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Vanilla-Citrus Tea Ring

Vanilla-Citrus Tea Ring



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Ingredients

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons grated orange peel
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons grated lemon peel
  • 1 cup extra-light olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Recipe Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously coat 12-cup Bundt pan with nonstick spray. Whisk flour, sugar, orange peel, and lemon peel in large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat eggs in another large bowl until thick, about 4 minutes. Gradually beat in oil, buttermilk, and vanilla. Add flour mixture and beat until just blended.

  • Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake cake until tester inserted near center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.

  • Cool cake in pan on rack 20 minutes. Invert onto platter; cool completely. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature.

Reviews Section

2 of 11

Buccellato

Also known as cucciddatu, cudduredda and a variety of other names in Sicily&rsquos consonant-rich dialects, this ring-shaped cake consists of a perforated short crust packed around a dense filling of dried figs, raisins, almonds, pistachios and dark chocolate. The most festive versions also feature an array of brightly colored candied fruits, both inside and out.

Where to find it in Italy: Pasticceria Cappello, Via Colonna Rotta, Palermo


The Goods: 10 Whiskeys to Sip Instead of Tea

Sometimes you want a crisp rosé, sometimes you want a strong whiskey. Here, 10 whiskeys to try on nights you need something extra.

The Macallan Sherry Oak 12 Years Old, $8.99-$139.99

Slightly sweeter than your average whiskey (not counting Fireball) and created with a blend of toffee, spices, and dried fruits, this is almost like a dessert whiskey &mdash though you can drink it whenever you damn please because it's delicious.

Jonnie Walker 18 Year Old, $80.38

For those who want a nice matured whiskey but also need to pay for rent, this repackaging of Johnnie Walker's Platinum Label is so worth your dolla dolla bills.

Compass Box Phenomenology, $167.58

Based on the philosophy of self-awareness, you're supposed to drink this whiskey with zero preconceptions about its blend so you can truly taste and experience it. Bottoms up!

Blair Athol 25 Year Old 1991 Apple Blossom Wemyss, $140.76

Don't let the light color fool you into thinking this is a bottle of apple juice. It's like a mix of apple cider and chai, but way more smooth and nowhere as sweet.

The Macallan 12 Year Old Double Cask, $60.69

Not only does this whiskey age for 12 years, it matures in two casks &mdash first in an American oak cask seasoned with sherry, and then in a traditional European oak sherry. Double the sherry, double the flavor.

Bulleit Bourbon Whiskey, $31

Beloved by bourbon aficionados, this old-time-y bottle of whiskey stands out because of its high rye content &mdash it's at 28% when most other bottles have 8% or 10%. That extra rye gives this bourbon a really spicy kick that mixes well with the blend of oak and spices.

Breuckelen Distilling Straight Bourbon Wheated, $98

Since 2010, Breuckelen Distilling has been creating "bottled in bond" whiskeys &mdash whiskey distilled by one distiller at one American distillery in one calendar year, then aged for four years in a federal warehouse, and then bottled at 100-proof, or 50% alcohol. Basically, it's very cool, the bottle is pretty, and you should try it.

Two James Distillery Smoking Gun Whiskey, $59

This Asian-inspired whiskey is blended with tea and is technically meant to complement ramen and its complex umami flavor, but honestly, you can drink it with whatever you want.

The Macallan Edition No. 3, $90.41

Created with fragrance expert Roja Dove, this limited edition bottle is more fragrant than what you've come to expect from the brand and, well, whiskeys in general. There are hints of vanilla, citrus, chocolate, ginger, and oak, so it smells and tastes like a dream.

Okay, you can't talk about whiskey without talking about Fireball. Sweeter and containing less alcohol than your average blend, this might've been your first taste of whiskey in college but it's still super popular among Adults.


50 Best Sunday Dinner Ideas for Family-Friendly Comfort Food

Easy (and cheesy!) weekend dinner recipes that&rsquoll bring everyone to the table.

