Bahama Bob's Rumstyles

Monday, September 24, 2018

An Italiam Style Daiquiri

     There are a lot of combinations of liquors and mixes out there that end up being cocktails, but there are only a few combinations that end up being great daiquiries,   Here is an idea for one that dmight be able to become one of your all time favorites.  There are so many combinations that are called daiquiri, but this one might be one that you put dinto your cocktail notebook to pull up every now and again.

Bahama Bob’s “Italian Style” Daiquiri 
  • 2 oz. Dzama Dark Rum
  • ½ oz. Amaro de Toscana
  • 1 oz. Lime Juice
  • ¾ oz. Orgeat

Place all ingredients into a shaker filled with ice and shake until chilled, strain into a cocktail glass filled with fresh ice and garnish with mint sprigs.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Another Cuba Day Trip Ahead

     In October I'm heading to Havana, Cuba again to do a rum tasting.  I love these one day excursions to talk about one of my favorite subjects in a land where rum is a very important part of their economy.

     When I think about rum in Cuba I think about Santiago de Cuba, the area where the daiquiri was created and the original rum home of the Bacardi family.  There are still many reminders for the people of the "revolucion" on the walls throughout Cuba.  This one in in Santiago de Cuba.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Middle-Aged Adults Are More Concerned About Reputation Than Health When Drinking Alcohol

     Alcohol can negatively affect your health in several ways, but middle-aged drinkers aren’t very concerned about the risks. They are more worried about their reputation, according to a new report.  Researchers from the University of Adelaide in Australia recently conducted a study, published in the BMC Public Health Journal, to explore drinking patterns among “non-problematized” middle-aged adults.   To do so, they examined nine previous assessments from Britain, Austria, Japan and Norway and investigated how drinking is influenced by four essential themes: gender, play, identity, and learning to drink.
     After analyzing the results, they found people aged 30 to 65 did not identify health as a significant concern in relation to alcohol consumption, unless they were likely to harm another. “Health was either described as a minor concern or not considered at all,” the team said in the study.  Instead, they cared more about displaying the negative effects of drinking, such as having slurred speech, vomiting or experiencing a hangover. They believed these behaviors were associated with those with drinking problems. The participants also often mentioned the need to be able to meet work and domestic responsibilities, particularly among parents and caregivers.

     “Acceptable drinking was framed as respectable drinking that was appropriate to one’s age or stage of life and which allowed participants to meet their responsibilities,” the authors wrote. “By contrast, unacceptable drinking was drinking that was inappropriate to one’s age or stage of life and/or prevented one from meeting their responsibilities.”

     When it came to gender, they discovered women were more likely to be scrutinized for how much they drank compared to men, while men were more criticized for what they drank. For example, some subjects “drew on the social capital of wine connoisseurship to construct alternate masculinities, and other men stated that drinking outside of the ‘pints in pubs’ model could be done in ‘exceptional circumstances’ such as holidays and special occasions,” the team stated.

      “Our results offer insights into how public health messages about the health effects of alcohol consumption may be received by middle-aged non-problematized drinkers,” the authors concluded, “and the barriers that may prevent this group from receiving and acting on these messages.”

Friday, September 21, 2018

Grenada, Carriacou, and Petite Martinique Announce the Ban on Styrofoam Products

     Grenada is joining a number of Caricom Caribbean Community countries that have, in the recent past, announced plans to ban the use of styrofoam.   The Keith Mitchell Administration has given September 1, 2018 as the deadline for a ban on the importation of the product as the initial step in a phased approach to the eradication of styrofoam and reduction of single-use plastics, in keeping with the Non-Biodegradable Waste Control Act, which was passed in Parliament this year.

      The second phase will be a ban on the sale of styrofoam in the tri-island state, effective March 1, 2019, and by April 1, 2019, prohibiting the sale and offer for sale of food in or with these products. According to Climate Resilience and the Environment Minister Simon Stiell, ultimately, there should be “zero styrofoam across Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique”,     Speaking at the weekly Cabinet meeting, Stiell said that the ban is not being instituted arbitrarily, but in consultation with importers and other stakeholders.

