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Tiki Central Forums » » Tiki Drinks and Food » » Confused with rums, and poor selection
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Confused with rums, and poor selection
rockydog101
Member

Joined: Aug 20, 2014
Posts: 8
Posted: 2014-08-20 06:27 am   Permalink

Hi all,

I'm trying to buff up my rum collection and make a few decent tiki drinks. I'm having a hell of a time understanding rums (dark, light, etc), and I also have a relatively poor selection in my area.

I have the following rums:
Captain
Pusser's
Gosling Black Seal
Malibu
Captain White
Appleton V/X
Flor de Cana

Misc:
Cointreau
Orange curaçao
Blue curaçao
Grenadine
Coconut cream
Orgeat

I really want to make a dang mai tai. Would any combo of the above rums be good? I read Gosling and the Appleton V/X may be nice. But I don't understand the selection. The Appleton looks dark, but it's light? What makes it light and dark? What are some good tiki rums that are accessible to is who live in the backwoods of the south?

Thank you all


 
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AceExplorer
Grand Member (3 years)  

Joined: Apr 03, 2008
Posts: 999
From: Deep in the Jacksonville Florida jungle.
Posted: 2014-08-20 06:44 am   Permalink

Rockydog, you've got some good rums there in your list, so you're on your way. What part of the South do you live in? That could help many of us provide you with a more insightful reply beyond the basic "mail order what you can't get locally" option.

Since you may be limited to mail-ordering rums (make sure your local liquor stores can't special order things for you first) then you can search Tiki Central for what others have done with mail-order.

Other than that, my initial suggestion to you would be to use Grogalizer.com in conjunction with Jeff Berry's cocktail recipe books. You won't have to draw on rum knowledge by just following the recipes, and you'll have fun learning about light/gold/dark rums along the way. I think this would make your foray in to rums much easier and more enjoyable.

Cheers and enjoy the journey!


 
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Q-tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 22, 2011
Posts: 199
From: East TN
Posted: 2014-08-20 08:18 am   Permalink

Rockydog,

I agree with Ace. Try the Grogalizer and/or Jeff Berry's books (and Apps) and keep scanning these forums for TONS of great info.

In regards to making a mai-tai, You've got all essentials to start with. Having the Orgeat and the O Curacao along with the rums you have will get you started. I would either use 2 oz of the VX or mix either the Pussers or Goslings with the VX to start with. That will give you three variations to compare!
Just make sure you squeeze your limes fresh. Don't skimp on that part. I also really feel like the mint garnish adds a whole extra layer of complexity if you can smell it with each sip.

Okole Maluna!

Q


 
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Sunny&Rummy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 13, 2013
Posts: 500
From: Melbourne, FL
Posted: 2014-08-20 11:44 am   Permalink

You can make a very large number of classic Tiki recipes with just 5 types of rum: basic light rum, Jamaican dark rum (Coruba or Myers most often, but your Goslings can sub here fine), and three types of gold rum — Cuban/Puerto Rican/Spanish style, Jamaican (your V/X goes here), and Demerara. You didn't indicate if your Flor de Caña was light or gold, but in either case you are already well on the way to being able to take a stab at a large number of classic recipes.

I will echo the prior sentiments about the value of Beachbum Berry's books (and iPhone apps!), Grogalizer, etc. Just dig in and have fun!


 
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Chip and Andy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 13, 2004
Posts: 2208
From: Corner table, Molokai Lounge, Mai-Kai.
Posted: 2014-08-20 12:15 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2014-08-20 06:27, rockydog101 wrote:
Hi all,

I really want to make a dang mai tai.



You are about two ingredients shy of a pretty tasty Mai Tai!

1/4 ounce of Orgeat
1/4 ounce of Simple syrup
1/2 ounce of Cointreau
~ 3/4 ounce of fresh Lime (about, ish, adjust to your taste based on how sweet your Orgeat is)
1.5 ounce of Appleton V/X
1.5 ounce of Flor de Cana (I am assuming you have the Gold 4 year)

Fill your shaker about half way with crushed ice.

Pour everything in. Shake until your hands go numb from the cold.

Strain into a double-old-fashioned glass filled with crushed ice.

Garnish with spent lime shell, sprig of fresh mint, and a short straw.

Enjoy!

Now that you have the basic recipe for your listed rums I think it's OK to warn you.... you are going to have to make several drinks. And by several I mean lots and lots and lots and lots of drinks. You might have to spread them out over a couple of days but that's OK. You see, you are going to have to add a bit more lime, or a bit less lime, or a bit more orgeat, or a bit less, you get the idea.... each time you make a Mai Tai to find the 'best' Mai Tai. The recipe I listed above is only your staring point.


 
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PiPhiRho
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 1020
From: Redondo Beach
Posted: 2014-08-20 1:18 pm   Permalink

Here is my recommendation for making a Mai Tai with your available ingredients.

First, get a double rocks glass (~14 oz). Fill it with crushed ice. Now dump the ice from the glass into a cocktail shaker.

Get a fresh lime and roll it on the table or counter a few times until it gets a little soft. Cut the lime in half accross the middle (not the long way). Squeeze the lime juice into the shaker.

