Order's Up For New Cocktails

Thursday, December 14, 2017

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Barhopping in search of the next hip libation? May we recommend you hit up the Terra Nova Hotel & Suites Regency Bar & Lounge, and order one of their three new cocktail additions — Mr Wisdom, the Kingston Girl and Tallawah's Swizzle?

Created with Rum Fire Overproof White Rum and Hampden Gold Jamaica Rum as their base, the trio of drinks originated from the idea factory of United States bartenders Whitney Hobbs, Rob Crabtree and Tommy Stearns, who were recruited by fellow Yankee and The Rum Collective Founder Nicholas Feris and flown into the island to conduct training sessions with the Regency's bar staff and whip up signature cocktails for the Hampden Estates-produced liquor brands.

Debuting their concoctions recently at Latin Fiesta at the Regency, a 'cocktail for charity' fund-raising event hosted by Christelle Harris, marketing director for Rum Fire and Hampden Gold, to benefit the Jamaica Intensive Reading Clinic, the bartenders were in expert form. They were greeted with the traditional Jamaican warmth of patrons — and kept sufficiently occupied stirring, shaking, and serving up drink orders. Thursday Food gets the backstory about their cocktails and takes on The Rock's bar scene.

— Omar Tomlinson

(Photos: Naphtali Junior)

TALLAWAHS’ SIZZLE

Ingredients

1.5 oz Rum Fire
1oz Fresh Lime Juice
0.75 oz Simple Syrup (1 part white sugar:1 part water)
8-9 Fresh Mint Leaves
4-5 dashes of Angostura Bitters

Method

Lightly press the mint leaves in the bottom of a Collins or similar glass.
Fill glass 3/4 of the way with ice and add the lime, simple syrup and Rum Fire.
Swizzle, which is a vigorous mixing using a bar spoon or swizzle stick by rapidly rotating the spoon between your palms while it is in the glass.
Top the glass off with ice and add the Bitters and a mint sprig to finish.
Using an empty lime shell filled with less than a capful of Rum Fire lit on fire on top of the drink adds some theatrics, aromatics and danger to your cocktail as well.

What was the inspiration for your cocktail?
My drink, the Tallawahs’ Swizzle was inspired by classic “Swizzle” style cocktails in the Caribbean. Balancing the big flavors and aromas of Rum Fire with fresh mint, lime juice and Angostura Bitters allowed me to show off the depth of Rum Fire. Keeping the drink straightforward and smooth was important to show off how well Rum Fire works in cocktails. Named after a popular cricket team in Jamaica, this cocktail was an homage to Kingston and the delicious rum made at Hampden Estate.

How do you find the taste profile of Rum Fire and Hampden Gold?
I would describe the taste and flavour profile of Rum Fire and Hampden Gold as bold and deep. The high ester count and unique fermentation style at Hampden Estate makes rums that stand out due to their outstanding flavour and aroma. A rich, bold and long-lasting finish are the trademark of these delicious spirits. I wish I had been able to bottle the smells at the distillery alone as they are truly amazing and potent.

Will you be introducing your Jamaican-originated cocktail creations, or any others, using Hampden Gold/Rum Fire in your bars in the States?
I use Rum Fire frequently, and have put it on the menu at several different bars in Seattle as it lends to cocktails beautifully. I also really enjoy adding it to cocktails using other spirits as a base to give them more depth and viscosity, even in small amounts. Despite being so big and bold, Rum Fire plays with other spirits incredibly well and will continue to be a go-to ingredient for me behind the bar.

How was your Jamaican experience serving at the Regency Bar & Lounge?
I couldn’t have had more fun working at the Regency Bar! The team was incredibly warm and welcoming to us, even though we probably were making a busy night difficult by adding new people to the mix. The chance to work with different bartenders, in a new bar, in a new place, always teaches me things and this was no different. Jamaica was an amazing trip for me and being able to help out the children in Trelawny in some small way was wonderful. It was an incredible night filled with great people, music and delicious rum!

