Bahama Bob's Rumstyles

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Cruzan Rum Launches Disaster Relief Fund

     In response to devastation caused by last year’s Hurricane Maria, Cruzan Rum has launched the Island Spirit Fund to support disaster relief efforts in the US Virgin Islands and across the US. The Beam Suntory-owned brand has pledged to donate $1.00 from every case of rum sold to the Island Spirit Fund, which will be used to help rebuild communities affected by storms.  The brand expects to raise almost $1 million for the Island Spirit Fund through its donation scheme this year alone.  Furthermore, several distribution partners have agreed to match Cruzan Rum’s donations, bringing the expected total to $2 million by the end of 2018.
     Gary Nelthropp, Cruzan Rum’s master distiller, said: “Last year, our home island of St Croix faced many challenges in the devastating wake of Hurricane Maria, but the resiliency of the Crucian people and our sense of community never wavered.  “That’s what we like to call our ‘island spirit’, and I’m honored to help extend this spirit to others in a sustainable and ongoing way through the fund, ensuring that no community, near of far, weathers a storm alone.” 
     To establish the fund, Cruzan Rum has partnered with Global Giving, a non-profit organization that works to connect donors with grassroots projects around the world.  The Island Spirit Fund will offer disaster relief through grants to local organizations working on the ground in affected areas.  It will prioritise short-term recovery and long-term stability projects, including environmental rebuilding, community planning and workforce development and job creation.
     Rashidi Hodari, vice president, marketing, Cruzan Rum, said: “We’re incredibly humbled by the way our distributor partners have stepped up to further our efforts.  “Our roots in the Caribbean run deep and by joining together, we’re able to provide much needed physical and emotional support beyond the initial days, weeks and months following the disaster.” Cruzan Rum was forced to shut down temporarily in 2017 due to damage caused by Hurricane Maria.

Monday, June 18, 2018

SPI Group Acquires Louisiana Spirits and Bayou Rum

SPI Group, affiliate of Stoli Group, today announced that it's taken on complete ownership of Bayou Rum and its award winning line of handcrafted Louisiana Rums.

     SPI Group announced it has fully acquired Louisiana Spirits, the makers of Bayou Rum, per a release. SPI Group purchased a majority stake in the company (72.5%) in June 2016. You may recall, at the same time its subsidiary Stoli Group USA took over US distribution of the Bayou Rum brand, marking the company's first foray into craft spirits. No purchase price was disclosed.

     “We thank Skip Cortese and Trey and Tim Litel, the founders of Louisiana Spirits and Bayou Rum, for creating a spirit with such a fantastic heritage and high-quality taste, we are committed to the Louisiana roots that they established seven years ago,” said Hugues Pietrini, global president and CEO of Stoli Group. “Bayou Rum is a premium range that is primed for significant distribution growth in the U.S. and globally. This acquisition will allow our team to take this brand to the next level, working with the distillery team on new ranges, increasing volumes and becoming a true player in the rum category.” 
     "This acquisition will allow our team to take this brand to the next level, working with the distillery on new ranges, increasing volumes and becoming a true player in the rum category," says SPI Group global president and CEO Hugues Pietrini.  Hugues adds that the portfolio is "primed for significant distribution growth in the US and globally." After being named “Best Large-Scale Visitor Center” in Drinks International’s 2017 Distillery Experience Challenge, the Bayou Rum distillery broke ground last summer on an expansion, adding a barrel library, an event space and an outdoor entertainment venue, valued at more than $6 million.

     SPI Group is also in the middle of a $6 million expansion project for the Louisiana Spirits facility, adding a barrel library, event space and outdoor entertainment venue [see WSD 11-30-2017].   Moreover, SPI Group is currently tangled up in a lawsuit with Louisiana Spirits founders LSBR. You may recall, LSBR claims SPI Group breached their contract, but SPI says the accusations are "baseless" 

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Hemingway's Boat Pilar

     These days I get to spend a lot of time at the Hemingway Rum Company as a Rum Maker.  The rum that is sold there is called Papa's Pilar, a name taken from a combination of the name that he was affectionately known as during 1939 through 1960 the years that he called Cuba home.   The boat itself is in pretty good condition for its age, delivered April 18, 1934 and today it is 84 years old.  You can see it sitting on the tennis court at Finca la Vagia just outside of Havana, Cuba.  If you take the trip to Havana, Finca la Vagia is worth the taxi ride to see the entire museum, his house has pretty much just like it was when he left it for good on July 25, 1960

