It’s Plantation Rum Week, and we make probably one of the most popular and well-known tropical rum cocktails, a Mai Tai. There are countless variations and rum options available, and today we chose to use 2 Plantation Rum offerings: their Isle of Fiji and Xaymaca rums. Watch to find out if splitting the liquor base with these two makes this tiki drink great, or if it falls short.
It is spring, and that means we can transition to lighter, refreshing cocktails. There’s nothing better than a good mojito.
Blueberry lemon cake has always been one of my favorite desserts. It’s sweet and tart in perfect balance, and I love it.
Both of these flavors remind me of spring. When the weather started warming up here in Iowa, I started craving blueberry and lemon, but in a cocktail.
The first cocktail that came to my mind was a blueberry lemon drop. This isn’t a bad cocktail at all. But it just didn’t sound like it would hit the spot.
I wanted something more refreshing than sweet.
So why not a mojito? They’re my favorite summer cocktail. Mojitos are delicious. Blueberry and lemon both go well with mint, so I figured: Let’s do this!
How To Make a Blueberry Lemon Mojito
How To Make Blueberry Syrup
The first thing I had to do was to create the blueberry syrup. I have mentioned in a couple of other videos when I make fruit syrups, I like to use less sugar than others.
I just think there is enough sugar in the fruit to make up for using less sugar. Some fruits seem to have more sweetness than others.
Blueberries are less sweet than strawberries and pineapples. So I did use some more sugar than my usual recipe to get the delicate blueberry flavor to pop.
My final recipe for blueberry syrup was 12 ounces for fresh blueberries, 8 ounces of boiled water, and 8 ounces of sugar.
Just stick all of the ingredients into a blender for 15 seconds. Then run the syrup through a fine-mesh strainer and cool it in the fridge. It is that easy to make this syrup.
Once the blueberry syrup was chilled and ready, it was time to make the mojito. I started with our classic mojito recipe, but subbed the simple syrup for the blueberry one. Then I switched out the lime for lemon, because I think lime would overshadow that light blueberry flavor.
Honestly, it worked great!! There was no need to mess around with the ratios because it was exactly what I wanted.
When I took chemistry in high school, I asked my teacher: When will I use this? I don’t remember their answer, but I bet they didn’t expect me to use it for cocktails.
Making this clarified daiquiri proves chemistry can be fun.
In November 2019, Riley and I went to Dallas, Texas, to visit a friend and go to a concert. There aren’t many bands I’d travel 900 miles (one way) to see, but Cave In is one of them.
We wanted to have cocktails before the show because that’s what you do when you’re in your (late) 30’s, but you’re still metal.
So, I Googled the best cocktail bar in the area. Hide was number one on the list, was voted best cocktail bar in Dallas 2019, and it was close to the concert venue.
We got to Hide, and each ordered something different to share with the group. Ah, the good ol’ days…
All of the drinks were top-notch. But, something stood out on the menu. They were using ph-balanced and clarified ingredients.
We will go over ph-balanced cocktails in a future episode.
I asked the bartender what clarified meant. He explained the short version of removing the color and other impurities of a cocktail or ingredient to help the carbonation process. Fewer impurities mean less resistance to the bubbles.
He told me he got his information from the book LIQUID INTELLIGENCE BY DAVE ARNOLD, which I happened to have at home.
So, I’ve been experimenting with clarifying cocktails since we got back from Dallas.
When COCKTAIL TIME WITH KEVIN KOS recently released their clarified lemon juice video, I got inspired again and decided to make myself a clarified daiquiri.
It is COLD here in Iowa. The negative temperatures and added wind chills have me wishing for warmer weather, a beach, and a nice cocktail. Since I can only have one of those things right now, I figured I could at least embrace the tropical spirit with a Painkiller.
I haven’t had great luck when I’ve ordered Painkillers in the past. I love all of the flavors individually and have always hoped the drink would be good. Still, I was disappointed time and time again.
But, I’ve had a lot of free time in the past year, so I decided to try to make my own. And WOW! What a drink
The Painkiller I made was delicious! So, why were all of the ones I had tried before SO BAD?
I decided that it was probably a bad combination of store-bought juices and poor rum choice that made them so…mediocre.
So I figured I’d play around with the recipe and make a simple, upgraded version. My goal wasn’t to make the original cocktail better. Because it’s pretty awesome as is when you use fresh ingredients and a good rum. I just wanted to experiment with some of the elements and make a unique version of the drink.
My first choice was to reduce the amount of orange juice. I wanted this upgrade to be a little less citrusy and a little boozier. So I started with 3 ounces of OJ.
Then I set my sights on improving the pineapple component by using fresh pineapple. I cored the fruit and put it in our ninja blender with all of the expressed juice and 2 oz of homemade coconut cream.
After blending it all together, I had a great coconut and pineapple puree to add texture, flavor, and a little sweetness. I think this combination made my Painkiller less syrupy and added a lovely freshness to the cocktail.
Since I had reduced the amount of coconut by adding it to the pineapple puree, I needed to find a way to incorporate a little more into the drink.
What better way to add coconut than fat washing your spirit? I used a virgin, unrefined coconut oil to fat wash Bacardi Gold rum. In 6 ounces of the rum, I added 2 ounces of melted coconut oil and let that sit in the freezer for 12 hours. When I pulled it out, I used a coffee filter to strain out all of the hardened coconut oil and was left with a delightfully subtle coconut rum.
I also decided to use Plantation Pineapple rum and charred pineapple bitters to make the pineapple pop a little more.
This is an excellent alternative to the original Painkiller recipe.