Wednesday, February 29, 2012

When I Think About Rum, I Think About Barbados.

     Having visited many of the rum producing countries,  I find it funny that my mind keeps coming back to Barbados.    I think that it is because this little island has four rum distilleries and the relaxing draw of the quaint rum shops.    I was last in Barbados in November of last year and I had the pleasure of having a fine man named Hugh to take us around his island and introduce me to some of the finest rum shops and sights on the island.    The day was spent traveling across and up and down the island stopping at small town rum shops , historic sugar mills, beaches, and two distilleries.

     The first stop was at the Foursquare Distillery, where we met with Richard Seale and his family for a tour of the facility and some tasting of some the finest rums on the island.      Heritage park at the distillery and the rum shop give you a glimpse of what rum production was like in the earlier days at the distillery.     Today some of the most innovative methods in the industry are used to keep energy costs down and enhance the fine flavor of the rums.    The time it takes to go through this facility is worth every minute.

     Next on the agenda, as it were was the St. Nicolas Abbey, a 1650's era sugar plantation that has been meticulously restored by Larry Warren and his family.    The restoration of the house and the grounds is mostly complete, but there is still work being done on the cane crusher windmill and some of the other areas.     The distillery is in full operation and they are producing some very fine rums there right now.

    Now it is time for us to head the bus back to the south and visit the last of the operational windmills on the island at the Morgan Lewis Sugar Mill.    This is one of the most magnificent windmill that I have ever seen and well worth the time it takes to go by and see.     Then it is down the road again and heading for the coastline and some of the historic Rum Shops of Barbados.

     The Rum Shop is the somewhat equivalent of what we call a private club in some of the southern states here in America.  You buy a bottle of Rum, choose your mix, and they give you a glass with a bowl of ice and you mix you cocktail at the table and enjoy.    Many of these places started out as the front porch of someones home where they were able to sell rum to their neighbors and people could gather to have conversations and a little bit of rum.    Later some of them have expanded into full fledged restaurants and cocktail lounges.    It is the slap of the dominoes and the excitement of a cricket match on the TV as the locals carry on conversations and closely scan all of us tourists as we try to figure out how this rum shop idea is suppose to be done.     All in all, this is a great idea and I wish that we could do something like it here in this country.   It won't happen, Uncle Sam would loose control of the liquor sales and the loss of all that tax revenue.

     Some of the nice rum shops we got to visit were John Moore Bar and the Fisherman's Pub both North of Bridgetown.     Both of these are larger establishments, but still carry all the characteristics of the "front porch" rum shops we saw on our way down the hell from the abbey.
       After visiting 10 or so rum shops on our return to Bridgetown, we felt the need to walk off some of the "Old Brigand Rum".   A walk on the beach was in order and another of the treasures of Barbados is set in front of us.  The beaches are absolutely breath taking and with their soft sands you can just walk out there and listen to the surf as it rolls up on the beach.     This was the perfect end to our 6 or 7 hour tour of Barbados and it could now have been a better day.    ;o)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Marie Brizard's Chocolat Royal Liqueur in the Rum Lab

     Marie Brizard's Chocolat Royal performed very well in yesterday's Rum Lab.    The thick viscous nature of the spirit makes for a great addition to the shelves of the Rum Lab.     This liqueur is not sweet like so many other chocolate liqueurs, it is more of a semi-sweet very chocolaty flavor.     The first mistake was using too much of the product most of the time about 3/4 oz. is plenty.    Chocolat Royal is only a small part of a huge line of liqueurs that are produced by Marie Brizard.    The company was founded in 1755 and is based in Bordeaux, France.   Marie Brizard is one of the most famous houses that produce fine liqueurs in the world.     It has been at the top of national and international cocktail championships for many years.

Marie Brizard Chocolate Royal worked well in cocktails, aperitifs and frozen drinks.    It is very versatile and mixes well with every other liquor  and mix that we tried it with.     We also found that it is great for chocolate martinis.

Bahama Bob's Espresso
  • 1 oz. Rum and Cream
  • 1 oz. Brinley Gold Coffee Rum
  • 1 oz. Marie Brizard Chocolat Royal
  • 1 oz. Amaretto
  • 2 oz. Half & Half
Place all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake until chilled.   Pour into a Collins glass and garnish with shaved hard chocolate.

