Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year to All

Thanks for helping me get this blog launched and taking it as far as you have in it's first year.   


The Rum Swizzle from Bermuda Revisited

The Swizzle Inn Bailey's Bay Bermuda
The Rum Swizzle is the "National Drink of Bermuda", but it's history is a bit cloudy like most of the really good cocktails. Swizzles have appeared in literature since the late 1700's from places like Fort Ticonderoga, New York, Saint Kitts and Great Britain, Bridgetown, Barbados in the mid 1800's, as well as St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands in the early 1900's. These early versions of the swizzles were typically mixed with a v shaped stick that was rotated with the palms of your hands. Most of the swizzles contained rum diluted with water and some aromatic ingredients added.

Today's Rum Swizzle is said to have been created at the Swizzle Inn in 1932 and so they say the "rest is history". The motto of the Swizzle Inn is "Swizzle Inn, Swagger Out", and also known as the "Home of the Rum Swizzle". Different bartenders like all another cocktails have different interpretations of the Rum Swizzle, but most of them have Gosling Black Seal Rum, a Gosling Barbados Rum (One that I haven't been able to find in the U.S.) fruit juices ( Orange, Pineapple, and Lime) and a flavored sweetener like falernum or grenadine. The drink is often make in a "pitcher" batch and then strained into a cocktail glass with an orange and cherry garnish.

There seem to be a few recipes out there in publication, but the Original from The Swizzle Inn seems to be the most realistic.

               Rum Swizzle
  • 4 oz. Gosling's Black Seal Rum
  • 4 oz. Gosling Barbados Rum
  • Juice of 2 Lime Juice
  • 5 oz. Pineapple Juice
  • 5 oz. Orange Juice
  • 2 oz. Bermuda falernum
  • 6 dashes Angostura Bitters
Mix in a pitcher with crushed ice, shake vigorously until a frothing head appears. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a orange slice and a cherry. ( Serves 6)

A later version sourced from Gosling Brothers Ltd.:

Bermuda Rum Swizzle
  • 2 oz. Dark Rum
  • 1 oz. Lime Juice
  • 1 oz. Pineapple Juice
  • 1 oz. Orange Juice
  • 1/4 oz. Falernum

Shake all ingredients wit Ice and strain into an ice filled highball glass, and garnish with an orange and a cherry.

There are other recipes that use simple syrup or grenadine to substitute for the falernum, but those ingredients are not the same. There is really no substitute for the falernum. Falernum is rather hard to find, but it is available as an alcoholic (J. D. Taylor's Velvet Falernum) or a non-alcoholic (Fee's Falernum Syrup) version, and either will make a fine drink. This is another of the classic cocktails that can be done with relative ease at home or be made in the bar for your enjoyment. Stop by your favorite tropical bar and ask for one, it they don't have the recipe, you do so show them so they can make it for you.     ;o)

Friday, December 30, 2011

Cuba Libre Revisited

Por Cuba Libre: Free Cuba or a Great Cocktail?


The Cuba Libre's origin is as varied as many other cocktails of the period, but the one sure thing is that was originally concocted by U.S. Soldiers while in Cuba. There are stories if the cocktail appearing in 1898 at a party to celebrate the Independence of Cuba from Spain. "Cuba Libre" was the battle cry of the Cuban Liberation Army during the Cuban War for Independence that ended in 1898 The story of the off duty soldiers in 1898 has some holes in it being that there was no Coca-Cola in Cuba until 1900. According to a deposition by Fausto Rodriguez, it wasn't until August of 1900 that the Cuba-Libre was first mixed in a Havana bar. The story has it that a member of the U.S. Signal Corps was the first to mix the cocktail, and he is only known as "John Doe". It seems that only Cuba has the real story of how this cocktail emerged into the populous.

It took the "Tiki Pop Culture" growth in the United States for the popularity of the cocktail to really take off. In 1945, the Andrews Sisters recorded a song named for in ingredients that made up the cocktail. "Rum and Coca-Cola" as a song and as a cocktail swept the country. Both of the ingredients is the post -war era were cheap and this didn't hurt the growth in popularity of the cocktail. Today this is still one of the more popular cocktails here in America.

Cuba Libre
  • 2 oz. of Blanco or Gold Rum
  • Juice of 1/2 Lime
  • 4 oz. Coca-Cola
Place all ingredients in a "Collins glass" with ice and garnish with a lime.

