Saturday, October 31, 2015

'Lazy' Australian Accent Caused by 'Alcoholic Slur' of Heavy Drinking Early Settlers'

     Having a few friends with that delightful Aussie accent, it is interesting to hear this analysis of where it came from.  I have spent a fair amount of time in the southern states here in the US, and I find many languages very interesting, but I've never seen it being traced back like this.  A very interesting read. 

Paul "Crocodile Dundee" Hogan
   The distinctive Australian accent is the result of a "drunken slur" caused by the heavy drinking of the early settlers, according to a communication expert from the country.   In an impassioned call for Australian schools to teach verbal expression and delivery, Dean Frenkel, a public speaking and communication lecturer at Melbourne's Victoria University, said "drunken Aussie-speak" was formed generations ago but has continued to be passed on to children by sober parents.

     "The Australian alphabet cocktail was spiked by alcohol," he wrote in The Age.   "Our forefathers regularly got drunk together and through their frequent interactions unknowingly added an alcoholic slur to our national speech patterns. Aussie-speak developed in the early days of colonial settlement from a cocktail of English, Irish, Aboriginal and German - before another mystery influence was slipped into the mix."

     Paul Hogan Crocodile Dundee Mate, what did ya say?  Mr. Frenkel said poor communication was "not related to class" but was evident among all sectors of Australian society.   "The average Australian speaks to just two thirds capacity - with one third of our articulator muscles always sedentary as if lying on the couch; and that's just concerning articulation," he wrote.   "Missing consonants can include missing 't's (impordant), 'l's (Austraya) and 's's (yesh), while many of our vowels are lazily transformed into other vowels, especially 'a's to 'e's (stending) and 'i's (New South Wyles), and 'i's to 'oi's (noight)."

     Most experts believe the Australian accent - known for its flat tone, nasality and elision of syllables - developed from the mix of dialects found in the early colony, whose residents included convicts and settlers from across Britain and Ireland. Various myths have arisen to try to explain certain features of the Australian drawl, including the claim that Australians mumble to avoid swallowing flies.

     This article has more about the accent at 
Mel Gibson

     I find it interesting that many of the native Australians, especially the actors generally lack that colorful dialect that is so appealing to most of us around the world.  Mel Gibson is a good example of an Australian who does not seem to have a strong accent of any kind.  where Paul Hogan's accent you can cut with a knife.  Please don't loose this wonderful and colorful dialect, especially the ladies, it is really appealing.  ;o)


Friday, October 30, 2015

Halloween Blood Punch

     Blood Punch is a new cocktail that we created for the Zombie Bike Ride after party at the Rum Bar last week.  It is an easy concoction that you can make up in a pitcher or a cooler depending on how many people you want to serve.

     It is not real sweet, but it does have a good and fun flavor besides just being blood red.  Here is the recipe for a 2 1/2 gallon cooler.

Blood Punch

  • 1 Bottle of White Rum, good clean unflavored one
  • 1 Bottle of DeKuyper Pomegranite Liqueur
  • 1 Bottle of Cruzan Mango Rum
  • 2 oz. Agave Nectar
  • Pineapple Juice and Cranberry Juice equal portions to fill cooler
Place all ingredients into a 2 1/2 Gallon Cooler and cover and shake.  Allow to sit for 3 or 4 houres in Refrigerator and serve over ice in an appropriate cup.

This is a really good Halloween Punch to put a real kick into the party.  Enjoy your Halloween this year.  ;o)

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Which Jobs Spawn the Heaviest Drinking?

     I ran across this interesting article on which industries spawn the most drinkers.  I was a bit surprised by some, and not at all by others.  Take a look at it and see what you think.  

     The US' alcohol consumption was also shown to have increased between 2006 and 2010 despite the economic recession.   Many people turn to a pint on a Friday to mark the end of the working week.    
But heavy drinking, in which five or more drinks are consumed in one sitting, appears to be more of a problem in some lines of work than others.   According to government data studied by Statista, the above graphic shows the ten top industries in the US where workers say they drink heavily each month.

