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Ed Hamilton

eGullet Society staff emeritus
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Everything posted by Ed Hamilton

  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.
  16. I'm a little confused. Are you looking for a clear rum? Are you looking for a rum with a contemporary premium image or a really good rum to serve in your bar? If you're looking for something which isn't presently being imported to the UK, are you looking to begin importing this rum? I agree that the frosted Clement bottle looks more like a vodka bottle than a rum bottle, but if you like that style of rum, which is about 180 degrees from Bambu, you should try Neisson, also from Martinique. Neisson is not distributed in the UK. The elements packaging looks interesting, I look forward to tasting the rum.
  17. From everything I've been able to find out about Malteco, it's a private label which is only sold in a few places in Europe. There are some very good private labels out there, but I prefer those rums that the distiller puts his name on the label. I find distillers are less apt to make unrealistic claims and tend not to engage in the practice of trying to sell the rum as something other than what it is.
  18. Andrew Minchow is the man behind the bar at Repast. Although I certainly haven't been in every city in the country, I do spend more than my share of time traveling. From what I've seen, Manhattan has to be considered the first city of cocktails in the US. I'd nominate San Francisco as the second and Atlanta would be third. Before you flame me for being too simplistic, Seattle, among other cities has a very real cocktail culture but the state run alcohol distribution system in Washington leaves a lot of bar chefs scratching their heads when it comes to ingredients. (There's a reason Robert Hess wears a bulging coat whenever he goes out.) Other places like Florida are more geared to the tourist drinker where the trendy fair resembles the pages of a glossy fashion magazines more than the pinnacle of the art of bartending.
  19. Don't believe everything you read. The proof is in the pudding, or in this case the glass. I've had several cocktails at Eugene and can tell you Greg is very dedicated to what he does in spite of the fact that commercial vodka drinks are the commercial necessity to keep a bar open. But just ask him to serve you a good drink and he won't disappoint you.
  20. After a long day at work I'm partial to a ti punch, 1 1/2 ounces to 2 ounces depending on how hard I've worked. But along with a cocktail, I need something to eat. After I mix the cocktail, I cut some cheese and unwrap a few crackers while the ice melts just a little.
  21. Don't despair. I'm working to get that and some other Martinique rums approved for sale in Canada. The first samples arrived today in St Johns, but that's only one of the first steps in the long process.
  22. Wayne Curtis wrote an article for Saveur magazine that appears in the December 06 issue. This is one of the best articles I've seen on Martinique rhum agricole including a description of the AOC mark and what it means. Unfortunately, the pictures don't live up to their potential, there are no pictures of distillery machinery, stills, sugar cane or old barrels aging rum, but the pictures are very nice. They did get the recipe and preparation for a ti punch spot on.
  23. That sounds like another private label of unknown origin. Blended from centuries old estates on Barbados, Guyana and Trinidad, product of the Netherlands, blended and bottled by The Origine Rum Company and imported by Origine Distilleries just doesn't add up. But I can add numbers better than words. That reminds me of Foxy's Lager bottled by the St Croix Brewing Company. In St Croix, about 50 miles from St Croix there is a brew pub called the St Croix Brewing Company where they sell Foxy's Lager on tap. But when you look at the bottles closely you can read that there is another St Croix Brewing Company in St Paul, Minnesota. Or Cabana Boy rum, which according to the people at White Rock Distilleries in Lewiston, Maine wasn't ever target marketed to gay men, in spite of their website and labels featuring bare chested men with a game called "undress the Cabana Boy." Cabana Boy Rum was blended with Virgin Island rum and some of that rum was bottled in Maine.
  24. Sounds like one of the blended rums that Scheer would know about. I haven't seen that one anywhere in the US. Can you tell us the name of the importer? It should be stated on the back label. I can tell you that it probably isn't from centuries old estates but blended from rums made at the large industrial rum manufacturing plants on those islands. Not to say that it can't be good rum, but there is no rum being made at estates on those islands anymore.
  25. I second jlo's suggestion. Sip it after dinner.
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