Sun | Aug 7, 2022

Cocktails and Cuisine, a spicy, yet sweet Rum Festival pairing

Published:Thursday | June 30, 2022 | 12:10 AMStephanie Lyew/Gleaner Writer
An up-close view of the skewered barbecue beef and kale salad served at the Cocktails and Cuisine Seminar during the Jamaica Rum Festival held at The Aqueduct in Rose Hall, Montego Bay.
An up-close view of the skewered barbecue beef and kale salad served at the Cocktails and Cuisine Seminar during the Jamaica Rum Festival held at The Aqueduct in Rose Hall, Montego Bay.
The Honey Soother is made with one ounce honey, one ounce lime juice and one and a half ounce Appleton Estate 12 year old Rare Casks.
The Honey Soother is made with one ounce honey, one ounce lime juice and one and a half ounce Appleton Estate 12 year old Rare Casks.
Though almost always behind the scenes, Chef Jacquin Taracena got involved in serving up savoury barbecue beef on skewer and kale salad during the seminar.
Though almost always behind the scenes, Chef Jacquin Taracena got involved in serving up savoury barbecue beef on skewer and kale salad during the seminar.
Festival-goer Timol Houchen did not even want to put down his cocktail and plate.
Festival-goer Timol Houchen did not even want to put down his cocktail and plate.
The jerked chicken skewers served with a jerk mayo sauce and garlic naan was a fancy presentation of Jamaican street food injected with Middle Eastern flavour.
The jerked chicken skewers served with a jerk mayo sauce and garlic naan was a fancy presentation of Jamaican street food injected with Middle Eastern flavour.
Appleton Estate’s Senior Blender Dave Morrison serves up instructions at the Cocktails and Cuisine Seminar during the Jamaica Rum Festival held at The Aqueduct in Rose Hall, Montego Bay.
Appleton Estate’s Senior Blender Dave Morrison serves up instructions at the Cocktails and Cuisine Seminar during the Jamaica Rum Festival held at The Aqueduct in Rose Hall, Montego Bay.
Showing off the Brown Sugar Daiquiri, mixologist Milton Wisdom, who likes to serve up some comedy, says it always comes with a smile that’s just as sweet.
Showing off the Brown Sugar Daiquiri, mixologist Milton Wisdom, who likes to serve up some comedy, says it always comes with a smile that’s just as sweet.
Appleton Estate’s Senior Blender Dave Morrison and mixologist Milton Wisdom kick-start the Cocktails and Cuisine Seminar during the Jamaica Rum Festival held at The Aqueduct in Rose Hall, Montego Bay, with a demonstration on how to measure their ingredie
Appleton Estate’s Senior Blender Dave Morrison and mixologist Milton Wisdom kick-start the Cocktails and Cuisine Seminar during the Jamaica Rum Festival held at The Aqueduct in Rose Hall, Montego Bay, with a demonstration on how to measure their ingredients.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8

Rum purists may argue that the spirit is best served neat or on the rocks, but Appleton Estate’s Senior Blender Dave Morrison stimulated a new sense of purpose for ‘Cocktails & Cuisine’ during his recent rum and food pairing seminar staged for the 2022 Jamaica Rum Festival.

Morrison, an adventurous rum savant, is known for creating rum cocktails and enhancing the flavours of an entire meal using his knowledge on how to complement and contrast each of Appleton Estate’s premium blends in ways that only make for unforgettable gastronomic experiences.

Accompanied by chef Jacquin Taracena and skilled mixologist Milton Wisdom, as well as the 2018 Bartender of the Year Gossett Brown, Morrison served up the spicy yet sweet Cocktails & Cuisine seminar that left rum lovers inspired and might have even converted a few non-drinkers.

Festival-goers who signed up were treated to lessons and libations of the Brown Sugar Daiquiri paired with bites of jerked chicken and garlic naan, which appear first on the tables, and the Honey Soother with the barbecue beef skewers and a side of kale salad.

As the session begins, the senior blender says, “I’m going to ask with each bite, that you take a sip of the cocktail to taste all the nuances of the rum and how it blends with the foods we have prepared for you.”

BROWN SUGAR DAIQUIRI

For the Brown Sugar Daiquiri, Wisdom utilised the Appleton Estate’s 8 Year Old Reserve which has a sweetness of toffee and hints of caramelised nuts. The cocktail was made with freshly squeezed lime juice and two teaspoons of brown sugar and garnished with an orange peel.

“Warmer days call for cocktails made with ice, and the Brown Sugar Daiquiri fits the bill perfectly,” Wisdom shared.

While Wisdom highlighted the refreshing nature of the cocktails, Morrison put focus on the rum’s notes.

“There are lots of flavours that harmonious. The pairing of sweet, citrus with spicy is a classic. The notes of citrus and the sweet of the 8 Year Old Reserve in the cocktail help to tame the spiciness of the jerk but also heightens the flavours,” he explained to Food.

The Honey Soother was prepared by Brown. While the Appleton Estate 21 Year Old Rare Casks has a powerful aroma of the finest aged rums, vanilla and woody notes that persons rather enjoy neat, the mixologist applies his award-winning mixing style to shake all the ingredients, including Jamaican honey and half ounce of lime juice for a twist to make the cocktail. When discussing rum and meat dishes, beef comes most readily to mind because whether grilled or barbecue, the flavours of beef enhance the unique woody nuances of the aged spirit, explained Morrison. “It’s important to know the different nuances of the rums, Appleton Estate Signature versus the 8 Year Old Reserve and 21 [Year Old] Rare Casks have distinctive flavours and once someone understands that, it becomes easier to pair,” he added.

While most participants were busy satisfying their appetites, one admitted that he was more focused on the journey his taste buds was on.

“I’m not particularly used to pairing cocktails with my food, but rather drink what I like,” Timol Houchen said. “The first pairing with jerked chicken skewer was simple and the sauce was great, which was actually tasty with the Brown Sugar Daiquiri. It blew me away.”

For summer, the Cocktails and Cuisine seminar leaders said there is only one rule, to have fun!

 

stephanie.lyew@gleanerjm.com