Tuesday Reviews-Day | Cruzan Velvet Cinn

Sips

Cruzan-Velvet-Cinn_281high

***This is a sponsored post. I was provided a sample of Cruzan Velvet Cinn for the purpose of review. All opinions expressed are my own and no additional compensation has been received. Now that we’ve got that out of the way…***

And now for something completely different!

Yes, I’ve got another rum to review but, oh, dear friends, this isn’t just any rum, this is Cruzan’s Velvet Cinn, a rum horchata flavored with cinnamon. Horchata is a Mexican drink often made from rice or other grains, and milky in appearance and texture. This horchata uses dairy milk and their premium rum and evokes memories of rice rice puddings, cinnamon buns, and all manner of delectable treats.

In fact, while Cruzan was kind enough to send some recipes along with their newly-launched rum, I took it upon myself to go in a slightly different direction:

French Velvet Toast

2 large Eggs
1/2 cup Cruzan Velvet Cinn
1/8 tsp ground Cardamom
6-8 slices Bread
Coconut oil for the griddle

Whisk together eggs, horchata, and cardamom. Heat an electric skillet to 350 degrees F and brush with a bit of coconut oil (or butter, if you prefer). Dip the bread into the egg and rum mixture, making sure to coat both sides thoroughly, and place on the griddle. Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side or until golden and lacey and any eggy bits are firm.

Serve with powdered sugar or maple syrup.

French Velvet Toast

French Velvet Toast

While I’m certainly not against sipping Velvet Cinn neat or using it in cocktails–in fact, I know both of those options are definitely in our future–I though it would be fun to see if it’s amazing flavor would translate on the plate as well as the palate. Because Velvet Cinn contains milk, replacing the milk in the standard French Toast recipe was a no-brainer, and I’m really starting to crave some rice pudding now.

In case you would prefer a cocktail over breakfast foods, try out these recipes courtesy of Jesse Card, Cruzan’s Master Mixologist.

Cruzan® Cinnful Cherry

3/4 parts Cruzan Velvet Cinn Horchata with Rum
1/2 parts Cruzan Black Cherry Rum

Method: Combine all over ice, stir, pour into shot glass.

Cruzan® Cinnful Martini

1 1/2 parts Cruzan Velvet Cinn Horchata with Rum
1 parts Cruzan Aged Dark Rum
1/2 parts DeKuyper® Blood Orange Liqueur
Float DeKuyper® Hot Damn!® Liqueur
Flamed Orange zest

Method: Combine Cruzan Velvet Cinn, Cruzan Aged Dark Rum & Blood Orange Liqueur in a tumbler over ice & stir for 15 seconds. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Float a small amount of DeKuyper® Hot Damn!® Liqueur on top & finish with a flamed orange zest.

Cheers!

Tuesday Reviews-Day: Cruzan Strawberry Rum

Sips

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***This is a sponsored post. I was provided a sample of Cruzan’s Strawberry Rum for the purpose of review. All opinions expressed are my own. Now that we’ve got that out of the way…***

They had me at strawberry.

Growing up a farmer’s granddaughter, a farmer who grew prize-winning strawberries year after year in a town known for it’s annual Strawberry Festival, pretty much strawberry anything gets my interest up. But back when I started fooling around with cocktails I had a terrible time finding anything strawberry that wasn’t either strawberry wine or the pucker-variety of liqueurs. And while the wine variety can be good, it tends to be regional and the pucker-style liquids are syrupy and shockingly pink.

So, yes, when I heard Cruzan had a strawberry rum in their flavored line-up, I was drooling faster than you can say ‘send me a sample.’

Does Cruzan Strawberry Rum live up to my expectations? Yes, yes it does.

