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Archive for the ‘Cocktails & Recipes’ Category

Cocktail Hour: Black Storm

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 27, 2017

Allen Smith – Master Blender, Mount Gay Rum

Several weeks ago, I was given an opportunity to interview Allen Smith, Master Blender at the Mount Gay Distillery in Barbados. Smith was promoted to Master Blender at Mount Gay Rum Distillery in 2010. In this role, Allen overseas all aspects of the brand’s new blending facility at St. Lucy with a continuing focus on innovation shaped by his years of experience.

One of the topics I brought up was the Cocktail Revolution and how Mount Gay Rum is reacting to this world-wide trend. Allen responded by noting how bartenders and mixologists have embraced his rums:

” As I travel across the globe and meet rising bartenders and mixologists, I love how they are embracing Mount Gay. They are coming to me to learn about the key aromatics in our rums, so that when they create their cocktails they are enhancing the spirit rather than masking it. I’m thrilled to hear that they are mixing our rums and creating delicious drinks with it.”

During the Interview, Allen said, that although he prefers to drink his rum directly from the barrel (neat and at full strength), occasionally he does enjoy a certain cocktail as well, the Black Storm. The Black Storm is of course a variation upon the popular Dark ‘n Stormy. It is though mixed with Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum rather than with Goslings.

The Black Storm

My interview with Allen Smith will be published in a few days, and I thought that a nice way to introduce that interview would be to feature Mr. Smith’s preferred mixed drink and the rum he prefers to mix with, Mount Gay 1703 Black Barrel.

The Black Storm

2 oz Mount Gay 1703 Black Barrel
Citrus Wheel (usually Lime)
ice
5 oz Ginger Beer

Add ice and a citrus wheel to large glass
Add Mount Gay 1703 Black Barrel Rum
Top with ginger beer

Enjoy Responsibly!

If  you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!

____________________________________________________________

I hope you enjoy the Black Storm. My alluded to Interview with Allen Smith will publish on Monday, and my review of Mount Gay 1703 Black Barrel Rum will publish on Friday.

Chimo!

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Cocktail Hour: The Reserved Gentleman

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 21, 2017

It is hard to believe that it was eight years ago when I began to write spirit reviews. And if I am honest, my first attempts were rather crude affairs, the popularity of which had more to do with my quirky honest style, than with the quality of the writing. One of those quirks has been the inclusion of a cocktail or mixed drink with almost every review. And just like my initial writings, many of my early cocktails were crude affairs which lacked finesse and polish.

I have been revisiting some of those early cocktails with the idea that perhaps some of them should be polished up, and perhaps some should be dropped from my cocktail section entirely. However, after reviewing these early servings, I realized that every once in a while in those early days of my blog, I got it right. And that is the definitely the case with the recipe I am sharing today.

The Reserved Gentleman was designed with a specific rum in mind, Appleton Estate Reserve Rum. The serving is a simple mixture of Appleton Rum, Fresh Lime Juice and Triple Sec with just a touch of added simple syrup. Keeping everything simple allows the rich, complex Appleton Reserve Rum to be the star of the libation. The only tweaking I had to do was to snap a new picture.

The Reserved Gentleman
a cocktail by Chip Dykstra (Aka The Rum Howler)

1 1/2 oz  Appleton Reserve Rum
1/2 oz   Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
1/4 oz  Triple Sec
dash  Sugar Syrup (1:1 ratio)
Ice
Citrus Peel for garnish

Combine ingredients into a metal shaker with ice.
Shake until the metal shaker begins to frost
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish with lime slice, or a flamed grapefruit peel

Enjoy Responsibly!

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Cocktail Hour: Rum Février

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 14, 2017

Several years ago I designed a cocktail which combined a well aged Brandy with a younger, more vibrant VSOP Cognac mixed in the style of the classic Sidecar. The idea was to construct a mixed drink which combined the best of both worlds, the youthful brashness of a young Cognac, and the aged character of a well-oaked brandy.

The results were spectacular, and I chose the name Brandy Février to reinforce the notion that I felt this particular libation would serve well as a ‘Winter cocktail’. (I always seem to enjoy well aged spirits much more in the cold months than in the warm months.)

