You know how sometimes you’re just in the mood for something. Well, today I was in the mood for some brandy. It is that mood which lead me to find the “Alpine Glow” which according to my records is a drink I’ve actually made once before (just not for the blog).
Like many modern cocktails the name makes pretty much no sense in regard to the presentation, the color, or the aroma of the cocktail, but that shouldn’t stop you from trying it. This is also not really a brandy drink as much as it’s a rum drink with brandy, but hey being rum biased myself I’m perfectly fine with that.
With the case of many tiki style drinks the float of rum causes the flavor to shift halfway through the drink. A visually pleasant sandy brown (which may change with the use of a red dyed grenadine) with a dark floating section of the rum with a lemon twist is very inviting for a short glass. It’s aroma is dominated by the rum, but if you squeezed your twist it should bring some citrus aroma to that as well. Your first half of the drink will greet you with a sweet tropical rum with an aftertaste of brown sugar (which is impressive for a drink that doesn’t contain any). After you’ve sipped off most of the dark rum float and cleansed your palette with some crackers, that’s when the real taste comes through. It starts with a sweet orange, hits a general sweet and mostly indistinguishable taste on the mid palette (likely rum and sweet/sour), and finishes with a citrusy brandy flavor. Even with the float this is a cocktail for those who’s palette leans on the sweet side. Since starting this blog I’ve always leaned sweet, but I do appreciate the complexity of something like an old fashioned or a Manhattan. However, this drink plays right into my love for sweet things, especially on a warm day. It may be far from perfect, but I’m actually surprised I haven’t included it on my regular menu (as it contains many common ingredients). So is the “Alpine Glow” worth it? Yes and no. It doesn’t leave you with a great impact, but it IS a great drink for a midweek cocktail.
Alcohol Taste Rating: 7.8/10 then 6/10
Overall Rating: 8/10
1 1/2 oz Gold Rum
1 1/2 oz Brandy
1/2 oz Orange Liqueur
1/2 oz Grenadine
2 oz Sweet and Sour
3/4 oz Dark Rum
Shake all except garnish and dark rum. Strain into an iced tumbler. Float the dark rum and garnish with a lemon twist.
“It Glows…until you drink the rum off.”
Here’s another cocktail that I’m shocked I haven’t reviewed yet. The “Dark and Stormy” is one of only a few cocktail that is actually copyrighted. The specific copyright in this case requires you to use Gosling’s Black Seal Rum in order to actually call it a Dark and Stormy. Everything else is in violation of the copyright. So of course here at MoM we have to do it right.
Now because this drink specifies for Gosling’s Rum your options for “making it your own” are limited to your choice of ginger beer. For myself, I always go for the Fever Tree as it’s both smooth and potent with its gingers. If you’re looking for something comparable, I’d suggest Reed’s Stronger Ginger Brew.
As for the drink itself, it’s a rather inviting modern classic. The mix of fresh ginger and lime garnishes pair well with the dark amber of the rum. On the nose it leads with a the sweetness of rum and a familiar ginger (of what you might expect from a ginger ale). The taste begins mild and sweet, moves to a primarily ginger beer flavor, and finishes with a pleasantly aged rum with a subtle hint of the lime.
If you’re not super familiar or fond of ginger beer this drink might take some time to grow on you, but it is worth making for a bartender of any level as it will be requested at least once. This is a tough drink to judge as it’s so well known, but it does have it merits and faults. While you do get a nice simple cocktail that’s perfect for small party setting, it’s sharper taste can shy even experienced tasters away with the strong ginger flavor. While I wouldn’t keep it on my regular menu as a standard “go to” cocktail, I would certainly keep the ingredients on hand if I or any guest would be looking for something both mellow and adventurous at the same time.
Alcohol Taste Rating: 7/10
Overall Rating: 8/10
Dark and Stormy
2 oz Gosling’s Black Seal Rum
1/2 Tablespoon (about 1/4 oz) Simple Syrup
3/4 oz Ginger Beer
2 Lime Wedges
2 Slices Fresh Ginger (Optional)
Fill a rocks glass with ice. Add fresh ginger, rum, and syrup. Top with Ginger Beer. Squeeze limes over drink and drop them in. Stir well.
“…’Twas a Dark and Stormy Night!”
This is a great example of a very STUPID drink! The only way a drink like this will impress your friends is if they’re looking for the cocktail equivalent of a bottle of knockout drops. That said this IS a surprisingly well balanced cup of citrusy rum.
A visual spectacle (as any layered drink is) the Piranha Club Initiation (or just The Initiation) certainly seems like a “dare” awaits you for your first sip. With the aroma at the front of your choice dark rum, you can only imagine the layers of flavor to come. Deciding to go with a Black Seal over my usual Kraken, you start with a strong and rich rum flavor and move to a smooth citrus blend with a sweet finish inviting you back for more (which isn’t a good idea at all). Overall it’s actually a fairly well balanced drink if not a little strong on the edges (and in the middle too for that matter).
The Initiation is actually worth a try for it’s great blend of rum and juice…provided you don’t drink more than one of them in a night.
Alcohol Taste Rating: 8/10
Overall Rating: 8/10
Piranha Club Initiation
1 1/2 oz 151 Rum
1/2 oz Peach Schnapps
3/4 oz Blue Curacao
1 1/2 oz Sweet/Sour Mix
Fill with Orange Juice
3/4 oz Dark Rum
Straight build in an iced tumbler. Float the dark rum on top.