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Ed Hamilton

eGullet Society staff emeritus
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Everything posted by Ed Hamilton

  1. While there are those who would everything to conform to their rules, consider that most of the world's whisk(e)y is made in about six countries. Rum on the other hand is made in more than 20 countries, and that's just in the Caribbean. In my mind, forums like this are much better at spreading accurate information about my favorite spirit than any book, and I've written more books on rum than anyone I know. I will be rating rums in the future but even I don't see that as the definitive word on quality. Distillers and bottlers are continually changing their processes. And we can only hope that the quality is improving, but we all know that change isn't always good.
  2. I think the Chicago award was probably more like 1872, but I could be wrong. It wouldn't be the first time, and definitely won't be the last.
  3. From the bottom of the list I'd go for Barbancourt 4 year old as something to sip, or the Barbados Plantation Rum, which is one of the best of the Plantation portfolio.
  4. For a 77 year old, I'd probably have gotten the El Dorado but Santa Teresa is a good choice.
  5. The variety of planter's punch recipes that reflect the diversity of the islands. A common thread is that they contain fruit juice, a couple of kinds of rum, generally white and dark on top, and some freshly ground spice and a fruit slice as a garnish.
  6. I wouldn't consider 45 to be a small list. Of course there is something for everyone on that list. Are you looking to sip something after dinner, or mix something cheap for a bar? If this is available in your local store, you're in a pretty good place for rum. I'd discount Negrita for drinking, it's used for cooking in France.
  7. I've only drunk Rumona straight and never thought of mixing it with something I sip neat like Havana Club, though the 7 year old is more of mixing rum for me.
  8. If you miss the Cachaca tasting in New York there will be a number of Cachacas at the Rum Fest in New York Nov 14th.
  9. Oh the decisions we must make. I'd go with the Havana Reserva for a sipping rum, that the well rum on board my boat and a good one for a better than average cocktail.
  10. I was recently asked to review a premium rum and was told that the rum I recieved was a premium product because it is going to retail for more than $35 for 750ml in the US market. I don't generally don't look at price as the reason that a product is premium, but maybe I should. In your opinion what makes a rum, or any other spirit, a premium product? Is it the price or is the taste and quality of the experience more important?
  11. The swizzle stick you saw at the Pegu Club was harvested from a tree in Martinique by a rasta friend of mine who cuts and cleans them. The tree known as bois lele in Martinique is very symmetrical. Each node has about five branches growing perpendicular from the main branch and another smaller branch extending in the direction of the branch we use as a handle for the stick. Each of these five perdicular branches extends to another node where five more branches grow perdendicular to that branch. The trees grow to be quite tall with some of the bigger branches being several inches in diameter. This tree also grows in other tropical islands but the swizzle sticks from Martinique seem to be the best I've found. They also add a little magic to every cocktail as they aerate the cocktail when stirred with the lele.
  12. There is a link to the contest at the top of this topic. For further information contact Dori Bryant through the Polished Palate website.
  13. A few weeks ago, the subject of PR was raised at the Pegu Club and I learned Audrey and her partners do their own publicity the old fashioned way, they make better cocktails in pleasant surroundings. Do a good job and the thirsty world will beat a path to your door, even without a sign visible from the street. Actually, everything I've seen about the Pegu Club in the press was written by writers that got the story the old fashioned way, by getting out their pens and paper and going to the source. Not to say there hasn't been plenty written about the Pegu, but I wouldn't call it PR. Like eGullet, when you find something that's really good, you want to tell their friends about it.
  14. Here's a list of sugar cane spirits that will be available for tasting in New York. This is a partial list and only includes those rums which are confirmed to date. I'll be editing his list in the next few days. There will be many more, Brands Countries/ Islands CACHACA Armazam Viera Santa Catarina Island -Armazem Vieira Esmeralda, Solera 4 Year-Old Southern Brazil -Armazem Vieira Rubi, Solera 8 Year-Old -Armazem Vieira Onix, Solera 16 Year-Old Beleza Pura Brazil -Beleza Pura -Beleza Pura Caipirinha -Fazenda Mae de Ouro Cachaca Brazil GRM -GRM Silver Minas Gerais, Brazil -GRM Small Batch -GRM 2 YO Rochinha Rio de Janeiro, Brazil -Rochinha Single Barrel 5 YO -Cachaca Rochinha Single Barrel 12 YO RUM Cockspur Barbados -Cockspur Fine Rum -Cockspur 12 YO VSOR Doorly’s XO Barbados -Doorly’s XO Fine Old Barbados Rum -Doorly’s 5 YO -ESA Field White Rum Barbados -Foursquare Spiced Barbados Goslings Bermuda -Goslings Black Seal -Goslings Gold -Goslings Old Family Reserve Inner Circle Australia -Inner Circle Red Pot Still Rum 80 Proof -Inner Circle Green Pot Still Rum 114.4 Proof -Inner Circle Black Pot Still Rum 151.8 Proof -Khukri Rum Nepal Oronoco Brazil Dominican Republic