Chocolat Cinnamon Shot
  • 1/2 oz. White Rum
  • 1/2 oz. Cinnamon Schnapps
  • 1/4 oz. Dry Vermouth
  • 1/4 oz. Marie Brizard Chocolat Royal
Place all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake until chilled.   Strain into a rocks glass.

Bahama Bob's Chocolate Frosty
  • 1 1/2 oz. Brinley Gold Vanilla Rum
  • 1 1/2 oz. Marie Brizard Chocolat Royal
  • 3/4 oz. Amaretto
Place all ingredients in a blender with ice and blend until silky smooth.   Pour into a pint glass and garnish with fresh ground nutmeg, whipped cream, and a cherry on top.

     You will find that this is a very rich and really unique liqueur that you can over use if you are not careful, in other words, use it sparingly.     You can always add some more to the cocktail, but it is hard to reduce it.     ;o)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Welcome to My Monday

     Today is going to be an interesting one, we are opening up the Rum Lab again and this time experimenting with a new to us Marie Brizard's Chocolat Royal Liqueur.   This is different from other chocolate liqueurs that we have used in the lab in that it is thick like chocolate syrup.   I'm looking forward to put this one through it paces, even though it isn't a rum, it will spend a lot of time with rums this afternoon.

    Gayle Marshall Seale and her friend Kimberly Rich Lupkin stopped by the Rum Bar on Saturday  and Sunday for a few cocktails and some "Southernmost" Key West fun.    As usual, it was great to see them again.    Thanks to Gayle for the nice Doorly's and Foursquare Rums she brought from Barbados .    Looking forward to seeing her and hopefully her husband Richard Seale at the Miami Rum Renaissance, April 16th through the 23rd at the Deauville Beach Resort.

    I'll fill you in on the Rum Lab and have a few of the recipes that worked in tomorrow's blog.     Can't wait to see what we come up with, I know this is going to produce a number of those chocolaty cocktails that so many people love.     ;o)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sea and Land at Peace with Each Other

     It's when the sea and the land can get together peacefully that things begin to happen in a beautiful way, and all is preserved.   ;o)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Brinley's Gold Rums: Gold from St. Kitts

     In the center of the Eastern Caribbean, lies the very special little island of St. Kitts, home to Brinley Gold Rums.     Originally the Brinley family was in the temperature sensor business in Fairfield. New Jersey, but coming to the conclusion that they could be more competitive by relocation to St. Kitts.    In the mid 90's, they were the biggest employer in St. Kitts, but introduction of the Far Eastern companies into the market and he lost his competitive edge and closed the factory.    The family really loved the island and they had this big factory building that was doing nothing at the time.     They decided to try their hand at the flavored rum business.    

     Originally they approached Cane Spirit Rotheschild also known as CSR to provide the rum, and a french blender named Michelle, and they were ready to start making "the best tasting flavored rums in the world".     They won their first competition at the St. Johns  International Rum Festival in Newfoundland, Canada.    25 years Later, they are still trying to get the right distribution for their rums and keep the spirit growing here in America.

     Today they are getting their rum from Demerera in Guyana, their vanilla from Madascar, Mangos and coffee from Brasil, limes from Tahiti, and coconuts from all over the tropics.    Michelle is still the master blender and they are proud of their special rums that can be sipped or mixed.

     We have the entire line of Brinley Rums at the the Rum Bar in Key West and they are used in a number of fine cocktails that we sell regularly.

Bahama Bob's Expresso
  • 1 1/2 oz. Brinley Gold Coffee Rum
  • 1/2 oz. Marie Brizard's Chocolat Royal Liqueur
  • 1 oz. Amaretto
  • 1 oz. Half and Half
Place all ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake until chilled and pour into a collins glass.
Garnish with fresh ground hard chocolate and nutmeg.

