Tuesday, May 21, 2019

The G&T Lie~we love it.

Looking at Gin & Juice Long Beach coming up, got me thinking.
The best time to harvest Pineapple around here is in March or June, but it grows and is good all year. Lemon is also year around, and mint is an amazing garnish when the two juices dance with Gin, but Gin is key here.
Is that Gin & Juice? I say yes.
Stolen photo
For this drink, I am utilizing a lovely London Dry style Gin; it is full flavored and clean with just the right amount of juniper forward character and called London No 1.
So I take Pineapple and Lemon Juice, and to lighten, freshen and bind everything together-I use some delicious tonic--Fever Tree Tonic.
I love fresh juice, but Pineapple is tough; the best I ever had is from Trader Joes.
That being said, here is how the recipe works:

1.75OZ <50ml> Gin
1.75OZ <50ml> Pineapple Juice
1OZ <30ml> Lemon Juice
3OZ <90ml> Tonic Water

So pour the gin, Pineapple juice, lemon juice (and skin-if possible) into a shaker filled with ice, shake and strain into a chilled 'Collins' glass and top up with Tonic--garnish with a 'spanked' mint leaf.
photo by Nicolle Stone IG @nicollenelespacio
This is, in your mouth, remembering the best of Spring and anticipating the best of Summer. I call it the G&T Lie~we love it.

Hopefully, I will see you at Gin & Juice Long Beach... Let's DO THIS!

Thank you Nicolle Stone IG @nicollenelespacio for taking the picture.

Thank you London No1 for the Gin.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Puerto Angel Blanco

Stolen photo!
Puerto Angel Blanco from Michoacán is another rum from someplace you are likely to not have heard of. Puerto Angel is meticulously crafted from cold-pressed sugarcane that was grown at high elevation in the hills surrounding Michoacán and then naturally fermented with local yeasts according to traditional techniques that were developed in that area in the 1600s. It is double distilled in copper pot stills and rested for 30 days before bottling.
The aromas and flavors of Puerto Angel Blanco show the unique terroir of Uruapan Highlands. 
The nose leads with white cake w/ butter frosting, banana leaves, meringue, banana cake, orchard blossoms, lemon, banana candy, basically, a lot of banana, and fresh floral fragrances, it smells delicious.
The taste, wow the taste! The aromas imply a sweetness that is only perceived on the palate, the flavors follow with a dry demonstration in a creamy, buttery, supple mouthfeel that shows a provocative natural sweetness. 
The finish lingers and restates the flavors and aromas with the tingle of clean alcohol.
Very very nice.
I'm excited I get to talk about this rum on Cinco de Mayo at Rum Rhum Club. We will be doing this one the aged offering and Paranubes++.
I will try to write a bit about each of them this week too.
This is different than the previous offering that was from Oaxaca

Monday, April 8, 2019

Rum Fire, "Flavor on full"! or "Taste the Base!"

I was thinking about this, so here it is-freshened up.
Rum Fire, to talk about it I'm going to go back a few years and tell you how I found it. Sitting on the patio outside of the Broken Shaker, I was sitting with a bunch of friends that were all in Miami for the Rum
Renaissance Festival and somebody pulled out a flask of Rum Fire and we all took a sip. Every one of us was impressed, amazed and intrigued. We wondered why this wasn't available in America and how beautiful Rum Fire was; it's huge Jamaican style rum, pungent aromatics. amazing structure, elegant depth and lovely warmth, or the best of everything you expect an excellent Jamaican overproof rum.
So that was a few years ago and every chance I've had since then, I've enjoyed Rum Fire. Usually neat, maybe with some ice, but that's how I am. Fortunately, I recently received a bottle from a friend and I was at home, so I made some cocktails and of course, Rum Fire held up brilliantly. Obviously, it blends perfectly with fruit juices because of the nature of it higher-proof, its intricate aromas, and its lovely full body; it stands up to sugar for the very same reasons. Because of how Rum Fire melds with juices and sugars it makes it an obvious addition to a variety of tiki drinks. Wild, fragrant, beautiful, ornate, elaborate drinks are no problem, Rum Fire will shine through.

