Tag Archives: White Rum

Black Tot Day: What do we do with a drunken wailer?

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Remember how sad you were when you saw this scene? Imagine how the sailors felt…

Ever heard the stories of sailors swabbing the puke off their decks? Or stories of drunken nights they don’t remember? No? Neither have I, and that’s for one reason: Sailors were well’ard. Back in the day Sailors were manly men. Men who had engines, internal combustion engines that run on the darkest of rums: BLACK RUM.

This fabled spirit is widely available nowadays but its humble beginnings are not lost on those who care…

On July 31st 1970 a tragic event befell the Royal British Navy: the very last ration of rum was given out to the sailors under the flag of her majesty’s fleet. This was a tragic and sad day for all those who would call themselves sailors, after all this day ended a 300 year old tradition.

“A mighty bowl on deck he drew

And filled it to the brink

Such drank the Burford’s gallant crew

And such the gods shall drink.

The Scared robe which Vernon wore

Was drenched within the same

And hence his virtues guard our shore

And Grog drives its name.”

An excerpt from Mariners Mirror by L.G. Carr Laughton, 1919

Back in 1655 the rum ration started (unofficially – as if there’s any other way) and carried on until Vice-Admiral Edward Vernon of the West Indies fleet insisted the rum be watered down and served with lime: And thus became known as Grog (after his nickname: Old Grog).

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The ‘Old Grog’ himself: Vice-Admiral of the West Indies Fleet: Edward Vernon…

This sounds like a great rule to me. And it was a shame they stopped it. Apparently during the 1950’s there was concern caused that the rations supplied might impact the ability of the sailors to operate the more complex warships. Personally I think it would’ve created a much more interesting world. I mean imagine the crap that would float to shore from the abundant collisions and groundings? Not to mention the rather abundant plunder to be had for treasure hunters scouring the sea floor.

You see the choice by the British government to ban the rum rations has created a loss of jobs and slashed the dreams of all those kids who grew up wanting to be Indiana Jones or Lara Croft. Hell, I wanted to be a treasure hunter (I still do!) and they ruined my life. Kind of.

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Treasure hunters: Whichever one you preferred, they both lived great lives, I still wish I could be like Indy.

Anyway in all seriousness this day has been celebrated by rum lovers everywhere, with rum brands making the most of the day with offers, competitions and of course sales. On that fateful day many of the sailors held mock funerals, others poured their last ‘tot’ into the sea and various other events.

Finally, an ending thought:

Black Tot Day (BTD) is not without its positive notes… In 2010 a company called Speciality Drinks realised that the remaining stores of Naval rum were available for ‘procurement’… They purchased the remaining rum stores and on July 31st 2010 they (re)launched their plunder under the apt name: ‘Black Tot Rum’.

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One ot the most expensive rum’s on the market. I still want one…

This rum is unique as it has been preserved in its stoneware flagons for the four decades between Black Tot Day and the launch of possibly one most unique alcohol products ever sold. Whether you’re a naval history enthusiast, or if you just like rum this is something you just have to try /own. If you can afford it that is!

If not, settle for a bottle Kraken Spiced, a bag of limes and rather large bottle of cola.

Until the next time readers!

Mojito’s – The many flavours of Caribbean Rum…

The Mojito, a classic taste of the Caribbean, mixing mint, lime, sugar and a slight measure of rum (well ok a lot of rum) and topping off with a splash of soda water.

Now this is the simplified recipe, but anyone who has ever made a mojito or even just whitnissed a mojito being made knows theres more to it than simply adding the ingredients to a glass.

Every great mojito is not only down to the recipe, or the written instructions of muddling, building and layering; It’s about its creator too. Many mojito’s around the world are so due to the little twists, and tweaks in method put on the classic recipe by the bartenders & mixologists that prepare it.

For the sake of this post, a classic recipe is show below. This is the standard recipe; if you ask for a Mojito in any bar in the world, a standard mojito at least, this is what you should receive:

Classic Mojito Recipe

60ml Caribbean White Rum

15ml sugar syrup

Top up Soda Water

4-8 mint leaves

½ lime in ¼’s

Muddle the lime and sugar with the mint in the bottom of the serving glass. Add the rum and gently mix. Top up with crushed ice and mix gently again, bring some of the mint and lime to the top of the drink. Top up with soda water, garnish with a mint sprig & a wedge of lime.