This year, as Winter seemed to linger well into the Spring, I turned the idea towards one of my favourite rum families, Appleton Estate Rum. My new mixed drink, Rum Février mixes Appleton’s Brash Signature VX Blended Rum with their newly re-branded Appleton Estate Rare 12 Year Old Rum again, in the style of the classic Sidecar. Although we are trending well away from Winter, my new rum cocktail also seems to suit the latter half of this cool Spring.

Rum Février
a cocktail by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)

1 oz  Appleton Signature Blend VX
1/2 oz Appleton Estate Rare 12 Year Old Blend
3/4 oz fresh squeezed Orange Juice
1/2 oz fresh squeezed Lime Juice
1/8 oz Campari
1/4 oz Sugar Syrup (1:1 ratio)
Ice
Orange Peel

Add the six ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker frosts
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Garnish with orange peel

Please Enjoy Responsibly!

If  you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!

Note: My review for the newly re-branded Appleton Estate Rare 12 Year Old Blend with publish this coming Friday.

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Cocktail Hour: The Time Traveller

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 7, 2017

The Appleton Estate Signature Blend VX Rum can be a polarizing spirit. Persons new to the Appleton Rum flavour profile (which combines the funk of the Jamaican Pot Still with firm oak spice and orange peel flavours) often find the cane spirit a little daunting. However, it is equally true that once these same persons have grown accustomed to the robust flavour profile of Appleton Estate Rum, they just might be hooked for life. (Count myself in that category.)

Here is a mixed drink which attempts to bridge that gap for the cocktail enthusiast who is experimenting with the robust Appleton flagship rum for the first time. The libation is based upon the concept of the Vesper Cocktail and uses Skyy Vodka to temper the firm spicy Appleton flavour.

I decided to call my creation, the Time Traveller, as I feel that as you travel forward through time your desire for a stronger portion of Appleton Signature Blend VX Rum will grow. It would not be a quantum leap to suggest that the time will come the vodka portion will be eliminated replaced entirely by the Appleton Rum.

Time Traveller
a cocktail by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)

1 1/4 oz Appleton Signature Blend VX
3/4 oz Skyy Vodka
1/2 oz Bols Triple Sec
2/3 oz Lime Juice
1/3 oz Lemon Juice
1/3 oz Sugar Syrup (1:1 ratio)
Lime Slice

Add the ingredients into a metal cocktail shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Garnish with a lime slice

Please Enjoy Responsibly!

If  you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!

Please note my reviews for Skyy Vodka and the the newly re-branded Appleton Signature Blend VX Rum will publish on Tuesday and Friday.

Chimo!

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Cocktail Hour: Arctic Wolf’s Christmas Eggnog

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 20, 2016

Back by popular demand, I am re-posting my recipe for my special Christmas Eggnog. My recipe mixes Dark Rum and Canadian Whisky with Eggs, Whipped Cream, Whole Milk and Christmas Spices. This year my chosen spirits are the very flavourful tiki rum Lemonhart Original Demerara, and the classic Canadian whisky, Canadian Club Premium. This recipe of mine does require a baker’s touch get everything just right; but the results are so good that if you serve this eggnog on Christmas Eve, you will have all of your family begging for seconds.

lemonorig-e1388785628641Arctic Wolf’s Christmas Eggnog
(Four serving recipe)

Ingredients

3 Eggs (room temperature with the yolk and whites separated)
3/8 cup White Sugar (for the yolks)
3 tablespoons White Sugar (for the whites)
1/4 teaspoon Vanilla
a touch Ground Cloves (1/16 tsp)
a pinch of Grated Nutmeg (1/8 tsp)
a dash of Ground Cinnamon (3/16 tsp)
1 1/2 cups Whipping Cream (chilled)
1 cup Whole Milk
1/2 cup Dark Rum (Lemonhart Original Dark Rum)
2/3 cup Canadian Whisky (Canadian Club Premium)

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canadian-club-premium-sam_2653Start with the Egg Yolks

Separate your egg yolks and your egg whites in two separate bowls
Whisk the first amount of sugar and the vanilla into the egg yolks
Add a touch of  ground cloves, a pinch of nutmeg, and a dash of cinnamon into the yolk bowl
Add the cream, the milk and the rum and the whisky
Make sure everything is mixed thoroughly

Next the Egg Whites

This is where a baker’s touch is necessary
Beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks (3-4 minutes)
Add the second amount of sugar slowly during this beating process.

