This Month's Recommended Spirit Panamanian Rum
Although not as well known for its rum as the Caribbean islands, Central American rums from places such as Panama, Costa Rica and Peru are distilled with the same, if not far higher standards of quality and tradition than their more esteemed counterparts. Ron Abuelo represents the pinnacle of Central American rum production, having been in distilled since, and having strong ties to the formation of the Republic of Panama in 1908. From field to still to bottle, this rum has been produced for 3 generations by the Varela Family of the Azuero Peninsula. The unique climate of this region not only produces abundant and flavourful sugar cane, but also provides special aging conditions which give this rum a distinctive flavour profile. This complex and nuanced spirit features notes of brown sugar, toasted coconut, cinnamon, clove, caramel, dried apple, and vanilla with accents of sandalwood, providing a wonderful base to the delicious cocktails and wonderful ingredients included in this month’s box.Get a Box
TO BE OR DAIQUIRI?
In the world of cocktails, daiquiris seem to have a case of split personality. On the one hand, they appear on the menus of chain restaurants everywhere, usually in the form of goopy, over-sweetened, neon slush made from a carton of artificially flavoured syrup. On the other, in their most authentic form, they are an extremely simple, yet balanced cocktail; refreshing, boozy and a perfect canvas on which to add many different flavours and layers. As you may be able to tell by the tone of those descriptions, we at Crafty’s definitely prefer one style over the other.
At this point, our inspiration for this month’s box TO BE OR DAIQUIRI? should be fairly obvious; to clear up any misconceptions there may be about what daiquiris are and to showcase the potential they have for incorporating a plethora of tasty and unique ingredients.
The Femme Fatale Daiquiri sticks close to the tropical roots of the original drink, incorporating tiki elements such as lime and falernum syrup, spiced with ginger and clove, all layered against the complex herbal profile of aged Panamanian rum and a fragrant absinthe mist.
The Panama Libre Daiquiri takes the profile of a simple rum and Coke, also known as a Cuba Libre, and gives it a craft cocktail make-over. Ms. Better Kola bitters, raw sugar, lemon and herbaceous dried sage all come together to create a cocktail that has a familiar profile, but a much more complex depth of flavour.
The Balmy Toddy Daiquiri will transport your taste buds to wherever you want to go. These ingredients can have many different associations for people; the warm, spicy taste of Hot Toddy syrup, the tropical notes of rum punch cherries, the malty sweetness of fresh orange, the boozy bite of aged Panama rum. Where you go all depends on where you started your relationship with these ingredients.
So put down the blender, throw away your bright green bottle of ‘daiquiri mix’, your Crafty’s box for February, TO BE OR DAIQUIRI? is here to help you explore the world of authentic daquiris with a box full of fun and unique ingredients that are sure to have you rethinking your next daiquiri order while out on the town.
The Femme Fatale Daiquiri
Like a jaguar that prowls the jungle, stalking unsuspecting prey, this drink is deep, dark and dangerous, and every element is meant to ensnare your taste buds and not let go. With roots firmly in tiki style cocktails, the Femme Fatale has an intoxicating, velvety profile provided by falernum, a classic tiki syrup bursting with spicy notes of clove, ginger, lime and almond. A strong foundation of flavourful and spicy Panamanian rum is highlighted by an enthralling essence of absinthe mist, adding a mysterious complexity, while a playful layer of zesty lime keeps things lively and frisky. This drink is seductive and mesmerizing, we doubt you have the resolve to resist its charms, so give in, if only for a little while.
Panama Libre Daiquiri
A Cuba Libre? A completely useless excuse for a cocktail, this drink is just a rum and Coke (if you want to get specific, a Cuban rum and Coke with a lime, but, come on…). However, there is always potential to take things to the next level, you just need the right ingredients and a little Crafty’s magic. All the elements of a Cuba Libre are here, just done with a little more finesse; the unique flavours of aged Panama rum add depth and nuance. The Ms. Better Bitter’s Kola bitters brings the unmistakable and irreplaceable ‘cola’ element without adding an overbearing level of sweetness or effervescence. The sweet citrus profile of lemon combines with raw sugar to give a light, saccharine background, with dried sage introducing wonderful herbal tones that tie everything together. So, order a Cuba Libre if you want to, but after trying this cocktail, you might feel a slight tinge of embarrassment.
Balmy Toddy Daiquiri
Cocktails have the ability to transport you to many different places; they can take you somewhere filled with blue water, white sand and green foliage. Just as easily, they can take you to a comfy leather chair in a log cabin with a crackling fire in the background and wet snow spattering against the windows. Or some drinks can do both, it all depends on the ingredients and the relationship you’ve built with them over your life. Consider all these fantastic components; zesty aged Panama rum, warm, spicy P.S. Modern Cuisine Hot Toddy syrup, red sour punch cherries with a touch of tropical flair, a splash of malty orange juice. Where do these flavours transport you? There are no wrong answers here, so sit back, relax and let your tastebuds take you on a mini vacation.
Trust your Bartender
Everybody has their favorite spirit, but also have spirits they’re not so crazy about. These opinions are built over a lifetime of experiences; that bartender who made you the most amazing vodka cocktail you’ve ever tried, that one time you drank too much tequila… there are endless factors that may contribute to our own personal opinions towards particular types of alcohol. While these biases are completely understandable, a Crafty Cocktails box subscription is all about education in the world of cocktail creation, and it is very hard to learn new things if you don’t step outside your comfort zone. We strongly encourage you to make your cocktails with the recommended spirit for the month, even if you think you don’t like it. If a recipe is well balanced and acutely aware of the flavor profile of its given base spirit, the result can surprise even the most discerning of palettes. Conversely, an attempt to substitute the recommended alcohol for another simply because of personal preference can result in disaster, as flavor profiles tend to clash rather than compliment each other. The recipes in a Crafty’s curated box are just that, curated to suit a particular base spirit. Trust our bartenders, they know what they’re talking about; let them show how something you thought you disliked, can become something you absolutely love. If you truly can't get down with the featured box of the month, we understand! You can choose one of our past boxes to start a subscription, just send us an email and request the one you want to start with. Cheers!