May 11th, 2008

Gir
  • tmfiii

Mixology Monday - RUM!!!

Arggghhhhh, Matey!  I guess'd ye be searchin' for a cuppa grog . . . or maybe ye tongue wants to lash at a Zombie or a Mai Tai . . . ye look like scurvy dogs from down here in ye old Scofflaw's Den. 

But AYE!  It be yet another Mixology Monday hosted by the esteemed Trader Tiki.  The poison this Cap'n of the High Seas has chosen is that nectar of Aphrodite, that elixir that keeps a Scofflaw's tongue whetted . . . RUM.

Alright, so a full post in pirate talk would be a bit much and I'm about ready to kick my own ass if I keep this up much longer. 

I love rum.  There isn't any other way to say it as clearly as that.  I love it.  This has also been a pretty hectic weekend for me and unfortunately I'm afraid it is going to have to infringe on my MxMo day.  But I don't want to make a bunch of excuse, lest you make me walk the plank.

When I started thinking of what to write, I decided to first take stock of what rum I had in this Scofflaw's Bar.



From left to right I have:

Ron Zacapa 15yr
Depaz Blue Cane Rhum Agricole
Dogfish Head Honey Brown Rum
El Dorado 12 yr Demerara Rum
Mt. Gay Rum
Cruzan Black Strap Rum
The Scarlet Ibis Rum
Dogfish Head Wit Spiced Rum
Neisson Rhum Agricole Blanc

After I took stock, I felt completely overwhelmed.  I guess I should take a perverted sense of pride in this feeling.  Most folks probably has a bottle of rum . . . maybe two.   I also wasn't sure of what to do for a cocktail for you good folks.  Should I go tried and true tiki?  I love me some tiki (as I have said over and over), but think a lot of folks will do traditional tiki drinks.  One I idea I had, and will do eventually, is a tasting of Rum Collins - try each of my rums with a squeeze of lime and some tonic water.  Sounds like a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon if you ask me.

So I turned to the books.  Again, tons of rum drinks and none that really grabbed my attention.  Maybe it was the feeling of rushing around and I was trying to force something . . . not allowing the spirits (heh!) of those by-gone Pirates flow through me and give me inspiration when I needed.  I needed the spirit of William Dampier to infuse my soul with a yearning to find something new. 

So when all else fails, pick something at random!!!

I chose the Tahiti Club from Gary Regan's Bartender's Bible.  It goes something like this:

Tahiti Club
1 oz light rum
1 oz dark rum
1 oz pineapple juice
.5 oz lime juice
.5 oz lemon juice
1 tsp maraschino liqueur

Shake, strain over fresh ice cubes in a rocks glass.


As you can see from the picture, I used the Depaz and the El Dorado.  Just a quick note to say that I really love the Depaz Blue Cane Rhum Agricole.  It smells of sweet grass, fresh sugarcane and has almost a whiskey/bourbon undertone as well.   It is also one of the few (maybe the only one?) rums to receive the Appellation d'Origine Controlee from the French Government. 

The cocktail was good - but very tart!  For my tastes, I think the tartness hid some of the nuances of the Depaz and the El Dorado.  I think a dash of rich simple syrup would really bring the inherent flavors of the rums from behind the juices.  The maraschino liqueur lent an interesting funkiness to the nose of the drink, but worked very well with the fruit juice flavors.

Hmmm . . . now that my whistle was whetted, I wanted to do a little concoctioneering.  Actually, I was going to use this space for a drink I came up with while over at Sean's Friday night, but he beat me to it and posted it here.  That scurvy bastard . . .   :-)  So check out his post for an extra-special-hey-look-there-is-an-extra-chest-of-booty-type rum drink from your's truly.

So yeah, concoctioneering.  I had some coconut milk left over from some coconut sticky rice I made a few days ago.  I decided to try and use that in a drink.  This isn't the pre-sweetned Coco Lopez stuff, rather it is what you find in the Asian section of your market.  For help using it, I turned to some notes I had written one afternoon playing with some coconut water.  The water is the clear juice that is inside the coconut right when you open one up.  One of the recipes I had tinkered with was the following:

2 oz rum
2 oz coconut water
.5 oz lime juice
.5 oz falernum
.25 oz grapefruit juice
.25 oz raspberry syrup
1 dash maraschino
1 dash absinthe

I really liked this mix.  It was boozy, sweet and had flavors and aromas coming out of the waa-zoo.  For me, definitely a keeper.  But at some point I'll need to name it . . . .  But this was the launching pad to use the coconut milk.  What I came up with was this:

2 oz rum
1.5 oz coconut milk
.5 oz lime juice
.5 oz falernum
.25 oz Aperol --> I ran out of grapefruit juice and wanted a substitute for the bitterness in grapefruit.
.25 oz raspberry syrup
.25 oz grenadine
1 dash maraschino
1 dash absinthe

Now to be honest, the drink came out looking kind of funky.  It was a creamy dark pink color.  Not unappetizing by any stretch, but just not a color that I normally associate with drinks.  It kind of looked like the pinkish hue you find on seashells.  Hmmm . . .