As soon as you open the bottle the smell is undeniably strawberry. Todd was reminded of fresh strawberries with a kick whereas I was reminded of my grandmother’s strawberry freezer jam–plenty of fruit plus a touch more sugar. Flavor-wise I can taste hints of my grandfather’s strawberry wine as well as the frosty, slushy goodness of a good strawberry daiquiri. And it’s so smooth, no harsh edges or burn at the back of your throat, I’m really amazed at how wonderful this flavored rum is.

And while you could drink this rum straight and have a truly enjoyable experience, the thought of this in the aforementioned daiquiri is both delicious and dangerous. Delicious for obvious reasons but dangerous as I think it’d be oh-so-easy to over-imbibe and not realize it until you go to stand up!

Of course, if you don’t have a hankering for a daiquiri, maybe you want something a touch more exotic, why not try this recipe (courtesy of Cruzan’s website)

CRUZAN® STRAWBERRY MAI TAI

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 parts Cruzan® Strawberry
1/2 part DeKuyper® Orange Curacao
1 1/2 parts fresh lime juice
3/4 parts Simple Syrup
1/2 Finest Call Orgeat Syrup

MIXING INSTRUCTIONS

Fill mixing glass full of crushed ice. [Combine all ingredients and shake until well-chilled.] Garnish with a pineapple cube and cherry speared and a mint sprig.

Cheers!

Tuesday Reviews-Day: Cruzan Aged Light Rum

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***This is a sponsored post. I was provided a sample of Cruzan Aged Light Rum for the purpose of review. All opinions expressed are my own and no further compensation has been received. Now that we’ve got that out of the way…***

So this is the first of 2 new Cruzan rums that I was fortunate enough to review in conjunction with the Independence Sparkler recipe for 4th of July. Unlike a lot of the Cruzan rums we’ve featured here before, this isn’t a flavored rum, it’s an aged rum that’s been filtered to lighten the color a bit but it still retains the flavor of an aged rum.

If this sounds familiar, you may be thinking of my earlier review of Denizen, the Aged White Rum. Cruzan’s is a light rum but it does have a light amber tint that keeps it from being an actual white rum.

In a lot of ways, aged rum is aged rum–the differences between one brand and other are subtle. To this end I tried the Cruzan on it’s own and then refreshed my memory of the Denizen in comparison. Cruzan’s Aged Light Rum is very mellow with just a hint of some harsher edges. I prefer it to the brighter, sharper flavor of the Denizen.

Because of the warmer, rounder flavor, Cruzan Aged Light Rum works really well in simple preparations. A Light & Tonic with lime uses the rum instead of gin for a refreshing highball. Adding a bit of the Aged Light Rum to lime juice and lemon/line soda gives you a Cruzan Lemonade. And, of course, it works perfectly in a Mojito.

While it’s not a spirit I would sip straight, it’s definitely a great base spirit for cocktails and mixed drinks.

Tuesday Reviews-Day: Cruzan Key Lime Rum

Sips

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***This is a sponsored post. I was provided a sample of Cruzan’s Key Lime Rum for purpose of review. All opinions expressed, below, are my own and no other compensation has been exchanged. Now that that’s out of the way…***

Our friends at Cruzan Rum were kind enough to share with us their perfect-for-summer flavored rum-Cruzan Key Lime–and I was more than happy to give it a try. After all, with such wonderful memories of their Vanilla and Pineapple rums, I had high hopes for the Key Lime.

Nor was I disappointed!

At first sip, I was reminded of the taste of summer, childhood summers spent with Otter Pops and other super-sweet ice pops squeeze from plastic sleeves. Of course this one has a bit of a kick to it, but (as usual) there is no hard edge from the rum, just a pleasant warmth to counteract the tang of the lime. Todd didn’t think it was quite tart enough, but I stand by my first impression.

Of course, when thinking of lime libations, I often think of the Harry Nilsson’s Coconut song, and one of two images comes to mind.

