zaterdag 24 oktober 2020

Old Fashioned Week 2020 : Rhum J.M. Fumée Volcanique


Let me start by stating “You love it or you hate it”. While your average rum is made from melasses (a by-product of the sugar industry), rhum agricole is made from the juice of sugar cane. It’s a bit less sweet and you get more raw flavours in the nose. Still, it won’t scare you, it’s just slightly different. This Rhum J.M. Fumée Volcanique bottling enhances those raw flavours by adding tons of smoke. I would recommend this bottle only for the real rum-lovers. Definitely not for anyone who is just starting to taste rum. Personally I can really appreciate the taste, but the smoky aroma is almost as heavy as an Islay whisky… I still have to get used to this for a rum. 

This rum has aged between 12 and 14 months in ex-Bourbon casks, which were heavily charred by Rhum J.M. The result is a very smoky aroma, salted butter and caramel. In the mouth notes of lime, sugar cane, honey and anise. A very special rum, which delivers a Rum Old Fashioned with a very smoky kick. 

I’ll try to lift up the typical casks influences by adding vanilla syrup. Also lifting up the typical cacao flavours of the rum by using the brand new cacao forastero bitters. You can find these bitters in the better liqueur store, alone or in a set of three together with “piment bondamanjak bitters” and “fleur d’atoumo bitters”. The cacao bitters are a maceration of roasted cocoa beans, peanuts, coffee, sarsaparilla branch, lime zest, vanilla pods and cinnamon sticks. The alcohol used for these bitters is white rum Agricole. 

Volcano Old Fashioned

Ingredients
60 ml Rhum J.M. Fumée Volcanique
10 ml Vanilla syrup
2 dashes Bitters J.M. Cacao Forastero

Method
Stir together in a mixing glass with lots of ice. Strain into a tumbler with a block of fresh ice. Garnish with a dehydrated slice of orange. 

Disclaimer : All pictures and texts are copyrighted by Geert Conard and Esito Management & Communications unless stated otherwise in the article. While some items might have been gifted by the producer or distributor, these are in no way paid promotions or recommendations.

vrijdag 23 oktober 2020

Old Fashioned Week 2020 : El Ron Prohibido 12


As said earlier this week, we received two bottles of El Ron Prohibido on our homebar. The second bottle is the Solera 12 blended Mexican Rum. In the nose crushed walnuts, sugar and vanilla. Second comes raisin and prune. In the mouth lots of honey, chocolate and raisin. Just like the 15 Gran Reserva, this one also has lots of influence by the sweet raisin casks. You also get a bit a coffee and nutmeg. The coffee notes stay in the finish. I’m happy that I didn’t use this one for my ‘Rum & Coffee’ Old Fashioned, because it would be too much. 

The lighter and fresher notes inspired to add even more fruity notes in this cocktail. 

Mexican Old Fashioned

Ingredients
50 ml El Ron Prohibido Solera 12 Mexican Rum
20 ml World’s End Falernum (Rum based)
10 ml Simple syrup
2 dashes of Angostura Orange bitters

Method
Stir together in a mixing glass with lots of ice. Strain into a tumbler with fresh ice.
Garnish with a dehydrated slice of orange. 

Disclaimer : All pictures and texts are copyrighted by Geert Conard and Esito Management & Communications unless stated otherwise in the article. While some items might have been gifted by the producer or distributor, these are in no way paid promotions or recommendations.

donderdag 22 oktober 2020

Old Fashioned Week 2020 : Ardbeg Wee Beastie


Probably the bottle that sparked my curiosity the most during this year’s #oldfashionedweek: Ardbeg Wee Beastie 5 years. Yes, that’s pretty young and I really wanted to experience how much of an Islay-beastie this dram could be. To my surprise this whisky sure kicks a punch. It’s the rawest and smokiest Ardbeg I have tasted. It didn’t disappoint at all. This brand new expression is the most recent addition to the Ardbeg Ultimate Range. 

