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Dennis’ Cocktail: Whoa Dennis!

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 7, 2016

I mentioned two days ago that my good friends Ally and Dennis just got married, and that I was honoured to have been asked to design/recommend the signature cocktails for the reception and banquet. Earlier this week I shared Ally’s Cocktail, the Bluebird of Happiness, and today I am going to share with you Dennis’s Cocktail, Whoa Dennis!

Dennis is a huge fan of both Rye Whisky and Dark Caribbean Rum. He is also very fond of both Lemon and Grapefruit Juice, and earlier this year I happened upon a recipe put together by Lally Brennan and Ti Adelaide Martin ( In the Land of Cocktails) (with the assistance of Ted Haigh (Dr. Cocktail)) which seemed ideal for my purpose. Their recipe Whoa Nellie! seemed ideal as it combined all of the ingredients Dennis loved with a small hit of sweetener and a few dashes of Fees Cocktail Bitters.

Whoa Nellie SAM_2398

Whoa Dennis!

I needed to make only one very small change. All of the suggested constructions for the Brennan and Martin Cocktail I found online called for American Rye Whiskey, whereas I knew that Dennis (and  I too) preferred Canadian Rye Whisky. So I invited Ally and Dennis over, and I made him the cocktail with a particular rye whisky that Dennis is extremely fond of, Alberta Premium 100 % Rye Whisky.

Whether this one change (which perhaps isn’t really a change at all) warranted a renaming of the cocktail is open to debate. But when Ally insisted, I agreed that the cocktail could be renamed for one day.

Whoa Dennis!

1 1/2 oz Rye Whiskey (Alberta Premium 100% Rye)
1/2 oz Dark Rum (Coruba Dark Jamaican Rum)
1/2 oz Orange Liqueur (Cointreau)
1/3 oz Grapefruit Juice
1/3 oz Lemon Juice
a few dashes of Bitters (Fees Cocktail Bitters)
1/3 oz Sugar Syrup
Ice
Grapefruit Twist

Add the ingredients into a metal shaker with plenty of ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a cocktail glass
Garnish with a twist of Grapefruit

Please Enjoy Responsibly!

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

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Please note: I took this oppertunity to revisit Alberta Premium Rye Whisky and my new review will publish tomorrow.

Chimo!

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Ally’s Cocktail: The Bluebird of Happiness

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 5, 2016

This past weekend, My good friends Ally and Dennis took the plunge into the unknown and got married. I was extremely happy for them, and was also quite honoured when they asked me to design signature cocktails for the reception and banquet. One cocktail for the bride, and one for the groom.

Bluebird of Happiness

Bluebird of Happiness

Ally is partial to vodka, and so for her cocktail I dove into W.J. Tarling’s, 1937 Cafe Royal Cocktail Book, and selected a serving of Tarling’s called Blue Bird. The recipe mixes Vodka, Cointreau, and Lemon Juice in a 2:1:1 ratio and then adds 3 dashes of Maraschino and 3 dashes of Blue Extract for colour.

For the wedding celebration, the recipe required only one tweak to make it easier to construct. I replaced the Cointreau and Blue Extract (food colouring) for Bols Blue (Triple Sec). Bols Blue has a very nice orange flavour which is quite similar to Cointreau however, it carries a lower alcohol content making it quite suitable for a large gathering where not everyone wants a full strength cocktail.

This is Allie’s Cocktail: I call it, the Bluebird of Happiness.

Bluebird of Happiness

1 1/2 oz  Vodka
3/4 oz  Bols Blue (Triple Sec)
3/4 oz  Lemon Juice
3 dashes (about 1/8 oz)  Luxardo Maraschino
ice
Lemon Garnish

Add the first four Ingredients into a cocktail Shaker with ice
Shake until the sides frost
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Garnish with thin slice of lemon
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!

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Note: I will be publishing Dennis’ cocktail in a few days.

You may follow these links for my published reviews of Bols Blue and Luxardo Maraschino.

Chimo!

