Stirred Drinks with Rhum Agricole: L’Acajou

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Alriiiiiight, so I decided to take my Rhum Agricole obsession and turn it into a series of stirred drinks cause AUTUMN Y’ALL. Why does Rhum automatically have to be associated with Tiki drinks and Tropicals times? (Cause it’s damn good that’s why.)

Fore real though, I got a whole bunch of stuff from the House of Agricole (Clement, Damoiseau, & Rhum JM) and decided to make a series of drinks with aged Rhum Agricole. I am fully aware that this concept is a bit difficult to get one’s head around but trust me, these drinks are deeeelicious.

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So let’s talk about Rhum Agricole cause I’ve started teaching classes about this delicious category of Rhum but don’t think I’ve addressed it here on Home Bar Girl.

  1. What is Rhum Agricole? It’s Rhum made from freshly pressed Cane Juice instead of being made from Molasses (like most Rums you know) or another Sugar Cane byproduct.
  2. Why is it spelled with an “h”? Cause it’s French and that’s how the french do.
  3. Why does it taste super different from all the other Rums I know? Fresh Cane Juice makes Rhum taste like plants instead of tasting like caramelized or molasses sugar. Rhum Agricole is mega herbaceous, a bit funky, and has an unusually high level of Terroir. So much so that Rhum Agricole made in Martinique has an actual AOC designation from the french government, just like french wines do.
  4. Did I mention that Martinique is part of the French Commonwealth? It is. Colonialism.

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“So what’s the deal with this drink gurl?” Basically, I wanted to accomplish the following:

  1. I wanted to put Rhum Clement Vieux Agricole in a stirred drink. Based on all of the planty, grassy, rubbery, fruity notes in the Rhum, I knew it would go well with Giffard Banane du Bresil.
  2. Giffard Banane is basically like Banana Bread in a bottle. Carmelized banana, baking spices, deep toffee notes. This shit is like crack if crack was in Banana form.
  3. Fancy Tony’s bitters were given to me by Tony himself! Thanks Tony! They’ve got citrus, spices, allspice, and basically everything you want in Tiki bitters.

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I wanted the Orange oil to be happening but I didn’t want to put a peel in the drink cause I felt like the presentation would be too overwhelming. Overwhelming? WHUT…

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…Nutmeg. Yep. It’s that time of year. The time of year when I put Nutmeg in almost every single drink. No one wants to look at a drink with an Orange peel AND Nutmeg so we’re going to express the Orange peel and discard.

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The word L’Acajou means “Mahogany” en français and was a word used in advertisements for Rhum Clement Vieux Agricole back in the 1930s. Since this drink is the nearly the same color as mahogany, I’m using the word “L’Acajou” for this drink. Also, it sounds awesome. Say, “L’Acajou” fives times to yourself. Yeah gurl, you love it.

L’Acajou

  • 1 1/2 oz Rhum Clement Vieux Agricole
  • Heavy 1/4 oz Giffard Banane du Bresil
  • Fancy Tony’s Tiki Bitters (sub Bittermen’s Elemakule Tiki Bitters or Angostura Bitters)
  • Garnish: Orange oil, freshly grated Nutmeg

Build in glass: Add Rhum, Banane du Bresil, Bitters, ice and stir. Express Orange peel and discard, grate Nutmeg on top.

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Hope y’all enjoy this and it gets your juices flowing for some really killer Stirred Drinks with Rhum Agricole! Santé!

Colonial Cash Crop

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Alright y’all, I’ve got a really delicious drink today that’s a bit more on the adventurous side. Shocking, I know. Me be adventurous? Perish the thought!

Let’s shoop right in.

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The inspiration for this drink came from wanting to use the first three ingredients pictured here in a stirred cocktail: Yaguara Cachaça + Batavia-Arrack + Giffard Banane.