If you talk to the Bacardi folks, it was originated with "Bacardi Gold Rum", if you talk to the Havana Club , it was made with "Havana Club Light Rum", thus the mystery continues. Like all good cocktails everyone wants to be the originator, and as a result the story becomes so murky that the truth will probably will never be known.

Modern Day "Rum and Coke"
  • 2 oz Light Rum
  • 2 oz Cola
  • 2 drops of Bitters (Optional)
  • Lime Wedge
Mix all the ingredients in a "Collins glass" and garnish with the lime wedge.

No matter what you call it or how you mix it, this is one of the true classic cocktails and a great "go to" cocktail for anyone wanting a refreshing drink. ;o)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Revisiting of the Bacardi Cocktail

The Bacardi Cocktail/Daiquiri

The "Bacardi Cocktail" like the "Dark and Stormy" is a proprietary cocktail. Like the "Dark and Stormy", the "Bacardi Cocktail" spent some time in the courtroom. In 1936 the Bacardi Company brought before the courts several bar owners that were substituting another rum in their "Bacardi Cocktails". The American version of the "Bacardi Cocktail" had grenadine, but the original did not, and this was a big part of the discussion in the courtroom as to the proprietary nature of the recipe. Bacardi was really only interested in one thing with it's actions and that was that a b"Bacardi Cocktail" was to be made with Bacardi Rum. Bacardi received an affirmative ruling from the New York Supreme Court stating that "Bacardi Cocktails must be made with Bacardi Rum".

The earliest written records of the "Bacardi Cocktail" go back to 1917 in Hugo Ensslin's "Recipes for Mixed Drinks". In Ensslin's book, the recipe is the early Cuban version of the cocktail was basically the same as the Daiquiri.

The Earliest Recipe
  • 1 drink Bacardi Rum
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 2 dashes Gum Syrup
(Simple syrup with gum arabic added to smooth and emulsify)
Shake well in a mixing glass with cracked ice, strain and serve.

Bacardi put out a booklet in 1930 called "BACARDI Algunos De Sus Muchos Usos" a name that roughly translated means "Bacardi some of it's many uses". In this book there is a change in the recipe for the "Bacardi Cocktail".

The more accepted Version

  • Juice of half a lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon of granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 oz Bacardi White
Mix thoroughly, then shake well in cracked ice. May be served strained or unstrained. Important Do Not alter the order of the ingredients.
This is the real change that separated the Daiquiri from the cocktail when it could be served unstrained.

In America a "red" version of the Bacardi Cocktail was originated in New York, this one containing grenadine.
The Red Version

  • 1 1/2 oz Bacardi White Rum
  • the juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 bar spoon of Grenadine Syrup

Shake all ingredients in a mixing glass and strain into a cocktail glass.

Whether you serve the cocktail as a daiquiri, a cocktail, or unstrained over cracked ice, this is a delicious cocktail that stands alone as one of the very early classic cocktails of the world. It also makes sense that a "Bacardi Cocktail/Daiquiri" be made with Bacardi Rum seeing how it bears the name of the rum. Whether you like red or original just get out and enjoy this wonderful cocktail. ;o)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Revisiting KeyZombie

Bahama Bob's KeyZombie

Bahama Bob's KeyZombie
Made in the tradition of Don the Beachcomber's time honored recipe with a little KeyZ twist to it.
  • 1 oz  Siesta White Rum
  • 1 oz  Myer's Dark Rum
  • 1/2 oz  Plantation Barbados 151 Rum
  • 1/2 oz  J.D. Taylor's Velvet Falernum
  • 2 drops of Aguardiente Anisette Rum
  • 1/2 oz  Pomegranate Liqueur
  • 2 drops Angostura Bitters
  • 1 1/2 oz  Pineapple Juice
  • 1 1/2 oz  White Grapefruit Juice
  • Juice of 1/2 Lime
  • Splash of Barrett's Ginger Beer
Combine all of the ingredients except the ginger beer in a shaker with ice cubes and shake thoroughly and strain into a tall glass filled half full with crushed ice. Add Barrett's Ginger Beer to taste and garnish with a orange slice. Enjoy this taste of the Tiki Era.
     This is one of the fun cocktails that we have played with in the Rum Lab to expand the scope of some of the old classic cocktails to take advantage of the modern flavors, liqueurs, and rums.     ;o)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Pina Colada Revisited

Where in the World did the Pina Colada Come From?

