Bahama Bob's Rumstyles

Sunday, January 20, 2019

I Just Love Key West After a Rain

     Here in the tropics, the almost daily occurrence of a rain shower is part of living, but when the sun comes back out afterwards, it is always so beautiful and everything looks so refreshed.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

100 Years Ago Yesterday, The Volstead Act Was Ratified by Congress

Andrew Volstead

     One Hundred Years ago yesterday, the Volstead Act, named for the Minnesota representative Andrew Volstead, was ratified by the United States Congress.   The 18th  Amendment led to the complete prohibition of “intoxicating liquors” in the United States.   There were seven states that had not yet ratified the 18th Amendment by that date, but the ¾ majority had been reached.  Seven more states would ratify the amendment between 17 January and 25 February 1919 and New Jersey passed it in March 1922. Connecticut and Rhode Island both rejected the amendment.

     In October 1919 Congress passed the Volstead Act – named after Judiciary chairman Andrew Volstead who supported the bill – which allowed for Federal enforcement of Prohibition.  Having ratified the amendment and introduce the Volstead Act, Congress announced that full Prohibition would be implemented on 17 January 1920.

     The 18th Amendment had grown out of decades of temperance activity and lobbying in the US.  One of the prominent temperance leaders was Protestant, mid-Western spinsters following  Carrie Nation, who became a prominent figure in the movement.  She famously led women into saloons and smashed them up with hatchets and hammers while singing hymns and quoting the Bible.  It is interesting that Carrie Nation died in 1911, but the movement she becan was driven by many “God fearing men”.

     Volstead of course was one but there was also Neal Dow and Wayne Wheeler, the head of the Anti-Saloon League.   Then there were political campaigners who saw in the ‘liquor barons’ and companies the pervasive hand of capitalism striving to keep the working man sedated with cheap drink.   Remember that the 18th Amendment did not actually ban the consumption of alcohol merely the manufacture, distribution and sale of them, but it was aimed as an effective method to put an end to consumption.

 Drinking became an underground network, so it fell under the control of criminal organizations who reaped enormous gains from the Volstead Act. With the increasing power of the mob came a rise in violence, racketeering and bribery. Civil, police, judicial and political corruption filled the veins of the American system with appalling results.

     Finally In December 1933 Utah became the 36th state to ratify the 21st Amendment which repealed Prohibition as it would gradually be rolled back across the country. Not every county in every state repealed their own local limitations or prohibitions on drinking but it was no longer a Federal business and the re-ignition of breweries, distilleries and wineries and their various distribution and sales arms brought an incredible windfall in much needed taxes into the nation’s coffers.  The 18th Amendment remains the only statute in the history of the US to have ever been repealed.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Soggy Dollar Rum Sponsors Songwriting Tour

     Caribbean rum brand Soggy Dollar will sponsor the 25-date Hit Makers & Rum Chasers songwriters tour across the US.  Kicking off on 29 January at City Winery in Nashville, the brand’s partnership with the tour hopes to “authenticate the off-the-grid island vibe” associated with Soggy Dollar.  The Caribbean rum brand has been inspired by the Soggy Dollar bar in the British Virgin Islands, which is the home of the Painkiller cocktail.

     Soggy Dollar owner, Jerry O’Connell, said: “The Soggy Dollar has a devoted subculture seeking the ideal of living life off the grid.  “So many of our guests who visit the beach bar every year and live what’s referred to as ‘the Soggy Life’ have asked when will we be able to get this rum back home? So we’re thrilled to be able to bring our rum and a taste of that laidback island lifestyle to cities across the US as a Hit Makers & Rum Chasers tour sponsor.”

    Ty Bentli of Westwood One’s The Ty Bentli Show will MC the first show in Nashville, which will feature a number of songwriters including JT Harding, Jon Nite, Bridgette Tatum and Justin Ebach.  A selection of Soggy Dollar signature serves will be available during each date of the tour, and events will also include a silent auction and an island-inspired dinner menu created by Mat Vacharat, owner and head chef at Lucky Chops.