Photo by Nicholas Feris
Jamaican Valet

1 oz. Rum Fire Overproof Rum
1 oz. Amargo-Vallet
1 oz. Lime juice
1 oz. simple, or gum syrup (optional/ adjust)

Shake with ice, strain into a Collins glass, top with soda (or tonic)
Garnish with lime
The surprise was making 'traditional' style cocktails using rum a bitter modifier maybe a little sweetener or sweetening modifier, chilled and served in a classic glassware. I love those kinds of drinks, and my goodness I was floored immediately; I could see Rum Fire substituting for any huge gin immediately, I could see it marrying with vermouth's, amaro's, bitters, Sherry, or Port. All these things that are components to classically structured vintage cocktails--the kind of drinks not normally associated with an unaged, over-proof rum. Discussing this with my friend who gave me the bottle of Rum Fire, he coined the phrase "Taste the base".

Photo by Nicholas Feris
Heated Conversation
1 ½ oz. Rum Fire Overproof Rum
1 oz. Fino sherry
1 ½ oz. Amaro Montenegro

Stir with ice strain into a cocktail glass garnish with orange zest
That is -to me- the foundation of an elegantly structured classic cocktail; a cocktail that's built around a foundation spirit and augmented to amplifies the depth and breadth of the flavors without diminishing, or clashing with, the beauty of the base. Rum Fire is a perfect way to make these incredibly complex cocktails because of the immensity of the flavors in the foundation spirit. Anyways, here are a couple of cocktails that I came up with using fairly simple ratios that had fantastic results. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

Both of these drink utilize and could be utilized as a digestif

Fantastic tour/history: http://www.therumcollective.com/2012/01/past-and-present-tour-of-hampden-estate.html

Their Website: http://www.hampdenrumcompany.com/products.html

Here is a great piece by my buddy Steve: https://www.uncommoncaribbean.com/2016/08/26/friday-happy-hour-the-tempestuous-trelawny-daiquiri/

Here another nice bit about the distillery that Rum Fire comes from http://rumconnection.com/hampden-estate/

Monday, April 1, 2019

Kura Malt Okinawan Whiskey

Kura Okinawan Pure Malt Whisky distilled at the Helios distillery in Okinawa Japan.
Statement on the back of the box
So I held off doing this review because I was waiting for information from The Distillery or the Importer representative that I know and I just never got an answer-back. So I'm going to taste the whiskey and tell you what I taste. If you need to know all the specific details email me and I'll speculate for you but I'm not going to put it in print on the internet.

On the nose, it is reminiscent of the lighter single malts from the Highland area (maybe Tobermory, with the fruitiness of Balblair), there is some peat influence, but it also reminds me of Irish single malts because of the pastry notes and fruit character. Back to the aromas, you get creamy malt, toasty greens, oily citrus, the slightest whiff of char, supple baked fruit pies--like a peach pocket pie and fluffy spices, delicate, simple, lovely oak spices.
The flavor shows all of the Aromas particularly now, cleanly with a definite uptick on the Smoky characteristic, not in a bad way, very light, very delicate, elegant with a nice rich, oily mouth feel.
The Finish is clean and relatively short for how much flavor there was but the aftertaste causes a tingly and fresh lingering, so I'm going to add that to the evaluation of the finish and make it more about the aftertaste. It is flavorsome and flirtatious, so good it has me salivating wanting more.
I'm going to go ahead and highly recommend this. Any fan of Suntory or Nikka products will find something of comprable quality. This is obviously its own thing and it has its own flavors but the quality is comprable and who doesn't love a little variation on a great thing.
So I really don't know the age statement I know that it's aged in American Oak and then finished in Japanese rum casks so we know that much. I've heard different times on the internet that's why I was checking with the Distillery to get solid figures to offer, but personally to me it doesn't matter. As long as it's delicious, I don't care if it's an hour old or if its 100 years old. This is delicious so there.
>On the side note if it's a hundred years old, it is going to be way more expensive -especially if it's delicious- because evaporation but that's a whole other discussion.<