Ardbeg Wee Beastie is matured in ex-bourbon and Oloroso sherry casks. This dram absolutely activates your senses. Cracked black pepper is very dominant. Pine and smoke. In the mouth lots of chocolate, then tar and creosote. The Beast awakens. A hint of grilled meat and a tail of the salty Islay air. A whisky of 5 years is pretty young. You don’t have the mellowing effect of aging, hence the strong kick. This is an excellent base for a powerful smoky cocktail. 

Wee Beastie Old Fashioned

Ingredients
60 ml Ardbeg Wee Beastie 5
15 ml Honey syrup
10 ml Amaro Montenegro
2 dashes Walnut bitters

Method
Stir together in a mixing glass (all except the amaro) with lots of ice. Strain into your tumbler with a big block of ice. Add a float of Amaro on top. Garnish with a dehydrated orange slice. 

Disclaimer : All pictures and texts are copyrighted by Geert Conard and Esito Management & Communications unless stated otherwise in the article. While some items might have been gifted by the producer or distributor, these are in no way paid promotions or recommendations.

dinsdag 20 oktober 2020

Old Fashioned Week 2020 : El Ron Prohibido 15


If you drink rum in the morning, you’re not an alcoholic but a pirate 😉 

If you take a glance at the fantastic bottles of El Ron Prohibido, you really start to feel like Jack Sparrow. These bottles could easily be props for a new ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ movie. 

El Ron Prohibido is Mexican rum produced by Cervecera Mexicana distillery using the well-known Solera system which is used for several brands of rum and sherry. In the Solera system new rum is mixed with older rums. Instead of ex-bourbon barrels, they use ex-wine barrels for aging. 

Two of their dark rums landed on our homebar and they really do not disappoint. For the first cocktail based on this rum, I opened the 15 solera edition. This rum has tones of sweet caramel, nuts, wood, raisins and plums. It has a spicy finish. The raisin wine casks have left a deep influence in this rum, which really makes it different from most Caribbean rums. This is a perfect dessert rum, which might be the rum I was looking for to blend with coffee liqueur. 

Rum & Coffee Old Fashioned

Ingredients
50 ml El Ron Prohibido Solera 15 Gran Reserva
20 ml Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur
7 ml Simple syrup
1 or 2 dashes of Angostura Orange bitters

Method
Stir together in a mixing glass with lots of ice. Strain into a tumbler with fresh ice. Garnish with a dehydrated slice of orange. 

Disclaimer : All pictures and texts are copyrighted by Geert Conard and Esito Management & Communications unless stated otherwise in the article. While some items might have been gifted by the producer or distributor, these are in no way paid promotions or recommendations

maandag 19 oktober 2020

Old Fashioned Week 2020 : Sakurao Gin


We already had a Japanese whisky in this years edition of the Old Fashioned Week, but because today is also #internationalgintonicday I’m mixing one up with a base of Japanese Gin. And I bet gin would be the last thing on your mind when I tell you I’m experimenting with something from Hiroshima. 

Sakurao Dry Gin is made with 9 fresh local botanicals from Hiroshima (green lemon, sweet navel oranges, sweet summer oranges, yuzu, bitter dai dai oranges, Japanese cypress, green tea, aka shiso and ginger) and 5 imported botanicals such as juniper berries and coriander seeds.  

This gin has lots of citrus notes (lemon and yuzu), but also aromas from Japanese cypress and oyster shells. The typical Japanese flavours comes from cherry blossoms, which we also remember from the excellent Roku Gin. In this case the cherry blossoms also gave the name to the gin. Sakura is also the symbol of Sakurao, where the distillery is located. 

Maybe it’s not that very common to use gin for an Old Fashioned, but it’s absolutely possible. The botanicals used in the gin add an extra herbal dimension to the cocktail. For this drink I noticed the strong citrus flavours and added more fruity notes. The result is a very fruity Old Fashioned that doesn’t look like an Old Fashioned at all 😉.  

