Posts Tagged Rum

Rum: You’re Drinking It All Wrong

Posted in Boat Drinks, Rum | Comments Off on Rum: You’re Drinking It All Wrong

fa-5-rum-myth

“Of all the spirits in your home, rum is the most romantic,” wrote bon vivant James Beard in 1956. He was right, of course. A single sip can bring to mind tall palm trees and tiny umbrellas, exotic vacations and colorful, complicated history. But romance is the opposite of fact, and rum has thus proved a fertile breeding ground for myths, which have taken root and spread like bougainvillea.

Here are five I heard while researching And a Bottle of Rum and since, with correctives:

Rum is always sweet.
Yes, all rum is made from sugar. No, that doesn’t mean it’s sweet. Yeast diligently converts sugar to alcohol and carbon dioxide before it goes into the still. A white rum can be as dry as any liquor. And aging in oak adds tannins and other wood flavorings that can produce dark rum as puckery as Scotch.

Rum is best mixed with fruit juices.
Rum has traditionally been a cheap spirit, and so it was often combined with cheap juices for frat parties. But a good rum holds its own in classic cocktails like a rum Manhattan or a rum Old Fashioned. The finest aged rums are best appreciated neat, like cognac.

Rum is a Caribbean/West Indian spirit.
Rum’s commercial birthplace may have been the sugar cane fields of the islands and the tropics, but prior to the American Revolution, dozens of rum distilleries existed in New England. Today, rum is again a North American product, with craft distillers making distinctive rums from Hawaii and New Orleans to Boston.

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5 New Rums You Need to Try

Posted in Pirates, Rum | Comments Off on 5 New Rums You Need to Try

Best Rum Guide — 2013

 

For years, mixologists and spirits experts have been trumpeting the return of rum. And its popularity and status in the world of cocktails is now without question. Just as with Scotch, there are bars devoted to the liquor and an ever-growing selection of bottlings. So we asked Martin Cate, all-star bartender and owner of acclaimed San Francisco establishmentSmuggler’s Cove, to share with us the five new rums he thinks you should try this winter. Enjoy!

KIRK AND SWEENEY ($40):

This recently released spirit (pictured above) hails from the Dominican Republic and was matured for 12 years in American-oak barrels. It’s named for a Prohibition-era rum-smuggling schooner and is bottled in California. “Light in body, but long on character,” Cate says. “A subtly complex charmer.”

CAÑA BRAVA RUM ($36 FOR 1 LITER):

“Caña Brava is dry but bright and lively,” Cate says of the alcohol co-created by Liquor.com advisory board members Simon Ford and Dushan Zaric. “This lightly aged Panamanian rum comes with gentle fruit notes on the nose and the right proof to make it pop in a perfect Daiquiri.”

MOUNT GILBOA AGED ($35):

Have you heard of Mount Gilboa? “It’s from one of the oldest distilleries in Barbados,” Cate says. “This triple-distilled, 100-percent-pot-still molasses rum brings plenty of ripe fruit and baking-spice notes and is a gorgeously versatile (and long-awaited) treat.”

CLÉMENT 6 YEAR OLD GRANDE RESERVE TRÈS VIEUX ($55):

Cate suggests this rhum agricole from Martinique. “Clément 6 Year beautifully balances deep French-oak notes with bright, classic agricole herbaceous and grassy aromas,” he says. “An elegant sipper to enjoy neat or on a rock.”

BANKS 7 GOLDEN AGE ($30):

Banks 7 Golden Age was introduced a few months ago, and Cate strongly recommends you taste it. “A blend of rums from six islands and arrack from Indonesia makes for an elaborate and intriguing mélange of flavors that ends up having more applications than you would have imagined,” he says. The brand was developed with the help of award-winning barman and Liquor.com advisory board member Jim Meehan.

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Heisting The Beard – A Novel By J.C. Perez

Posted in Island Enthusiasts, Rum | Comments Off on Heisting The Beard – A Novel By J.C. Perez

Do you think the pirate days are over in the Caribbean? True, the tall ships no longer pounce on their prey from hidden island coves, but if you open up your imagination and dive into this book you’ll believe those days aren’t quite over yet.

