It’s been a great time here in sunshiney Portland, welcoming in some of the greatest bartenders and imbibulous personalities in the cocktail realm for the first Portland Cocktail Week.
I had the great opportunity to be part of a bartending team keeping the imbibers imbibing during the Shipwrecked with DonQ Rum Party at Glowing Greens here in Portland. Glowing Greens is certainly one of the most unique places to host a group of mezcal and rum filled rabble rousers, being a mini-golf course deep in the basement of a building in SW Portland. If that weren’t interesting enough, it’s entirely lit with blacklights, to show off the dayglo pirates and skeletons that haunt its realm. I set up a station in the middle of the course… it wasn’t the first time that my makeshift bar was two barrels set together, but it was the first time that they were glowing orange.
I was offering tall drinks to refresh the mini-golfers, and those who might’ve wandered over from the wonderful cocktails being offered by Allan Katz of Caña and Esteban Ordonez.
The first drink on offer at my station was just a combination of DonQ Añejo, Falernum Bitters, and Fentiman’s Tonic. It’s been on my mind lately that I often just want a nice tall refreshing drink. In this day of classic cocktail recreations and new cocktail developments with such full-flavored and booze-heavy ingredients, the focus on drinks being actually thirst-quenching has been lost. Plus, did you know that tonic water glows under blacklight? It’s kind of awesome.
Second, well, this being an opportunity to promote the syrups, I thought I’d offer my favorite drink, the Nui Nui. If you haven’t had one, you really ought. It’s one of the first drinks I had that introduced me to the spicier aspects of tropical cocktails. The combination of lime, orange, cinnamon, allspice, vanilla, bitters and some good rum was just incredible. Since I’ve been making Nui Nuis, I’ve been searching for just the right rum. It’s amazing how much the rum, even good rum, can fall flat in this drink. The drink, per Jeff Berry’s Sippin’ Safari, calls for gold puerto rican rum. I’ve used DonQ Gold before, and found that it worked, but wasn’t necessarily astounding. Even some of the finer Jamaican rums coming out these days, such as Appleton Extra, just didn’t work with the spice components in the drink. Well, I got a chance to make a Nui Nui trying each in the DonQ line, and I am finally extremely happy with the use of DonQ Añejo as the rum. It supports and encourages the flavors to come out of the syrups, and provides that rummy goodness that completes the drink.
- 1/2 oz lime juice
- 1/2 oz orange juice
- 1/4 oz Don’s Spices #2
- 1/4 oz Cinnamon Syrup
- 2 oz DonQ Añejo
- dash bitters
Put ingredients into a mixing tin with 1/2 cup crushed ice. Use top-down mixer or quickly pulse in a blender. Pour into a tall glass and garnish with an orange horseneck.
Both drinks were very well received. They have to be when they’re this simple and tasty! Do you have a favorite tall refresher? Talk about it in the comments!