After having tried the recently released Captain Morgan White Rum, I was intrigued to find a new item sitting on the shelf of my local liquor store. Especially considering that company already makes a Pineapple Rum under the Parrot Bay sub-brand. This variety despite having the same clarity and aroma of it’s other brother, it packs an impressive 35% ABV over Parrot Bay’s mere 21%. For those of you not familiar with the taste of standard Captain White, imagine a slightly sweeter Bacardi and there you have your taste and price points. Being a higher proof Captain Pineapple has the same great flavor as in Parrot Bay, but with a more expected burn of any other 35% rum. The spirit starts out with a sweet pineapple taste, moves to a familiar Captain Morgan Rum taste on the mid-palette, then finishes with a mix of the two with a slight burn.
I think this could easily replace Parrot Bay Pineapple in my bar as this spirit will pack more of a punch without sacrificing flavor in the process. I can’t wait to see how this mixes into making a Pineapple Upside-Down Cake (click the “pineapple rum tag” at the end of this post to find the recipe). To you my fellow mixologists I can easily recommend this as a substitute for Parrot Bay +1 for the higher proof.
“This be a mighty tasty rum mate!”
While B&B might be found in any liquor store, Benedictine is a bit harder to come by depending on where you live. Last year I was lucky enough to track down a bottle of it and have it stocked in my bar ever since. However, I have since decided to make the switch to B&B (Brandy and Benedictine) as it is more readily available at most stores. So to finish the remaining portion (about 1/3 oz) of my Benedictine I decided to do a side by side taste comparison for you my fellow mixologists.
To begin both are amber colored liqueurs that are priced between $30 and $40. They’re also earthy and herbal with a strong aroma to match.
Ok so let’s start with the one we should already be familiar with here on the blog. Benedictine, has the consistency of a modern blue curacao or dark rum with a slightly thicker consistency than a standard spirit. While technically classified as a liqueur, Benedictine has the full body and kick of a standard spirit. “Clocking in” at 40% ABV (80 Proof), it doesn’t overpower itself with either sweetness or alcohol burn. The liqueur starts very sweet and then moves to a complex earthy (almost green earthy) flavor and rounds out with a little bite on the finish to remind you that it is still alcohol. Like B&B it’s not often mixed with to many other ingredients and is preferred by most sipped over ice.
B&B surprised me by being slightly darker in color than the traditional Benedictine. While the aroma of Benedictine is sweet and herbal, the B&B has much more of a classy brandy aroma. You might even pick up a little oak in that smell as well. B&B starts off sweet like it’s predecessor, however the mid palette is where everything changes. The herbal quality is very subtle and if you weren’t looking for it you might just miss it. The after taste is much cleaner and it leans very much to the fine French Brandy that is contains. Being a mixed liqueur it is also on the thinner side of the viscosity spectrum and feels a bit lighter in the glass. I certainly wasn’t expecting such a distinct difference in flavor for this particular mix. While it is similar in color B&B is a very different liqueur which will both allow me to try new recipes but also be cautious in substituting it for Benedictine in the future. At the same 40% ABV, you certainly feel more of the kick when drinking it, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Between the two of them I will continue to recommend Benedictine, however if B&B is all your can find I believe it will suffice for a mixed drink just fine. Just don’t give one of them to someone on ice and try to convince them it’s the other.
“In this corner…”
Well this is certainly an interesting drink for my return from another blog hiatus. The “Flaming Blue Blaster” starts out by breaking a simple rule of mixology: “Don’t shake drinks that are alcohol only. Stir them.” NOPE we’re shaking this drink for some weird reason.
An interesting blue-green color starts you off questioning what is even in this drink (besides curacao). You’re greeting with a pleasant peppermint aroma, with a subtle note of oaky bourbon. The drink starts out sweet and tangy thanks to the curacao, it moves to an oaky alcohol taste in the middle (thanks to the Oakheart Rum, and if finishes in two segments; first a bourbon taste then a refreshing mint. I think my use of both the 100 proof bourbon and 100 proof schnapps for this drink fit the name quite well. For a less intense variation you could easily move to a more moderately proofed variation of either. Even with the intense flavor and proof components it’s still a very good drink and not too overpowering. I’d recommend giving this one a try for a slow sipper style cocktail.