 

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Review: Forty Creek Confederation Oak (Lot 1867F)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 2, 2016

SAM_2635In 2010 Forty Creek Whisky introduced Forty Creek Confederation Oak Reserve Whisky. What made this whisky unique was that it had been finished in Canadian Oak Barrels. These oak barrels were made from oak trees (growing only 40 miles from the distillery) which began their growth in Canadian soil approximately 150 years ago at the time of Confederation (The birth of Canada as a nation), hence the name Confederation Oak.

It has been 6 years since Confederation Oak Reserve Whisky was first released over that time the spirit has become one of the staple whiskies in the Forty Creek Whisky family. Each year a new batch is produced, and when I recently received a bottle from the newest batch (Batch Number 1867F), I decided to revisit the spirit to see how it has changed over time.

Here is a link to my latest Canadian Whisky review:

Review: Forty Creek Confederation Oak (Lot 1867F)

“… Lot 1867F however seems more subdued with less oak spice and woody vanillans at the forefront of the whisky. This time the breezes bring me more obvious scents butterscotch and maple syrup. Rye notes (and the tempered wood spices) are melded within this light sweetness. As the glass breathes, I notice a bit of a bourbon flair with indications of corn whisky, vanilla, almond, honeycomb and damp tobacco all apparent as well in the air above the glass …”

Please enjoy the review, Chimo!

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Cocktail Hour: The Asylum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 1, 2016

Today’s cocktail is a variation of the Ward 8 Cocktail which I introduced to my website three weeks ago (see here). The Ward 8 is basically a Whiskey Sour made with lemon and orange juice and sweetened with grenadine. My new cocktail, The Asylum, is quite similar. However rather than using grenadine to sweeten the cocktail (and a maraschino Cherry as the garnish), I instead added a small amount of Brandied Cherry Syrup and one of my home-made Brandied Cherries as the garnish (see recipe here).

If you examine my recipe for Brandied Cherries you will see that I not only soak the cherries in a mixture of sugar, water and brandy, I also add cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and allspice. These pungent spices within the Brandied Cherry Syrup add a wonderful layer of flavour to both the brandied cherry and to my final cocktail.

Asylum SAM_2727I chose to call my new libation The Asylum, which is not only a reference to a place which might contain a section called Ward 8 (the original cocktail of inspiration), it also pays homage to another of my favourite writers (and a Canadian to boot), A.E. Van Vogt. His short story Asylum (Astounding Science Fiction, May 1942) was written during the Golden Aged of Science Fiction (which A.E. Van Vogt is often credited with ushering into existence with his short story Black Destroyer).

While the work of Van Vogt is unfortunately slowly being forgotten, it should be understood that his early stories had a huge impact on science fiction and pop culture. His novel The Voyage of the Space Beagle was almost certainly the inspiration for Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek. His early story Discord in Scarlet, likewise inspired the novel and the movie, Alien. And the villains in the story for which my cocktail is named, Asylum bear such an uncanny likeness to villainous Wraith from the well-known television series Stargate Atlantis that it is undeniable that the hand of Van Vogt was leaving its impression once again.

The Asylum

2 oz Canadian Whisky (Forty Creek Confederation Oak)
1/2 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Fresh Orange Juice
1 tsp Brandied Cherry Juice
1 tsp Sugar Syrup (1:1 ratio)
Ice
Brandied Cherry (see recipe here)

Add the first five ingredients into a metal shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Garnish with a Brandied Cherry

Enjoy Responsibly!

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

 

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Review: Plantation Barbados (Grande Reserve) 5 Year Old Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 29, 2016

Plantation Barbados SAM_2678Cognac Ferrand is a Cognac producer situated in the Grand Champagne Cognac Region of France. For years this company has had a special relationship with a variety of Caribbean rum producers. This relationship is based upon the rum producer’s need for quality oak casks to age their rum. Based upon this relationship, Cognac Ferrand is able to acquire certain old and unique batches of rum from various Caribbean sources, which they bring back to France and finish in their own warehouses and of course their own Cognac Casks. To bring these special rums to market, Cognac Ferrand created the line of rums knows as Plantation Rum.