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A classic example of a classic cocktail. The mint and lime work perfectly together…

Now as I said the difference between any ‘classic’ mojito recipes is down to the bartender preparing it as opposed to the ingredients, sure you can switch out different white rums and use different brands of soda water, but that will not change the overall flavour

However, by using flavoured rums, fruit juices/purees, mixing in liqueurs, even fresh chunks of fruit will tweak the flavour. This is how you end up with recipes like the ‘Vanilla Bean Mojito’ and the ‘Midori Melon’.

Other great flavours that work include; Strawberry & Lemon, Apple, Orange, Coconut and ‘Island’ (a combination of mint, lime, coconut, pineapple and it tastes great).

Recipes all react to how you prepare them, for example; the mint needs to be bruised, but not torn. If you tear it then it makes the drink bitter, and ruins the fresh minty taste you want. Bruising the mint means gently muddling it with the lime, I tend to put the mint in the bottom of the glass then sit the lime chunks in skins up, offering protection should you use a little too much force…

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This basil flavoured Mojito shows off the more savoury side of the mojito…

Anyway onwards to the actual recipes; Here you will find some of the better known and some of the lesser known mojito recipes out there…

Twisted Lemon Mojito

This is one of my own recipes, created especially for a Mexican themed event.

60ml White Rum

30ml Absolut Lemon vodka

15ml Sugar syrup/ 2 tsp fine sugar

½ lime into chunks*

4-8 mint leaves

Top up lemonade

This drink is all about preparation. Cut the ends of the limes off, just enough so as the flesh is visible, then cut the lime in half and those halves in half. Then finally cut these ¼’s in two; using 4 of these chunks* in the drink. Place the Lime chunks, mint leaves and sugar syrup into the serving glass and gently muddle. Half fill the glass with crushed ice and pour in the rum. Mix well and the pour in the vodka.

Orange Mojito

60ml White Rum

30ml fresh orange Juice

1 teaspoon Fresh Orange Zest

½ Lime cut into Wedges

15ml Sugar Syrup

Top up Soda Water

This simply uses a small amount of fresh orange juice to flavour the drink. Still serve over crushed ice but instead of mint, use some orange zest and garnish with an orange wedge.

Strawberry & Lemon

250ml White rum

8 Lemon Wedges

24 Mint Leaves

4 Strawberries

75ml fresh Lemon Juice

50ml Agave Nectar

Muddle the Lemon wedges, strawberries and mint leaves in a large shaker. Then add the lemon juice, rum and agave nectar. Shake well. Strain into a tall ice filled glass and garnish with the strawberry halves and mint sprigs. Top up with soda water.

This fruity blend is both sweet and sour, it packs a punch but the flavours balance fantastically. A perfect cocktail for those late spring/summer evenings regardless of the weather…

Midori Melon

12 mint leaves

½ lime in chunks

60ml White Rum

30ml Midori Liqueur

15ml sugar syrup

Top up soda

This drink is meant to be light and refreshing, as well as mildly alcoholic and highly addictive. The sugar syrup and midori (a sweetended liqueur) may cause this drink to be a little to sweet for you, if that’s the case, remove the sugar syrup and add granulated sugar to suit your own tastes.

Licor 43 Vanilla Bean Mojito

60ml white Rum

30ml Licor 43

1 Vanilla Bean

¼ orange in chunks

10ml orange juice

Top up soda water

This cocktail mixes the old with the new, Licor 43 is a world renown Spanish liqueur and it’s wonderfully balanced citrus and vanilla flavours help bind all the ingredients in this drink.

Method: Scrape the insides of one vanilla bean into a glass and add the orange chunks. Muddle these ingredients before adding the rum, licor 43 and orange juice. Fill the glass with crushed ice and topup with soda water.

Coconut Mojito

30ml white rum

30ml coconut rum (Malibu)

1 lime

25ml sugar syrup

50ml coconut milk

2-5 mint leaves

Top up with soda water

This recipe requires a more unorthodox approach to the classic way of preparing a Mojito… Mix all of the ingredients in a shaker and shake well. Lightly strain into a tall hurricane glass full of crushed ice and top up with soda water.