Then we Combine

Gently and with large circular motions blend the egg white mixture into the yolk mixture, trying to keep things as ‘poofy’ as possible
Gently spoon the mixture into your serving cups
Sprinkle a little left over spice on the top of each glass, and enjoy with your favourite Christmas chocolates!

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eggnog

Merry Christmas Everyone!

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Cocktail Hour: Sense of Sensibility

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 29, 2016

I believe that tasting and reviewing Vodka must be approached quite differently than tasting and reviewing whisky or rum. Whereas whisky and rum are generally served at room temperature and perhaps with a little water or ice; Vodka is generally chilled, and one would rarely add water or ice when drinking the spirit neat.

sensibility-sam_2849Vodka is also a drink which should not be consumed in a vacuum. A traditional Vodka tasting would normally include food and good company. The style of food is in the vein of fresh bread or buns, potato dishes, sausage or ham, and pickled foods. The style of company of course is completely up to the individuals involved.

When I host a vodka tasting, I always add one additional element to the occasion. I make sure that I conclude the event with a nice cocktail. A tart fruity gimlet is a fantastic way to wrap up a Vodka tasting. And how each spirit performs in their respective cocktails always has a significant impact upon my review.

Here is a gimlet style cocktail which mixes a pure rye grain spirit, Extra Zytnia Vodka with fresh lemon and orange juice and a dash of Maraschino liqueur.

(A late night Black Adder marathon inspired the name of this tasty libation.)

Sense of Sensibility

2 oz  Vodka
3/4 oz fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 oz fresh Orange Juice
dash of Maraschino
1/4  oz Sugar Syrup (1:1 Ratio)
ice
Orange Peel Zest

Add the five ingredients with ice into a metal shaker
Shake vigorously until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a suitable cocktail glass
Garnish with a strip of Orange Zest

Enjoy Responsibly!

If  you are interested in more of my cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!

My review of the Extra Zytnia pure rye grain vodka will publish tomorrow, Chimo!

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Cocktail Hour: The Emissary

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 22, 2016

emissary-sam_2845I make my cocktails at home, and as a result I must be content with whichever ingredients happen to be in my cupboards and/or refrigerator. The Emissary is a tasty cocktail which came about when I was experimenting with different combinations of lemon, lime and grapefruit juice. I chose to accent the serving with just a hint of orange zest.

Although this particular cocktail is more complex to construct than a common sour cocktail, the results are well worth the effort.

The Emissary

1 1/2 oz Norvegia Vodka
3/8 oz fresh squeezed Lemon Juice
3/8 oz fresh squeezed Lime Juice
1/4 oz fresh squeezed Grapefruit Juice
3/8 oz Sugar Syrup (1:1 ratio)
Ice
Orange Peel (pith removed)

Add the Vodka, the fruit juice, and sugar syrup into a metal cocktail shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a cocktail glass
Tie a long strip of fresh orange peel into a bow and drop it in for garnish
Enjoy!

Note: If  you are interested in more of my cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!

Norvegia is a five-time distilled potato vodka from Norway. You may read my full review of this wonderful new potato spirit when it publishes tomorrow.

Chimo!

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Cocktail Hour: Cognac Servings

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 17, 2016

If you delve into the history of Cognac, you will find that the spirit was drank in a very different manner in the 18th and 19th centuries. In fact, if you happen to enter an old bar in France you might still see blue glass bottles with handles which used to be filled with seltzer water to be used with Cognac. The grape spirit may have remained a mixing spirit had not phylloxera arrived and ravaged the European vineyards.

