Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Dos Lunas reposado tequila

Originally uploaded by Lokis world
Today a discussion about Dos Lunas Reposado tequila. The is a newcomer to the premimum tequila market. Accoding to the company the tequila is produced by Tequilas del Senor in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico under direction from Dos Lunas. Dos Lunas is headquartered in El Paso, Texas.

The reposado is aged for nine months in new American oak barrels and used bourbon barrels.

Our initial tasting neat was a bit hot, but a smooth finish. Hints of cocoa aroma and coconut surprised us. There is a wonderful organic flavor that is very difficult to place. Somewhere between wet sandy minerals and fruit. We added a few pieces of chipped ice and the flavors became more clear and wonderful.

Our favorite way of serving this fine tequila is over ice with a splash of soda water. It treates you with a very clean, slightly bubbly, organic and flavorful agave.

The reposado scored 94 points at the 2006 International Review of Spirits in Chicago, a year before full production came on line. We can see why. This is our favorite reposado to date. In fact we can't wait to get our grubby mits on the next bottle. The only flaw is the strange top used on the bottle. The cork that rests under the copper colored cap feels like it will snap off at any time. But hey, if the cork is the only thing we have to critique, its all good for Dos Lunas.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Bison Grass Vodka

Originally uploaded by Lokis world
This is a Polish vodka called Zubrowka and is a dry herb flavored vodka distilled from rye. The spirit is mixed with a small addition of Hierochloe odorata, also known as Bison Grass. The grass grows in portions of Poland and Blearus. Each bottle has a decorative blade of bison grass in the bottle, but it does not add anything to the drink.

Bison grass contains a toxic compound coumarin which is prohibited by the FDA and thus caused the drink to be banned in 1978 to the US. By nurtalizing the comound and making Bison Grass Vodka coumarin- free, the US is now able to bring the flavor of Bison grass vodka back.

We found this bottle in Cleveland, OH. I have not seen it anywhere else yet. We drank it neat and on ice. I was surprised by the flavors. Vanilla and fresh cut grass was the dominate flavor. Coconut and almond came through in the finish. I am not a lover of flavored sprits, but this is so unique that it should be tried if you can find it. I assume the green color is an artificial coloring agent.

Some believe bison grass contains an aphrodesiac....perhaps...give it a try and tell me what you think.

Traditionally, the bison grass vodka is mixed with apple juice, a drink known in Poland as Tatanka and in Britian as a Frisky Bison.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Tres Generaciones by Sauza

Up this week is a Reposado tequila by Sauza called Tres Generaciones. What a delight this was. $32 USD and well worth every penny. Very smooth, slight oak flavor with hints of pear and vanilla. Wonderful finish that gives a warm fuzzy feeling. Normally I run from big name barands with huge marketing budgets but this one is good. 100% Agave and a beautiful clear amber color. Two big thumbs up.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Tails of the Merman: The Exciting Conclusion

Well, E33's project is finally over, such fun to partake in. A sequel? Wait and see.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Ti-Toki Liqueur

Originally uploaded by Lokis world
Lets talk exotic liqueurs. Ti-toki liqueur from New Zealand is made from Titoki berries, kawakawa and manuka leaves. It is a sweet liqueur reminding me of Licor 43 or Nassau Royal. It has hints of vanilla, but after that the tastes become exotic. Hard to describe but it is mellow and almost flat at first. The tastes open up as you continue to sip it. After a few sips the flavors become more complex, but still undescribable, especially to those of us, not used to New Zealand herbs, and flavors. The flavor of manuka is clear in this liqueur. Manuka is a native shrub or small tree to New Zealand and southeast Australia. Manuka is a Maori word, but the Australians call it tea tree, probably from Captain Cook who used the leaves to make a tea drink in his early explorations of New Zealand. Manuka contain high antibacterial potency and the plants have been used by the Maoris as a natural medicine.
The Ti-toki liqueur company produces the product in a hand crafted tekoteko crock. A tekoteko is a Maori term for a full figured human form. They are usually found attached to a gable of the whare (house), or freestanding close to the whare. They are usually carved with the tongue outstreched and contain paua shell inlayed eyes to ward off intruders. The crock is available in a 500ml capacity or can be purchased in a glass bottle for less money. The crock comes with a cork that must be opened with a wine screw, but they give you a cork cap after the original has been removed. The bottle cost about $60 USD. Thankfully this one was a gift.
It tastes great straight, but if you add one part Ti-toki to 3 parts ginger beer it is a home run.
Exotic, fun and you get a cool Maori tekoteko to watch over your bar to keep away evil spirits (Barcardi).
Kia Ora.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

