Bahama Bob's Rumstyles

Friday, March 23, 2018

Should Bars Use Explicit Sex to Sell Cocktails?

     We all know that sex sells but what happens when people cross a line? Are more stringent marketing restrictions needed in the spirits industry?   There’s no doubt that in recent history, spirits have pushed the boundaries when it comes to using sex in marketing.  Bulgarian brand Flirt Vodka has produced raunchy posters to attract attention, while sex has also driven publicity for Lust Vodka, Skyy Vodka, Evan Williams Bourbon, Bacardi rum and Cabana cacha├ža. Advertising authorities and broader public opinion have waged against such marketing tactics in the off­-trade, but what of the on-­trade? They may have happy hours and 2­ for­ 1 cocktail deals, but with competition cropping up on every street, bars, pubs and restaurants are seeking to differentiate themselves with outlandish, and sometimes shocking, marketing messages.
     But it’s not just promotions that can cause controversy. In 2016, a New Zealand bar was forced to withdraw two offensively named cocktails from its menu after being slammed by a former restaurant critic.   Wellington-­based bar Orpheus let customers use an iPad-­based ordering app, which allowed them to access 5,000 recipes from the internet, including cocktails with names such as Pillow Biter and Asian Fetish.  UK bar chain London Cocktail Club, known for its party-­hard reputation, is not one to shy away from lewd names. On the drinks menu, the venue has cocktails named Bump ‘N’ Grind, Kiss Me Quick, and a shot called Blowjob. “I think it’s about getting the balance right,” says James Coston, head of marketing at London Cocktail Club.   “It’s meant to be a little tongue­ in­ cheek, no one is expecting that with a Blowjob shot, you would get a blowjob. We’re trying to have a little bit of fun with the customers. People know these drinks, and know them well, so I don’t think people are too shocked by what cocktails are called.”
    Rules and regulations that could monitor sex­-inspired marketing in the on-­trade? There are no dedicated laws that govern how cocktails are advertised to the public in bars, yet there are rules that focus on how products are sold in the off-­trade.   The Portman Group’s code applies to the naming, packaging and promotional activity of bottled alcoholic drinks. However, the group doesn’t regulate cocktails in bars, pubs and clubs that have been created solely by an on­-trade venue.   The Portman Group’s 3.2 rule prevents brands or marketing from using sexualized images, or alluding to sexual activity, stating: “A drink, its packaging and any promotional material or activity should not in any direct or indirect way suggest any association with sexual activity or sexual success.”
    “This would be a licensing matter, and individual premises or operators will have their own voluntary policies and house rules on this matter. In our experience, products that use explicit sexual imagery and/or language to differentiate themselves in the market actually end up alienating many of their consumers.”    “There is a code that’s understood, and people know when things are entirely appropriate, but there is room for it to be written down for people in the on-­trade who are less careful, so they can understand that there is an etiquette to follow.”

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Real McCoy 10 Year Old Limited Edition Has Been Released

     Real McCoy 10 Year Old is a Limited Edition rum that is aged in Virgin Oak casks. This new
expression is produced in Barbados by the Foursquare Distillery known for its exquisite complex rums.   Bailey Pryor’s iconic brand calls from the prohibition-era and the rum running hero’s like Bill McCoy who refused to compromise the quality of his products for volume.  There will only be 3,000 bottles of this small batch to be released.    A higher percentage of copper pot still distillate is added to get the  depth of the flavor profile. Two batches are aged separately. The first spends twelve years in used Bourbon barrels. The second, ages ten years in virgin American oak casks.  Blended to balance flavors of the two batches  and bottled at a hardy 92 proof for this example of an authentic expression of fine Barbados rum.

     Aromas of ripe fruits and nuts with heavy oak and vanilla are enhanced with some funkiness of other fruits.  In the mouth, there is a taste of butteriness along with that of  charred oak, vanilla, toasted nuts and a dried fruit with a suggestion of caramel. The finish offers long lasting notes of dark buttered toast and plenty of oak.

     The Real McCoy 10 Year Old Limited Edition Virgin Oak Aged Rum appeals to those with the most discriminating taste and is still while remaining accessible to the enthusiasts who appreciate small-batch quality and good value.   Bottled in the 750ml bottle and retails for about $60.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Key West Weather for 2018

     Winter was a bit milder than normal, with the coldest temperatures in mid February with the rainfall quite a bit above normal.  March has been a month of vacillation from low 80's to high 60's temperatures with times of really heavy rain fall.

     April and May will be a bit hotter and drier than normal. They are calling for Summer will be slightly hotter than normal, with the hottest periods in early June, early July, and early to mid-August.   Rainfall will be above normal.  Overall, September and October are predicted to be warmer and rainier than normal. 

     This is the part of the year to watch for tropical weather threats.  It is a normal part of the overall patterns, with hurricane season running  from June 1 through November 30.  “There is always considerable uncertainty as to how much activity an Atlantic hurricane season is going to generate.  “No one can completely understand the full complexity of the atmosphere-ocean system.”