     Miners and builders report drinking the most, with 17.5 per cent of adults in the mining industry saying they drank heavily in the last month, and the construction industry not far behind on 16.5 per cent.  Niall McCarthy, a data journalist at Statista, found working down a mine shaft led more people to find a way to unwind at the end of the day. "Due to its dark, tough and dangerous nature, mining has been named as the industry with the hardest drinkers in the United States," said Mr McCarthy.

     Hospitality and food services came in third at 11.8 per cent, whilst manufacturing, agriculture and the retail trade came in eighth, ninth and tenth with more modest amounts of alcohol consumed.  Heavy drinking, or binge drinking, is defined in the study as five or more drinks on the same occasion, on five or more days in the past month.

The data comes as a study this month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that binge drinking in the US has increased between 2006 and 2010, with a great cost to the economy.    

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Fantasy Fest has Arrived for 2015 in Key West

     Its that time of year again when all the inhibitions go away and the city goes into a party frenzy.   This year is no exception, it got started Sunday evening with the "Zombie Bike Ride", and will continue in its crazy crazy manner until the end of the day on Sunday at the "The Fat Lady Sings Tea Dance ends that evening at La Te Da's.  

     You have parties for all occasions and preferences, not a lot for the kids, but this is after all an adult fest for the most part and not really a place for kids.  You can get the complete schedule at .

     If you are here the party is on and I hope that some of you will stop by and see me at the Rum Bar on Duval street, Thursday thru Sunday from 11 am until 6 pm, and at the Satelite bar on Saturday during the parade.  To one and all have a really fun time and literally "Let it all hang out"!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Appleton Introduced a New Look for its Appleton Estate Rums

     Back in April of this year it was announced that Appleton Estate was introducing new branding for its Appleton Estate expressions.  It has at least in my bar been very confusing for many of my customers.  I decided to run the story of what the change was all about.

     “Grupo Campari announced the rebranding of its Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum premium line of rums.   Rest assure the high quality rum that Appleton Estate is known for has not changed.  Grupo Campari has introduced new naming classifications and packaging design for the core Appleton Estate expressions.”

     First of all none of the rums themselves have changed.   This was a change to modernize the look of the line and to bring some new attention to the expressions.  Blow are what they were and what the names have been changed to.

  •       Appleton Estate Signature Blend is the new name for Appleton Estate V/X           
  •       Appleton Estate Reserve Blend is the new name for Appleton Estate Reserve
  •       Appleton Estate Rare Blend 12 Year Old is the new name for Appleton Estate Extra 12 Year Old
        “We wanted the new packaging to capture the craftsmanship and exceptional quality of   our           range and celebrate the uniqueness of the Appleton Estate including our heritage, our land, our         process and our people.”   Appleton Master Blender, Joy Spence

         I hope that this has helped to clear up the confusion.  ;o)

Monday, October 26, 2015

Plantation Grand Réserve at Rat Key Tasting Monday

     Plantation has just sent us a Rat Key Package of Plantation Grand Réserve 5 Year Old Barbados
Rum for next Mondays Tasting.   This is a great present for the association, as it is one of my favorites in their line.

     I think that Cognac Ferrand discribes it the best when it says, Grand Reserve is a fine blend of Barbados rums, aged for five years in bourbon casks in the Caribbean then refined in old French oak casks at Château de Bonbonnet.   Its succulent nose, typical of the Barbados style, reveals notes of toasted coconut, fudge and oaky vanilla.   Plantation Grande Réserve 5 Year Old can be enjoyed straight, on ice or in cocktails.

      The thing that I really like about it is that is more than good enough to drink neat or on the rocks and inexpensive enough to mix without a gut wrench when you do.   One of my favorite mixes is with coconut water, this is a really wonderful combination that never goes out of style.   It also makes the perfect rum for the "Barbados National Cocktail", the Corn and Oil.

     Plantation has a full line of rums from around the world, unfortunately many of them are not available here in the United States.  Anytime that you find a bottle of these expressions that Alexandre Gabriel has created, just buy it you won't be disappointed.  

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Bahama Bob from "Hell"

    A visit to Grand Cayman would not be complete without a visit to the little town of Hell.  Complete with its own post office, this little corner of Grand Cayman is very unique.  The limestone formations that spread out in front of you look like the charred rock that you would imagine "Hell" to be.

