Cana Brava Rum Review

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Cana Brava is the work of The 86 Co. which is made up of Simon Ford, Dushan Zaric & Jason Kosmos (founders of Employees Only), Malte Barnekow, and Kris Roth. Cana Brava is a 3 year old aged rum from … Continue reading

7 Daiquiri’s in 7 Days: Airmail

Today is the last day of this series, so what better way to celebrate the official last day of summer then with a bottle of champagne.

Depending on which cocktail book you examine there are a wide variety of recipes for the Airmail. They include different proportions of ingredients, type of rum, and type of Champagne. There are even disagreements on the type of glass to serve it in including the coupe glass, the collins glass as recommended by David Wondrich in Esquire, and even a variation from Jim Meehan which is served in a glass teacup over a sphere of ice.

Despite the many variations of the recipe there is little to be found in the way of history on the cocktail. According to David Wondrich, cocktail historian, “It simply turns up, as if by spontaneous generation, in our 1949 Handbook for Hosts.” On the other hand Payman Bahmani stated that in a conversation with Greg Boehm, owner of Cocktail Kingdom, the “Airmail was actually first created by the folks at Bacardi (or at least their corporate mixologist) and was featured in a Bacardi recipe pamphlet published in the 1930’s.”

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Airmail
2 oz. añejo rum (Rhum Barbancourt 8 year)
.75 oz. lime juice
1 oz. honey syrup (1:1)
1 oz. Brut Champagne/Cava/Sparkling Wine (Freixenet Brut)
Combine the first three ingredients with ice in a shaker. Shake, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and top with champagne.
Notes:
This is a rich and effervescent cocktail with a delicious backbone of orange blossom honey. A perfect way to wave goodbye to the long warm days of summer and usher in the cool crisp days of fall.

If you missed yesterdays post on the Look Normal and the Freshman Daiquiri you can find it here.
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7 Daiquiri’s in 7 Days: Royal Daiquiri


The Royal Daiquiri is a tasty twist on the original daiquiri. The proportions and preparation of my drink are different from the ones originally offered by Don the Beachcomber.

Crème Yvette is a violet, citrus, and vanilla liqueur that was first produced in the 1890’s. It went out of production but was revived by the Cooper Spirits Company, the makers of St.Germain. It is a combination of 4 berry fruits (blackberry, raspberry, cassis, strawberries) that is blended with dried violet petals. At the end of the maceration process honey and orange peel is added. It has rich sweet berry notes balanced out by a delicate violet flavor. Lingering in the background are touches of orange and hints of silky vanilla.

The Royal Daiquiri
2.5 oz Gold Rum (Ron Abuelo 7 Year)
1 oz Lime Juice
.75 oz Crème Yvette
1 dash of Orange Bitters
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass filled with crushed ice.
Notes:
Despite the hefty amount of Crème Yvette the drink is not sickly sweet. The floral notes from the Crème Yvette add a nice delicate touch and the vanilla complements the flavors of the rum. There is a delicious berry aroma and flavor that makes you yern for the long warm days of summers.

7 Daiquiri’s in 7 Days continues with the: Look Normal and a bonus drink, the Freshman Daiquiri
If you missed yesterdays Daiquiri Post: La Florida Cocktail

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7 Daiquiri’s in 7 Days: La Florida Cocktail

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The original drink appears in Trader Vic’s Bartenders Guide from 1972 and is sometimes referred to as the Floridita Cocktail. The La Florida Cocktail is the creation of Constantine Ribailagualt and was one of the signature drinks of the La Florida bar in Havana, Cuba.

It’s name is strikingly similar to the Floridita Daiquiri but they are two different drinks. The daiquiri contains maraschino liqueur while the cocktail uses crème de cacao, sweet vermouth, and grenadine as the sweeteners. This particular version of the drink appears in the PDT cocktail book and is the creation of Jack McGarry.

La Florida Cocktail
2 oz Banks 5 Island Rum
.75 oz Lime Juice
.5 oz Crème de Cacao (Marie Brizard)
.25 oz Sweet Vermouth (Cinzano)
1 barspoon Grenadine (Hibiscus Grenadine)
Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime wheel and enjoy.
Notes:
The drink is well put together and despite the .5 oz of Crème de Cacao the chocolate flavor is still subtle and interwoven with the herbal qualities of the vermouth. The final flavor is not one you would except but its delicious and well worth exploring.

7 Daiquiri’s in 7 Days continues tomorrow with the: Royal Daiquiri

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7 Daiquiri’s in 7 Days: Strawberry Daiquiri

To the modern drinker, this is the most widely known variation of the daiquiri. Usually it’s served frozen, with a topping of whipped cream or a sugared rim. Rarely are there even fresh strawberries in the mix. So in creating the strawberry daiquiri I offer 2 variations; one which contains fresh strawberries and the other a wonderful strawberry shrub made from fresh strawberries.

Strawberry Daiquiri
2 oz White Rum (Brugal Blanco)
.5 oz Lime Juice
.25 Triple Sec (Luxardo Triplum Triple Sec)
5 or 6 Strawberries hulled and quartered
Muddle the strawberries with the lime juice and triple sec in a cocktail shaker to create a thick paste and extract all the juice. Add the rum, ice, shake, and double strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Notes:
Double straining is crucial for this drink in order to keep the muddled and pulverized bits of strawberry from ending up in the drink. This is tart and refreshing without being overwhelmingly sweet. The strawberry flavor remains fresh and crisp, complemented by the funky qualities of the rum. The triple sec helps take a slight edge off the drink while adding an underlying orangey sweetness.

Bonus Alert! This daiquiri uses the homemade strawberry shrub that I wrote about in a previous post.
Strawberry Shrub Daiquiri
2 oz White Rum
.5 oz Lime Juice
.5 oz Strawberry Shrub
.5 oz Simple Syrup
Shake all ingredients with ice an strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Notes:
This drink is a delicate pink and not the deep red of its sister. The strawberry shrub works beautifully in this drink with the zing of the vinegar wonderful nuance.

7 Daiquiri’s in 7 Days continues tomorrow, 9-19-12 with the: La Florida Cocktail
Yesterdays Daiquiri Post: The Hemingway Daiquiri or Daiquiri #3
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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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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.

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.