Bahama Bob's Rumstyles

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Thyme on My Hands Cocktail Vision

     Rainy weather has me stuck inside the boat y, I guess you know what I’ve been up to.  You guessed it playing with new syrups and cocktails.   I heard an old song that gave me an idea to play a little bit with some herbs and thyme looks like the one that seems to work the best for today’s ideas. 
     Denizen Rum is always a challenge to work with when creating new cocktails.  Usually a citrus mix works with it.  The addition of the thyme and lemon to the semi burnt sugar syrup really gave me a great flavor combination to build on.    Sparkling water added tames the sweetness a bit and yield a very flavorful afternoon cocktail.  This is the perfect refreshing afternoon delight, no matter what the weather conditions. 



Citrus Thyme Cocktail

  • 1½ oz. Denizen Rum
  • 2 oz. Sour Orange Juice
  • ½ oz. Bahama Bob’s Lemon Thyme Syrup
  • Top Up with Club Soda

Place all ingredients except the club soda into a shaker filled with ice and shake until chilled.  Strain into a Collins glass filled with fresh ice and garnish with an orange zest.




Bahama Bob’s Lemon Thyme Syrup

  • 1 Cup Sugar in the Raw
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
  • ¼ Tsp. Thyme


Place the sugar and the thyme in a pan and heat to 435 degrees.  Do Not stir, wait until the sugar begins to melt and add the lemon juice.  Stir until the thick syrup begins to boil.  Slowly add the water as you stir the mixture.  Keep stirring until the mixture comes to a boil.  Reduce the heat to 230 degrees and allow simmer for about 5 minutes stirring periodically.   Remove from heat and pour into a bowl and put into the refrigerator until cold.  Keep in the refrigerator for longest life.  

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Flavoring Rum Could be the Beginning of the End for the Catagory

Sugar Cooker
     All of the debate over the sugar and all of the other things being added to rum lately might ultimately hurt the category in the long run.   Wine has gone through this issue and caused a huge rift that lead to the German wine industry being seriously harmed.

     Rum is not alone in this issue, Whiskey, Vodka, and Others are going through similar issues as well.  In order  to sustain growth many spirits are adding flavored and sweetened expressions to add to their bottom sales line.  "The flavors have their own advertising and activation efforts, but many producers are looking to promote them together, especially since the flavors bring in younger consumers and women.
As the worlds number-one bourbon, were honored to be named a Growth Brand and continue to deliver strong growth across our portfolio through our flavored offerings, premium expressions and Jim Beam White Label, which continues to gain momentum, says Vanessa Jenkins, of Beam Suntory.   The key is that they are spending time and effort in introducing new blended and premium expressions instead of putting so much time into the flavored expressions.   

     All of the debate and issues in the rum category need to be addressed by a council of producers and figure a way to let the customers know what is what and let them make their own decision that fits their palate.  I don't think that the Rum producers are willing to give up the portion of their customers that like sweet and flavored expressions.  Doing so would hurt the entire category and bring on a rapid loss of sales.   There is a place for all of these expressions in all categories, but you just got to let people know what they are buying and tasting.

Here is a chart of the fastest growing expressions across the spirit world and a good number of them are flavored or sweetened expressions.


Read More at https://scotchwhisky.com/magazine/from-the-editors/7837/sugar-rush/ 

      Another issue comes with the expressions that are adding so much flavoring the they have gotten to a very low alcohol content.  Some people want to call them "liqueur", but potency is not an issue with liqueurs.   In general, liqueurs are sweetened spirits with various flavors, oils, and extracts. Liqueur's alcohol content can range from a low 15 percent to 55 percent alcohol, so potency is not the distinguishing factor.   Rum, whiskey, and other liquors can serve as a base spirit for liqueurs.    In days gone by, liqueurs were referred to as "cordials" and they were often used as flavorings for cocktails or medicinally.    Liquor is an alcoholic beverage made of grains or other botanical sugar bearing plants which is fermented and distilled into a potent drink.

     This is an issue that is not just a rum issue, but it is a serious one for the rum producers and an issue that needs to be settled soon before it buries the category.

Monday, August 29, 2016

All the Legends That Will Not Cure a Hangover.