Why put these three together? Well…

  1. Yaguara Cachaça = Bananas, Coconut, Strawberries, Tropical Fruits, pot still funk, Grass. It’s farily viscous, smooth and really had me wanting some…
  2. Giffard Banane = more Banana. So I was really going for Banana, but like multiple versions of Banana. Giffard Banane is more like Banana Bread. Baking spices galore.
  3. Batavia-Arrack = I love this stuff. It’s obtuse as hell. It’s super complex. It’s from Indonesia. It’s kind of hard to describe but I’ll say this: sort of like Rhum Agricole Blanc with a rice overtone, coconut undertone, astringency (like some Scotches), and just feels really tropical.

So essentially we’ve got a tropical-banana paradise as the base, but as a stirred drink. I added Amontillado Sherry to compliment the Giffard Banane spice-wise, the Dolin Dry to dry the drink out, Pernod Pastis to better marry the flavors, and the Nutmeg cause what garnish could be better?!

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It’s like Nutmeg was made for this drink. Or this drink was made for Nutmeg. Or whatever, y’all get the picture.

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The name of this drink is my attempt at being cheeky considering the Cocktail as we know it, is deeply rooted in colonialism. Arrack (or Arak, or Rak) was actually the first Spirit used in Punch recipes back during the Colonial Era and the first spirit the Europeans went nuts over. Like Arrack, Cachaça is also made from Sugar Cane making it just as much of a Colonial Era Cash Crop. Lastly, sweet, glorious Nutmeg. Wars were fought over Nutmeg because Nutmeg is the best spice on earth.

Colonial Cash Crop

  • 1 1/4 oz Yaguara Cachaça
  • 1/2 oz Batavia-Arrack van Oosten
  • 1/2 oz Giffard Banane du Bresil
  • 1/2 oz Dolin Dry
  • 1/4 oz Lustau Amontillado Sherry
  • Garnish: Pernod Pastis rinse, freshly grated Nutmeg

Rinse a rocks glass with Pernod and chill. Combine ingredients over ice and stirrrrrrrrrr til you’re feeling great. Remember, stirring is the ultimate zen. Strain into rocks glass over ice. Garnish with freshly grated Nutmeg.

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The funny thing is, Colonial Cash Crop doesn’t actually come out tasting like BANANA. It’s more like Cachaça-Banana throughout, Arrack wide and present, and the other flavors sort of do a slow roller coaster. It’s pretty intense but sooooo good.

May all your cocktail adventures be as rewarding as this one was for me! Cheers!

Puccini’s Nightcap

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So I’m totally digging National Hazelnut month and using as much Frangelico in as many recipes I possibly can. Today, I’ve got another Cocktail with Plantatation Barbados 5 Year Rum, cause the flavors go really well together. Also Hazelnut + Rum seems like a win-win to me y’all!

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It’s also time to bust out the Nutmeg and grater!

Puccini’s Nightcap

  • 2 oz Plantation Barbados 5 Rum
  • 1/2 oz Frangelico
  • 1/2 oz Giffard Banane Liqueur
  • 1/2 oz Amontillado Sherry
  • 1 tsp St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram (sub Pimento Bitters)

Garnish: freshly grated Nutmeg

Combine ingredients over ice and stirrrrrrrrr. Strain into coupe, grate that Nutmeg until you are feeeling it.

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Let the Hazelnut loving continue! Woo! Cheers to MBooth for including me in National Hazelnut Month!

Copa de Cibola

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AUGUST, I have arrived! This is the month of my birth and I always feel a certain kind of fever this time of year. Maybe it’s the heat? Maybe it’s the golden tones in the light? Maybe my brain is fried from going to the beach?

Yeah, it’s definitely the heat.

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Yesterday on Instagram I posted the August version of #HomeBarFrontRow cause I like to switch bottles out for inspiration. If you want to join in the fun and show off your Home Bar, just post a photo with the hashtag #HomeBarFrontRow!

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Well, inspiration came rather quickly in the form of these ingredients! I began with Calvados*, then thought “Oh that would totally go well with Denizen White Rum and Giffard Banane.” Then I wanted a Pimento spice set for the “bitters” and sort of went back and forth between St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram and Dale Degroff’s Pimento Bitters. I did a smell test and St. Elizabeth won. (But major love for the Dale Degroff Bitters. No hard feelings!)