Add 1.5 oz of the Appletom and 0.5 oz of the Pusser's. If the taste of the Pusser's is too intense for you, then just use 2 oz of the Appleton.

Add 0.5 oz (1 tablespoon) of the Orange (not blue) Curacao. Unless you have a cheap Curacao that tastes like cough syrup, in which case use the Cointreau.

Add to that 0.5 oz of the orgeat. Give it a quick shake and pur it, ice and all, back into the double rocks glass. The float about 0.5 oz of the Goslings on top. Take 1 of the spent half lime shells and put it in the drink. Then take some fresh mint, put it in the palm of one hand and then clap both hands together, This slighly bruises the mint to release the oils and aroma. Garnish your drink with the mint.

Now, shove in a straw and enjoy.


 
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arriano
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 13, 2006
Posts: 1289
From: Dog Patch - San Diego
Posted: 2014-08-20 1:19 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2014-08-20 12:15, Chip and Andy wrote:

1.5 ounce of Appleton V/X
1.5 ounce of Flor de Cana (I am assuming you have the Gold 4 year)





That seems a bit rum-heavy. An ounce each I think would provide you a better balanced cocktail


 
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Chip and Andy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 13, 2004
Posts: 2208
From: Corner table, Molokai Lounge, Mai-Kai.
Posted: 2014-08-20 1:25 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2014-08-20 13:19, arriano wrote:

That seems a bit rum-heavy.



Why do you make that sound like a bad thing?





Why did I recommend 'so much' rum?

The Appleton V/X is very tasty, but not very aromatic.

The Flor de Cana, assuming it is the 4 Year Old Gold, is tasty, but again not very aromatic.

If it was the 7 year Flor de Cana, I would recommend one ounce, maybe just a wee bit shy of that.

If it was better than the V/X I would recommend the lighter pour too.

The two lighter weight rums listed in the original post are going to dry out under the Cointreau so I recommend a bit more for in the pour.

And like I mentioned.... many, many Mai Tai's will need to be made to get it just right. It's the only way to be sure.


 
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Atomic Tiki Punk
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 19, 2009
Posts: 6115
From: Costa Misery
Posted: 2014-08-20 2:59 pm   Permalink

I do like the Appleton V/X & the Flor de Cana 12 year with a Lemon Hart 151 float
in a traditional Trader Vics Mai Tai, I keep it to one ounce each for an even balance.

Edit: well you know....

[ This Message was edited by: Atomic Tiki Punk 2014-08-20 15:22 ]


 
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Oxybeles
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Sep 23, 2013
Posts: 39
From: RSM, CA
Posted: 2014-08-20 3:09 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2014-08-20 14:59, Atomic Tiki Punk wrote:
I do like the Appleton V/X & the Flor de Cana 12 year with a Lemon Hart 151 float
in a traditional Trader Vics Mai Tai, I keep it to one once each for an even balance.



I'm sure you meant ounce, but I always figured you for a light weight.

As such, you are hereby limited to one Mai Tai each and every day, err, hour...

To stay on topic - One ounce of each rum is correct, a dark floater is entirely optional, albeit, my wife and ATP beg to differ.

However, I would consider procuring the Denizen Rum 8 Year Merchant's Reserve and utilize two ounces of this fine Mai Tai making rum.

Also consider using orange curacao vs. Cointreau, and then go with the balance of the above mentioned recipe.

[ This Message was edited by: Oxybeles 2014-08-20 15:19 ]


 
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AdOrAdam
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jun 16, 2013
Posts: 429
From: Wolverhampton, UK
Posted: 2014-08-20 3:21 pm   Permalink

Good first post Rockydog101!

Chiming in here a bit later than others & with a little time on my hands, here's my 2 cents:

Re your rums:
Appleton V/X is in regular rotation on my bar - good rum I wouldn't be without!
I have had Flor de Cana, Pussers & Goslings Black Seal - they are all good.
I also have Malibu too but it is of limited use (for when my sisters come to stay)
Captain I know but don't rate (drink it in coke), Captain White I don't know.

Re your 'misc' products:
They all sound fine - you may have struck lucky & picked up all good examples or may wish to seek out another version when you restock.

Regarding making Mai Tais:
Mai Tais are very much a drink where people's opinions rule.

In sticking to the traditional measures, you can tweak them ~ a lot of people cut the lime to 3/4 oz instead of 1 oz. Use whatever rums you fancy (2 Oz the same or 1 Oz of one type / 1 Oz of another or even 3 Oz as suggested) ~ if you like the mai tai made a certain way, make it again... if you don't like it... maybe don't make it that way again.

As a tip: If you want to use the Cointreau or cheaper curaçao in a mai tai, I found them a bit strong so cutting them back a bit helps.

IMO the mai tai is basically a vehicle for trying out rums, I can believe that Appletons VX & Goslings Black Seal will make a fine mai tai. I agree with all the above comments that practice makes perfect

Re the differences between light / gold / dark rum:
I always think of rums in 5 categories: Jamaican, Demerara, 'Other English', Spanish & French

Typically the Jamaican & Demerara rums would be the 'dark' rums in your collection. They tend to taste a little bit deeper & express a character that is typical of their style (you'll get to know what that means after you've tried a few).

