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Ice and Rhum J.M.

ice (Hand and Ice from Christopher James)

I’ve always said that ice is the most important element in a cocktail.  No truer words have been spoken by myself.  Christopher James who is the bar chef at the Ryland Inn, located in Whitehouse, NJ (recently awarded Four Stars by NJ Monthly Magazine) is passionate about ice.  After all he hand cuts all the ice for his myriad of specialty cocktails.  Cubes are his talent, but he also does beautiful hand polished spheres.  When I bar tend and have the honor of using his hand cut cubes, my really basic bar tending skills get kicked up several notches.

Chris is really passionate about liquor and the craft of mixing cocktails.

He came in second place in the Manhattan Cocktail competition held by Esquire Magazine and Woodford’s Bourbon recently.  Evidently he lost by only tenths of a point.  I better get working harder at being a bar tender because Chris is truly a pro and I have a long way to go to get as confident as he is behind the stick.

I recently got several bottles of Rhum J.M. in the mail.   You know what Rhum Agricole is, right?  You don’t?

It’s made from sugarcane.  Not molasses… nor, dare I say- corn syrup.

Rhum J.M. is not for everyone.  Because most people have never tasted sugar cane rum!  They wouldn’t know what to say about the white flowers in the nose and the deeply sweet aromatics of distilled, freshly cut cane.  It’s kind of spicy too.  And pin-point accurate on the tongue followed up by the dripping wet mouth-feel of fermented cane sugar syrup.

Yes, I’m pretty sure very few of you have ever tried rum that is made from freshly cut cane.

Unless I was to suggest it of course.

In a perfect world there would only be sugar cane rum.  But the world is not perfect and rum is made from a lot of different things.

To this I give you the Rhum J.M. Perfect Ice Cocktail

Rhum J.M. Perfect Ice Cocktail:


3 oz. Rhum J.M. VSOP

1 oz. Freshly Squeezed Grilled Orange Juice ( grill a blood orange that you have sliced first, then juice)

1 oz. Fresh Lime Juice

1 oz. Simple Syrup of Cane

A HUGE ice cube made by hand

Bitter End Moroccan Bitters


Add that gorgeous ice cube to a large glass

Add all the ingredients over the top of the cube

Drip exactly four drops of the Bitter End Bitters over the top

Drink to Martinique in the winter time!






Warren’s first book, Apothecary Cocktails is being published by Quayside/Rockport in November 2013 for the Xmas season. He has published over three hundred articles on everything from cocktail mixology to restaurant reviews in NJ Monthly Magazine. (Served Raw, Drinking in America, DrinkGal.com, Bluewater Vodka, Purity Vodka, Botran Rum, Orleans Apple Aperitif, Marie Brizard, Art in the Age: Root, Snap, Rhuby, Hendricks Gin, Sailor Jerry Rum, Tuthilltown Spirits, Bitter Cube, Bitter Truth, Bitter End-Bitters, Bitters, Old Men…etc. etc.)
He’s written food articles and news for Edible Jersey, Chutzpah Magazine, NJ Monthly, Serious Eats, Daily Candy (Philadelphia) Rambling Epicure (Geneva, Switzerland)
Warren is the cocktail writer/mixologist for Foodista. He is a former trained chef who began as a dishwasher/potscrubber. He has also bar-tended at the four star Ryland Inn, located in NJ.
Warren is the On-Whiskey Columnist for Okra Magazine in New Orleans.
He is also a Ministry of Rum judge.
Warren is a self-taught photojournalist and shoots with the venerable Leica M8.


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