Posts Tagged ‘rum’




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?
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: 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.


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.

Rule 37: Painkiller

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.

This spring has been irritating.
Largely it’s been cold. Then a little warmer. Then suddenly 90 degress for three days. Then back down to the low 60s. Now it’s hovering in the 70s and incredibly humid.

The weather in Maine is like a cat trying to decide which side of the door to be on.

Well I’ve had it. Time for tropical drinks. It’s warm enough.
(Actually, up here it’s pronounced “wum.”)

rule37essentialcocktailHaving exhausted the recipes of Dale DeGroff’s Craft of the Cocktail over the past several years, I finally sprung for his second book, The Essential Cocktail. This one has quite a bit more design work in it, lots of photography, and more information about the individual recipes, specific ingredients, and techniques. However, this means there are a lot fewer actual recipes, and many of them (as feared) are repeated from Craft of the Cocktail. Still, there are enough new ones to keep me happy, and the book is divided up into categories (classics, sours, tropicals, etc) which is helpful for finding a particular KIND of drink, rather than just skimming an alphabetical list of recipes.

Wanting a fruity tasty tropical drink, I merely perused the fruity tasty tropical drink section. Simple. What was not so simple was finding a drink I hadn’t had before. The Painkiller was a familiar name, but hadn’t been dumped down my gullet, so let’s mix this one up.

From Dale DeGroff’s The Essential Cocktail

– 2 oz Navy Rum (Pusser’s recommended, used Sailor Jerry)
– 1 oz coconut cream (Coco Lopez)
– 2 oz pineapple juice
– 1 oz orange juice

Mix it up, shake it up, pour over ice. This can be a tall or a short glass. Garnish with grated nutmeg. Dale is very insistent on that point. I also tossed an orange peel in there.

So, a couple things to note: navy rum is specified here, which is generally a higher proof. The Pusser’s Dale recommends varies in strength, depending on where you get it, but in the US it’s generally 94 proof. Also, apparently Pusser’s decided to TRADEMARK the “Painkiller” in 2003, and claim ownership, like Gosling’s did with a “Dark ‘N Stormy.” I think it’s kind of a dick move, and their 4 oz of pineapple juice is quite different from the version used here. So between that and the use of Sailor Jerry, by law, this technically isn’t a Painkiller. Ugh.

After that legal nonsense, I need some sort of drink… to… kill… the pain.

Nose: Well, with that fresh nutmeg grated across the top, that’s about all there is to smell. I’ll have to reevaluate after sipping some off.

A good stir mixes that nutmeg down into the drink, and now I get aromas of coconut, pineapple and orange. There’s a touch of vanilla sweetness as well, but in general, the aroma sum does not add up to more than its separate parts. I can clearly identify each ingredient. Not that it’s bad – they’re all quite tropical and yummy – but it doesn’t really mesh together as well. Perhaps it will in the taste.

rule37painkiller_altTaste: OOOOOoooohhhhhhh hominahomniahominakerzam. That’s gooooooooooooood. The flavors do mingle together a bit better in the taste, but are still identifiable. Coconut cream lovliness all over everything. Pineapple sweet tropical fruit. A touch of orange tart (I hesitate to say tart, as fresh orange juice is generally pretty sweet, but compared to the coconut and pineapple, the orange IS the citrus tart in this drink). The rum is harder to identify. Sailor Jerry is a SPICED navy rum, with a LOT of vanilla in the bouquet and flavor, but it’s no match for the other flavors in here. The nutmeg really adds a nice spice to the finish, and helps create another layer other than fruity sweetness. Don’t leave it out of this drink: it really works. There’s a very slight alcohol sour hiding underneath, but mostly this is one you could pound without even tasting the booze. Hence the higher proof rums… you’ll never notice them in here. Coconut and pineapple make almost everything taste wonderful, but this drink is a touch too sweet. It could use a little splash of lime tart, and some bitters would just make it better, but as-is this is alarmingly tasty.

Trademarked or not, this tasty concoction can will get you into trouble.

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.

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: Three Miller

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.

So Squirrelfarts has been a bit lax on the posts lately. Mostly all Rule 37 cocktails. Well, the thing about that is the official primary Squirrelfart photographic device (um, my camera) had a bit of a fall, and it took Nikon over a MONTH to repair it. You know how some people wear a watch every day, then suddenly forget to put it on one day, and they’re all out of sorts and claim to feel naked? That’s what I’ve been like for the past MONTH. And it’s really put a damper on various Portland boozing adventures (well, there are still adventures) because if I’m going to do a particular distillery/brewery/bar/what have you then I’m going to do it right, with a proper review and proper photography. The past several Rule 37s have been photographed with the Lady Friend’s bright pink Sony CyberShot, which is all well and good except I can’t do a thing about the lighting. Quite challenging to use natural light when my normal operating hours are rather nocturnal. But the real camera is back, and with it, proper pictures. I hope.

“What a piece of junk!”
She may not look like much, but she’s got it where it counts, kid.
I’ve made a lot of special modifications myself.