Appleton VX is a good example of a Jamaican rum character but is not generally considered 'dark' (i.e. is not as treacle or molasses flavoured as others). I still use it in drinks calling for a 'dark Jamaican' rum.

If you were to pick up more Jamaican rums commonly used rums are Appleton 12, Coruba & Myers. Myers is the most strongly 'treacle / molasses' flavoured - that can be off putting in some drinks but if you pick the drinks you put it in, it can be great. I often use Appleton VX & Myers 50:50 in drinks where Myers is too strong flavoured.

Coruba is slightly less 'treacle / molasses', Appleton 12 is more refined (by that I mean the 'treacle / molasses' flavour is tempered & you get a more tastes from the rum being aged).

Demerara rums are usually dark (like Jamaican rums can be) but the 'treacle / molasses' flavour is less pronounced. The are often described as woody or smokey. Pussers is a blended rum that contains some Demerara rum. Most people (including me) would advise trying any of the El Dorado or Lemon Hart rums.

Other English style rums broadly covers all the rums that are distilled in ex British colonies (eg like Barbados rums). They are typically lighter than Jamaican or Demerara rums & gold coloured. Some 'Other English' style rums can be dark, for example Goslings Black Seal. If I didn't have demerara rums, I would have no problems using Goslings Black Seal when a recipe calls for a Demerara rum but you'll be missing something (it's not as deep).

Spanish style rums are lighter rums still (think like Flor De Cana), they can be gold or white. They won't taste 'treacle / molasses' or 'woody / smokey' but more likely 'fruity', 'crisp' or 'lightly golden'. They are usually used to cut the flavour of the Jamaican & Demerara rums (eg you use 50:50 resulting in a mix of both sets of flavours)

French style rum (aka rhum agricole) is a little more complicated, they are distinctive tasting & sort of 'grassy' or 'tangy'.

The boundaries between rum categories blur!

For recipes:
The author Jeff Beachbum Berry has published lots of books - they are pretty much the Bibles of tiki drinks. If you have an iPhone or iPad, his 'Total Tiki' app has the majority of the recipes but the books have stories that are worth reading in them too.

For where to go next with starting making tiki drinks:
Tiki drinks tend to use lots of syrups (like Orgeat) & when you read recipes you usually find you are missing an ingredient when you are starting out. I would advise picking them up one at time when you find a recipe that calls for them. TC is full of opinions on what is good.

My advice to newbie would be to get a dark Jamaican rum, a Demerara rum, a Spanish style rum & a Beachbum Berry resource (book / app).

You sort of have that between Appleton VX, Goslings Black Seal & Flor De Cana so if I were you I'd order a Beachbum Berry book or app to read over & experiment with a few mai tais while you do

Cheers!


 
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Atomic Tiki Punk
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 19, 2009
Posts: 6115
From: Costa Misery
Posted: 2014-08-20 3:27 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2014-08-20 15:09, Oxybeles wrote:
Quote:

On 2014-08-20 14:59, Atomic Tiki Punk wrote:
I do like the Appleton V/X & the Flor de Cana 12 year with a Lemon Hart 151 float
in a traditional Trader Vics Mai Tai, I keep it to one once each for an even balance.



I'm sure you meant ounce, but I always figured you for a light weight.

As such, you are hereby limited to one Mai Tai each and every day, err, hour...

To stay on topic - One ounce of each rum is correct, a dark floater is entirely optional, albeit, my wife and ATP beg to differ.

However, I would consider procuring the Denizen Rum 8 Year Merchant's Reserve and utilize two ounces of this fine Mai Tai making rum.

Also consider using orange curacao vs. Cointreau, and then go with the balance of the above mentioned recipe.

[ This Message was edited by: Oxybeles 2014-08-20 15:19 ]



Fixed it Oxy, I don't want to be the reason anyone screws up a fine cocktail
but for the record, I am always the last man standing!
I have an "unfortunately" high tolerance to alcohol.


 
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thePorpoise
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 23, 2011
Posts: 1239
From: Tampa Bay
Posted: 2014-08-20 4:22 pm   Permalink

there's gotta be a gazillion mai-tai etc threads somebody could point him to on TC.

 
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LoriLovesTiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 03, 2011
Posts: 881
From: NJ
Posted: 2014-08-20 7:10 pm   Permalink

AdorAdam - Thanks for the explanations on the types of rum. I have several of the Beach Bum's books, use the Grogalizer and buy rums frequently but still struggled on the types! Most importantly, Rockydog101 keep mixing drinks (a Mai Tai is my fav) that's the best part! Have fun!

_________________
:-)
Lori


 
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AceExplorer
Grand Member (3 years)  

Joined: Apr 03, 2008
Posts: 999
From: Deep in the Jacksonville Florida jungle.
Posted: 2014-08-20 8:18 pm   Permalink


WOW, AdOrAdam, home run! Thanks for taking the time to write all that out. I will compare your observations with mine the next time I do a tasting.


 
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