Flor de Caña 4 Year Review & The Daisy de Santiago, Boukman Daiquiri

Flor de Caña is a brand of rum distributed by Compañia Licorera de Nicaragua. It was founded in 1890 by Francisco Alfredo Pellas and is today headed by a fifth generation member of the Pellas family. From it’s humble roots it has grown into one of the most widely recognized rums along with holding one of the largest rum reserves in the world.

In this post we will be taking a look at the Extra Dry 4 Year Old Rum.
On the nose there are is an initial intense alcohol aroma which assaults the nose and it is impossible to get any discernible aromas off the spirit. After it opens up there are aromas of caramel, tropical fruit (pineapple and banana), and a hint of freshly cut grass on a summer afternoon.

Upon tasting there are initial flavors of caramel and more tropical fruits. This is followed up by some earth tones, a touch of coconut and the just discernible presence of vanilla. This last subtle touch of vanilla is due to the 4 years that the rum spent in aging in oak barrels. There are hints of sweetness in the beginning but the rum has a dry finish. Not to be forgotten either, this rum is still rough around the edges and has a some alcohol burn. This is acceptable as this rum was not designed to be sipped on it’s own but rather as a wonderful additions to cocktails. Give it a try in your next Mojito or Daiquiri and it will be a rewarding experience. Flor de Caña Extra Dry 4 Year retails for around $15/750ml. Sample provided by representatives of Flor de Caña.

The first drink this evening comes to us from Charles H. Baker
Daisy De Santiago
2 oz White Rum (Flor de Caña Extra Dry 4 Year)
1 oz Lime Juice
.25 oz Simple Syrup
.75 Yellow Chartreuse
1 oz Club Soda
Shake first three ingredients with ice and pour into a chilled wine glass filled with cracked ice. Add club soda and then float chartreuse on the top. Serve with a straw and garnish with mint sprigs.
Notes:
If you like daiquiris then you will enjoy this as it has the same flavor profile. It’s tart and refreshing with added herbal complexity and effervescence.

The next drink up is an original creation. I have been wanting to Bonal in a cocktail for some time. Bonal is a cross between an amaro and sweet vermouth. It has the bitterness of gentian and the sweetness of stone fruits.
Heads or Tails
2 oz White Rum (Flor de Caña Extra Dry 4 Year)
.75 oz Bonal
.25 oz Amaretto (Disaronno)
Stir all ingredients together and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Flame an orange coin over the drink and drape over the side of the glass
Notes:
When you bring the drink up to your nose you are immediately enveloped in rich orange aromas. The amaretto adds a touch of nutty sweetness to the background.

The last drink is a a creation from Alex Day of the Franklin Mortgage and Investment Company in Philly.
Boukman Daiquiri
1.5 oz White Rum (Flor de Caña Extra Dry 4 Year)
.5 oz Cognac (Remy Martin VSOP)
.75 oz Lime Juice
.75 Cinnamon Syrup
Shake and strain all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.
Notes:
This is quite possibly one of my favorite rifts on the classic daiquiri. The addition of the cognac and the cinnamon adds richness and texture. This is one not to be missed and can be enjoyed year round.

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Lucid Absinthe Review and the Absinthe Suissesse

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Absinthe continues to be a mystifying spirit, partly because of its scandalous history and the controversy surrounding its supposedly hallucinogenic properties.

Allegedly it was created as a medicinal elixir in the early 1790′s by Dr. Pierre Ordinaire. It gained popularity after it was given to French troops to combat malaria. When they returned they brought it back to cafes, bars, and other establishments and its popularity exploded.

Driven by the prohibition and temperance movement, absinthe was demonized and associated with violent crime, ultimately leading to its ban in 1912 by the US Dept. of Agriculture. After 95 years, the ban was ultimately lifted, and the genuine absinthe was once again reauthorized for sale in the United States. Lucid became the first genuine absinthe made with real Grande Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium).

