Monday, January 31, 2011

Rumstylin Music

Barefoot Man playing in Key West last year.
      These days when I think of music that I really enjoy when I'm taking it easy, partying around on the boat, or at my favorite watering hole is of a tropical nature.      Years ago I'd think of Harry Belafonte, or Jimmy Buffett, but these days I like the local/personal sounds of Howard Livingston and the Mile Marker 24 Band from Key West, the Barefoot Man from Grand Cayman, or even new arrivals like the Zack Brown Band.

     Barefoot Man is one of those guys that where ever he goes he looks around and finds the material for a new song.     Many of the songs he sings are about life in and about the Abacos in the Bahamas.      I sings about hhurricanes, bars, laid-back living,  getting drunk and stupid, fishing, and even loud shirts.     I've been to many of his concerts at Nippers in the past, but it was a real pleasure to be able to enjoy him here at home in Key West.

Howard Livingston and his Johnson Blender
      Howard Livingston and the Mile Marker 24 Band is another of those local/tropical groups that reaches the heart-strings of his listeners.     Singing songs about "Living on Key West Time", "Blaming it on the Margarita", or searching for Kokomo.   Howard is another of those really talented singer/writers that people follow all over the country.     Howard has a local television show these days about "Living on Key West Time".     The highlight of the evening  at many of Howard's concerts is when the break out the 1950's Johnson Outboard Blender and start making frozen margaritas while the sing "Blame it on the Margaritas". 

     Zack Brown is a relative newcomer to the tropical music scene, but has hit it big with the tropical rumstylers with 'Toes in the Water", and "Where the boat leaves from".     This Georgia group has hit the nail on the head for what rumstyler want to feel when they are partying.     Many of us have dreamed of getting out of the frozen North and moving to the tropics and Zack has allowed a lot of people to fantasize about the life down here and running out of money and having to go home.    

      Let  me know what songs get your heart pumping for a rumstying life and send me a note so we can put a list of what makes all you rumstylers get up and start dancin' around.    Send me a note on Facebook at my page to the right.   ;o)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Rumstyler's Sunday Morning Muse

     Today is one of those days that my mind is wandering all over the place without and focus.     Thus so will today's blog.     Got to thinking about some of the evenings on the boat and at some of the local watering holes tasting rums with friends and some of the funny things that occurred as a result.
     Recently a couple of friends were rum tasting on the boat and one of the members had to go back to his boat to take his dog for a walk.    He stepped on to his swim platform and proceed to miss the platform with his other foot and he was in the drink right up to his , lets say belt line.    This was a good chuckle for the rest of us, but a bit chilly for my friend.   

     Another friend decided to have some shots at the local watering hole one evening and had to be carefully lowered on the my dinghy and the secured in the boat to prevent her loss into Davey Jones locker on the ride back to the marina.     The whole event was good for a chuckle also.      By the way we were able to roll her off the dinghy and on to the dock without any problem and she survived another funny evening.

     Boat people are really fun when the parties are on the dock and everyone can be walked, carted, or carried back to their boats in safety.     Marina parties tend to be loud and everyone can really let their hair down and just plain let loose.   

     If you have any stories you would like to have shared about your Rumstylin' happenings just send me a note or a Personal Message on my facebook page.     P.S.   Thanks for all the fun times in marinas all over the place, they bring me endless memories of fun and always put a big smile on my face.     ;o)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Taking Flight to Discover Rums.

     Finding a really great rum can be a frustrating and expensive process that is really not necessary.     Many or the better rum bars offer a rum flight where you can sample several rums at a reasonable price.     These flights with the assistance of a knowledgeable bartender can be fun and a great learning experience.     In most cases you can choose the ones you want to try, but if you have no Idea of what is fitting to your palate, then you can ask your bartender for assistance.     Be sure to let the bartender what rums you have tasted and which ones fit your palate and which ones didn't.     This will help in choosing a selection of rums that are in the area that you prefer.

