Monday, November 26, 2012

Rum Runner

Drinks that call for crème de banane had been far down on my list for a long time because the commercial bottlings available looked suspiciously like scented lamp oil. But in a moment of wild abandon, I ordered a Rum Runner with a friend while in Nevada and was ruined forever. It was a bubble gum flavored orgy of ecstatic perversion. “Banana! Banana!” I demanded, stamping my gorilla feet.

Luckily, it’s really easy to make crème de banane, as this Serious Eats recipe demonstrates. I pretty much just followed the recipe, waiting until my bananas were at the peak of aroma, and using Mount Gay Eclipse Silver for the base. I also add a few drops of vanilla extract for complexity. Worked great.

The Rum Runner recipe itself presented a few problems. All the ones I saw in my drink book library were blended. The ones my buddy and I got were made with bar ice. More importantly, they were made with things I wouldn’t touch with a barge pole if shopping for the house. How can you lose all dignity with a shelf full of only the good stuff? Well, that’s where we aim for the chopping block here at the old Fogged In Lounge. Below are a couple of craft Rum Runners that should toss you on the seas of dementia.

Rum Runner #1
  • 1 oz Bacardi 151
  • 1 oz crème de banane (homemade)
  • 1 oz blackberry brandy (Leopold Bros)
  • 1/2 oz grenadine (Small Hand Foods)
  • 1 1/oz lime juice
Shake with crushed ice and pour into a chimney glass or tiki mug.

This one was adapted from the original by “Tiki John” Ebert, as presented in Beachbum Berry’s Grog Log. I went with crushed ice and slightly rounded off measures. It makes a fine Rum Runner. For a solution of my own that captures something of my Reno insanity, try the next one.

Rum Runner #2
  • 1 1/2 oz Bacardi 151
  • 1 1/2 oz crème de banane
  • 1 oz blackberry brandy
  • 1 oz lemon juice
Shake with crushed ice and pour into a chimney glass or tiki mug.

If that seems like a lot of 151, maybe it is, but it sort of dries the whole thing down and you’ll feel like you’ve been to the casinos, for better or worse—probably both.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Blackberry Margarita

Greetings, folks. It’s been a rough few weeks. How about a drink?

I’ve been wanting to play with my Leopold’s blackberry liqueur since my buddy and I had Rum Runners in Reno on a photo expedition to the desert. Blackberry liqueur (aka blackberry brandy; crème de mûre) is a great ingredient for winter cocktails, a little escape in the darker part of the year.

Blackberry Margarita

  • 2 oz reposado tequila (Hornitos)
  • 1/2 oz blackberry brandy (Leopold Bros)
  • 1/4 oz Cointreau
  • 1/2 oz lime juice
Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Lime garnish. 

Big tequila up front gives way to blackberry somewhere in the middle. The housemate and I had a few of these over the course of chili night, and the food brought out the lime quite a bit.
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