     This is only one of many uses for these very flavorful rums that rose from the demise of the temperature sensor factory in St. Kitts.   They seem to be available in 25 or more states these days, and well worth the effort to find them.   ;o)

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Sea and Her Perils

     The ocean is one of the most powerful forces on the planet, and something that people and things seem to take for granted.     Her power is is unlimited and when she is mad, she can wipe out a whole city or island as she did along the Asia Rim.    If you want to ride on her, you have to respect her, and use her forces to your advantage. Do not not try to fight against her, you will lose. 

     There a wrecks and other signs of those who tried to resist her forces and lost scattered all over this area.    You can find old chugs, debris of sunken ships and even the land and it's trees can't stand up to her mighty forces.    When she is calm and serene, she is a real lady and a lot of fun to dance with, but if she gets stirred up, my friend you better be on your toes or she will dump you hard.

     You have to love her and treat her right, or just stay away.     When she is mad, you must do what ever it takes if you want to survive your ride.     To become an "old man of the sea", you have to out smart her or you better learn how to ride her, either way you can never lose your respect for her or let your guard down for a minute.   She will come right back and bite you from behind given half a chance.

     The lady has drawn me to her edge and beyond since I was a kid surfing her waves on the West Coast.     Today where I ride her tides in bigger and smaller crafts in the Florida Keys and the Caribbean.    She has been good to me, but I watch her all the time.     I know when to say when and return to the dock to enjoy a seat on the aft deck with a glass of fine rum and just watch her until she calms back down again.    She is a great mistress, but like all mistresses, you have to pay her the attention she is due.   ;o)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Caribbean Kiss, Revived by "The Rum Diary"

Like many other things in this world, cocktails are sometimes brought back to life by movies and songs.    A few years back, Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffet teamed up on a song call "5 O'clock Somewhere" and the Hurricane was drawn from obscurity back to the forefront.    Today a 1994 Trois Rivieres After Dinner Cocktail Winner, "Caribbean Kiss" is revived by the movie "The Rum Diary".
This Johnny Depp film is poised to be a classic, like the other Depp movies with rum loving characters.

     Researching this cocktail like so many others, there doesn't seem to be much information on the origin.     There is some reference to it being a Caribbean version of the classic cocktail "Goodnight Kiss", that is a Champagne, bitters  and Campari cocktail.    The "Caribbean Kiss" is a rum, amaretto, and a variety of other ingredients that vary with the version of the recipe that you happen to pick up.

Here are a few of the recipes:

Caribbean Kiss #1
  • 3/4 oz. Dark Rum
  • 1/4 oz. Amaretto
  • 1/4 oz. Kahlua
  • 3/4 oz. Cream
  • Dash of Cinnamon
Place all ingredients except the Cinnamon in a shaker with ice and shake until chilled, strain into a fluted martini glass with the rim coated with brown sugar.   Garnish with cinnamon.

Brugal Caribbean Kiss #2
  • 1 1/2oz. Brugal Anejo Rum
  • 1/2 oz. Amaretto
  • 1/2 oz. Simple Sugar Syrup
  • 1 oz. Pineapple Juice
Place all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake until chilled.     Strain into a Martini Glass and garnish with a Maraschino Cherry.

Bahama Bob's Caribbean Kiss
  • 1 oz. Plantation 5 Year Barbados Rum
  • 1 oz. Brinley's Gold Coffee Rum
  • 1/2 oz. Amaretto
  • 1/4 oz. Cane Syrup
  • 1 oz.  Half and Half
  • 1 or 2 Drops of Marie Brizard Chocolate Royal Liqueur
Place all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake until chilled.  Strain into a Martini Glass and garnish with an orange zest and a cherry.

     All of these recipes are very good and the version you chosse should reflect your palate.   Enjoy this derivitive of the classic old cocktail.   'o)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Rum and My World

     What is with this thing we call rum, that we spend so much time talking about, drinking, and analysing?    Rum is one of the most versatile spirits out there for our enjoyment.   The best thing about rum there are no two that are the same or even resemble each other.    Personality plus that is the best way that I can think to describe rum to a customer at the bar.     I try to find what they like and where they like in the world and then put the rum in their glass that will take them there.

     It is nothing but fun, because not only do all of these rum have personalities of their own, but they also come from all corners of the world as well.   The rum's home  takes you to a place that only you can imagine, as you sit on the back porch sipping a fine rum or just having a tropical cocktail.   This is the magical mystery that only rum can provide.

