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  • Writer's pictureDane

Drinks with Dane | Week 14

In this week’s newsletter, we’re going to be wrapping up our rum buying guide and featuring the Ka'u Coffee Grog - a spiced and buttered coffee. We’re going to show you a great hack for making it quick and easy


Hi Everyone,

A bit of a programming note for the rest of the year. Next week’s newsletter will be coming out on the regular date: December 24th. The newsletter for the following week: December 31st, will be coming out early on December 26th.

We’re going to be featuring a lot of easy and classic champagne cocktails and I want to make sure you have enough time to get what you need to sip in the New Years right.

Thank you for your support and please tag me @drinkswithdane on Instagram or #DrinksWithDane so I can raise a glass with you!


Rum Buying Guide: Part 3

Part three of our rum buying guide! This week there are even more fantastic locations filled to the brim with delicious rums for all your Winter cocktail needs.

Martinique and Guadalupe Rum

The French Overseas Departments of Martinique and Guadalupe produce some of the finest rhums in the world. Martinique enjoys an AOC for its unique style of rhum: rhum agricole.

On Martinique, the sugar cane is pressed for its juice, which is quickly fermented, and distilled in a single pass through a column still. The resulting new-make spirit is between 65% and 75% alcohol and still retains much of its original flavor. Rhum agricole is distinct in its flavor - fresh grass, sweet almost gum like. Guadalupe holds a PGI for its molasses based rhums. Marie-Galante is a neighboring island to Guadalupe and is known for high quality and high proof rums.

Neisson Rhum Agricole Blanc - This is an unaged agricole rhum that is a true expression of what sugarcane tastes like. Funky, tropical fruits with sweet floral and vanilla tones. Perfect for cocktails. $38

Trois Rivieres Cuvee de l’Ocean - Distilled from sugar that was grown on the extreme south of the island of Martinique, the cane buffeted by the Atlantic ocean breeze. The sea salt carries thought into the rum, mixing with tropical fruit such as pineapple and mango. $35

Duquesne Rhum Eleve sous Bois - Aged for at least 18 months in ex-bourbon barrels. Full-flavored rhum with notes of dark fruit, vanilla, and baking spices. Great in cocktails that call for an aged Martinique Rhum. $35

Rhum J.M. Vieux Agricole VSOP - Aged for at least three years in ex-bourbon cask and then finished on new American white oak. This is a great example of aged rhum from J.M. Signature JM tang with big citrus notes and a long finish of cacao nib, clove, and cinnamon. $43

Rhum Clement Cuvee Homere - Created in homage to the founder, Homere Clement. This is a Rhum that is aimed at converting whiskey drinkers. A blend of three vintages that the distillery considers its best Rhums. Aged for around 15 years in re-charred ex-bourbon or new French limousine oak. Soft, buttery, and nutty. Notes of caramel and toffee. $120

Pacific Rum

Sugarcane has always been an impactful cash crop in the Pacific and its no surprise that some excellent rums are being produced in this region.

Kuleana Hawaiian Agricole Rum - Made from 100% Big Island grown sugar cane, using heritage varieties of kō - native sugar cane. Enjoy neat or in cocktails. $60

Plantation Isle of Fiji - A new expression from Plantation and it's been making a splash. Aged 2-3 in Fiji before being aged for another year in France. Fruit notes of apple and pear mixed with vanilla and nutmeg. $27

Batavia Arrack Van Oosten - A native Javaense beverage made from a distillate of molasses and red rice. This was made famous by the Dutch in the 17th century with its inclusion in many punch drinks. Hot, astringent, and funky - this is made for tiki cocktails. $33

Kronan Swedish Punsch Liqueur - A mixture of Batavia Arrack, Jamaican rum, and Guyanese rum. Swedish Punsch has a long legacy in many pre-prohibition cocktails and is really built for modern tiki cocktails. $30

Venezuelan Rum

Official standards for rum production were set in 2003. All rum must be from 100% Venezuelan grown sugar and aged 2 years.

