Monday, April 30, 2012

Venezuela's Sweet Treats

If you've been an avid reader of Gastronomista, you already know that we are lovers of the libation, and very loyal to our whiskeys.  Being such ardent whiskey fans (and crack connoisseurs), we would like to think we know good spirits (read, we do).  Whiskey, we're sorry, we are going to abandon you for a little while as we've recently discovered the next frontier - Rum - delicious, complex, Venezuelan Rum. 

Santa Teresa 1796 (featured it in our 2011 Gift Guide), is a rum that will change your opinion of rums.  Who knew rum could be so sophisticated?  Santa Teresa is not a liquor that needs to be served up as a Zombie or a Daiquiri to be consumed, dangerously at that. 

The Hacienda of Santa Teresa was established in 1796 by Count Tovar y Blanco, is now owned by Gustavo Vollmer, and is proudly run as a "family business".  Santa Teresa 1796 was created in 1996 to celebrate Hacienda Santa Teresa's 200th year anniversary.  Let us tell you, this is not your ubiquitous beach resort rum.  It is a structured liquor with a nose of vanilla, banana and apple, while on the tongue one gets more flavors of cocoa, cherries, and molasses.  Santa Teresa is a molasses based rum, and is aged using the Solera method, which ages the rum in four levels of oak casks.  

As if it wasn't already delicious, when paired with a Venezuelan chocolate, it is heaven in one's mouth.   Recommended is the 73% Dark Chocolate bar with Ginger, Green Tea, and Sesame Seeds, made by the New York company, Tu Chocolate with Venezuelan cocoa beans. 

Do check their website for more flavors: White Chocolate with Blue Corn, Salt and Black Pepper, Dark Chocolate with Ground Red Pepper, Curry, and Cashews to name a few!

Santa Teresa is quite delicious to sip straight or with an ice cube.  If you're looking for more action than that, we've got a couple of tasty recipes for you after the jump:

Solera Sour 
Created by Michael Neff of Ward III

2 oz “Santa Teresa 1796” Rum
¼ oz Crème de Violette
¾ oz Lemon Juice
½ oz Simple Syrup
Muddled Ginger
1 dash of Grapefruit Juice
Egg White

Combine ingredients in a mixing tin with ice.  Shake and double-strain in to a chilled coupe glass.  Angostura Bitters float and orange twist (discarded).

1796 Manhattan 
Created by Kenta Goto of Pegu Club

2 oz “Santa Teresa 1796” Rum
½ oz Sweet Vermouth Mix (1:1 ratio of Martini & Rossi and Carpano Antica)
½ oz Water (at room temperature)
1 dash of Chocolate Bitters Mix (1:1 ratio of Bitter Truth and Fee Brothers)

Build all ingredients in a separate glass.  Slowly pour into a snifter.  Garnish with a cherry and serve at room temperature with chocolate-covered espresso beans on a side plate.

Cocktail Braca 
Created by Steve Schneider of Macao Trading Co.

2 oz “Santa Teresa 1796” Rum
1 oz Bianco Vermouth
½ oz Averna Amaro
2 dashes of Bitter Truth Chocolate Bitters

Add ingredients to a mixing glass with ice.  Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with a brandied cherry.


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