El Pirata Cofresi
The Pina Colada has been a part of beach and tropical cocktail fair for as long as I can remember, but it really isn't that old of a cocktail. There seem to be several theories as to who really created the Pina Colada. The oldest story goes back to the 1800's and the pirate Roberto Cofresi also known as El Pirata Coefresi, he was said to have served his men cocktails that were a mix of white rum, coconut milk, and pineapple. The unfortunate part of the story is that when he died in 1825 the recipe died with him and is unverified.

Plaque at the Barrachina in San Juan
There is the theory that the Spaniard Ramon Portas Mingot, who worked is some of the finest bars in Buenos Aires, and a writer of cocktail books, had met Chef Pepe Barrachina on a trip to South America. Pepe hired Ramon to be the head bartender in his San Juan Restaurant Barrachina. It is said that his experimentation yielded the "Pina Colada" in 1963.

The Caribe Hilton Beachcomber Bar
The most believable of the theories was that on August 15, 1954, a man named Ramon "Monchito" Marrero introduced the Pina Colada at the Beachcomber Bar at the Caribe Hilton Hotel in San Juan. The Caribe Hilton was the moist famous hotel of the day and often hosted many of the high rollers and the star studded Hollywood clientele of the day. The hotel encouraged Ramon to experiment with many different ingredients to create the new Caribe Hilton signature drink. It too Ramon three months of blending, shaking and mixing ingredients to create the first Pina Colada. The story in verified by the fact that it uses cream of coconut, which was pioneered by "Coco Lopez" in 1954 by Ramon Lopez Irizarry at the University of Puerto Rico.

I know that I pretty much follow the original recipe, but instead of white rum, I substitute a "spiced rum" and top the drink with fresh ground nutmeg. These are some ideas that were introduced to me as I visited different islands in the Caribbean. Bahama Bob's pina colada does owe it roots to Ramon "Monchito" Marrero and his

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Bushwacker: A Virgin Island Cocktail Delight

Revisiting the Bushwacker

This is a great frozen cocktail with it's origins in St. Thomas, but no one seems to know what bar was the originator. This is a very decadent cocktail with some resemblance to a Pina Colada or a Mudslide. There is a bar called "Sandshakers" in Pensacola, Florida that claims to be the home of the original Bushwacker, but they admit that the recipe came to them in 1975 when the then owner visited Sapphire Beach on the eastern side of St. Thomas and there he tasted the Bushwacker and brought it back to try out on his customers at "Sandshakers".

My first introduction to the Bushwacker was at "Flip Flops" the pool bar at Sapphire Beach Resort. The drink immediately got my attention, but it is one of those cocktails that you don't want to drink too many of because they are so rich and filling.

The recipe is a clean and simple one, but there are several variations of it that I have seen in my travels including some of my own.
 Bushwacker Recipe
  • Cream of Coconut
  • Dark Rum
  • Kahlua Coffee Liqueur
  • Dark Creme de Cocoa
  • Milk or Half and Half

All of the ingredient are put in the blender with ice and blended until smooth. I like to put a swirl of chocolate syrup on the sides of the glass before pouring the ingredients into the glass. I also top it with fresh ground nutmeg, an orange slice and a cherry. These are optional, but add a nice little appearance thing that the customers like. You can float the Bushwacker with a dark rum like Myer's or even the Kraken, another viable option.
    No matter how you make it it's a great cocktail that you and your friends can enjoy. ;o)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Rum Runner Revisited

The Rum Runner a Cocktail from the Keys

The Rum Runner was created in the late 1950's at the Holiday Isle Tiki Bar in Islamorada, Florida. The story is that the bar had an excess of blackberry and Banana Liqueurs that needed to be sold before a new shipment of liquor could be brought in, so the Rum Runner was a blend of excess liquor the bar needed to get rid of, and the result is a very popular tropical drink that was named for the real rum runners that inhabited the Keys during the prohibition era.

The recipe calls for one ounce of light rum, dark rum, blackberry brandy, banana liqueur, orange juice, pineapple Juice, and a splash of grenadine. All the ingredients placed is a shaker with ice, shaken and poured into a highball glass and garnished with an orange slice. This sweet and fruity cocktail has been a best seller of the tropics and is usually found in some version or another all over the Caribbean and wherever you find a good tropical bar.