Saturday, June 16, 2018

The United States Top Five States That Like to Drink

     New research has revealed where to find the biggest drinkers in the USA.   The study, carried out by gambling website PlayUSA, looks into the number of times Americans have used the internet to search for places to drink alcohol in their state over the past month, taking in a total of 823 million search entries on websites such as Google and Yahoo.   The data takes into account both the number of overall searches, but also the total population of individual states, offering a new perspective on the nation’s drinking habits and go-to destinations for a night out.
     Despite ranking as the state with the most searches, notorious tourist hotspot California’s larger population means that, proportionately, locals are not more inclined to head out to a bar. California ranked in 10th place for drinking searches, behind Maryland and New Jersey.
The ultimate in ‘happy drunks’, 2.48% of Minnesotans fall into this drinking category. Just over 136,000 people have searched for drinking spots in Minnesota online in recent months.  2.57% of Massachusetts residents like to get drunk at the weekends and evenings, according to search data.  Oregon ranks as the USA’s third thirstiest state, with residents researching nights out at least 115,800 times each month.   Colorado staggers in in second place, with 3.16% of Colorado inhabitants googling for alcohol, equating to just over 175,000 searches.   Somewhat unsurprisingly, New Yorkers top the list, racking up over half a million drinking-related searches in just one month.
     Not seeing Florida in the top five really surprises, with the large number of tourists that live on their phones looking for places to party, especially in the beach towns.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Rum Sales Leader Board Changes Again

     Philippine brand Tanduay has overtaken Bacardi to become the world’s best-selling rum brand after reporting 17.5% growth last year.  The Asian rum’s sales hit 19.5 million cases in 2017, while Bacardi’s fell 2.7% to 16.8 million cases, according to Brand Champions data published by The Spirits Business magazine.  In 2016, Bacardi lead the world in sales with 2 million cases, while Tanduay was in second place with 16.6 million cases.  In recent years, Bacardi has shifted its focus to more premium positioning, in April this year.

     The Brand Champions report analyses the case sales of the world’s best-selling spirits, awarding the ‘Brand Champion’ title to high-performing products within each category. Data published in the report shows a mixed performance for brands across the rum category in 2017.  According to figures from market researcher provider Euromonitor, total rum sales increased 0.7% in 2017 to 144m cases.

 (Figures in million 9 liter case sales)

Tanduay Distillers
McDowell’s No.1 Rum
United Spirits
Captain Morgan
Havana Club
Pernod Ricard
Ron Barceló
Radico Khaitan
Ron Medellin
Fabrica de Alcoholes y Licores de Antioquia
Old Port Rum
Amrut Distillers
Appleton Estate
Gruppo Campari
Stock Spirits Group
Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum
William Grant & Sons
La Martiniquaise-­Bardinet

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Auténtico Nativo Announces Its Inaugural Rums

Francisco "Don Pancho" Fernandez
     Auténtico Nativo is a new Panama-based rum brand that has launched its first three aged expressions. Headquartered in Panama City, Panama, Aloha Assets Corp. is committed to supplying the market with the finest high-quality rums. These rums are known for their near-perfect balance, a testament to the fine art of the master blender.   This is another of the fine rums in a long line of creations of Francisco "Don Pancho" Fernandez . 

      Aloha’s seasoned professionals have successful histories in the exportation and promotion of wine and spirits.  Auténtico Nativo 15 Years is available in select European Markets now.   Auténtico Nativo 15 Years, Auténtico Nativo 20 Years and Auténtico Nativo Overproof, 108 abv, have been launched by the brand, which is the result of a partnership between Ultra Premium Brands and Aloha Assets Corp.

   On the nose, the Nativo’s Overproof expression is “nicely balanced with toffee, vanilla, and dark fruits”, while the 15-year-old expression has notes of toasted nuts and oak. The 20-year-old rum’s aroma is described as “dark roasted nuts, caramelized peaches and bananas”, with a flavor of “whole nuts, toasted cedar and oak”.  The brand’s 15- and 20- year-old expressions have been aged in barrels that formerly held Kentucky Bourbon.

