As a result of very nice weather (read: rain) we are forced to spend the day inside and enjoy the rain on the island surrounded by our “books”. Island Hvar and rain are creating one special bond, especially at the end of October. Immediately with this rain everything from the island had disappeared. Only pines, olives and sea. And this bottle of Hampden HLCF with good old fashioned recipes.

Speaking of Old Fashioned…

Hampden HLCF Classic


One thing is clear here, with Old Fashioned we have to go by the book. And by the book it means we’re gonna follow the recipe that is in the book. But this is not a book, this is a rum and rumor page, which means following the rules and turning on the imagination by adjusting those rules the way we want them to look. Ok, we have to admit we did not change the whole concept, we just added a little bit of personalisation. Like, instead of 35 ml of Hampden Estate HLCF, we added 50 ml of rum. We are on vacation, and it is raining outside, so please…

Amount of water was the same, we don’t need so much water when we are on vacation.

And we aromatize our Old fashioned with lime peel, instead of orange, just to give freshness. It is still summer on the island despite the rain outside.

And the result is:

Old HLCF Cocktail


On the first hand the same as most Old Fashioned cocktails except the hint of lime peel which gives one fresh note. The amount of water we added by making it has really unlocked all scents in it.


Really refreshing drink. Maybe 2-3 drops of bitters less would open more hidden rum aromas in it, but anyway it is one refreshing drink. Actually it could be served on the beach, on a sunbed under an umbrella. Some leather, some orange freshness combined with lime peel. Alcohol vapors are so discreet here, that we have a feeling that we don’t drink some high proof stuff. But that is the beauty of Jamaican funk.


Leather, esters and angostura bitters. Maybe with less bitters drops it would deliver more rum aromas at the finish. But in any case this “book” offers many many pages to read, and with this Old HLCF  this is just the first page of many.


What is vacation without a tiki drink?

Ok, we know we are far from Polynesia and the Caribbean,although we must also not forget that we are on one of the oldest islands, the age of which dates back to the time of the ancient Greeks.An island that was located on one of the first maritime routes in the world. In other words, it would be a shame not to combine Polynesian and Caribbean culture with some ingredients characteristic of this Mediterranean region.Perhaps it was from this island, which abounds in strange vegetation, that some of the famous spices and ingredients came to you, and vice versa.

One of those Mediterranean foods that was used in the past to weigh gold, because the weight of its fruit is always 0.18 grams, is Carob. A mediterranean evergreen tree from the pea family, with a very interesting flavor, somewhere in the direction of roasted cocoa but much sweeter.  And it would be quite a pity not to use it in cocktails. In brief, it would be also a shame to have a vacation without Mai Tai, a patron of all tiki cocktails. In this version, or better to say this reconstruction of Mai Tai, we paired a little bit of mediterranean style with caribbean aromas. Followed by a high amount of esters in Hampden HLCF we replaced orange liqueur with carob liqueur. To keep “tropical” spirit we added passion fruit syrup instead of orgeat. Together with lime, angostura and black walnut bitters we got an interesting variation of Mi Tai.

Car Tai Cocktail


On the nose, rum aromas in combination of fresh mint as garnish gave us a real tiki feeling, but like it was saying yes there is something more inside, and it is not maracuja. Walnut, angostura and carob are creating a seductive scent. Something like… it calls us to dive inside the glass.


Ultimately the first sip is tiki funky. There are orange flavors,citrus freshness, warm and nutty notes… Quite an explosion. It brought us to exactly the state in which tiki cocktails bring us, i.e. take us away. They take us to some far-off islands… Although in this case we are not far from the mainland, only an hour’s ferry ride away, it still feels like we are somewhere far away.


This time we are not talking about the taste of the finish. This time we are talking here about the feeling we have here when we take one sip of this Car Tai. It is the “I want to come back on this island” feeling and “read” again these books.

And with that “finish”  we will say goodbye to this summer of 2023, Hampden Estate HLCF Classic and to our books. We cannot say goodbye to the whole feeling, because luckily it has a very positive effect on us. We would say a boomerang effect, because we definitely want to come back here again. Maybe we will bring some new books, but one will certainly be the same – Hampden HLCF.

Vrboska, Island Hvar

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