Bahama Bob's Rumstyles

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Great Weather and Smooth Seas got us Back to Bahia Honda This Week

     It has been 8 weeks since the weather or other commitments allowed us to venture back out to Bahia Honda for a couple of days of kayaking and aqua camping.  The water was great and we were able to go out and enjoy our cocktail kayak sunset cruise both nights.  It was a great day trip tho Spanish Harbor in the kayak as well.  Wandering the coral beach at low tide and seeing the tidal pools was really cool.  It was a different and cool visit.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

To Quote Jimmy Buffett "Tryin' to Reason with Hurricane Season"

     It has been nearly 11 years since we have seen a hurricane here in the lower keys.  "Wilma" blew
through here in October of 2005, and it has been calm ever since.  We have a little tropical wave headed our way this weekend and it brought the Buffett song to mind.   Hitting on the back deck enjoying the sunshine and a cocktail listening to the music.

Projected Track for 99L This Weekend
     We are expecting s lot of rain and some rather breezy conditions on Sunday and Monday from 99L, but that is all we should get from this system.   Such is life in the tropics, thunderstorms, tropical depressions then we have to throw in the occasional tropical storms and hurricanes.   Fortunately for us here in the Keys we are protected by the mountains of Cuba from storms approaching from the south, and it is very rare that the come in from the west like Wilma did.

Aug 24, 2012 projected tropical storm track
   A Facebook friend of mine got a lot of people attention today when he placed the projected track from August 24, 2012 showing a tropical storm coming right up the Florida Straights and across the lower Keys.  He got a lot of peoples attention, they fell for it hook line and sinker.   He did let people know that it was a joke, but he did get them to go to the NOAA site and see what was really happening.

     I know that posting the picture was a joke, but hurricane season is not a joke.  We are in the part of the season that is traditionally most active and it is time to do a bit of clean up around your dwelling to prevent unnecessary damage as the wind can toss debris through windows and damage any number of things.  It is also the time to check all of your emergency equipment and supplies.  Hear is to another year with no Hurricanes here in the Keys.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Alcohol is Not Sugar, No Matter Where It Comes From

     I get so tired of people telling me that they don't drink rum because it is "loaded with sugar".   This is a terrible misconception that I feel needs to be put to rest once and for all.  All alcoholic spirits are made from one kind or sugar or another that has had yeast added to it to produce alcohol.  The conversion of sugar to alcohol is a result of the sugar reacting with the enzymes in the yeast.  If the story ended here, the sugar content would be true to some extent, but the distillation process changes all of that.

     "Regardless of whether the distiller is making whiskey, brandy, tequila, rum or vodka, what comes off the still is not sweet."  After distillation there is NO SUGAR is left in the product that leaves the still.  Just because rum is made from a derivative of the sugarcane plant that provides the majority of the sugar to the world, doesn't mean that the rum has sugar in it.   I've never heard people tell me that brandy or cognac is sugary, a spirit made from the juices of grapes or even tequila made from agave the source of one of the sweetest nectars available."  

Whisky Origin:   Grain – barley, wheat, corn, or rye   When the grain  is cooked down the starches turn into sugars .
Brandy and Cognac Origin: Fruit mostly grapes    Fruit juice has a high sugar content.   Fermentation process turns the sugars into alcohol which is known as wine.
Mezcal and Tequila Origin:  Agave, a cactus like plant loaded with natural sugars  Fermentation turns the agave juice into alcohol

Vodka Origin:  Made from anything that produces sugars, grains, fruits, potatoes, and even sugarcane.    Because it is distilled to such high percentage it’s nearly pure ethanol.

     Here is where the misconception is coming from.   Many of the producers of rum will take the spirit upwards of 96% alcohol during the distillation process.  When the distillate reaches this level of alcohol it is what is called a "Neutral Spirit" or Vodka.   Vodka can be made from any plant whose sugars can be turned into alcohol with enzymes, including sugarcane.  You hear that the better vodkas have been 5 to 10 times distilled.  All this means is that they have had to distill it that many times to reach the 96% or so to reach the neutral spirit level.

     When your alcohol is this pure, it takes a lot of time in a barrel to mellow the spirit and they tend to be very dry in flavor.  For many producers, rather than letting their products age would rather add flavors, spices and yes sugar to simulate a properly aged and blended rum.  These are the products that have given rum it's sugar sweet reputation.

     Good rum is a blend of pot distilled and column distilled rums that have been on an average distilled to 63% alcohol with only the hearts of the run being utilized for the final products.  After they are blended they are placed in barrels of many origins where they spend sufficient time to smooth and develop the flavor of the expression without the addition of sugars, glycerines or flavorings to achieve the flavor.   Rum is a fabulous spirit that unfortunately has been allowed to run unchecked throughout the world for too long and as a result the consumer can't tell the real rum from the contrived.  A simple matter of labeling would solve most of the problem, I have no problem with the people that make these artificially flavored rums, it just needs to be labeled like all other food showing the ingredients added to the distillate in production.


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Golden Spice Island Jane

Thinking back on my trip to Grenada a few years back, I got to thinking that it would be really cool to make a drink that brought out many of the Caribbean spices all in one cocktail.  It starts with a syrup that brings together the sweetness of the island cocktails with cinnamon and clove then with the sprinkling of fresh nutmeg and ginger on the top you have a really tasty island style cocktail that is really refreshing.

Golden Spice Island Jane

  • 2 oz. Afrohead 7 Year Old Rum
  • Juice of ½ Lemon
  • ¾  oz. Bahama Bob’s Cinamon – Clove Syrup 
  • 2 oz. Water or Club Soda

Place all ingredients into a shake filled with ice and shake until chilled.  Strain into a Collins Glass filled with fresh ice.   Sprinkle fresh ground nutmeg and a dash of ground ginger on top.  Garnish with a lime wheel.