Sunday dinners are all about spending quality time with family and friends, relaxing at the end of the weekend, and of course, enjoying a delicious, comforting meal with loved ones. These creative, family-favorite dinner ideas instantly make memories with healthy soups and stews, cozy comfort food, and plenty of quick Instant Pot recipes so that you can spend more time with your family and less time in the kitchen. Try our best-ever fried chicken for a classic Southern Sunday supper or 20-minute drumsticks for the easiest-ever Sunday dinner idea.

Looking for a good way to spend a lazy summer Sunday? Cooling and fresh lettuce wraps, a simple shrimp boil, or any of these fresh corn recipes are sure to fill you up without breaking a sweat. Or maybe you&rsquore looking for a good meal to cook on a Sunday, no matter the season? You can&rsquot go wrong with a traditional Italian-inspired Sunday dinner: Lasagna, meatballs, carbonara, and risotto all make mouthwatering appearances on this list. Sheet pan dinners, one-pot wonders, and budget-friendly beauties make Sunday dinner with family that much easier, while all of those yummy leftovers make meal prepping for the week a total breeze.


Tequila Buying Guide

Region of Origin: All tequila comes from the Tequila region of Mexico, and in order for a spirit to call itself &ldquotequila,&rdquo it must be distilled from agave plants grown in that region.

Another thing to look for aside: a four-digit number that represents each distillery&rsquos unique code. The Norma Oficial Mexicana number (or “NOM”) is assigned by the Mexican government and certifies that the bottle you’re holding is authentic tequila produced in Mexico. It also tells you which tequila producer it comes from. Tequila Patrón, for example, has a NOM of 1492.

If your bottle doesn’t have a NOM, that means it’s not certified by the TRC (Tequila Regulatory Council), and not an authentic Tequila producer.

Types of Tequila: Just like whiskey, there are different types of tequila, that run the spectrum in terms of flavor, color and potency.

Silver tequila is probably the most well-known, and it typically appears perfectly clear in the bottle. This is tequila that&rsquos only aged for a few months, so it doesn&rsquot have time to develop the color and characteristics that come from a longer aging process. Silver tequila is great to drink on its own, but it&rsquos great for mixed drinks as well. It will typically taste sweeter and more refreshing, with a smooth, silky finish.

Añejo tequila can often be recognized by its rich, caramel color, and it must be aged for at least one year (though most are aged three years) to bear the &ldquoAñejo&rdquo name. This tequila is complex and full-bodied, and is recommended for sipping, though it works great for tequila-oriented takes on classic drinks like a Moscow Mule or Negroni as well.

Reposado tequila is also aged but the aging process can be anywhere from two months to 11 months. It has a smooth, even finish. It&rsquos less harsh on the tongue and won&rsquot give you as strong as a hangover&hellip provided that you&rsquore sipping responsibly of course.

Don’t be fooled by the “gold” label on gold tequila. These are often referred to as a “Mixto,” where colors and flavors are added prior to bottling. These young tequilas are less expensive and typically used in bars and restaurants for making mixed drinks.

100% Agave: Tequila comes from the agave plant, but not all tequilas are made with 100% agave sugar. In fact, many brands add artificial sugars or sweeteners to their tequila, which may taste good at first, but will leave you with a nasty hangover the next day. Look for bottles labeled &ldquo100%,&rdquo which denotes that it was made with 100% natural sugars from the agave plant.

You&rsquove also probably seen flavored tequila, which is tequila infused with things like coconut, lime, strawberry or jalapeno. While they may be fun for a party or to use in mixed drinks, we recommend skipping these bottles the rest of the time and just drinking tequila straight up. Why mess with a good thing?

Aging Process: Just like a fine wine, tequila also goes through an aging process. And just like wine, tequila can be aged in a number of different containers, from oak barrels to steel drums. Each aging process will bring out different flavors in your tequila, and result in unique flavor profiles that often call to mind whiskey or scotch. The aging process will also change the color of a tequila. While we may be used to drinking clear tequila, many expensive tequilas are more caramel in color, due to being aged in wooden barrels. Our suggestion: pick up a few different bottles with different aging processes to see which one you like best. This works as a great party idea too.


