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Warren Bobrow’s Cocktail Hour: Early Fall Refreshment

Caliche and Dry Curacao, photo: Warren Bobrow, Leica M8

Dry Curacao is a most unknown liqueur.  In the historical versions, Dry Curacao is robust, packed full of orange zest, oil and citrus driven essence.   Dry Curacao in the pure form is a forgotten cocktail ingredient.  The first time that I tasted real Dry Curacao it was in a stirred Daiquiri, expertly crafted by a bartender in the British Virgin Islands.  After a hot day, sailing in the burning sun, there is nothing more refreshing than a flurry of crushed ice, woven around a core of potent Navy strength rum and a mere wash of Dry Curacao.  Of course you may know Dry Curacao by another name- Triple Sec.

Triple Sec is the commercial, chemically derived adaptation of Dry Curacao.  Nearly every bar in the globe has a bottle of triple sec lurking somewhere  in their speed rack.  There really is nothing fancy or flavorful about it.  Generic Margaritas are thrown together with triple sec, rum punches made with no-name rums are extended into a slushy frozen mass with this artificially derived cocktail extender.

Fast forward to Pierre Ferrand, the venerable producer of Cognac from France.  Ferrand has captured the historically correct Dry Curacao formulation by using Cognac, brandy and the unique, tiny oranges from Curacao.  They called it Ancienne Methode or Ancient Method.  Open a bottle and breathe in the aroma of fresh orange zest, salt air and the brooding alcohol.  Most triple sec on the market barely approaches 25 Proof.  This Dry Curacao is a full 80 Proof so it stands up well next to ice and of course rum.

Rande Gerber and Roberto Serrallés introduce Caliche Rum.  This is a very special rum from Puerto Rico produced in the method of sherry.  They use copper stills imported from France to craft some of the best rums in the world.

Caliche uses the Solera System. There is a 3 layer arrangement of casks. When using Solera rum for production you take the maturate from the lower layer casks, which are the oldest. Those casks are then refilled with product from the casks in the middle layer. Maturate from the upper layer is then used to refill the casks in the middle one to replace what was used.

Caliche rum is crystal clear in color.  That is because the distillery uses a special method of charcoal filtration to remove all of the color inherent to the used bourbon infused oak casks from the United States.  The slight vanilla aroma from the bourbon casks adds depth and character to the rum, making it unique in the marketplace.

Caliche means limestone.  This limestone is the basis for the sweetness of the water that goes into every bottle of Caliche Rum.

The Caliche “Cocktail Whisperer” Daiquiri  (will fire the imagination, and it might force you to make a reservation for New Year’s eve in paradise!)

I find the ice used in my Daiquiri cocktails to be as important as the individual ingredients themselves.  That’s why I use my Mavea “inspired water” pitcher to filter my water.  The Mavea makes the water soft and perfectly crystal clear without any of the impurities that will cloud my ice.  Ice made with the “inspired water” freezes perfectly, without sediment or unpleasant aromas.  When crushed into a cocktail the “inspired water” resembles diamonds.   A shining example of beauty in every sip!


Caliche Puero Rican Rum

Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao

Royal Rose Simple Syrup of Three Chilies

Bitter End Thai Bitters

Freshly squeezed lemon and grapefruit juice

Mavea “Inspired Water” Ice, crushed to a fine powder using a towel and mallet


To a Boston Shaker- add a handful of regular ice

Add 4 oz. Caliche Rum

Add 1 oz. Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao (Essential)

Add 1 oz. of each lemon and grapefruit juices

Add 2 Tablespoons Royal Rose Simple Syrup of Three Chilies

Shake, Shake, Shake, Shake!

Strain into a short rocks glass packed with your Mavea “Inspired Water” ice

Drop exactly 3 drops of the Bitter End Thai Bitters over the top

Garnish with an orange slice

Sip to paradise!


Florence von Pelet

Florence is a senior editor at Modenus.com. Aside from her natural passion for interiors, kitchens and baths Florence also leads the way on Modenus’ BlogTours around the world so please follow her on Twitter to get the latest information and inspiration about design trends from around the world.


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