   At the Rum Bar here in Key West we offer a 'Rum Run" in a model of a prohibition era "black boat" like those used in rum running.     You can choose 5 rums for $25.00 (with the exception of the very top shelf rums for which there id an extra charge) and taste them like a rum judge would in a festival.      Sampling these rums will lead you to some amazing discoveries you probably would never otherwise be able to find.     Many of the patrons find that if you choose three and then wait to make the final two choices you can find what your palate prefers and the bartender can then find some rums that are just what you are looking for.

     Rum Tasting is a great way to discover new and wonderful rums whether you do it at a friends place, a bar or even at some of the better liquor stores that sometimes have samples on display  for you to sample.     Never turn down the opportunity to try and experience a new and different rum.     You never know what will light your palate up and be your new favorite rum.      This is a rumstylers duty to try what ever is available to you even if it turns out not to fit your palate, you can say "I've had that one and it wasn't to my taste".      Rums offer a different flavor for each brand you open up, so just because you may have had one of a brand there may be others made by that company that are to your taste.     I recently had this happen to me in Barbados last fall, I've never been much of a fan of the Cockspur line of rums, in Barbados I was introduced to their VXOR rum, that is among my favorites today.     A lot of thing go on behind the scenes in the rum production and these change the outcome of the product.     Cockspur just bought back the brand from an American group and has improved the product immensely, much to my delight.     Just because you may not have liked something in the past try it again if the opportunity come up, because you may find they have fixed what you didn't like.    Just get out and taste, it is very rewarding.   ;o)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Rumstylin' with Rums from Trinidad & Tabago

     When you talk about rums you can not forget Trinidad and Tobago, the provide some of the finest rums in the World.     Fine Rums like Angostura 1824, 10 Cane Rum, and Zaya immediately come to mind.     These southeastern Caribbean islands are perfectly suited for the production of sugar cane and the distillation and aging of rums.    

     Angostura 1919 is an interesting rum stemming from World War I.     The soldiers from Trinidad would receive packages from home containing bottles of the local rum that they shared withe their fellow soldiers, insuring the love throughout of this fine rum.     This amber-gold rum is aged 8 years in American Oak Bourbon barrels that lends to it's smooth and somewhat delicate on the palate, that does expand a bit and has a long lasting warm finish.

     The older brother to this fine Rum, Angostura 1824    is aged 12 years in American Oak Bourbon barrels, then masterfully blended and placed back in casks and aged to maturity.   Then only 60,000 bottles per year are released for sale to the public.       The nose of this exquisite rum is worth savoring and leads you to the first sip.     The sweet and complex fruit and honey palate leads to a long and undeniable finish that is legendary for this fine rum.     Best is served neat, but a few cubes of ice will expand the flavor without loosing the wonderful flavors.  

     Whether you prefer the 1919 or the 1824, these fine rums are a proud part of the rum heritage of Trinidad.    

     A trip to Trinidad and Tobago would not be complete without looking a Zaya Gran Reserva.        Having moved its production from Guatemala in 2008,  Angostura distillery is now the producer Zaya  Gran Reserva .     there are very small differences in the original produced in Guatemala and the current production, most of which are very subtle in the viscosity and the finish.    This very dark color broadcasts its full bodied and the richness of the flavors about to hit the palate.     The rum finishes strong and leaves a warm carmely vanilla flavor.     This rum also likes to be served neat, but a couple of cubes of ice doesn't seem to dampen the fine flavors.

