Posts Tagged ‘Bully Boy’

Rum-Off!

RumOff_HDR2_layer_lores

Rum-ble?



So I got a bunch of new, somewhat local, rums recently from a variety of sources. Some gifts, some smuggling requests, some I just plain bought. So I’m going to line them up and try them side by side. Sounds like a fun afternoon for me.

All of these happen to be local(ish) rums, all blackstrap style, and all fairly new. As in, none of these existed ten years ago. The oldest of the group is Rhode Island’s Thomas Tew rum which started production back in 2006. Historically, rum has had a significant place in New England and contemporary craft distillers are taking advantage of that connection to the past. Rhode Island was HUGE in the rum trade, so Newport Distilling’s Thomas Tew brings some of that history back. GrandTen Distilling’s Medford Rum is named for the original which started back in 1715. Bully Boy’s Boston Rum, the aged version of their white rum, is a nod to Boston’s rummy past. The old New England rums were generally a blackstrap style, made from molasses. Molasses is the gunk left over after refining sugar and some people think it tastes delicious. I think it’s great after you distill it. This is in no way related to the incident two weeks ago where I bit into what I thought was a brownie, which turned out to be a runny molasses cookie. Vile goo. Ferment it, boil it, and drink it.


rumoff-seahaggSea Hagg Silver Rum
Sea Hagg Distillery, North Hampton, NH
Unknown price. Available in NH State Liquor Stores

This one comes from my hometown, so now there’s a brewery and a distillery there. Craziness. I haven’t visited yet, so I don’t know much about this one, other than what’s on the webpage. Copper pot still, aged, and small-batch. Nice squat olive glass bottle, and a orange wax dipped top. Not sure how much this goes for, since it was a gift from the Lady Friend’s parents. I literally found this hiding on the bar one day.

Nose: Sugary with oak, floral, some antiseptic booze, and a tinge of vegetation, like a rhum agricole.

Taste: Hot. The heat leaves a sticky sugar coating, honey, vanilla, and a touch of dead wood. Light, yet syrupy, and floral.

Lady Friend: “Smell definitely was antiseptic/alcohol but with floral notes. It actually tasted sweeter than I expected, but I get a specific flavor of creamy tomato sauce, like with a milk base. I don’t know where I’ve had it before, but it reminds me of that. It tasted better neat than I expected it to.” She made a “New Hampshire Mojito” with this last night, and also noticed the tomato/vegetable aspects.




rumoff-medfordGrandTen Distilling Medford Rum
GrandTen Distilling, Boston, MA
$40 at the distillery
40% abv/ 80 proof

Like the Bully Boys, GrandTen also dove into the Boston rum history. I first tasted this right off the still several years ago when I went for a tour, but finally got a bottle of the finished product as a gift from Leelz. Thanks for the smuggling! Nice graphic label to fit with the rest of their lineup.
Numbered bottle Batch 1, Bottle 0646.

Nose: Cleaner, sugar aroma. Soft and light. Hay, straw, sunshine. Floral vanilla, lilac. Frosting. A twinge of booze, but not hot and stinging.

Taste: Warm, not hot. More oak than expected, with a sugar warmth and touch of dry wood that counteracts the syrup slightly. Sugary, but lighter. The oak flavors lead me to believe this is aged longer than others, or it’s a lighter taste to begin with so the oak shows through.

Lady Friend:I smell sugar cookie, birthday cake, vanilla. This is actually the opposite of Sea Hagg for me. Sea Hagg smelled boozy but tasted kind of sweet, but this one smelled really sweet but tasted really boozy. It actually reminded me of our scotch tastings. It does finish smoothly. Towards the end I get some of that vanilla sweetness back. The initial taste is boozy.




rumoff-bboyBully Boy Boston Rum
Bully Boy Distillers, Boston, MA
$33, Liquor Land, Boston, MA
40% abv/ 80 proof

I’m a big fan of Bully Boy White Rum, and had been waiting several years for the aged version to finish. Finally picked up a bottle at the liquor store around the corner from their distillery on a MA booze run. Hand-numbered like all their bottles, this one is Batch 8, Bottle 205.

Nose: Straight up sugar and booze aromas. This one smells more caramel/toasted, and it’s darker, brown sugar aroma rather than white. Aromas are much like a good bourbon, though much more sweetness.

Taste: Oh this just glides right down. There’s some heat, and then a little smoke char, like a campfire, but dark brown sugar all the way through. S’mores. Boozy s’mores. Toasted vanilla oak and caramel. Very nice.

Lady Friend:It was much smoother than the last one. Little bit of alcohol bite, but not as overwhelming. Very vanilla, sweet, kind of reminded me of a sugar lollipop I had when I was a kid… made of complete sugar. You get it at like a penny candy store. This is my favorite of the bunch so far.




rumoff-tewNewport Distilling Co. Thomas Tew Single Barrel Rum
Newport Distilling/Coastal Extreme Brewing, Newport, RI
$32, Standard Liquors, Providence, RI
42% abv/ 84 proof

I had been to Newport Distilling/Coastal Extreme before (they make the Newport Storm line of beers) and loved their rum. This is a pot-still single barrel rum (I have Barrel 53). Only sold in RI, I kicked myself for not picking up a bottle. The brewery/distillery will do a rum tasting for $9 which gets you three samples (white rum, cask strength, and finished product) and a tasting glass. The Lady Friend and I made a visit a few months ago and got our own bottle. Note: the distillery only sells the 375ml size bottles. The regular 750ml are only in liquor stores and retail for $32-38. Standard Liquors in Providence looks kind of sketchy on the outside, but has great service and prices, so I scored this bottle on the low end of the price scale. Also I had KFlynn smuggle up a reserve bottle, since he lives in the Ocean State. Thanks Flynny!

Nose: Boozier, some fruit and wine-like aromas, with dark sugar syrup behind it. This one is much more forward in the aroma. More syrup, more heat, but not stinging hot in the nostrils. Vanilla, fig, raisin, caramel, and grape.