So yeah. Expect a bit more variety coming from Squirrelfarts HQ. Plus there’s a large backlog of things I still have to actually write about like Blatant Brewing, Newport Storm Brewery, drinking at the oldest tavern in America, more Milwaukee shenanigans, and a German absinthe review which came in a package with cool foreign words on it like “luftpost” and “zusatzleistungen.” What an elegant language.

Anyway, tonight’s cocktail was going to be something tropical once more, as it is still 80 or so degrees inside, incredibly humid, and torrential downpours outside. Who knew that Maine had such an equatorial climate? It was going to be the Bacardi Cocktail, with all its associated legalities, but then I sliced a lemon instead of a lime, and had to do some scrambling. While perusing rum drinks in the Esquire drinks database (featuring the venerable David Wondrich) I came across the Three Miller, which I had added to my “to-drink” list awhile back. Turns out there’s a bit of history there.

Paraphrased from Wondrich’s writeup and various other sources, the gist is that during Prohibition, the US stated that International Waters started at a point three miles from land. So, all the boozers and rum runners would simply sail out three miles and have a party. Or pick up some booze to bring back. The Coast Guard caught on an eventually upped the limit to TWELVE miles, but there was already a cocktail named for the original distance, The Three Mile Limit. That got shortened to the Three-Miler, and someone (Harry Craddock) probably picked up a typo somewhere and began calling it the Three MILLER. Strange.

Three Miller
From Wondrich’s Esquire Drinks.

– 2oz cognac
– 1 oz light rum
– 1/4 oz lemon juice
– Dash of grenadine

Wondrich’s recipe switches from ounces to teaspoons, so I’ve done the conversion for you. I hate when there’s two different units of measurement. Put it all in a mixing glass, shake it, and strain into a cocktail glass, preferably chilled. Some recipes flip the amounts of rum and cognac, and some others suggest a cherry garnish, but I went with Wondrich on this one.

Well, there’s three ounces of liquor in this one, and not much else. Let’s see what happens.

The nose is all booze. Mostly the grapey darkness of the cognac. The rum I used (DonQ) isn’t particularly flavorful, so it’s hard to get any sort of aroma from it as well. The taste is pretty much what you’d expect: a mouthful of cold cognac, with a little rum bite to it. Very boozy, but it burns off quickly. The little hint of lemon and grenadine sweetness aren’t so much there in the flavor, but rather in the roundness of the drink. Without them the booze burn would linger throughout the finish, but as-is they take the edge off. The grape flavor of the cognac lingers in the mouth, and is actually quite pleasant. Though I prefer my cocktails a tad more balanced, this one wasn’t bad. A bit more powerful than modern tipples, but cold, tasty, and full of booze. Which is pretty much all I wanted tonight.

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, 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

– 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.

Rule 37: The Flying Tigre Coctel

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.

It’s been a hectic week. And like six thousand degrees out.

Lord, beer me strength.

But for now, a cocktail will do just fine. The Lady Friend tracked this one down. I’ve been working with a limited liquor palette due to a relocation of my bar and other worldly posessions, so like last week’s post, I’ve had to make do with the Bacardi Light/White instead of something infinitely tastier. So, the Lady Friend, being wikid smaht, went to the Bacardi website and found this week’s recipe. Here’s the history of the drink, taken from that site:

“Here’s our adaptation of a recipe featured in the 1949 edition of Esquire’s Handbook for Hosts. The originator is unknown, but the recipe is said to have been created in Cuba in 1942. Which explains the, erm, unusual spelling. The Flying Tigers were the US air squadron assigned to help the Chinese defend Rangoon during the darkest days of WWII. Despite being outnumbered by the Japanese, they held out for months and their bravery became the stuff of legend. Strangely enough, despite their name, the Flying Tigers were famous for the cartoon shark faces that they had painted onto the noses of their planes. Oh well, tigers, sharks… whatever works, right?”
Courtesy of Bacardi

The Flying Tigre Coctel
They had some silly measurements on the Bacardi site, so I’ve paraphrased it for easier mixing.

– 1 1/2 oz Bacardi white rum
– 1 oz Bombay Sapphire gin (we had Bombay London Dry)
– 1/4 oz simple syrup
– 1/4 oz grenadine
– 2 dashes Angostura bitters

Mix it up, shake it up, pour it out. They suggest an orange zest garnish, but the picture on their website has a lime wedge. We opted to leave the garnish out entirely.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, Bacardi owns the Bombay Sapphire brand. Hence, their specific ingredient list.

It’s got an interesting smell. The gin is there, and there’s a sweetness, but also that Angostura spice. It almost smells like ginger. The Lady Friend mixed this one while I was laying down the worded groundwork, and I happened to catch her dashing in the bitters a little heavy-handededly. But I like bitters, so that’s not the end of the world. This is a decently boozy tipple, and the Angostura should add some flavor in there.