Pampero Aniversario Rum - Rich notes of butter and toffee, mixed with tobacco and coffee. This is a rich and creamy rum. Best slowly sipped. $32

Diplomatico Rum Reserva Exclusiva - A blend of rum, both pot and column distilled. Aged 2-12 years. Rich notes of caramelized sugar and baking spice. $35

Santa Teresa 1796 - A blend of rums 8-12 years old and then blended solera style for another year in ex-whiskey and ex-bourbon casks. Aromas of caramel, honey, and warm nuts. Long and complex finish. $45

Mexican Rum

Paranubes - Aguardiente de cana - Wild yeast is used to ferment fresh pressed cane juice in Sierra Mazateca mountains of Oaxaca. This is a great expression of Oaxaca and an excellent rum to sip or shake up a daiquiri. $45

Uruapan Charanda Blanco Rum - Charanda is a protected group of rum produced around the city of Uruapan in Michoacan. This is a 50% estate grown cane juice distilled in a copper pot still and 50% molasses distilled in a french column still. $27

Merchant Bottlers' Rum

These are rum brands that do not make their own distillate, instead they buy rum stock from other distilleries - blending and additionally aging to produce their products.

Plantation Rum - This is a French rum company owned by Maison Ferrand. This company works with many rum producers throughout the Caribbean and world to buy rum stock to be used in their blends. From their signature blends such as Fiji, Barbados, and Xaymaca to their bar blends such as O.F.T.D., Original Dark, and 3 star - they have been the bedrock of the 3ed wave tiki revival. If you’re looking to mix cocktails, Plantation is a good place to start.

Note: In July of 2020, Plantation announced that its brand name would evolve due to the negative connotations with the word Plantation.

Hamilton - Ed Hamilton founded Ministry of Rum website after retiring to a sailboat and hopping from island to island in the Caribbean enjoying the rum along the way. The Ministry of Rum has become the premier website for detailed information about rum and its distilleries. Over time, Ed found himself importing rum into the US and eventually decided to start his own brand. Built on his reputation and the needs of the bar community, Hamilton rum has produced amazing expressions for outstanding value that fill many gaps in the tiki and bar scene. White ‘Stache rum is built for daiquiri. West Indies blend, Navy Proof, and Demerara 151 for tiki cocktails.

Denizen - This company was built with cocktail bartenders in mind. A collaboration of many tiki and rum experts to revive extinct rum expressions. Aged white rum was built for daiquiri. Merchant’s Reserve is built as a Mai Tai rum, a blend of Jamaican pot still rum and Rhum Grand Arome (a rare molasses based rum) from Martinique.


Cocktail of the Week: Ka'u Coffee Grog

I know the nights are getting darker and colder, but this is the perfect time for a little tropical fun.

This coffee grog is a celebration of a place I used to live, the Ka’u district of Hawaii. Fantastic coffee is grown south of the Kona district and is much loved by locals, being featured in many high end restaurants in lieu of the more expensive Kona coffee.

Macadamia groves cover the landscape east of South Point all the way towards Volcano National Park.

The Ka’u coffee grog is a cross between flaming coffee grogs from the classic tiki era and hot buttered rums. This is a spiced, rich, nutty coffee drink that's going to get you though this winter.


What You’ll Need:

  • 34oz or 4 cup French Press

  • Microplaner or Grater

  • Ka’u Coffee (or any good quality medium roasted coffee)

  • Jamaican Rum

  • Macadamia Nut liqueur

  • Demerara Sugar

  • Whole Cinnamon

  • Whole Clove

  • Whole Nutmeg

  • Orange

  • Good Quality Unsalted Butter

  • Kosher Salt


Spiced Coffee

In a four cup French press, fill with four tablespoons coarse ground Ka’u Coffee, one tablespoon of Demerara sugar, one whole cinnamon stick snapped in half, six whole cloves, one quarter teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, two orange peels, three tablespoons of unsalted butter, and a pinch of kosher salt.

Fill halfway with boiling water and stir gently until butter is dissolved then fill the rest of the French press. Let infuse for five minutes and plunge the strainer. This spiced coffee can be enjoyed on its own or with spirits.


Ka’u Coffee Grog

1 ½ oz Appleton Signature blend Jamaican Rum

1 oz Trader Vic’s Macadamia Nut Liqueur

Spiced Coffee to fill.

In a coffee cup add Jamaican Rum, Macadamia Nut liqueur, and spiced coffee. Garnish with cinnamon stick and clove studded orange peel. Salute!

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