Taste: Smooth, but it’s got some heat. The heated tingle opens up the caramel flavors, like you dipped your tongue in liquid toffee/butterscotch. Lots of vanilla, and VERY sweet. The booze helps cut down the syrup, though this does have a thicker mouthfeel than the others. It’s hot, but full of flavor. I wouldn’t change it at all.

Lady Friend: “Smelled caramel sweet with a little burning alcohol in the nose, but still a lot of sweetness. Definitely some heat, but got a nice vanilla oak tast as well that kind of balanced it. Also thought it was a little woody or hay-like… maybe that’s from the oak.”




rumoff-lineup2So which is best?
Well.
The Sea Hagg tastes a bit more unrefined and country. Which is fine, but it’s not a sugar bomb like the others. It was probably unfair to put it in this comparison, but it was our least favorite of the bunch. It also gives some off-flavors when mixed, leaving few options. However price is going to play a role here, and I suspect this one is under $30, which would help its case. I would expect to pay between $25-35 for an aged craft rum, so if this is on the low-end of the price scale, I can forgive some flavor quirks.

The Medford Rum was lighter than expected, but still very tasty. However at $40, it’s the most expensive by a wide margin. I haven’t mixed this one yet, but I fear the more subtle flavors would get lost in, say, a daiquiri. It might be hard to justify this one.

Bully Boy is all-around tasty. As a fan of the unaged version, this one was like an extra layer of frosting on the sugar cookie flavors. Not as brash as the white, but a lot more caramel smooth. The flavors are there and the price is right.

The Thomas Tew takes the win for me. It’s got the big flavors, the sugar, and the boozy heat to balance without being too harsh to sip. I’ve put it in a daiquiri where that syrupy sweetness shines paired with tart fresh lime. Drink this neat in the winter by the fire, or with ice and soda in the summer. The cheaper you can find it, the better, but I would say this tastes more like a $40 rum than the Medford.

Lady Friend: “I still think Bully Boy is my favorite, but the Thomas Tew is a close runner-up. Not that I dislike the Medford, but if you have to split hairs…”

Rule 37: Black Russian

Modern Drunkard Magazine’s articleThe 86 Rules of Boozing, by Frank Kelly Rich states:
Rule 37. Try one new drink each week.
The Rule 37 series of posts chronicle my attempts to accomplish this feat every week.
For the recipes of R37s past, click the Htf do I make these drinks? tab.



Yes, this is a pretty simple one, and no, I’ve never had it before. The Black Russian consists of only two ingredients, vodka and coffee liqueur, neither of which I’m particularly fond of. I’m not a coffee drinker, and vodka lacks… personality. But, this was an easy cocktail to concoct, so I decided to make a batch and take it along on a woodland walk. Turns out it travels quite well as a trail sipper, so here we go.


rule37blackrussianBlack Russian
From Dale DeGroff’s The Essential Cocktail

– 1 oz vodka (Bully Boy)
– 1 oz coffee liqueur (Kahlua)


Um. That’s it.

Dale says to build over ice in an Old Fashioned glass, so we don’t even have to shake. Or stir. Though you can add a stirrer to give it a quick spin here and there. No garnish on this one.


You can play with the amounts any way you please as long as it’s equal parts. A 2oz drink over ice might make a nice little nightcap nipper, but is kind of an underwhelming handheld drink. Unless you’ve got straight liquor in your Old Fashioned glass, you could do better than a few ounces. Go ahead and make this one a double.

If we’re using vodka, might as well use GOOD vodka. I like Bully Boy’s (of course) because it’s really neutral without a syrupy/glycerin mouthfeel, or too much heat. It’s just nice. Reviewers have described it as “wet granite” which is odd and awesome at the same time. The coffee liqueur de rigueur here is Kahlua. Pretty standard.


rule37blackrussian_alt2Not surprisingly, the bouquet here isn’t terribly complex. Booze and coffee. If I think really hard about it I can go with “The top notes of an astringent sting become overwhelmed with roasted bitter char and soft creamy sweetness. Hints of chocolaty mocha pair well with the lifted spirit warmth.”

…aaaaand it tastes like coffee and booze. With a slightly syrupy mouthfeel. Admittedly, the flavors are much more chocolate than coffee, starting with a milky sweetness before the roast char bitters bite back. A slight alcohol heat eases in as a peppery sensation and continues through the finish. The initial sweet chocolate mingles with char becoming a lingering velvety dark mocha.

After several gulps and some typing (on an empty stomach) the computer screen suddenly gave a good wobbly lurch to the left before righting itself again, so heads up: this drink is decently boozy, even if it doesn’t taste it. A liquor and liqueur ingredient list still counts as all-booze.


The Lady Friend sez: “I just smell coffee mocha Kahlua smell. Mmmmm… it tastes mainly like Kahlua, and then after it’s been in your mouth a second or two you get that alcoholic burn from the vodka. Yeah, that’s kind of tasty and dangerous.”


I think we’re actually on the same page with this one.
Amazing.


rule37blackrussian_alt

Nature tip: Maine mountain streams are not as cool and refreshing as they appear.
Bring booze instead.


Rule 37: Rum Collins

Modern Drunkard Magazine’s articleThe 86 Rules of Boozing, by Frank Kelly Rich states:
Rule 37. Try one new drink each week.
The Rule 37 series of posts chronicle my attempts to accomplish this feat every week.
For the recipes of R37s past, click the Htf do I make these drinks? tab.



Ok, ignore the last post. That was started last week when it was merely “wum” out. It’s officially balls hot. 90°+ and humid with high probability of local scattered swass outbreaks.


rule37stretchycat

Even the cat is trying to air out his naughty bits.



I need something refreshing.

I had originally been thinking of a Tom Collins, but I had a few of those this weekend, and wanted a change. Hot weather means rum, and I do love a good Daiquiri, but perhaps a more refreshing version.