*Note: this is Christian Drouin Calvados but that bottle definitely doesn’t fit in my Home Bar, so I switched it.

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As far as the name of the drink goes: In the 16th century, there was an area in the southwestern US that was fabled to have seven cities of gold. Cibola was one of those cities.

Copa de Cibola

  • 1 3/4 oz Denizen Aged White Rum
  • 1 oz Christian Drouin Calvados
  • 1/2 oz Giffard Banana Liqueur
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
  • Garnish: Orange peel

Combine ingredients over ice and give it a nice long stirrrrrrrrrr. Strain into the most beautiful coupe you have. Express Orange peel and garnish.

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Golden August Cheers to all y’all!

Seasoned Traveler

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After a chilly few days in New York City, and many, many Pride parties celebrating our collective gay victory, I feel it’s time for a stirred drink. To me, this cocktail represents a small respite from the collective hot-weather-shaken-citrusy-cocktails which will dominate every bar menu until September. Let us breathe deeply, take a moment, and let the thick luscious viscosity and complex flavours take us away.

Let us all become Seasoned Travelers.

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This maginificent drink features several of my favourite things all at once: Fino Sherry, Bonal Aperitif, Flor de Caña 7 Year and Giffard Banane. Enjoy this one whenever you have a moment to spare.

Seasoned Traveler

  • 1 1/2 oz Flor de Caña 7 Year
  • 3/4 oz Bonal Aperitif
  • 1/2 oz Giffard Banane du Bresil
  • 1/2 oz Inocente Fino Sherry
  • Garnish: Luxardo Maraschino Cherry

Combine ingredients over ice and give it a long, loving stir. Strain into coupe, garnish with Cherry.

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Santé mes amis!

#NegroniWeek 2015 – BanaNegroni

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Welcome to #NegroniWeek 2015! Negroni Week is put on by Campari and Imbibe Magazine as a charity drive for bars and restaurants to participate in. You can find out all about it here.

We’ve made it all the way to Le Negroni Week-end, so I feel like we should be getting funky with our recipes. Therefore we aren’t using that Bottled Negroni which was discussed in a post from May 31st. We’re getting out of the box, and I mean WAAAAAY out of the box.

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The BanaNegroni reminds me a lot of a drink you’d find at Sother Teague’s Amor y Amargo. Hell, it especially reminds me of one of his drinks that I included in a Spring Cocktails with Jägermeister post called Precision Timepiece. Even though there is no mention of the word “Negroni” anywhere in the description of Precision Timepiece, it’s totally in the Negroni format. Three main ingredients, in a Rocks glass with some rocks, stirred, citrus peel. So it is with BanaNegroni.

BanaNegroni

  • 1 1/2 oz Espolón Reposado Tequila
  • 3/4 oz Amaro CioCiaro
  • 1/2 oz Giffard Banane du Bresil
  • 1 dash Dale Degroff’s Pimento Bitters
  • Garnish: Orange Peel

Combine ingredients over ice and stir. Strain into double Rocks glass with ice. Express Orange Peel and garnish.

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I really hope you like this one cause it’s wild, very intensely flavoured, and tasty. I also hope it gets your creative juices flowing. Would love to see some variations on this one!

Cheers to y’all and all your #NegroniWeek cocktails!

Golden Banana Grog with Giffard Banane

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Y’allllllllll, I’m back from vacation in the Berkshires and I am ready to talk about Giffard Banane du Bresil! A couple of weeks ago, I posted on Instagram that I had acquired this most magnificent of liqueurs from Duke’s Liquor Box. (If you’re ever in Greenpoint, Brooklyn you must go, they have the best stuff ever!) Then around 10 days ago, I posted two recipes called Blame it on the Monkeys No. 1 & 2, which included a recipe with Banane du Bresil. Now here we are and I feel like I haven’t quite addressed the incredibleness of this Liqueur.