Two years ago when I first started this Caribbean escapism blog, I was contacted by a gentleman named J.C. Perez. He lives in the southwest Florida area and took an early interest in the site. We exchanged email and even talked on the phone a few times. He told me he was an author and a native Cuban. I valued every time I got the chance to talk to him. He would tell me stories of Cuba, the Bahamas, drugs and the Florida Keys. As you can imagine I was fascinated and wanted to find out more about the under belly of the Caribbean. What, it’s not all rum runners, white sand and bikinis?

About 6 months or so ago J.C. sent me his new book, Heisting the Beard. It took me awhile to finally open it up, but once I did I was hooked like a mahi mahi. Heisting The Beard is a story that’s sprinkled with money, murder and a little bit of sex. Told through the eyes of the main character Kiki Logan, you’ll follow him through the Florida Keys, Havana Cuba and the Bahamas. The Beard, Cuba’s own Castro, has not only been stealing form the people of Cuba but from other Caribbean nations as well. Kiki has it in his mind to enact a little bit of revenge. Almost like a modern day Robin Hood, but does he survive and get away with it? Get the book to find out.

Here is the teaser from the back cover…

Kiki Logan is convinced by the well connected Banco to search for a large cache of treasure pulled from the depths of the Caribbean by the Cuban Government. On this perilous adventure, numerous characters join in, most notably David, Kiki’s connection in Cuba. Kiki and David try to locate the treasure in Cuba. They find a giant warehouse and upon raiding in, they discover cars, cocaine, and cash, as well as the infamous and elusive Golden Madonna statue. Will the treasure hunters be successful, or will the raid end, as many fear, in their deaths? And what will happen to the famous statue.

About The Author

J.C. Perez is a Cuban-American writer, born in Caibarien, Cuba in 1955. His great grandfather was a Cuban sugar baron, a Colono, who owned an immense sugar plantation in the middle of the island. Perez’s parents fled Caibarien for Havana in 1959 when Che Guevara’s troops hit Santa Clara. A product of the Peter Pan flights organized by the Catholic Church to get children out of the revolutionary turmoil, Perez ultimately grew up in suburban New Jersey, as what could best be described as a normal, middle-class American child. However, Perez spent many weekends in the hills of New Jersey playing war games. These weren’t the usual Boy Scout fare; they were sponsored by the CIA and were instrumental in what later became ine Bay of Pigs fiasco and many other insurgencies.

Arriving in Miami in 1977, Perez was at the center of a regional boom that was controlled by the Cubans. He became a significant player and in the process of traveling in order to meet his business obligations, he became familiar with the entire breadth of the Caribbean scene, from the Bahamas to Cartegena, and all the major players involved. Some of these people were reggae singers, some were drug lords, others business men.

Perez knew when to call it quits. He moved to the west coast of Florida and settled on a farm, cultivating his own garden and, to everyone’s surprise, he began to write.

Go get the book and let me know what you think. Its inspired me to take a deeper look into Cuba.

Cheers,
RumShopRyan

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Sanibel Island Tops Arthur Frommer’s Top Destinations List

Posted in Island Enthusiasts | 1 Comment »

Sanibel Island listed as Arthur Frommer’s top destination? Yeah right.

Last night I had just gotten home from a little run down the street. I walked in the door, clicked on the tube to the local news and slammed a Gatorade trying to cool off. The excited news anchor was gushing how Southwest Florida’s own Sanibel Island had just topped Arthur Frommer’s “Favorite Destinations” list for 2012. Now our news anchors down here aren’t exactly grade A superstars, so errors sometimes do happen. Maybe they misunderstood Frommer’s list and are just saying Sanibel was in the top spot.

Still dripping with sweat (sexy, I know) I sat down at the computer and Google Frommer’s list. I find what I’m looking for on the Chicago Tribune, Arthur Frommer’s favorite travel destinations. There it was, right in front of my eyes, Sanibel Island, the seashell capital of the US, atop Frommer’s distinguished list. News person got it right!

Travel magnate, Arthur Frommer says the leisure enjoyed during the holiday season is a perfect time in which to plan future vacations. So he compiled a list of his own favorite destinations…it just so happens there are 10 of them.