El Tesoro Platinum tequila

El Tesoro Platinum
Originally uploaded by Lokis world
A few weeks ago I ran out of tequila and found myself in my happy place...the liquor store. I have been enjoying good tequila lately and have been trying out different brands. Patron Silver has been popular in the house, but I know there are better deals out there. The selection of tequila is large. First you need to decide what tatste you are looking for.
Blanco or white, silvers or platinums have a more mellow, less classic tequila flavor. They are un-aged and immediately stored after distillation or aged less than two months in oak barrels.
Oro of Gold is un aged blanco blended with rested or aged tequilas and often use caramel coloring or sugar based syrup or oak extract for added color to resemble an more aged tequila.
Reposado is aged a minimum of two months but less than a year in oak barrels giving is a golden color with hints of oak flavor.
Anejo is aged a miniumum of one year, but less than 3 in oak barrels.
Extra Anejo is aged a minimum of three years in oak barrels.
I prefer to drink a nicer tequila shaken with ice and served in a large shot glass. Cold is nice and the small added water from the ice melt helps bring out the flavors. Some prefer to bite into a lime wedge after drinking the tequila, but when tasting I will omit the lime to keep the flavors pure.
This round I tried the El Tesoro Platinum. They have been making fine tequila for 71 years. Don Felipe built La Altena in the mountains of Jalisco, Mexico in 1937 and his family continues to produce award winning tequila the old way.
I was very impressed with this tequila. Exceptionally smooth, with no mouth burn. The swallow is wonderful and the flavors are sublte and crisp. The price point of $28 USD makes this a true winner. Cheap enough to mix with, but equally wonderful to sip. Look out Patron silver, this one has you beat.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Lemon Hart and El Dorado showdown

Today we have a little head to head throwdown comparing my favorite type of rum, Demerara. Demerara rum is made in Guyana on the northern portion of South America. The country has three major rivers with the Demerara being the centrally located one. It ends in Georgetown and spills into the Atlantic. The flood plain region surrounding the river creates an oasis for growing demerara sugar cane, the same sugar used in making Demerara rum. The rum has a strong molassas flavor and a beautiful dark brown color. Demerara rum is an essential ingrediant in many tiki drinks and if you can find it, must be a staple in your home bar.
A good friend brought me a bottle of Lemon Hart which is like gold in my neck of the woods. It is a very difficult rum to find and when he showed up with it, I had to compare it to the El Dorado brand that is available to me.
El Dorado makes a 5, 12, 15 and 21 year old. The 15 is of such high quality that it is rarely used for mixing drinks. Straight up or on the rocks is the best method for serving it. Mellow and smooth the taste is wonderful. I use the 5 year old for most of my drinks calling for Demerara. It's cheap, very tasty and adds the necessary molassas flavor to the drinks. There is no alternative when Demerara is called for. El Dorado is a young distiller, founded in 1992, but they use the locally grown demerara sugar and have done a wonderful job at producing a high quality rum.
Lemon Hart was founded in 1804. It has a long history of distilling, but it has become very diffucult to find, especially in the Southern US states. I was so anxious to pit these two head to head and find out if the Lemon Hart lived up to its reputation. Like El Dorado, Lemon Hart also sells gold, white, 5, 12, 15, and 21 year old rum, all made with locally grown demerara sugar. This battle is between the 5 year old El Dorado and the regular Lemon Hart. There is no age on it, but it is probably a mix of young and old making comparable to the 5 year old El Dorado.
The color test. Both are deep brown as expected with any Demerara rum. The Lemon Hart is deeper in color. Both have great long lasting legs around the glass and both are very similar in aroma. The Molassas shines in the aroma. At first taste the Lemon Hart is more complex in it's flavors. It is similar to the El Dorado, but there is just more there. Both benefit from a few chips of ice. This brings the flavors to life. The Lemon Hart takes first place, but not by much. Perhaps because I'm used to the El Dorado and the Lemon Hart is slightly more complex. I will make a Mai Tai with both later to see how they mix. Both are great, and I'm glad to have finally had the chance to give the Lemon Hart a go. Bottom line. You need Demerara in your bar, no matter what brand you can find.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Start of the 2008 12 Hours of Sebring on turn 1