     The branding for Auténtico Nativo is said to represent the rum’s authentic production, while the label emphasizes its “contemporary identity”.  Bottled at 40% abv, Auténtico Nativo 15 Years is available now in select European markets. The entire portfolio will be available later this year.  The rums will be distributed by Ultra Premium Brands in the Czech Republic and other selected markets.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Tariff Retaliation Looms on the Horizon

     The United States brought in tariffs on 1 June, levying a 25% import duty on steel and a 10% on Aluminum brought into the United States.  Many nations throughout the world accused the US of protectionism.  On Wednesday (6 June), the European Commission will be introducing tariffs on US goods ranging from Bourbon to motorcycles, including a 25% tariff on American whiskey as soon as July 20th.The 25% tariff on American whiskey could be imposed as early as 20 July.  June 5th, Mexico imposed a 25% tariff on Bourbon on July 1, Canada proposed 10% retaliatory tariffs.   Turkey has also proposed a 40% tariff on all US distilled spirits, set to come into force on 21 June.  China has already announced that it will hit American Imports of Whiskey with a 25% tariff whiskey in response to punitive US measures.
     In a letter to commerce secretary Wilbur Ross, the Distilled Spirits Council said it is “extremely concerned about the increasing likelihood” that the EU, Canada, Turkey and China will go through with previously stated trade threats.  The group said that US spirits exports are worth an estimated $759 million to these markets. If imposed, tariffs “would severely harm” producers, farmers, distribution, logistic providers and packaging suppliers.   Distilled Spirits Council said that around 65% of global US whiskey exports are also at risk of retaliatory tariffs.   Retaliatory tariffs could “seriously impede the export process that has benefited our sector”, the Distilled Spirits Council said.
     The Spirits industry in general could take a huge hit if these retaliatory tariffs are imposed.  The nation needs to keep on top of this issue and do what is necessary to prevent this political move that was proven that protectionism doesn’t work back in the 1920’s and 30’s.  American leaders imposed dramatically high tariffs before with an infamous act of Congress passed in 1930, the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act. In the late 1920’s, more than a thousand economists warned American leaders against hiking tariffs on more than 20,000 imported goods to as much as 60%.  Remember this was a part of the beginning of the Great Depression.  We don’t need to repeat history again.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Bahama Bob's Special Low Calorie Daiquiri

     I keep hearing people wanting cocktails that taste good and are truly low in calories.  First of all most straight spirits are about 90 calories.  Unless you add a bunch of high calorie stuff to the mix 90 calories per cocktail is about as low as you will find.  Even light beer is not any lower in general.

     Lime juice and my special simple syrup add no calories to your cocktail.   Give this one a try I feel like you will really enjoy it if you are a fan of lime juice.

Bahama Bob's Low Calorie Daiquiri

  • 1 1/2 oz. Good Quality White Rum
  • 1/2 oz. Lime Juice
  • 3/4 oz. Bahama Bob’s Zero Calorie Syrup

Preparation: Mix all ingredients in a shaker on the rocks. Add more or less syrup to suit your taste.  Shake vigorously. Strain into a coupe glass without ice.

Bahama Bob’s Zero Calorie Syrup
  • 1 Cup of Stevia in the Raw
  • 1 Cup of Water

Place the water in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Stir in the Stevia in the Raw and lower heat to a slow boil.  Simmer at a low boil for about 5 to 10 minutes.  Allow to cool and put into a dispenser to use.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Why Does America Still Have "Dry" Counties?

     June 5, 2018 was National Moonshine Day, when American tipplers lift a mason jar to the illegal liquor that got them through Prohibition. For most drinkers, that world of bootleggers and secret stills is just a part of history. But roughly 18 million Americans still live in "dry" counties or municipalities, where the sale of alcohol is banned by law. How have these holdouts survived into modern times, and what are the consequences for people who live there?  There are parts of the United States that were dry even before Prohibition began.

     Statewide bans on alcohol have finally disappeared in the United States.   10% of the country, by area, maintains local restrictions on the sale of alcohol.  The South as of last year, six counties in Texas and 35 in Arkansas were still dry, there are Rules in parts of Alaska are so strict that the mere possession of alcohol is illegal.  Desperate tactics are unsurprising: Prohibition still offers space for unscrupulous vendors to get rich.   People in dry areas will travel for a fix, and the areas drunk-driving accidents are far more common than in wet areas.  Many of these dry counties have locals that head into the woods and manufacture their very special spirits and bootleg them into town where they ae sold from under the counters of many places.

     Researchers at the University of Louisville found that dry counties in Kentucky were nearly twice as likely to be caught hosting illegal meth labs as their wet neighbors. No wonder punters from Kansas to Maryland have voted to relax prohibition in recent years. If for no other reason, letting in the booze makes financial sense. One study from 2014 found that turning three dry Arkansas counties wet could bring in over $30m a year to the local economy-good cause for cracking open a bottle or three.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Cruising to the British Virgin Islands in My Mind

     Thinking about out next destination off of the rock here in Key West and We've been thinking about going back to the Virgin Islands.  Gorda Sound at the end of the Sir Francis Drake Channel is always a beautiful place and spawns memories that put smiles on my face.  The British Virgin Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands have so many wonderful spots to hang out.

The Beautiful Gorda Sound in the British Virgin Islands