     For all of us pirates and smugglers of the Conch Republic it is a way of life that we once only dreamed about, that today we are really living.     Back in the days in the Carolina's, I turned my basement into my Tiki Bar where I could escape to the tropics at any time I wanted to.   It was the rum that determined the location to where my mind went.    It is a great place to be, and even now I can travel to a rum shop in Barbados, or a beach bar of the Virgin Islands just by breaking out a different rum and sit on the my back deck and turn it into a vacation.     Take some time soon to visit your favorite place and never leave your yard.    It is always a relaxing and enjoyable experience.   ;o)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Great Birthday Cruise: Sun and Fun for All.

     Yesterday started out with some clouds and a pretty stiff breeze out of the Northeast, but by the afternoon, the day turned out beautifully sunny, warm and only a light breeze.      Initially we were headed to Snipes Key, but upon arrival the Northeastern wind which was blowing straight on the the beach was creating a pretty high surf condition and not one that we could securely anchor the boat in.   

     Undaunted, we charged straight back into the surf and headed back to the Mud Keys and a protected beach that I knew there.   After a 20 or so minute cruise back, we surfed the pontoon across the small reef there and through the little channel to the beach.     We dropped the anchor and proceeded to unload and get the party underway.    The sun had come out by now, but the breeze continued for an hour or so more, but we didn't care the party was under way.

     The party went on all afternoon, and a great time of fun and a bit of spiritual influence, made for a great day on the water and beach, when one of our party emerged from a trail back into the mangroves with the news that some previous visitors had left enough beer bottles and trash to fill a dumpster.     This was a very disturbing thing for all of us that use the beaches and small keys down here.    The group grabbed garbage bags and proceeded down the trail and removed 6 55 gallon garbage bags from the mangroves just in this one small key.    

     This is a very disgraceful badge for the visitors to this pristine and beautiful area to have to wear.     It is my and the rest of the people that I hang with that if you can carry the bottles and cans out to the beach full of beer and other stuff, you can carry your trash back home with you.    This is totally not cool!!!    It is our contention that you need to leave the beach and the uninhabited areas cleaner than when you arrived.   I do like to feel the sand between my toes and not have to worry about having my feet cut by broken glass.

     It was a great celebration of Leanne's birthday and a really fun and fulfilling day for all or our party barge crew.    Happy Birthday Leanne and lets look forward to your next one on hopefully a clean Mud Key beach.    ;o)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Another Birthday Cruise Today, This Time to Snipes Key

Happy Birthday
Today is Leanne's Birthday and we are off to Snipes for a day on the beach and sand bar at the edge of the Gulf of Mexico.    It is back in the pontoon party barge for Leanne and a bunch of her friends and off the the sandy bar and beach.   Today promises another day of fun and frolic for all of us out at the edge of the gulf.

     Full story and pictures tomorrow.  Until then it is off the the marina and get the party barge loaded with food and refreshment for a fun day on the water.     ;o)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

May your day be getting better as my barometer indicates for me today.   ;o)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

What a Beautiful Saturday in Key West

     The sun is shining and the sky is as blue as the ocean. Today the internet service is driving me to a good bottle of rum, but work beckons. Here is a picture to brighten up all of our days. I guess that with a little patience and perseverance a blog can still be accomplished even on the worst of internet days. Enjoy your day as I intend to mine. ;o)

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Mai Tai: The Mystery Cocktail of the Tiki Era

    The Mai Tai is one of the cocktails that dominated the Tiki Era of the 40's through the 80's.     The real question is the origin of the cocktail.    Some say it was the creation of "Don the Beachcomber" Beach and others claim it was "Trader Vic" Bergeron.    Both sides have their stories, all of which are very interesting.   The real good news is we still have this fabulous little cocktail around today, although there are as many versions of the cocktail as there are stories of it's origin.

     To make your own decision as to who really created the Mai Tai, you have to hear both sides of the story.     Don the Beachcomber opened his first restaurant in Hollywood, California in 1933.   He decorated the place with treasures he had collected during his travels of the South Pacific.     Don's version of the Mai Tai first appeared with the opening of his Waikiki restaurant in 1947.   His version was a mixture of Cuban Rum, Cointreau, Pernod, Angostura Bitters, Fresh Lie Juice, and Grapefruit Juice.