     We have only touched the tip of the "iceberg" here, but these are truly fine rums that won't disappoint you if they are added to the rumstyler's collection.     ;o)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Rumstylin' at Nippers

     Tucked away on the west side of Great Guana Cay in the Abaco's of the Bahamas is Nippers.     This little beachside watering hole is famous for its extravaganzas all summer long.      On any Sunday they have a pig roast that draws folks from all around to dine "Luau Style" and drink the famous Nipper's Punch.     Aside from the three or so major parties each year the place still rocks.     This marvelous little place is jammed on the weekends that the Barefoot Man come in for his annual show and the Easter Party with the  children's Easter egg hunt on the beach below.      4th of July is the Regatta party celebrating the annual sailboat races through the Abacos.     All of these parties fill Nippers to absolute capacity and some of the craziest party going people I've ever encountered.     Whether you like hanging out by the pool, walking the pristine white power sand beach or just dancing and drinking this little venue can really rock your world.     

     Just off the beach is the third largest barrier reef in the world that protects the delicate sea oat covered sand duns that Nippers sits atop.       As you get off the ferry in the harbour you immediately know that you have arrived in paradise when you notice that there are no cars, just golf cart and mini jitneys that move people and stuff around the harbour.     You then embark on the walk through the woods and up the hill ( carefully avoiding the many land crabs, nippers if you will, for whom Nippers was named) where you will emerge and discover a most spectacular view.

     Arriving early is a must if you want to have a picnic table as a base of operations and a place to sit.     As the crowd arrives the pool and the upper decks are filled almost immediately, the music, and the drinking begins, this party is on and in the ultimate rumstylin' tradition..     This is a party the will go late into the night and the revelers will continue to dance, eat and party til the cows come home.      You'll find a good number of them are leaving at about 7 pm when the last of the ferrys takes them back to Marsh Harbour, but for those who got rooms on Great Guana Cay the party keeps right on going.

     This is one of those little hideaways that I could continue steeling stories about for a week or more and not even scratch the surface of what goes on here.     All you have to do is take a flight to either Marsh Harbour or Treasure Cay and catch the ferry to Great Guana Cay and Nippers.     ;o)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Rumstylin' with the Taste of Venezuela

     Count of Tovar y Blanco was given a plot of land by the King of Spain, from which he established the Santa Teresa Hacienda in 1796.      To celebrate the 200th anniversary, in 1996,  Santa Teresa 1796 Ron Antigua de Solera was created.   

     This is a molasses rum containing locally obtained raw materials.    This is an ideal balance of noble rums that have rested in Limousin Oak casks of the solera.    The mother rum is rested in special cellars that provide the rums particular essence.    It is the unique method of aging and blending that the master blender selects  portions from the crianga and allow them to continue to rest for over 15 years.     This is a truly hand-crafted rum that really stands alone in its class.

     The fully rounded and warm notes on the nose leads you the the rich and complex and rich fruity and molasses flavors that last in the palate.    1796 Ron Antiguo de Solera is one of my top shelf favorites for sipping in the evening or after dinner.   This smooth, deep, and rich solera is not easy to just have one glass without having several more.     The taste really keeps you coming back for more.     ;o)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Rumstylin' Stuff

     In an earlier edition we talked about the record raft-up on Lake Norman, I've been informed this past summer that the record has been shattered.     A total of 1,454 boats rafted up in a single and continuous line to break the record.     The record has been verified and is an official Guinness World Record.     Congratulations to all of those who were involved and especially to the organizers for such a monumental task.    

       I was thinking about the Virgin Islands again today and it reminded me that I didn't talk about St. Croix in my discussion.    St. Croix is the industrial island of the group, but it still is one of the most beautiful.     This Island has mahogany rainforest's, beautiful seaside resorts, and one of the best known rum distilleries in the Caribbean.     Cruzan Rums is a old distillery with Dutch heritage and still makes some of the better rums around.    Gone are the days of the sugar cane being grown and crushed  on the island, ( Dominican Molasses is used) but all of the tradition and skills are still being used in the making of these rums.      Cruzan has one of the most informative tours available at a distillery and being able to go right into the center of the operations is very exciting.    