Alright racing fans, the start of the ALMS season is now underway. The 56th running of the 12 Hours of Sebring is in the history books. Congratulations go to Porsche and Penske Racing for an outstanding overall victory. Porsche won it's first overall victory in 20 years and its great to see them back on top of the game.Lots of photos of the race can be found on my flickr site.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Audi R8 at Sebring 2002

Audi R8 in pit lane.
Originally uploaded by Lokis world
This is the Champion Racing Audi R8 taken from the pit box during a night practice. This car finished 2nd overall 1 lap behind the winning Audi R8. It was driven by Andy Wallace, Stefan Johansson and Jan Lammers. It started 5th with a qualifying time of 1:50.797. The reflective graphics really pic up the flash nicely. No photoshop here folks.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Saleen S7-R #010R

Originally uploaded by Lokis world
With the 2008 running of the 12 Hours of Sebring happening next weekend, I thought I'd blog some of the past cars that ran in the 12 Hour race.
This beauty is the Graham Nash Motorsport (GB) Saleen S7-R driven by Nigel Smith, Rich Sutherland and Ricky Cole. This photo was taken on the outside of turn 1 early in the race. The team finished 25th overall, but did not finish due to an accident.

The Saleen S7 is the first car produced by Saleen not based on an existing design. It was built and designed from the ground up. They dubuted in late 2000. From 2000 until 2004 the S7 was a naturally aspirated V8 engine producing 550 horsepower. In 2005 the S7 was replaced by the S7 Twin Turbo and produced 750 horsepower with and estimated top speed of 200mph.
The body of the car is made from carbon fiber and with its many scoops and spoilers that created a split chanel airflow throughout the car in theory at 160mph the car would produce enough downfroce to drive upside down.

The S7-R is the racing version of the S7 and has competed in the American Le Mans Series, FIA GT Championship, and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The S7-R has always been a fan favorite with its sleek looks, sporting about 20 gills and scoops and producing a great low rumble as it speeds by.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Flying Scot

Flying Scot
Originally uploaded by Lokis world
1 oz. Scotch
1 oz. Sweet Vermouth
1/4 oz. Simple Syrup
2-4 dashes bitters (Peychauds or Angostura)
Pour over cracked ice, and enjoy.

This drink really shows off the importance of the Vermouth. If you are undecided about your taste for Sweet Vermouth, give this a go as the scotch tones it down. Adjust the vermouth to your tastes. In this version I used Peychauds bitters that give a more orange flavor than Angostura and its herbal flavor.

El Diablo

El Diablo
Originally uploaded by Lokis world
My version:
1.5 oz. Tequila
.5 oz. fresh lime
.5 oz. Creme De Cassis
Pour each ingrediant over cracked ice, stir. Some recieps call for ginger ale to be added.

If you've ever had a "Shrub" drink, you will like this one.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Brown Anole Lizard

Hey lizzard?
Originally uploaded by Lokis world
I figured it was time to put an animal on the Modern Hobbit and what better than the good ole' Brown Anole (Anolis sagrei). The Brown Anole is not native to the United States, but has become well established in South Florida. They more than likely migrated via cargo ships importing fruits and veggies from South America. This fellow (probably a female) and a thousand more like it was photographed in my backyard sunning itself on a broad leaf. The brown anole varies in coloration ranging from all browns, to creams, some have stripes, chevrons and triangles along the back. We often watch them clean up the yard of insects including ants, roaches and any other small insect that crosses their path. Harmless and fun to watch, we enjoy their bravado and welcome them.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Johnnie Walker Green

Originally uploaded by Lokis world
With the current Whiskey/Whisky binge I thought I'd break out my stash of Johnnie Walker Green. Sadly I'm getting close to the bottom and with a $50USD price tag, it may not get replaced. Not because it's not worth it, but there are so many to be tried. Tough life I tell you.

