Friday, January 29, 2010

Rum You Into Submission!!

Eva and Benjamin Melin-Jones.

What a great time...
i had a fantastic opportunity the head over to a rum lover's paradise-- Eva's Caribbean Kitchen for her second installment of "RUM YOU INTO SUBMISSION", this time featuring the delectable Rhum of Habitation Clément!
So we had a sampling of all of their 'Core line up'

(Clément Première Canne, Créole Shrubb, VSOP, Homere and XO), delicious cocktails and Eva's glorious food! Oh what a night. To top it off the ever-pleasant, charming, friendly and fun Benjamin Melin-Jones (managing director of Clément and a family member) was there to share from his family's history and the care and dedication put into Clement Rhum.

The place was filled with great people like RumDood and the lovely Niki Lovejoy

and here is RumDood (Matt Robold) with Wyatt Peabody in a photo by Tobin that i call-Dood and Peabody meet at last!:

engaging chats, great food, great drinks, great Rhum! Want more proof: Veronica Castro and Dave Danni seen here in a picture i call: Veronica trying block Daves face with a cocktail. . . nice try.

There are tons of great photos taken by Tobin Sharp here . . . so take a look and see some of the fun that these and 40 or 50 other people-- all had. An astonishingly good time-- fueled by delectable Rhum/Rhum Cocktails, exquisite food and fun people!

Here are the Cocktails, and their recipes (as concieved by Benjamin Melin-Jones, batched by me and served by the caring and ever friendly staff at Eva's):

Me batching...
***Welcome Cocktail***

‘TI PUNCH (Spiced. . . )
1 ½ oz. Clément Première Canne
½ oz. Spiced Sirop de Canne
Lime disk
Add Sirop to a small old-fashioned glass, Gently squeeze or muddle the lime disk into sirop, Add a spoon of crushed ice or one large hunk of ice into glass and
Première Canne, Swizzle

my buddy Ryan Boltan helping me batch..

Sirop de Canne Prep: Simmer (1 lb) Demerera Sugar and water with 3-4 broken up cinnamon sticks, fresh grated nutmeg, 5-6 cloves and 4-5 drops of vanilla extract until it reduces down to almost ½ (Syrup consistency). Simmering time should be about 20 to 25 minutes

Eva and the monster on our second set of 60 drinks...

***First Course***
1 ½ oz. Clément Premiere Canne
¾ oz. Clément Créole Shrubb
½ oz. Dolin Dry Vermouth
2 drops Fresh Grenadine
2 dashes Grapefruit Bitters
Shake and strain into a Chilled cocktail glass/ garnish with a lemon twist.

***Second Course***
2 oz. Clément Créole Shrubb
Muddled Lime and Orange
2 dashes West Indian Orange Bitters
½ oz. Soda Water
Muddle an orange wheel cut, 3 lime wedges and bitters in a mixing glass.
Add Créole Shrubb and ice and shake and Strain into a Collins glass with crushed ice and top with a splash soda water. Garnish with orange and lime triangle and a cherry.

***Third Course***
2 oz. Clément V.S.O.P. Rum
½ oz. Clément Créole Shrubb
Muddled Orange and Cherry
West Indian Orange Bitters
Orange Triangle and Cherry

Muddle an orange wheel, 2 Luxardo Maraschino Cherries, Créole Shrubb and bitters in a mixing glass. Add V.S.O.P. Rum and ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange triangle and cherry

***Fourth Course***
1 ½ oz. Clément V.S.O.P. Rum
1 oz. Clément Créole Shrubb
2 oz. fresh guava juice
½ oz. fresh lime juice
2 dashes Grapefruit bitters
Lime Wheel

Add all of the ingredients except for lime wheel into shaker, Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Float a lime wheel as the garnish

***Dessert Course***
1 oz. Clément Créole Shrubb
1 ½ oz. Averna
1 oz. chilled Espresso
Lemon peel

Add all of the ingredients except for the lemon peel into a shaker, shake and strain into a dessert/port wine glass and twist a lemon peel on the top.

Those were just the drinks.. we also tasted each of the Rhums individually to understand the recherché beauty that each Rhum inherently displays. The drinks were selected to coincide/ pair with each food course and Eva and Benjamin both outdid themselves. Let me show you the menu:

***First Course***
Calalloo Soup

***Second Course***
Conch Fritter
Bahamian Conch, sweet corn & roasted red peppers seasoned with garlic, lime, kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper. Served with pineapple, pimiento relish

***Third Course***
Créole Stewed Fish
Wild Australian Orange Roughy marinated in Caribbean fish seasonings and stewed in our Voodoo sauce

***Fourth Course***
West Indian Curried Chicken
Succulent pieces of fresh chicken sautéed with Madras curry, garlic, cumin, katchula and potatoes. Served with coconut rice and sautéed vegetables

***Fifth Course***
Guava Rum Glazed Pork
A juicy piece of pork loin rubbed down and marinated with Eva’s stuff. Topped with Creole Shrubb Guava Rum Sauce, garlic mashed potatoes and sautéed vegetables

***Dessert Course***
Warm Molten Chocolate Cake, w/ Ice Cream

Rum You Into Submission indeed. Fantastic night, i wish you all could have been there-- and it was amazing (as every visit to Eva's is).