     "It is also claimed that the name "Hell" is derived from the fact that if a pebble is thrown out into the formation, it echoes amongst the limestone peaks and valleys and sounds as if the pebble is falling all the way down to 'Hell.' "

Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Pink Ta Ta: Breast Cancer Awareness

     October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but I've been a little tarty in getting something of a cocktail that is fitting of the program.   This morning I went to work on an idea that actually came out very well.     It had to be pink to go along with the program, and it had to be rum just because I'm a rum guy.  Other than that, I was pretty free to go to town.

     The Pink Ta Ta

  • 2 oz Matusalem Platino Rum
  • 1 oz. DeKuyper Pomegranate Liqueur
  • 1/2 oz. St. Germaine Elderberry Liqueur
  • Juice of 1/2 Lemon

Place all of the ingredients in a shaker filled with ice and shake until really chilled.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with two cherries on a toothpick.

Friday, October 23, 2015

When is the Talk going to End and the Action Begin?

Santiago de Cuba Rum
Hemingway's Pilar
     We are quickly approaching a year since it was announced that the restrictions on trade and travel to Cuba were going to be lifted and very little is different today.  You still need a special VISA to travel there, and you still can't buy Cuban rum or Cigars here in American stores.

     Is this just another one of those political items to keep the American public interested din what they are doing, or they really going to take the bull by the horns and open up Cuba.   The part that I don't understand is that the countries that supplied Cuba with the missiles and other tools of war like Russia, China, and others don't have restrictions and embargo's on their products.

San Juan Hill
Old Bacardi Factory
     I find that a country that is just 90 miles from my home that I cant jump on board a ferry boat to enjoy is a real travesty.   I guess that the politics are so much more important to the country than the actions.   It is time to get off our "collective asses" and open the door to our neighbors.  This is one of the most colorful places on the earth and the people of Cuba don't deserve the treatment they are receiving from the embargo and the travel restrictions.

National Hotel
     The history, culture and products of Cuba make this island a place of beauty and fascination for so many Americans.   It is not likely that we will be attacked by a country that is struggling financially like Cuba is today.  The history of relations between Cuba and the United States in the past was one of mutual respect and two way communication and commerce.  It is time to go back to time where we can be free to travel, purchase goods and communicate with the people of Cuba.  The rhetoric needs to stop and action to get this idea into reality.  The embargo and travel restrictions need to end and allow "we the people" the freedom to enjoy the island beauty and share with the wonderful people and historic places that make Cuba such a fascinating place.

The 1939 Show at the Tropicana

Thursday, October 22, 2015

2015 Caribbean Rum and Beer Festival Nearing Quickly

     We are just two weeks away from The 2015 Caribbean Rum and Beer Festival, have you got your tickets yet?   I just found out that I’ll be doing a Master class presentation on Friday evening as well as being a part of the judging team for the rum tasting event.   This is one of the Caribbean’s premier events for the rum and beer people, and an event that you just don’t want to miss.

    The countdown has started for the 5th Caribbean Rum & Beer Festival! On 6 - 7 November 2015 "Amazing St Maarten" will play host to this much loved and unique annual Festival, which includes the highly competitive 2015 CAB Taste Contest. The venue for the Festival is the Banqueting Suite at the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino, this fabulous resort is also our partner hotel. During the 2 days of the Festival, you will have the opportunity to sample a range of the finest rum and beer products produced in the world, and there is plenty of opportunities learn more about your favourite beverages. Come experience the pleasure of the Festival and the beauty of St Maarten. In addition to the opportunity to sample a selection of the world's best rum and beers, patrons at this years Festival can also look forward to; Master classes from international rum and beer experts Live culinary displays of cooking with rum and beer 'Rum Cocktail Wars' - The explosive bartender contest Entertainment throughout both days including Steel pan music, African drumming, dance troupes and more Live music on stage on both nights of the Festival Rum cakes & Chocolates Local arts & crafts - See more at:

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Strong Movement to Low Calorie Cocktails

     In the past week or so, I have introduced a line of new cocktails that I called the two point
cocktails based on Weight Watchers points system.  These are basically cocktails that are 130 calories or less and contain no fat.  If they contain fiber, then they could be a few more calories, but I haven't figured out how to put fiber into them yet, but I am working on it.

