Tag Archives: RUM DRINKS

Happy Birthday, Fay Wray!

Fay Wray was one of cinema’s first “Scream Queens” and today is her birthday.

She was born Vina Fay Wray on Sept. 15 in 1907.

Not familiar with the actress? Well, read on… Because she’s got more than 100 acting credits to her name — including one gargantuan role for which she’ll always be known.

Fay Wray was born in Alberta Canada and in her life she amassed upward of 100 acting credits to her name.

She acted through 1980, and in the 50s she appeared on television shows such as Perry Mason and Alfred Hitchcock Presents, but she’ll forever be know for a role she played in 1933 — as the female lead in King Kong:

  
Google search the name “Fay Wray and add the word “cocktail” and the first hit you’ll find will be this article on the website Punch.

It only makes sense that someone would have given this Old Hollywood actress her own cocktail, and that it would be related to her role in King Kong — or at least, I assume that’s why this drink has a banana flavor component.

The following recipe was created by Brooklyn-based bartender Matthew Bellanger.

About This Cocktail

The Fay Wray is a banana-flavored tiki drink made with rum and cognac.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 ounce gold rum (preferably Barbancourt 4 Star Rum)
  • 3/4 ounce cognac (preferably Dudugnon)
  • 3/4 ounce banana liqueur, Giffard Banane du Bresil
  • 3/4 ounce lime juice
  • 1/4 ounce rhum agricole, Rhum Clément
  • 1/4 ounce demerara syrup (2:1, sugar:water)
  • 1 small lime wedge

Preparation
Shake all ingredients over a small amount of crushed ice — including a lime wedge. Squeeze the lime wedge in with the other ingredients and drop it in the shaker. Pour all the ingredients, without straining, into a rocks glass and add more crushed ice. Garnish with a dried banana slice and a mint bouquet.

Further Reading:

— Do bananas belong in cocktails? The Savory wrote this article about that question.

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Filed under BANANA, COCKTAIL CALENDAR, COCKTAIL RECIPES, OLD HOLLYWOOD

Hold Fast The Summer

August is cooling down here in Western New York and although it’s not quite autumn yet, the fall flavors are already in full effect.

I love fall. It’s my favorite season. I love the cool temperatures and long sleeves, the pumpkin flavor and falling leaves — all of it! And I didn’t even mean to make a rhyme there!

Still, despite the fact that I love the fall, it’s hard to let the summer slip away so easily — especially when we’re still in the month of August.

And for that reason there’s this “Hold Fast The Summer.”

  
Hold Fast The Summer is a transitional drink, one part warm-weather nostalgia and one part acceptance of the changing seasons.

The recipe is easy — just Plantation’s pineapple rum, DeGroff’s pimento bitters and apple cider:

Ingredients
1 oz Plantation Pineapple Rum
1 oz apple cider
1 dash DeGroff’s Pimento Bitters

Preparation
Stir equal parts Stiggins’ Fancy and apple cider over ice with DeGroff’s pimento bitters then strain and shoot — or double the recipe and enjoy over ice. Adjust the cider accordingly to suit your tastes and prepare mentally for the colder weather coming in the months ahead.

  

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Filed under BITTERS & TINCTURES, BITTERS BRANDS, BRANDS, COCKTAIL RECIPES, RUM

You’ve Got Airmail

Here’s some history: The song “Please Mr. Postman” was released on August 21 in 1961.

The song was released by The Marvelettes and it was the first Motown song to reach the number-one position on the Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart.

  
Rather than search the Internet for a “Postman” cocktail, I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to celebrate the classic “Airmail” drink!

About This Drink:

The Airmail is a rum and champagne drink made with honey — or made with a honey syrup.

The recipe below is David Wondrich’s recommendation, which can be found online at Esquire.com:

Ingredients:
•2 ounces rum (golden or aged)
•1/2 ounce lime juice
•1 teaspoon honey
•5 ounces Brut champagne

Preparation:

Shake all ingredients (except the champagne) over ice and strain into a chilled champagne flut. Finish by topping the drink with champagne.

In his Esquire article, Wondrich points out that the drink is sort of like “a cross between the French 75 and the Honey Bee.” And additionally, he can’t explain its origin, but it does appear for the first time in Esquire’s 1949 Handbook for Hosts.