     WOW, a hundred or so years of the same urban legends about the cure for a hang over and people
still believe them.  There are so many tales of preventing and curing a hangover out there and few have any effect at all.  The real cause of a hangover begins with your first cocktail.  The amount and what you drink has a lot to do with the severity of your morning after suffering.
     Hangovers are a collection of signs and symptoms linked to a recent bout of heavy drinking.  Hangover sufferer typically has a headache, feels sick, dizzy, sleepy, confused and thirsty.  Hangovers can occur at any time of day, but are usually more common the morning after a night of heavy drinking. As well as physical symptoms, the person may also experience elevated levels of anxiety regret, shame, embarrassment, as well as depression.   The severity of a hangover is closely linked to how much alcohol was consumed, and whether the sufferer had enough sleep.  
A hangover is the consequence of having consumed too much alcohol which causes an accumulation of these factors:
  • Urination - alcohol makes people urinate more.  This leads to dehydration.    Dehydration can give the individual that sensation of thirst and lightheadedness.
  • Immune system response - there may be an inflammatory response by the immune system to alcohol, which may affect appetite, concentration and memory.
  • Stomach irritation - alcohol consumption raises the production of stomach acids; it also slows down the rate at which the stomach empties itself - this combination can lead to nausea, vomiting or stomachache.
  • Drop in blood sugar - some people's blood sugar levels can fall steeply when they consume alcohol, resulting in shakiness, moodiness, tiredness, general weakness, and even seizures in some cases.
  • Dilation of blood vessels - alcohol consumption can cause the blood vessels to dilate, which can cause headaches.
  • Sleep quality - although sleeping when drunk is common, the quality of that sleep may be poor. The individual may wake up tired and still sleepy.
  • Congeners - these are substances that are produced during fermentation and are responsible for most of the taste and aroma in distilled drinks.   They are known to contribute to symptoms of a hangover. Examples of congeners include esters and aldehydes.
     Here are a list of 5 of the more popular lies to cure your hangover, 1. Beer before wine, 2. Drink darker drinks, 3. An aspirin a day, 4. Eating to put off a hangover and 5. Coffee and a cold shower.  None of these cure anything, in fact some of these may have long term effects on your body.  Do not go for a "hair of the dog" - an alcoholic drink to get rid of a hangover. This is a myth, and will likely just prolong your hangover symptoms.

Read More at http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/5089.php 

     The only cure that works is moderation when you are drinking the night before.  Water and some additional rest are about the only things that seem to shorten the symptoms of a hangover, most of the other legendary cures usually make a hangover worse or last longer that if you jut let it run its course. 
     

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."
Read More at https://www.alcoholprofessor.com/blog/2016/08/16/the-rise-and-fall-of-the-brand-ambassador/


     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.



Sunday, August 21, 2016

Approaching the Ocean and the Beach

     Standing back from the beach and the ocean give you a great perspective as the ocean and the land come together to form a picture.   I love to watch the ocean as it rolls in to the shore and framing it with the natural elements of the land.  I hope your day is as beautiful as mine is and I hope you are enjoying your Sunday as well.


Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Debate Over Converting Industrial Rum to High Quality Rum is Not a New One

Richard Seale
     The conversion of industrial rum into a "high quality" rum by the addition of sugar and other Rapfael Arroyo, Rum Specialist at the University of Puerto wrote an article in the Journal of Sugar on the subject back in 1942.   Thanks to Richard Seale,  some very interesting aspects of this paper are available for you to read.
flavors is not a new idea.   It seams that

     "The idea of producing industrial alcohol first and trying to artificially convert it into high quality rum is absolutely erroneous and has given rise to the innumerable poor representatives of true rum now on the American Market".
Among the "artificial" methods described by Arroyo included :
- adding sugars of various kinds
- natural or artificial vanilla
- and "recently" the use of "various sweet wines" including "moscatels of Spanish origin".
     Arroyo bemoaned that a "clearer realization of the fundamental difference existing (or that should exist) in the methods of industrial alcohol and rum manufacture would improve matters a great deal".
     In a further article in SUGAR dated July 1942, entitled "Genuine and Spurious Rums" Arroyo described the method so many rum enthusiasts now use today whereby extract is measured by comparing 'apparent proof' (as measured by hyrometer/density meter) and 'true proof' (taken from the label).   Arroyo showed that for genuine rums, extract ("entirely derived from the staves of the barrel") would be about 2 to 3 g/l.
However for "spurious rums; that is, rums whose aroma and flavor, and the whole or a great part of the extract content have been artificially imparted" a much larger extract (5g/l to over 20g/l) would be found.
73 years on, the fight against "spurious rums" made from industrial alcohol and "artificially" enhanced continues.   
From Richard Seale's Facebook Page.
     I found this to be very interesting and well worth passing on.   I really had no idea that this debate has been going on for so long.

