Monday, November 8, 2010

snare drum

2 oz Banks Rum
1/2 oz Cherry Heering
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Orgeat
1/4 oz Cinnamon Syrup
1 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Twist a lemon peel over the top.

On Wednesday evening, Andrea and I went down to Drink to attend the release party for Banks 5 Island Rum, a white rum that is a blend of spirits aged 3 to 12 years. Four of the rums (or rum blends) are from the Caribbean, namely Jamaica, Trinidad, Barbados, and Guyana, with the fifth being Batavia Arrack from Java. Five island is a bit of a misnomer as Guyana is part of the South American continent (but is still considered part of the Caribbean). The light touch of Batavia Arrack adds some spice to the vegetal rum laced with barrel-aged vanilla notes. Jim Meehan from Manhattan's Please Don't Tell was at the event, and I had a chance to speak to him about his role as a rum blend adviser for the spirit. His beverage contribution for the evening was a tea-laden punch that was a good welcome to the event.
The cocktail menu had five other drinks, and luckily I bumped into John Gertsen who talked me through the history and happenstance for each of the recipes created by the Drink staff. The first one I sampled was bartender California Gold's Snare Drum which she made for me over at the ice bar. Her drink was a take on the High Hat substituting the classic's rye for the Banks Rum. To take the drink in a different and more tropical direction, she supplemented the Cherry Heering and lemon juice with orgeat, cinnamon syrup, and Peychaud's Bitters. A lemon oil aroma kicked off the drink, and the sip was fruity with the lemon and cherry flavors followed by orgeat's almond notes on the swallow. In addition, with successive sips, the cinnamon from the syrup played a increasingly stronger role on the swallow. The rum created a lot lighter style of drink than the High Hat's whiskey, and the drink was further softened by the sugary syrups in the mix. Also noteworthy was how well the rum's vanilla notes complemented the Cherry Heering.

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