The next time you are traveling through Islamorada, stop by the Holiday Isle Tiki Bar and experience the original Rum Runner for yourself. ;o)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Daiquiri Revisited

Here we go a gain with another famous cocktail that has a very unusual origin. They say that an American, Jennings Cox invented the cocktail as a result of running out of gin when he was entertaining American guests in the late 1800's in Cuba. He also happened to be an engineer at the Spanish American Iron Company mine located in the Village of Daiquiri. Any guesses where the name came from? This was pretty much a local drink until a navy Admiral Lucius W. Johnson ( Medical Officer) tried his cocktail in 1909, and he introduced it to the Army and Navy Club in Washington D.C. The spread of the cocktail increased rapidly throughout the next couple of decades. Like all stories over the origin of a cocktail there is some dispute as to weather he had some assistance from another Cuban engineer named Pagliuchi, or if the drink was an existing Cuban speciality.

Jennings original recipe was just the beginning of a string of recipes most more complex in nature, in the daiquiri family.    

Jennings Cox's Original Recipe

  • 1.3 oz. light dry Cuban rum (Bacardi according to the stories)
  • .7 oz lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 4 crushed ice cubes
Mix the ingredients in a shaker and serve.

There are many other versions of the daiquiri that have arisen including the soda shoppe slurpee stuff sometimes found in speed bars today. However there are still a few good bartenders that know the meaning of a good daiquiri. One of the other really good daiquiri's in the one that was made for Ernest Hemingway at the El Florida in Havana.
Hemingway's Daiquiri
  • 2 oz. White Rum
  • 3/4 oz fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 oz fresh grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 oz Luxardo Maraschino Cherry Liqueur
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice add all the ingredients and shake till thoroughly chilled and strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a lime.

The basic recipe of a daiquiri is 1 strong , 1 sweet, and one sour, these are the directions of the early days of Cuban cocktail mixing, but things got more serious as to the ratios with time. Today the Daiquiri has shown a resurgence in America especially in the South Florida area. Should you be in Key West stop by the Rum Bar for some Daiquiri lore and some creative "Keys Daiquiri's". ;o)

Friday, December 23, 2011

What is this Solera Rum Aging Process

This is a re post of this article.  
Here is the Solera System at Valera Hermano
The "Solera System" is most prevalent among the Spanish speaking rum producers. This method allows the quick removal of rough edges from the rum than does the single barrel methods. The rum in the bottom tier is the Solera, or the eldest of the rum. All of the rows above are the criadera or the younger rums in the system. The entire stock of the rums in the Solera system is aged at an over proof level and then cut to the proper strength when bottled. It is estimated on average that rum spends 6 years in the solera system, but because the "mother rum" never leaves the system, the age is really difficult to assess.

Refilling the top of the la criadera
How does the system work? As you can see from the picture, the barrels are stacked on their sides in a pyramid like structure that makes up the solera system. At the end of a cycle about 50% of the rum is taken out of the solera (bottom row for bottling) and the rum from the next row up is transferred down to the solera filling the void created when the rum was removed for bottling. Because only half of the rum was removed from the solera, the "mother rum" left behind and the rum transferred down from the criadera blend together and the characteristics of the "mother rum" are quickly transferred to the younger rum and the maturity is attained much quicker that if the rum was aged from scratch in a single barrel. This process is continued all the way to the top of the criadera where new product is added and the cycle begins again.

The solera system represents several years of rum production and is a valuable asset of the company. This is why you see several parallel soleras systems sitting side by side in the bodega. There are many years of aging involved in making great rum, and the solera is a great way to shorten the actual aging of the rums and allowing the rum producer to get the rum to market sooner. Because some of the "mother rum" never leaves the solera, the actual age of the rum can not be published, but the effeciency of the system leaves no doubt that the rum is on a par with rums that have spent much more time in single barrels.
Barrel Proof sitting on the "Solera"

"La Crianza" or the nursery of the "Mother Rum" is where the majority of the aging or toning of the rum takes place as the rum is moved down the system til it finally reaches the bottom row and is allowed to rest with the "mother rum" before removal for bottling. Sipping a barrel proof of the mother rum in a solera is an opportunity that should never be missed. Even at the over proof levels, this rum has a flavor that is almost impossible to describe.

Though some rum experts have described the Solera method of aging rum as "cheating", it does shorten the time necessary to mature the rum and the product is still on a par with many of the older single barrel aged rums. With today's economy, the rum producers need to bring their products to the market sooner, and the solera system allow this without compromising the taste of the rum. ;o)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Angostura: 2011 Rum Grand Master

      Angostura Distilleries has been awarded the 2011 Rum Grand Master in the London award ceremony.      The Spirit Master Series is one of the most respected  blind tasting competition in the world of rum.     The panel is a group of industry experts and trade professionals lead by Dominic Roskrow, editor of The Spirit Business, that are tasked with the job of individually tasting and scoring each entry on their merits.   The collation of the blind tasting scores combined with customer feed back are the determining factors in this competition. of the competition.

