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Ed Hamilton

eGullet Society staff emeritus
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    sailing yacht Triton

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  1. I'd suggest a variation of Orange Blossom which is 3 part Hamilton 86, 1 part Hamilton Pimento Dram stir and fill the glass with fresh orange juice, garnish with mint. For something as audacious as Bombogenesis I'll substitute some Hamilton 151 for some of the Hamilton 86, depending on the severity of the occasion in your locale.
  2. Here's how I discovered the point. After working, and it was work, to blend the right rums for my 151 I also wanted a blend that I could also dilute to 86 proof and still be good enough to sip, on the occasion that I just wanted something to go with that last piece of apple pie or chocolate. Now I wasn't looking for something to put in my best crystal snifter, but rather something I could drink 1/2 an ounce of to help rinse the crumbs from between my teeth before heading to bed. When I found that rum I immediately started the process to bottle it as 151 and 86 proof, knowing that the bulk of the sales would be to tiki people that needed a 151 proof rum for their cocktails. I also knew at that time, mid 2014, that Mosaiq was tinkering with their blend that they were going to rebrand, again, as Lemon Hart 151 and that there was going to be a demand for another 151 in the market. To bottle my 151 is a fairly straight forward process. The bulk rum is delivered to the blender, Five & 20 Distillery in Westfield, NY at 154 proof where it is diluted with filtered, well water to 151 proof. Bottling the 86 proof version is a bit more complicated. It takes about five days to dilute the 154 proof, aged rum to 86 proof. This is done slowly by dripping the water into a large tank of high proof rum while circulating the contents in the receiving tank to mix the water and aged alcohol. If you just dump in x amount of water you will shock the spirit. Really?, I hear you murmur as you read this. Yes, really. And you can prove it to yourself and it's really simple to do so. 86 is just a bit over half of 151, so if we add just a bit less than an equal amount of water to a measure of 151 proof rum we will essentially get something that is close to 86 proof. Take a measure, I use 1/2 ounce when I ask bartenders to demonstrate this to themselves, and pour that into a rocks or other glass. Now add another measure of water, that is slightly less than the measure you just poured of rum, into the glass of rum and mix. Now taste the difference between that and a measure of 86 proof rum. The slowly blended and bottled 86 proof rum has a brighter, fresher taste than the sample you just mixed by diluting some 151 and a smaller measure of water. The water you are using is not the same as the water used in upstate NY, but even so, there is a definite difference that you can taste. I've watched hundreds of bartenders do this and only a few have been able to hold back their smile of enlightenment as they taste the two samples. The simplest reason for the difference is that there are a lot more molecules than just ethanol and water in the 151 proof rum. Those other molecules also have an affinity for water but when you just dump in some water the biggest molecules, that also weigh the most, will attract and attach themselves to the water molecules with the result that the spirit loses some of the lighter aspects that yield the fresh, bright flavor in the spirit. Still don't believe me? Try this, dump an equal measure of water into some high proof spirit and then use an eye dropper to slowly drip some water into another sample over a few minutes. Certainly this won't come close to replicating days of dilution but you might taste the difference. I discovered this after I drank my first sample bottle of 86 proof rum and tried to remedy the situation by just using less 151 in my cocktails. I was drinking freshly squeezed orange juice from oranges picked off a tree in the back yard and rum at the time. There was a big difference but not until I got more 86 proof rum was I able to investigate further. Now I drink a lot more of the 86 proof because it mixes better in simple cocktails. There's a reason that in the snobbiest, or should I say best, whiskey bars you will served a neat pour and a small bottle of water with an eye dropper. At home I break an ice cube into pieces and then add them one piece at a time so I can control both the speed at which my drink is diluted and the amount of water that I'm adding to the spirit.
  3. I usually squeeze about 12oz of juice per drink into a 16 oz glass. I hope this helps. I'm not a mixologist, I don't play one on the internet and I've never measured a drink in my life (I do say 'about'). Everyone wants their drinks mixed to taste so experiment and enjoy. I'm also lucky enough to have a mint plant by my back door, so I garnish with fresh mint, when I remember it.
  4. I have become very partial to about 1.25oz Hamilton 86proof Demerara Rum, .5oz Hamilton Pimento Dram mixed in a large glass then filled with FRESHLY squeezed orange juice. Beachbum Berry's Ancient Mariner is another of my favorites. I'll let you google that and discover more of Jeff's recipes for yourself. Or you can find the recipe on the back label of Hamilton Pimento Dram. To find Hamilton Pimento Dram in your state scroll down and click on your state on this map.