      As a bartender, I have noticed a lot of people switching to a clear spirit and club soda with a squeeze of lime instead of the coke, or other sugary mix.  People are becoming very interested in cocktails that will not blow their diets.  Lets face it, people enjoy having a cocktail or two and they don't want to totally derail all that they have done to loose weight with a sugar bomb or two.

     The hardest part of creating low calorie cocktails is making them flavorful.  Flavor can be added, but you have to be very strict about the portions of the cocktail.  If you add things to the mix for taste, you might have to adjust the amount of spirit you put into the blend.  If you remember that the two point cocktail can not exceed 130 calories.

     I think that if you try the combinations of spirits and mixes you will find that many things are out there that will allow you to create a cocktail that is only two points and very very tasty.  I know that I have been very surprised on how flavorful that the ones that I have done are.  Don't be afraid to look at the past and some of the liqueurs that aren't as popular today as they have been in the past for a source of flavor for your lower calorie cocktails.   I just hope that you enjoy creating and imbibing these as much as I have.  ;o)

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Rum and Drambuie: Unique Flavors That Work Well Together

    I got looking for a classic liqueur to work with the other day and I ran across a bottle of Drambuie. I immediately began to work with it to see what I could do with it.   Drambuie is a sweet, golden colored 40% ABV liqueur made from scotch whisky, honey, herbs and spices.   It has a very unique flavor like Liquor 43, Campari, or   Chartreuse.  

     The taste of Drambuie is the result of infusing a unique blend of aged Scotch whisky with a secret combination of spices, heather honey & herbs. Its origins can be traced to a secret recipe created for Bonnie Prince Charlie by his Royal Apothecary in the 18th Century.
     The elixir was infused with spices such as cloves for their medicinal purposes, and saffron to give the liquid its rich golden color. It became the Prince’s personal draft, and he drank a few drops each day for strength and vitality.
     A unique Highland spirit - it is most certainly royal in appearance, exquisite in taste and deliciously potent. The name Drambuie is derived from Scots Gaelic An Dram Buidheach and means "The Drink that Satisfies".   

Café del Ron
·         1 1/2 oz. Plantation Trinidad 2000
·         1/2 oz. Drambuie
·         ¼ oz. Absinthe – Glass rinse
·         Mint Sprig, for Garnish

Place Rum and Drambuie in a shaker with ice and shake until chilled.  Place absinthe in chilled cocktail glass and swirl around and dump out.  Strain contents of the shaker into the glass and garnish with a sprig of mint.

Monday, October 19, 2015

The House Party is back on for Bacardi at

     Bacardi is trying to revive the "party" in its new advertising program.  The addition of a new Global VP for Bacardi, Fabio Di Giammarco, just ten weeks into his new job, is spearheading  where the newest version of ‘Untameable’ revitialization,  don't expect more of the heritage stuff, it isn't happening.  Bacardi is about to become a party animal.

     "The first mention of 'Untameable' was in November 2013. The central ad featured snapshots from the history of the Bacardi family, which started the company in 1862, such as natural disasters, the Cuban revolution and exile to the US. The concept followed the pattern of heritage and provenance that has been adopted by many brands - and not just in the drinks world. It also came under scrutiny from pundits and former employees."

     “We want to talk very directly to - and start establishing dialogue with - our consumer target of LDA to 25,” said Di Giammarco. “We’ve been telling them about our history, which is very important to us, but for us now it was extremely relevant to put the brand in the context of an occasion that is exciting … and relevant for consumption."

     What is about to happen is a "house party".    Di Giammarco was quick to assure that the house party concept used in the ad doesn't mean Bacardi is settling for just the off-premise - occasion-based marketing is to feature both the house party and the big night out.  This direction is aimed a getting the party started again for Bacardi.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Streets of Port au Prince

     Life is different as You walk through the streets of Port au Prince, Haiti.    With the huge numbers of people and the very limited number of streets, people become human trucks carrying much in pans upon their heads.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

The First British Rum to be Distilled from African Molasses

Matugga Rum is thought to be the first rum to be distilled in the UK from African molasses
Currently available in two expressions, Matugga Golden Rum and Matugga Spiced Rum, the Matugga Rum brand officially launches in the UK as part of London Rum Experience Week (12-18 October).