Anyway, JW Green is a vatted malt whisky consisting of a blend of around 15 individual malts, including Talisker (The only distillery on the Isle of Sky, and famous for a salty, high peat content), Cragganmore (a Speyside regional Scotch), Linkwood and Caol Ila(From Islay region with floral and peppery notes). All Johnnie Walker Scotch Whisky is produced in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, Scotland. Where it gets confusing is that most Johnnie Walker Scotch is a collection of Single blends from different distileries, its the joining of specific single malts that give each blended Scotch their distinctive flavors.

The taste is very pleasant with the characteristic peaty flavor you should expect from a Scotch Whisky. It is very smooth and has a caramel finish and a pleasant mouth burn. I always enjoy a few ice cubes as most Scotch comes alive with the ice melt. This bottle was a gift and was purchased in a Duty Free store, so the price paid was around $40 making it worthy of purchase. There are more pleasing Scotch whiskys in the $50 range in my humble opinion. It's good, and I'm very glad to have enjoyed drinking it.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Irish Whiskey Flight

Irish Whiskey Flight
Originally uploaded by Lokis world
My loyal readers...(if there are any of you out there), it's time for another Flight of booze. A few months ago I did a tequila flight using the three common Patron versions. Interestingly, it is one of my most viewed blog entries. Well, with St. Patrick's day coming up next month I thought an Irish Whiskey flight was in order.

I'm no expert on Whiskey, but I enjoy them. I drink what I like and that's all I can do is tell you my opinion for what its worth.

The word whiskey is an ancient Gaelic term "uisce beatha", translated as "Water of life". I'm sold already. When refering to Irish Whiskey there is an "E" between the k and y. All other whiskies from any other region is spelled Whisky. With the exception of American Whiskeys, that must use at least one E in the name.

The three Irish Whiskeys in this flight are Kilbeggan, Tullamore Dew, and Powers Gold Label. These are all blended. Most Irish Whiskeys are distilled three times and aged in wooden casks for a period of not less than three years. The Kilbeggan is distilled twice as are all whiskeys distilled at Cooley Distillery.All three use unpeated malt (which makes them sweeter than Scotch Whisky). All cost less than $20USD per .750.

All were tasted using two ice cubes, allowing some water to be added due to ice melt. I usually enjoy tasting this way, as the flavors and aromas seem to come alive as ice melt it added.

Kilbeggan-Medium color, very pleasant aroma, had a nice oakey taste, became very mellow as the ice melted. IMO, it was the most well rounded of this group.

Powers Gold Label-This was the darkest of the three in color, but only slightly. There is a slight medicinal aroma, followed by oak. Of the three the Powers had the most punch of flavor. You just knew you were drinkng Whiskey with this one. It has the characteristic sweet flavor expected from whiskey.

Tullamore Dew- The coolest name by far. It was the most mellow of the three. Almost like drinking water with no bite or punch. Almost to a fault. We felt it had a flat finish. Just not a lot going on in terms of the classic whiskey taste. Don't get me wrong, it's good, but if you want flavor this is not the one for you. If you want to try your first Irish Whiskey, this may be a good starting point.

When we do the next flight, we will try some of the single malt whiskeys.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Gulf-Mirage M-6

Me wants one
Originally uploaded by Lokis world
I believe this is the Gulf-Mirage M-6 that raced in 1973. This was one of John Wyers cars in the famous Gulf sponsored livery. JWA raced Ford GT-40's, Porsche 917 and the Mirages using this famous color scheme during the late 1960's and early 70's.
The M-6 was introduced in the eary 70's and were powered by a V8 Ford/Cosworth engin setup that produced 445 horsepower. They raced in the Group 5 Sports Car class (IMSA) and made its first appearance in the 1972 12 Hours of Sebring. Previous versions of the Mirage dated back to the M1 model in 1967. There are only 5 or 6 left today.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

FIA GT Championship Sebring Octoberfest 1997

Wow, this is fun digging through old race pics. Here we have the McLaren F1 GTR #020R-BMW V12 powered machine that raced for the first and only time in the US during the Octoberfest FIA GT Championship on October 18, 1997. The race was a 3 hour enduro.
This event was historical as it was the first time many of the FIA GT cars raced in the US.
This team was sponsored by Gulf Team Davidoff (GB) . This car was driven by Pierre-Henri Raphanel (F)/Jean-Marc Gounon (F), and finished 5th (2 laps behind the winner). I remember this race well because it rained the entire time. It was still great seeing these awesome machines zipping by, shooting up their rooster tails.
I'll keep posting pics of this event to show off some of the other great cars that participated.

