Master mixologist, Tony Abou-Ganim, along with Shellback Rum, have been touring the country with an amazing interactive mixology experience. Earlier this week, the Modern Mixologist himself was in our city for ‘All Hands On Deck,’ celebrating the craft of mixology, the diversity of rum, and teaching participants how to make some god damn delicious cocktails. Guests arrived ready to get stirring and shaking with their own set of bar tools and ingredients. Tony began the class with a history of Shellback Rum, available in both Silver and Spiced expressions, as well as a history of rum in general and its birthplace, Barbados.
“Rum is by far the most diverse spirit category for creative mixology and I am so excited to be working with the new offerings that Shellback has brought to the market,” said Tony. “Shellback Silver gives us big notes of rich vanilla and luscious, ripe tropical fruits to play with; while Shellback Spiced is refined and balanced showcasing the vanilla, cinnamon, and cloves that work beautifully in a variety of cocktails.”
Tony then went on to teach the class how to properly smell and taste a spirit. Lightly swirl your glass on the table and bring it to your nose and inhale through your mouth to smell the flavors in the rum. The glass had to guess what ingredients were used in the rums. Next, we created some of the best tasting cocktails I’ve had…and that’s saying something!
We began with the Milestone Mojito, a great twist on a classic cocktail. This cocktail is so refreshing and delicious it should be illegal. Best of all, it is so easy to make so no need to be intimidated by making one on your own.
1 ½ oz. Shellback Spiced Rum
1 oz. house-made ginger syrup
1 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
12-14 mint leaves (no stems)
10-12 slices of kumquats (subsitution: 4 slices mandarin, clementine or nectarine)
chilled Fever Tree soda water
In a highball glass, lightly muddle lime juice, ginger syrup, kumquats and mint leaves. Add crushed ice and Shellback Spiced Rum. Stir until outside of glass begins to frost. Top with chilled soda water. Garnish with mint sprig.
Next, we made the First Mate — a great drink for the late summer or early fall.
1 ½ oz. Shellback Spiced Rum
1 oz. cinnamon simple syrup
2 oz. unfiltered apple juice (regular juice works also)
1 oz. fresh lemon juice
chilled Fever Tree ginger beer
lemon spirals and apple slices for garnish
In a shaker, add Shellback Spiced Rum, cinnamon syrup, apple juice and lemon juice: shake with ice until well blended. Strain into an ice-filled Collins glass. Top with chilled ginger beer, stir to mix and garnish with lemon spirals and apple slices.
Last but not least, we crafted the Deck Hand Daiquiri, which was fun to make because each person was able to choose whatever fruits they wanted to include. We chose raspberries and blackberries.
Deck Hand Daiquiri
2 oz. Shellback Silver Rum
1 oz. hand-extracted lime juice
1 oz. simple syrup
fresh, seasonal fruits and berries
In a shaker muddle fresh fruits with the simple syrup. Add fresh lime juice and Shellback Silver Rum; shake with ice until well blended. Double strain into a chilled cocktail coup. Garnish with a thin slice of lime and fruit of your choice.
If you ever have the opportunity to see Tony, we suggest you take it. While it is clear he is highly knowledgeable, he is also very entertaining and makes learning about mixology a lot of fun. The cocktails above are great and if we can do it, so can you! Now go get mixing!