15 Summer Strawberry Desserts That Will Make Your Mouth Water

Strawberries are kinda like tomatoes: available in stores year-round, but only amazingly tasty when they&rsquore truly in season. Now that summer is officially here and strawberries are coming into their own again, it&rsquos time to let them shine. These strawberry dessert recipes do just that, and go way beyond the usual shortcake.

Of course, we have shortcakes covered too&mdashand are never opposed to simple chocolate-dipped strawberries, or using them as the red stripes in a flag cake, but the sweet strawberry treats below include some we bet you&rsquove never tried (and won&rsquot be able to get enough of once you do).

Strawberry Cheesecake

Rich, creamy cheesecake with strawberry topping is a classic, but why settle for the pre-made stuff when you can make a simple sauce with fresh berries, lemon, and sugar? Get our Strawberry Cheesecake recipe.

Champagne Gelee with Strawberries

The most elegant take on Jell-O you&rsquove ever seen, this simple but sophisticated Champagne Gelee with Strawberries recipe from the &ldquoTartine All Day&rdquo cookbook is a light, refreshing, and just plain beautiful summer dessert.

Vanilla Bundt Cake with Strawberries

Bundt cakes are delightfully old fashioned, but this vanilla bean version studded with fresh summer strawberries feels timeless too. Greek yogurt makes it moist, and a simple vanilla glaze lets the details of the pan (and the berries) stand out. Get our Vanilla Strawberry Bundt Cake recipe.

Strawberry Shortcake Muffins

We have a whole post devoted to strawberry shortcake (both classic and updated), but we have to include a few shortcake-inspired treats here too&mdashlike this Strawberry Shortcake Muffin recipe topped with clouds of whipped cream. These definitely work as dessert, but are also great for brunch, or afternoon tea.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with Sour Cream Crust

A slice of this pie with its flaky, tender crust and bright, juicy filling bursting with strawberries and rhubarb is practically summer on a plate. Vanilla ice cream is optional, but highly recommended. Get our Strawberry Rhubarb Pie recipe.

Individual Strawberry Blueberry Crisps

Baking mixed berry crisps in small jars makes them perfect for packing on a picnic (but make sure you practice proper social distancing outdoors). Since our Individual Strawberry Blueberry Crisps recipe only makes four servings total, you can also just bake the whole batch for yourself, and dole one out each day. That said, it&rsquos easy to increase the ingredient amounts for more servings too.

Grilled Apricots and Strawberries with Angel Food Cake

Grilled fruit combines two of summer&rsquos finest dining pleasures, and makes for an easy dessert paired with pound cake or angel food slices. The berries in our Angel Food Cake with Grilled Apricots and Strawberries recipe are simply macerated with sugar, mint, rosemary, and orange zest and juice, but you can always skewer the whole strawberries and grill them too before proceeding with the recipe as written.

Strawberry Cream Puffs

Fluffy clouds of strawberry mousse and light-yet-crisp pastry puffs team up for an elegant dessert. (Strawberry fool is similar but simpler and won&rsquot require turning on the oven.) Get our Strawberry Cream Puffs recipe.

Strawberry Bread Pudding

Our classy yet cozy Strawberry Bread Pudding recipe is topped with whipped crème fraîche with a touch of brown sugar, and is a great way to use up a stale loaf of bread.

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Fresh strawberry ice cream is great, but our Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream recipe is even better. It includes cream cheese for tang and richness, and cookie butter to evoke the graham cracker crust. But the fresh berries still come through loud and clear.

Strawberry Tart with Citrus Pastry Cream

The very best berries are beautifully showcased in this pastry case-worthy tart filled with smooth vanilla-citrus cream. And while our Strawberry Tart with Citrus Pastry Cream recipe looks impressive as anything, it&rsquos actually easy to make, with a press-in crust. The real key is sourcing the best berries and artfully arranging the slices, which you can definitely pull off.