     Master distiller, John Walters, produces the small-batch rum in Cambridgeshire. Molasses from East Africa is fermented for seven days, before being triple-distilled in 200-litre copper pot stills with swan neck condensers. With each round of distillation the heads and tails are cut. The rum is then finished in uncharred oak casks.
     Husband and wife team Paul and Jacine Rutasikwa co-own Matugga Beverages. The pair own family land in Matugga, a town located 13 miles north of Kampala, Uganda’s capital and largest city.   Paul Rutasikwa, co-founder of Matugga Beverages, said: “The naturally rich, red soils of East Africa provide an ideal terrain for high-quality sugar cane, from which we source the finest molasses. We are proud to be promoting East Africa’s incredibly rich natural produce while showcasing British micro-distillery craft at its best.
“Consumers are becoming more attuned to carefully crafted, artisan sprits. In addition to quality and taste, their focus is very much on how the ingredients are sourced and, importantly, how they’re handled afterwards. It matters to them and it matters to us.”

Friday, October 16, 2015

Casa Botran Introduces 75th Anniversary Special Edition

Guatemalan rum producer Casa Botran has teamed up with branding, marketing and design agency Appartement 103 to develop its 75th Anniversary special edition, Botran & Co.

The offering allows the consumers to “define the flavor profile of the rum”
The aged rum was produced using the company’s solera process whereby the rum matures in ex-Bourbon white oak casks, toasted casks, ex-Sherry, ex-Port, and ex-South American wine casks. Apparement 103’s brief was to reflect this in the pack design.
An outer wooden box contains a 50cl rum from the Botrán family’s private reserve, aged for up to 30 years. The bottle is presented alongside two miniature 5cl bottles which contain “spiced” rum and “citrus” rum.
Consumers can then opt to “explore different tastes” by mixing the three together. The pack contains a pipette and leaflet which explains the blending process.
“We understand that Casa Botran is the first rum maker to release a product that allows the consumers to define the flavor profile of the rum in such a customisable way,” said Joao Paulo Oliveira, Appartement 103 head of business development
“Our creative team was thrilled to bring this ritual concept to life by developing a solution that highlights the heritage as well as the contemporary vision of the company in producing refined aged rums. It’s a unique journey, immersing the consumers into the magical art of mixology.”
On-pack printing techniques include hot foil detailing, embossing, varnish, textures and screening, combining for a “tactile experience”.
Marc Savary, Appartement 103’s creative director, added:“The carefully designed embossed stamp on the label, the organic selected paper, as well as the hand drawing screened typeface on the glass, reinforce the long history of the [Botran] company, ensuring the heritage and quality perception of the brand.

“The Casa Botran’s shield was placed on the right side of the label, endorsing the product with confidence through a gold hot foil stamp, triggering the consumer’s curiosity to turn the bottle around and discover it as a whole.”

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Daiquiri Pilar: A 2 Point Cocktail

     In fooling around with the 2 point cocktails this past week, I had an opportunity to create this daiquiri for my friend Carlton Grooms from Papa's Pilar Rum.  Papa's Pilar Dark has some very unique flavor making it a great candidate for a daiquiri.   Working out the balance is the only challenge to making it a seriously good daiquiri.

     In the chart, 1 1/2 oz. of spirits is about 97 calories, now we have approximately 33 calories left to work with in creating the cocktail.   1/2 oz. Frangelico adds the 32 calories and a little lemon juice which is negligible as far as calories go.   The lemon juice balances the sweetness of the spirits and leaves us a a balanced and flavorful daiquiri to enjoy.

Daiquiri Pilar

  • 1 1/2 oz. Papa's Pilar Dark Rum
  • 1/2 oz. Frangelico Liqueur
  • Juice of 1/2 Lemon
Place all ingredients into a shaker filled with ice.  Shake until fully chilled and stain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon slice.

