Bahama Bob's Rumstyles

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Industrial Waste to Rum is the True Beginning

St. Nicolas Abbey, 15th Century Barbados Sugar Plantation
     The first distillation of rum took place on the sugarcane plantations of the Caribbean in the 17th century. Plantation slaves first discovered that molasses, a byproduct of the sugar refining process, could be fermented into alcohol.   Tradition suggests rum first originated on the island of Barbados.

     A viscous liquid would seep out of the pots, and sugar would be left behind.  That liquid was molasses. Today we know molasses as a delicious sweetener found in gingerbread, poured over pancakes and an ingredient in baked beans, but in the 17th century, planters in Barbados couldn’t give the sticky and messy liquid away.  Slaves and livestock ate some of the molasses, but for the most part, it was an annoying bit of industrial waste.   For every two pounds of sugar that was produced, there would be a pound of molasses.  Colonial planters were swimming in this sticky stuff.   There was no good use for the stuff nor was there an export market, so planters resorted to dumping most of the molasses into the ocean.

Sugar Factory at St. Nicholas Abbey
     Fortunately, someone eventually figured out a use for this molasses. By mixing the Molasses with water and adding some naturally occurring yeast found on the cut cane stocks left behind in the field, they found that this industrial waste would ferment.  This was the basis for what was in those days as Kill-Devil or rum.

     It is said that the first distillation of the fermented molasses occurred in the sugarcane plantations of the Caribbean island of Barbados.  Later, distillation of these alcoholic byproducts concentrated the alcohol and removed impurities, producing the first true rums. Tradition suggests rum first originated on the island ofBarbados, but in the area of 1620’s, rum production was recorded in Brazil.   A liquid identified as rum has been found in a tin bottle found on the Swedish warship Vasa, which sank in 1628.
Wind Driven Sugar Cane Crusher
     A 1651 document from Barbados stated, "The chief fuddling they make in the island is Rumbullion, otherwise know as Kill-Devil.  “Kill-Devil is made of sugar canes distilled, a hot, hellish, and terrible liquor”  Time and distilling, fermentation and aging skills has brought rum a long way to what it is today.  It is one of the finest categories of brown spirits on the market today.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Recent Storms Have Meant Changes in How sand Where To and Not To Rebuild

Flood Plain Building Requirements
     Here in Florida, technology has helped people keep on top of disaster potentials for repeat flooding events.   A flood zone mapping app  created by MIT lets people use Twitter, Facebook or other media to source information about the depth of water and risks to specific areas, allowing people to avoid the most dangerous regions.

     Now that the waters have receded and highways accessible again, people will begin the slow process of returning to their homes.   6.3 million people were evacuated in Florida, some of which will never be able to return to their homes.  Some of those who find their homes and communities destroyed may decide to move away rather than face the risk of another disaster.

    Twelve years after Hurricane Katrina, the population of New Orleans is still lower than its pre-Katrina levels.  Those who do returned home found themselves forced to live in flood-prone areas because they cannot afford to pay the higher rents in safer areas.  This will be a factor in a growing economic inequality occurring in many cities hit by Irma.    Long term effects from Irma could reshape how cities like Miami and others facing an extreme number of occurrences of rising sea levels will rebuild after these storms.

      There are some very hard questions that need to be asked as to which places should be returned to mother nature and which to rebuild upon.  In the past, things would just be rebuilt stronger, without any consideration of the real problem of the area. With the threat of climate change, it might be time to rethink that mindset, he says.

     Down here in the Florida Keys, these are questions that are having to be asked as well.  Much of the problem down here is handled by placing houses on 6 to 10 feet above the flood plain foundations on which the houses are built.  Looking around Key West, there was minimal damage to this type of structures.  Many of the trailer parks that were destroyed by Irma are being replaced by this type of structures.   All of this has a price tag, but if you are going to stay in a flood plain, the price of this type of housing is higher, but not as high as the increasing flood in

Thursday, January 18, 2018

There Seems to be a Movement a foot toward "Mindful Drinking"

     One of the hot topics of the people is the concept of “mindful drinking”.    This is a concept of being aware of when and how much you are truly consuming.  It is all about still allowing yourself to consume alcoholic beverages, but limiting it to specific times and places and how much.  It is having the strength to say just water or club soda instead of another cocktail or other adult beverage.   Making sure that you are in control of yourself and not allowing the booze to make your decisions.

     "There are many shades of gray when it comes to alcohol addiction,"and perhaps there can be shades of gray when it comes to sobriety as well."   Off-and-on drinkers can fill their calendars with alcohol-free events.  Others use mindfulness-a focus on the present moment that recent research has found to be effective in helping heavy drinkers cut back-and similar strategies to booze when it suits still be able to say no when it doesn't.

     Groups like CLUB SÖDA are around and aren't necessarily helping people get sober. The founders are careful to state before each event that CLUB SÖDA is not an addiction recovery group, it is estimated that only 30% of attendees never drink. The group isn't even angling for people to drink less, though that's often the result. Instead, it's more about cultivating "mindfulness around drinking, and questioning what effort is actually being put toward bliss in their life.