Bahama Bob’s Cinnamon – Clove Syrup

  • 1 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
  • ½ Tsp. Ground Clove
  • ½ Tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 Cup Water

Place all ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Reduce temperature to maintain a slow boil for 5 more minutes.  Pour into a suitable container and place in refrigerator for about an hour or so.   Keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Six Most Deadly Combinations of Pills and Alcohol

     Many people don't even think about the pills and other medications they are taking when they go out for dinner or to a club and begin drinking.   There are a lot of accidental overdoses that occur each year as a result of ignorance.   Unfortunately even with the  warning labels on most medications and doctors' warnings, alcohol and drug cocktails kill millions every year in the United States.

    Here are six of the most deadly combinations, there are a few that most people don't even think about and they are likely to be deadly if the warnings are not heeded.  

1. Benzodiazepines and Alcohol - also known as benzos 

2. Opiates and Alcoholincluding illegal heroin, and prescription painkillers like OxyContin, Vicodin, and hydrocodone

3. Antidepressants and Alcoholsuch as Zoloft, Prozac, or Xanax
4. Stimulants and Alcohol Ritalin, Adderall, meth, speed, and cocaine speed
5. Birth Control and AlcoholWomen often feel more drunk quicker when they're on the pill because their bodies are busy metabolizing birth control hormones.

6. OTC Medications and AlcoholTylenol and others in the same category

     But not everyone is at fault. Some take a sip of their wine or beer without knowing the risk while the drugs perform an often unpredictable chemistry experiment inside their bodies. Alcohol remains the deadliest drug in the world, accounting for crimes, accidental deaths, and poisonings, but including drugs in the mix adds a significant dose of danger. Learn about the risks of certain combinations to lower your chances of unintentional overdose and even death.

     I guess what I am really saying to people is, if you are taking any kind of medication, you need to be aware of how it will respond with alcohol.  It is not only a situation that might cause you to feel ill or more quickly inebriated, it has a strong possibility of killing you.   I can't say it in a strong enough way, DON'T MIX MEDICATIONS WITH ALCOHOL period

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Indian Summer Mango Cocktail

     Summertime is the time for cool and refreshing cocktails.  A friend brought me a couple of ripe mangoes from his trees, now what to do with them.  I’ve only had marginal success using fresh mangoes in cocktails, there usually seems like there is something missing.   This time I decided to make mango syrup with the fruit and try putting it into a cocktail.    This has turned out to be the ticket.  The syrup combines the flavor of the mango with the sugar and the lime juice to make an extremely flavorful mix.

     Now the flavors of the spirit and the other ingredients are not being overwhelmed by the mango and the flavors of all the ingredients are coming through.  This is a wonderful way to unwind in the backyard on these Indian summer afternoons.

Bahama Bob’s Mango Cocktail

  • 2 ½ oz. Good White Rum
  • 1 oz. Bahama Bob’s Mango Syrup
  • ½ oz. Orgeat
  • Juice of ½ Lime
  • Splash of Club Soda

Placer all ingredients except the club soda into a shaker filled with ice and shack until chilled.  Strain into a 12 oz. glass filled with fresh ice and top up with club soda.  Garnish with a lime wheel.

Bahama Bob’s Mango Syrup

  • 1 Cup Sugar in the Raw
  • 1 Cup Fresh Mango Chunks
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1 Tbsp. Fresh Lemon Juice

Place all ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Reduce temperature to maintain a slow boil for 5 more minutes.  Pour into a suitable container and place in refrigerator for about an hour or so.   Keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Diageo Ends Brand Ambassador Program

     Diageo has announce the releasing of its brand ambassadors in the pas t weeks.  This is a major
shift in the way Diageo is going to be marketing its spirits.   This is a huge shift from how things have been done for many years.  These days the bottom line profits have been shrinking and the investors are getting nervous.  This can lead to the investors looking for different opportunities.

      "Organizational pressure is constantly put on organizations to justify expenses, and in a publicly traded company such as Diageo, they have a fiduciary responsibility to keep the bottom line tight for their investors.  So the idea of KPI's (Key Performance Indicators) were put in place for brand ambassadors in order to justify the expense of them. But the problem of KPI's is that they only rationalize expense spending, they do not touch the top line. An informal survey of KPI's across the spectrum turned up a wide range of targets, even down to getting one’s expenses in on time and posting on social media. Really? When there’s a blip in the overall revenues of a company, the executives get nervous and if it trends, they immediately go after the bottom line. Departments are ordered to tighten up, cut expenses, lay off people if you have to until things get rosy again. When one Instagram entry can reach 1000 times of what one seminar can do, it doesn’t take long for upper management to start seeing each person in the field differently."

     "My best goes to all the currently out-of-work members of the Masters of Whiskey program: if you have contacts and value, you’ll find work again in the industry.  If not, it’s a big wonderful world out there waiting for you to try something different.  But one proviso: don’t get burned a second time.  This was your and everyone else’s wake-up call and it is one that I believe will continue to ring well into the new year."

     The seminars, tasting and events at the different customers locations are an expensive proposition.  The social media is providing a means to get the message out in a very economical method to get the brand image and story out to the public.  I have seen the signs of this coming for quite some time.   I am a freelance ambassador for several rums, and do events here in the Florida Keys.  There are fewer and fewer of these events happening and more and more emphasis being put on the social media to provide the public with the seminars that were once being done live by the ambassadors.  Sorry to see this happening, because it is putting a lot of very talented people out of work.