Strawberry Cardamom Cupcakes

The citrusy note cardamom brings to our Strawberry Cupcake recipe is a revelation if you&rsquove never tried it with the fruit before, but the light, pretty-in-pink strawberry cream cheese filling and fresh strawberry sauce tucked away inside each little cake would also work with your favorite standard vanilla recipe.

Brown Sugar Meringues with Strawberries

This Brown Sugar Meringues with Strawberries recipe from Waterbar pastry chef Emily Luchetti is like a fancier take on shortcake&mdashbut it&rsquos not really much more difficult to make, especially if you have a stand mixer or electric hand mixer.

Almost Summer Pudding

Another stunning dessert that&rsquos surprisingly easy to put together, our Almost Summer Pudding recipe is one of our favorite no-bake desserts for summer. You just line a large bowl with slices of brioche, fill it up with macerated fruit (strawberries not only taste great but lend a lovely pink hue), seal it up with more bread, and let it sit in the fridge for a day or so. Then unmold to oohs and ahs, your own included.

Strawberry Shortcake Layer Cake

One last shortcake-inspired option, because everyone knows they&rsquore the very best way to serve strawberries during peak season. Our Strawberry Shortcake Layer Cake recipe is a large-format treat with just one downside: It doesn&rsquot keep well. But it tastes so good, that shouldn&rsquot be a problem.

Article provided by CBS sister site Chowhound.com. All featured products are curated independently by Chowhound editors. When you buy something through their retail links, Chowhound may receive a commission.

Jen is an editor at Chowhound. Raised on scrapple and blue crabs, she hails from Baltimore, Maryland, but has lived in Portland (Oregon) for so long it feels like home. She enjoys the rain, reads, writes, eats, and cooks voraciously, and stops to pet every stray cat she sees. Continually working on building her Gourmet magazine collection, she will never get over its cancellation.


The Sun Will Come Out Absolutely Never, But We Can Still Make Cinnamon Ice Cream with Balsamic Blueberries (is the title).

Remember the days when you could feel the gentle kiss of a warm breeze caressing your bare shoulders as you floated down the dry pavement in a pair of gorgeous, open-toed sandals, your smile mimicking the relentless beaming sun of a long summer’s day? Me neither. Those memories are dead. They are as dead as dinosaurs, which are really fucking dead, and now they are fossil fuel, and we burn their dead, dead bodies in the engines of our automobiles, callously speeding through puddles of slush and dirt and Northeastern anguish. It’s hard to stay positive when you live in Boston, for many reasons. One reason is people keep telling us we’re cruel and negative, which I don’t think is true. We’re just really racist. Another reason is when they cast Julianne Moore on 30 Rock and they let her open her mouth. That was ridiculous. The most current reason is that it is cold, and the wind is brutal, and we have potholes like Zeus’s chalice, which sustain very deep pools of ice cold city water that I step into all of the time. It’s a lot to endure, even for one so stout of heart as I. Maybe the one positive thing about this never-ending winter is all of the pasta I continue to eat and not feel guilty about.

I never consciously change my dietary habits according to season. My animal nature really takes the reigns in this regard. In the winter, I just want to eat all of the meat. If I see meat, it’s going to get eaten. It’s going to get thrown on top of something starchy and butter-laden, and then it’s down the old gullet. During the summer, it’s watermelon all day every day. I can’t stop with the watermelon. I want to eat it in any and all capacities, from fancy mint salads with feta, with a spoon straight out of a rind, but mostly pureed in a margarita.

