Greetings everyone! It’s finally August, and by now everyone is trying to beat the heat. The summers are always a bit slower for bars here in New York, as everyone vacates the city to go upstate or down the shore on the weekends. People are slowly going back to their local watering holes, tired of rooftops and patios, searching for some cold AC and an even colder drink. I have whipped up another strong, and spirit forward cocktail, inspired by the rum old fashioned and colder nights to come.
Last year I was lucky enough to be one of the few bartenders to get their hands on Stiggin’s Fancy Pineapple Rum by Plantation, as originally it was not being produced for sale. Due to overwhelming popularity they decided to keep making it, and this year it won Best New Spirit at Tales of the Cocktail 2016. So don’t fret because you should be able to get your hands on some!
“This rum was created by Alexandre Gabriel, cellar master at Plantation and David Wondrich, author of the book Imbibe! It is a tribute to the esteemed Reverend Stiggins whose favorite drink was the “pineapple rum” in the Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens. Not intended for sale, the rum was created to share among colleagues and friends at Tales of the Cocktail 2014. “Victim” of its own success, it is now available in the United States. The manufacturing process of Stiggins’ Fancy Plantation Pineapple is complex.”
This rum is delicious and rich, with slight smoke and aromas of tropical fruit like ripe banana, pineapple, citrus peel, and a touch of spice. This spirit is so versatile, you can drink it neat, on a rock, shaken in a daiquiri, or in a spirit forward cocktail, all will yield amazing results. Plantation not only puts out some of the best and most unique rums on the market, it is brought to you by Alexandre Gabriel and the team behind Maison Ferrand, one of the oldest spirits brands in the Cognac Region of France. They are responsible for Pierre Ferrand Cognac, Citadelle Gin, and Ferrand Dry Curacao, all staples for your at home bar.
The Plantation Pineapple Rum will pair well with other tropical fruits, citrus, spices like nutmeg, clove, and allspice, others rums, cognac, and so on. I paired it with Campari, allspice liqueur, and macadamia nut. I made orgeat and will include that recipe and instructions for making your own at home, or you can buy your favorite store bought almond syrup.
Stiggin’s Fancy Old Fashioned
1 1/2 oz. Plantation Pineapple
1/2 oz. Campari
Barspoon Allspice Liqueur
Barspoon Macadamia Nut Orgeat
Add all your ingredients to a single old fashioned glass, add ice, and stir with your barspoon until all the ingredients are incorporated and the cocktails is cold. Spray and discard a lemon twist, and garnish with a pineapple leaf.
Macadamia Nut Orgeat
1 cup macadamia nuts (either raw or dry-roasted)
4 cups filtered water or boiled water
pinch salt (if nuts are unsalted)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat a large skillet on the stove over medium heat. Add the macadamia nuts in a single layer. (If they’re already toasted, we’re just re-toasting them for a minute or two to add a bit more flavor).
- Cook over medium heat, stirring very frequently, until the macadamia nuts are just starting to turn golden brown and smell fragrant. For pre-roasted nuts, this will only take a minute. For raw nuts, this will take around 3 to 5 minutes.
- Immediately transfer the toasted macadamia nuts to a blender (I use a Blendtec because they are awesome) and add the water. Let the nuts and water soak together in the blender for 30 minutes or longer if you are able.
- Blend together the macadamia nuts and water until the mixture appears very smooth.
- Strain the mixture through a nut milk bag, squeezing out as much excess liquid as you can. If you don’t have a nut milk bag you should get one. JK, just use a fine mesh sieve, layered with cheesecloth. Then later purchase a nut milk bag via amazon, it’s easy.
- After you have successfully strained all excess liquid, whisk in your salt and cinnamon.
- We want to make a 2:1 almond syrup, the 2 being the sugar and 1 being the almond milk. Measure the almond milk, if there are 4 cups of milk you will be adding 8 cups of sugar. I split the sugar half and half with white and demerara, so 4 cups of each. If you want a much richer syrup do all demerara.
- Add the almond milk and appropriate amount of sugar to a pot and simmer on stove over low heat until all sugar has dissolved.
- Add 1 oz of Faretti Liqueur (my fave), Amaretto, or Brandy, and a 1/2 tsp. of orange flower water, stir.
- Use a funnel to portion your orgeat into bottles or jars and keep in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
- Make yourself a Mai Tai later after you have the Stiggin’s Fancy Old Fashioned now that you have orgeat in the house.