Further Reading:

—Check Imbibe Magazine here.
—This recipe includes Angostura Bitters.
—And the Cold-Glass blog has a really lengthy article worth reading.

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Filed under ANNIVERSARIES, CHAMPAGNE, COCKTAIL CALENDAR, HISTORY, RUM

Coconut Drinks From Friday Night

By Friday afternoon I had finally finished experimenting with a homemade coconut mixer for cocktails — and these are a few of the drinks I made with it:

Blue Hawaiian:

This Blue Hawaiian came out a little more sea foam green than I hoped it would, but maybe that was because of the milky-white color of the coconut mixer.
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White Hawaiian:  This White Hawaiian was a mix of Myers Dark Rum, Kahlua, Stoli Choklat Kokonut, a little heavy cream and my homemade coconut mixer.
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Kraken Painkiller:  
I didn’t have the right rum for an appropriate Painkiller cocktail, so I substituted in Kraken.
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MAKING COCONUT MIXER
The mix I settled on was a simple syrup of sorts, but less than the usual 1:1 recipe. I made the syrup with four parts coconut water and one part coconut milk — and half the amount of sugar it usually takes to make a simple syrup. 

Then, once the syrup had cooled, I blended it with shredded coconut flakes and strained out the solids.

I did use sweetened coconut flakes, though I’m sure that using non-sweetened flakes would make a perfectly fine mixer too. I don’t have any set ratios as to what made the perfect final product. It was just more of a guessing game as I alternately sweetened and diluted the mix.

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Filed under BRANDS, COCONUT, RUM, SIMPLE SYRUP

Tiki Photos From Friday Night

Last night I was serving drinks with a homemade coconut mixer that I’d been working on throughout the week.

Now, I don’t usually close on Friday nights, but I picked up the shift (which was also our second week of Late Night Food that we’ve started doing on Friday nights).

One of the dishes our chef was serving was a surfer dog, which I knew about ahead of time and is partially the reason I started working on coconut cocktails this week.

With the Surfer Dog and coconut cocktails a part of Friday night, our owner picked up these tiki glasses and Hawaiian leis:

 

  

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Filed under COCONUT, PHOTO POST, RUM, WORK-RELATED

Combining Coconut Milk & Coconut Water

For the past few days I’ve been working with coconut milk at home, trying to get something worth using in mixed drinks at the bar.

I wrote a post yesterday about experimenting with coconut and wanting to find a substitute for store-bought syrup.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I’d seen on Best Bars In America that at least one bar uses a mix of half coconut milk and half coconut water.

That’s half-and-half coconut milk and coconut water on the left, and just reduced coconut milk on the right.

 

I’m not completely sold on either of these. I don’t think they’re the answer. The half-and-half mix doesn’t taste strongly enough like coconut, and it leaves a chalky aftertaste in your mouth. Similarly, the reduced coconut milk doesn’t have enough sweetness and mixed strangely in cocktails.

I also made a simple syrup with the reduced coconut milk — not the half-and-half.

The sugar in the syrup brought the sweetness up a lot, but the milk also thickened when cooled — to the point of pudding and almost like Jello. I added a splash of coconut water and shook it vigorous and it works alright in drinks so far, but I’m not happy with it as a finished product.

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Filed under BEST BARS IN AMERICA, BRANDS, COCONUT, NEW TO ME, WORK-RELATED

Experimenting With Coconut

Summer is starting to feel like it’s here and now that Negroni Week is over, my mind has started to wander toward tropical rum drinks.

At the bar where I work, we do a big trade in Mojitos every summer. We have a dozen different flavored rums… And we bring in watermelon every summer to muddle with the mint and lime. That’s easily one of our most popular drinks this time of year:

  
One thing which we don’t have at the bar where I work is a blender. Thats’s never really been a problem though. We are not a beach bar. We’re located in the city of Jamestown. And moreover, all those typical neon-colored cocktails served at beach bars are always so sugary and sticky sweet — which I’m guessing comes from all sorts packaged syrups and canned juices.

Don’t get me wrong, I do think there is a proper place and time for all that. One of the best drinks which my wife and I enjoyed on our honeymoon in the Dominican Republic was something called a Miami Vice — which was equal parts piña colada and strawberry daiquiri. It was exactly the sort of thing we wanted at the time, while sitting by the resort pool looking at the ocean.

Aside from that there was a lot of straight rum and a local liquor called Mamajuana.