The cornerstone of the Plantation Rum line-up is most certainly Plantation Barbados Grande Reserve 5 Year Old Rum. This is a Bajan rum blend (distilled in Barbadoes of course) which was aged for five years in bourbon casks. After this initial aging the rum is transported from Barbados to France by Cognac Ferrand to be placed in used Cognac casks to enhance the rum before it is bottled.

I originally reviewed this rum in 2011, five years removed from that review, I am revisiting the review with a current bottling.

Here is a link to my recent review:

Review: Plantation Barbados (Grande Reserve)

“… The Plantation 5 Year Old Barbados Rum brings a pleasant complexity and depth of flavour to the glass which allows the spirit to be enjoyed as a sipping rum as well as a high quality cocktail rum. I also appreciate that the rum does clobber me over the head with its Cognac enhancement. I can taste whispers of fermented fruit and perhaps a ghost of the cognac barrel, but these flavours stay in the background allowing the fine Barbados rum to shine through …”

Please enjoy my review.

Chimo!

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Cocktail Hour: The Swift-Turtle

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 28, 2016

I enjoy watching the night sky on my back deck after sunset, and one of the highlights of the evening sky this August was the annual Perseid Meteor Shower. Watching for a meteor flash, and trying to make a wish before it winks out of existence is one of the best ways to enjoy a cool August evening, and the Perseid Meteor Shower gave me a great excuse to make a summer’s evening cocktail and do just that.

The Swift Turtle SAM_2717The August meteor shower is a result of the periodic comet named Swift-Tuttle (discovered independently by Lewis Swift and Horace Tuttle in 1862) which last made an appearance in our night sky in 1992. The left over debris from its comet-tail crosses the earth’s orbit, and it is the earth’s atmosphere crashing into this debris (bits of ice and space dust) which provides the fuel for streaks of meteoric light in the dark night sky.

A slip of the finger on my keyboard turning one ‘t’ into an ‘r’ provides the name of today’s cocktail which celebrates the Swift-Tuttle Comet, but is not quite named after it.

The Swift-Turtle

2 oz Plantation Barbados (Grande Reserve) Rum
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Grapefruit Juice
3/8 oz sugar syrup (1:1 ratio)
dash Fees cocktail Bitters
ice
orange peel

Add the first four ingredients into a metal shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a cocktail glass
Garnish with a strip of orange peel

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!

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2016 Spiced Rum Taste-off: George Street Spiced Rum (#1)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 25, 2016

George Street Spiced SAM_2721The capital of Newfoundland and Labrador is a city called  St. John’s, and there they have a place where the rum consumption reaches its apex. That place is George Street! A street full of music and revelry, lined from top to bottom with Pubs and Restaurants, where almost everyone’s drink of choice seems to be rum! And it is for that place that the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Commission (NLC) have named their spiced rum, George Street Spiced Rum.

This isn’t an ordinary spiced rum. For starters, the rum itself is from Guyana, the home of the world-famous Demerara Rum. Some of the rum in the blend is two years old, some of the rum in the blend is 5 years old, and some of the rum in the blend is 7 years old. And this aged Guyanese Rum has been painstakingly crafted into a spiced rum using extractions and distillations of real spices.

Here is a link to the review of the best spiced rum I have on my personal rum shelf:

#1: George Street Spiced Rum

“…Caramelized brown sugar and vanilla each jumped into the breezes as I poured the rum into my glass. After I poured a dram, I allowed it to breathe for just a little while. After a few minutes, rich baking spices joined in, and I received an impression of fresh cinnamon rolls rising into the air complete with treacle and rich dark brown sugar, vanilla and cinnamon as well as roasted walnuts and pecans. There is also a light indication of oak spice and orange peel as well as hints of bittersweet chocolate…”

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I hope you all found my countdown enjoyable, and you can find the complete rankings list here:

The Rum Howler 2016 Spiced Rum Countdown

Posted in Rum, Rum Reviews, Spiced Rum | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Cocktail Hour: The Pedestrian

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 24, 2016

In 1951 Ray Bradbury wrote one of his most famous short stories, The Pedestrian. It is a tale about a man named Leonard Mead who likes to go for a stroll through the city streets every evening. Unfortunately for Mr. Mead, strolling through the city during the evening is considered such an unusual activity that he arouses the suspicions of a robot police car.