Now what food, you might ask me, transcends seasonal propriety? Ice cream does. I think I touched on this last week when we met my friend at 7-11, but I eat ice cream several times a week, minimum. The great thing about ice cream in the summer is obviously its soothing, cooling properties. The best thing about ice cream in the winter is that it doesn’t melt as quickly, which is a lot more important to me than you may realize. You see, I have but one irrational fear in this world and it is melted ice cream. It is completely visceral, utterly baseless, and yet debilitating. I’m am very into frappes. I have no problem smothering a molten lava cake in a bit of creme anglaise. But when ice cream melts, when it changes form, I absolutely lose my shit and I am not able to explain to you why. Mostly because I am gagging right now just thinking about it. All of this aside, it’d be hard to say that there are many things more satisfying than a frozen indulgence on a hot summer day. One thing that might come close is homemade ice cream at the brink of spring, just as a small reminder that it’s going to get better. The frost will thaw, public works will plow its last snow bank, and the strapping young gentleman on loan from Walpole House of Corrections will plant those odd-smelling shrubs along the periphery of the Rose Kennedy Greenway. That’s the global warming promise.

Maybe you recall a real throwaway of a blog entry on New Years Eve when I listed some of the greatest things that went straight to my thighs last year. One of those things was cinnamon ice cream from Pico in the South End. I decided I would commit a most delicious act of hubris and one-up them a bit with the addition of a blueberry and balsamic vinegar swirl.

Cinnamon Ice Cream with Balsamic Blueberries

Balsamic Blueberry Compote

8 oz Frozen blueberries
3 oz Balsamic Vinegar
1 oz Sugar
1 Tbsp Lemon juice
Zest of ½ a lemon

Put all ingredients in a small pot, and cook on low heat until reduced by a little more than half. The consistency should be like a loose jam. Set aside to cool.

18 oz Half and Half
4 oz Sugar, divided
2 ½ tsp Ground cinnamon
4 Egg yolks

Food for thought: This is best done in two days. The ice cream base will benefit greatly from “maturation” in the refrigerator, not to mention it needs to be thoroughly chilled before churning.

In a medium pot, bring half and half, half of your sugar, and cinnamon to a boil, then reduce to low heat. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks and remaining sugar. After your milk has boiled, remove from heat and very slowly add half to your yolks, whisking constantly, to temper the eggs. Return the yolk mixture to the pot and cook on low heat, stirring constantly with a spatula or wooden spoon. Allow the mixture to cook to “nappe” stage, which occurs when you run your finger horizontally across the spoon/spatula and the mixture does not run into the empty space you’ve created. I know that sounds weird, but that’s really how you tell. Once you have reached nappe stage, pour through a mesh strainer into a clean bowl (to remove any possibly congealed bits of egg), and stir mixture until it cools to room temperature. Cover mixture and refrigerate for 10-24 hours. Once it has chilled, pour slowly into your ice cream churner after you have turned it on. The mixture will just about double in volume after about 15-20 minutes. Do not over churn! This will make the ice cream a little chalky in texture. When the ice cream is ready to finish, pour in compote and immediately shut off your machine! You only want to give it one or two turns or you will lose the swirl effect. Scoop your ice cream into a sealable container and freeze for a few hours before indulging.

Don’t have an ice cream maker? That sucks. You should make Strawberry Cake.


Montessori SPAM Sour

Your Mission, Should You Choose to Accept It: Create a Cocktail Using SPAM. Why, you ask? Honestly, I’m not exactly sure, but perhaps to celebrate the 75 th anniversary of the famously maligned mystery meat. Regardless of the motivation, this is the story of the “Montessori SPAM Sour.”

SPAM is a mash-up of ‘Spiced’ and ‘Ham’. It is a can of processed pork products first produced by the Hormel Corporation in 1937. The ingredients listed on the can: Pork with Ham, Salt, Water, Modified Potato Starch, Sugar, Sodium Nitrite.

Mulling over the SPAM challenge, my first thought goes to using SPAM as a garnish. But that idea just seems too easy and predictable. Sitting next to fellow cocktail enthusiast Cocktail Quest at Rob Roy the other night, I describe my dilemma. CQ’s immediate response: “Fat Washing”. Of course, fat washing, what a great idea! This method of imparting meaty flavor in liquor has been used most successfully with bacon fat and bourbon. Jamie Boudreau, proprietor of Canon, demonstrates fat washing in his Raising the Bar video: http://www.smallscreennetwork.com/video/467/raising_the_bar_fat_washing/

I will use this fat washing technique to impart the SPAM flavor profile to a base spirit. Thus, time to choose a base spirit. To me SPAM seems like ham and that reminds me of pineapple, which reminds me of Tiki drinks, which leads me to Rum. Again, conferring with CQ, we came up with a variation of a Rum Sour.