Because of phylloxera, Cognac all but disappeared in the 1870’s, and it remained a relatively rare spirit until the end of the 19th century. During this time, it was gradually replaced in bars and restaurants by whisk(e)y in both the United Kingdom and North America. When the vineyards recovered and Cognac became more readily available near the beginning of the 20thcentury, it had to find a new market niche to occupy. For this reason, the grape spirit came to be promoted as an after dinner sipping drink rather than as a spirit meant mixed drinks and cocktails.

Brandy Crusta (1878) SAM_1069_1

Brandy Crusta

However, if we go back to the roots of Cognac and how people originally preferred to enjoy the spirit, we find that as a cocktail spirit it has tremendous appeal. Cognac displays intense taste and aromas, great complexity, and a wonderful finish. The original bartenders knew this, and with cognac they created many classic bar drinks for their patrons. In fact, some of our favourite whisky cocktails, the Mint Julep, the Old Fashioned and the Sazerac were originally mixed with Brandy and Cognac.

The recipes I have selected below (click on the mixed drink servings to go to each recipe page) may seem heretical to today’s Cognac enthusiast; but they are all rooted in the true history of the grape spirit which was the original spirit of choice for bartenders who created mixed drinks and cocktails.

Please enjoy these cocktail servings and if you are interested in other libations, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!

Chimo!

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Cocktail Hour: The Hummingbird

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 12, 2016

It is quite common when mixing tiki drinks to mix two disparate rums with different flavour profiles in order to bring the best of both to the final cocktail. I like to do the same when making cocktails with brandy and cognac. Specifically, I like to mix a young vibrant spirit with a well aged brandy or XO Cognac in sour cocktails. A ribbon of strong overt oak spice (from the well aged spirit) seems to take these cocktails to a whole new level.

hummingbird-sam_2779That is the theme for the following cocktail. (My wife insisted that I call the serving, The Hummingbird, as it is named for the avian visitor which has been dropping by the hanging flowers by our back window this fall.)

Hummingbird

1 oz H by Hine Fine Champagne VSOP (click here for review)
1/2 oz Hine Antique XO Premier Cru
3/4 oz Orange Juice
3/8 oz Lemon Juice
3/8 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Sugar Syrup
dash Angostura Bitters
Ice
Twist of Orange Peel

Add the first seven ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Garnish with a Twist of Orange Peel

Please Enjoy Responsibly!

If  you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!

Note: My Review for Hine Antique XO Premier Cru Cognac will publish tomorrow, Chimo!

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Cocktail Hour: The Cane Mutiny

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 9, 2016

The Captain Morgan Media Team sent me a recipe for their Jack-O’Blast Rum which mixed the pumpkin spiced spirit with Ginger Beer and Lime. It was basically a Moscow Mule made with their spiced rum instead of with Vodka, and paying homage to the cocktail which inspired the serving, they called their suggested libation a Mutiny Mule.

Mutiny Mule

1.5 oz. Captain Morgan Jack-O’Blast
3 oz. Ginger Beer
0.5 oz. Lime Juice

Combine all ingredients in a glass filled with ice, stir and garnish with a lime wedge.

the-cane-mutiny-sam_2842

The Cane Mutiny

I quite enjoyed the serving, but decided to make a few small changes which I felt more firmly highlighted the Pumpkin Spiced flavour of their new rum. The first change was to alter the proportions such that the Jack-O’Blast Rum was the dominant ingredient within the cocktail. Then I replaced the Ginger Beer with Ginger Ale which is not nearly so spicy and therefore allowed the Pumpkin Spiced Rum to be the star of the serving.

I decided to call my recipe, The Cane Mutiny.

The Cane Mutiny

2 oz Captain Morgan Jack-O’Blast Spiced Rum
3/8 oz fresh Lime Juice
dash Sugar Syrup (to taste)
1 1/2 oz Ginger-ale
Ice
Lime Slice for garnish

Add all of the ingredients into a Mixing glass
Stir Gently
Pour into a rocks glass filled with ice
Enjoy Responsibly!

Note: If  you are interested in more of my cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more mixed drink recipes!

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Note: My Review of the Captain Morgan Jack-O’Blast Spiced Rum will publish tomorrow, Chimo!

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