Here is Frommer’s Top 10 Favorite Destinations

10. Kenya
9. New York City’s Greenwich Village
8. Chiang Rai, Thailand
7. Yachats, the Oregon Coast
6. Bonaire, one of the ABC islands of the Southern Caribbean
5. Cairo, Egypt
4. St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands
3. Paris, France
2. The Island of Bali, in Indonesia
1. Sanibel Island, Florida

Living just a short 35 minute drive from Sanibel, I sometimes pop over to the island for a little staycation time. The $6.00 toll to get on to the island is a little steep but the beauty is worth it. Sanibel is full of amazing seashell covered beaches, small boutique shops and just a laid back attitude. Home to the Ding Darling Nature Preserve which takes up more than half the island, it provides a home to thousands of birds, fish and I believe even some American Salt Water Crocodiles. If you haven’t been you should check it out.

Here is an Island Lime Video I shot on Sanibel a couple months ago. It’s easy to get lost in the beauty and the sound of the waves.

Cheers,
RumShopRyan

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Anguilla’s Own, The Story Of Bankie Banx

Posted in Island Enthusiasts, Trop Rock Artists | Comments Off on Anguilla’s Own, The Story Of Bankie Banx

Music, it sets the tone for any occasion. It could be a day at the beach with friends, a road trip with the family or a slow dance with the one you hold dear. Music is the soundtrack to our lives.

I’ve written about this artist before, one of the legends of the Caribbean, but this video pretty much sums up what he and his energy is all about. Bankie Banx, from the island of Anguilla, has been singing his brand of folk reggae around the Caribbean and the world for more than 30 years.

Why am I writing about Banx again? I’ve received quite a few emails lately about island music and what songs would make a great Caribbean vacation playlist. Of coarse I’m going to say Buffett, Chesney, Mishka, Marley, Zac Brown, Boat Drunks…there’s a bunch. But if you want some real island sound you need to look at Bankie Banx. He’s been doing it for so long and has been doing it so right. Tons of articles have been written and countless minutes have been recorded of him and his band performing. What can I do to spread the word, I don’t know. All I know is he’s on my island mix and I want to share it with you.

Here’s a great video of Bankie Banx describing his music and why he does what he does.

Bankie puts on one of the biggest music festivals in the Caribbean. Moonsplash which happens has his beach bar, The Dunes Preserve takes place Thursday March 8, until Sunday March 11, 2012. This four day music festival draws some big names not just in reggae but from all genres. Here’s is some more information on Moonsplash.

If you don’t have Banx on your island/chill/reggae playlist yet here you go.

Still In Paradise – Bankie Banx

If you’ve had the chance to catch Bankie’s act at his bar on Anguilla I’d love to hear you’re story.

Cheers,
RumShopRyan

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Beach Walking – The Cushe Slipper [Video]

Posted in Island Enthusiasts | 1 Comment »

Yes, another pair of sandals happened to find their way to the doorstep. How they got there I have no idea. At least that’s what I tell my girl friend. Can’t have to many!

Let’s talk shoes, cool, comfortable, good lookin’ beach shoes. Cushe Footwear makes some of the coolest shoes on the market today and they are easily one of my favorite brands. They have a ton of great flip flops and sandals for men and women. The newest addition to the collection is the Cushe Slipper.

I’m usually a straight flip flop guy but when the temperature dips down into the 50′s like they sometimes do during the winter in southwest Florida, one needs to ditch the open toe flip flops for something a little warmer. Enter the Cushe Slipper. Below is a short video of Erin and I talking about the Cushe Slipper and toughing it out on the beach on a chilly morning.

 

The Cushe Slipper has a lightweight canvas upper with a soft comfortable footbed and the unique Cushe hexagon bottom. The shoe easily slips on and off and looks good if you’re wearing jeans or shorts. The Cushe Slipper comes in five different colors; Black, Brown, Military, Sand and Navy. It’s rugged and has that already warn look. Click here to see more about the Cushe Slipper.

Cushe Slipper

Beach Shoe

If you’re in the market for some cool casual beach shoes check out the Cushe Slipper. Cushe also has a ton of other stylish shoes and even have boots for cold weather.

Let me know if you have a pair of Cushes. I’d love to know what you think.