     Carembola the old resorts that was created by the Laurence Rockefeller back in 1986, still this is a very special place to relax on the beach.     This venerable old resort is spread over several square miles, and designed to capture the beauty of the surroundings without dominating the property.     The Resort comes to the sea in one of the most spectacular spectacle I've ever seen.     This island offers you many shopping, dining, and excellent watering holes throughout.     I guess you can say it is a rumstylers dream island.

     I hired a taxi for the day at a very reasonable fee to take us around the island and it is money well spent if you haven't been to the island before.    There is muck more to see that can be done in one day, but a trip to St. Croix is a worthwhile journey.     ;o)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Sunset on the Water

     There is nothing like getting off work, a glass of fine rum, and putting your feet up while waiting for the sun to put on her spectacular evening show.      Sunset from the aft deck of the boat while sipping a glass of Cockspur VXOR puts new meaning to this laid-back lifestyle.     This is a ritual that I try to enjoy as a part of daily life here in the Keys, I guess it is something that I have learned with age.       I've found that as I grow older while refusing to grow up that I cherish every day more and more and find myself exploring new things and savoring the beauty instead of blowing through it without ever seeing anything.

     Sunset time is a time to reflect on the day and the friends you have seen.   It is a time to remember old friends and rejoice with new ones.      As a bartender I have a unique opportunity that I revel in every day as I meet new friends and occasionally have old ones return to see me.      Having old friends walk in ans sit down to share what has happened since our last visit and what is in their future is a heart warming pleasure that I enjoy on a regular basis.     Saturday afternoon I met some new friends that came to Key West as a reunion of old friends that traveled in from all over the country to share experiences and drink Goombay Smashes.     As the day went on, the group of friends became my friends too and a real warm fun rumstylin' day was enjoyed by all.   

     Like all days though, this one must come to and end as the sun melts into the sea and darkness pulls it cover over us, I'll finish up the rum and go in and have a little supper.      Thanks for all of my friends and friendships that keep me smiling at the end of the day.    ;o)          

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Rumstylin' the Virgin Islands

     The Virgin Islands offer many a fine chance  for the rumstylers, there are excursions to many destinations and bars that offer their own unique entertainment.       We can start out with a day trip from St. Thomas on the "Morning Star" sail boat to Honeymoon Bay on St. Johns to have a great lunch, cocktails on the beach, snorkeling, and be back to Fungi's by 4:30 for cocktail hour on the dock.      These spectacular blue waters and the wind in the sails makes for a really relaxing voyage to St. Johns.     Followed by a fabulous lunch prepared by the crew while we bask on the beach sipping cocktails and swimming.      The return trip is as peaceful and relaxed sipping cocktails and enjoying the quiet of the wind and the hull sliding through the waters.    

The Baths on Virgin Gorda

     The next day was spent in a power boat rented from Naughty Nymphs in Red Hook.      This is a long range trip from St. Thomas all the way to the Bitter End Yacht Club on Virgin Gorda in the BVI.       En route to Virgin Gorda we had to stop at Pussers in Roadtown Harbour, Tortola, BVI.     Roadtown is the big harbour in the BVI and it is full of cruise ships and every other type of vessel you can imagine.     Pusser's is a pub on the  water's edge that is a very good place to sample their own special kind of 'Painkiller".     Virgin Gorda's south side offers a  very beautiful stop at the Baths, an incredible granite outcropping the offers one of the most popular anchorages in the BVI.  It also offers an exciting trail through the grotto's if you will and out to a beautiful beach.       Around to the eastern side  of Virgin Gorda in Mosquito Bay is a watering hole called Saba Rock where you boat up to the dock tie-up and go in for a cocktail of your choosing "Painkillers" are always a good choice, and have lunch that is fit for a king or a rumstyler.    