BAM! Rum Collins.


So, a Tom Collins is simply a Gin Sour (I make my sours 2:1:1, that is, 2oz spirit, 1oz citrus, 1oz simple syrup) served in a highball (well, ideally a Collins) glass, over ice, and topped with club soda. It’s a tall, cool, refreshing drink. Very nice. I don’t prefer gin (I’m getting better about that) but this one is easy for anyone to take down. Another good description I’ve heard is “sparkling lemonade with gin.” Pretty much. Though gin mileage varies per individual.

Anyway, a Rum Collins is simply a Rum Sour (a Daiquiri) served tall, over ice, with soda. A Daiquiri Highball. Sound good? I thought so. Apparently James Bond thinks so too.


rule37rumcollinsRum Collins

– 2 oz rum (Bully Boy)
– 1 oz lime juice
– 1 oz simple syrup
– Top club soda

Shake the rum, lime, and simple syrup in a shaker, as if you’re making a Daiquiri. Actually, this is a Daiquiri, but with soda. Pour into a highball/Collins glass filled with ice and top with club soda. Traditionally, this was garnished with a cherry and lemon slice, but I went with a lime peel. Cherry would be ok, but lemon doesn’t make sense in a lime-based drink.


It’s a fairly tropical drink, so feel free to decorate with flags, umbrellas, crazy straws, or drink stirrers. I have a pretty green flamingo.

Couple notes here: I used Bully Boy rum because it’s goddamn fantastic. Was the cursing necessary? Yes. If you’ve tasted the Bully Boy then you’ll agree with me. Use any white/light rum you’ve got, but know that Bacardi isn’t going to have much flavor to it at all.

I also use a raw simple syrup, made from equal parts raw sugar and water. It gives the drink a touch more dark brown sugar flavor rather than white sugar. Also, it’s practically healthy. Yeah, let’s go with that.

The lime ratio varies by recipe and by personal taste. I like things a bit more tart, so I’m fine with the simple 2:1:1 ratio. Dale DeGroff gives all his sour recipes as 1 1/2 :1 :3/4, lowering the spirit to the more regulated serving, and easing off of the citrus by 1/4 oz to make a sweeter drink which he feels suits the American palate a bit closer. I started out using his recipes and they’re mighty tasty, but I like a little more pucker and flavor nowadays, so it’s a full ounce of lime juice. Either way, the ice dilution and club soda will ease the sharp edges a bit in this cocktail, versus the unmolested Daiquiri.


The nose here is quite simple: lime and Bully Boy happiness. That white rum just gives off sugar cookies, bunny sneezes, and rainbow dust. It’s like a Disney movie in a glass. Until the booze kicks in. Then it’s like parts of Alice in Wonderland.

It tastes like a bubbly Daiquri… a perfect combination of tart, sweet, and spirit. With bubbles. The club soda (and ice) dilute the drink down a touch, but does help to make it a bit more refreshing; I find regular Daiquiris just make me want another Daiquiri, whereas this drink is a bit more thirst-quenching. Quite nice on a day when my lower region is sitting in a puddle of dampness.
Yeah. That was gross. I agree.
But the drink is really really tasty.

Especially today.

Review: Bully Boy American Straight Whiskey

YES.
The first of the Bully Boy aged spirits. FINALLY.

Now I get to take you to whiskey school. You might learn something.
Plus, how awesome does “whiskey school” sound?


review-BBASW_bottle

Bully!



So. Bully Boy’s American Straight Whiskey. It’s a small-batch craft whiskey coming out of Boston by (very tall) distillers Will and Dave Willis. This one has been aging for about two years and change, and is an entirely different recipe from their White Wheat Whiskey. Dark blue label this time, and a taller, longer-necked bottle in contrast to their stubbier apothecary-like containers for the regular lineup. Instantly you know this is a different type of product, though the Bully Boy logo is just as recognizable in white rather than black ink. Let’s break down the name: American Straight Whiskey. It’s produced in America (well, Massachusetts, which can be very un-American at times YES I’M TALKING ABOUT YOUR RESTRICTIVE LIQUOR LAWS AND LACK OF HAPPY HOUR). Here’s the fun part… it’s a Straight Whiskey. There’s a number of important regulations that go with this designation, so you know what you’re getting. Like the term “bottled-in-bond,” it’s a guarantee from the government.

review-BBASW_label1) It has to be made from cereal grain.
The Bully Boys are using a mash bill that’s roughly 45% corn, 45% rye, and 10% barley. Somewhere in there.

2) Coming off of the still, you can’t exceed 80% abv/ 160 proof, and can’t exceed 62.5% abv/ 125 proof going into the barrel for aging.

3) Must be aged for at least two years in charred new American Oak barrels. Check.

4) No additives (like caramel coloring). Check.

5) Once it’s done aging, you can filter it (this one is not chill filtered) and dilute it down to no less than 40% abv/ 80 proof. We’re at 84 proof here, so no problem there.

6) IF you wanted to call a whiskey a “straight bourbon” (like Makers Mark) or a “straight rye” (like Bulleit Rye), you need 51% of the predominant cereal grain in the mash bill (51% corn for bourbon or 51% rye for rye). Bully Boy is split pretty evenly on the corn/rye line, so it’s neither a bourbon, nor a rye by definition. It’s simply a straight whiskey.


There you go. Lesson over.


Back in November I drove down to Boston to attend the official launch party of Bully Boy ASW at the Blue Room in Kendall Square. Will and Dave were both there boozing and schmoozing, and I was mistaken for (and narrowly missed meeting in person) Will Gordon, a like-minded writer and imbiber of various intoxicating beverages. The event was a blast, and I got my first taste of the ASW. Very tasty. The BBoys were also gracious enough to donate a bottle (Batch 1, Bottle 211) for an official SquirrelFarts review, so let’s get to it.


