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Pimento Dram a.k.a "Christmas in a Glass" Cocktail Favorites

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1 hour ago, blue_dolphin said:

Chuck Taggert's Réveillon cocktail is one of my holiday favorites for sure.  And now, I want one!


I think I want to try that one. I have everything except the Fee's Old Fashion Aromatic Bitters. I could use the "Angostura if that's all you have" substitution but he's describing the intended goal as "Christmas in a glass" so I wonder if the Elmegirab's Dr. Heather Duncan's Christmas Bitters would be a good fit?

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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.


Edited by Ed Hamilton grammar (log)

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6 hours ago, Ed Hamilton said:

I have become very partial to about 1.25oz Hamilton 86proof Demerara Rum, .5oz Hamilton Pimento Dram mixed 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.

 

How much juice?  Or conversely how big the glass?  I have all the ingredients except the orange.

 

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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.


Edited by Ed Hamilton (log)

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The Lion's Tail, of course. It's a great drink. I also like the Winter Daiquiri. Three Dots and a Dash, Ancient Mariner... (although not especially Christmassy)

I have to try this Reveillon Cocktail; that looks great too! :)

 

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I'm enjoying something close to the drink @Ed Hamilton suggested.  I say close because while I have a couple different bottles of Ed's rums, it never would occur to me to stock 86 proof Demerara.  I mean, what's the point?  So I used the juice of one humongously large navel orange, pimento dram, and generous ounce and a half of Hamilton 151.

 

To my taste the result was far too sweet.  So I topped the tumbler up with lime juice.  The tartness was now just right.  However the beverage was too weak.  So I poured in a lot of 151.  I do not pretend I measured.

 

Now I have something worth making again!

 


Edited by JoNorvelleWalker Spelling (log)

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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.

 

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My attempts at humor are not always appreciated, but the orange/pimento dram experiment was a success.

 

Rum is not my choice for drinking neat.  More usually it will be a glass of rye or absinthe after dinner.  I did have a glass of Gosling's Old the other night.  Can't say I particularly enjoyed it, however many times I've tried.  I'm about a third through the bottle but will probably use the rest for dark and stormy.

 

I used to enjoy Lemon Hart 151 neat and may compare it with Hamilton side by side.  But again, speaking seriously, I don't see the attraction of adding water to fine spirits.

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17 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

I used to enjoy Lemon Hart 151 neat and may compare it with Hamilton side by side.  But again, speaking seriously, I don't see the attraction of adding water to fine spirits.


The attraction for me is, I'm a wimp. I can't drink 151 proof anything neat, way too hot for me. 80 proof is pushing it, not many things I'm happy drinking neat even at that level. But I honestly don't particularly care too much about drinking a straight spirit with just water or ice either. I enjoy almost any cocktail more than I enjoy straight anything, watered or not.

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On ‎12‎/‎22‎/‎2016 at 9:44 PM, JoNorvelleWalker said:

My attempts at humor are not always appreciated, but the orange/pimento dram experiment was a success.

 

Rum is not my choice for drinking neat.  More usually it will be a glass of rye or absinthe after dinner.  I did have a glass of Gosling's Old the other night.  Can't say I particularly enjoyed it, however many times I've tried.  I'm about a third through the bottle but will probably use the rest for dark and stormy.

 

I used to enjoy Lemon Hart 151 neat and may compare it with Hamilton side by side.  But again, speaking seriously, I don't see the attraction of adding water to fine spirits.

 

I have found that there can be a value, if done carefully, to some but not all "fine spirits" as it were. I have also learned that I am a factor as well. What was good one day may not be as good (or might well be even better, the next). As a result I have my own eyedropper at home for use, particularly for trying something new, and often carry an eyedropper with me when going to tastings or spirits shows (yes, I am a nerd and I am ok with that! :D). Some things prove to be better by themselves, some seem to benefit from a drop (or two, or three) of water and occasionally some things are good but different either way.

 

For me it is part of the fun in drinking brown spirits (and a few white ones as well!).  

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For Christmas this year, we made Milk Punch from Paul Clarke's excellent recipe. With the optional pimento dram, it was very Christmassy, and an excellent replacement for cloying, overrated egg nog.

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