Cheers!
RumShopRyan

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Conched In Key West Charity Pub Crawl 2012! Sept. 22nd

Posted in Island Enthusiasts, Rum | Comments Off on Conched In Key West Charity Pub Crawl 2012! Sept. 22nd

What does Arnold like saying…”I’ll be back.”

I’m not sure if it exactly fits, but I like quoting Schwarzenegger movies so we’ll roll with it. The Conched In Key West Pub Crawl is coming back to make its mark on 2012 and the wheels are already in motion to make it bigger and better than last year.

If you happened to of been hit in the head by a falling coconut and don’t remember what the Conched In Key West Pub Crawl is all about, let me help clear the cobwebs and re-enlighten you.

Key West Pub Crawl

reef relief Key WestThe now famous bar crawl started off as a group of friends getting together for some fun in Key West but it evolved into an exciting annual event to raise money for local charities. This years charity is Reef Relief. Reef Relief is a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to improving and protecting our coral reef ecosystem.

Their Goals

  • Increase public awareness of the importance and value of living coral reef ecosystems
  • Increase scientific understanding and knowledge of living coral reef ecosystems
  • Strengthen grassroots community-based efforts to protect coral reef ecosystems
  • Design, develop, and help implement strategies for marine protected areas associated with coral reef ecosystems
  • Support eco-tourism as part of sustainable community development that protects and preserves coral reef ecosystems
  • Strengthen our organizational capacity to carry out our mission
  • Reef Relief’s goal is S.E.A. for C.P.R.

The second annual Conched in Key West Bar Crawl is being hosted by a group of island enthusiasts rum aficionados including Team Cocktail, RumShopRyan, Shawn Martin, Conch Republic Bikinis, Rum Connection and Hoffman Publications. Offering plenty of fun and games, not to mention a few cocktails. Oh, did I mention it was on Key West!

Key West Pub Crawl

Participating stops include Cork Stogie, Rum Bar, Kelly’s, Bottle Cap, Overboard and many more. With a $30 ticket purchase, crawlers receive a Conched In Key West T-Shirt and drink specials at participating bars. There will be giveaways like bottles of rum, shirts, hats, gift cards and more.

Key West Pub Crawl

If you want to visit a tropical island, have some boat drinks and do it all for charity then this is your chance! Come to Key West, meet interesting people, have a few drinks and help support Reef Relief all at the same time. Hope to see you there!

Date: September 22, 2012
Time: 2pm-? (as long as you can make it!)
Location: Key West, FL – Duval St.
Price: $30 (includes shirt, drink specials charity donation)
Tickets: www.teamcocktail.com

Cheers!
RumShopRyan

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Coconut Mojito Drink Recipe – Did Someone Say Boat Drinks?

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After one sip, you’ll commit a little mortal sin.

I’ve said this before, I’m not the biggest fan of Mojito drinks. Just not a big fan of mint. But it has been years since I’ve had one so for the sake of research one needs to be open minded.

This past Saturday I was at Conch Republic Seafood Company (or Conch Farm) in Key West. I opened up their cocktail menu and was greeted by 7 or 8 different Mojito recipes. I was standing on the edge of the plank, about ready to fall overboard and try one of these tropical libations. Then the bartender tells us that the Mojitos were on special for $10, normally $12. Corona please!

Damn tourist trap.

So in honor of almost trying a Mojito, I give you a recipe to make your own…The Coconut Mojito.

  • 3oz. Coconut Rum
  • 1oz. lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon Simple Sugar
  • Shredded coconut
  • 5 Mint Sprigs

Mixing Instructions: Muddle mint in lime juice and sugar in a mixing glass. Add ice and pour coconut rum over ice. Dip the rim of an iced martini glass in shredded coconut. Shake and strain cocktail into glass.

What do you think, are you going to mix this boat drink up? Are you a fan of Mojitos? Should I get over my fear and sample a few of these minty rum drinks?

Cheers,
RumShopRyan

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No Name Pub On Big Pine Key Is A Florida Keys Must

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General store, brothel, bait and tackle, bar and restaurant; No Name Pub on Big Pine Key in the Florida Keys has been many things throughout the years. Brothel? Yes, brothel. Adds to the character of the place doesn’t it.