     You can continue to create more of these two point cocktails by following the calorie charts available for most any item.  Just remember that spirits loaded with sugars  add calories, so use clean and unaltered spirits, there are several of the low end rums that are loaded with sweeteners and flavors that add calories.   If you keep your cocktail to 130 calories and no items containing fat, you have your two point cocktail.  Using fruits and natural juices will give you the sweetness with out the sugar, but Splenda is a no calorie sweetener if your palate requires more sweetness.

     I hope that you have enjoyed this series of low calorie cocktails and I will continue to post a few more of these as I can come up with some other new ones.   ;o)


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Two Point Rum Old Fashion

     From the list of ingredients that you can choose from that I published yesterday, Here is another idea to try.  This cocktail requires no sweetener, but rather gets its flavor from the natural flavors of the fresh strawberry and fresh pineapple chunks.  Keep the pineapple chunks down to about 1 inch and only 2 or it will be a 3 point cocktail.

     I hope that I have been able to give you some ideas for creating some of your own 2 point cocktails and get you off of the Vodka and Club Soda path of really boring cocktails.  Get out and try some of these fun ideas and then get to the store and find a few fresh fruits and herbs and make some of these 2  Point Cocktails of your own.

The 2 Point Rum Old Fashion

  • 1 1/2 Oz. Zafra 21 Year Old Rum
  • 1 Fresh Strawberry
  • 2 Small Cubes of Fresh Pineapple
  • Fee Bros. Old Fashion Aromatic Bitters
Muddle the Strawberry and the pineapple in a shaker, add ice and the remaining ingredients and shake until chilled.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with an orange zest.

You can find a food chart at

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Two Point Premium Rum Daiquiri

     The daiquiri is another cocktail that lends itself very well to the 2 point format of cocktails.   It is important to adhere to a selection of drinks that don't loose their taste when they loose the calories.  If it doesn't taste good, you won't stick with it and the cocktail looses its reason for existence.    Here is another example of a two point cocktail, The Daiquiri.

The Two Point Daiquiri

  • 1 1/2 oz. Don Q White Rum
  • Juice of 1/2 Lime
  • 1 packet of Splenda
Place all ingredients into a shake filled with ice and shake until chilled and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

    In creating these cocktails you have to find out what the calories, fat, and fiber of each of the components, then plug the numbers into the weight watchers calculator and get the number of points that the cocktail has.  Below is a list of ingredients that you can work with that have zero points in the proper portions.  There is also a list of 2 point spirits.  It is really fun creation these low calorie cocktails that can be enjoyed without killing your weight loss program.
Note the Portion, they are critical in order to maintain the points in the cocktail.

Strawberry1 lg0
Line or Lemon Juice1/4 cup0
Red Grapefruit1/20
Diced Pineapple1/8 cup0
Watermelon1/8 cup 0
Mango1/8 cup0
Blackstrap Molasses 1 tsp1
Splenda1 pkt0
Agave Nectar1 tsp1
Honey1 tsp1
Herbs and Spices
Cinnamon1 tsp0
Clove1 tsp0
Fresh Spearmint1 tbsp0

Spirits Calories and Points

Rum, Whiskey Vodka and  Gin all average between 90 and 130 calories per 1 1/2 oz. pour, that translates to  2 Points in the Weight Watchers Points system. Here is a site that will help you with this concept.  

Monday, October 12, 2015

The 2 Point Mojito

     As a adherant of the Weight Watcher's program to control my weight, I am very conscious of the points that some cocktails have.  I try to keep the cocktails that I imbibe down to 2 points each.  In general this is an honest clear spirit and a diet soda, club soda or water.   I started to look a little closer at how I could create some of the better cocktails and stay at the 2 point level.

     One of the first ones that I looked at was the Mojito.   The first thing that had to go was the sugar.  I took and put some "Splenda" in place of the sugar and the rest of it was fine.  Mint and Lime Juice have zero points.  The White Rum ( Pure White Rum No Sugar Added) like Ron Llave, Don Q, Yolo, Bacardi or other honest rums from 80 to 100 proof are 2 points each.

     Here is a Recipe for a 2 Point Mojito rather that a three or Four Point standard Mojito.