The taste starts off with a sweetness, but quickly goes towards the antiseptic burn of the Bacardi. Angostura is the predominent taste here, again because a bit more than necessary went into it. However, without the bitters, there really wouldn’t be much left to this one. At least, not with this brand of rum. Some good blackstrap would transform this drink. The gin really seems to get lost. I’m not getting much of it at all, aside from contributing to a touch of juniper pine on the finish. But it’s very subtle. With another sip, there IS a bit of gin in the overall flavor, but again, it’s slight. There is some juniper on the burp, which is a very effective way to taste the spirit. As with last week’s Boston Sidecar, the Bacardi white/light rum is non-existent flavor-wise, despite their proclamations of “Superior” branded rum.

As for the Lady Friend, she said that the “smell is initially gin, but I can pick up the pomegranate [grenadine].”
The taste was “initially, not too bad. I definitely get that gin, and Bacardi burn in the back. The first sip is smooth and sweet in the front, but gets that Bacardi burn in the back and the gin pineyness. It’s about what I expected, I guess. I think this could be drastically improved with better ingredients, like Bully Boy rum and GTD gin.

By jove, I think she’s starting to get it. Better ingredients equals better cocktails.

Rule 37: The Boston Sidecar

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.

This week’s Rule 37 tipple is a twist on a classic, though has become a classic itself.

The Boston Sidecar is a normal Sidecar with rum in it. It’s that simple. But what does rum have to do with Boston? Back in the day, (like, Colonial days), Boston was a rum town. It was the spirit of choice for the Colonies, due to the Triangle Trade. The the cranky pants Brits decided to tax everything, and ruined the whole deal. That’s when the Colonist looked around and said “Screw that. We’ll just make booze out of crops instead of sugar cane.” It became the turning point for whiskey, specifically rye, to take over as the drink of choice for America.

The Lady Friend suggested this recipe, and the one she found called for lemon or lime juice. A Sidecar is equal parts brandy (or cognac), triple sec, and lemon juice. Well, that’s one way of making it. Other versions call for up to eight or even ten parts brandy to the other ingredients, but I think they’re way too boozy (though Wondrich’s version isn’t too out of control). It’s just brandy with a little flavoring at that point, like a dry Martini. I prefer the “French School” of equal parts. Anyway, our discussion dealt with which citrus juice we should use. A normal Sidecar uses lemon, and the general rule is that lemon pairs well with brown spirits (brandy, whiskey) whereas lime goes with clear spirits (gin, tequila, vodka, light rum). Since the Boston Sidecar uses a full shot of white rum, she made her version using lime juice, pairing it with the rum as in a Daiquiri. I made mine with lemon, and we compared the two.

The Boston Sidecar

– 1 1/2 oz rum (white or aged)
– 1/2 oz brandy or cognac (used brandy)
– 1/2 oz triple sec
– 1/2 oz lemon or lime juice

Shake the ingredients. Shake-ah shake-ah shake. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. I garnished my lemon version with a lemon spiral. I’d suggest using a lime wheel for the lime juice version. Float either on the surface of the drink. You can also opt for a sugared rim, though I tend to avoid it.

Lemon Version
The nose is certainly lemony (the garnish comes into play here) but with elements of light rum, dark brandy, and astringent triple sec. Time for a taste.

Taste: Well, it’s slightly mouth-puckering. There’s a lemon tart and boozy quality to it that dries the mouth. I usually get that effect with drinks that contain triple-sec. The brandy adds an interesting note, but the rest of the drink reminds me how accustomed to big-flavored rums I’ve gotten. I went with Bacardi on this one, because my beloved Bully Boy rum is so flavorful that it tends to overwhelm cocktails with sugary goodness. It’s tasty, but the use of Bacardi in this one allows some other flavors through. While I wouldn’t call this a dry drink, there is a dry quality to it, due to the astringent Bacardi and triple sec. The only flavors I can really pick up on are the lemon, brandy, and a hint of orange. In other recipes, they call for an aged or golden rum, which would certainly have more flavor than the Bacardi light/white used here. Do yourself a favor: use a rum with flavor. Hey, that’s a good slogan! PATENT PENDING.

Lime Version (Not pictured: that’s another shot of the lemon version to the left)
Nose: Whoa. Way different. Lots of lime tart. It smells like a beefed-up Daiquiri, with the orange essence of triple sec coming out a lot more, and the brandy adding a dark element once again.

Taste: Again, there’s a dry quality to the drink, but the lime adds MUCH more flavor here. Since the Bacardi seems to be doing nothing but adding booze, the lime really takes over and mingles quite well with the triple sec, as in a Margarita. The pairing of rum and lime is a classic for a reason. The brandy here adds a dark warmth to the drink, which leads me to believe that adding a touch of it to a regular Daiquiri would be a fine idea. I hate to concede defeat, but it seems the Lady Friend’s version is the way to go with this one.

The Lady Friend says that her lime version is much more tart whereas the lemon is a bit more sweet. I’m not sure it’s sweetness, but rather a less flavorful citrus. She thinks the brandy comes through more on the lemon version, which I agree with, but I’d trade that hint of brandy for the flavor of the lime tart. I think this drink could be really complex and amazing, but it’s pretty mediocre with Bacardi. Use something tasty instead.

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