MR WISDOM

Ingredients

1 oz Hampden Gold Rum
1 oz Hennessy
0.5oz Pimento Syrup
3-4 dashes of Angostura Bitters

Method
Stir all ingredients together in a rock glass with ice. Garnish with an orange peel.

What was the inspiration for your cocktail?

My cocktail, “Mr Wisdom”, was a drink inspired by an Old-Fashioned style cocktail. Incorporating Hampden Gold as well as Hennessy allowed the drink to take on the flavours I wanted to create for a Winter profile. The addition of pimento to the simple syrup allowed for more depth of flavour as well as a nod to one of my favourite spices seen in Jamaican cuisine. Finally, the name was inspired from Vivian Wisdom, Hampden Estate master distiller. After spending the day with him at the distillery, and sharing some rum together, I couldn't think of a better person to name the drink after.

How do you find the taste profile of Rum Fire and Hampden Gold?
Rum Fire is unlike any rum I have ever tasted. When I tried it for the first time last year I was blown away by the depth of flavour, aroma and body. It is truly a unique product from start to finish. After having the pleasure of touring Hampden Estate and seeing where the magic happens, I feel even more connected to the beauty, soul and history that goes into Rum Fire. A very special product from start to finish!

Will you be introducing your Jamaican-originated cocktail creations, or any others, using Hampden Gold/Rum Fire in your bars in the States?
I try to use Rum Fire any way I can in drinks. It brings such a unique flavour profile to cocktails as well as food that I simply can't get out of my head. The versatility and depth it brings to cocktails allows it to be used in drinks of all styles. Plan on seeing a strong Rum Fire presence on our cocktail menu in Florida.

How was your Jamaican experience serving at the Regency Bar & Lounge?
Bartending at the Regency was a blast! There was such great energy in the room between the music, dancing and people. The combination of talking to people about Hampden Estate rums and our cocktails while benefiting the Jamaica Intensive Reading Clinic was an amazing thing to be a part of. Bartending for the greater good! I love working behind different bars because it allows me to interact with new people both at the bar and with those working behind it. I hope we can all come back for a reunion tour behind the Regency Bar.

KINGSTON GIRL

Ingredients

1 oz Rum Fire
0.5 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
0.5 oz Honey Syrup (Mix 1 part local honey into 2 parts water water. Stir until combined.)

Method

Shake the ingredients with ice to chill.
Strain into a Champagne flute.
Top with 3oz Champagne
Garnish with a strawberry and flower

What was the inspiration for your cocktail?

The inspiration for the Kingston Girl was a classic Champagne cocktail. I wanted a drink that was lighter and very drinkable from morning through evening, while still highlighting the bold flavours of Rum Fire. The name's inspiration came from picturing a table of beautiful Jamaican women drinking the Kingston Girl cocktail at brunch.

How do you find the taste profile of Rum Fire and Hampden Gold?
The taste profile of Rum Fire is what brought us all to Jamaica in the first place. Rum Fire embodies traditional Jamaican rum in its taste profile, and I thoroughly enjoy every sip, as it is a journey of tastes and aromas. The flavour profile of Hampden Gold allows for a range of cocktail applications, which makes it complementary to Rum Fire.

Will you be introducing your Jamaican-originated cocktail creations, or any others, using Hampden Gold/Rum Fire in your bars in the States?
While Hampden Gold is not currently available in the US; we will absolutely be serving Rum Fire cocktails in our bar in Florida. We love Rum Fire in Florida (and the rest of the US), and this trip has been very inspiring for cocktails (and food)! In fact, we are planning to use Rum Fire in cocktails as well as in our food recipes. I believe that Rum Fire embodies the essence of traditional Jamaican rum, which is exactly why we are so happy to have it in the US.

How was your Jamaican experience serving at the Regency Bar & Lounge?
Bartending at the Regency Bar & Lounge was so much fun! The guests were loving the cocktails, the music was bumping, and everyone was enjoying themselves. It was great watching the guests' reactions to the different cocktails; there were a lot of pictures and videos being taken, especially of the flaming lime garnish. The bar staff at the Regency Bar were great to work with, and I look forward to coming back to the Regency in the near future!

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