In the city though, those sorts of beach drinks aren’t an immediate “go-to” for us or any of our customers. We do serve plenty of rum drinks — like daiquiris, Hurricanes, fake Caipirinhas and Dark and Stormy by the ton. But without a blender, we’ve never seen need to bring in any cream of coconut — which is probably why anytime anyone wants anything with coconut flavor, that flavor always ends up coming from Parrot Bay.

So, yeah, that’s where I found myself this past week — with an interest in making tropical drinks that no. 1, aren’t blended and no. 2, don’t use Coco Lopez or any other store-bought syrup or mixer.

Add to all this the fact that a recent episode of Best Bars In America showed a bar which used its own house coconut mix — comprised of equal parts coconut milk and coconut water. 

Seeing that half-and-half blend behind a high-end cocktail bar got me thinking about what I could do to incorporate coconut into our drinks (while still only shaking them and not incorporating a blender).

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Filed under BEST BARS IN AMERICA, BRANDS, COCONUT, IN PROGRESS RECIPES, NEW TO ME, RUM, SIMPLE SYRUP, WORK-RELATED

Another Watermelon Mojito Photo

Yesterday I posted a picture of the first Watermelon Mojito of the season made at my bar.

Today’s post is just another brief “Photo Post” because I got so many useable shots of the drink:

  

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Filed under MOJITOS, PHOTO POST, RUM, WORK-RELATED

The Start Of Summer

At Forte, where I work, we make a ton of mojitos each summer.

And for years now, one of our most popular mojitos is our Watermelon Mojito — which is only available when we are able to get fresh watermelon for muddling.

Well, the watermelon is in house and this is the first Watermelon Mojito of the summer!

  

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Happy Birthday, Mary Pickford!

Today is film actress Mary Pickford’s birthday!

And, as so many of the stars from her era did, she has a cocktail named after her!

The Mary Pickford cocktail is made with rum, pineapple juice, cherry liqueur and grenadine. It was created by a bartender named Eddie Woelke, who fled to Cuba during Prohibition — like so many others in the profession who scattered to countries all around the world.

About Mary Pickford:

Mary Pickford was born April 8, 1892 and died May 29, 1979. She was a Canadian-American actress and a co-founder of the film studio United Artists. She was also one of the original 36 founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. You know, thee Academy!

She won two Academy Awards in her lifetime. The first was in 1929 when she won the award for Best Actress for her performance in CoquetteThe second was in 1975 when she was presented with an honorary Oscar “in recognition of her unique contributions to the film industry and the development of film as an artistic medium.”

You can find her full filmography online here.

The Mary Pickford Cocktail:

Recipe from Imbibe Magazine:

  • 2 oz. white rum
  • 1 oz. pineapple juice
  • 1 barspoon grenadine
  • 1 barspoon maraschino liqueur

Combine all ingredients and shake with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a brandied cherry.

The PDT Cocktail Book:

In The PDT Cocktail book, author Jim Meehan gets a little more specific about brands. He cites the book Cocktails by Pedro Chicote, published in 1928:

  • 2 oz. Banks 5 Island Rum
  • .75 oz. pineapple juice
  • .5 oz. Luxardo maraschino liqueur
  • .25 oz. house grenadine

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled coupe. No garnish.

Alternate History:

The Mary Pickford cocktail was created by either Eddie Woelke, as mentioned above, or another bartender of the era. As with so with so many classic cocktails, there are multiple sources cited in the history of the Mary Pickford.

In his book Cocktails, Cocktails, and More Cocktails, author Kester Thompson writes that the drink was created specifically for Pickford during a trip which she took to Cuba in the 1920s with Charlie Chaplin and Douglas Fairbanks. The bartender he names as having created the drink is Fred Kaufmann.

Imbibe Magazine cites Woelke while Difford’s Guide names Kaufman (only one “N” though for some reason). Additionally, the Difford’s Guide article I linked doesn’t even mention Woelke, even though the piece does mention the El Presidente cocktail — which is the drink he’s best known for having created.

The blog Cold Glass has a nice write-up about the drink here.

Thirsty For More?

Serious Eats — Link

•Mix That Drink — Link

•History Of Drinking — Link

 

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Filed under BIRTHDAYS, COCKTAIL CALENDAR, COCKTAIL HISTORY, COCKTAIL RECIPES, HISTORY, OLD HOLLYWOOD, RUM