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Bahama Bob's Springtime Creation

     This is the time of year when you will finally be able to get out in the backyard and enjoy your first backyard bar-b-que and one  of those afternoon cocktails on the boat or the patio.  Here is an idea that will put a little life into that late spring outdoor happening.  I hope that you enjoy this one it is very refreshing and tasty.

Bahama Bob's Central American Buck
  • 2 1/2 Oz, Flor de Cana 4 Year Old Rum
  • Juice if 1/2 Lime
  • 3 Oz, Vernor's Ginger Ale

Fill Collins Glass with ice, add all ingredients and garnish with a lime wedge.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Spring Break 2018 in Key West

     Most of the month of March has been filled with Spring Break 2018 here in Key West.   There has been a lot of traffic on the island, but it has been relatively subdued from my point of view this year.  The Nights are as exciting as ever and the beaches are full by day.

     This is a time honored week for college kids
since the 50's and 60's that is still going strong.  The students are given a week to let their hair down and haves some fun before going back for the last quarter of the year in the classroom.

     The ones that come from the frozen north are getting a chance to enjoy the 70 and 80 degree days at the beach and catch up on their suntans and have some good beach day fun.  There is nothing better than a day int the sun on the beach to relieve the frozen north cabin fever days that proceeded the break.

      Night life on Duval Street, staying out late at night and not getting up before noon and heading back to the beach, scooters, sun and fun, that is what it is all about.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Cayman Islands Sunrise Beauty

     Only a month or so away until we get to escape the rock for a week and visit our friends on Grand Cayman.  It has been a rugged time since Irma and I'm ready for a break and head out for some fun.  I'm not complaining, but I love to travel and this is the first opportunity in over a year.  The beauty of the waters around the Cayman Islands is legendary and I love my photos of it.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

ATF and TTB Is Another Divorce on The Horizon?

     This is a great article that is explaining what is happening in alcohol enforcement and how these changes are coming about.  If you are in the industry in the United States, you need to be aware of these changes.

Forward by John Hinman:

Robert M. Tobiassen
  We asked 
Robert M. Tobiassen, Compliance Consultant and former Chief Counsel, TTB, why TTB was structured the way it was, what we can expect to happen as the 2019 budget is implemented and what kind of TTB enforcement policies will be in place going forward.  He responded with the history and status of the agency, and his prognosis for the future, based on his long experience in Washington DC. This article is must reading for every professional in the alcoholic beverage industry who interfaces with the TTB.


     Disruption is the descriptive word du jour used by every industry experiencing change and challenges in its global supply chain, manufacturing models, distribution channels, and attracting and retaining consumers.   The Trump Administration is similarly disrupting Executive Branch agencies through its political appointees, program change mandates, and budget reallocations.   TTB is not exempt from this disruption and the fiscal year 2019 proposed budget foreshadows a possible second divorce for ATF and TTB that could alter the culture of TTB.  Industry members and other stakeholders learned lessons from the first agency divorce in 2003, specifically about how criminal law enforcement agencies function. It behooves everyone today to pay heed to these lessons of history as the proposed budget moves forward. 

The 2019 Budget Proposal - Move All Alcohol Enforcement to the TTB, Which Would Have More Money and More People

     The release of the President's Proposed Budget for Fiscal Year 2019 confirmed what reputable news media reported earlier of a plan under consideration by the Trump Administration to strip the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Department of Justice, of its authority to investigate tobacco and alcohol smuggling.  The New York Times[1] in an article picked up by The Hill, a local political themed newspaper in Washington, DC, cites a senior administration official as the source of its information.[2]  According to this official, ATF's core mission is preventing violent crimes and has treated tobacco smuggling as a "backwater" mandate.

The Department Of Justice Budget Summary Explains:

     ATF would transfer the entirety of its alcohol and tobacco regulatory and enforcement responsibilities to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) in the Department of the Treasury.  This transfer would enable the ATF to hone its focus on activities that protect U.S. communities from violent criminals and criminal organizations, while consolidating duplicative alcohol and tobacco enforcement mechanisms within the TTB.[3]

Correspondingly, The Department of The Treasury Budget Summary Explains:

In addition, the Budget proposes to transfer all alcohol and tobacco responsibilities from the Department of Justice's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to Treasury's Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB).  This transfer would leverage TTB's resources and expertise relating to the alcohol and tobacco industries and allow ATF to continue to focus on its firearms and explosives mandates, enabling both agencies to more efficiently and effectively carry out their core mission of protecting the public.

This is not the first proposal to move the tobacco and alcohol jurisdiction of ATF to another agency.  For the past two sessions of Congress, Representative Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin has introduced the ATF Elimination Act that would transfer the tobacco and alcohol role of ATF to the Drug Enforcement Administration.