I got back from Tales a few weeks ago. If you don't know what Tales is, please let me explain. Tales is Tales of the Cocktail. This is the Mardi Gras of Cocktail conventions. It is the be all and end all of the highest quality spirits and utter delight. Ann Tuennerman is the ringmaster, at all places at once with expert handlers speeding her way around the city at what seems like all hours of the day and night. Thank you Ann for making me feel welcome in your gracious city by the lazy river.
All forms of media converge from around the globe to bask in the rarified light that emanates from this gracious city, New Orleans- as pictured through the steamy summer haze. You have to get up quite early in the morning for the best educational seminars. Why? Because after 11:00 am or so, your palate is reeling from Bloody Mary cocktails at 8 and corrected coffee at 9, then a litany of Milk Punch (my event) at 10 and then all sorts of pool parties by noon.
When I came back from New Orleans I didn't want to drink too much. Nor was I much interested in eating. The food down in New Orleans this year defied my imagination. The dinner at Cochon this year sent my palate into overdrive. The the lunch at John Besh's over the top with much restraint (August) for Sandeman Sherry and Port was a journey into the place where the ingredients can stand alone without any sauces and still exude the power and the energy of a battleship's cannons being fired at once.
I felt as if this year at Tales my body was being taken by spirits... Perhaps it was the spirit world calling out. New Orleans is a very mystical place. See Angel Heart if you are at all confused to the nature of this town by the river.
Was it the Jazz music that weaves through your consciousness? Is that what does it in New Orleans? Was it the Whiskey Luau on top of the Hotel Monteleone?
Or perhaps it was a dream?
So I got home and hardly felt like drinking... That is prior to last night.
I fell for Koloa Rum a few years back. It's from Hawaii, made with local cane. The Terroir of this cane is lightly aromatic. Upon the first sip I was immediately hooked. This is not Agricole, nor is it heavily scented Caribbean Rum. It is elegant and romantic. Koloa speaks likes rum from another world. It drinks so beautifully with nothing more than air in the glass.
Of course you can add more than air to a glass of Koloa Rum.
The new Coconut Rum is a revelation in the glass. This is not a sticky concoction of artificially flavored ingredients but true to form white rum mixed with a whisp of young coconut juice dripping through the background. It's perfect and simple with a cube of coconut water ice and nothing else. I love to drink it in a snifter with a sprig of mint and a chunk of lime. There is so much natural sweetness in this rum that you don't need simple syrup, nor sweet soda to release the inner flavors. Gorgeous to say the least. But I'd be remiss if I didn't offer a cocktail... So here you are.
May I recommend a cocktail?
The Kon Tiki Smash
Freeze several trays of coconut water ice. Place in a Lewis Bag and crush with a mallet. Keep cold with a towel over the top.
Meanwhile here are the ingredients.
For two persons:
5 oz. Koloa Coconut Rum
1 oz. Overproof Rum (Lemon Hart works really nicely)
2 oz. Fresh Squeezed lime Juice
1 oz. Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
1/2 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
1 oz. Perrier Sparkling Natural Mineral Water in Pink Grapefruit flavor
Several dashes of Hella Bitter (Citrus)
Mix all ingredients save for the Perrier in a Boston Shaker filled 3/4 with ice
Shake like crazy for 15 seconds
Strain into two Collins glasses with the crushed Coconut Water ice in each
Finish with the Perrier Sparkling Natural Mineral Water and a few shakes of the Hella Bitter in each glass over the top
Warren Bobrow has published over three hundred articles on food, wine, and cocktail mixology in just over three years. In addition to his popular blog, The Cocktail Whisperer, Warren is the “On Whiskey” columnist for Okra Magazine at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum in New Orleans. He has written for the Williams-Sonoma blog, Foodista.com, Voda Magazine, Saveur, Serious Eats, The Beverage Journal and Edible New Jersey. Warren is on the Drink Careers 101 Advisory Board. He was a 2010 Ministry of Rum judge and an Iron Mixology judge at the Charleston Wine and Food Festival.
Warren has taught classes in social media and food writing at the New School in NY and on the roster of professors at ICE in NYC. Warren was the only journalist from the USA asked to participate in Fete de la Gastronomie 2012 in Paris for Atout France and the French National Tourist Board/Air France.
Quayside Publishing Group will publish Warren’s first book, Apothecary Cocktails, Restoratives from Yesterday and Today with forward from Paul Tuennerman 10/2013. 1 Month Early!!!!!
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