BBASW-releaseparty_bottles


Though there were two cocktail options at the launch party, I went for a sample served neat – whiskey in glass. No water, no ice. We’ll start the almost the same way here, but with a few drops of water added.

review-BBASW_neatNose: Caramel. Lots of caramel. Sweet. A slight cinnamon/nutmeg spice. Vanilla. Fruit. Cherry, plum and even fig. Dark syrup, like maple syrup without the maple. There’s a heat from the alcohol that singes a touch… don’t inhale TOO deeply.

Taste: Bitter, with a spicy snap right from the start. There’s a rounded sweetness that helps in the middle, and a nice wash of boozy heat that leaves the gums tingling. A dry oaky finish, and snappy rye spice overall. It leaves your mouth a bit parched and thirsty for more.

My initial reaction at the party was that it nosed like a bourbon, but tasted like a rye. That’s the story I’m sticking with here. It’s kind of both styles in one whiskey with the corn sweet and the bitter rye spice. Given the mash bill, that makes sense.

I really like it.
Shocking, I know.
I’m not as big a fan of the White Whiskey (the Belgian-like banana/ clove throws me off a bit) but this is MUCH more to my liking. It really is a good split of bourbon versus rye all in the same spirit. I need a cocktail that will work equally well with both styles. This calls for a MANHATTAN.

Like I need an excuse for a Manhattan.


review-BBASW_manhattanBully Boy ASW Manhattan
Nothing fancy here, no tricks. Just a normal Manhattan. I like mine at 2:1

– 3 oz Bully Boy ASW
– 1.5 oz sweet vermouth
– 2 dashes Angostura bitters

For the love of Bacchus STIR IT. All spirit here, no need for shaking. Serve in a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.


This is my normal Manhattan recipe to give the BB ASW a fair trial. I like mine at a reasonable 2:1 ratio, with a homemade cocktail cherry. I’m sticking to Angostura here so the whiskey isn’t competing with the other ingredients.

Nose: Rounded and smooth. It’s almost got an herbal touch, like oregano. Yeah, I know that’s really strange, but whatevs. My bar, my blog. I think what does it is the mixture of fruity/winey vermouth and the spicy/sweet whiskey, with the Angostura butting in its cinnamon bark tinctures. There’s an almost savory quality as a result, redolent of marinara sauce. Is my nose misfiring? Is that a thing? The whiskey character IS there, but it’s taken on a much more subdued, languished savory sensation.

Taste: We’re back to normal in the flavor. Once again, the drink starts off with a nice bitter snap, followed by a sweet corn just before the dark grape syrup of the vermouth comes in. The finish is dry, spicy, and warming, and it’s hard to separate the contributions of the Angostura from the rye spice.

I rather like it, but it’s different from many other whiskies. That herbal aroma is really freaking me out, but the taste is right where it should be.


review-BBASW_bottle2[UPDATE]
I just had to try this one again. There was such an odd aroma profile that I went back and made another Manhattan, this time eliminating such variables as my (past prime?) cocktail cherry, and with a fresh bottle of vermouth. Just in case. This time we’re going with a scotch tasting glass (dome-shaped rocks glass, not a Glencairn) to funnel those aromas down and see what the results are.

Nose: Much more normal from what I’d expect in a Manhattan, but STILL verging on the herbal spice. Craziness. It’s much more subdued than in the original test, and there are wider sensations of rye spice, cinnamon, syrupy grape, dry wood and/or sawdust, and yet, Italian spices. Oregano, basil. It’s not a BAD thing, just very unusual. Somebody in here (corn, barley, vermouth, Angostura… I’m looking at YOU rye) is fooling around. Weird, but neat.

Taste: As before, the taste is much more in line with a normal Manhattan. Dry spicy start, quick rounded sweetness before a warm wave of alcohol; grapey syrup gives way to a crisp arid finish, with a rye bitter mingled into the Angostura dark bark spice. Not as sweet as a bourbon, not as spicy as a rye, but somewhere in between. Lovely.


Overall I’d lean towards using this one in spirit-forward mixes due to its unique nature. It’s not quite bourbon, it’s not quite rye, but it’s very tasty. It’s got the best of both going on, and would make a fantastic Old Fashioned. Try it neat to see the duality of the mash bill before you mix it into other concoctions. Sure, I’m biased towards Bully Boy, but they keep making good products. Go snag this one. Here’s where you can find it (pdf).


For our Bully Boy rum review click here: Bully Boy Rum
For our Bully Boy vodka review click here: Bully Boy Vodka
For our Bully Boy white whiskey review click here: Bully Boy White Whiskey
For our visit to the Bully Boy distillery click here: Bully Boy Distillery



Squirrel Farts is now accepting solicited product reviews! Send me a bottle and I’ll take a pretty picture and talk it up in the amusing tangential manner you’ve come to expect. Beer, spirits, mixers, whatever. Contact here for details. Note: I will mention that the review was solicited, hell, I’ll even brag about it. Free booze? Damn right. But The Man says I have to say I got it for freebies. I’m excited about free stuff, so whatever. Now, that doesn’t mean that I’ll like it, or that I’ll give it a good review. But chances are if you read this blog, then we’ll get along. Put it to the test: send me your booze!

Rule 37: Blue Hawaiian

Modern Drunkard Magazine’s articleThe 86 Rules of Boozing, by Frank Kelly Rich states:
Rule 37. Try one new drink each week.
The Rule 37 series of posts chronicle my attempts to accomplish this feat every week.
For the recipes of R37s past, click the Htf do I make these drinks? tab.



There’s a monster lizard!!!



What started as a predicted “2-4 inches beginning in early afternoon” before the main blizzard event rapidly escalated when at 7am, there was a blanket of 4″+. Yeah. Apparently some sort of “microburst” which “didn’t show up on radar” hit Portland and dumped half a foot. BEFORE the actual blizzard. Awesome.

Weathermen/women should be publicly whipped when they’re this wrong.
Or take a pay cut.

I know which would be more entertaining on the 11 o’clock news.

