Ron Abuelo Añejo 7 Year Review and the Pago Pago Cocktail

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Ron Abuelo traces its history back to the first sugar mill in the Republic of Panama and began producing rum in 1936. The rums are distilled from molasses before being aged in white oak casks.
Ron Abuelo 7 year is a light straw/copper color.
On the nose it opens up with a dry woody note before giving way to notes of vanilla and caramel.
It has sweet notes of vanilla, toffee, butterscotch, and caramel before finishing with a mildly dry nutty character. There is almost no trace of burn and it goes down extremely smooth.
The rum is incredibly affordable with a suggested retail of $23/750ml. This rum is equally at home drunk neat or in a variety of cocktails. Its affordable price point and delicious taste leaves plenty of room for experimentation without breaking the bank.

Pago Pago Cocktail
adapted from Beachbum Berry Remixed
1.5 oz Gold Rum (Ron Abuelo 7 Años)
3-4 chunks Fresh Pineapple
.5 oz Lime Juice
.5 ounce Green Chartreuse
.25 oz White Crème de Cacao (Marie Brizzard)
Muddle the pineapple in a cocktail shaker with the lime juice and liqueurs. Add the rum and ice and shake well for about 10 seconds. Double strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Notes:
The first time this recipe appeared in print was back in 1940. This is a drink that has such classic exotic drink ingredients as rum, pineapple and lime juice but it ups the ante with the herbal complexity of green chartreuse. It is refreshingly complex without being overwhelming. It’s perfect for a Friday evening sitting outside watching the sunset.
While I have not yet done so I think an interesting twist would be to infuse the rum with fresh cut pineapple thus creating a rich and aged pineapple rum without the need for muddling. In the future I’m going to have to give it a try and see how it comes out.

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Apricot Rum Fizz
2 ozs Rum (Ron Abuelo 7 Year)
1 oz Apricot Liqueur (Rothman and Winter)
.5 oz Lime Juice
3 oz Ginger Beer (Fever Tree)
Combine the first 3 ingredients and shake with ice. Strain into an ice filled low ball glass. Top with ginger beer.
Notes:
This is a light and easy sipping cocktail. The vanilla, caramel, and toffee notes meld nicely with the sweet fruitiness of the apricot liqueur. The ginger beer helps to keep everything in balance with its spicy bite.

Lastly I offer up my variation on the Captain’s Blood cocktail. I have decided to rename my variation Dr. Blood. The reason is because in 1935 the film Captain Blood was released in which Errol Flynn plays a Dr. Peter Blood who eventually becomes Captain Blood. This movie was the first thing that came to mind when I saw the name of this cocktail, hence its new name, the Dr. Blood.
Dr. Blood
1.5 oz Rum (Ron Abuleo 7 Year)
.5 oz Falernum
.25 oz Orgeat
.75 oz lime juice
1 Dash Angostura Bitters
Combine all ingredients and shake with ice. Strain over a large chunk of ice in a low ball glass
Notes:
Falernum is a sweet syrup used most often in tiki drinks. It contains flavors of almond, ginger, clove, lime, and depending on the recipe vanilla and/or allspice. Orgeat is a sweet syrup made from almonds, sugar, and rose and orange flower water. In future posts I will describe how to make your own. The drink is wonderfully tropical with sweet spice throughout the drink.

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

Ron Diplomatico Reserva Review and The Hotel Nacional Special

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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.
Notes:
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.

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The Decade

The Decade Cocktail was invented by Willy Shine of the 1534 bar in NY. I came across this drink on the finecooking.com blog.

the Decade
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).

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Notes:
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.

1800 Coconut Tequila Review & The Smokey Matador

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Coconut flavored spirits are nothing new. There is a vast array of coconut rums on the market. Then there is Cîroc vodka which has claimed it’s placed on top of the coconut vodka mountain. 1800 tequila sets itself apart from these as a wholly different animal. Instead of being infused with natural or artificial flavors it is infused with coconut water. This creates a more subtle coconut flavor thus allowing the flavors of the blue agave to shine through. This is an excellent mixer and at around $25 retail, it will be a great addition to any home bar for the summertime.

Now for some drinks.

On the back of the bottle, 1800 offers a recipe for the:
Coconut Crusher
1 part 1800 Coconut
1 part pineapple juice
Combine ingredients in a shaker and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice

For my second drink I went with a rift on the Frozen Matador.
Smokey Matador
1.5oz 1800 Coconut Tequila
2oz Pineapple Juice
.5oz Lime Juice
1tsp Coco Lopez
.5tsp of Mezcal (Del Maguey Vida)
Blend a cup of ice with the Mezcal. Put the crushed ice into a low ball glass; Combine the first 3 ingredients, shake, and strain over the crushed ice.

Notes:
Coconut and pineapple are always a winning combination and here they play the leading role with the spiciness of the agave bringing up the rear. The smokiness of the Mezcal adds a little extra complexity and adds to the overall experience of the drink.

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Have you tried the 1800 Coconut Tequila? If so, what do you think?