Thursday, March 1, 2012

Booze of the Week: Calypso Rum Liqueur

There's no twilight in the tropics. Night falls like a curtain. – Waldemar Young 

The palest of yellow, scented vanilla and infused with pineapple and coconut.
We are lucky this year. Yesterday we had an extra day of winter due to leap year. Can you feel the sarcasm coming through my fingers as I type?

Photo: mrjoro, Flickr ccl
If you’re like me, Spring and Summer can’t come soon enough. Unfortunately we can’t do much about the winter except sit and wait for the days to pass.

Since you have time on your hands, how about bottling some of the flavours of Summer so you’re ready when the weather actually turns warmer?

This liqueur – rum based, no less – tastes like a summer drink. Coconut, pineapple and vanilla combine to make a gentle golden liqueur that makes one think of patios, sun on your face, and vacation.

I used a "less than expensive" rum and this still turned out great. Just make sure whatever you do start with you can stomach. The "nose" is vanilla, first taste is coconut and the finish is pineapple. Quite complex, and unexpected!

Photo: I Believe I Can Fry, Flickr ccl
This recipe doesn’t even require a sugar syrup. Just put everything into the steeping jar with all the other ingredients, sit back and wait. 

The colour is the palest of yellows. I was actually surprised that almost all the colour was removed from the pineapple. The liquor often does that to steeped fruit in many liqueur recipes. A little unappetizing, but the end result is wonderful.

As always, buy top quality botanicals for your infusion. Very ripe pineapple has the best flavour (don’t use canned). Use a vanilla bean as opposed to substituting vanilla flavouring. It’s just not the same.

On the other hand, I would suggest not using fresh coconut, unless you dry your own. Desiccated coconut will soak up the rum and exchange flavour as it ages.

I drank the small glass that you see in the photograph on top. I do believe that this is well over 20% alcohol...

Try this one. It’s a keeper.

Most of the colour was gone from the pineapple after 4 weeks.
Calypso Rum Liqueur
Makes 4 x 375 ml
Two 1L Mason jars
750 ml white rum
1/2 of one whole fresh pineapple cut into thin spears
2 cups dried grated coconut
1/2 vanilla bean, split open
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup water

Divide all the ingredients equally among two Mason jars. Seal well. Age for four weeks.

Shake every day for the first week to dissolve the sugar.

After the first week, shake periodically for the remaining time. Strain and bottle.


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