As you return to from Virgin Gorda back toward St. Johns to check back into the USVI Customs Station, you must stop at Norman Island and visit the "Willie T. "     This floating bar and restaurant in legendary in the Virgin Islands for it food and beverages alike.     The open invitation to jump from her top deck naked into the beautiful blue waters will earn you a "Willie T"  T shirt
The Willie T
 for your efforts.     This venerable old power sailor has been a part of the Norman Island scene for many years and is always a must stop when sailing the Sir Francis Drake Channel.    


Callwood's Distillery

      Just as a side note around the northwest side of Tortolla is Cane Garden Bay, one of the more famous anchorages and a fabulous place to hang out for a day.    While you are there there are literally miles of beaches and little shops and restaurants.     For a rumstyler, the oldest continuously operating rum distillery in the world.     Callwood's Distillery lies just beyond the beach in a little hollow off the road.     They have tours and will show you their historic and active pot stills as well as let you sample and purchase some of their "Moonshine" rum.     The sell a 80 proof  version of the overproof that you get to sample at the distillery and a great look into the historic rum methods in action.

     The return to St. Johns and Cruz Bay to check back into the USVI only takes a few minutes and it's back to Red Hook ending today trip.     The great thing about St. Thomas is the small local establishment s that you find in the small marinas and just lying at the water's edge.       You can spend years in the Virgin Islands and never begin to touch all of the really fun places the islands have to offer.     ;o)  

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Rumstyler in need of a Painkiller

     Talking about the Root Juice, reminds me of renting a nice little boat at Red Hook, St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands and heading up the Sir Francis Drake Channel to the BVI for some fun and rumstylin'.     One of my favorite islands is Jost Van Dyke, Home of the Soggy Dollar Bar.     This little sandcastle is located on the edge of White Bay and is one of the best beach bars in the world.     Accessible only from the water and usually means anchoring and swimming from your boat to the beach, there are no docks.     The "Sandcastle got it's name from the soggy condition of the dollar bills from sailors who swam ashore.     Now you know where the name came from.

     This quaint little bar is responsible for the creation of the "Painkiller" cocktail.     A delicious combination of dark rum, coconut, pineapple juice, and orange juice that is topped with fresh ground nutmeg.     There are several versions of this wonderful cocktail, but the original recipe of the Soggy Dollar is a closely guarded secret.    By the way the Food at the Soggy Dollar is also incredibly delicious.         There are also Banana, Mango, Vanilla, and  many other flavored versions of this devilishly alluring drink.     They say it is "Illegal in the BVI not to try this most famous drink.

     Whether you are in the BVI, the USVI, or in Key West you will be a sorry rumstyler if you don't try the painkiller.      For those of us who have tried them we just can't stop drinking them, they draw you in like a moth to fire.      For those   who are already avid fans of the Painkiller, you can join the Painkiller Club at and apply for membership.    The slogan for the Painkiller really sums the whole thing up, "A Sunny Drink for Shady People".    ;o)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Bahama Bob's Root Juice

     There have been several requests for the recipe for my Root Juice in the past few weeks, so I guess that I need to talk a little about this marvelous concoction.     The idea came from a little bar called Fungi's at the foot of the Point Pleasant Resort in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands.     About a year ago I had the pleasure of staying there and spending a number of really enjoyable evenings tasting some of my favorite rums and dining at their dockside restaurant.  The food there is absolutely wonderful and unique.    They had this bottle on the bar that was stuffed with branches, and assorted other things and filled with 151 rum.     What a concept, so I searched the Island and was able to purchase some really huge Cinnamon sticks and some Agave root.    These treasures were tucked away into my suit case and brought back here to Key West where I thought about how I was going to find branches etc. that were not poison or cause some other problem that I would be liable for.    Not being able to get enough information on stuff in the wild I packed up for a exploratory journey to my local Publix and started the search for all of the necessary ingredients to create this "masterpiece".  