     "I just got to a place where I wanted to stop having alcohol be such a presence in my life," say some members, that now typically limit drinking to Friday and Saturday nights. "I still like alcohol, but I wanted to bring more control to my life.
     Sarah Bowen, a clinical psychologist who has studied mindfulness and substance abuse at Oregon's Pacific University, says that mindfulness techniques-many of which are secularized interpretations of Buddhist traditions meant to boost internal awareness and clarity-can be tools for helping people avoid problem drinking. In one of Bowen's studies, published in the journal Substance Abuse in 2009, mindful exercises helped people with alcohol dependency avoid relapse longer than standard treatment practices.

      I feel like this is a good practice, because like most things in life, moderation is the real key.  Being aware of what you are doing really make sense, no matter what you are doing.   There is a lot more information out there on line, just Google "Mindful Drinking". 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

How Did the Rum Industry Survive the Deveistation August and September Storms?

Hurricane Irma
     When you think about the Caribbean you think about rum and all those famous rum cocktails.  Irma and Marie have put quite a hurtin” on the rum industry on many of the Caribbean Islands.   Places like the Soggy Dollar, Foxy’s, Ivan’s, Pusser’s Restaurants and ever=n the Willie were destroyed in August and September of last year. 
     Pusser’s Rum, which is now being distilled in Trinidad and Guyana escaped the devastation and they still have a strong supply of rum.  The bad part is they lost all three restaurants and thanks to the fact that their rum is being distilled in Trinidad and Guyana, escaped the devastation.   The BVI­-based Pusser’s Rum, where it was founded by Charles Tobias in 1980, suffered catastrophic damage, including its corporate office building and warehouse” members.”
     In St Croix, the US Virgin Islands, Cruzan Rum Distillery suffered some warehouse damage, but was back in production after three weeks, while Captain Morgan “experienced only minimal impact.
     Roberto Serrallés, sixth-generation distiller of Puerto Rico’s Don Q Rum, was desperate to get home from the US find out how his company and employees did during the storms.   “We’re a family distillery on the southern, Caribbean side of Puerto Rico.”   “We’ve been distilling for 152 years and have seen lots of strong storms. This was different. It took us four days just to get a message through and it took eight days to make sure all our employees were fine. Once everyone was accounted for, there was then the process of getting back to business.”   Destileria Serrallés was well prepared after the wake­up call of Hurricane Georges in 1998.  “We couldn’t let that happen again, as storms are getting stronger and more frequent,” we have ensured that over the past decade the distillery has not relied on city water, and can generate its own power.
     Puerto Rico is also home to Bacardi, the giant distillery on the north coast. Just outside of San Juan.  It produces 80% of all its rum. “The fact that they were up and running a week after the hurricanes passed through the island, because they were we were ready for them,” there was no damage to stocks, “Incredibly, we didn’t lose a single barrel,” he said.
     Cuba is a big market for Havana Club, whose modern distillery, built in 2007, was left undamaged. Irma, the first Category 5 hurricane to hit the island since 1937.   One senior official reportedly described the destruction of the island’s sugarcane crop as “incalculable”. I we look at the overall supply of sugarcane and molasses used in Caribbean rum, this year’s hurricane season won’t have much impact. “It’s a global commodity,” and is more affected by sugar prices rather than the storm.

     All in all the industry came back very quickly and rum production was back on line with very little disruption in the supply chain.  Glad to hear that so many are back up to full production and their employees are back on the job.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The First-Ever Caribbean Rum Awards

     The first yearof the  Caribbean Rum Awards was held in Saint Lucia this past weekend.  Here are the results of that competition.   The awards, created by Caribbean Journal and a team of nine judges, covered six categories, including white rum, white rhum agricole, best rum, best rhum agricole, spiced rum and gold rum, all judged in a blind tasting held at The Landings resort.
So who won?  Guyana’s El Dorado 12 took home the crown as the Best Rum, while Martinique’s Rhum

JM VO took home the top honors for Best Rhum Agricole.  Barbados’ Doorly’s Macaw won best white rum, while Florida’s Siesta Key won for best spiced rum and St. Lucia’s own Bounty Premium Gold won the award for best gold rum.