Yes, I’ve heard it before: it’s nearly impossible to predict the weather. So… why is that a profession? Couldn’t we just throw darts at a board of weather events with about the same rate of accuracy? Or let a monkey do it? (That would be awesome.) It’s not even that they’re so constantly wrong: it’s that there’s no accountability. Why is this a magic job with no consequences for consistently poor performance?
And how do I get this job?


So, the Lady Friend and I were discharged from work at noon, and proceeded to spend the rest of the day drinking stouts, and watching The Empire Strikes Back, certainly both fine choices for a snowy afternoon. But then it was cocktail time, and something had to be done. I had already decided I wanted something with rum. And pineapple. Because screw you, snow. It’s going to be tropical in my belly.


This one comes from The Rum 1000 by Ray Foley. It’s a half decent go-to if you’re looking specifically for rum drinks, but a tad annoying, as many cocktails are named by brand. I don’t need different recipes for an Appleton Daiquiri, a Bacardi Daiquiri, a spiced Daiquiri, and several other variations. At least there wasn’t a Captain Morgan’s Daiquiri. Wait… the “spiced” one was. Ugh. I guess it was a bit of a stretch to get to 1,000 recipes. But basically a lot of them have rum and pineapple, so I picked one and went for it.


rule37bluehawaiianBlue Hawaiian
From The Rum 1000 by Ray Foley

– 1 oz white rum (Bully Boy!)
– 1 oz blue curaçao
– 1 oz coconut cream (Coco Lopez)
– 2 oz pineapple juice

The book says to “blend with a scoop of crushed ice until smooth” and serve in “a glass.” Very detailed. I went a different route. Shake everything as normal, strain into a snow-filled pineapple cup, garnish with a cherry, pineapple slice, and a whole bunch of tropical tiki junk. Drink. Repeat until the snow stops.


Broke out the tastilicious Bully Boy on this one, and juiced up some fresh pineapple. Coconut cream makes everything taste happy (Coco Lopez has a squeeze bottle… use that. It’s much easier than the can) and blue curaçao turned everything blue-green. The pineapple cup took some doing, but was worth it just for the occasion. I wish I had made it bigger.

The drink smells… well, like sugar cookie rum, pineapple, and coconut. There’s a slight astringency from the rum, but this isn’t a complex sipper. A couple dashes of Angostura bitters would really help this along, but it’s not necessary. Somehow any drink that uses blue curaçao doesn’t seem worthy of bitters.

It tastes… well, again, about how it smells. The coconut cream is forefront in the flavor, which a choking sweetness and syrupy texture. Bully Boy rummy goodness adds to the sweet, but the booze helps cut through a bit. The pineapple just kind of hangs out in the background making everything juicy and happy. I don’t get any of the blue curaçao, though a touch of that alcohol astringency might be from that triple sec dryness.

It’s not terribly complex, but it’s not supposed to be. It’s a super-sweet tropical drink to make you forget about the accumulating snowdrifts. Sunshine in a cup. If you have enough of them, you can actually feel the deck of the cruise ship sway under your feet. Don’t fall overboard. There’s no water: just snow.

Rule 37: Beachcomber’s Gold

Modern Drunkard Magazine’s articleThe 86 Rules of Boozing, by Frank Kelly Rich states:
Rule 37. Try one new drink each week.
The Rule 37 series of posts chronicle my attempts to accomplish this feat every week.
For the recipes of R37s past, click the Htf do I make these drinks? tab.



Rum.
I wanted rum tonight.
The Lady Friend had a super awesome Manhattan (THIS version) and I was kind of jealous, but I already had my heart set on RUM. I don’t know why, but I did.

So, I started flipping through the New York Bartender’s Guide by Sally Ann Berk, where I had previously found The Million Dollar Cocktail. This book sorts by liquor, which is awesome, so I started in the middle of the rum section. There were a few interesting recipes to save for another time, but I had to start over at the beginning of the section to find this one: Beachcomber’s Gold. I’m going to assume this one was either created by, or named for (or both), Tiki drink legend Don the Beachcomber. Apparently there are other versions out there, but they’re nothing like the version I made. They do use a cool ice “garnish,” but this version is many much more easiers. You heard me.


Three ingredients. And one of them is rum. The other two are actually both vermouth, but they’re different kinds. That’s it. It’s basically a Perfect Manhattan/Martini with rum instead of whiskey or gin. “Perfect” in these cases means using equal parts dry/white and sweet/red vermouths. A Martini uses dry vermouth, a Manhattan uses sweet, and a “perfect” version of either uses both dry and sweet. Got it? Great. Drink time.


Beachcomber’s Gold
From the New York Bartender’s Guide

– 2 oz light rum (Bully Boy)
– 1/2 oz sweet vermouth (Martini & Rossi)
– 1/2 oz dry vermouth (Martini & Rossi)

The book says to shake it, and strain into a cocktail glass full of crushed ice. Nuts to that. I’m treating this like a Martini/Manhattan or any other spirit-only drink, which means STIRRING it. Since she got that first part wrong, I’m also going to ignore that bit about crushed ice, and serve it UP, in a chilled cocktail coupe. There was no word on garnish either, but with rum, a lime peel might work nicely. I left it plain this time.


Broke out the Bully Boy rum for this one. The recipe is for a light rum, but the Bully Boy has tons of flavor. Like a molasses-coated sugar cookie spread its legs, grunted, and gave birth to a bottle of rum. It probably wasn’t the right type of light rum to use for this, as the flavorful Bully Boy tends to overwhelm things, but with only vermouths as the other ingredients, I figure I may as well put something tasty in there. The drink does have a lovely golden hue (hence the name) as the reddish sweet vermouth is diluted by the faint yellow dry vermouth and clear rum.