Angostura in addition to the Grand Master status for the brand, individual awards for their rums in the three categories was impressive.

White Rum
  • Angostura Caribbean Reserva - Gold
Gold Rum up to 7 Years Old
  • Angostura Caribbean Rum 7 Year - Mater
  • Angostura Caribbean Rum 5 Year - Gold
Premium Rum
  • Angostura 1824 - Master
  • Angostura 1919 - Gold

This is big for the Trinidad and Tabago distillery and the growth in the fast expanding world market of rum.     The House of Angostura has been granted "Royal Warrants of Appointment to the royal households of Great Britain, Prussia, Spain and Sweden as suppliers of Angostura Aromatic Bitters in the past, and seems to be following in this great tradition with it rums.     These are much sought after rums that go back to the days of World War I when the Angostura 1919 was shared by the Trinidad troops with their allies in the trenches of France.

     Take some time to enjoy one of these super premium rums made by the 2011 Grand Master, Angostura Trinidad & Tobago Caribbean Rum.     ;o)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I'm Back!!!

     Sorry for the short vacation from the keyboard.     I've been on the road to West Plam Beack to pick up a replacement dinghy.     It seem that the air escaped from my old one and it wasn't real useful any more.     We had a great run up on Sunday night, picked up the boat on Monday morning and were home again by 1:30 in the afternoon.    

This is just the Hurricane Hole none of these are my boat.
I've spent all my time since then putting the motor, console etc. in the new boat.     The really good news is that it transported me to the Hurricane Hole at 5:00 pm intime fopr happy hour.     The new boat handles well, and is very comfortable on the water, and by the way it is pretty quick too.     It made it to and from the hole with out incident or problem, not a bad maiden voyage.

Back to a normal blog tomorrow, you know rum and stuff like that.   ;o)   

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sunday Sun-up

Sunday Mornings are not even for the birds, they are dosing off also.    ;o)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Waiting for Season

     This is the slowest week of the year here in Key West, people are home with family and the streets are almost vacant these days.    I kind of reminds me of a old Jimmy Buffett song, "When the Coast is Clear".     I get to spend some time with myself and see this place for what it really means to me.    With the business of the bar, Rum Lab, and the blog I rarely get to spend any time with me to reflect and enjoy what really make me tick.     There is something really special about dropping anchor in a secluded bay and just be.   

     I wonder about myself and why I need to keep so many balls in the air like a circus juggler, but it is what keeps me happy and a live when I have a good direction and a purpose.    Every once in a while I need to slow down and relax for a few days to check on myself and make sure this is really who I am.     Sunday night we are taking a short road trip to Daytona Beach to look a a new tender for the boat.    You'll see a blog tomorrow as usual, but not on Monday.    I'm taking a day off while I'm on the road, but I'll be back on Tuesday and back to my life in Key West.

    Thanks to all of you that follow, it makes this adventure fun when I can share it with my friends.   ;o)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Walkabout in Key West

     I sometimes forget that I really do live in paradise, taking for granted that Key west is one of the gems of tropical world.    Recently I was walking around with my camera shooting some pix for future articles and realized what a great place to live.    From the foot of Duval Street to New Town this island provides more interesting things than any place I've ever been.    

     Returning from two weeks in the Caribbean recently was a real reminder of how warm, friendly, and just plain homey Key West is.    The rest of the Caribbean is a great fun place to visit, but Key West is home.    This little 1 1/2 by 5 mile island boast more history, colorful people, and bars than anyplace anywhere.   The one spot on this earth where land, sea, sun, and moon all get together to showcase all of their finest attributes.      In other words it is really a place for me to lay my head down and call home.

     I really need to just let a few pictures do the rest of the talking for me.   ;o)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Navigating the Sir Francis Drake Channel

     The Sir Francis Drake Channel is the sailing and boating mecca of the British Virgin Islands.     It is the primary water artery to all of the British Virgin Islands.    The channel can be a bit treacherous if she is riled up, but the usual 15 to 20 knot winds keep the waters a bit choppy and the sail boaters happy.     The winter season provides a bit stronger winds, and choppier conditions, but it is all worth the voyage when you arrive at your favorite destination in the BVI.    