This one:

(Direct link for the feed readers: Kermit the Frog – Lime in the Coconut)

Or this one:

(Direct link for the feed readers: Practical Magic – Midnight Margaritas)

So of course I was pleased to see this recipe that came along with my information from Cruzan:

Cruzan® Key Lime in a Coconut
Recipe by Jesse Card, Cruzan Master Mixologist
 
Ingredients:
  • 2 ounces Cruzan® Key Lime Rum
  • .75 ounces Lime Juice
  • 1 ounce Coco Lopez® Coconut Cream
Method:
Add all ingredients into a blender with 12 ounces of crushed ice. Blend and pour into a coconut.

Now, I had a coconut shell handy, but it was a souvenir from our cruise and I like to keep him on the shelf so I used a regular glass for my cocktail and I don’t think it’ll make that much of a difference–though if you’ve got a fresh coconut handy, by all means feel free.

For a frozen cocktail made with coconut cream and sweet rum, this is not an overly sweet drink. Like many of it’s kind, the cold does dull some of the rum’s edge, but it’s still noticeable, so you’re not likely to over-indulge without realizing it. The tart of the lime blends nicely with the coconut and really makes for a refreshing treat perfect to beat the summer’s heat.

Cheers!

Give it a Shot: Denizen Aged White Rum

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Denizen Aged White Rum

You may recall I mentioned an aged white rum (back in the Bluebird of Happiness celebration) a few months back. The time is way passed that I give you a better picture of this particular spirit and share a couple of season-appropriate cocktails courtesy of Denizen Aged White Rum.

While many base spirits (whisk(e)y, tequila, etc.) have pretty specific standards to meet x, y, or z classifications, rum standards vary from among countries of origin and local custom. Still, we do generally know that a white rum tends to be younger, and distinctly brighter in flavor, than a deeper aged rum. And while pretty much all distilled spirits are aged for a given length of time, white rum generally has a short aging period (sometimes as few as 8 months, like in Mexico) and uses uncharred barrels to prevent color from developing (and what color there might be is often filtered out).

Denizen combines the qualities of a 5-year aged rum from Trinidad that is then blended with 15 types of Jamaican rum (these latter rums benefit from the more varied flavors–cogeners–that come from pot-distillation) to get to their final state: a white rum with a broader, richer flavor of an aged one.

When I tasted the rum I was impressed with the breadth of flavor but still noticed that particular rum bite at the back corners of my mouth. In cocktails it adds a certain depth of flavor without muddying up the color of the drink (as sometimes that can be a bit of an aesthetic downer).

Denizen was kind enough to share these recipes which you might consider if you’ve got a party coming up.

Hot Apple Rum Cider

4 oz Denizen Rum
16 oz Apple Cider
1 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
3 Tbsp Cane Sugar
3 Cinnamon Sticks
5 Green Cardamom Pods
2 Star Anise Pods
1/2 tsp Grated Fresh Ginger
1/4 Vanilla Bean
1/4 tsp Angostura Bitters

Add all ingredients except Denizen to a saucepan or slow cooker and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes or until hot. Remove from heat and stir in Denizen. Strain into an insulated container or serve from pot. Garnish each much with a cinnamon stick.

Carnivale Hot Chocolate

8 oz Denizen Rum
12 oz Whole Milk
3 oz Water
6 Tbsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
3 Tbsp Cane Sugar
2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
2 tsp Ground Ginger
1/2 tsp Ground Cloves
1/4 tsp Angostura Bitters

In a small saucepan, stir together the cocoa powder, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and water until they form a paste. Add the milk and place over medium heat, stirring constantly until it simmers. Remove from heat, stir in Denizen and bitters, and pour into an insulated vessel. Serve warm in a mug. Marshmallows optional.

I’m guessing these would serve 4-6, depending on serving size (they, unfortunately, didn’t give a yield either of them).

However you choose to celebrate the season, please celebrate responsibly.

Cheers!

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I was provided a sample of Denizen Aged White Rum for purposes of review. All opinions expressed are my own.