A Truly Interesting and Contemplative Quaff

Root - pic from artintheage.com

I was in Cask the other day and noticed a bottle of something called Root based on a root beer recipe.  I was tempted, but then dismissed it as probably being something nasty and artificial. I obviously forgot that I was in Cask and not BevMo because if Cask had it, it was probably worth checking out. When I got home I looked it up and was immediately intrigued enough to go back and buy a bottle.  It turns out that Root is an organic liqueur based on an alcoholic pre-prohibition “root tea” recipe, which eventually spawned the nonalcoholic root beer as we know it today (yeah, I know, go figure).  I could waste time writing about it or, I could go mix myself up a Root cocktail and you could watch this video instead.

I based the following cocktail on my favorite Heaven’s Dog Agricole Rum Punch. I used Root instead of the Allspice Dram and increased the quantity. I added a homemade vanilla syrup to the sugar cane syrup because root beer and vanilla…well, you know.

Root Ti’ Swizzle

  • .5 oz Root
  • 1.5 oz La Favorite Rhum Agricole Ambre
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice
  • .5 oz Martinique sugar cane syrup
  • .5 oz homemade vanilla syrup (rich simple syrup infused with Tahitian vanilla beans)

Combine ingredients in a 12 oz highball or double Old Fashioned glass.  Add crushed ice to top and swizzle thoroughly until well mixed and chilled. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Published in: on March 19, 2010 at 8:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

Happy Birthday, Donn!

Nui Nui at Banjolele Grotto, my summertime tiki bar

Today is Donn Beach’s birthday!  Born on February 22, 1907, Donn Beach, aka Don the Beachcomber (real name Ernest Raymond Beaumont-Gantt) is the grand papa of the faux Polynesian bar/restaurant concept.  In other words, the TIKI BAR!  Donn created many amazing drinks, among them the infamous Zombie. One of my favorite Don the Beachcomber creations is the Nui Nui.  It combines rum, citrus and an alluring blend of spices to create a superb tropical drink.  According to the master of tiki drink lore, Jeff ‘Beachbum’ Berry, Donn created the Nui Nui in Hollywood in the mid-1930s, when it was first known as the Pupule. Here is the recipe from Beachbum Berry’s Sippin’ Safari:

Nui Nui

  • 1/2 oz fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 oz orange juice
  • 1/4 oz cinnamon-infused sugar syrup
  • 1/4 oz Donn’s Spices #2 (equal parts vanilla syrup & pimento liqueur)
  • 2 oz amber Virgin Islands rum
  • Dash Angostura bitters
  • 4 oz (1/2 cup) crushed ice
  • Spiral-cut orange peel (6 inches to a foot long)

Put everything in a blender – except orange peel – saving ice for last. Blend at high-speed for no more than 5 seconds. Pour into a tall glass. Add crushed ice to fill. Sink the orange peel in the drink, with top of peel hanging over the glass.

Vanilla Syrup & Cinnamon Syrup

To make this drink the best it can be, I use freshly squeezed OJ and make my own syrups.  To make vanilla syrup combine 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water with a vanilla bean, split and scraped. Bring all to a simmer for a few minutes. Take off heat and let sit for 30 minutes. Strain into a clean bottle. I add a teaspoon of Wray & Nephew Overproof White rum as a preservative.  Make the cinnamon syrup the same way, using three crushed cinnamon sticks. Let sit for up to 2 hours before straining into a clean bottle.

Note: Pimento liqueur is also known as Allspice Dram. I use St. Elizabeth’s Allspice Dram which can sometimes be found at BevMo.

Published in: on February 22, 2010 at 10:35 pm  Comments (1)  
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