Sakurao Old Fashioned

Ingredients
60 ml Sakurao Dry Gin
15 ml Rhurbarb Liqueur
2 dashes cranberry bitters

Method
Stir everything together in a mixing glass with lots of ice. Strain into a nice wineglass. This drink has strong flavours, it really doesn’t need a garnish. A nice flower might be a good option, but I didn’t have any available…  

Disclaimer : All pictures and texts are copyrighted by Geert Conard and Esito Management & Communications unless stated otherwise in the article. While some items might have been gifted by the producer or distributor, these are in no way paid promotions or recommendations.


zondag 18 oktober 2020

Old Fashioned Week 2020 : Togouchi whisky


I’ve always had a weird relationship with Japanese whisky. The early bottles just didn’t do it for me and it was only after a masterclass of Suntory’s Toki and Hibiki whisky bottlings that I became interested. 

Recently I received a bottle of Togouchi Premium Blended Japanese Whisky. Of course I have nothing against blended whisky. In the UK the blended malt bottlings of Douglas Laing and Monkey Shoulder are extremely tasty. Togouchi uses a blend of Scottish malt and Canadian grain. At the Chugoku Jozo distillery they don’t age this whisky in warehouses, but in tunnels in Togouchi were it’s always 15°. This reminds us of course of the many caves we visited in the Champagne region. 

A first sip from this bottle wasn’t really extravert or exciting. But it did have that typical Japanese peachy flavour which is always more floral and fruity than Scottish whisky. In the mouth it has a lot of butter and caramel. Also fruit and nuts. I decided to try a very fruity Asian style of Old Fashioned for this one. 

Togouchi Old Fashioned

Ingredients
60 ml Togouchi Blended Whisky
15 ml Marie Brizard Litchi Liqueur 
2 dashes Grapefruit bitters

Method
Stir everything together in a mixglass with lots of ice. Strain into a tumbler with a big block of ice. Add a dehydrated lemon slice. 

Disclaimer : All pictures and texts are copyrighted by Geert Conard and Esito Management & Communications unless stated otherwise in the article. While some items might have been gifted by the producer or distributor, these are in no way paid promotions or recommendations.

vrijdag 16 oktober 2020

Old Fashioned Week 2020 : Belvedere Vodka


Just like the #negroniweek, the #oldfashionedweek is an annual theme week highlighting iconic drinks and raising money for charity. This year both initiatives are supporting the hospitality industry which was knocked down pretty bad by the COVID19 virus. 

This year there seems to be some discussion about the exact dates for #oldfashionedweek. One of the official websites still states November 1 to 10, but doesn’t seem to be updated for this year’s events. Several other websites seem to start today (October 16 to 25). Since this year I will also be an ambassador for #sherryweek (November 2 to 8), the October-week works best for me to showcase some delicious Old Fashioned style cocktails. 

Each year I’m happy to promote this week and publish some tasty recipes myself. For this first drink I’m looking back at the Belvedere Vodka tasting I joined a few weeks ago, led by Global Brand Ambassador Mike Foster. Belvedere is a Polish brand, where they have a DOP for vodka. Only natural products. In the bottle is the result of purified water, grain (rye) and fire to distil. 

The new Heritage 176 bottle is a mix of the well-known Belvedere vodka with a vintage-style malted rye spirit. They use a centuries-old malting rye technique, which includes steeping, sprouting and heating the rye in kilns up to 176 degrees. Yes, that’s what the name refers to. 

The result is a rich and full bodied taste with vanilla, clotted cream, honey, walnut, … certainly not your average vodka. Serve it over ice with a lemon twist… or use it as a base for a delicious cocktail. 

Heritage Style (Belvedere Heritage 176 Signature Cocktail)

Ingredients
60 ml Belvedere Heritage 176
5 ml Honey syrup
2 dashes Walnut bitters

Method
Stir together for 20 seconds in a mixing glass with lots of ice. Strain in a tumbler with a big block of ice. Garnish with a lemon twist. 

Disclaimer : All pictures and texts are copyrighted by Geert Conard and Esito Management & Communications unless stated otherwise in the article. While some items might have been gifted by the producer or distributor, these are in no way paid promotions or recommendations.