     First thing I found was Bean Sprouts, they just make it look more evil, then comes dried shrimp for the same reason.     Searching further down the aisle I found chamomile, star anise, and eucalyptus, these had medicinal value.     Heading down to the produce area I came across a rack of raw nuts, what a concept nuts that have only been removed from the shells and placed in a bag.    Anyway I got Brazil nuts, pecans, cashews, and almonds  I felt a nutty taste would add to the overall flavor of the mix.     Now that I have finally arrived in the produce area I saw the ginger roots  and the yucca roots which I knew would add more to the medicinal vale to the concoction.     Upon arriving back home I found an old wine bottle ($2.50 a half gallon variety) cleared off the label and fill it with all of my collected treasures and topped it off with a fine bottle of 151 rum.     Capped the bottle and let it sit on my counter for 2 weeks and brought it down to the Rum Bar where the final ingredient nutmeg was added.    We use the whole nutmeg for our Painkillers, and the small leftover pieces added another flavor and some more medicinal quality to the blend.      We have put as of yesterday 81 fifths of 151 rum through these roots and the flavor is still very good and hasn't lost any of its fine flavor.     I can's say for sure how long the roots will be producing good flavor , but it has been 13 months now and going strong.

     This is an open invitation to make your own and don't be afraid to add things that makes your special.     If the mix is too strong you can cut it with a nice 80 proof gold or white rum to get the level you desire.     Just have fun and drink it with pleasure and responsible as all good rumstylers do.   ;o)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

How Does a Rumstyler get to Know about Rums?

     Where do I get these rums?     How do I find out that they exist?     These are often asked questions that I receive in my capacity as a bartender in a rum bar with over 200 rums to choose from.     One of the best resources that come to mind is a great little booklet by Robert Burr called "Robert Burr's Gifted Rums Guide".     This little 50 page booklet packs a ton of information in a small space that's critical to the serious and novice rumstyler.     You can visit distilleries, learn new cocktail recipes, look into some of the history of cane spirits, plus being able to read descriptions of many of the worlds finest rums.

     You just choose the type of rum that suits your palliate and  start leafing through the list until something strikes your fancy.      It's easy to follow format takes you first to the type of rums and then you will find listed many of the rums of that category listed in alphabetical order to explore and make your choice.     Lets look for instance at  Abuelo 12 Anos Gran Reserva for example.  First look under "Premium Aged Rum" to find Abuelo 12 Anos Gran Reserva and simply read the discussion of the rum.      This clean format provides you with a simple and concise information center for all of these "Gifted Rums".

     If you can't find the book in your area it is also available in line at .     You can also contact Robert A. or his son Robert V. via E-mail with your rum questions.     They are very happy to discuss rumstylin' or talk about most any rum with you.

    The Burr's are a very big part of my Rumstyling  and they are people who have all the passion for rumstylin' and literally go to the ends of the earth to seek out and disseminate the virtues of "Gifted Rums".     ;o)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Rumstylin in Key West

Sloppy Joe's
      This is probably the most densely bar populated piece of land in the world (1 1/2 X 4 1/2 mile island with 255 bars.) and a rumstyler's dream.    If you are a fan of the old traditional bars like Sloppy Joe's, Captain Tony's or Schooner Wharf Bar with the atmosphere of a wild party and loud music Duval Street is the place you want to be.     This is a party that runs nightly deep into the AM.     The music, the warm weather,  the crowd, and the rum make this a party capitol year round.     There is a reason that the spring breakers, New Years Revelers,  and of course Fantasyfest goers flock to Key West and Duval Street.

Speakeasy Inn & Rum Bar
      For those who like it a bit quieter, there is the quiet end of Duval Street where you can find places like La Ti Da, The Rum Bar, and the Southernmost Beach Cafe.     These are places that have a strong local eclectic atmosphere that make it a great stop for the locals and the tourists.    