Pedestrian SAM_2723The story is based upon a real life incident in which Bradbury was questioned by police while taking a stroll with a friend in an area not often frequented by pedestrians. More importantly, this story is generally thought by literary critics to be the genesis of Ray Bradbury’s acclaimed novel, Fahrenheit 451.

My cocktail which pays homage to the Bradbury tale is a short serving which mixes Grapefruit and Lemon juice with George Street Spiced Rum. A dollop of Bols Triple Sec provides the foil for the tart lemon, and a few drops of Fees Cocktail Bitters rounds out the libation.

If you try it, you will see that it is anything but, Pedestrian.

The Pedestrian

1 3/4 oz George Street Spiced Rum
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/3 oz Grapefruit Juice
1/2 oz Bols Triple Sec
3 drops Fees Cocktail Bitters
ice
Twist of Lemon

Place the first five ingredients into a metal shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a cocktail glass
Garnish with a twist of lemon peel

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

 

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Review: Knob Creek Straight Rye Whiskey

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 21, 2016

Knob Rye SAM_2730It is no secret that I am a huge fan of Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. In 2013, I named it my Whisky of the Year in my annual Rum Howler Awards, and since then it has become a staple of my whisky shelf. In fact when I am asked by people to recommend a good bourbon to try, Knob Creek is invariably the spirit I am likely to name.

I contacted BeamSuntory, Whiskey Ambassador, Matt Jones (Aka The Whiskey Chef) to provide me some information about the new spirit. He told me that the mash bill for Knob Creek Rye is 55% rye, 35% corn & 10% malt. The whiskey is blended from spirit which has been matured in new charred oak barrels for 5-9 years. The whiskey is bottled (for Canada) at a full 100 proof which is 50 % alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Knob Creek Straight Rye Whiskey

“… The breezes above the glass are rich with cedar and oak spices, maple, and butterscotch toffee. Fruit-filled rye notes separate from the wood spice adding character to the breezes. Vanilla and baking spices (cinnamon, bits of clove, and dashes of nutmeg and allspice) wander into the breezes adding even more depth to the aroma …”

Please enjoy my review of this outstanding rye whiskey.

Chimo!

 

Posted in American Whiskey, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Cocktail Hour: Ward 8

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 20, 2016

The history of the ‘Ward 8″ stretches back to 1898 when (as legend has it) the serving was created at the Locke-Ober Restaurant in Boston Massachusetts to honour the election of Martin M. Lomasney to the state’s legislature. Apparently it was the votes in Ward 8 which propelled him to victory, hence the name of the tasty libation. The cocktail disappeared during prohibition; but the restaurant revived the serving when the ‘noble experiment’ ended in 1933. Although the original recipe is subject to much speculation, the Locke-Ober Restaurant’s post-prohibition recipe for the Ward 8 Cocktail is shown below. It is essentially a Whiskey Sour which uses grenadine rather than sugar syrup as its sweetener. The libation was so popular (and so tasty) that in 1934 the serving was named one of the nation’s Ten Best Cocktails by Esquire Magazine.

Ward 8 SAM_2732For my take on the serving I made two substitutions. First I subbed out the grenadine in favour of my own Cran-Raspberry Syrup (recipe here). The tickle of raspberry works wonderfully with the star of the libation, the strongly flavoured Knob Creek Straight Rye Whisky. Then I replaced the Maraschino Cherry (which are very hard to find in my locale) with my home-made Brandied Cherry (recipe here).

The result is ridiculously good!

Ward 8

2 oz Rye or Bourbon (Knob Creek Straight Rye)
1/2 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Fresh Orange Juice
1 Tsp Grenadine (sub Cran-Raspberry Syrup)
Ice
Maraschino Cherry (sub Brandied Cherry)

Add the first four ingredients into a metal shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Garnish with a Maraschino or in my case a Brandied Cherry

Enjoy Responsibly!

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

(Note: My review for Knob Creek Straight Rye Whisky publishes tomorrow.)

Chimo!

 

 

 

 

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