     Our day on the Sir Francis Drake Channel was spent in a Nauti Nymph 29 foot Fountain center console power boat.    The Fountain is a perfect boat for the channel, it is long and slender and carves through the waves like butter while still providing a good ride through the 3 plus foot seas.      Leaving from Red Hook St. Thomas our first order of business was to go to Soper's Hole on the West end of Tortola and check in with Customs in the BVI.     Afterwards it was straight into the Sir Francis Drake and heading for Road Town.

     The channel was it's usual choppy self, we navigated through her to Road Town, then continued to the east for Virgin Gorda.    Along the way we saw several of the beautiful islands, Norman, Cooper, and Salt to our south as we navigated the North side of the channel along Tortola's shoreline.    This rugged semi-arid  landscape boasts many beautiful houses on her many cliffs and peaks.    The rapidly changing scenery is what I find the most interesting about the channel, deep blue waters, very unusual volcanic out crops near the shores, and the beautiful breaking waves on the shores.    

     No matter what your destination, the trip up the Sir Francis Drake Channel makes the destination a welcome sight as your arrive from your adventure.    In our case it was the Bitter End Yacht Club and Saba Rock in the North Sound of Virgin Gorda.     Having the right equipment, the desire, and interest in seeing what she is going to throw at you, the channel is a great adventure that you will always remember.    Try it if you have the opportunity, you will never forget the trip, and probably like me never be able to stop talking about it..   ;o)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Atlantico Platino: a Great Mixer

     Yesterday's Rum Lab gave us a chance to enjoy the warmth, smooth flavors, and mixability of Atlantico Platino.     Atlantico Platino combines and plays well with most of the mixes we tried yesterday.    There were a couple of things that it did not particularly blend with, like dry vermouth and pineapple juice in combination.    Atlantico Platino did combine very well with most of the mixes we tried with it.    The warmth and fine taste of the rum came through in all of the cocktails.   

    The Passionate Platino
  • 1 1/2 oz. Atlantico Platino
  • 1 oz. Passoa Liqueur
  • 1 oz. Banana Liqueur
  • 1/2 oz. Pomegranate Liqueur
  • 3/4 oz. Cream of Coconut
  • Top-up with Orange Juice
Place all ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake until chilled and pour into a Collins glass and garnish with an orange wheel and a cherry.

     The Atlantico Platino came across as a really great up scale white rum for your more sophisticated cocktails, daiquiris, or even rumtinis.    I feel that if your tastes require a smoother, more refined tasting white rum, this one could fill the bill.     ;o)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Atlantico Platino in the Rum Lab Today

     Atlantico Platino a new higher end white rum is the subject of the Rum Lab testing today.     This Dominican Republic rum come from a linage of high quality and smooth rums.     It's big brother Atlantico Private Cask is an award winning fine rum and the fact that it was nominated for the Golden Rum Barrel award (New White Rum Category) in London this year indicates that it is also a fine quality rum.

     Today we are going to test the mixability of Atlantico Platino in the Rum Lab and will let you know how the rum fares against the mixers.     It has been the experience that some of these fine rums struggle a bit when mixed, they sometimes clash with what they are mixed with.     This is always a challenge, but worth the time, because when you find what the rum likes the cocktails are absolutely superb.   It is like everything else compatibility is the clue to good cocktails as well as anything else.

     I'll let you know tomorrow how the Rum Lab liked Atlantico Platino.   ;o)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Bolongo Bay in St. Thomas

     Bolongo Bay is an interesting area on the southern side of St. Thomas.    It boasts several of the fun spots on the island to eat and party.     Located on the beach at Bolongo Bay, Mim's provides an open air patio dining experience that is hard to beat.       They specialize in coconut curry lobster, baked stuffed lobster, fresh fish and creative pasta dishes.    

We were greeted by Mim DeFreitas and seated promptly in the fabulously romantic seaside patio, the sound of the waves rolling up on the beach and the great lighting just added to the experience.      We were served promptly and graciously, making this one of the most memorable dining experiences of our trip to St. Thomas. 

    After dinner we took a short stroll down the beach to Iggy's where we enjoyed the cocktail mastery of Josh and the great music of Ines and her great band.     Partying at Iggy's was a great capper to our great night on Bolongo Bay.      What a great night walking the  beach, moonlight over the water and great people.      Bolongo Bay is a bit hard to find, but just ask any taxi driver to take you there.      You will enjoy the time of your life dining and partying on Bolongo Bay.   ;o)