For those of you that are new to town and want to have a better feel for the more popular bars, check the bars for a copy of  Drink Key West, a guide to the "dizzying array of unique drinking establishments in the little town".     The guide takes you from the Oldest Bar in Key West ( The Green Parrot) to Dinner house bars ( Kelly's Caribbean or the Conch Republic Seafood Company) to strip joints.    There are those on the next the island ( Stock Island) like the Hurricane Hole and The Hogfish that give the fisherman and seafood lovers a taste of old Key West.     Back on the Island for those who prefer the waterfront there are great venues like Schooner Wharf, The Beach Bar at the Pier House, Louie's Backyard After deck, and Dante's.     If there is an atmosphere to suit your mood or party then, you can find it in Key West.

Sailing into the Night
   As the sun begins to set the bars and tourist become mariners and hit the water for the sunset sailing parties that fill the waters of Key West Harbor.     There are power and sail boats ass well as historic schooners to take you out on there rumstylers adventures.    Feel like a pirate on this historic old island  some time this year you won't be sorry.    ;o)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Barbados, a Real Rumstylin Destination

Sugar Museum

     Barbados is a mecca for the rumstyler, 3 major distilleries, St. Nicolas Abbey, and a Sugar Museum.     Often called the birthplace of Rum Barbados offers some of the finest tasting and innovative blenders it has been my experience to meet.     The Sugar Museum takes you through the history of the sugar cane, it's processing, and how the process has changed throughout the years to how it is done now.

Larry and his Still

     St. Nicolas Abbey is another of the historic sites that is absolutely amazing.     Larry and his family have taken on a monumental task of restoring the historic sugar plantation and add the mystique of making a modern day high quality rum from the same location.     They have restored the residence, the steam powered sugar cane press, and are currently working on restoring the wind  driven sugar cane press.     Larry has produced a very nice rum that is available only in Barbados at the   abbey and in the duty-free shops at the airport.

R.L. Seale's  Foursquare Rum Distillery

     The commercial distilleries include R.L. Seale's Foursquare Distillery, Mount Gay Distillery, and the West Indies Rum Distillery.     All three of these distilleries are a very important link in the rum production around the world.     Mount Gay distillery produces the lines of Mount Gay rums that are distributed around the world.     West Indies Rum Distillery produces the Cockspur Brand and sells 90% of the rum produced to other rum producers that blend and bottle under their own brand names.      The fermentation process here is a unique "continuous fermentation" that gives the distillery it's high volume and high quality capabilities.      R.L. Seale's Foursquare Distillery produces, ages, blends, and bottles all of the product that is produced at his distillery.     He demands to have absolute control of the product from sugar to finished rum.    Richard is a very innovative man  that has created new methods of distillation that give his rums that high quality reputation. 

Continuous Fermentation Tanks at West Indies Rum Distillery

Mount Gay Rum Distillery

     A trip to Barbados is a must for a serious rumstyler.     The history of the sugar cane, slaves for sugar, and the rum, are only the beginning of a wonderful experience on this Caribbean Island.     The facilities and the resorts are all top notch including the airport and the transportation systems on the island.    You really need to put Barbados on your must see list.     Oh the annual Rum Festival in November is a great time to visit the island as well.     ;o)

Monday, January 17, 2011

More on the Home Rumstyler Bar

     There seems to be a lot of interest in the rumstyler's home bar so lets explore it some more.     I got a note from Dave Florek today and a couple of pictures of his rumstylers bar in New Jersey.      As you can see this is a really first class  and well equipped bar.     The real fun begins when you start collecting the decorations and the liquors that really shows off your personal rumstyle.    

     Dave also sent me another picture that shows you don't have to be in the Caribbean to be a rumstyler.   BRRRRRRRRRRR!     I see that Dave is a Buffett fan by the Margaritaville sigh and one of the very hard to get Landshark surfboards.      This is a bar that I could hang in especially this time of year if I were in New Jersey.      I guess that Dave hangs on the patio this time of year also based on the size of that heater just outside the door.     Dave can open the bar up to the warm summertime as well and you have the indoor/outdoor feel as well.