White Rum
Best White Rum: Doorly’s Macaw (Barbados)
Double Gold: Bounty Premium White Rum (Saint Lucia)
Gold: Brugal Special Extra Dry (Dominican Republic)
Best Rum 
Best Rum: El Dorado 12 (Guyana)
Double Gold: 1931 by St Lucia Distillers (Saint Lucia)
Gold: Chairman’s Reserve The Forgotten Casks (Saint Lucia)
Best White Rhum Agricole
Best: Rhum Neisson Bio 52.5 (Martinique)
Double Gold: Rhum Dillon Ti’ Fle’ Ble’ (Martinique)
Gold: Rhum Clement Canne Bleue (Martinique)
Best Rhum Agricole
Best: Rhum JM VO
Double Gold: Rhum Depaz XO
Gold: Rhum Clement 10 Ans
Best Spiced Rum
Best: Siesta Key Spiced Rum (Florida)
Double Gold: Chairman’s Reserve Spiced Rum (Saint Lucia)
Gold: Clifton Estate Rum (Nevis)
Best Gold Rum
Best: Bounty Premium Gold (Saint Lucia)
Double Gold: Island Company Rum (Trinidad)

Gold: Siesta Key Gold (Florida)

Monday, January 15, 2018

What Type of Drinker Are You?

Judi James
      I found this to be a very interesting article.  My time behind the bar has given me an interesting insight of the way that people drink and their mannerisms.  I feel like Judi James has categorized them perfectly.  I hope you get as big of kick out of this as I did.

    Judi James, says there are seven different types of drinking personalities.  The Splash Drinker doesn't waste time over drink as they're too eager to dance.  Shot Clinker is always the center of attention without even realizing,
Sip Drinker is a strategic type who evaluates how to maximize pleasure.   

     Are you a highly sociable shot clinker, or a clever pleasure-seeker who knows the value of taking your time over your favorite drink?   According to body language expert Judi James, there are seven different types of drinking personalities that you'll usually observe if you take the time to look around you next time you're on a night out at the pub.   While some are more interested in how aesthetically pleasing their drink will look on social media, others prioritize hitting the dancefloor - and you can tell who is who just by observing their mannerisms and body language.

The Splash Drinker

     When drinking a cocktail such as a Pornstar Martini, they will splash the shot of prosecco into the glass without much thought.   'The splash drinker will have very practical, down-to-earth body-language' Judi explained. 'They'll be no-nonsense and you'll have no trouble spotting them as they'll be the first on the dance floor.'   Rather than spending time savoring a fancy cocktail the splash drinker just wants to get on with it so they can enjoy themselves on the dancefloor.    'With them, what-you-see-is-what-you-get, they don't mess around,' Judi explained.

The Squeeze Drinker

     This drinker will make no bones about dipping their fingers into a perfectly-presented cocktail and squeezing a slice of passion fruit.  'The squeeze defines themselves as tactile and literally hands-on; they are creative and crave attention,' Judi explained.   'They can be a bit of a performer in life generally, happily taking center stage at social events and parties and encouraging others to enjoy themselves too.'

The Share Drinker

     'Some cocktail drinkers just love to share their pleasure with others, not only enjoying their cocktail but handing it round so everyone can take a sip,' Judi said.   'They are a generous, happy-go-lucky giver. They would tend to beam as they perform their act of generosity and then perform a strong bonding ritual that makes others instantly warm to them.   You'll most likely find them in the middle of the party.'

The Shot - Clinker

     This personality type is 'highly sociable, with a strong work-hard play-hard ethic'.  'They know what they want and that's to be social,' Judi said. 'They will be the center of attention without realizing it, and first to get the party started.'  'They enjoy pack-partying, out in a group and often selecting the shot ritual of clinking glasses to intensify the fun via group or team shared activity.

The Snap Drinker

     Everyone has a friend in their group who is the 'social media star'.   Judi explained: 'They will instantly stop and move to snap and share their cocktail on social media.   'This is before they tuck in is revealing their love of sharing the moment with their followers. For any snap drinker it's always Instagram first, drink second.'

The Savor Drinker

     If you fall into this category, you're the type to tune into all your senses and aim to enhance pleasure 'in every way possible'.  'They are the sophisticated taste lover,' Judi continued. 'A clever and indulgent pleasure-seeker, the savor drinker is sophisticated and smart.   'Their body language doesn't always define them as too cool for school as they are happy savoring their drink and letting everyone know just how much they're enjoying it.'

The Sip Drinker 

     This personality type is also a pleasure-seeker, but is more strategic.   'The sipper might look like they are just taking their time but in fact they are the ultimate pleasure-seeker, someone smart and strategic who works at getting the best out of every situation,' Judi said.   'They know that the best things come to those who wait, and are happy to draw out their favorite cocktail. They take care over their movements and are often found thoughtfully enjoying their cocktail.'


Sunday, January 14, 2018

Signs Signs Everywhere a Sign and a Lot of Them are Feally Funny

     Have you ever driven or walked down a street and read the signs, Some of them will leave you scratching your head.  Like  when you come to a "T" intersection and there is a stop sigh and a no right or left turn sigh, interesting.

      In the open country, or several places I've been where there is a road at the end of a runway, and warning signs can really take you back.

     I really would like to meet the person that decided that this sign was necessary, I'm really worried about the people that live in this area really needing this sign.

     Now this is one that I'll never understand, really not ever.  Need I say any more?

     This is a warning, beware of stupid signs, and good luck making the right choice whe you arrive at one.