The drink reeks of the aforementioned sugar cookie offspring, with a touch of grapey wine-ness underneath. This is a brand new bottle of sweet vermouth, and the difference is apparent. Vermouth is a wine, and tends to lose its aroma and flavor after about a month. Keep it in the fridge after opening, but unless you power through Manhattans and Negronis like I do, buy the little 375ml bottles so you don’t feel too bad about throwing any unused remains out at the end of the month.

The taste is a wash of that sweet blackstrap rum up front, with a pleasant warm alcoholic tingle. Interestingly enough, the vermouth strikes back in the middle of the taste, oozing in with a syrupy dark grape and lightly floral essence. I really didn’t expect the wines to put up a fight against the rum, but it really works out well. The vermouths take the sting out of the spirit, leaving behind the flavors, while adding their own grapey contributions. This is certainly a grown-up cocktail, though I would caution that the same recipe with Bacardi will not be terribly exciting. Having had the “perfect” version, I’d like to go back and try both a sweet and dry version of this drink. My guess is that the sweet will have a nice dark syrup to play with the rum’s spice (oooh… especially with a dash or two of Angostura), whereas the dry version will be more akin to a lighter, floral concoction, like the Presidente without the grenadine. I’d go with orange bitters on that one and see how things play out.


Well there you go. I just gave you three cocktails for the price of one. Bunch of moochers. Go make one! NOWS.


The Lady Friend grudgingly tried the recipe and offered the following pearls of wisdom: “I smell the Bully Boy, the cupcakes, rainbows, and all that good stuff. Hmmm. I immediately get the grapey vermouth, but I can pick up some of that sweet Bully Boy. It’s alright. I wouldn’t drink it, but… *shrugs* It’s an interesting cocktail, but I wouldn’t choose it.”


Great. Thanks.

Rule 37: Mister Christian

Modern Drunkard Magazine’s articleThe 86 Rules of Boozing, by Frank Kelly Rich states:
Rule 37. Try one new drink each week.
The Rule 37 series of posts chronicle my attempts to accomplish this feat every week.
For the recipes of R37s past, click the Htf do I make these drinks? tab.



No, not this:



or this:



…even if it rocks in a mid-80s power ballad sort of way.

Nope, tonight’s Rule 37 comes courtesy of BarNoneDrinks.com, a site I stumbled upon while looking to see if last week’s Rule 37 had a name. I was searching for drinks that combined white rum and brandy, and found several other options. While we did the rum/brandy thing last week, with great success (after some tweaking), this recipe seems quite tasty, and a tad more summery. Though it’s hard to beat a Daiquiri variation for a warm weather drink, the use of orange, lemon and lime juice, with some grenadine, makes for a very pleasant tipple. I did find numerous online references to the drink, (and strangely, they all actually agree on the ingredients) but I couldn’t find any specific history, or why its got that name. It could very well be named for the Fletcher Christian in Mutiny on the Bounty, but could also just be some random name. Let’s give it a whirl.


Mister Christian
From BarNoneDrinks.com

– 1 1/2 oz white rum (here comes the Bully Boy again)
– 1/2 oz brandy
– 1 oz fresh orange juice
– 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
– 1/2 oz fresh lime juice
– 1 tsp real grenadine

Shake it up, strain it out. Use a chilled cocktail glass. No garnish specified, but I was feeling fancy and added a big ‘ol orange swatch, which I flamed over the top.


Here’s a tip: if you don’t keep cocktail glasses in the freezer (like I do) you can quickly chill one down while you make the drink. Fill a cocktail glass with ice, then pour in some cold water. Let it sit there while you mix and shake your ingredients. When you’re ready to serve, dump out the ice/water, and pour in your drink.



Well, thanks to the flamed orange peel, it smells orangy, mixing with the sugary goodness of the Bully Boy. It has a creamsicle aroma, and is quite inviting. The taste, however, is not so creamy. Bully Boy up front, with a slight touch of that dark, raisin sweetness from the brandy, though as with last week, I’d like to taste more of it. The medley of citrus fruits bounce between varied levels of tartness, with the lime adding a snap, the orange sweetening and rounding the drink, and the lemon playing a referee in their midst. I went with a healthy squeeze of grenadine from my bottle, which certainly changed the hue of the drink over towards a solid orange, but the taste isn’t very apparent. There’s already plenty of flavor going on, and the grenadine is content to sit quietly in the background. Overall the drink is tasty, but too sweet, and thus, not as thirst-quenching as a good Daiquiri, Tom Collins, or G&T would be. It could honestly use a bit more bitter/tart, or booze, to counteract the juices. It would probably be lovely served in a collins glass and topped with soda to even things out.

The Lady Friend expected it to be really sweet, and it was more tart than she expected. That might be due to a slightly overripe lime. “I’m really curious to taste what it would be like without the Bully Boy.” A valid point. “A less-sweet rum might work better with this, but it wouldn’t be as fun without the Bully Boy.”


UPDATE: So, I made another one. Tried the Collins version, which means basically making hte original recipe, pouring into a tall/chimney/highball/Collins glass filled with ice, and topping with soda water. Disclaimer… the recipe makes rather a lot of liquid. Two ounces of booze and another two ounces of fruit juice, plus a splash of grenadine and some water (water is added to a cocktail through dilution when you shake or stir a drink. It’s pretty important). So in my ice-filled collins glass, it came pretty much to the top. No problem… just take a heavy quaff and make some room for the soda water. I took the level down by about 1/4 to allow for some bubbly fizzy wizzbang water. Another big swath of orange peel (trim off as much of the white pith as possible) for a garnish and a straw. Yes, Rule 48 of the 86 Rules of Boozing states that “Men don’t drink from straws. Unless you’re doing a Mind or Face Eraser” though I take that rule with a bit of flexibility for tall drinks which need the straw to a) stir occasionally and b) drink the bottom depths of the drink without getting a face full of ice.


