tipple in one’s hand. For anyone who has read Wayne CurtisAnd a Bottle of Rum, you know that the tipple of choice in American Saloons in “toastier” times, was a nice bit of punch, a flip, or a tot of Medford Rum. The tradition of toasting has, alas, not been quite as present in this century. This is perhaps due to the tradition getting a bit frustrating with a toast risen to each stranger waltzing in, sentence uttered, or sneeze stifled. Though for this Mixology Monday, with the cocktail scene booming both on the internet, at home, and in the bars of this great nation, I raise this toast to you, my fellow cocktailians, contributors, and other various liquorati.

The first toast I raise to Courtney Patubo, winning designer for the new Mixology Monday logo above, and who will receive a signed hardcover copy of And a Bottle of Rum. I also cheer Paul at the Cocktail Chronicles, for running the contest, and all those who voted. A smaller, slightly less enthusiastic (though still encouraging) toast for those designers who did not win.

The next toast I raise to the subject of the day, Rum! What more is to be said for this syrup of the gods and devils that can’t be found at the bottom of a tot of Pusser’s, a dram of Demerara, or in the depths of a fine Daiquiri. Whether mixed with its natural friend lime, or poured through the belly of a giant ice-block tiki, this Kill-devil, Rumbullion, or however you fancy has been making and shaping history since the first drops came out of the still. This Monday, May 12th, the internet has been set ablaze with posts celebrating this luxurious libation. Here are the results of our look into this most fascinating and diverse spirit.


MxMo Rum, three little rums

Posted by TraderTiki on May 12th, 2008 — Posted in Don the Beachcomber, Grog Log, MxMo, Rum, Sippin' Safari

Mixology Monday Rum!For my own, and to be made very brief, foray into this Hulabalooza we call Mixology Monday, the subject is Rum, and is being hosted here at Tradertiki.com! I have decided to descend down the dark path of some pitch black and fiery rums, and their cocktail interpretations as developed by Don the Beachcomber. Each drink features only the one rum, and not the usual blended variety of rums Don was known for, but the man could take one note and make a symphony (and a few bucks as well).

Donga PunchThe first rum up is the ever-increasingly hard to find Aged Martinique. In this instance, I am using St. James Extra old, one of my favorite mixing rums, known for its smoky, spicy and wooden notes. I am, alas, an ounce or so away from another empty bottle. This is my sacrifice to you, Don the Beachcomber’s Donga Punch (Sippin’ Safari, page 35). Taking notes from the spiciness of the dram, Don added a mellowed and sweet spice with his Don’s Mix, a blend of Grapefruit and Cinnamon. Unfortunately, it was never written down exactly what grapefruit was used, but I feel that Melogold tends to work wonders in all things tiki. There is the aftertaste of bitter, but none of the harshness that can come with the red of its kind. When you’re working with this much lime, one souring ingredient can be quite enough. Of course, lime makes its way into the drink, giving the palate a refreshing breeze to open it up to feel the notes of the rum. This is a beautiful drink, and a strong example of Don’s mastery of mixing with Rum.

Rum, Gomme, and LimeNext on the list to try, the Ron Pompero Aniversario, making its way to take place of Infierno, a long defunct 20 years aged Rum of Cuban Origin. This is a very dark and sweet aged rum, a product of Venezuela. It has plenty of the dark smoke and wood tones, as well as an almost tangy maple. The Aniversario pairs very well with a nice cigar, Partagas Black if you’ve got ‘em. Don took this Rum, well, the Infierno, and matched it with two of its best friends, Gomme and Lime, in a drink, very aptly titled Rum, Gomme, and Lime (Sippin’ Safari, page 40). Put in white or gold rum, you have a nice Daiquiri. Match the Gomme and Lime with a well-aged dark rum, and you’ve got a testament to the very foundations of Tiki culture, the modern cocktail, and Liquor et al. Yes, that’s plenty of ice filling that cup… the rum can take it, and still smile all the way down your throat.

151 SwizzleFinally, in the cavalcade of Rums and Libations is that great old bugger that adds depth and kick to just about anything, Lemon Hart 151, from Lemon Hart. This well-utilized Demerara Rum tends to make its way across the Tiki drink spectrum, mixed in everything from its own 151 Swizzle, to Don’s infamous Zombie. By itself, this stuff is one helluva kick, smooth up front with plenty of burn in the back. The flavor, well, to be honest is about as smokey as an overused ashtray. Once put into a glass with a few ingredients, however, this spirit opens up like nothing else, adding depth and warmth and a true spirit of the islands to all it touches. The drink I’m putting this sucker in tonight is, for the third time on this site, the 151 Swizzle (Beachbum Berry’s Grog Log, page 45), consistently my last drink of the night whenever I visit Forbidden Island. Spice, syrup, lime, Herbsaint, and plenty of ice round out the spirit, giving it more sweetness, longevity, and enhancing the natural flavors. It calms the 151 down, and brings it right back up into full flavor. It’s a fantastic drink I highly recommend.

Well, that does it for this MxMo Rum! entry. I hope you enjoy the wrap up to be posted tomorrow. As of this time, there are 27 entries, and still a few heavy hitters that haven’t pitched in. I can stay up as late as you can fellas, I’ve got plenty of bottles of 151 left.


