skip to content rich footer

subscibe to the rss feed

Mamajuana & our Pirate Cyser

We get asked a lot about Pirate Cyser and why it’s not viable for commercial consumption. The short answer is that production of cyser is relatively expensive; the additional cost of 25 per cent rum into each bottle would force costs beyond viability.

A nice dark rum is something like Bundaberg Single Vat Double Aged rum and Tasmania simply isn’t in a rum climate zone. We’ve tested; Pirate Cyser is not as nice with whiskey.

We’re also interested in the linkage between pirates, naval tradition, the ocean, sailing ships, mead and rum. To use whiskey would be like bare bum paddling Mary Queen of Scots. There, it’s been said.

To create a Pirate Cyser we ferment a very sweet and sack strength super-cinnamon-saturated metheglin. We age it for around six months (but it isn’t entirely necessary). The colour we look for is a dark golden brown that reflects a high spice content. A sweet and slightly syrupy liqueur.

An interesting comparison of what we’re out to achieve with a good Pirate Cyser can be seen in this demonstration of making mamajuana – a peasant’s drink from the Dominican Republic.

A basic mamajuana is a mix of one-third wine, one-third rum and one-third honey poured into a bottle over bark, herbs and spices. The bottle is left from two-to-four weeks for flavour infusion.

Whereas, our Pirate Cyser currently relies solely on cinnamon sticks floated at primary fermentation and left inside the fermenter for upward of six months before racking. We like those sticks to fall to the bottom. But the similarity of the final objective is pretty much the same between the mamajuana infusion and Pirate Cyser infusion. Experience suggests the mamajuana spices are stronger in the aroma and not as deep in the taste (remembering that taste plus aroma equals flavour and time of addition affects the spice profile).

Next year we might experiment with our style under the mamajuana influence and make up bottles of Pirate Cyser with much more complex herb and spice profiles finished in 2 litre or 5 litre glass bottles. One concern is that the spice bill might skyrocket compared to our current method. The other problem is how can we afford to buy all that rum in one purchase? We’re broke and not sharing our rum.

At the same time, mamajuana is a refillable and re-usable spice infusion so we could refill the original spiced bottles with fresh cyser and rum. No, it’s not a traditional mead. But we’re very interested in what mead can be rather than what everybody is out there selling into the market.

Comments are closed.

Social Networking

Keep an eye out for me on Instagram

About the Author

Steven Clark Steven Clark - the stand up guy on this site

My name is Steven Clark and I live in the Derwent Valley in Southern Tasmania. I have an MBA (Specialisation) and a Bachelor of Computing from the University of Tasmania. I'm a mazer & a yeast farmer (making beer, fruit wine and mead as by-products of continuous improvement in my farming practices). I'm a photographer, although my film cameras are currently silent. I do not tolerate idiots. I do not tolerate bigotry. I do not tolerate excuses. Let's be clear, if you sit with my enemies you my are my enemy for life.

Blogger. Thinker. Brewer. Drinker. Life partner to the amazing and incredible Megan.

skip to top of page