Saturday, June 21, 2014

kuula hina

The theme for this month's Mixology Monday (MxMo LXXXVI) was picked by Thiago of the BartendingNotes blog. The theme he chose was "Pineapple" which is perfect for the warming temperatures here even if that is not what Thiago is thinking as things cool down there in Brazil. Thiago elaborated on the theme with his description of, "Let's bring the king of fruits back! After being canned, mixed with all sorts of sugary liquids and blended into... some 80s dreadful cocktails, the pineapple needs more respect! Once a symbol of hospitality, the King of Fruits might be know misunderstood. One of the greatest non-citrus souring agents, used for crazy garnish ideas, infusions, old gum syrup flavoring, the pineapple is a fruit to be reckoned. Be in a tiki cocktails, an old school classic like the Algonquin, a crazy flavor pairing or just mixed in a delicious Verdita, get creative and make a cocktail using any part of this delicious, juicy fruit or share you favorite pineapple cocktail with us!"

At work, we have been going through a lot of pineapple juice with the Algonquin, the Tiki-esque Decatur Respite, and the Broken Shoe Shiner all appearing on the menu. Around a week and a half or so ago during a day shift, one of my bartender friends sat at my bar. She lamented that she would have to face her old academic institution for her graduate school classmate was defending her thesis that afternoon; therefore, she would need the drink to be rather stiff. My thoughts instantly went to Navy-strength Smith & Cross rum, and since the Nui Nui had been on my mind through something I had just read, I decided to do something Tiki with Don's Mix #2 (a/k/a Don's Spices) and to include sherry since my guest is a big sherry fanatic. Then it dawned on me to kill two birds with one stone and use some pineapple juice for Mixology Monday! I tried to use the sherry and pineapple juice as the only acid sources since sherry alone worked so well in the Endicott Cobbler. The feed back that I received was that it needed some citrus to brighten things up. In working out the recipe a few days later, I switched to our too-good-to-be-well-rum well rum, Privateer Silver made in Ipswich, MA, added some lime juice, and moved some of the proportions around. The end result was as follows:
Kuula Hina
• 1 1/2 oz Privateer Silver Rum
• 1/2 oz Lime Juice
• 1/2 oz Lustau Dry Amontillado Sherry
• 3/4 oz Pineapple Juice
• 3/4 oz Don's Mix #2 (1:1 vanilla syrup:allspice dram)
• 1 dash Angostura Bitters
Shake with ice and strain into a Hurricane glass. Fill with crushed ice and float 1/2 oz Cruzan Blackstrap Rum. Garnish with a pineapple wedge and add straws.
Since my guest used to study fruit flies, I looked up the god of flies, but Beelzebub did not seem to be all that fitting. Instead, I opted for the Hawaiian fish deity, Kuula, and paid tribute to the fisherman god's wife Hina as well. While the Nui Nui and the Pago Pago were my base inspirations for the Kuula Hina, I did pilfer the blackstrap rum float and pineapple wedge garnish ideas from Sam Gabrielli's Decatur Respite especially since they were handy nearby in the well and garnish tray.
Once mixed, the garnish and float donated a pineapple and coffee-like molasses rum aroma. Next, the pineapple and sherry's grape on the sip were brightened by the lime juice, and the swallow began with the rum and vanilla flavors and ended with allspice and pineapple notes.

So thank you to my bar guest who inspired me, Thiago of BartendingNotes for picking the theme and running this month's show, and the rest of the Mixology Monday participants for keeping the spirit of the event alive!

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