     All proceeds from the tour will support music and arts initiatives for school children in the United States and US Virgin Islands.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Sandals and Beaches Plan to End the Usee of Styrofoam at All of Its Resorts

     Sandals Resorts is planning to eliminate all styrofoam from its 19 Sandals and Beaches-branded resorts across the Caribbean, the company announced this week.  The company said the elimination of styrofoam was particularly important in the Caribbean, with its abundant marine life.       Sandals and Beaches resorts will eliminate all Styrofoam from their resorts in the Caribbean starting Feb. 1, 2019. Sandals operates 19 resorts on seven islands including the Bahamas, Grenada, and Turks & Caicos. 

      “As we enter the New Year, it’s incredibly important to our Sandals family that environmental sustainability remains a key priority,” said Adam Stewart, Deputy Chairman of Sandals Resorts International. “After eliminating plastic straws, stirrers, laundry bags and gift shop bags last year, we’re choosing to eliminate Styrofoam from our resorts. We’re proud that many of the islands in which we operate are also making this shift to ensure that future generations can enjoy the beauty of the Caribbean.”

     According to Environment America's Wildlife Over Waste campaign, scientists have found plastic fragments including Styrofoam in 86 percent of all sea turtle species, 44 percent of all seabird species and 43 percent of all marine mammal species.  All Sandals and Beaches Resorts are certified by the EarthCheck benchmarking and certification program, with nine resorts currently holding Master Certification. The company is the only hotel chain in the world to have all of its resorts certified.

To learn more about Sandals Resorts Internationals' commitment to sustainability, visit

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Heron Watching as We Drift By in Mud Key

     With the winds down the other day, I had a chance to get back to the Mud Keys just north of Boca Chica Key.  This is one of those places that is just filled with nature and in general, one of my favorite places to just drift with the tides.  This is the first time since Irma that I have had the time to get back to Mud Key.  It was damaged by Irma, especially the mangroves, but some 16 months later the regrowth of the mangroves is apparent.  Still it is a great place to get out and enjoy all of the sights.  Nature has such a great way of naturally recovering.  This beautiful Heron was perched at waters edge surrounded by the regrowing mangroves.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Two Rums Make Fortune Magazine’s Best Booze of 2018

     In a year when whiskey and gin have dominated the spirits industry, it is great to see that two rums have made the Best Booze of 2018 list.  This is great to see that the rums are starting to make their way back into popularity again.  These are great representatives of the rum world that made the list in 2018.

Mount Gay XO Peat Expression Rum
Mount Gay only released about 6,000 bottles of this super-unique XO rum, aged 8 to 15 years before finishing for six months in barrels previously reserved for peaty Scotch whisky. This combination might not sound amazing on paper, but it’s superb stuff, with a rich sweetness trailing into a long tail of smoke. Worth the cost (about $250) and effort if you can track it down.

Clairin Vaval Rum

Handmade and distilled to proof from a single varietal of sugar cane juice, like rhum agricole from Martinique, rather than molasses, Clairin stands apart significantly from rums you might be familiar with—it’s grassy, complex, and somewhat briny. Made near the beaches of southwestern Haiti, Clairin Vaval can be a great substitute for standard white rum in citrus-forward drinks such as a daiquiri or mojito.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

The Alcohol And Tobacco Tax And Trade Bureau (TTB) Has Been Forced to Cease Operating as the U.S. Federal Government’s Shutdown Continues.

           This is something that you don’t see everyday, but the Alcohol Feds are shut down until The agency, which is responsible for licensing and label approval of alcohol products in the US, including spirits, has created a temporary landing page on its website stating alcohol companies can still access the TTB site to make payments, submit labels or formulas, and to file other operational reports.
Congress gets its act together and puts an end to the government ”shut down”.   “Once funding has been restored and the government shutdown is over, we will work to restore regular service as soon as possible.” 

     TTB has directed employees NOT to report to work and they are prohibited by federal law from volunteering their services during a lapse in appropriations.  “TTB has suspended all non-excepted TTB operations, and no personnel will be available to respond to any inquiries, including emails, telephone calls, facsimiles, or other communications.

     The US government has been partially shutdown due to a political gridlock since the 22nd of 
December is showing no progress toward a solution.  Meanwhile, our “non-essential” government 
agencies as still shut down.  If they are truly “non-essential” why do we have them in the first place?
Once funding has been restored and the government shutdown is over, we will work to restore 
regular service as soon as possible.