Friday, November 11, 2011

mata va'ha

3/4 oz Amber Rum (Don Q Gold)
3/4 oz White Rum (Don Q Cristal)
3/4 oz Kümmel (Helbing)
3/4 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup (BG Reynolds)

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Carefully ignite and float a 1/4 oz of 151 proof rum (El Dorado) Blue Blazer style.

Last week for Thursday Drink Night on the Mixoloseum chatroom, the theme revolved around a recent incident in the South Pacific. On the island of Nuku Hiva, the charred remains of a German adventurer were found and people blamed the indigenous people who have had a history of performing human sacrifice. Perhaps there was intrigue involved in this unrelated to the natives or perhaps old habits die hard. Regardless, the theme involved making Tiki drinks using at least one German ingredient; the incorporation of fire was indeed a plus. Since I was out at the No. 3 Gin event that night (although I did catch the tail end of the TDN event when I returned home), I prepared my recipe in advance and emailed it to SeanMike of Scofflaw's Den to post.

For a German ingredient, I selected kümmel which worked so well in the pair of rather related rum drinks, the Lupe Velez and Kingston Heights. In place of those two drinks' orange juice and allspice dram, I utilized pineapple juice, lime juice, and passion fruit syrup to round out the recipe. The flaming aspect was ignited overproof rum dripped from a metal jigger; perhaps increasing the rum from a 1/4 to a 1/2 ounce would allow the spirit to burn longer, but the result was still effective as shown in the photo to the right. Lastly, for a name, I called the drink the Mata Va'ha after the islanders' yearly Eyes Open festival that they hold in December.

The Mata Va'ha began with the aroma of the burned but still potent overproof rum that was floating on top of the drink. While the first sip or two contained a lot of this strong rum flavor, it later gave way to sweet lime notes in later sips. The pineapple, passion fruit, and kümmel's caraway and other spice notes pleasantly rounded out the swallow.

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