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Distilled – An ultra-premium release from Brugal

Our latest round-up of trends from the top shelf including an ultra-premium release rum from the Dominican Republic, Andrés Brugal, Walter Bergeron's Vieux Carré cocktail and an explanation on infusion.

A masterful rum

One for rum connoisseurs and collectors, Andrés Brugal (Alc 41.5%) is an ultra-premium release from Dominican Republic distiller Brugal, which has been producing rums since 1888. Named after the distillery’s founder and blended by the Caribbean country’s first-ever female rum master, Jassil Villanueva Quintana, only 460 bottles have been produced. ‘Andrés Brugal combines special single cask family reserves and our signature double ageing technique to tell a dual story of my family’s legacy of rum-making, as well as my own as maestra ronera,’ said Quintana. She described the sipping rum as: ‘A true celebration of the distinctive flavours of Puerto Plata.’ Andrés Brugal is presented in crystal decanter and bespoke diamond-patterned oak case. £2,200 Selfridges.

What is… infusion?

A finished spirit can be infused with an additional flavour or flavours, to create a new expression or special release. This is usually done by putting a botanical ingredient, such as spices, herbs or fruit, directly into the spirit and letting it steep for a specific period of time. Sloe gin is a classic example. Infusion is more often carried out with lighter spirits, such as gin and vodka, where the added flavour will be more noticeable. But there are also an increasing number of botanical rums made by infusion.

Botanicals for infusion can include dried orange peel and juniper berries, as in the bottom two jars pictured. Credit: iStock/Getty Images Plus

Botanicals for infusion can include dried orange peel and juniper berries, as in the bottom two jars pictured. Credit: iStock/Getty Images Plus

What to drink now…Vieux Carré

The Vieux Carré was created in the 1930s by Walter Bergeron at the Monteleone Hotel in New Orleans. The name translates as ‘old square’ and refers to the city’s iconic French Quarter. Tasting a bit like a Manhattan (whiskey, vermouth, bitters) it’s a great choice for cold winter nights thanks to the added spiciness and herbal richness from French liqueur Bénédictine. Try it with H by Hine, a Cognac blended specifically for use in cocktails, with notes of caramel, vanilla, nuts, black pepper and ginger spice (Alc 40%, available through Amazon UK).

Vieux Carré

Ingredients 30ml Cognac, 30ml rye whisky, 30ml sweet vermouth, 5ml Bénédictine DOM liqueur, 2 dashes Angostura bitters, 2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters

Glass Rocks

Garnish Cocktail cherry and lemon peel

Method Add all of the ingredients to a mixing glass with ice. Stir well to combine, then strain into an ice-filled glass and garnish.

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