Monday, January 25, 2010

MXMO-- Tea . .

So MxMo is here again!!! Hosted by Cocktail Virgin/Slut and the theme is tea. . . i of course followed the exact letter of the rules:
• Find or concoct a drink recipe that uses tea or tisane (a herbal "tea" which lacks tea leaves) as an ingredient. This can be hot tea, cold tea, tea syrups, or infusions and use it in a cocktail, punch, or other drink type.

• Make the drink and then post the recipe, a photo, and your thoughts

i used a tisane called Yerba Mate. . . an absolute favorite for all of the reasons laid out at wikipedia (and a few more... i do enjoy my mate!) The drink i made-- if you will allow me-- fantastic! It is called The Bolar Tereré which is a reference to a cold style of drink made in Brazil with mate (follow the links-- you'll get the gist).
To construct this drink put 1 Teaspoon of Yerba Mate in my shaker, with 2 1/2 Oz of Cachaca and set the glass to chill (a minute), zest a nice long ribbon off of a lemon and tie it into 2 knots (spraying lovely oils all over the chilled glass), squeeze out juice (1 1/4 Oz), add 2 dashes of agave nectar for sweetener and then add ice to my shaker and shake.... Double strain into chilled sour glass... The recipe looks like this:

El Bolar Tereré

1 teaspoon of Yerba Mate infused momentarily
2 1/2 Oz Fazenda Mae de Ouro Cachaca
1 1/4 Oz Lemon Juice
2 Dashes Agave Nectar
Shaken Vigorously and double strained into a chilled sour glass
Garnish with a long lemon zest tied into 2 knots...

This drink is wonderful. Essentially a cachaca sour with yerba mate-- but tasty, very, very tasty!

Hey the MXMO roundup is here . . .

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Clément Première Canne

Clément Première Canne is exquisite, Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée Martinique Rhum. There i said it. This is how they do it:

Within thirty minutes of the sugarcane being cut, the sugarcane is crushed capturing the freshest and purest flavors of the estate-grown, A.O.C. certified sugarcane. To initiates fermentation an organic house yeast is introduced to the free-run juice, zymolysis is then further carried on by the organic field yeasts that live on the sugarcane in an open-top fermentation tanks. The length of fermentation (or zymolysis) is anywhere from 24 hours to 72 hours, resulting in a Vin de Canne (sugar wine), that is between 5-7% alcohol. These first steps are of the utmost importance to the final product, this sugary wine is where the full-bodied flavors and aromas are developed, before the are concentrated and refined in the distillation. The distillation is carried out in a single-column copper still allowing the ABV to remain very low and consistent. After distillation, the fresh cane spirit is placed in stainless steel tanks and oxygenated for nine months to removes any unpleasant esters, which could detract from the creamy clean flavor of the Rhum. The last step in a carefully observed series of quality control measures is estate bottling, insuring that every step of the production is achieved under the watchful eye of Habitation Clément.

That is what is known as care. These steps also apply to their VSOP, and their other wonderful Rhums. . .. but let's get back to tasting Clément Première Canne...

The nose is luscious with candied tropical fruit, floral tones and inviting spice that is redolent and sultry. The flavors are dry, bountiful and hardy displaying clearly the tones implied in the nosing: spices (cardamon, nutmeg, coriander), tropical fruit (pineapple and mango) and flowers (orchids, star jasmine) while evolving to include cocoa nibs, plantain and banana leaf. The finish is sexy, full, delicately spiced and lingering-- Yum!

For cocktail i pull out a couple favorites that are more 'rum focused' so that CPC could show off in my drink... First up:

Blue Boy Cocktail

2 Oz Clément Première Canne
1 Oz Sweet Vermouth (Carpano Antica)
1 dash Angostura bitters
1 dash orange bitters ( used Regan's a lot of complementing spices)
Shake until chilled & strain into chilled Cocktail Glass

and number 2 was a:

Rhum Sour

2 1/4 Oz Clément Première Canne
1 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
1/2 - 1 tsp sugar

Shake until chilled & strain into a chilled sour glass
Garnish with orange (or lemon) slice and a cherry

A dash of Peychauds is awesome in this. . .