MxMo Rum, today!

Posted by TraderTiki on May 12th, 2008 — Posted in MxMo

Mixology MondayDon’t forget to submit your link for Mixology Monday Rum!

Just plunk down for a bottle of rum, take a swig or throw it in a cocktail glass, and write about it on the internet!

Entries are due today!  9 submissions in so far, my own to finish up, and a heckuva lot more to go!  If I can stay up past midnight finishing the wrap-up, you too can spend your Monday evening drunk and typing.

Send your link to TRADERTIKI at TRADERTIKI dot com.

Mahalo!


The Bitter Truth class

Posted by TraderTiki on May 8th, 2008 — Posted in Concoctioneering, Events

This past Sunday was the first in hopefully a long string of classes hosted by Daniel and David at Teardrop Lounge. David and Daniel mixed drinks and discussed the history, lore, and craft of making bitters. The class was divided into chapters, each highlighting a bit of history and creation of bitters.

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Chapter the first, Daniel offered a not altogether brief (his words) history of the origins of bitters and their introduction to cocktails. Served before us were 4-ways of the Pegu Club, traditionally served with Angostura, and tried with no bitters, orange bitters, Angostura bitters, and a combination of Orange and Angostura bitters. The history was fascinating, with tales of Roman council and many-herbed wines, British Pink Gin, and up to the inclusion of the use of bitters in the defining recipe for a “cocktail”. The cordial glasses with sampled bitters showed the positive aspects of using and combining bitters, the rich and spicy Angostura filling out the notes with the smokey orange flavors in Regan’s Orange Bitters, and of course, the orange and lime and gin in the cocktail. As noted in the class, Gin works as a great body for the bitters, as it has some notes of its own that will shimmer or darken depending on the flavors in the bitters. Local distillery House Spirits’ Aviation Gin is, of course, very highly recommended.

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In Part the second, David went over the history of Lousiana’s own Antoine Peychaud, and his flight from Haiti to a pharmacy in Louisiana, where his own bitters became the basis of that most legendary of cocktails, the Sazerac. Served as a bit of the “history in a glass” was the Sazerac, one of the first served at Teardrop without their own Cherry bark and Vanilla bitters.

Division the Third (sadly not pictured) involved Daniel discussing the craft and care put into homemade bitters. Much discussed was the separation in bitters and tinctures, in that bitters including a bittering agent, such as wormwood, quassia, cinchona, or gentian. Tinctures are more of an alcohol-extracted monoflavor, such as sitting vanilla beans in high proof vodka. The drink served to sample was an Alaska two ways, one with the store bought Fees, the other with the Teardrop Pomelo bitters. You can’t really go wrong either way, but the Teardrop bitters had that bitter edge, deepening the flavor and making it last longer on the palate.

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For the fourth piece in this epic series, David discussed the inclusion of bitters in popular cocktails, highlighting the flavors brought out with hot and spicy bitters, such as Charles H. Baker’s Hellfire Bitters. The greatest purpose of bitters, it seems, is not the direct flavoring of the drink, but manipulation of the flavors that already exist within.

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The epilogue of the event involved a sampling of bitters ingredients, and the “Fancy Tickler”, a sort of Bartender and Patron communal Omakase, with each cocktail matched to the patron’s specification. This was certainly the most popular time of the evening, I myself enjoying a Craig inspired Mezcal, Chartreuse, St. Germain, Grapefruit and Chocolate Mole bitters cocktail.

I’d go into further detail, but rather I’d recommend firstly that they run the class again, and second, that you come up for it. I myself recently finished a new batch of “Bridgetown Bitters“, when I then found out about Bittermens own Tiki bitters, also a Falernum-based bitters. Great minds think alike, but fools seldom differ, eh?

I hope you’re inspired to try an extra dash or two in your drinks tonight, or even afterwards in some Ginger Ale as a stomach calmative (and oh does it ever work!).


The next MxMo, now with new logo!

Posted by TraderTiki on May 6th, 2008 — Posted in Bilge

Hey folks, don’t forget to get in your entry for Mixology Monday: Rum to me on Monday, May 12th!

Here’s what I’d like to see, and perhaps a bit of inspirado!

With this discussion of Rum going on, I figure it’s about time to explain my hopes and wishes for entries in the upcoming Mixology Monday XXVII, RUM! Hosted here at tradertiki.com. Rum is such a widely ranged spirits, from light and lovely to dark and delectable, even occasionally downright nasty (I do so need a bottle of Screech). In the spirit or the spirit, I would like to see a wide range of posts! A known cocktail’s a lovely thing, but why not hold a rum tasting of your own? Perhaps a rum review post focusing on a particular Island or Country. Find a specialty Rum Bar in your area and host a chat with the mixologists there. Grab a bottle at your local liquor store that you’ve never noticed before, and whip up a new concoction to wow the rum-soaked masses. Have fun, be creative, but most of all enjoy, and get your submissions with a thumbnail or full pic to me via e-mail with a link to the article! I can be reached at tradertiki AT tradertiki DOT com.