Old New Orleans – Cajun Spice

From the oldest distillery in the states, today I’m tasting Old New Orleans Cajun Spice rum. So far I’ve only tasted their Amber, and it was definitely interesting to say the least. With this rum, it is 2 for 2 so far for interesting rums. But read on, because you just might love this one.

Distillers Notes:

The Cajun Spice Rum is one of our most popular rums. Unlike many spiced rums, rather than creating a syrup and blending it into our rum, we take the popular baking spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, ginger, vanilla, chicory and cayenne and create, essentially, a tea bag and steep our rum in the seasonings for 4-6 weeks. Producing a flavorful, but delicate bodied rum. This rum is really great in not only holiday cocktails, but in tiki-inspired cocktails.

 

  • Nation: Louisiana, USA
  • Color: Clear yellow gold, lighter that I would expect.
  • Aroma: Lowers my guard leading off with butterscotch but follows with a swift and brutal 1-2-3-4 punch of cinnamon, all spice, clove, and ginger.
  • Flavor: It will kick in your door and ransack your kitchen leaving crumbling pieces of ginger snaps and dry-wall all over your nice clean floor.
  • Finish: Thin and tingly, about what you would expect from a spicy baked good.
  • Notes: It’s damn spicy. Smoother than the Amber. If you like ginger snaps, you could probably drink this straight. However I hate ginger snaps! This is probably a fantastic mixer in all those holiday style cocktails. If you like ginger and cinnamon you will absolutely love this. If you hate those things, then you have no reason to ever buy this rum.
  • Rating: C+*

*Honestly, this could be anything. The rum itself is smooth and drinks well. I have friends who will only drink this rum. But if you just don’t like ginger (ME) then you just won’t like this.


Find it Locally:

By the Bottle:

  • Q Liquor
  • Martin’s Wine Cellar
  • Calandro’s Supermarket
  • Acquistapace’s Covington Supermarket
  • Old New Orleans doesn’t list any distributors online, but I feel like I’ve seen it at neighborhood grocery stores like Rouse’s.

By the Glass:

  • Olive or Twist
  • The Rum House
  • Again, nothing is listed online, but this is a pretty popular local rum and should be easy to get at your local watering hole.

I do tastings with a wide mouth rocks glass with a slight taper because I like the way it feels in my hands. I start with 2oz, neat, then add an ice cube to bring out subtler flavors and aromas.

A Trio of Mardi Gras Cocktails

Mardi Gras is just around the corner! I wanted to do something special for what is undoubtedly Louisiana’s most famous celebration! It wasn’t until I was 12 or 13 that I realized that Mardi Gras was not a national holiday. Everywhere else it’s just another Tuesday, but in New Orleans, it’s a day for celebration, for drinking with friends, and a day when New Orleans’ true colors can shine.

For the special occasion, I put together 3 Mardi Gras inspired cocktails to get you in the carnival spirit, even if where you are, it is just another Tuesday.

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The colors of Mardi Gras go back as far as 1872. Purple stands for justice (for when you give a great catch to a nearby kid who fell), green for faith (for when you pray that the bathroom has TP), and gold for power (to make it through the marathon of carnival season). They also happen to be the colors of two “rival” Louisiana schools, LSU (purple & gold) and Tulane (green). The rumor is that LSU was looking to new school colors, saw a store stocked up on Mardi Gras decorations, and went with purple and gold, since Tulane was already green. I have no idea if that’s true, but it does make it easy when your football team matches your carnival outfit.

Inspired by the true colors of Mardi Gras, I developed a trio of drinks you can show off come Fat Tuesday. Meet: Rosemari Gras, Parade Route, and Throw Bee Something.

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Purple: Rosemari Gras

  • 2oz Roulaison Clear Rum
  • 2oz Blueberry Simple Syrup (see end of post for recipe)
  • 1oz Lime Juice
  • Rosemary Garnish
  • Top with Sparkling Water

Add rosemary and lime juice to a shaker and attempt to muddle. Add rum and blueberry syrup. Shake well and double strain* over ice in a rocks glass. Top with sparkling water and garnish with a fresh rosemary sprig.

