Monday, June 12, 2017

Jean Baptiste Philémon Lemaire Punch

By Warren Bobrow

If there is any liquor that makes me salivate, it would have to be Rhum Agricole.  Perhaps it’s the freshness of the core ingredient, the sugar cane itself.  The juicy-fruit quality of the mouthfeel, the creamy texture... the way it rolls around my mouth- for example... very intriguing.  There is life in Rhum Agricole, just like there is life on Martinique.  It’s vibrant and exciting.  Just imagine, not so long ago, in 1902- the town of Saint-Pierre and 30,000 residents ceased to exist because the local volcano decided that day was going to be the day that it just exploded!  You can almost feel this tension (terroir) of volcanic ash in the sugar cane that grows up the sides of the massive Mount Pelée. 

Rhum Agricole is different in a few basic ways from the booze cruise rum that most Americans have to contend with when ordering their rum based drinks.  Without belaboring what is rum and what is not rum, let’s just assume for a moment that the difference between Agricole and Industrial is probably going to be the base spirit.  Industrial to me means sugar- molasses.  Whereas Agricole is fresh, agricultural, free-run juice.  You know, the good stuff.  I am constantly explaining that dark rum doesn’t necessarily mean old (it actually gets lighter as it ages, fooling most consumers who think their dark rum is old rum) and Agricole is pure because of its AOC.  The AOC or appellation d'origine contrôlée means that the Rhum (in this case spelled with an h) is pure according to laws of the French Government.  That is, without drilling down too far, good enough for my belly, and it should be good enough for yours too. 

So, I beg your attention, if only for a quick glance while deciding which rabbit hole you are going down at this very moment, so my time is short indeed! 

Neisson L'Esprit Blanc Rhum Agricole speaks to me in the quality of the ingredients, plus rolling in at 70% abv or 140 Proof, this is not a Rhum for the meek.  You will certainly control your own fate when making ‘ponch’ with this magical elixir, truly wrought out of what was blown to smithereens in 1902. 

I’ve taken some oranges and limes and roasted them in the toaster oven, sliced in half, sprinkled with Demerara Sugar and light Balsamic vinegar.  Roasted at 350 for an hour, set to cool and then sliced into quarters.  The following is a take on the Ti-Punch (or ponch) as you can dream about and try by ordering your exceptional Neisson Rhum from DrinkupNY today!

Jean Baptiste Philémon Lemaire Punch
(Governor of Martinique in 1902)
Ingredients:
Quarters of your oven roasted limes and oranges
2 oz. Neisson L’Esprit
1 oz. Cane Sugar Syrup (preferably the stuff from Martinique, although you can make a dark simple with 1 cup of Demerara Sugar to one cup of boiling water, simmer and then let this cool, very slowly until quite dark, you can add a bit of vodka to the sugar syrup and it will last nearly indefinitely (pro-tip)
½ oz. White Balsamic Vinegar – for digestion of course!

Preparation:
Mash your oven roasted limes and oranges (the skins have all the oils in them!)
Add a portion of cane sugar simple
Add some white balsamic
Add some Neisson L’Esprit
Add a handful of ice
Continue until content

Cheers from all of us at DrinkUpNY!

Warren Bobrow is the celebrated author/bar man and mixologist responsible for the 1st book on the topic, Cannabis Cocktails.

Warren has written to date four books, Apothecary Cocktails, Whiskey Cocktails and Bitters/Shrub Syrup Cocktails.  His first book, Apothecary Cocktails was nominated for a Spirited Award at the 2014 Tales of the Cocktail. Warren has been a dishwasher, and a pot scrubber- a cook- and a saucier.  He cooked professionally around the country, Portland, Me., Charleston, Sc., Scottsdale, Az., New Hope, Pa., He owned and lost his fresh pasta manufacturing company located in Charleston, SC in 1989- Hurricane Hugo.

Then came a twenty-year career in Banking.  Don’t ask!  Demoralizing yet, essential.
Fortunate to do what he is passionate about, Warren has five books in May 2017 and more ideas on the way.  Ministry of Rum judge, Rum XP associate, American Distilling Institute, Saveur 100, Oxford Encyclopedia, Sage Encyclopedia, Whole Food/Dark Rye, Liquor.com, Barrell Bourbon.   He taught a deep dive on rum at the Moscow Bar Show, taught at Stonewall Kitchen, Attended the Fetes Gastronomie in Burgundy, traveled to Abruzzo in Italy for wine and Michelin starred foods, just to name just a few.  From failed-executive assistant in a bank to tastemaker to the world.
Never working yet never not working.  Smoke and Mirrors.  Authentic.