Want to taste the entire Clement line, have some amazing drinks, with some incredible food? Eva's Caribbean Restaurant is having a rum dinner on Thursday January 28th that promises to be a do not miss event! Get your details here and here . . .

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Corzo Tequila dinner at SOL Cocina

Well last night i was fortunate enough to go to the Corzo Tequila dinner at Sol Cucina. Let me start off by saying what a nice restaurant! Classy, huge dining area, comfy siting arrangements, view of the bay--incredible food, friendly staff definitely check it out if you are in the Newport Beach area.
So let let me get into what we are about here at a drink with forrest. . .. i was there a bit early for the event so i sidled up to the bar and was impressed by all the measuring and fresh juices so i ordered one of my favorite drinks-- a Daiquiri. Only to hear "I'm sorry we don't have a blender, can i make you something else?". i started to explain that a blender is totally unnecessary because Daiquiri's . . . but they were busy and who wants to be that a-hole so i witnessed them making a Margarita and it looked yummy so i ordered one of them to start off with and doggone it it was yummy.
We then went down to get seeted into the secret room for the Corzo dinner and were greeted by more and even tastier Margaritas (these one were made with Corzo Silver) and several snifters of Corzo (the Blanco, Reposado and Añejo). It had been, unfortunately, quite some time since i had tasted Corzo (tho i have always liked it) so it was really good to go through the entire line again.
The highlight, for me, was the Corzo Brand ambassador Pablo Moix-- animated, articulate, well informed, enthusiastic and one heck of a drink mixer (i thought that it sounded funnier than mixologist. . .).
So summing it up: Great drinks, Great Tequila,Excellent food, friendly service, amazing environment-- i'd say that is what is classically known as a good night.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Batavia Arrack

Look at that label-- history!
Batavia Arrack is pot-distilled from molasses that is fermented with Red Javanese Rice on the Island of Java, Indonesia; the fermentation with rice which explains some of the surprising flavors found therein. The nose is intricate: floral tones, dark wood saw dust, herbaceous bay-laurel and dried basil. On the palate it is vibrant and round, filled with flavors moving so quick it is difficult to pick them; there is bread dough, and then basil and Kaffir, and finally roasted saffron and rangpur leaf. With a clean ending that is complex and layered, Batavia Arrack is a dry and exciting base for a drink, or as an superior modifier.

Here is a fun drink:

2 Oz Batavia Arrack
3\4 oz Antioqueño Aguardiente
3 Cardamom pods (crushed fresh, or a pinch of ground cardamom)
1/4 Lemon (squeeze it hard and drop the whole thing into the shaker)
1 Tablespoon of Passion Fruit Syrup

Shake vigorously, double strain into
Old Fashioned Glass with fresh ice

Saturday, January 16, 2010


The Isle of Jura is populated by less than 200 people (and a couple thousand red deer) who are known to be to be prone to superstition. To celebrate the living history and suspect beliefs of their neighbors, Superstition was created by blending an older, fine, creamy malt [21 years old] with a younger, robust peated malt [13 Year old] – the effect is mesmeric! The nose is direct and structured with the sultry finesse of heather honey, smoky toffee, dates, cocoa, golden raisin, fern, oily nuts, camp-fire and confect with a calm under-current of maritime influence. The flavors follow suit and add spice, pine and vegetal peat as the sweet creaminess of the mouth-feel leisurely gives to then resolve delicately on salt and oily walnut (or maybe flax seed). The finish is buttery, oiled, rich, lightly smoky and mixed with lovely herbs and spices. This is arresting, attractive equanimous single malt in a very lovely package. Enjoy this neat meditating on the enigmas of life.

Are you Superstitious? Then there is a contest for you, here. . .

By the way i stole the picture from their website...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Toreador

A friend and i were e-mailing about great tequila cocktails that no-one hears much about and one i really enjoy is -The Toreador.

My pal was puzzled and sent a query:

>It was just completely
>different from the
>Toreador that I know.
>I'm wondering which
>recipe is the original.

The 2 recipes that he mentioned were- The Kahlua Toreador and another drink that is just called 'The Toreador in some places.

So i checked and i went throught 41 cocktail books, there were only 2 recipes for the Toreador One in W. J. Tarling’s 1937 Cafe Royal Cocktail Book and one in Diffords Guide that credits Tarling:

So i surmised that: since Kalua wasn't even invented until 1936 the chances are slim that the 'Kahlua Toreador' was first (and it is kind of a different name too) a tasty drink but not 'usually' tequila, 'usually' it looks like this:
2 oz Brandy
1 oz Kahlua Coffee Liqueur
1/2 Egg White

The other drink that is 'sometimes' called the Toreador is also called (correctly i believe) The Toreador #2 on multiple occasions: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,

By the way i think this a tasty recipe also, i do prefer The Toreador to me it is much more classy, showing off sumptuous varied nuance that reveal lovely intricate complexity of a well made tequila.

i think it is pretty clear which one came first....