Step 1: Fry Spam

I chopped the SPAM into small chunks and fried until oil was released into the pan. I was also surprised to learn if you fry SPAM long enough, it tastes like bacon. Who knew?

Step 2: Fat Wash Rum

I cooled the SPAM slightly and transferred to a jar. Then I added 750 ml Cruzan 151 proof Aged Rum. I mixed and refrigerated for a few days.

Step 3: Filter

After a few days in the refrigerator, I filtered the SPAM Rum through at least 4 layers of cheesecloth.

Step 4: Build Cocktail

Mix the Montessori SPAM Sour cocktail.

Shake and strain into a coupe. Garnish with fried SPAM cube and Maraschino Cherry.

I admit I was a little apprehensive to taste this cocktail. Upon taking the first sip my thought was “Damn, this tastes like Easter Ham in a glass.” I’m talking memory rush back to a 1970’s Mid-West dining room table on Easter Sunday fighting with my brother over the roasted pineapple rings that covered the ham. I’m not about to order this drink in a bar, but this experiment turned out to be surprisingly drinkable.

Cheers and Happy Easter. This case is closed.


Sammy’s Beach Bar White (Hawaii) Rum – Review

Last week, I remarked briefly on persons who are famous or excel in some aspect of their lives, who then go off an lend their names to another product, like spirits – Blackwell was one of these, George Clooney’s Casamigos tequila is another, Bailey Pryor’s Real McCoy line might be among the best known, and here is one that crossed my path not too long ago, a Hawaiian white rum made with the imprimatur of Van Halen’s Sammy Hagar who maintains a residence on Maui and has long been involved in restaurants and spirits (like Cabo Wabo tequila) as a sideline from the gigs for which he is more famous.

It’s always a toss-up whether the visibility and “fame” of such a rum is canny branding / marketing or something real, since the advertising around the associated Name usually swamps any intrinsic quality the spirit might have had to begin with. There’s a fair amount of under-the-hood background (or lack thereof) to the production of this rum, but for the moment, I want to quickly get to the tasting notes, just to get that out of the way.

First off, it’s a 40% rum, white, and filtered, so the real question is what’s the source? The back label remarks that it’s made from “first pressing of virgin Maui sugar cane” (as opposed to the slutty non-Catholic kind of cane, I’m guessing) but the YouTube video (timestamp 1:02) that promotes it suggests brown sugar (which is true) so, I dunno. Whatever the case, it really does smell more like an agricole than a molasses-based rum: it starts, for example, with soda pop – sprite, fanta – adds bubble gum and lemon zest, and has a sort of vegetal grassy note that makes me think that the word “green” is not entirely out of place. Also iced tea with a mint leaf, and the tartness of ginnip and gooseberries. It’s also surprisingly sharp for something at standard strength, though not enough to be annoying.

In that promotional video, Mr. Hagar says that the most distinct thing about the rum is the nose, and I believe it, because the palate pretty much fails by simply being too weak and insufficient to carry the promise of the nose on to the tongue in any meaningful way. It’s sharp and thin, quite clear, and tastes of lemon rind, pickled gherkins, freshly mown grass, sugar water, cane juice, and with the slightly off background of really good olive oil backing it up. But really, at end, there’s not much really there, no real complexity, and all of it goes away fast, leaving no serious aftertaste to mull over and savour and enjoy. The finish circles back to the beginning and the sense of sprite / 7-up, a bit of grass and a touch of light citrus, just not enough to provide a serious impression of any kind.

This is not really a rum to have by itself. It’s too meek and mild, and sort of presents like an agricole that isn’t, a dry Riesling or a low-rent cachaca minus the Brazilian woods, which makes one wonder how it got made to taste that way.