The Mister Christian Collins noses with a light orange aroma. Not quite the creamsicle sensation of the straight version, but very nice and light. The taste is about what you’d expect… Bully Boy, citrus fruitiness, and a carbonic fizz. It’s not bad at all. Again, I’d want more brandy for an added flavor component, and the lime, lemon, and orange resume their previous roles, though somewhat diminished by the bubbling dilution. The soda water does add a liveliness to the drink, and it helps lighten up that previous sensation of cloying sweetness. It’s quite nice. I like both versions, but the Collins variation is a touch more summery, with the same booze kick.


How do you like that? As with last week, it’s like getting two drinks in the same post! Pick your poison, or try each one and see what works.

Rule 37: The Portland Daiquiri

Modern Drunkard Magazine’s articleThe 86 Rules of Boozing, by Frank Kelly Rich states:
Rule 37. Try one new drink each week.
The Rule 37 series of posts chronicle my attempts to accomplish this feat every week.
For the recipes of R37s past, click the Htf do I make these drinks? tab.



Ah, the first official Rule 37 in the new Portland, Maine SFHQ!

This one started with a previous Rule 37 involving both brandy and rum. The Bacardi used in that one was completely underwhelming, but it did make me think of the possibilities between the two spirits. Now that my Bully Boy was back in my rummy little hands again, it was time to make a summery drink to combat the moist horror of early July.

So, we’ve got a variation of a Daiquiri. It’s kind of like Between the Sheets and/or the Boston Sidecar, but both of those use triple sec, whereas I went with (raw) simple syrup as the sweetener here. My thinking was to start with a Daiquiri base and add brandy, rather than start from a Sidecar and add rum (which is a Boston Sidecar). I’m sure this one has a proper name somewhere, but I couldn’t find it. If you know what this drink actually is (besides awesomely tasty) let me know. But until then, I’ll just call it a Portland Daiquiri, in honor of the new digs.


The Portland Daiquiri

– 1 oz white rum (Bully Boy)
– 1/2 oz brandy (good ol’ E&J)
– 1 oz fresh lime juice
– 1 oz raw simple syrup

Mix em together, shake good and hard. Serve in a chilled cocktail glass with a lime wheel float.

In case I haven’t mentioned it before, to make raw simple syrup (excellent with most rum drinks) just mix one part raw sugar with one part hot water until the granules dissolve. It adds a lot more depth to your sweetener, and is even healthy!*

*Dude, it’s probably not healthy like at all, but still, likely better than the bleached, refined white sugar.


So, it noses with the characteristic Bully Boy bouquet of sugar cookies and sunshine up front, but a syrupy sweetness underneath. Yum.

The taste? Oh, that’s good. Dark and sweet. The Bully Boy is of course at the forefront, but there’s a dark, alluring sweetness underneath.

The brandy really helps create some new flavors, with a hint of syrupy grape, almost a raisin quality. Though it’s tasty, I’d love to add a touch more brandy to see what happens. This is miles away from the silly Bacardi cocktails of the past few Rule 37s. There’s almost a syrupy, slightly mouthcoating texture, with a fresh lime tart to keep it from getting out of hand. It’s just not quite what I wanted. This one slides down a little too easily, and could stand to be a bit more boozy. I think I’ll give it another try while upping each spirit by double.


The Portland Daiquiri #2
UPDATE: New recipe.

2 oz white rum (BBoy)
1 oz brandy (E&J)
– 1 oz fresh lime juice
– 1 oz raw simple syrup

Uh, yeah. Do what you did before. Shake it all up, strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Plop a lime wheel in there. Drink it.




Ok. Certainly boozier, but not unpleasantly so. There’s still plenty of flavor from the BBoy, and that dark syrupy grape from the brandy comes to play as well. The two get along quite well, with lime and raw sugar rounding it all out. This is MUCH more enjoyable. The first version was simply too sweet. Well, actually, the first version was quite tasty, but it needed more of a kick to get it into a better flavor balance. Upping the booze content is one option when dealing with a overly sweetened drink, and in this case it paid off. Of course, you COULD simply use less sweetener, but I prefer adding more booze.

The Lady Friend gives this version her approval saying: “This one is much better balanced. You can appreciate the different spirits in it for what they are.”


Yeah. Try the second version. It simply works better.

The Bully Boy Speakeasy

So, last Friday night I went to Bully Boy’s speakeasy party.

It was pretty sweet.

Let me explain.


A couple months ago, the Bully Boys started dropping hints on Facebook and Twitter that they were going to throw an exclusive bash to celebrate their one year anniversary of the distillery. Old-timey garbed dudes started showing up at local bars, and posters appeared around town, each with a QR code to scan, which took you to a website. From there you registered, and got a secret entry password to the secret location (which wasn’t revealed until a week before the party), in the style of old speakeasies. I still have no idea what my password actually was, since the audio file kinda slurred the last word. Black gull? Black gulp? Black colt? Not a clue. Something like that. So I planned to equally slur the last word to gain entry.

Finally, the location was revealed: the Waterworks Museum out in Chestnut Hill. It’s located on the reservoir, and was the original municipal water pump station for the City of Boston until the 1970s, when the source was switched over to the gigantoid Quabbin Reservoir out in Central MA. The Lady Friend and I arranged a logistical puzzle (she was coming from Seaport in the city, whereas I was coming from work, then into the city on the T) and met up on the green line, carefully avoiding the horror of the B train through Boston University. Seriously, it stops every 30 feet out there. Ridiculous. After snagging a C train to the Reservoir stop (they were running shuttle buses after Reservoir, so we totally lucked out on that one) we had a brief stroll around the Chestnut Hill Reservoir itself, and over to the museum. Entrance was gained via the side door, and in we went. They actually never even asked for the password.


I bet it’s haunted.