Pineapple Mojito

60ml Anejo Rum

20ml triple sec

20ml pineapple juice

3-5 Pineapple chunks

½ lime in chunks

6-8 mint leaves

Top up soda water

This cocktail follows the usual mojito recipe of muddle, muddle, muddle; Muddle the pineapple juice, pineapple chunks, lime chunks and mint in the bottom of a glass. Top up with crushed ice then add the triple sec & rum. Stir througoughly and top up with soda water. Use a pineapple slice and a mint sprig for garnish.

Island Mojito

This Mojito combines the very best of the island flavours and supplies them all in the same handy little Mojito:

25ml white rum

25ml coconut rum (Malibu)

25ml pineapple infused rum

½ lime in chunks

4-5 pineapple chunks

25ml agave Nectar

25ml coconut milk

25ml Pineapple juice

15ml triple sec

15ml sugar syrup

4-5 mint leaves

Top up with soda water

Muddle the mint, lime, pineapple chunks and sugar syrup in a shaker and then add some ice. Add in the rest of the ingredients strain into an ice filled glass. Top up with soda water and garnish with a pineapple wedge and mint sprig.

Apple Mojito

60ml white rum

½ lime in chunks

1 slice of apple

15ml sugar syrup

30ml Apple Juice

3-5 mint leaves

Top up with soda water

This version of the mojito is not as simple as it may seem, whilst the apple does not muddle easily, the use of such an ingredient gives this drink an added crisp bite, which really does make it something rather special. Muddle the lime, sugar syrup, apple slice and juice with the mint. Then add crushed ice and the rum. Stir and top up with soda water, garnishing with a mint sprig and apple slice…

Chilli & Chocolate Mojito

60ml Spiced Rum

15ml Chocolate syrup

25ml Crème de Cacao (White)

½ lime in chunks

2-3 chillies, diced

Top up soda water

This is both sweet and spicy. Combining the new with the old, this Mojito recipe is perfect for warming your socks up this easter… Muddle the Chillies, lime and chocolate syrup in a chocolate rimmed glass. Add the crème de cacao. Fill the glass with crushed ice and add the rum. Then top up with a dash of soda water (just enough to add some fizz). Then, finally, garnish with a chocolate covered chilli and a coriander leaf.

Top tip: This recipe uses spiced rum, to further compliment the chillies and add a little bite to the alcohol.

Chocolate Mint Mojito

60ml White Rum

20ml Chocolate syrup

25ml Crème de Menthe

½ lime in chunks

6-8 Mint leaves

Muddle the lime, mint and chocolate syrup in the bottom of a chocolate rimmed glass. Add the crushed ice and layer In the Crème de Menthe and rum.  This is a rather rich mojito recipe and is not for everyone, but if you have a sweet tooth, give it a go!

These recipes are a testament to the experimentation I am always going on about, whilst they are not all perfect for you, there will be one you find and most likely fall in love with. Hopefully you can find a drink above that you like, and maybe even a few (well it would be rude not to try them all right?!)…

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Mojito’s dont always look like Mojito’s! These are some of the best flavours possible – Can you guess them all? (Left – right:Watermelon, Lemon, Mystery!, Orange and Strawberry…)

These recipes are, in some part, a collection gathered from various blogs and other internet websites that are nothing to do with me. Whilst I endeavour to bring the recipes over correctly, some discrepencies may occur. For your own peace of mind, and also to reward the other people for their work I will link the websites used below. Please give them a look for the original recipes, and more!

http://www.mademan.com/10-awesome-mojito-recipes/

http://www.yummly.com/recipes/flavored-mojitos-mojito

http://projects.eveningedge.com/recipes/midori-mojito/

http://www.foodandwine.com/articles/the-best-mojito-recipes

The recipes of which are my own (or did not need a source) are listed below:

Chilli & Chocolate Mojito,

Chocolate Mint Mojito,

Twisted Lemon Mojito,

Licor 43 Vanilla Bean Mojito ,

Orange Mojito, and the Pineapple Mojito.

Next Time on the Fervent Shaker:

In the very near future (alongside my long term project about the supermarket cocktail era) I will be trying out a few ‘blind fold’ challenges where I’m given a few different ingredients and using the alcohol in my cupboard, I am to make a great cocktail out of them. This is not only a bit of fun and also practice for my palate. Along with this I’ll be looking to re-create the OXO Tower’s Dark ‘n’ Stormy as well as experimenting with a few twists on the classic ‘D&S’ recipe… Until then keep an eye out for my regular recipe/offer related posts. Drink well!