Lucid was developed in France by absinthe historian and distiller T.A. Breaux. It is distilled in the historic Combier Distellery in Saumur, in France’s Loire Valley.

For the taste test I sampled it as it is traditionally prepared.

The aroma is powerful and enticing, with aromas of anise, indeterminate spices, a hint of mint and other herbs filling the air around the glass.

The taste is more subdued than the aroma would lead you to believe. The flavors of anise and fennel are the first to engulf your mouth. This is followed by notes of various herbs which are impossible to discern as they blend together in one herby and earthy flavor.

Lucid is available in 750 mL for $59.99 and 375 mL for $34.99.

I now offer some additional ways to enjoy absinthe besides the traditional method.

First up is the Asbinthe Frappe which is an easy method used to turn the classic drip method into a refreshing iced drink.
Absinthe Frappe
1.5 ozs Absinthe (Lucid)
.5 oz simple syrup
1.5 ozs club soda
1cup crushed ice
Build first 2 ingredients over crushed ice and top with club soda. Give a quick stir to incorporate.
Notes:
This drink slowly changes over time as the ice melts adding more dilution to the drink. It starts off strong and cold before mellowing into a sweet and bubbly drink, perfect for those warm nights.

This drink has similar components to both the Ramos Gin Fizz and the Absinthe Frappè
Absinthe Suissesse
1.5 ozs Absinthe (Lucid)
.5 oz Orgeat Syrup
1 egg white or 1 oz of Pasteurized Egg Whites
1 dash or about 4-6 drops Orange Flower Water
2 ozs Half and Half
.5 cup crushed ice
Shake and strain with crushed ice and pour unstrained into a highball glass.
Notes:
The egg white and cream give the drink a frothy milkshake like texture. The orgeat adds a sweet nutty flavor helping to round out the flavor of absinthe.

This upcoming drink is a wonderful introduction into the world of tiki drinks.
Test Pilot
1.5 ozs Jamaican Rum (Appleton Estate V/X)
.75 oz Light Puerto Rican Rum (Cruzan)
3 tsps of Cointreau
1/8 tsp of Absinthe
.5 oz Lime Juice
.5 oz Falernum
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 cup crushed ice
Blend all ingredients together for 5 seconds then pour unstrained into a low ball glass. Top with more crushed ice. Garnish with a cherry.
Notes:
I decided to use Cruzan rum instead of the light Puerto Rican Rum called for. Like most good tiki drinks, this drink is more than the sum of it’s parts. Nevertheless the bitters and the absinthe are noticeable in the background lending subtle spicy and herbal notes. It is an expertly balanced drink with the sweetness in wonderful harmony with bite of the citrus and ginger.

The last cocktail is a creation by Stew Ellington.
Felix Swizzle
1 oz Dark Rum Rhum Barbancourt
1 oz Jamaican Rum (Appleton Estate)
.5 oz Falernum
.25 oz Absinthe (Lucid)
1 tsp Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
1 oz Pineapple Juice
1 oz Lime Juice
.25 Simple Syrup
Build in an ice filled tiki mug or high ball glass and swizzle. Garnish with a paper umbrella and a straw
Notes:
The original recipe does not call for the additional .25 oz of simple syrup but I felt that the drink needed because it was a little to tart for my taste. The absinthe adds a herbal depth with the maraschino adding a touch of it’s characteristic funk.

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Disclosure: This was a sample bottle that was shipped to me.

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The Mojito: A Simple and Refreshing Classic

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Mojito
8 mint leaves
.75 oz lime juice
.75 oz simple syrup
2 oz white rum (10 cane or Bacardi)
3 oz sparkling water
Gently muddle the mint with the simple syrup in a glass. Add the rum, lime juice, sparkling water, and ice. Stir to combine. Top with more ice and a mint sprig.

Notes:
What needs to be said, it’s a Mojito. It’s delicious and refreshing. The key is using fresh and high quality ingredients. If you don’t have 10 cane or Bacardi Silver, experiment with other white rums to find one that suits your taste. Try adding fresh fruit like blueberries or mangoes for a tantalizing twist.