I was able to pay No Name Pub a visit for the first time this past weekend. My only regret was not being able to stay longer…and try their pizza!

It all started back in 1931 with the general store and bait and tackle shop. They remained that way until 1936 when the owners added a small room on to the main structure which became a restaurant. Thus the Pub was born.

In the late 1930′s in an effort to drum up business they turned the upstairs area into a brothel. Big Pine Key was full of fisherman spending their days on the water and their nights at the pub. Why not add a little rented female companionship! It was a good idea but the brothel was closed in the early 1940′s. Turns out the ladies of the night looked more like fish than tempting seductresses.

No Name Pub Big Pine Key

Sometime during the 1950s the general store and bait and tackle shop closed. The Pub was now 100% bar and restaurant and things were about ready to happen. No Name was added to the already Pub name and the bar became forever known as the No Name Pub.

No Name Pub quickly became a popular Keys hangout. The honky tonk atmosphere of beer drinking, pool shooting and great food eating became known from Miami To Key West. When the Pub got rockin’ it would get so smokey the customers would spill out into the backyard where dice, crap and card games would eventually break out. My kind of place.

No Name Pub

I tweeted a message saying I was at the No Name Pub on Big Pine and had a few people tell me I had to have the pizza. Turns out they’re famous for mouthwatering pizza. The 1960′s was the era that the famous No Name pizza was born. Two great cooks from Italy brought their recipe with them when they worked at the Pub. For the past 40 years the Pub still uses the same great recipe. Why didn’t the recipe ever change? Rumor has it that when the cooks left they wrote the recipe on the kitchen wall so future Pub crew would never forget.

The 1970′s and 80′s was the rowdy time of the Pub’s history. Early Jimmy Buffett played on the juke box while people would drink, eat and dance to excess in the Pub. There was a lot of illegal money passing through the Keys back then and everyone loved to spend it. They had so much money in fact, they started hanging it on the walls!

No Name Pub

No Name Pub is a living part of Florida Keys history. I know a lot of people jump on US 1 and head straight to Key West without stopping at small treasures like this. I’m guilty of the same crime. This was my first stop at No Name Pub and I have my buddy Shawn to thank for it. The Keys are filled with unique hole-in-the-wall places just like No Name Pub and deserve a visit. Next time you’re driving through the Keys, turn your trip into a bar hopping adventure and I guarantee you’ll fall even more in love with America’s little slice of the Caribbean.

Cheers,
RumShopRyan

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“Livin’ On Key West Time” – By Howard Livingston and the Mile Marker 24 Band

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Okay, get ready to sell everything you own and move to Key West to live “The Life“. Think I’m crazy? Watch this video and let the lyrics of this song and atmosphere of the bar soak into your island soul. Then you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

Key West is like a drug. You visit once and it grabs at you. You visit again and it becomes hard to leave. You visit again and it becomes part of your DNA. I’ve been to Key West dozens of times and it becomes a little harder to let go every time. During my visit this past weekend we visited bars and formed relationships to set up the Conched in Key West Charity Bar Crawl. Yes, it’s hard work, but I’m willing to make the sacrifice for all of you!

Smokin Tuna Saloon Key West

One of the places Shawn and I visited was the Smokin’ Tuna Saloon. A relative new comer when it comes Duval Street bars. Tucked into a courtyard just off Duval, the Smokin’ Tuna is high on our list for places to stop or finish the bar crawl at. Why? Because it’s bad ass! Watch this video of famous Key’s Trop-Rocker Howard Livingston and you’ll understand.

 

See what I mean! Not lying, I’ve just listened to this song about 6 times in a row as I’ve written this post. Crazy? Yeah, Key Crazy!

If you want to soak up this addictive island atmosphere then join us in September for the Conched in Key West Bar Crawl. It’s for a great charity, Reef Relief. Who knows, maybe we can get Howard to join us for the crawl and play at the pre-party the night before! I’ll see if I can work some magic to make that happen.

If you want Livin’ On Key West Time by Howard Livingston song, you can get it on iTunes here.

Perfect song to start the weekend with!

Cheers Castaways!
RumShopRyan

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