The Tasting Panel magazine

November 2015

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Page 85 of 136

november 2015  /  the tasting panel  /  85 dwindled down to nothing. Today, recipes call for J. Wray & Nephew Ltd.'s Appleton Estate 12-Year-Old or Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum to replicate the original recipe. J. Wray & Nephew rums continue to play a major role in the reemergence of tiki cocktails. "My first industry job was at a tiki bar four years ago. I was given a shot of Wray & Nephew and told to go clean the toilet," says Mattias Horseman, Bar Manager at Chefs Club at The St. Regis Aspen Resort. "It's still my celebratory shot to this day." Last year, Horseman took over the bar program at the esteemed restaurant that hosts a rotating roster of Best New Chefs curated by Food & Wine magazine. "The idea is they're bringing the best of the best chefs in the country," Horseman elaborates. "I wanted to bring the best of the best in the booze world—and Wray & Nephew is one of the best." Derived from sugarcane grown on the New Yarmouth Estate on the Vere Plains of Clarendon, outside of Kingston, Wray & Nephew bursts with fruity notes and complex, concentrated molasses flavors. Horseman raves: "You get passionfruit and bananas when you taste it neat. When you add water more flavors come out and you get more roasted bananas, mango, tropical fruits; add ice, you get unripe banana." With these tasting notes, it is easy to understand why Jamaicans typically pair Wray & Nephew with grapefruit soda, coconut water, cola or other fruit juice. Proud to be Overproof Wray & Nephew's crystal clear appearance might fool an imbiber upon first encounter. The rum contains a higher concentration of esters than even overproof rums that fall into the 10 to 20 ester range, yielding a high concentration of organic flavor compounds developed in the fermentation process. When 16th century British sailors—who were paid partially in rum rations—wanted proof that their spirit had not been watered down, it was doused with gunpowder. If the powder ignited, the rum was overproof—at least 57.15 ABV. Today, most spirits average between 80 and 90 proof, with overproof rums in the United States typically ranging from 100 to 151 proof; full-strength Wray & Nephew Overproof Rum is 126 proof. "Overproof rum is guaranteed to be stronger and is believed to deliver more robust flavor," says Andrew Floor, Campari Vice President of Dark Spirits. Credit Wray & Nephew's full flavor to its high ester count, which it gains from the sugarcane grown on the New Yarmouth Estate. A natural strain of yeast that is bred at the estate is added to the molasses, which is diluted with purified water with low mineral content to reduce sugar levels and allow the yeast to do its job of creating the distinctive wash dur- ing fermentation. Both copper pot and continuous column still distillation techniques are used before the resulting liquids are blended together, producing a balanced and complex rum with bold aroma, flavor and notes of pineapple and banana. "Bartenders know and love Wray & Nephew, but we want consumers worldwide to fall in love with this spirit as well," Floor says. Fire and Ice/ Snow and Rum: A Taste of the Islands in the Mountains "Rum is the Jamaican spirit," declares Mattias Horseman, Bar Manager at Chefs Club at The St. Regis Aspen Resort. He loves using Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum as a base spirit in an endless array of applications, including in conjunction with other rums like Appleton Estate. The spirits guru also runs The Cocktail Brothers, an organization that coordinates competitions and educational opportunities to help bartenders learn from one another. In that spirit of sharing, Horseman relays a few of his favorite Wray & Nephew concoctions: • I love making a Wray & Nephew Old Fashioned with passion fruit and Grand Marnier. • To make a Daiquiri-style drink, use Wray & Nephew, Velvet Falernum, Green Chartreuse and lime juice—that's it! • Instead of lime juice, use lemon juice, Wray & Nephew and simple syrup. The flavor combination is incredible. • A Blue Wray is a play on the flaming Blue Blazer (see photo, opposite) cocktail, using Wray & Nephew Overproof Rum and passion fruit—like a fireplace in a glass. The Brothers Bloom ◗ 1½ oz. Wray & Nephew Overproof Rum ◗ ¾ oz. clarified lemon juice ◗ ¾ oz. apple cider ◗ ½ oz. lavender simple syrup ◗ 2 dashes plum bitters ◗ 1 blooming jasmine tea bud (Bu Bu Gao Sheng) The Stumbler ◗ 1½ oz. Wray & Nephew Overproof Rum ◗ ½ oz. Green Chartreuse ◗ ¾ oz. lime juice ◗ ½ oz. Velvet Falernum ◗ ¼ oz. simple syrup ◗ 1 oz. pineapple juice Shaken with half a dozen mint leaves. Garnish with small mint sprig.

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