     Trader Vic opened a restaurant in the early 1930's called Hinky Dinks, It sported an Eskimo theme.  The story is that Victor Bergeron had been to Hollywood in 1934 and seen Don the Beachcombers Restaurant.    It has been said that he went home and changed Hinky Dinks to the Trade Vic theme.     He claims that he invented the Mai Tai at the service bar at  the Oakland Trade Vic's.   He and the bartender talked about creating a new drink using nothing but the finest ingredients and the Mai Tai was the result.    There are several other stories about how some Tahitian friends were visiting and after tasting the cocktail, afterwards Carrie Guild expressed the words "Maita'i roa ae", Literally meaning very good.     "Maita'i" is a Tahitian word that means good.

      Like I say the mystery will be argued for many years to come, but the real story is that just as mysterious as the origin is the real recipe for the Mai Tai.    Based upon the classic Daiquiri, with the addition of orange and almond flavors fit perfectly into the Tiki cocktails that were sweeping the country in the 40's.

Trader Vic's Original Mai Tai - 1944
  • 2 oz. Wray & Nephew Rum (17 Year Old)
  • Juice from 1 Lime
  • 1/2 oz. Dekuyper Orange Curacao
  • 1/4 oz. Trader Vic's Rock Candy Syrup (Simple Sugar Syrup)
  • 1/2 oz. French Garnier Orgeat Syrup
Shake vigorously and serve in a rocks glass with a sprig of mint.

Don the Beach Comber's Mai Tai
  • 1 oz. Dark Rum
  • 1 1/2 oz. Golden Rum
  • 1/2 oz. Cointreau
  • 1/4 oz. Falernum
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • 1 dash of Pernod (Anisette flavor)
  • 3/4 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
  • 1 oz. Grapefruit Juice
  • 1 oz. Simple Sugar Syrup
  • 2 oz. Water
Shake all ingredients in a shaker fill with ice, strain into a tall highball glass filled with crushed ice.  Garnish with fruits and serve with a straw.

Bahama Bob's Mai Tai
  • 1 oz. El Dorado Rum (15 Year Old)
  • 1 oz. Matusalem Platino Rum
  • 1/2 oz. Triple Sec
  • 1/2 oz. Falernum
  • 1/2 oz. Cane Syrup
  • 1/2 oz. Orgeat Syrup
Place all ingredients in a shaker with ice and Strain into a Highball glass filled with crushed ice and garnish with a lime and orange wheel.

     There are as many versions of the Mai Tai as there are people that make this cocktail.    I have one of my own, that is some where between the two, but this makes my point even clearer that both of these men invented very fine cocktails that I think got to share the same name.    I almost think that they named it the same to create more controversy between them and controversy keeps the names in the forefront and people walking through the front door of both of their restaurants.    You make your own decision.   ;o)


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Things are Heating Up in Key West

     The season is just getting under way and things are really starting to heat up here in Key West.     Spring Break is just around the corner, and the weather is finally statring to chill up North.    Sure signs that the party is moving to Key West very soon.    It has been a late season start this year because of the warm weather across the northern tier of the United States.     For those of us that make our livings in the service industry this is a great thing, we love to see all of the people arrinving and having so much fun down here in Key West.

     Spring Break is the first major event of the season and it draws literally thousands of student to the Keys to party and take a break from the stress of school and studying.    I always enjoyed spring break back when I was in college as do the students of today.    I still look forward to seeing them arrive down here in Key West and seeing them having so much fun.   I find it to be a lot of fun for me as well, as they party and stop by the bar for cocktails, and just being around as they party with all of their youthful energy.

     No matter when you think you need to get away from all the hustle and bustle of the city, kick back and enjoy the sound of the warm down hear is fun loving and friendly Key West.   Stop on by and say hey, you may never want to leave once you get here.    ;o)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Drinking Responsibly: It's No Accident.

     The enjoyment of great cocktails requires great planning and understanding of what is happening to you and your body as you consume alcohol.     Having just completed an Alcohol Server's course, it has reminded me of a number of things that need to be addressed before you start out on a night of drinking. 