The environment minister said it is encouraging to note that “many restaurants and many stores have already transitioned to alternative products, and the stated timelines are agreed upon by both importers and Government”.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Interesting Distilleries to Visit in the Caribbean

 River Antoine Distillery - Grenada

     You will find Rivers Rum 'up north', near the beautiful (but treacherous) north east coast. Not  far from Tivoli, not far from Lake Antoine. The place dates from 1785, though there may have been distilling activity there even further back, but this is a distillery that runs all year. 
     A bit of a contradiction: the concentration of sugar in cane is at its highest during the dry season (Jan to May), but the water wheel which powers the cane press is obviously more likely to work when there is plenty of water in the river, during the rainy season (June - Dec.)   The simplicity and antiquity of the place is what makes River Antoine so interesting.. Bundles of cane are crushed twice, then placed in the island's only railway truck which is trundled along the island's only railway line for the very short trip to a tip. Here the cane dries in the sun and, now known as 'bagasse', is used as fertilizer for the cane fields.

Foursquare Rum Distillery & Heritage Park - Barbados

     Hidden in the southern countryside region of Barbados, on a former sugar plantation of about 8 acres, sits the Foursquare Rum Distillery and Heritage Park. This working rum factory that Richard Seale masterfully operates is world renown for its rums, producing a wide range including the flavorful brands like  Doorly's, Old Brigand, E.S.A.Field and many more. Foursquare Rum Distillery is the proud winner of the Rum Distillery of the Year in November 2016 at the IWSC in London, UK.  
     This working rum factory, the Heritage Park with its historic buildings, colonial architecture and folk museum, offers a step back in time and a tribute to the important role that sugar and rum has played in Barbados' history.

Cayman Spirits - Grand Cayman
     Opened in June 2013, our new Cayman Spirits Company Distillery is Grand Cayman’s largest 
Distillery, and the only source of handcrafted spirits in the islands. We’d love to show you around.  Come get a behind-the-scenes look at our unique approach. Inside the custom-built 5000 square foot facility you’ll see our 1200 gallon Vendome copper pot still, the 30 foot tall Gun Bay Vodka tower, and our original Christian Carl pot still we use to perfect Seven Fathoms Rum.
St. Lucia Distillery - St. Lucia

     St Lucia Distillers Group of Companies emerged from a tradition of the on-site, house-special rum production that was a common feature of the West Indian sugar plantation.   By the late 1950s, two distilleries remained, one at Dennery, the site of the Barnard family plantation, and the other Geest-owned at Roseau, the location of the now St Lucia Distillers Group of Companies.   St Lucia Distillers Group of Companies was formed in 1972 when the two distilleries amalgamated.    The Barnard family bought out the Geest shares in 1992 and in 1997 sold shares to Trinidad-based Angostura Ltd.  In 2005 the Barnard family, planters and rum distillers for over a century sold to CLICO, with third generation rum-maker Laurie Barnard staying on as Managing Director.
St Lucia Distillers Group of Companies, in the thirty nine (39) years since its inception, has grown from producing a single-label mass-market rum to a portfolio of premium rums and liqueurs.

St. Nicolas Abbey – Barbados
St Nicholas Abbey has always been a sugar plantation house. The exact origin of its name is not known but rumored to have been named after George Nicholas, husband to Berringer's granddaughter, Susanna.  Berringer was killed in a duel with his neighbor, Sir John Yeamans, who then married Berringer's widow and claimed the abbey as his property.  The abbey was no longer a functioning plantation after 1947.   Sugar has been grown on the plantation since 1640 and there is still the evidence of the mill and sugar making edifices. Sugar was processed on the property until 1947.  Since 2006, the abbey is owned by local Barbadian architect, Larry Warren. Warren has restored the abbey as well as the rum making distillery on the sight.  YoWarren is currently developing a small private railway system on the property, the St. Nicholas Abbey Heritage Railway, to be completed by the end of 2018.  St Nicholas Abbey is currently a well-preserved museum, successfully recreating 18th-century plantation life.  There is a rare 1930s film of life on a sugar plantation that is available for viewing in the museum. Listed by the Barbados Tourism Authority as one of the "Seven Wonders of Barbados.   The property has attracted several thousand visitors a year.

     This is only five of the ones that I have visited. Id will have to cover so many of the others that I have visited over the years.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Rum is Not Just For Cocktails: It is Great for Sipping as Well

     In any number of cocktails are the most popular way to drink rum.  That’s perfectly acceptable, but why are you are just limiting yourself to a mixed cocktails?   Great rum is like other great brown liquors, they need to be sipped.  Aged rum like aged whiskey, needs to be sipped to appreciate all the nuances it offers. But navigating the category and all its different expressions can sometimes be as complex like a premium aged rum’s flavor profile.

