Wednesday, September 10, 2008

le president

Rhum JM
Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
a few dashes of Creme de Cassis

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Tuesday last week, Andrea was hanging out with a friend of hers so I decided to stop down at Rendezvous for a drink. One of the ones that Scott Holliday made me was an El Presidente variant (here is the more traditional one I had at Eastern Standard) using J.M. Rhum. J.M. is a rhum agricole which is a style of rum made only in Martinique using fresh sugar cane juice and not over-processed molasses. JM is rather aromatic rum with hints of spice and smoke which may be due from the fact that it is a terroir rum grown on the hills of a volcano. Also, the rhum style distills at a lower proof to carry over more of these flavors from the cane. It is everything that Bacardiazation trend strives not to be.

Definitely the care that went into the alcohol carried over into the cocktail Scott made me. The flavors of the rhum were complemented by the herbalness of the vermouth, and the fruit juice flavors added the sweetness to smooth this drink out. Scott also used an interesting substitution of creme de cassis instead of the standard grenadine.

Next time I go out liquor shopping, I'll take a gander at some rhum agricole.


andrea said...

You know, I actually don't *get* grenadine. I know we have homemade at home, and that's as good as it gets. But I don't quite understand why it's so ubiquitous in cocktails. Was it primarily used for color? I admit, the color is luscious. But the taste is just kind of ... meh. It certainly doesn't really taste like a fresh pomegranate, which has a bitterness from the tiny seeds, a sharp initial bite of tannic acid, and then the rich raspberry-cherry-ish flavor. As far as I'm concerned, the subs that Scott has used for grenadine, which include Plymouth's sloe gin and the creme de cassis used here, probably bring more to the cocktail than any straight grenadine would. I wonder if spiking the grenadine with something like sour cherry juice would make it more interesting.

frederic said...

Well there are recipes to make grenadine from pomegranates and the process with the heating might bring out some of the tannic bite into the juice.

I think it's one part color and one part flavor behind the simple syrup. Oh yeah, and anti-oxidants...