2 Point Mojito

  • 1 1/2 oz. White Rum
  • 1 or 2 Packets of Splenda (according to taste)
  • Juice of 1/2 Lime (no sweetened juices)
  • 10 to 12 Mint leaves
  • Club Soda to fill

  Place the lime Juice, splenda and the mint in a 12 oz. glass and muddle gently to bruise the mint.  Fill the glass with ice and add the rum.  Shake until chilled and top up with some club soda.  Garnish with a lime wheel and serve.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Beautiful End to a Cloudy Day at Bahia Honda

    The day was a bit cloudy and overcast at Bahia Honda this week, but the days end was worth the wait for the beauty of the cay to come out into the open.  Sunsets with the old railroad tressle in the foreground are very dramatic and beautiful.  ;o)

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Cocktail Construction Found Among Forest Service Archives

A comprehensive cocktail chart created U.S. Forest Service’s historic agricultural archives and is thought to have been an “in-house” joke.

     It is not known how Ketcham’s work, which was commissioned and published by the US Forest Service, made it into the archives, but the Cocktail Construction Chart depicts a guide to creating classic cocktails such as a Martini or Manhattan, and was recently uncovered in a section of the National Archives Catalogue.  It is believed to have been created by late Forest Service Region 8 Engineer Cleve “Red” Ketcham, whose signature appears at the bottom of the work.  It is not known how Ketcham’s work, which was commissioned and published by the US Forest Service – an agency of the US Department of Agriculture that administers the nation’s forests and grasslands – made it into the archives in the first place.
     Sharon Phillips, program management analyst for Region 8, told Esquire: “I wouldn’t say he passed it along to the staff, because at that time, he probably did that as maybe a joke, something he did for fun.   “It probably got mixed up with some legitimate stuff and ended up in the archives.”  

     Ketcham’s son, Ray, agreed that the work was more than likely a joke drawing. He added: “I would not be a bit surprised, if you really got to looking, if you found a whole bunch more of those in-house jokes that he may or may not have had something to do with.”   “The funny thing is, I don’t remember him drinking much.”

Read More at  

     I found this to be really cool,especially if it was a joke like it was suspected to be.   The "blue print" for seerious cocktail construction in the forest service archives.  That is a man with a great sense of humor.  ;o)

Friday, October 9, 2015

Looking Skyward

   The fun thing about Key West lies in the way you can just look up and you will see things that awe you and make you smile.  Leaving my marina on the dinghy, I spotted an Osprey soaring above that was so colorful and regal as he soared above the waters.  The way that he road on the breezes and soared above me made me wish to be flying again.   Between the birds, mammals, and marine life around here I am never bored by my surroundings.

     Even as I walk the docks around the different marinas of Key West and Stock Island, I find the land and the sky will always provide me with visions of grandeur that are hard to imagine.  The way that the land and the sky come together is very special and constantly changing ,every minute, yielding some very spectacular vistas for me and my camera.

Following the day to its conclusion usually
means that the ere will be a sunset unique unto itself.   The sunsets around Key West and so regularly inspiring like nowhere else and stare your eyes  until the fade into the ocean.   I find it hard to believe that it took me so many years to find this
place and how much that I enjoy it every day.  People often tell me that I am living the dream, and I guess if I think about it I really am.  ;o)


Thursday, October 8, 2015

Clement Introduces Mahina Coco

     Martinique's Clement Rhums has introduced a new flavored rum, Mahina Coco.  This is an interesting second departure into flavored French style rhums.  Their original was the Creole Shrubb, an orange flavored expression that has been around of several years now.   

     "A bright French Caribbean coconut delicacy, Mahina Coco is crafted with luscious pieces of young coconut soused with Rhum Agricole, which brings a soft and sweet roundness of the tropics. Try Mahina Coco simply on ice, with pineapple juice, or in exotic island cocktails."

     Flavored rhums are not readily seen coming from the Agricole Rhum  producers, but this looks like it is a well thought out expression that has some real promise.  Like it 's sister expression Creole Shrubb, Mahina Coco it is not your ordinary flavored rhum.

