The star of the bar last night was Caliche Rum, a white Puerto Rican rum that has been aged and distilled five times to produce a taste so smooth you forget that the artisan cocktail you're rapaciously holding is built with it. I joined several other top Los Angeles-based cocktail bloggers at Cana Rum Bar to taste the spontaneous creations of mixologist extraordinaire, Michel Dozois, who said he "came out of bar tending retirement for the event" despite being heavily engaged with "three businesses he owns." If he can manage a company like he makes a drink, this kid is destined for success.
The purpose of the evening was for Michel to tap into that sixth sense every bartender has and fashion a drink based on the blogger's virtual identity. But before I could even offer one word to describe "This Girl" he started snapping rosemary and rationing cardamom simple syrup into a shaker with complete confidence, making the assertion, "I already know what to make you. I can just tell."
Seconds later he poured a delicious cocktail that I can't wait to recreate tonight. It was the perfect balance of sweet and sour with notes of pine, camphor, citrus, and flowers. Ultimately, the rum made the drink. Caliche adds the elements of rum that we all love without overpowering the subtle nuances of the other ingredients. Proof is demonstrated in Michel's lovely pairings of Caliche with muddled cucumber, pressed ginger, and fresh pineapple juice.
The drink he made me remains unnamed. I'll need to taste it again before inspiration hits. These things just can't be rushed. Kind of like a great rum cocktail.
___________ Caliche Cocktail 2 ounces Caliche Puerto Rican Rum 1/8 sprig of Rosemary 1 ounce pineapple juice 3/4 ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice 3/8 ounce cardamom syrup 3/8 simple syrup Rosemary to garnish
Muddle the rosemary with the rum and lemon juice, and strain into a clean shaker. Add the additional ingredients and shake with ice. Serve up or on the rocks.