     Keep it simple by starting with a product that sums up everything there is to love about aged rum.  You don’t need to start out with a $100 bottle of premium rum.  There are several  fine rums for $15 to $25 that are great to begin you journey through premium rums.  Brands like Doorly’s, Mount Gay, Abuelo, Flor de Cana or Diplomatico  are good starting places .  These are very different tasting, and you will be able to take a direction for your palate.  

     These aged rums have a subtle and luxurious flavor profile, with a perfect balance of caramelized vanilla, oak and fruits, in every sip.   That alone is not what makes it an ideal sipping rum.

     Caribbean Aged rums are a great place to start, they get their irresistible flavor from being aged under the tropical sun for 5 to 10 years. That may not seem all that long, but aging happens more rapidly in the tropics.  Location and climate influence rum’s maturation process as much as time does. The warm tropical climate speeds up evaporation, resulting in 8 to 10 percent of the liquid being lost to the angel share every year. By comparison, that number would hover around 2 or 3 percent if the same rum were aged in colder climates.
     Rum experts aren’t satisfied with knowing how long a rum has been aged. They need to know where it’s aged to really understand its true maturation level. The investigation continues from there, examining what kind of wood is used in the barrels and whether or not the aging process was continuous.  These rums are a great place to start your journey, because they are not expensive, you will have the opportunity to try different expressions and find where your palate takes you.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Virgin Island Governor Says No To any More Rum Deals Like the Diageo and Cruzan Ones

Cruzan Plant on St. Croix

     U.S. Virgin Islands Governor, Kenneth Mapp said on Wednesday night that he refused to do business with two rum companies, because the companies wanted an agreement similar to Diageo USVI’s and Cruzan Rum’s, and that was something the governor said he was not willing to do.  The response to Mr. Johnson’s revelation that Mr. Mapp had turned down rum companies came during the governor’s Virgin Islands Political Consortium interview on Wednesday, held at Government House, where the governor fielded questions on a number of matters of importance to the Virgin Islands.

     “We don’t have any interest because we’re not in the business of giving away the revenues of the treasury and then putting the burden on the citizens that live and work in the Virgin Islands and conduct business here”.   Mr. Mapp, though expressing no intention of revisiting the deal, has nonetheless spoken vehemently against the agreement, contending that the administration of John de Jongh gave up too many concessions, which he contends has cost the local government dearly.

     Internal Revenue Matching Fund, known as the rum cover-over funds that the territory receives annually from the U.S. Treasury, hover between $225 million to $250 million, most of which go towards paying the territory’s bondholders. Of the remaining funds, Diageo USVI and Cruzan Rum receive the lion’s share for promotional fees and molasses subsidies, as per the government’s agreement with the companies.   That does not benefit the USVI, and he would not offer any other rum company a deal that mirrors the current. He also reminded that the local government paid $250 million to build the Diageo plant.

Diageo Plant on St. Croix
     This year, the governor said the rum-cover funds to be received from the federal government jumped from $227 million to $251 million. He said the rum revenues to the general fund this year will be $24 million, $20 million of which will go to the rum companies, while $4 million will remain with the local government.  
     “The molasses subsidy on rum is 16 cents a gallon by the rum company, and the people of the Virgin Islands pay the difference. It takes one gallon of molasses to produce one gallon of rum. When the Diageo deal was ratified in 2008, one gallon of molasses was $1.68, so when you took out the 16 cents, the people of the Virgin Islands paid $1.52 for molasses. You multiple that by Diageo’s 9 million gallons of rum, and that’s about $13 million a year in rum subsidy,” Mr. Mapp explained. “Today in 2018, a gallon of molasses on the spot market to produce one gallon of rum is $2.98. Diageo pays 16 cents, and the people of the Virgin Islands pay $2.82 for that gallon of rum… So when you bring rum companies to the territory under that regimen, we, with the rum companies that exist today, could find ourselves going to the general fund to take money out to pay to the rum companies.”

     I can understand his position, things are tight enough there in St. Croix and to add more negative cash flow to the territories is not something of a real benefit.  They have had some issues with Diageo as well during its tenure on the island.