Which brings us back to W.J. Tarling’s 1937 Cafe Royal Cocktail Book, another absolute gem of a book that i feel is quite often missed there is an excellent re-issue available, with a new forward, by Jared Brown- here. . .
and a pdf available here: (and by the way this wonderful institution has quite a few other great pdf's available here: )

This is easily one of my favorite cocktail books, heck i think i am going to start a traipse through this book and post the progress.

i will leave you with a quote from the introduction the book, and The Toreador as it appears within:
"For the staff had to be confidants, friends and diplomats at times
of need, experts in the straightening of curious complications and
disputes, hierophants of the genius of conviviality."

1/2 Tequila.
1/4 Apricot Brandy.
1/4 Fresh Lime or Lemon Juice.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Cocktail Collaboration . .

So my buddy Arctic Wolf has been forcing me to make cocktails-- and i like it.
See him and i are on a forum (or for-rum as i like to call it) called Ministry of Rum, which i am certain you can surmise is a wonderful place to post about wonderful Rum with wonderful people! Arctic started a blog and began creating beverages to enjoy the spirits he reviewed and i would comment. After this went on a while he asked me about a certain drink (Afternoon delight) and i liked it so much he thought of a 'forrest approved' tag on his site-- which i of course thought was hilarious and a perfect reason to try a bunch of cocktails and correspond with a good buddy.
So collaboration . . . Arctic will send me an idea he has for a review/ cocktail i tell him if i like them, i tell him if i don't (while explaining why so we can adjust), sometimes i just tweak them if that’s all they need and sometime Arctic has a 'Spirit' and a direction but only that; thus we arrive to the cocktail example of our program.

Alpine Meadow 1

1 1/2 Oz Glenfiddich 15
3/4 Oz Gin
3/4 Oz Gran Gala (sub any great orange liqueur)

Stir with ice until chilled,
strain into chilled cocktail glass,
garnish w/ lime zest

So i sent that to Arctic and he did this:

Alpine Meadow 2

1 oz Glenfiddich 15
1/2 oz Tangeray #10 Gin
1/2 oz Triple Sec

Build on one ice cube in a glen cairn glass
Garnish with a small wedge of lime.

The original intention was to shows off the Alpine tones, spices and toffee candy aspects in Glenfiddich 15 and usurp some of the oakiness.
i think this drink does all that without being a detriment to the fine spirit Glenfiddich 15 is. (By the way, i think both versions are excellent, but i do love my cocktail glasses.)

The point of this post is to encourage experimentation, in collaborative friendship and have a drink for goodness sake.

Monday, January 4, 2010

“caffeine, dehydrate and hangover”

Where to begin . . . i love coffee! i worked in the gourmet coffee industry for 10+ years. i am what is classically known as an aficionado-- i know impressive, right.. ;)
So i was having my morning coffee and reading the blogs i follow and i came across the latest at Art of Drink, titled- Does Caffeine Cause Dehydration? No!. Now if you didn't know this already Darcy is a very smart guy and he passionately posted some good info on caffeine, coffee and battling hangovers that i am not going to repeat, so you should go check it out.

A funny thing is i was reading A Mountain of Crushed Ice yesterday and my buddy Tiare was quoting Darcy on this subject and today i am . . . Hilarious.

So what i am going to do is address what they didn't (probably because it is so obvious, but hey-- it should be said..).
If you don't want to be dehydrated--- DRINK WATER!!
If you want to fight off a hangover before it arrives... DRINK WATER!!!

Don't hate on coffee, coffee is wonderfully delicious!
Nothing like a nice 4 Shot Espresso before the evening at your local drinking establishment. Feeling adventurous? have a "Cafe Corretto" (espresso 'corrected' with grappa, or any Italian brandy/ liqueur), a "Café Calva" strong brewed French Roast coffee served with Calvados. . . or a personal favorite- Coffee and rum-- make a strong cup of coffee (how you like it-- i like mine no cream, no sugar-- or as i often say "Strong and Bitter, like i like my woman..") and add rum-- what could be easier...

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!!

Well here it is the first post of the new year... HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Also this is the 1 year anniversary of my blog-- HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

So here is a drink i made up last night...
Kraken Flip

1 1/2 Oz of Kraken
1 oz of Rum Chata
1 Egg
** Dash of Angostura Bitters
** Optional- 1/2 - 3/4 oz of Goslings 151 (to give it a kick)
** Looking for a sweeter drink skip the Goslings and add a dash of Cane syrup

Dry Shake Everything to emulsify
Shake with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass
Garnish with fresh grated nutmeg/chocolate . . .

i wish all of you the very best New Year, and i hope to see a lot more of you!