Joined: Jun 07, 2008
From: 16 miles from The Mai-Kai
|Posted: 2014-11-12 12:58 am  Permalink|
I've got some bad news, but also a bunch of good news: On Oct. 31, I got the confirmation from Kern Mattei that Lemon Hart was no longer being poured in any drinks that have featured it for the past 2 1/2 years, since it's return to widespread distribution. As we know, that distribution has ceased, and stockpiled supplies are rapidly disappearing.
The first good news is that none of the drinks that formerly featured Lemon Hart and now contain either Gosling's Black Seal 151 or El Dorado Superior Dark seem to suffer in the slightest. Of the 11 drinks listed above, I've tried 10 of them (both at the bar and in home recipes) and in all honesty there are very subtle differences. But not enough to change any of my ratings or cause anyone alarm.
The Shrunken Skull is now served with a shot of Goslings 151 rum (photo taken Nov. 7).
Remember that The Mai-Kai's cocktails were without Lemon Hart, or any Demerara rum, for many years before its reintroduction. The Atomic Grog ratings were determined in the pre-Lemon Hart days, and they changed little after it came back on the market. Granted, it was a big improvement over Bacardi 151, but the good news is that Goslings remains a much better alternative than a return to Bacardi. And the introduction of an El Dorado product keeps Demerara rum in all of the drinks that featured the 80-proof Lemon Hart. I'll be updating the reviews of all the drinks in the coming weeks with more details, so refer to the blog for the latest news:
Another nice byproduct of all this research: I've made a significant update to the Zombie tribute recipe to bring it much closer to what you'll taste at The Mai-Kai. I'll be posting the update soon.
My current advice is to continue to use Lemon Hart if you have it, of course. If not, the drinks will be fine with Goslings and El Dorado Dark. Or, if you prefer, use a different 80-proof Demerara rum from El Dorado. There continues to be discussion of 151 substitutes, including a new rum from former Lemon Hart importer Ed Hamilton, so stay tuned.
Hurricane Hayward is very happy to find that The Aloha Stomp cocktail includes a floater of Lemon Hart 151 rum (photo taken Nov. 7).
The other bit of good news involves a new drink created by Kern Mattei and his bar staff for the recent CD release party for the Cutback surf band. On Nov. 7, I was very pleasantly surprised to find The Aloha Stomp, named after a song on the band's "Surfers Journey" release, included a shot of Lemon Hart 151. Mattei led me to believe that the drink - which also includes orange and grapefruit juices with passion fruit syrup and light rum - may continue to be available as a special order. Apparently, they stopped short of letting their supply of Lemon Hart 151 run out completely. How much longer it will last is not clear, so be sure to order The Aloha Stomp while you can.