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Ed Hamilton

eGullet Society staff emeritus
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Everything posted by Ed Hamilton

  1. If you like Pusser's Blue Label you'll like the 15 yr rum. It's heavy like you would expect with a lot of character and smoky oak flavors. There are a number of Navy rums out there, but Pusser's is the closest I've tasted to the rum given to the Royal Navy sailors until 1971.
  2. Castillo are rums branded to sell for a little less than Bacardi. The product line is also smaller and lacks an old rum. These are primarily used as well brands and since less is spent on advertising, they don't cost as much. Most of the Castillo brand that I am familiar with is produced in San Juan so it should be aged at least a year, probably not much more. In the Caribbean, a lot of don't want to drink Bacardi, so Castillo has been popular though both are very light bodied rums.
  3. I'm still trying to figure out what they weren't thinking when Diageo came out with that Tattoo. But with their influence in the market they've gotten it out on a number of bars around the country, but I've yet to meet anyone who has had a second drink of Captain Morgan Tattoo.
  4. It's independence day in the US, any particular cocktails that you're enjoying on the 4th?
  5. Ice is optional in the islands, because it used to be hard to get. Now it's no problem and a lot of people add ice. But if you add water, you're definitely crossed the line. As the ice melts the drink blossoms. The spirit is 100 proof, or 110 proof in the French Islands, so a little ice isn't out of line. The Petit Punch is the traditional drink of the French West Indies. The recipe I use came straight from Martinique and has been accepted by a number of people from Martinique. Phil in Manhattan makes one of the best, though he's had the most practice. A couple of key things to remember are don't get carried away with a big piece of lime or a lot of sugar. These are to complement the rhum, you're not making a caiparinha, where you want to cover the flavor of the spirit.
  6. I'm not generally a tequila drinker but I just ran across a few bottles of Finas Estampa which surprised me a lot. It is very smooth, 100% agave and worth looking for. My guess is that it's new to the market, but will be getting a lot of attention in the near future.
  7. Admin: threads merged. In a recent trade article industry consultant, Tom Pirko of Bevmark said ''The mojito is already passé with the in crowd and that's not a good sign.'' So are you part of the in crowd? And what are you drinking now that the mojito is so well known?
  8. You can buy your raw spirit from the corporate spirit pipeline and then redistill it in a pot still and call it pot still vodka. If fact, it happens all the time and Tito isn't the only one doing it. At least Tito doesn't charge an arm and a leg for his condensed alcohol. But like Sam pointed out, there's more water in a bottle of 40% alcohol than alcohol.
  9. Mad Mac, Upper New York isn't as bad for the rum collection as some other places. If you like the Barbancourt, you owe it to yourself to try their 5 star, which is aged 8 years. It the best value, and by many accounts, the best of the Barbancourt line.
  10. Calypso Rum is actually a product of Barbados, from the West Indies Rum Refinery, who also make Cockspur, Malibu and a number of other rums. According to the bartender at Cuba Cafe, you don't want to drink it straight and it's only sold to restaurants. That's enough for me.
  11. Sorry Scheer, I should have written "much more important than the type of still is the raw material and the skill of the distiller and blender." Most rums bottled today are blends of several rums. The skill of the blender is equally important in the equation of what makes a good bottle of rum.
  12. Thanks Sam. The good news is that Petite Canne Sugar Cane Syrup is now available in a few markets in the US. In the islands, the ti punch is my favorite drink. In the US, I've been exposed to a number of great cocktails by bartenders across the country. But I still go back to a ti punch for the first drink of the day.
  13. Bar spoons work but they don't add as much magic to the cocktail.
  14. One a few of the Caribbean islands, the bois lele tree grows naturally and a few enterprising individuals harvest the swizzle sticks. They aren't too hard to find in the islands, but they are hard to import as they have to be hand carried. I bring a few every time I go to the islands, but I don't go often enough.
  15. The only Calypso rum that I can recall isn't imported to the US, so I can't say where the flavor came from. I guess I'll have to go to Cafe Cuba myself and continue the research.
  16. As for the weak in a rum punch, I would never add 4 parts water. Fresh juice would be fine, but not water.
  17. In fairness to 1824, the last time I tasted that rum it was much better than the first time. According to the rep who gave me my last taste, the reformulation is less sweet and better. Initially I found this rum very sweet with an artifical taste.
  18. Call me crazy but the last thing I want to drink is a rum that has been bottled in an aluminum container.
  19. Produced and bottled in France could mean Martinique but if it was produced in Martinique they would probably tell you. That rum could be made in any of the French territories including Guadeloupe and French Guyana.
  20. The options change and you'll have to contac them and ask. The worst they can say is no.
  21. Canada has laws about importing alcohol, like most countries, but if you go to the LCBO you might be surprised to learn that they have a special order section and if you find the right person on the right day you may be able to find more than a few rums which aren't on the shelves in the normal outlets. The big LCBO near the water in downtown Toronto had a very good selection of rums that don't have to go through the normal channels and offer consumers a lot of options. The bad news is that once a product becomes popular importers have to jump through a lot of other hoops in order to stay on the shelf.
  22. I don't know what this has to do with barware, but I can't assure you that Zacapa is working on it.
  23. I like to add a 'few' drops of water to straight rums bottled at over 38 % alcohol. Small wine glasses with wide mouths and short sides work well, but taller glasses concentrate too much of the alcohol and other aromas in the spirit. I have yet to find that rum tastes better in an expensive glass, though glass ware does have an impact on the flavor. To me, glassware is like spirits, paying more money doesn't necessarily mean a better spirit.
  24. If you read the back label on the Barcardi 8 Años bottle sold in the US, you'll see that it is made in the Bahamas. Don Lorenzo used to be imported to the US, but it is no longer available in the states, other than a few bottles I've seen at Sam's in Chicago. No doubt you'll enjoy your selection of rums.
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