Just inside the door, we ran into co-Bully Boy Will Willis, and chatted for a bit before continuing farther in to the museum. Holy snotrockets. This place was HUGE. Three story-high machinery lit with accent lights towered above, while the DJ pumped out remixes of classic Prohibition-era ditties (before switching over to some sweet Ace of Base). Several bars were set up throughout the machine room, and we sidled up to one to get a few drinks. I led off with a Mojito (pre-mixed, but Mojitos are a pain to make) and the Lady Friend went with the Rough Rider, the whiskey cocktail. After our traditional Bully Boy cheer “BULLY!” We took in the small details while sipping our drinks: the cigarette candle holders (real cigs… I checked), Bully Boy branded coasters, match books and empty liquor bottles as flower vases, all arranged on wooden casks. The Bully Boy logo projected brightly onto the machine room floor, and the guests, some decked-out in Prohibition-era attire, meandered in to clutch highball glasses and stare at the mechanisms looming above.


And jamming out to some sweet tunes. I did indeed see The Sign. And it opened up my eyes.



Our next round of drinks worked out quite nicely as the Rule 37 for the week:

The Commodore

– 2 oz Bully Boy White Rum (our pour was at least double that, but I’m the last to complain about a heavy-handed bartender)
– Top with Night Shift Brewing Trifecta (Belgian-style pale ale)
– Garnish with lemon wedge

Um. Pour a whole bunch of rum into a pint glass and top with the Night Shift. Plop a lemon wedge in there and drink it.


Whoa. It was certainly boozy. Trifecta is a 7% abv beer to begin with, so there’s a decent amount of punch in this pint. Yes, it’s more of a beertail than proper cocktail, but this totally still counts. Nosed with a strange mixture of sugary blackstrap rum and a Belgian-y sweet & sour aroma. The Bully Boy certainly overpowers the brew, but it’s still in there with a faint cry of “I’m not dead yet!” The taste? My notes read “oh that’s strange.” A Belgian fruity and sour note, offset by the sugar of the rum. There’s certainly a boozy astringency as well, and an almost grapey sour quality to the Belgian. I’d have to try the beer straight to get a better idea of it, but the two did get along quite well.

As we slurped our Commodores, the OTHER Bully Boy, Dave, came over and chatted with us for a bit. As we were talking, Michael O’Mara, co-founder and brewer of Night Shift, walked up, fresh from delivering kegs at the American Craft Beer Festival, and we were introduced. His altered suggestion for the drink was a shot of Bully Boy rum, topped with the Trifecta and lemon wedge, but served in the skinny highball glass over ice. It probably would have been a more manageable alcohol content, and a better blend of flavors, but I was satisfied with my big ol’ pint o’ booze.





The Lady Friend and I stayed a bit longer, exploring the museum, tasting more cocktails and having some snacks. We headed out as the party got REALLY crowded, and made our way back to the T, complete with Indiana Jones-style lawn sprinkler evasion maneuvers. While waiting for the God-forsaken T train way out in the wasteland of Cleveland Circle, we observed a pointy kitty (large rat) shuffling and snuffling along the rails. The Lady Friend, unperturbed by our new acquaintance from the Order Rodentia, and perhaps feeling a bit cocktail-laden, insisted on sitting on a junction box clearly marked “Wet Paint.” Luckily for her, it had dried by that point leaving khakis unblemished for the trip home. Bully!

Rule 37: Windex

Modern Drunkard Magazine’s articleThe 86 Rules of Boozing, by Frank Kelly Rich states:
Rule 37. Try one new drink each week.
The Rule 37 series of posts chronicle my attempts to accomplish this feat every week.
For the recipes of R37s past, click the Htf do I make these drinks? tab.



Yes, this is a drink.

Also, it’s vodka-based.

I’m sorry.


This is a bit of a novelty tipple I found in one of my numerous cocktail recipe books. The book is the Playboy Bartender’s Guide, which I picked up on Amazon several years ago for a couple bucks, thinking it was a somewhat pocket-sized little recipe book. Turns out it’s a 480+ page hardbound monster. Totally worth the price. It has a lot of “cocktails” that seem to have come along in the 1970s, and aren’t really terribly tasty, but are fun for the novelty factor. One I’ve been meaning to make for quite some time is simply called “Windex,” and the original plan was to make a whole batch served in the appropriate window fluid bottle, complete with sprayer. That hasn’t happened quite yet, but I did make one to test out with some groovy glowstick lighting techniques.


Windex

– 1 1/2oz vodka (I used Bully Boy, naturally)
– 1 oz triple sec
– 1 oz blue curaçao

Shake it: it should get nice and blue. Strain and serve into a chilled cocktail glass. I used a champagne flute because I was feeling fancy. It would probably do quite nicely with an orange twist, but would somewhat distract from the glass cleaner effect.


Well. Yeah. It’s basically just vodka with triple sec. And more triple sec. Blue curaçao is simply orange curaçao with some blue coloring, and I often admonish the Lady Friend for making cocktails with it. It’s a tad gimmicky to give any credibility to a drink. A bit too party girl for me. The vodka certainly doesn’t help, as that’s another indicator of someone who wants a boozy drink, but doesn’t like the taste of booze. This is all strictly a matter of opinion, and if you’re a vodka-swilling party girl, preferably statuesque, blonde, and open-minded, by all means get in touch and we’ll discuss the matter, intimately.

Anyway, the drink is certainly Windex-blue. Like, bang on. It’s got that medicinal orangy aroma of triple sec, with a sickly sweetness. Um. That’s about it.

It tastes… well… about like the ingredients would seem. It’s sugary, fake orange flavored, with a kick of booze in there. I specifically went with the Bully Boy vodka for this one over Flag Hill’s General John Stark vodka because I wanted the neutrality of a clean spirit As mentioned in my review, the Flag Hill has a definite apple aroma and taste to it. I think it might actually play nicely with the orange sweetness in this drink and add a little more character to it.

Clearly, this drink is all about the color novelty, and when served in a Windex bottle, should nicely do the trick. I’m reminded of comedian/magician The Amazing Johnathan, who would routinely drink from a similar bottle during his stage act. A great ruse. And that’s what this drink is about: the gimmick. It’s the novelty factor that you want from this drink, instead of a quality crafted beverage.


Plus, it really just kinda looks cool.

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