Mixology Monday – Tiki

Ever since I started blogging I have waited for Mixology Monday to arrive. February is Tiki Month and it is only fitting that this Mixology Monday be Tiki themed. This time it is hosted by the Pegu Blog.

My first drink for MxMo is a riff on Rum Dood’s Improved Rum Fizz which is a variation of Trader Vics Rum Fizz. After reading up on both drinks I decided to take Rum Dood’s advice and offer my own variation on the drink. Growing up, one of my favorite things to do was mix orange soda with International Delight French Vanilla Coffee Creamer which produced an awesome orange cream soda. I used this as inspiration for my Improved Rum Fizz #2

Improved Rum Fizz #2
2oz Banks 5 Island Rum
.5oz Curacao
.5oz Lemon juice
.5oz Lime juice
2tsps Vanilla Syrup
.75oz Heavy Whipping Cream
.5oz egg white
2dashes of orange bitters
1oz Virgil’s Orange Cream Soda
Pour all ingredients except for the soda into a cocktail shaker and dry shake for approximately 20 seconds. Add ice to the cocktail shaker and shake for close to 1 minute. Pour the orange cream soda in the bottom of a glass then strain the contents of the shaker into the glass. Express a orange twist over the top of the drink and discard.

Notes:
The rum comes through and makes itself known without overpowering the drink. The bitters, curacao, and soda dance along your taste buds providing them with an array of orange notes that awaken the senses. This combines wonderfully with orange aroma from the essential oils that are sitting on the egg white cloud. The dryness of the curacao and bitters help to cut down on the sweetness. The drink has a silky smooth texture with all the flavors playing in harmony.

My second drink was originally created for a friend of mine who really loves coffee. So I gave her the honor of naming of it and out came the Starbuck (named after the character from Battlestar Galactica, not the famed coffee spot).

Starbuck
2oz Gold Jamaican Rum
.5oz White Rum (10 Cane)
.5oz Coco Lopez (coconut cream)
.5oz Fresh Brewed Coffee (Yemen Mocha)
.25 Allspice Dram
1oz Banana Liqueur
1oz Lemon juice
2dashes of Angostura Bitters
Shake all ingredients with ice then strain into a glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a lime shell filled with coconut. Torch the coconut with a light flame to toast.

Notes:
The frutiness of the coconut cream and banana liquer combine well with flavor provile of the Blackwell Rum that I used. The coffee keeps it from being too sweet and adds a hint of chocolate in the background. The Angostura and the Allspice dram add a hint of spiceness throughout.


Blackheart Punch

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I found the original recipe on the Rum Doods website. I changed it by adding a 1/2 part of spiced rum, using Earl Grey instead of plain Black Tea, replacing the blackstrap with a flavorful gold rum from Jamaica and the amber with a white Cruzan rum.
Blackheart Punch
1 part Fresh Lime Juice
1 part Fresh Lemon Juice
2 parts Cinnamon Syrup (1:1)
1 part Gold Rum (Blackwell Fine Jamaican Rum)
2 parts White Rum (Cruzan)
4 parts Iced Black Tea (Earl Grey – loose tea)
1/2 part Spiced Rum (Kraken Spiced Rum)
Serve in a punch bowl with a large block of ice. Float cinnamon sticks and frozen lemon and lime wheels. Ladle over rocks with a cinnamon stick and a dash of Aromatic bitters.

Notes:
This is truly refreshing and strong. The sweetness of syrup is balanced by the tartness of the lime and the lemon and the spiciness of the cinnamon. The citrus juices play off of the bergamot orange creating a wonderful pairing, each enhancing the characteristics of the other. No particular rum takes the lead, while the spices of the Kraken are detected faintly on the finish. This is a punch that does not take long to make, can easily be adjusted to taste and used as a springboard for experimentation with different teas and rums.