  5. To add a note to Andrew's post, as I travel the country I encounter USBG chapters that really work, San Francisco is one where the USBG isn't beholding to Southern as much as it is in say Chicago. Washington and Oregon are truly independent and are thriving as are those independents in the nation's capitol. Who recently put on a great Repeal Day ball without the USBG. As one who wouldn't be part of any organization that would have me as a member, I can say that I enjoy working with both USBG and the independent bartenders. I've done tastings and seminars for USBG chapters without any interference from SWS. It is interesting to me that in NY there are bartenders on both sides of the aisle and both are respected by the brands and the larger community. Certainly in some markets the USBG has helped bartenders get some brand ambassador and special jobs but every market is different. To me the question is how much respect Southern gets in your market.
  6. Martin has spent a lot of time writing all the software for his site so I'd forget about getting a free copy of the software.
  7. Chicago confidently concedes to be behind the much of the rest of the country when it comes to the cocktail culture which is a shame considering Chicago has many fine restaurants. But great ethnic food from around the world doesn't necessarily translate to good cocktails. Within a few steps of the bustling corner of North and Damen is a logical location for Violet Hour, it's easy to get to via the Blue Line or several bus lines and there are taxis everywhere, I don't drive when I'm out on the town. Only three days after the softest bar opening Chicago has seen for some time I didn't feel like I was intruding on a last minute staff training. There is still a lot to be done but you'll quickly feel at ease in the subdued light and comfortable bar. The surrounding exude an understated, subtle elegance that transcends almost everything in this space. High ceilings, architectural details on the walls, and tasteful music transport patrons from the hustle of the hyper bar scene around the corner to a quieter time when quality mattered. The cocktail menu is still emerging to satisfy the midwest taste for things like single-malt scotch, but I wasn't disappointed with the selection or the sincere effort to improve. You'll never find the widest selection of flavored vodka martinis at Violet Hour, but if you're in the mood for classic cocktails served in a comfortable space without an attitude, Violet Hour should be on your list of places to go. Delicious, reasonably priced appetizers that have been selected to complement the cocktail menu are a welcome addition to an evening of imbibing. Violet Hour isn't Milk & Honey in Chicago, nor is it trying to be, but the bar standard in my favorite summer city has been raised.
  8. The last year of traveling is taking its toll and I need some rest and some more rum. I'll be back Jan 16th, enjoy the holidays and the rum.
  9. Actually Montecristo is made from sugar cane syrup and not fresh juice and is distilled to about 92% alcohol making it a nice white rum.
  10. I'm a little confused by that article, but think the last person interviewed has the right idea. Bacardi and the others are talking about gold rums, which is a little self-serving. Certainly gold rum as a subset of the rum industry is going to grow as the whole industry grows, and since the gold rum subset is small it has the potential to show great growth percentages. I for one don't consider Captain Morgan Spiced Rum a gold rum. But then I wouldn't call Appleton VX a gold rum and certainly put it in the same class as Captain Morgan.
  11. Now that we have confirmed that your link is rubbish, can you please give us the correct link? I suspect you were referring to this article in the The Publican.
  12. I'm going to be in St Lucia in a few weeks, if it's bottled at the distillery I'll be able to get some at the distillery. If it's bottled in the UK, well that's another story. Sending alcohol to the US can be a challenge. PM me for details on how the distributor can send me samples. I'm working on the next book and would like to include these rums if they are bottled at the distillery. Unfortunately there are a lot of spirits which claim to be from a place with a reputation for quality but are blended and bottled elsewhere with little regard to the origin of the spirit.
  13. Macha Fine Wine & Spirits has a very good selection. I don't see the Trois Rivieres rums on his on-line list, but you can try to contact him through the website. La Favorite 1993 was not exported and is no longer available.
  14. Image seems to be the main objective here. The current Anejo Especial bottles I've seen were dark brown. Are the bottles you're looking at dark brown as well?
  15. Once you get by the age confirmation pages, I think you'll see that these bottles are very different. <br> essential rum<br> seriously vodka<br> Is Neisson a good mixer? That depends entirely on what you want to mix with it. Coca? Definitely not. If you looking to make tasteless faux-tinis, probably not.
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