Monday, July 28, 2014
That means something to me. Read on!
While I was down in New Orleans, feeling the sweat pour down my back because I walked nearly everywhere in the 100 per cent humidity days, I had the honor to sit down with Jason Kosmas of the 86 Company. I’m sure I looked like something that just came up out of the swamp for the first time, because I asked for a bar rag instead of a napkin to dry my brow. They say in the South, that you don’t sweat- you glow. Well my friends, I was not only sweating, every drop of my fiber was pooling around me and soaking my clothes. It wasn’t as hot as past years, but the humidity more than made up for the lack of burning summer’s heat.
Jason re-introduced me to his line of highly expressive spirits. He made note of the new label design, how it comes off easily and the reason for all those hatch marks in the bottle. I always knew that the bottle with a long neck fits into my hand easily and won’t slip out. This is important to anyone who is limited on time in a high volume cocktail bar. The shape of the bottle is important too, easy to fit into a speed rack, with a narrow, rounded surface. Very impressive are the measurements on the side of the bottle as well. This allows the bartender to batch with relative ease. But the most important thing about these products isn’t the pretty label, or the markings on the bottle, what is most important what is inside the bottle.
Francisco “Don Pancho” Fernandez carefully makes Caña Brava rum in Panama. This Cuban-styled rum is a rarity in the United States where most of the high volume products barely taste like rum at all. Not to point fingers at any one producer, I’m less than impressed by rum that tastes like vodka, if I wanted to drink vodka, I would… This is gorgeous rum that tastes like the rum I bought in Duty-Free in Rome last September. Francisco made Cuban rum for 35 years and now he is making it for the 86 Company as he did in the old country with an antique copper and brass column still during the days of America’s Prohibition. His rum is filtered, crystal clear in color and rambunctious in the mouthfeel. Woven into cocktails, Caña Brava will most certainly fool you with its authenticity towards the very rare rum from Cuba… And as anyone who has traveled abroad knows, bringing back a few sample bottles is not frowned upon, yet one cannot just buy a bottle at their local package goods store.
It’s illegal to trade with Cuba! Thankfully we have Caña Brava to take our minds off of Cuban Rum…
Send for a bottle from DrinkupNY, do it now!
Tenneyson Absinthe, just a drop really- added to the Caña Brava and the Fruitations Tangerine Soda and Cocktail syrup makes a fine cocktail even more alluring. When I saw Graham Wasilition, the enthusiastic owner of Tenneyson down at Tales, I wanted to tell him about this cocktail- but time didn’t allow it. Tenneyson is unique to the Absinthe market. It comes clear, without dyes or other artificial ingredients, but when you add it to a cocktail or just dribble some cool water over the top, magic happens in your glass. It makes me thirsty just to think about it!
As most of my cocktails contain bitters, the Bitter Truth Lemon Bitters is a fine way of finishing this lush cocktail.
At Last A Paltry Decree
2 oz. Caña Brava Rum from the 86 Co.
.25 Tenneyson Absinthe
.50 Fruitations Tangerine Soda and Cocktail Syrup
2 oz. Polar Sparkling Water
2-4 dashes of Bitter Truth Lemon Bitters
To a Boston Shaker filled ¾ with bar ice:
Add the Caña Brava Rum
Add the Tenneyson Absinthe
Add the Fruitations Tangerine
Cap and shake hard for 10 seconds or so
Add ice to an Old Fashioned glass
Strain into the glass
Dot with the Lemon Bitters
Cheers from DrinkUpNY!
Article by Warren Bobrow, a nationally published food and spirits columnist who writes for Williams-Sonoma, Foodista and the Beekman Boys. His first book, Apothecary Cocktails has been nominated for a Spirited Award at the 2014 Tales of the Cocktail!