     Many of my friends have their own Rumstyler's bars all over the country, and I love to stop by and enjoy a fine rum there and just kick back and share some quality time with them at their bar.     If you want me to cover your home bar please send me a picture or two and a little note about it so I can share your ideas with the rest of us.      Enjoy and keep on Rumstylin, it's a great way of life.   ;o)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Rumstylin with Pusser's Original Navy Rum

     Pusser's in 1979,  9 years after Black Tot Day if you will, began to reproduce the famous navy rum in tradition of the times of Trafalgar in Tortola, British Virgin Islands.     The rum is distilled in traditional wooden pot stills and still retains the intense flavors only this method of distillation can produce.     This is a heavy dark amber rum that bold aromas that are apparent even at a distance when the bottle is uncorked.     The flavors are bold and the finish is on the sweet side.      This is the same blend of 84 proof rum that was issued by the British Admiralty from  1655 after the British too control of Jamaica til July 31, 1970, Black Tot Day.   

     Today this is the basis for one of the most famous of the cocktails that come from the British Virgin Islands, the Painkiller.     This is the cocktail that was created at the Soddy Dollar Bar located in White Bay on Jost Van Dyke.     This cocktail was perfected at "Sandcastle's Soggy Dollar Bar in the 70's and is an absolute staple of the US and British Virgin Islands.     The Soggy Dollar derived it's name from the fact  that boaters upon arriving in White Bay and to anchor off shore and swim to the beach and the bar, often paying their tabs with soggy wet dollars.     There was a clothes line that you could hang your paper currency to dry , adding to the unique experience of the venue.
     I'm still serving this cocktail in it's original form at the Rum Bar in Key West.     We have kept the drink 's standards high using the Pusser's Navy Rum and all the best of ingredients right down to the fresh ground nutmeg topping.     Should you be in the Virgin Islands or Key West you would be remiss in your rumstylin' if you don't have one of these wonderful cocktails made with this traditional rum.     ;o)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Rumstylin Birthday Party's

     Having just gone through another milestone of age here recently, it reminds me of how much fun a rumstyler's birthday party can be.     In the case of Vicky, a lady friend of mine, it meant going out on a dinner cruise with a great group of her friends.     For George, another friend, it meant renting a hall above the spa in his condos.    For me it was a dock and boat party with a like-thinking group of friends that really enjoyed the fine cuisine( munchies, chips, and other finger foods) and a wee amount of the great beverage we call rum.

     Hey George, Keep on Keepin' on and the party just seems to keep goin' on.    The music, the rum, and the attitude just makes this happen.     George is one of my favorite rumstylers, he is just the happiest guy you ever want to meet, and he really enjoys the party.     His style being the great chef that he is is to have fine food and fine rum and the party is on for him and his friends.     As the night goes on many of the guests end up in the swimming pool, but a great time is always had by all that attend.

     Vicky on the other hand enjoys a cruise that includes a few of her closes friends and a little bit of wine with dinner and the rumstylin' takes over as the sun sets in the west.     These sunset dinner cruises are  really nice and the chefs are without question some of the finest around.     The more dressy  atmosphere of her birthday is another side of rumstylin that is wonderful and fun.

     On the third hand was my birthday.     This a loosely organized musical fun night in December between the dock and the boat  with a whole lot of friends.     This is more me, good rum (and a few other beverages), good friends and good music.      Friends laughing and having a great evening in the marina is my idea of a really fun way to add a year to my life.     It goes along with the idea of grow a bit older, but living the Peter Pan lifestyle of never growing up.      Growing up in the 60's of San Francisco the idea that you can't trust anyone over 30 just give credence the 35 anniversary of my 29th birthday.    

     No matter how you celebrate a rumstyler's birthday, you just have to have a positive outlook on what you are and what you want out of this life.   Then throw a party and carry on in the true rumstyler's tradition.   ;o)