One thing I am notoriously a fan of, is a bargain. I'd rather have the 2nd best if it offered 95% of the quality of the very best for 5% of the price. I like things that punch WAY above their weight.
So -- and I'll be brief here -- I have two suggestions in the liquor cabinet department.
First, rumwise. One of the very trendiest things are the various types of rhum agricole from Martinique or Guadaloupe. These are French territory and get the coveted AOC designation. These rums' favor spectrum runs to, um, a funk. They are distilled from fresh cane juice and, therefore, are grassy and earthy. Sometimes oppressively so.
A FORMER French territory also produces such rums (but can't legally use the rhum agricole descriptor) and I speak of Haiti.
The blanc is an in-all-but-designation rhum agricole. It has that earthy/grassy/funky thing going on but not in an off-putting way as some of its separated Gallic brethren. Oh, and if you're unfortunate enough to have to pay full-on MSRP you're looking at ma-a-a-a-aybe $17. There is no better choice for a 'Ti Punch, period.
The other choice (borne of a Twitter exchange with the estimable Doug, whose Tiki Month is an interweb staple, and which is the genesis of this post) is my go-to bourbon when I have to get bourbonic with the masses. Say, if you're having a Derby party for 8392 of your beloved's closest friends and their enormous hats.
This steal, pals, is Old Forester.
Not any fancy-pants super-duper single-shotglass version. Plain old, Old F.
It goes for +/-$30...for -- get this -- a handle*. If you need to crank out a ton of bourbon based drinks for people with decent (but not exasperating) tastebuds, who will appreciate the good stuff but not necessarily the rarefied stuff...this is your choice.
For those among the assembled who have not read my other drivel in other corners of the internet (currently being consolidated here) you should know about my pal Doug Winship and his Annual Tiki Month revels. Now, since Doug is one of Nature's Aristocracy, I like to help out and get into the spirit of the thing. This year, I wanted to tackle a Tiki drink the various, er, variations of which I've enjoyed but never, y'know, quite loved. The Navy Grog (Trader Vic's and Don the Beachcomber's) and the let's-not-call-it-Navy Yeoman's Grog from the Mai Kai, plus other places' variants (generally going around and doing business under the the guise of Admiral's Grog, Captain's Grog, Sailor's Grog, Chief Petty Officer's Grog, Ensign's Grog or similar nomenclatural shenanigans).
It has been said the big improvement in the evolution from Don to Vic was the latter's addition of allspice/pimento dram. Here, alas, I must sharply diverge with the fashionable trends in modern mixological circles. My problem is that the moment so much as a molecular trace of allspice/pimento dram enters the equation, that's all I taste. While the Mai-Kai version features this development, it also includes vanilla syrup and since, to my palate, both this and grapefruit juice play nicely with cinnamon syrup, I went with the latter instead of the allspice/pimento dram. (I fully realize that many people have had their hair set aflame by this preceding statement.)
While I was at it, I tweaked the garnish (house made cocktail cherries) and the ice (Don used the famous ice cone; Vic, crushed ice).
Because it'd be not the done thing to stick with the original name, I changed it slightly. I give you...
The Commodore's Grog
¾ oz fresh-squeezed lime juice
¾ oz fresh-squeezed (preferable) white grapefruit juice
oz Demerara rum (I suggest El Dorado 5 or El Dorado 8),
1 oz dark Jamaican rum (anything from Kohala Bay, Smith & Cross, to Coruba to even Myer's will work)
1 oz white rum (I like Bacardi 1919, but I use Cruzan when quenching a horde)
Unrelated to this image, those who stayed loyal to my blog while I was, Prodigal Son-like, dissipatin' my writing talent away on FB, will be pleased to note I have generated more bloggy goodness this month than I did in all of 2016.
Today we inaugurate (stop it...grow up) a little something I'm trying out. As I alluded previously, the film L.A. Story stated all of the great truths can be encapsulated in TV and movie lines; and I want to illustrate such truths (not all of these truths are particularly momentous, but there ya go) via some clips and explanations.
Let's start by you clicking on this:
Here's the thing.
One of the most important things I've discovered is to learn to make it easy (or easier) for people to accept you. Not everyone will, and we're not talking about this in the Grand Important Sense, so don't go there. But many times you will be in a situation where well-developed Zelig-ability comes in very, very handy.
Not just for practical reasons (you sell widgets and want a "hook" with the guy who could buy eleventy squillion of 'em), but also because you can get insight into how and why people think the way they do, and this can lead to a better understanding between you. You may still disagree on hot-buttons issues but getting a heightened sense of the hows-and-whys of someone else's brain pattern is a crucial first step in more meaningfully relating to someone else.