And therein lies something of an issue because nowhere are the production details clearly spelled out. Let’s start at the beginning: Mr. Hagar does not own a distillery. Instead, like Bailey Pryor, he contracts out the manufacture of the rum to another outfit, Hali’imaile Distilling, which was established in 2010 on Maui – the owners were involved in a less than stellar rum brand called Whaler’s which I personally disliked intensely. They in turn make a series of spirits – whiskey, vodka, gin, rum – under a brand called Pau, and what instantly makes me uneasy is that for all the bright and sparkling website videos and photos, the “History” page remarks that pineapple is used as a source material for their vodka, rum is not mentioned, and cane is nowhere noted as being utilized note, though, that Mr. Hagar’s video mentions sugar cane and brown sugar without further elaboration, and the Hali’imaile Distilling Company did confirm they use a mash of turbinado sugar. However, in late 2016 Hali’imaile no longer makes the Sammy’s rum. In that year the sugar mill on Maui closed and production was shifted to Puerto Rico’s Seralles distillery, which also makes the Don Q brand – so pay close attention to your label, to see if you got a newer version of the rum, or the older Hawaiian one. Note that Levecke, the parent company of Hali’imaile, continues to be responsible for the bottling.

With some exceptions, American distillers and their rums seem to operate along such lines of “less is more” — the exceptions are usually where owners are directly involved in their production processes, ultimate products and the brands. The more supermarket-level rums give less information and expect more sales, based on slick websites, well-known promoters, unverifiable-but-wonderful origin stories and enthusiastic endorsements. Too often such rums (even ones labelled “Super Premium” like this one) when looked at in depth, show nothing but a hollow shell and a sadly lacking depth of quality. I can’t entirely say that about the Beach Bar Rum – it does have some nice and light notes, does not taste added-to and is not unpleasant in any major way – but the lack of information behind how it is made, and its low-key profile, makes me want to use it only for exactly what it is made: not neat, and not to share with my rum chums — just as a relatively unexceptional daiquiri ingredient.

Other notes

  • The rum is filtered but I am unable to say whether it has been aged. The video by Let’s Tiki speaks of an oak taste that I did not detect myself.

Mixing the Museum – The Bijou

I’m taking some liberties in our visit to the Museum. I’m skipping a couple of drinks (Between the sheets – a great cocktail, and one we’ll revisit someday The Berlin Station Chief – sounds weird and I just can’t bring myself to make it yet The Bellini – I’m waiting until peaches are in season) and moving onto the Bijou.

The Bijou Cocktail was created by Mr. Harry Johnson and the consensus is that the recipe first appeared in his book The New and Improved Bartenders Manual. This is a spirit-forward herbal cocktail, containing equal parts gin, vermouth, Green Chartreuse and bitters. Let’s take a look at one of the ingredients of this cocktail, and special favorite of mine.

Green Chartreuse (it also comes in Yellow) is an herbal liqueur made by Carthusian monks, and it really is green. The recipe is thought to have originated in 1605 as an “elixir of long life.” The recipe is a carefully guarded secret, and to this day, supposedly only two monks at any one time know the recipe for the herbal mixture that is used to make Green Chartreuse.

Fun DrinkScience Fact

(I’ll do the research so you can impress your friends at your next cocktail party):

The liqueur’s emerald green color is derived from this stuff:

The 'Green' in Green Chartreuse

The ‘Green’ in Green Chartreuse is Chlorophyll B which is produced by the 132 botanical ingredients used to make the liqueur. (Interestingly, chlorophyll also contributes to the color of absinthe).

Chlorophyll donates an electron in this reaction.

Chlorophyll is involved in a cascade of sophisticated reactions known as Photosynthesis (simplified above). This is how plants get energy and produce oxygen, and is in fact the source for the majority of all oxygen in our atmosphere.

So it is with no great surprise that Green Chartreuse was known as an elixir of long life, for the same ingredients that make this liqueur, also contribute to the air we breath.