     

Friday, August 19, 2016

10th Anniversary UK Rumfest Announced

Ian Burrell
     Ian Burrell has announced that his 10th Anniversary UK Rumfest is on for 2016.  The UK’s largest rum festival will get underway on 22-23 October at London’s ILEC Conference Center located  at 47 Lillie Road, London, SW6 1UD .   Again this year the show will be featuring more than 400 rums, seminars and entertainment.   
         Tickets are on sale today and everyday until they are sold out.   There may be a very limited number of tickets available to purchase on the door.   However as we cannot guarantee this, please purchase your tickets online in advance to avoid any disappointment on the day.
·         General Admission Ticket (Over 400 rums to sample)
Saturday (12pm – 6pm) £49.50 or Sunday (12pm – 5pm) £39.50
1 day VIP Ticket 
Limited VERY number of VIP tickets available – Includes early entry at 11am, fast track entry, 3x Course Caribbean Lunch from 12pm , plus  a RumFest Goodie Bag. Saturday tickets are £79.50 and Sunday tickets are £69.50
Weekend Ticket
Includes Saturday & Sunday Entry at £75.00
Group Discount Ticket – Saturday or Sunday
10 Tickets for the price of 9
If you experience any problems purchasing your tickets please email support@ticketsource.co.uk or call 029 2071 3200.   You will then be contacted by one of our support team who will help you with your query.   Please read our etiquette-guidelines, to ensure a great time at RumFest. 

     Find out more about the UL Rumfest at http://rumfest.co.uk/.




Thursday, August 18, 2016

Denizen Rum Sour: Try One This Afternoon

     Today  I am looking at Denizen Rum to create a new Sour.  Denizen Rum has a really nice unique flavor to it and has to be used very carefully when making cocktails.  Today I think I have found another way to use it that enhances the flavor of the rum while providing a really tasty cocktail.

     A sour is a traditional family of mixed drinks.  Sours belong to one of the old families of original cocktails and are described by Jerry Thomas in his 1862 book How to Mix Drinks.   Sours are mixed drinks containing a base liquor, lemon or lime juice, a sweetener and egg whites are also included in some sours.  This is another variation on this time honored line of cocktails.

Denizen Rum Sour


  • 2 1/2 oz. Denizen Rum
  • 1/2 oz. Egg White (lightly whipped)
  • 1 Tsp. Orange Marmalade
  • 1/2 oz. Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao
  • Juice of 1/4 Lime


Place Egg white, Denizen Rum and orange marmalade in dry shaker and shake until frothy, add ice, dry curacao and lemon juice and shake until thoroughly chilled and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with an orange zest.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Rum Day: Yesterday was the Day Rum was the Spirit

     Yesterday was National Rum Day, it was celebrated in a proper manner.  It was a day to try something new and to enjoy the true flavors that the spirit of the sugarcane can provide.   The day stated out at home with the creation of some new cocktails for the blog and ended with a few fine rums on the back deck watching the sun set.  It doesn't get a whole lot better.

     National Rum Day is the day that we celebrate the history of our favorite spirit.  We mix it, slam it, or just sip it, but we do make it with rum.   Through out its history rum is the spirit of choice for the summer time and this year is no exception.  Whether you like it sweet and spicy or dry and neat, you can find a rum that suits your palate and a way to make a cocktail that will be cooling and refreshing in the dog days of summer.

     I like to take a little bit of lime juice, sweetener, good aged rum, and a splash of ginger beer in a tumbler with ice on the aft deck.  This is a very refreshing combination that will chill you in all kinds of ways on a hot August eve.  Put your favorite combination of Rum together and help celebrate the day.




Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Burnt Sugar Syrup Cocktail

     Burnt Sugar adds a really nice flavor to a cocktail.  It puts a caramelly rich sweetness to the cocktail that plain sugar doesn't have.   I'm doing some experiments with Burnt Sugar Syrup that is proving to be very interesting.  The Burnt Sugar Daiquiri is my favorite so far, but  there are so many other possibilities where you can replace simple syrup with burnt sugar syrup to add depth to a cocktail.   Give this a try, it is easy to make and really adds to the flavor.    Adds a little something to a T-Punch as well. 

Bahama Bob’s Burnt Sugar Daiquiri
  • 2 ½ oz. White Rum
  • ¾ oz. Burnt Sugar Syrup
  • Juice of ½ Lime


Place all ingredients into a shaker and shake until chilled.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lime.


Bahama Bob’s Burnt Sugar Syrup

  • ½ cup of sugar in the raw
  • ½ cup water

Place sugar into a small sauce pan and heat over medium heat (275 deg.) without stirring until sugar begins to melt around the edges.  Stir the mixture until the mixture is all melted and a nice dark brown color.
Remove from the heat and very slowly add water while stirring, caramel will seize as water is added.   Cook over medium heat and stirring continuously until smooth.  This will take about 5 minutes. 
Transfer to a suitable container and shill in refrigerator until cooled.




Monday, August 15, 2016

Sport Event in Brazil, It's Caipirinha Time

The Rise of the Caipirinha, the Unofficial Cocktail of the Olympics 
     A few years back when the World Cup Soccer games were being held in Brazil, the Caipirinha was all the rage and Cachaca was flying off of the shelves even here in the United States.   Here we go again, this time it is the Rio Olympics and everyone is all about the Caipirinha again.  Today here in the United States, the most readily available are Leblon and Ypioca Cachacas, but if you can find it, Avua, Sabastiana, and Novo Fogo are some of the finest quality ones.


      Brazil has been turning sugarcane into distilled spirit for at least as long as anyone in the Western Hemisphere and quite possibly longer. Portuguese colonists planted sugarcane there as early as 1520 and by 1535 one Erasmus Schetz, from Antwerp, was turning the stuff into booze. By 1585, there were 192 working distilleries. That number would only go up: in 1629, it was 349. Today, the common estimate is 5,000. Estimate, because nobody knows for sure:

     The Caipirinha is a really great cocktail, closely a kin to the Daiquiri and Ti Punch.  It is a very refreshing cocktail that is given its unique flavor by the Brazilian Spirit Cachaca.   Cachaca is made from fresh squeezed sugarcane syrup and presented after distillation in many forms from the very raw high proof and unaged expressions to the ultra premium aged.  The friendliness of the cocktail is directly related to what you make it with.   

 Ciapirinha
 
  • 21/2 Oz. Cachaca
  • 1/2 Lime Cut into Thirds
  • 1 Bar Spoon of Sugar


Place Lime wedges and sugar in a shaker and muddle.  Add the Cachaca and ice, shake until until chilled and pout into a large "Rocks Glass" with a sugar in the raw rim.  Garnish with a lime wheel. 


Sunday, August 14, 2016

August: A Month of Thunderstorms in Key West

     Daily Thunderstorms has been the story of August so far.  Seems like there has been just one after the other this summer.  The don't last very long, but this year they have been very spectacular,  This one happened just before sunset giving the clouds and the buildings such intense colors.  I find these days to be just awesome and I love to sit on the deck of the boat with the camera and just shoot like a mad man.


Friday, August 12, 2016

Wednesday was Captain Tony's 100th Birthday

 "All you need in life is a tremendous sex drive and a 

great ego - Brains don't mean shit." 

     This really sums it up for this adventurous Key West legend.  "Anthony Tarracino, known to one and all as Capt. Tony, spent two years as mayor of Key West, Fla., and 60 years as one of the most colorful characters in an island city full of them. During his 92 years, he was a bootlegger, gambler, gunrunner, saloon keeper, fishing boat captain, ladies' man and peerless raconteur. He died Nov. 1 of heart and lung ailments in Key West."


  "Tarracino survived on his wits and cunning long before his arrival in raffish Key West in 1948 with $18 in his pocket. He spent more than three decades as a charter boat captain and for 28 years owned a dank, musty bar that once doubled as the city morgue."


    Captain Tony's Bar is still operating today and you can still feel his presence every time you stop by.   This is the same man that gave Jimmy Buffett his start and had so many friends here in Key West.  We really miss you my friend.