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To be frank, Banane du Bresil is Banana Bread in a bottle. Now that might sound hilarious, but this flavour has such a huge world of possibilities! “Banana Bread” would go well with Cognac, Bourbon, Rum, Cachaça, Añejo Tequila, loads of Amari/Aperitif/Digestif (Byrrh, Montenegro, Aperol), fortified wines (Carpano Antica, every type of Sherry), other Liqueurs (Domaine de Canton, Apricot, Falernum) and so many fruits that I can barely wrap my head around what to do with it.

This liqueur is literally everything.

Tasting Notes:

  • Nose: Banana Bread, Banana, baking spices, tropical notes like you’d get from Falernum
  • Tongue: Buttery Banana, Cognac, spices, nutty, Banana Bread, ginger
  • Finish: Banana Bread, short, wide finish with spices lingering for a while

Gooooooodness, it’s just so damn amazing.

What do we do when we get a new Liqueur that might possibly go with Rum? That’s right, we make a Daiquiri. I chose Denizen because it has Grassy, Banana notes and thought it would pair well with the Banane du Bresil.

Banane du Bresil Daiquiri

  • 1 oz Giffard Banane du Bresil
  • 2 oz Denizen Aged White Rum
  • 1 oz Lime Juice

Shake over ice and strain into coupe.

To be honest, this definitely is my new fave Daiquiri and will probably be my go to til the end of the summer.

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Now let’s get to this Golden Banana Grog. Again, I chose Denizen for its Banana, Grassy notes, and Smith & Cross for it’s funky, fruity notes. Banana & Orgeat are a natural match (didn’t even have to consult the Flavor Bible for this!) and Lime juice is the perfect acid to round out the drink. Hope you Enjoy!

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These lil Banana slices are totally snoozin under the Tiki Umbrella.

Golden Banana Grog

  • 1 oz Giffard Banane du Bresil
  • 1 3/4 oz Denizen Aged White Rum (Sub any Trinidadian Aged White Rum)
  • 1/2 oz Smith & Cross Navy Strength Jamaica Rum (Sub any funky Jamaican Rum)
  • 1 1/4 oz Lime Juice
  • 1/2 oz Orgeat
  • Club Soda
  • Garnish: 3 Banana slices & Umbrella

Combine ingredients over ice and short shake. Strain into Collins glass over ice. Top with Club Soda and garnish.

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Yesssss. Luv it. Luv it forever.

Blame it on the Monkeys

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Have you ever had one of those days? One of those days where you feel like you’re living in a cartoon? A cartoon with Monkeys, ships made out of Lime halves, and paper sails? Maybe? Hmmm, never mind.

The inspiration for the next two Tiki drinks were literally these lil Monkeys I got from Zombie Hut in Brooklyn. Some friends and I went for a Tiki night back at the end of winter and we got these monkeys with our Scorpion Bowl. It was awesome. Now the Monkeys roam throughout my kitchen, scurrying up bottles of Giffard Banane and drinking all the Rum. They helped me make these cocktails, so they get at least some of the credit.

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Blame the Monkeys No. 1

  • 1 oz Giffard Banane du Bresil
  • 1 oz Flor de Caña 7 Year Rum
  • 1 oz Denizen Aged White Rum
  • 1/2 oz Corralejo Añejo Tequila
  • 1 oz Lime Juice
  • 1/4 oz Orgeat
  • 1/4 oz DD Mix
  • Garnish: hallowed out Lime half, Maraschino Cherry wrapped Orange peel Rose, Monkeys

Combine ingredients over ice and short shake. Strain into specialty glass over cracked, crushed or pebble ice, and garnish.

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Blame the Monkeys No. 2

  • 1 1/2 oz Flor de Caña 7
  • 1/2 oz Bonal Aperitif
  • 1/4 oz Velvet Falernum
  • 1/2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup
  • 1/2 oz Orgeat
  • 1/2 oz Lime Juice
  • Garnish: Maraschino Cherry-speared Paper Sail, Monkeys

Combine ingredients over ice and short shake. Strain into specialty glass over cracked, crushed or pebble ice, and garnish.

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Thank you lil Monkeys!