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Green: Parade Route

  • 1.5oz Parade Rum Argente
  • 0.75oz Lime Juice
  • 0.5oz Crème de Menthe
  • Tablespoon of Cane Sugar
  • Mint Garnish
  • Top with Sparkling water

Add mint leaves, cane sugar, and lime juice to a shaker and gently muddle. Add rum and Crème de Menthe. Shake well and double strain* over ice in a highball glass. Top with sparkling water and garnish with a fresh mint sprig.

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Gold: Throw Bee Something

  • 1.5oz Old New Orleans Amber Rum
  • 0.75oz Lemon Juice
  • 0.75oz Honey

Add everything to a shaker and shake well. Serve in a chilled coupe glass and look fancy.


Blueberry Simple Syrup:

  • 3/4 cup blueberries
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup cane sugar

One package of blueberries ended up being about 3/4 of a cup, which is why these measurements are kinda weird. Feel free to scale up if needed. Recipe resulted in about 8oz of syrup.

Rinse blueberries. Add all ingredients to a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce to low and simmer for 15ish minutes. Let cool and strain through a fine mesh strainer. Put in a pretty bottle or something. Enjoy!

People always say simple syrup lasts 2-3 days in the fridge, but I usually enjoy it for about 2 weeks and I haven’t died or anything.


* I double strain because I absolutely hate little bits of things in my drinks. You could regular strain if you want, or if you don’t have a fine mesh strainer.

Old New Orleans – Amber

We’re back in the new year with a new rum from the first rum distiller to open in the US since prohibition, Old New Orleans! This is their flagship gold rum, aged for 3-7 years in bourbon and whiskey barrels, then blended. Nothing seemed to make sense to me in my tasting as the glass was so full of contradictions. It actually might be kinda of fun to try with friends and see how many different flavors you can find.

We take our Crystal rum, at 140-150 proof, and store it in certified bourbon barrels procured from various bourbon and whiskey distilleries throughout Tennessee and Kentucky. We receive barrels in wet (still with the devil’s cut inside to keep the barrel conditioned) Our Amber is aged for a minimum of 3 years and up to 7 years in this blend. We do a blend so that we can offer a consistent, steady product. If you buy a bottle today, you can come back in a year or two and get the same product. This is your rum and coke rum. It’s also really great in your short cocktails like an old fashion, julep, bramble, It also mixes well with the crystal  to make a New Orleans Hurricane.

  • Nation:  Louisiana, USA
  • Color: Yellow Gold
  • Aroma: Butterscotch with a sharp and spicy, clove maybe, twang. Followed by something oily and burnt/roasted toffee.
  • Flavor: Different than anything I’ve tasted so far. Makes it hard to place. Grassy/funky with a baked goods, maybe sugar cookie finish.
  • Finish: Clean with a consistent burn and mouth tingle. The alcohol can be overwhelming and it took some ice calm it down.
  • Notes: Even though I’m listing sweet things, it doesn’t really taste that sweet. It’s a surprising rum, definitely different from anything I’ve had so far. Honestly, it’s a little too harsh on it’s own, and even the distiller agrees that it’s better as a mixing rum.
  • Rating: C+

Find it Locally:

By the Bottle:

  • Q Liquor
  • Martin’s Wine Cellar
  • Calandro’s Supermarket
  • Old New Orleans doesn’t list any distributors online, but I feel like I’ve seen it at neighborhood grocery stores like Rouse’s.

By the Glass:

  • Olive or Twist
  • The Rum House
  • Again, nothing is listed online, but this is a pretty popular local rum and should be easy to get at your local watering hole.

I do tastings with a wide mouth rocks glass with a slight taper because I like the way it feels in my hands. I start with 2oz, neat, then add an ice cube to bring out subtler flavors and aromas.