Saturday, July 31, 2010
For some time now, there's been a bottle on the shelf behind the bar at Havana Rumba that keeps catching my eye. Kraken Black Spiced Rum, they call it. Exquisite retro-steampunk-pirate packaging, right down to an authentically antiquey bottle with raised lettering and fingerloops at the base of the neck. The label bears the image of an old-timey giant octopus or squid, right out of Jules Verne. What's not to love?
Well, as it turns out, nothing. I recently had the good fortune to sample a Kraken Pina Colada at Havana Rumba and was bowled over as if I'd been mauled by the giant squid. This is clearly no ordinary rum, friends. Hoist up the John B's sails, see how the main sail sets.
Though dark rums are generally not used in a Mojito, I'm thinkin' about getting one specially-made next time I'm propping up the bar there and hearing the siren-song of the mighty and mysterious Kraken.
The first thing you notice about the stuff is that it's not just dark, it's black. I mean black. Black as pitch, black as night, black as coal or Coca-Cola. I don't know whether or not they chose the squid motif because the rum itself resembles squid ink, but it's a charming thought, isn't it?
It's 94 proof, which really makes me wish I'd gotten to try a shot of it straight without all the Pina and the Colada, tasty though that was. I'll probably score a bottle of it soon anyway and start contriving some seaworthy recipes for it.
Tell Captain Morgan we won't be needing his services anymore, thanks.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
The Kentucky Colonels have their own official cocktail, and it may come as a surprise that I have yet to try it. I do have several recipes for it in my files, but this is basically it:
2 oz. bourbon
1/2 oz. Benedictine (the liqueur, not the cucumber dip)
Twist of lemon peel
Shake well. Pour over crushed ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with the lemon peel.
The term "Kentucky Colonel" is an honorary title bestowed by the governor of Kentucky. It dates back to the War of 1812 when the Kentucky Militia were called out and Governor Isaac Shelby found their services useful; he decided to appoint one of them (Charles S. Todd) an aide-de-camp on the Governor's Staff with the rank and grade of honorary Colonel. Since then, the ranks of these Colonels has swelled to many thousands, including Bill Clinton, Johnny Depp, John Glenn, Tiger Woods, and yours truly.
Sooner or later I'll get around to trying the Kentucky Colonel Cocktail, but it may have to be out somewhere and not here at home, because I just don't keep Benedictine around and am not inclined to go out and buy a bottle just for this recipe. My next liquor store purchase will probably be St. Germain's, so maybe I'll report back here at some point with a newer and truer old-world drink for the new millenium.
(Thanks to The Tipsy Texan for the photo!)