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Mixers, Water, Ice and Glasses

All of the ingredients in a cocktail contribute to the experience.


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Old 12-13-2007, 12:25 PM   #1
Matusalem
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Default The essentials thread. . .

I thought I'd start a thread to see what members have found to be an essential part of their own personal rum & / or cocktail experiences & routines. As I hope it implied, "personal" does not necessarily imply something you are trying to stipulate as an item or tool "we" or others must subscribe to but rather things you find essential to your own needs.

I'll later place some pictures, (when I get a moment), of some of the wilder or most important components I've integrated into my routine but I thought it would be fun in a sense of sharing to hear & see some of what the rest of us manic-obsessives have been employing - all for the sake of research and advancement.

P.S. it doesn't have to be rums. I'd like to hear about everything from sugars to fruits for infusion to containers and raw ingredients we find essential to our, ummm how could I say it, scientific research necessities.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 12-15-2007, 10:10 AM   #2
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I need to always have a bottle of syrup with Tahitian vanilla and another with simple syrup and/or Rock candy syrup. Then I need to have a bottle of Falernum. I make my own of these.
I buy the Tahitian vanilla in bulk over the internet and use it for many things.
Then comes the bitters, right now I only have the Angostura..

Glasses are important, i need to have my tiki glass for the tiki drinks and my little ti punch glass. Then I have other drink glasses that I use as well, like hurricane glass.Along with the glasses are my swizzle sticks, I have a few from Trader Vics (the paddle and the menehune) and some from Polynesia.

Fresh limes is also a staple. Then when it comes to the fruit juices, they vary of course, just like the decorations for drinks. I like to use a lot of fresh mixed fruit juice.

Ice..I`m a orchid grower and grow my plants in a large wardian case at home, so I have a reverse osmosis device and that water tastes very good and I use it to make ice as well. A bit odd maybe..but I have orchid growing friends who use it for tea and coffee and swear by it..so in our world its normal..

Now on to the rums, I need to have a few fine sipping rums, a few good mixing rums and then there is the occasional bottle of cheap rum too and then the beloved agricoles. What I lack now is a 151 rum.

Then I need to have some liquerurs..a little bit of this and a little bit of that.
These are the things I find to be the most necessary for my own scientific research necessities...but iґm almost fogetting my books.. I need to have books too of course..very important.
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Old 12-17-2007, 02:21 PM   #3
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I see you have your necessities too, Tiare!

Here are a few examples of some items I use quite often:

This Heritage Palms Coconut Sugar is by far my favorite sugar related ingredient. It's a bit expensive by sugar standards (close to $7 per half pound), so I don't generally use for bigger volume uses. It possesses a unique flavor with a slightly wood smokiness. What impresses me most with this particular sugar is its versatility. It's very well pronounced but never over-burdens or conflicts with other subtle flavors. This has obviously become a must have for myself:



Beneath are some other sugars that are common that I keep for various uses & experiments:



Yes, I know it's not exactly "fresh" and only 60% or so Coconut nectar, but this comes in very handy. This is the most used, but I go through a handful of Knudsen nectars. These work very well with rums (imho):



A very lousy picture (I'm a poor photographer, and I mean poor in every sense of the word, LOL). I"ll try to capture these better and replace this photo later. These are examples of bottles I use for infusion and flavoring purposes as well as for storage when I want to shave off surface air from bigger bottles. These are made in France, .375 bottles which thus far, worked out to be a good volume for me to work with.

What makes these a necessity for myself is they have had excellent cork integrity for the duration I've used them. Some of the bottles are older and well used, but they always exhibit a champagne pop when ever the cork is removed. They also are very sleek meaning they don't hog up too much lateral space. These too have become "Must See T.V." for me.


______________________________________________



As time permits, I'll attempt to add some of my other rituals.

Last edited by Matusalem; 12-22-2007 at 02:56 PM.
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Old 12-18-2007, 04:39 PM   #4
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This sugar, Billingtons..I have been trying to find it here but it seems impossible but maybe iI can find it online. I would like to try it. There is another brand of sugar here that I can find that is called Lyle&Tate, it`s very good.
I have sometimes bought palmsugar in Thai grocery stores but never seen coconut-palmsugar, does it have a mixed taste of both palmsugar and coconut then?
I make my own vanilla sugar with Lyle&Tate´s light brown and dark brown sugars and Tahitian vanilla beans and that sugar I also use to make syrup.
I`m also a coconut "nut" and I think this coconut nectar looks soo yummy!
Some of that coconut nectar with a syrup made from those sugars in a tiki drink with some good rums would be something!
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Old 12-18-2007, 07:43 PM   #5
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I have the Billington's sugars as well (well, the molasses and demerara sugars).

Where do you get your bottles? Those looks so much nicer than my mason jars.
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Old 12-18-2007, 08:27 PM   #6
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I got the bottles at a local grocer. They list as "vinegar bottles", but I think they look quite a lot like some Eaux De Vie bottles I've seen and been through. These are made in France, $1.95 each - so probably not as cheap as mason jars.
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Old 12-23-2007, 10:06 AM   #7
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Some olive oils has nice bottles, and vinegars, juices and ketchups..
Here there is a orange juice that has a nice bottle which I save when they are empty. I`m going to make a whole range of rhum arrangи in them.I started with the first one recently, its made with Depaz blanc and Tahitian vanilla, banana, ginger and cinnamon.
There is another thing I want to add to my essentials and that is a ice crusher.
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Old 12-23-2007, 12:31 PM   #8
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I've been meaning to add something to this thread but haven't had time to find and post the images so I'll add them later.

In addition to wide mouth bottles, they're easier to get fruit in and out, for infusions, I keep an assortment of glasses for different drinks. I keep my smallest glasses for sips of the oldest rums to share with friends. Larger glasses are for sipping rum on the rocks or with a little water.

In the French islands I discovered sugar cane syrup and since it wasn't available in the US, I began importing it under the Petite Canne label. It isn't sold everywhere but I expect distribution to expand next year.

And last but not least I keep a few swizzle sticks for stirring my ti punch. These naturally grown swizzle sticks are hard to get and add a little magic to cocktails.
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Old 12-23-2007, 03:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward Hamilton View Post
In addition to wide mouth bottles, they're easier to get fruit in and out, for infusions
This is a point worth noting. Depending on what fruit and how much you want to preserve its natural state, the bottles I featured are not as practical as mason or wider mouthed jars / bottles.

The cane syrup looks interesting - I'm yet to see anything other than the common Stirring's 'simple' type.
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Old 12-23-2007, 09:30 PM   #10
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I would love to get my hands on some swizzle sticks.......can they be found on line at all?
I also like to use the right glasses....I even have some of the small Ti Punch glasses I brought home from the Islands. I am lucky to have Petite Canne sugar cane syrup, but I would have to say that I will keep a supply. This is a must for the Ti Punch.
One essential I dont have is an ice crusher, another is a good bar set i.e;
shaker, etc. I have not found a full set I like yet, the one I have is not very good.
I must always have high quality wooden matches to light my cigars,
or cedar strips. The ritual of preparing my drink and lighting my cigar is important to me.
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