What the Hell is TDN Anyway?

Posted by TraderTiki on January 30th, 2009 — Posted in In Other News

I’m sure somewhere, deep in the cockles of your heart, this question has been asked.  TDN stands for Thursday Drink Night, a Mixoloseum hosted event.  People login to the online chat room, suggest and make drinks featuring the topic for the week (Vermouth, Mata Hari Absinthe, Cinnamon Syrup, etc.), and it all gets mixed around ’til we find a few good ones. Hell, why don’t you just head over to the Mixoloseum Chat room and see for yourself?

Still not good enough for you?  Well, Los Scofflaws,  Rick of Kaiser Penguin, and a few fantastic others  are shown in some live footage in the video below, shot a few TDNs ago at the Tabard Inn in Washington, D.C.  Not all of them are live events, but hell, a few friends in a bar with a laptop, and you’ve got yourself a fun Thursday night.


MxMo Broaden your Horizons, the Cadillac Coupe

Posted by TraderTiki on January 19th, 2009 — Posted in Bitters, Drinks, MxMo, Recipes, Tequila

mxmologoAnother month, another MxMo, so they say.  And who are they?  I cannot say.  But for sure, this is a challenging MxMo idea, as hosted by The Scribe over at A Mixed Dram.  So, broaden my horizons, eh?  Well, the first thing that came to mind was, thankfully, the first thing in the description, Tequila!

As happens to so many of us, a bad incedent with Tequila at a tender age involving a few Margaritas in red solo cups, little people dressed as KISS, and a hot Los Angeles day did not bode well for my favor with the spirit.  I’ve come to respect it, surely, through continued application of the good stuff (Del Maguey Mezcal, Cazadores Añejo), but can’t say I’ve had anything other than a straight shot in a good decade or so.

Well, the liquor fairy arrived at my doorstep a few weeks back with a delivery of what I’m hoping will pull me out of this particular mixological slump, in the form of Inocente Platinum Tequila.  Inocente is a triple distilled tequila with an emphasis on removing the “nasty bits” that can easily lead to a hangover, and arrives in a nifty blue “twist” of a bottle that could make a nifty vase, or cheap christmas present.  The nose is a sweet but clear tequila scent, with a bit of pear to it.  The flavor is a bit relaxed, really only coming in a moment or two into the sip, but is an unmistakable smokey, fruity tequila, with almost no burn.  This is definitely a great platinum to ease my way back into tequila mixology.

To mix it up, the emphasis on the smoke and fruit will be brought out by a very simple mix of orange oil, Grand Marnier, and Regan’s Orange bitters in a drink called the Cadillac Coupe.  This one’s a bit of a tribute to a chef friend of mine, who, after work, enjoys nothing more than a bit of Platinum Tequila with just a splash of “Grandma” (Grand Marnier).

Cadillac Coupe

Cadillac Coupe

  • 2 oz Platinum Tequila
  • 1 oz Grand Marnier
  • Regan’s Orange Bitters
  • small square piece of orange peel

Rinse a chilled cocktail glass with a 3 dashes of orange bitters. Stir the spirits with ice until well chilled, and strain into the glass. Finish by flaming a bit of orange oil over the surface of the drink. This can be accomplished by slicing an inch by inch piece of peel from an orange, holding it over a flame over the drink, and giving a generous squeeze. This will release the oils, and create lovely aromatics, as well as a real crowd-pleasing burst of flame.

The drink is a kick, don’t get me wrong, but the smooth tequila and Grand Marnier mix incredibly well, just as they would in a Cadillac Margarita, of which this is a condensed version (none of that cheap garbage, just booze please!).  The flavors are primarily smoke, and orange, with a nice silken mouthfeel from the stirring.

Got your own mixological challenge, a spirit not stumbled upon, or liqueur not liked?  Trying mixing it up sometime, there’s nothing like a good challenge to stir your spirits!


Frankie’s Tiki Room, Las Vegas

Posted by TraderTiki on January 8th, 2009 — Posted in In Other News, Places

Just noticed this over at NOTCOT, the lucky buggers there got a chance to visit the newly opened Frankie’s Tiki Room in Las Vegas, Nevada.  You can see their lovely pics in the blog post of their visit.

As another damn Bamboo Ben creation, Frankie’s offers fantastic decor, some lovely tropical libations, and even a few signature mugs that come with your drink, and are also available for purchase online.  It really looks like one helluva place, and I’m suddenly finding myself considering a stop there sometime this year. After all, what happens in Vegas… gets posted all over the internet.

There’s more info on Frankie’s over at their Tiki Central Info post.


Castries and the Half-Harted Jezebel

Posted by TraderTiki on January 5th, 2009 — Posted in Drinks, Product Reviews, Recipes, Rum

Cross-posted from the Mixoloseum blog

When searching through the liqueurs available at your local (or internet local) liquor store, there are some liqueurs that immediately catch your eye. After skimming over the peach brandys, various schnapps and Curaçaos available, there are quite a few selections that just make you wonder how the hell they came up with that idea. One that particularly comes to mind, and thankfully arrived in my mailbox a few weeks back, is Castries Peanut Rum Créme.

Yes, Peanuts and Rum together again for the first time. Formerly known as “Nuts ‘n Rum”, this was relabeled sometime after 2005 as Castries, named for a region in St. Lucia, where it is distilled and bottled. The rum base is from St. Lucia distillers, makers of some regionally popular but difficult to find in the U.S. rums.

As a liqueur by itself, this stuff is, plainly said, just damned delicious. The nose starts off with a fair hint of vanilla and peanut, with the rum coming in to play if you take a real big whiff. The flavor is extremely well phased, with the cream initially blocking the peanut, making the peanut come into play later in the flavor, but it lingers ever so long. The flavor is like freshly roasted and crushed peanuts, like the peanut butter you’d get fresh made at a natural foods store. I’m as excited about this stuff as I was when I first found out about Thai Peanut Sauce. It’s like Peanut Butter in your dinner! Other flavors that come in to play are a slight bit of cinnamon at the end of the flavor. It’s an exquisitely well-balanced liqueur, with no flavor dominating, and a wonderful mouth feel without leaving you reaching for your toothbrush.

The bottle is, to say a few words, distinct. Resembling, perhaps, a peanut pod, it ends up a bit near the line of sex toy. Well, distinctive is better than being lost in the crowd I suppose.

You can read more great information here at Scottes Rum Pages, or at the Ministry of Rum.

As for mixing, I decided to give a shot to Rumdood’s Heartless Jezebel. However, being out of Amarula, I decided to give it a more potent edge. I present, the Half-harted Jezebel.

Half-Harted Jezebel

Half-Harted Jezebel

  • 2 oz Castries Rum Cream
  • 3/4 oz Cruzan Blackstrap Rum
  • 3/4 oz Lemon Hart 80 Demerara Rum
  • .5 oz St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
  • Fresh Cinnamon

Shake or Mix in top-down mixer with crushed ice. Pour into Old-Fashioned. Top with Cinnamon, and Garnish with a Cinnamon stick.

It’s a combination of that calm, mellow peanut flavor with a bright burst of cinnamon and allspice, backed by a hearty and rich combination of rums. I think you’ll like it. Try it against the original Heartless Jezebel, or have your own interesting Castries cocktail? Post your thoughts in the comments!