Monday, January 28, 2008

12 Hours of Sebring 1979 Porsche 935

This past weekend I was at the 46th running of the 24 Hours of Daytona. Great race as usual and its the kickoff to the 2008 racing season. Now, I'm in race mode much to the Chagrin of the wife. I was digging through some old photos and stumbled on this beauty. This is from the 1979 12 Hours of Sebring and shows the second place overall car of Brian Redman, Paul Miller, and Charles Mendez. The car has just come off of turn 17 and is on the front straight.
Redman was attempting a repeat victory in a Porsche 935 and some slight mechanical problems allowed Bob Akin to take the 1979 victory.
Porsche has long been a dominate marquee in auto racing, and is still the most winning manufacturer at Sebring with 17 overall victories. The 935 was a dominate model in the late 70's and early 80's during the great IMSA days. This photo is a great example of the aerodynamic body work they were experimenting with.
If anyone has stories on this please comment.
I will be posting more vintage photos as I get them scanned.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Boilermaker

Originally uploaded by Lokis world
The Boilermaker traditionally is a shot of whiskey, tequila or vodka and a glass of beer. There are many ways to drink the boilermaker. Drinking the shot of liquor and chased by the beer. Pouring the liquor into the glass or the Depth Charge, dropping the shot into the glass of beer causing the carbonation to fizz at a quick rate forcing a quick consumption. Normally I would associate this type of drinking behavior to the college kid or serious bar fly. However, a shot of amaretto gently dropped into a nice quality beer makes for a fine afternoon drink. The 'college' version of this is called a Flaming Dr. Pepper in which the young drunk tops his beer with 151 proof rum and lights it with his trusty zippo. So, give it try and enjoy.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Tiger Milk

Tiger Milk
Originally uploaded by Lokis world
Living in South Florida does not allow us the opportunity to enjoy a hot adult beverage very often. Our temps dropped today to a balmy 39F and it was time to try out something warm and yummy.

This recipe comes from Jeff Berrys Sippin Safari must have book. http://www.amazon.com/Beachbum-Berrys-Sippin-Safari-Cocktail/dp/B000TSI2O4

This recipe is a double and contains a batter that you must make.

3 oz. Virgin Island rum- Cruzan dark works great.
2 Tablespoons of Tiger Cream*
6 whole cloves
2 strips of orange peel
8 oz. almost boiling water

Add the rum, cloves, Tiger cream, orange peel and slowly pour the hot water in the mug. I liked using a straw so you are not constantly getting the cloves in your mouth.

*Tiger Cream
This makes a large batch of cream and will last a few weeks in a tupperwear container.
1 stick of soft butter (4oz.)
16 oz. Clover Honey
15 oz. Lopez Coconut Cream
Cream all this gooey mess together and you have one tasty sticky mess.

Honolulu Cocktail

Honolulu Cocktail
Originally uploaded by Lokis world
Greetings and Happy New Year. Lets start out with this tasty little number. I know little about the history of the drink so if you know, share it... dig?

3/4 oz. Gin
3/4 oz. Benedictine
3/4 oz. Maraschino*
Stir with ice, strain and serve in a cocktail glass.

Our initial reaction to the drink was complex flavors, but just too sweet. We added a dash or two of bitters and this balanced out the drink for us. We are not sweet drink fans, so if you like em toned down use the bitters. It made for a great aperitif, so one should do you well.

*Maraschino is a clear, relatively dry liqueur made from Marasca cherries, including the crushed pits which give it a subtle bitter almond flavor. The cherries are processed and distilled much like brandy, and later combined with a pure cane syrup before it is aged and filtered.

There are several distillers of this liqueur, but one of the foremost brands are produced by the Italian company Luxardo.

Maraschino liqueur should not be confused with the juice from Maraschino cherries or other cherry liqueurs, that are both much sweeter.

Just who is this Loki?