Monday, August 25, 2014

Cocktail: Ben Gunn’s Treasure

By Warren Bobrow, Cocktail Whisperer

Of all the wonderful, handcrafted sodas on the market today, one of my favorites is from Q-Drinks in Brooklyn.  Their Kola (yes, spelled with a K instead of the usual C) is remarkable and it tastes nothing like the usual corn syrup, garden-variety cola in the red can.  The Q-Drinks Kola is spiced assertively from the Kola nut as well as cinnamon, cloves coriander, lemon, lime, orange and nutmeg. The sweetness comes from agave and that makes this drink very low calorie.  Agave is just the thing for day drinking when you don’t want to drink too much sugar. 

Rhum JM is the perfect thing for Kola of this quality.  When I’m drinking Agricole Rhum there are but only a few ways I like to drink it.  The first way is in a Ti-Punch (ponch), the second is with high quality cola.  Q-Kola is so unlike anything on the market that even with an elevated Rhum Agricole like JM, you have something truly luxurious in your hand.  Q-Kola and Rhum JM VSOP is my idea of cooling off during a particularly invigorating sail out on the Long Island Sound.  But I don’t stop there because the most exciting part of a Rhum and Kola is the ancillary ingredients.  The first is Sorel made with hibiscus and Caribbean spices.  The second is a new product, not yet to market, but every bit as intriguing as the Rhum Agricole, Sorel and the Kola elements of this tropically scented cocktail.

I’m excited to share with you syrup like none other, made from hibiscus flowers and Bulgarian Roses.  The Wild Hibiscus Flower Company weaves dreams with pure flavors that say: experiment with me.  Deep blood red in color, the rose and hibiscus syrup inject flavor deeply into your Rhum and Q-Kola.  The Sorel adds a fifth sensation into each sip and the finish is pure Caribbean Islands just as soon as it hits the back of your throat.

I chose the Creole Bitters from Bitter Truth to finish up this Rhum, Sorel, Hibiscus and Kola.  They add just the right touch of spice to the sweet elements of this hand-held pleasure cruise. 

But first, why use Rhum Agricole over molasses based rum?  The difference is clearly personal in nature.  I find that the Agricole varieties possess an inner sophistication that only comes from using freshly crushed sugar cane juice instead of molasses.   It’s mostly a personal preference that comes from sailing in down island where French is spoken and Rhum is spelled differently… 

The Bitter Truth Creole Bitters are also deeply colored with a crimson hue, perhaps the color signifies strength?  That’s up to you because this drink is anything but weak!

The red color of several of the ingredients makes this drink pop right down your throat!

Ben Gunn’s Treasure

Ingredients:
1.5 oz. Rhum JM Agricole VSOP
½ oz. Sorel (from the Liquortarian)
4 oz. Q-Kola (from Q-Drinks in Brooklyn)
4 drops Rose & Hibiscus flower concentrate from the Wild Hibiscus Flower Co. (stay tuned for these!)
2-3 drops Creole Bitters from The Bitter Truth

Preparation:
Combine the ingredients, Rhum JM Agricole, Sorel and the Q-Kola:
except for the Wild Hibiscus Flower Co. and the Creole Bitters in a Collins glass with ice
Stir with a long straw to combine
Drip the Creole Bitters over the top
Drip the Rose & Hibiscus flower concentrate in to finish
Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint

Enjoy!

Cheers from DrinkUpNY!

About Warren Bobrow 
Author of: Apothecary Cocktails-Restorative Drinks from Yesterday and Today- Fair Winds Press- Beverly, Massachusetts. Apothecary Cocktails was nominated for a Spirited Award, 2014 Tales of the Cocktail.  His forthcoming book, Whiskey Cocktails will be released October 14.  Bitters and Shrub Syrup Cocktails follow with publication in spring ’15.  Warren is a master mixologist for several craft liquor companies. 

Warren consults about mixology and spirits, travel, organic wine and food.  He’s written for web-blogs and magazines like: Williams-Sonoma, Whole Foods: Dark Rye, Distiller, Total Food Service Magazine, Beverage Media Group, DrinkupNY, Edible Publications, Foodista, Serious Eats, Mechanics of Style and Beekman1802.  He was in the Saveur-100 in 2010.

Warren is a former, mostly self, trained cook from the pot sink on up.  J&W and ACF were thrown in for good luck.  Warren was the former owner/co-founder of Olde Charleston Pasta in South Carolina: *Dissolved his business after Hurricane Hugo in 1989* - to a career in private banking, (nearly 20 years; “a very grand mistake”) to this reinvention in 2009 as the Warren he's finally become. 

Warren is available to do highly personalized, interactive mixology events, local, national and international.
Contact: jockeyhollow@gmail.com 

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