The taste was also something I wasn't expecting.  It was much more tart than anticipated.  It was creamy, sweet and tart.  The rum gave it a good backbone (I used the Mt. Gay) and the Aperol tamed the sweetness of the syrups.  (If anyone out there tries their hand an making this, please, please let me know what you think . . . any and all feedback would be greatly appreciated!)

Alright, I think it's time for me to bring my MxMo post to an end.  Again, I want to thank Mr. Blair Reynold's, aka Trader Tiki for allowing us on deck for this rum soaked episode of Mixology Monday!

Cheers!  
rum

Mixology Monday: On a Dark & Stormy, a Ti' Punch

if you know how we roll here in the Den - and if you're reading this, you might quite possibly understand - we tend to do two things for every month's MxMo and I, at least, tend to post on Sundays because I can never guarantee getting one out on a Monday.  A big "hooah!" out to Trader Tiki for hosting this month.

As I'd mentioned previously, my plan had always been to get my friend dan_oz to help me pick out rum drinks.  Unfortunately (or not), that didn't happen.  Not only did we not make it to the kickball party I'd been planning on going to but we just hung out with our friend Roy and my brother Matt at our house and at the new local bar Dogwood Tavern, drinking copious amounts of beer.  I did manage to give him his bottle of Scarlet Ibis and I can't wait to hear what he thinks of it.  Still, I'm not a huge rum guy.

Today, after a brunch downtown at Kramerbooks, I was talking with my cohort tmfiii and we remembered MxMo (which I had completely forgotten):

[17:35] T. Marshall Fawley III (Talk.v104DAA3B7B8): after dinner, I need to figure out mxmo . . . doh
[17:36] seanmike: oh crap
[17:36] seanmike: hey it's rum

Notice the blistering level of discourse that goes on behind the bar in the Scofflaw's Den.

But I'd talked about something yesterday, hadn't made it, and so now it was time.

Before that, though, it was time for dinner.  We cooked up some steaks, corn on the cob, some green beans, but in the kitchen, because, well, the weather...



(Not pictured: rain pouring down)

Let's try the other side of the house.

Feh.



Trust me, it looked more rain-ful in real life.

While cooking, I decided to make a drink before we hit the true "Mixology Monday" drink of the night.

Dark and Stormy
3 ounces Goslings Dark Seal Rum
8 ounces ginger beer

Mix in a tall glass, garnish with a wedge of lime.

(Recipe from a card deck called "Classic Cocktails" from Barnes & Noble.)

I'm not huge on exact proportions for things like this...



That's a 9.8 ounce bottle of ginger beer, but I stuck with the 3 ounces of rum.

(And no, that's not my broccoli in the background.)



Refreshing.

We had a tasty dinner, watching that Mother's Day marathon of "The Deadliest Catch", and despite the rain I thought I'd have a cigar.  I didn't get one last night and appropriately enough I had one perfect for this month's MxMo.

It was time for a Ti' Punch.

I'll quote from the Caribbean Spirits little recipe card I got at the rum tasting the other month...

Ti' Punch
Traditional Recipe
  • Splash of Petite Canne Sugar Cane Syrup
  • Slice of lime rind
  • Rhum Agricole Blanc
  • Stir, Add ice
Now, this recipe suggests using the Neisson Agricole Blanc, which I have a bottle of, but I have to be honest, I use it more as a mixing liquor rather than a drink it nearly straight.  I wanted to use the La Favorite Rhum Agricole Vieux, which is whisky and bourbon barrel aged, so I did.  I did the following proportions:

2 ounces La Favorite Rhum Agricole Vieux
1/2 ounce Petite Canne Sugar Cane Syrup
etc.



I mixed it up and pulled out my cigar accoutrements.  It was time...time for the La Aurora Rum Barrel Aged cigar!

Told you it was appropriate.



I have to tell you what - I really, really liked that ti' punch.  It was sweeter than the one I had at Bourbon lo those many months weeks ago, and I just enjoyed the heck out of it.

The cigar itself was also extremely good.  As I'd been warned by a coworker you need to let it go for a minute or so first to get the taste right up and I enjoyed the heck out of it all the way down to the end.

So that's it for me tonight.  Two very simple rum drinks - but both quite good in their own way, and, I think, a good way to show off that rum doesn't have to be just in tiki drinks.