Ron Barcelo Ron Barcelo Imperial 21 Year Old Rum Prichard’s Tennessee, USA -Prichards Fine Rum -Prichard’s Cranberry Rum -Prichard’s Crystal Rum R. L. Seale -Chairman’s Reserve 10 YO Barbados Ron Botran Rum Guatemala -Ron Botran White Rum -Ron Botran Oro (Gold) Rum -Ron Botran Anejo 8 YO Rum -Ron Botran Anejo 12 YO Rum -Ron Botran Solera Reserve Rum Rums of Puerto Rico Puerto Rico, USA -Barrilito 3 Stars -Captain Morgan Private Stock -Bacardi Apple -Don Q Rum -Sea Wynde Rum Jamaica/Guyana -Starr African Rum Island of Mauritius,Africa -Traveller’s One Barrel Belize, Central America Zacapa Rum Guatemala -Zacapa Centenario 15 -23 Year Old Rums -Zacapa Centenario X.O. 25 Year Old Rum Cruzan USVI Cruzan Estate Rum Collection -Cruzan Black Strap Molasses -Cruzan Single Barrel Estate Rum -Cruzan Estate Diamond Rum -Cruzan Estate Light Rum -Cruzan Estate Dark Rum Cruzan Flavors -Cruzan Banana Rum -Cruzan Citrus Rum -Cruzan Coconut Rum -Cruzan Mango Rum -Cruzan Orange Rum -Cruzan Pineapple Rum -Cruzan Raspberry Rum -Cruzan Vanilla Rum Venezuela -Diplomatico RHUM Clement USA Martinique -Rhum Clement Premiere Canne White Rum -Rhum Clement Creole Shrubb -Rhum Clement VSOP La Favorite Martinique -La Favorite Rhum Agricole Blanc Coeur de Canne -La Favorite Rhum Agricole Ambré Coeur d' ambré -La Favorite Rhum Agricole Vieux Niesson Martinique -Neisson Rhum Agricole Blanc -Neisson Rhum Agricole Élevé Sous Bois -Neisson Rhum Agricole Réserve Spéciale SPECIALTY PRODUCTS -Castries Rum Cream St. Lucia -Cockspur Rum Punch Barbados -Cruzan Rum Cream St. Croix, USVI -Prichard’s Sweet George Belle Liqueur Tennessee, USA -Velvet Falernum Barbados
  15. The worst rum in the world has to be any French supermarket rum. The French just do not get rum at all. ← Even in the French islands, the supermarket rums can be a bit dodgey at best. While there is a lot of discussion that rhum agricole can make a good drink, it shouldn't be overlooked that the French also make an almost equal amount of rum from molasses, called "rhum traditionnel." Just as I've yet to find a rum made from fresh sugar cane juice on an English-speaking island that is even close to the worst of the sugar cane juice rums on the French islands, the French seem to have become very proficient at making bad rum from molasses. There are a number of reasons for this disparity, fermentation and distillation are only part of the story. Some things just can't be translated.
  16. I happened to be in San Francisco and opened my email to see no less than three links to this article. So what's a guy to do, I went out that night and had a cocktail. And as Thad Vogler so aptly pointed out, "When it's a good cocktail, they'll have another." And while the suits are working on the next profit pushing flavored alcohol concoction, bartenders are working with the best ingredients they can get their hands on.
  17. Check out the eG Forums Calendar for detailed information on RumFest NYC 2005 on Monday night, November 14. As part of the coming New York Rumfest, there will be a Rumfest Cocktail Contest and an opportunity for you to show the world your best. Gary Regan will be joining me and judges from Polished Palate and Cocktail Times in preliminary judging, then we invite you to join us November 14 at Latin Quarter for the finals during the New York Rumfest.
  18. I needed to keep the sun out of my eyes for a press photo for some magazine or I would have been squinting. I have others for sailing as that one would blow off my head and would have been gone years ago.
  19. I just got permission to print excerpts from the Spirit Journal.
  20. Barbancourt is made from sugar cane syrup but rhum agricole is made from fresh sugar cane juice. Another difference is that Barbancourt is distilled to a higher proof than rhum agricole.
  21. I'm afraid you have to suffer through the non-rum things. But the next edition of Wine Enthusiast will probably have some of the most important content from the Spirit Journal.
  22. I often replace about half of the water in recipes with rum. If you don't use enough water the result will be too dry. Since this is the rum forum and not the cooking or cocktail forum, we don't have to be exact. For a recipe that calls for 1 1/3 cups of water, I'd use 1 cup of water and 1/2 cup rum, or probably more like 2/3 cup water and a cup of rum. The alcohol in the rum is going to evaporate, so use a little more total liquid. As for the size of the bottle of rum I use, whatever I have. If I only have 750s I'd use more than half a bottle. A proven approach is to pour a few cups of rum over the cake until it quits absorbing it quickly. Then add another few ounces, depending on the size of the cake and let it sit. Reminds me of watering my basil plants.
  23. It is interesting that the Captain Morgan's Rum Cake Cayman Islands Style Recipe calls for Tortuga rum. Blackbeard's is the most popular rum in the Cayman Islands. Here's one that I use all the time. Start with a store bought pound cake and place it in a pan. Pour half a bottle of dark rum over the pound cake and let the excess soak up in the cake. Make a frosting with butter, confectioner sugar and freshly ground cinnamon and nutmeg, then spread over the rum soaked cake. It's hard to beat this for soemthing simple, and good.
  24. That sounds very good, the sweetness of the Falernum and the heavy rum flavor of the Blackstrap should be a nice combination tempered with lime.
  25. Thanks for the detailed recipe. I've never had the mix, but with fresh orange juice this is a great drink.
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