Tag Archives: Cocktails

Siesta Key Rum Gets Solid Early Reviews

19 May

As former resident of Siesta Key, seeing the little island mentioned in the media always brings a smile to my face and a sparkle to my eyes. Especially if it has anything to do with tropical libations and the key’s vibrant beach life. Can’t wait to give this rum a shot (pun intended) when we next visit SW Florida.

Here’s a recent piece that ran in the St. Petersburg Times …

SARASOTA — I’m standing at a table that appears to be half chemist’s bench and half impromptu bar. While holding a plastic thimble of clear liquid, I listen to the story of how molasses pressed from organically grown Florida sugarcane becomes that rare thing, a sippable white rum of character.

The man telling the tale is distiller Troy Roberts, lifelong rum aficionado and co-owner of Drum Circle Distilling, a distillery and producer of small-batch, hand-bottled rums. Siesta Key White Rum hit retailers’ shelves and bartenders’ arsenals — first on Siesta Key, of course — in March. The first batch of Siesta Key Golden Rum, Roberts says, needs a few more weeks in 10-gallon new American oak barrels before it is ready for market.

We sampled the young white rum from Batch 1 first. It was crystal clear and full flavored, aromatic on the nose and smooth but with just enough agreeable edge on the palate. It would be fine simply poured over ice, but it would make a mighty good mojito, too.

Next we barrel-sampled the aged rum, the golden, straight. The rambunctious youngster, weighing in at this stage of its life at an overmuscled 65 percent alcohol by volume, nearly lifted the top of my head off. Then Roberts cut a sample in half with water to approximate its polish when it has finished its time in the barrel, to yield a civilized 80 proof spirit. The golden rum, having borrowed some structural tannins and its color from the oak, is even smoother than the white and more complex. It compares favorably with my usual rum of choice, Mount Gay Barbados.

Everything about Drum Circle Distilling is small-scale and hands-on. Roberts and his father assembled the gleaming stainless steel mixing and fermentation tanks and the copper still and rectifying column. They scraped and painted the floors and walls of the industrial park warehouse-turned-distillery. They’re the ones who mop up after the messy business of loading the mixing tanks and transferring the sticky mix of molasses and water to the fermentation tanks, where Roberts’ own custom blend of two yeasts is introduced into the process prior to distilling. Likewise for moving the raw rum into aerating tanks and, for the golden, on into barrels. The bottles are filled, corked and labeled by hand and then the batch number is entered by hand on each label, which bears an evocative island illustration by Ringling College of Art & Design graduate Ron Borrensen.

The white rum retails for about $22 and the golden is expected to go for less than $25. For the growing list of merchants, bars and restaurants where you can buy the product of Roberts’ labor of love, check out drumcircledistilling.com.

John Bancroft is a freelance writer in Sarasota, specializing in food, wine and travel.

Give Elixer G a Try

4 Jan

elixir-g-collage

If you love the taste of ginger, check this new product out.

I discovered them via Guy’s Big Bite on Food Network.

In the never ending search for the perfect cocktail or martini, one can easily forget about one of the most potent spices of all, ginger. There are many kinds of exciting ginger beers out there, including such stunners as the cult Blenheim Ginger Ale from South Carolina.

Now a new ginger mix, Elixir G, has just hit the market, and was a “Best in Show” winner in the “new products category” at the just convened Los Angeles Food and Wine Show over some pretty stiff opposition. Elixir G is a dynamic mixer that is extremely versatile with every form of spirit imaginable, giving the cocktail that superb ginger taste, and with tequila in particular.

The drink is not available at retail stores at this time, but you can contact the company directly, although they are very selective who they sell to, and are very keen to offer serving suggestions.  

Most of the top bars in Los Angeles and Hollywood such as Yamashiro’s, MaKai, Ocean Avenue Seafood stock the mixer along with Akwa in Santa Monica. Look for it in October at P.F.Chang’s all across the country, with more outlets to be added as the holiday season hots up.

See some cocktail mixes after the jump. 

Here are a few HOT Elixir G cocktail suggestions:

1oz      Vodka
1/2oz   Chambord
1/2oz   Elixir G
Fill with lemonade and top with a dash of lemon-lime soda. Very refreshing in the hot weather. Unnamed as of yet.

Mistletoe Martini

Fill a martini shaker with ice. Mix in.
1 ½ oz Vodka
½ oz Orange Juice
½ oz Cranberry Juice
1/2oz Elixir G
 Add 3-4 cloves, shake and strain into a Martini glass and garnish w/orange peel.

Christmas Carol

Fill a highball glass with ice.
Add:
1 1/2oz Brandy
1oz Sour Mix
Large splash Elixir G.
4oz Lemon Lime Soda
Garnish w/three Cranberries.

Gingerita

2oz Tequila
2oz Elixir G
2oz Sour Mix
Blend with ½ cup ice

Contact ELIXIR G at 714-926-7978.