Overall Rating: 7.8/10
Alcohol Taste Rating: 9.5/10
Flaming Blue Blaster
1 oz Bourbon
3/4 oz Peppermint Schnapps
3/4 oz Blue Curacao
1/4 oz Spiced Rum
Shake and strain with ice. Strain into an iced tumbler.
“You Crazy Blaster-ed!”
Well I’m back from a long hiatus here on the blog and I’ve got with me a brand new MoM original. Today we’ve got the “Blue Tropical Waters” inspired by a recent switch from 99 Bananas to a more traditional banana liqueur. A wonderfully colored drink with a crisp blue jewel color makes for an inviting cocktail creation. The drink has a clean orange and banana aroma to start you off. On first taste you get a clean and sweet coconut flavor, mid-pallet you’re greeted with some refreshing lime, and it ends with a banana and coconut balance that invites you back for more. I pretty much created this one on the fly, and am impressed with how well the flavors balanced each other out, as well as the 3 distinct flavor profiles. Give this one a try for yourself
Alcohol Taste Rating:
Blue Tropical Waters
1 1/2 oz Coconut Rum
1 oz Banana Liqueur
1/2 oz Orange Liqueur (Preferably Cointreau)
3/4 oz Rose’s Lime Juice
Dash Blue Curacao
Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.
“Cheer up, don’t look so blue.”
This week’s drink is one I’ve been dying to make for quite a while. The Razzmatazz cocktail get’s it’s name from the use of the Dekuyper raspberry liqueur of the same name. This simple after dinner sipping cordial style cocktail makes for a nice ending to any evening. The Drink has a great burgundy color and smells mostly of sweet raspberry. Mostly you get the strong syrupy taste of the Razzmatazz Liqueur but the underlying mix with the amaretto make it a great sipping drink. If you have the ingredients this could be worth trying for you.
Overall Rating: 7/10
Alcohol Taste Rating: 6/10
1 oz Razzmatazz Liqueur
1 oz Ameretto
Straight in an iced tumbler or cordial glass.
“Pizzaz and Razzmatazz”
Well it had to have happened sooner or later the first mediocre cocktail of the year. The Simply Crimson just lacks something interesting and tries to replace it with something bitter…and it just doesn’t really deliver. The drink smells a bit like oranges thanks to the Cointreau, but also a bit like a generic brown soft drink which isn’t super inviting. The drink starts sweet and pleasant moves quickly to a orange and cranberry mix, and finishes with a harsh bitter taste that just doesn’t belong at all. It is a drinkable cocktail, but it certainly isn’t one I’d choose to drink (or even make again).
Alcohol Taste Rating: 6/10
Overall Rating: 4/10
1 1/2 oz Cointreau
4 dashes of Bitters
1 1/2 oz Cranberry Juice
Splash Club SodaOrange Slice and Cherry (Garnishes)
Stir Cointreau, bitters, and juice with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, top with club soda.
“Simply… not worth it.”
Well, at this point I think it’s safe to say that I can’t keep up with last year’s schedule of “a new drink every Monday,” but I will certainly try to keep getting drinks out to you guys. So, you may see a surplus of new recipes over the next week, then a bit of a break. Just remember to check back here occasionally for a new drink or two.
Ok so down to business. Today’s cocktail is certainly of a different caliber than most of the fruit based drinks you’ll find me making. The “Queen Elizabeth’s Wine” is appropriately named for both it’s color and taste. The cocktail’s main aroma comes from the dry vermouth in the drink, but unlike some other vermouth cocktails the flavor doesn’t overpower the drink. You’ll start off with a sweet wine taste (something like a Pinot Grigio), but it quickly moves to the lead liqueur of Benedictine. The finish has a nice mild vermouth taste and keeps you going back for more. It’s a rather small drink and fills a traditional small cocktail glass perfectly, but for a modern variation you could easily bump up the Benedictine to 2.5 oz and the lemon juice to 1.25 with a dash of citrus bitters. Even if you’re not huge on the taste of vermouth, this might be worth a try.
Overall Rating: 8/10
Alcohol Taste Rating: 5/10
Queen Elizabeth’s Wine
1 1/2 oz Benedictine
3/4 oz Dry Vermouth
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
Stir and strain with ice into a chilled cocktail glass. Garish with a lemon twist (rub over edge of glass)
(Insert generic offensive Queen of England joke here)