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Ed Hamilton

eGullet Society staff emeritus
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Everything posted by Ed Hamilton

  1. To understand a little more about sugar production, the different kinds of sugar and how they are made, here's a link to some sugar facts at sugar.org. As for making your simple syrup last longer without refrigeration, the easiest thing to do is add more sugar. Before the days of refrigeration, sugar was used more as a preservative than a sweetener. When I make sugar syrup on my boat I heat the syrup, while constantly stirring so it doesn't boil over and make a huge mess, and add sugar until no more sugar will dissolve. Then I add a little more water and stir until everything is dissolved. Adding a little overproof rum helps the shelf life but adding alcohol to hot syrup tends to evaporate the alcohol. I've been able to keep sugar syrup as much as three months in the tropics if I've been meticulous about keeping the bottle covered and the top clean.
  2. Cruzan's Blackstrap is very different from most caramel colored rums. The molasses taste really comes through. Though I don't drink this one on the rocks, it could be drunk that way. Alcoholic molasses is a pretty good concise description. As for where to find Blackstrap, I recently found it at Hi Time in Costa Mesa.
  3. I recently ran across a bottle of Rogue's Rum and wish I had a picture of the clear labeled bottles. Has anyone seen or tasted this rogue spirit?
  4. Nevis is one of the few islands that has been able to offer tourists good food and lodging without loosing its charm. St Vincent and the Grenadines are much more of a challenge for the vacation traveler. With the exception of Bequia, tourist development has often challenged the good nature of the local people who have lived without tourists for many years. Don't let me dissuade you from going, you'll have a vacation you won't forget, but don't expect to find the charm of Nevis on the other islands.
  5. Besos, you're right Cockspur is from Barbados. The most popular dark rum in Trinidad would be Old Oak, though not necessarily the best. Don't be misled to thinking that dark rums can't be strong, though Sunset Very Strong rum is one of the strongest rums bottled in the Caribbean, a little south of St Vincent you'll encounter Jack Iron, an aged dark rum that is about 80% alcohol, right out of the barrel.
  6. Angostura is making another attempt to bring their rums to the US. Best known for Angostura Bitters, the Trinidad-based company is looking to enter a few new markets. The good news is that their white rum is quite good, having been aged and then carbon-filtered for a crisp clean taste that makes a good mojito or even a rum and tonic with a slice of lime. Angostura is also tring to reintroduce their 1824 rum, which didn't get very good reviews the first time it was introduced but has been getting more attention lately.
  7. If you don't enjoy this book, well, you just don't enjoy drinking cocktails. Even a guy that don't drink a lot of different cocktails enjoys reading Killer Cocktails.
  8. It's probably on your list, but I would have to add Santa Teresa 1796 to a list of smooth rums. Sugar cane syrup is sometimes added to rums and goes a long way to making rum smoother but I'm not generally a fan of sweet rums.
  9. From Cigar Aficionado, here's another article on 10 Cane from Jack Bettridge.
  10. As far as I know, the distillery only sells their honey rum in the Canary Islands and in Spain. Another reason to go back to the Canary Islands.
  11. Bastille Day 2005 is shaping up to be a real party on the upper east side of Manhattan, July 17th (it has to be a Sunday because they close a few streets for the party). The regions of France will be represented with wine and cocktails being served in restaurants fronting the street party. And for the first time, the rhums from Martinique will be served. Rhum Clement, La Favorite and Neisson are currently on board and St James may join the party.
  12. Moet Hennessey launched 10 Cane, their new premium rum from Trinidad this month which they claim is destined to become the world's premier prestige rum. I look forward to tasting this rum in the coming weeks, but while I wait to taste a rum from Trinidad Distillers Limited that really gets my attention, I was more than a little surprised to read that this rum is made from 'the first pressing of the finest sugar cane. . .' At the risk of living up to my reputation as a cynic, I wonder if anyone is aware of any rum made from the second pressing of any sugar cane. Crushing sugar cane is quite unlike pressing fruit such as grapes, where there is a danger of extracting the bitter elements of the skins and seeds into the sweet juice if the grapes aren't pressed gently. Sugar cane is a homogenous stalk of hard grass fiber. Crushing is accomplished by cutting the sugar cane into small chunks with rotating machete blades and then pressing the chopped stalks between heavy grooved-steel rollers under great hydraulic pressure. In all of the cane pressing operations I have seen, there are a series of three sets of pressing rollers. As the cane is crushed in the first set of rollers, water is sprayed on the cane in order to wash more of the juice from the fiber. More water is sprayed during the second pressing operation. The crushed cane fiber that is collected from the third set of rollers has had enough moisture pressed from the fiber that it is immediately used to fire the boilers that generate steam for the single cylinder engine that drives the mill as well as the distillation process. While it isn't uncommon for marketing people to get carried away with product descriptions which are designed to instill thoughts of the highest possible quality, the first pressing of the cane is a new one to me. Has anyone tried this rum?