     It’s based in rhum blanc agricole, giving it a complexity and authenticity to flavored rhum that is very hard to beat, with “luscious pieces of young coconut.”    Clement has taken an after dinner French Caribbean cocktail into our homes here in America.  It will cost you somewhere around $26.00, but as Clement says, "A sumptuous CREOLE LIQUOR with White Rhum and COCONUT flavor"

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

October's First Rat Key Tasting

     With the temperatures dropping a bi to the mid and lower 80's here in Key West, the afternoons at Rat Key are so much more enjoyable.   Sitting around the serving table stacked with 6 to 8 rums set for sampling is a much more pleasant experience.

   This week, we were here to enjoy rums from all over the Caribbean and Florida,  There was a Wicked Dolphin expression from Cape Coral, Florida that led off the afternoons tasting.  We moved on to an Elements 8 rum from St. Lucia, followed by Captain Bligh Gold from St. Vincent.  These were all young rums with some very interesting on the palate for rums of their age.

     Next we were off to Barbados for  R.L. Seale Rum along with a 10 year old  St. Nicolas Abbey expression.   Both of these fine rums put us back to the areas of fine aged rums.  These were very clean and had a natural sweetness that makes them something very special.  A bottle of Santa Teresa 1796 Solera from Venezuela, one of the fine rums that come out of that area was a wonderful experience as well.

     Finally we were off to Cuba for a Havana Club 7 Year and a Santiago de
Cuba Anejo.  More of the fine rum produced in the Spanish style of rum making and just wonderful to be able to enjoy watching the sun beginning to set over Fleming Key to the west.   This was a very epic day of tasting and camaraderie on Rat Key with so many fine rums.  

     It was sad to see the darkness take over the island and having to find our way back home in the dark.   ;o)

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Sunset Daiquiri

    Sitting on the aft deck Saturday night with a yearning for a new daiquiri at sunset when I got the inspiration for this one.  It brings a nuttiness to the daiquiri and a sweet-tart refreshing flavor.  Frangelico adds a real special nutty flavor, while the Zafra brings out the vanilla and bourbon notes making this a unique experience.

The Sunset Daiquiri
·         1/2 oz. Frangelico
·         1 1/2 oz. Zafra Master Reserve
·         Juice of ½  Lemon
·         Juice of ½ Lime
·         1/2 oz. Agave Nectar

Place all ingredients into a shaker filled with ice and shake until thoroughly chilled.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon and lime wheel.

Monday, October 5, 2015

2015 "Show Rum Tasting Competition Results" from "Show Rum Italian Rum Festival"

     Another rum festival has reached conclusion this year.  Show Rum Italian Rum Festival is now a part of history.  Leonardo Pinto, Alessandra Penteriani and his staff put together a fine assembly of rum companies and rum people from around the world that have provided the people of Italy with a very impressive rum experience.

     Part of this festival was a tasting competition judged by rum professionals from around the world.  Here are the results of the judging at the festival.    Here are the winners of the international Show Rum Tasting Competition that have just been announced.

Column Still White - Angostura White
Column Still 1-3 - Bacardi Heritage
Column Still 4-7 - Abuelo 7
Column Still 8-15 - Abuelo 12
Column Still greater than 15 - Malecon Especial 1985
Column Still No Age Declared - Havana Union
Pot Still & Blended 1-3 - Diplomatico Bianco
Pot Still & Blended 4-7 - Appleton Reserve
Pot Still & Blended 8-15 - Appleton Rare Blend 12
Pot Still & Blended greater than 15 - Appleton 21
Pot Still & Blended No Age Declared - Hampden Estate Gold
Agricole Style White - Damoiseau Pure Cane
Agricole Style 1-3 - Trois Rivieres Ambré
Agricole Style 4-6 - Trois Rivieres Vsop
Agricole Style greater than 6 - Dillon Selection Club 12 XO
Cachaca White - Pitú
Cacaçha Aged - Pitú Especial
Overproof Rum - Rum Fire Velvet
Spiced and Flavored - Rum Project One
Independent Bottler White - Plantation 3 Stars

     The show provided a chance to sample many great rums from around the world, including rums from Bacardi, Havana Club, Abuelo, Angostura, El Dorado, Diplomatico and many more from places like Martinique, Mauritius, Jamaica, Guadeloupe, Barbados and Dominican Republic.

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