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copyright Destilerias Unidas
Rum from the islands in the Caribbean often get the most attention. For most people, Venezuela probably is one of the last countries people thing of with regards to rum.
This offering from Destilerias Unidas hails from Venezuela. It is distilled in copper pot stills, then aged in oak casks for 8 years before being bottled.
The color is a beautiful clear copper gold. On the nose there is a warm smell of carmel and molasses combined with notes of dark fruits (figs, raisins, etc), spices (cinnamon,allspice, etc), and oak to round out the flavors.
The rum is spicy and wonderfully fruity all at the same time. The flavors meld together creating a harmonious spirit. There are also notes of vanilla and chocolate with orangey undertones.
I bought this rum on a whim figuring that for $20 how could I go wrong. I wasn’t ( wrong that is). This is a great rum which probably does not get the attention it deserves. At $20 for an 8 year old rum it is an excellent buy. It is rich and complex providing a smooth backbone for cocktails.
I decided to mix up a Hotel Nacional Special. I used the version of the recipe that is in the PDT cocktail book. It was invented by Will P. Taylor for the Hotel Nacional in Cuba while he was managing it . He also managed the Waldorf-Astoria before it was closed due to prohibition.
Hotel Nacional Special
2 oz 8 year old Rum (Ron Diplomatico Reserva)
1 oz Pineapple Juice
.5 oz Lime juice
.5 oz Simple syrup
.25 oz Apricot liqueur (Rothman and Winter Orchard Apricot)
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime wheel.
The drink has a wonderful golden color. The rum provides a strong framework for which the tartness of the lime and the sweetness of the pineapple can hang from. The apricot lends a subtle sweet candied fruit note in the background.
I came across the Solera Cocktail on the Imbibe website. It was created by Dominic Venegas.
This cocktail makes an excellent use of sherry.
2 oz Santa Teresa 1796 Rum (Ron Zacapa)
1 oz Lustau Palo Cortado Peninsula
.75 oz Taylor’s Velvet Falernum
2 dashes of Regans’ orange bitters
Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Express the oils of an orange twist over the drink and drop in.
The original drink calls for Santa Teresa 1796 rum. Unfortunately, I did not have any in my liquor cabinet, so I substituted it with Ron Zacapa 23. If you don’t have these particular rums, try and substitute another aged rum. If you don’t have the sherry, substitute with another sherry. The final taste profile of the drink will be different but you should get a glimpse at this drinks greatness.
There is orange on the nose due to the expressed oils floating on the surface of the drink. The richness of the rum and sherry are balanced out by the spiciness of the falernum and the bite of the bitters. The drink is a symphony of flavors that delights the palate and soothes the soul. A wonderful after dinner sipper.
The Decade Cocktail was invented by Willy Shine of the 1534 bar in NY. I came across this drink on the finecooking.com blog.
1.5 oz Cognac (Hennessy)
1 oz Amaretto (Disaronno)
2 oz Fresh Pineapple Juice
.25 oz fresh lemon or lime juice (Lime)
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a pineapple leaf (I didn’t have any at the time).
The cognac adds depth and complexity which is balanced out by the nuttiness of the amaretto and the fruitiness of the pineapple juice. The amaretto and pineapple juice lend it a tropical flavor making this an all year addition to my stable of go to drinks.