  13. Rum is actually any spirit that is made from sugar cane juice, syrup or molasses. But as anyone who has tasted a raw spirit distilled from fermented molasses will tell you that it needs to be aged before it is very good. But it sure is a lot of fun to make, carbon filtering helps and even a few months in a small barrel will do wonders for the taste.
  14. I just got a press release about this event featuring Rhum Clement from Martinique. So if you aren't going to VodkaFest at the Metazur, you might want to taste some the rhum Clement that is being sold in the US. TUESDAY, APRIL 19 6 until 9 The CLEMENT COCKTAIL @ THE FALLS (Spring and Lafayette) in SOHO
  15. Actually Bacardi 8 was introduced before 1998 and the Casa Bacardi was indeed a limited edition. Today the Bacardi 8 is distilled in the Bahamas as was the original Casa Bacardi. Unfortunately, this newer Bacardi 8 isn't quite as nice as the previous blend.
  16. I have to agree with Markus that Unico is more of a liqueur than a rum and is sweeter than many people prefer to drink, except as an after dinner liqueur, the purpose for which it is blended and bottled. It should also be noted that Brugal has a couple of different blends of rum being sold in the Dominican Republic and the US under similar labels. And I have to say that the Dominican Republic rums are generally superior.
  17. I agree with Nullo, don't dilute it, just use overproof rums sparingly or with caution. I mixed Jack Iron from Carriacou, 160 proof with fresh grapefruit juice and since the rum was aged a couple of years, it was way to smooth and the strong juice covered the alcohol, until I tried to stand up. Floaters are commonly a small amount of dark rum added to cocktails to give them color and more flavor.
  18. If you'd like to water down some rum, I'd suggest adding only a few percent water at time for a few days as opposed to just adding water and waiting. This is one of the difference I encounter when I taste rum bottled and properly diluted at a distillery and rum which has been contract bottled by a foreign bottler whose whole motive is production as in add the water and bottle it.
  19. 151 is a completely different rum and using a little less won't even begin to approximate the taste or character of the lower alcohol blend. When distillers dilute their rums, it takes several days to reduce the alcohol content since the water must have time to blend with the high proof rum. Floaters are the best use I can think of for these over proof spirits.
  20. I can't tell you. And Bacardi isn't telling me. This isn't to say that I drink the occasional glass of Bacardi 8, but just to point out that Ocho anos, or 8, isn't an age statement.
  21. There are a couple of peanut rums bottled in the islands. In St Lucia Nutz 'n Rum tastes like a peanut butter milkshake and in Antigua NutPower is a blend of peanuts and the local liquor, rum. Both of these blends are quite popular and are a continuation of an old island tradition of adding peanuts to rum.
  22. The original Bacardi 8 was 8 years old with an age statement. But things change. Today Bacardi 8 is simply Ocho Anos, which translates to 8 years. But this is not an age statement. According to the TTB, the new version of the ATF, age statements must be in the form of Aged _ years. And if you look at the back of the Bacardi 8 bottle, you'll see that that bottle of rum was produced in the Bahamas and not Puerto Rico as you might expect. But before you think Bacardi is trying to pull the bat over your eyes, there are a number of rums that have labels that might be misread by consumers.
  23. I don't know of any high production distillery that doesn't use a computer monitored process. But 100% distillate? Does this mean 100% alcohol? I am continually amazed at the claims made by some alcohol distillers, or should I say, bottlers. More often than not, I find that such claims are founded more in the minds of the marketing staff than in fact.
  24. Thanks, bigbear, I've been a huge Cruzan Estate Diamond for years. But if you haven't tried their Single Barrel Rum lately, you owe it to yourself to give it another try. Cruzan has reblended their Single Barrel to be a heavier spirit than their initial offering under that label. As for other rums, don't overlook Barbancourt 5 star rum, Flor de Cana 7 year old, Barcelo Gran Anejo and of course Ron Zacapa Centenario, and there are others, depending on where you live.
  25. I also love some of the rhums from Martinique, but am glad that to have the opportunity to drink many different rums, rhums and rons. Actually if I had to live in one country, I'd choose one that didn't have a rum industry since almost every rum producing country tends to favor the local spirits and it is difficult to find a variety of spirits. In Guadeloupe, for example, you can't even buy spirits made in Martinique. Variety IS the elixir of life.
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