     Bacardi has hired Rafael Nadal, 10 time tennis champion to head up their "The Champion's Way" responsible drinking program.     There are 4 steps to the program, Plan, Take your Time, Be there for Friends, and Get Home Safely.       The plan is a simple assessment of what you are going to do tonight, where you are going to eat, drink, and how you are going to get back home.     Once at the cocktail lounge or where you are  drinking, take your time.   Your body can absorb alcohol into your blood stream very rapidly, but your liver only dispels it at a rate of 1 ounce per hour.    Take your time and enjoy the cocktail by sipping, not gulping down.     Be there for your friends, make sure no one is left behind.   If you are moving from club to club, make sure all of you are in a condition to continue drinking.     Finally make sure every on gets home safely, even if it means leaving the car there and taking a taxi or public transportation home.

     This is an important program and I'm glad to see many of the spirits manufacturers taking this issue very serious along with the owners of bars and restaurants.    I'm proud to have received the certification of completion for the "TIPS" program for responsible alcohol serving.  ;o)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day to All

     This is one of those silly little holidays that means so much to so many.    While not really a holiday, it has a strong market value and a time when the little gift is as important as the big one.     I guess that I find Valentine's Day to be a warm and fuzzy day when hugs and kisses are the real commodity, not how much money that you have spent.   It is the fact that you remembered that is the thing of real importance.

     Make sure that today you take the time to wish all of your friends a very happy Valentine's Day and be sure tot remember the day to your very special one in your life.   It is an important gesture and one where a little goes a long way.   Enjoy this special day with your Valentine.     ;o)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Bahama Bob's Valentine Daiquiri

     Trying to create a warm romantic Valentines Day atmosphere for the evening?  This might be a help for your romantic cocktail.

Bahama Bob's Valentine Daiquiri

  • 1 1/2 oz. Matusalem Platino or other quality white rum
  • 1/2 oz. Pomegranate Liqueur
  • Juice of 1/2 Lime
  • 1/8 oz Agave Nectar
  • Splash of Grapefruit Juice
Place all of the ingredients in a shaker filled with ice and shake until chilled and strain into a chilled Martini Glass.  Garnish with a lime wheel and a sprig of mint.

Make sure your Valentine has a great night tomorrow and enjoy your day of love and romance.   ;o)

    Sunday, February 12, 2012

    To Chase the Butterfly of Life

         As I wander through these beautiful different Keys around Key West, I keep running across all of these beautiful and different butterflies that are so hard to catch as they flit around from bush to bush and flower to flower.     I some times look at life the same way, flitting from spot to spot and gleaning something new from every place you lite.    I pop around from key to key to enjoy and capture the beauty as a butterfly does from flower to flower.   ;o)

    Saturday, February 11, 2012

    Thinking About a Stout Cocktail

         Whenever I think about a good Tiki style cocktail, I start thinking of ways to use Plantation Trinidad Overproof Rum.     This is one of the finest overproof rums anywhere.     It is actually sipable, a bit on the hot side, but huge flavor that keeps you coming back for another sip.    This 173 Proof gem is perfect for a Mai Tai or a Zombie.   With it's high octane punch, it livens up any strong cocktail.

          Down the road it would be a great subject for one of our Rum Lab, one that might take a couple of days to complete.   It would be hard for me to be accurate making the cocktails after a couple of these and even harder for the lab mice to accurately judge them.    We will figure it out, and I'm sure that we will get the job done in a proper fashion. 

    Bahama Bob’s Zombie

    ·         1 oz. Diplomatico Blanco

    ·         1 oz. El Dorado 12 Year Old

    ·         ¾ oz. Plantation Overproof

    ·         ¾ oz. J. D. Taylor's Velvet Falernum

    ·         ¼ oz. Pomegranate Liqueur

    ·         ¼ oz. Aguardiente

    ·         ¼ oz. Bahama Bob’s #3 Syrup  (Cinnamon, Sugar, and Nutmeg)

    ·         ½ oz. Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice

    ·         2 oz. Pineapple Juice

    ·         2 oz. Grapefruit Juice

    ·         2 Dashes of Bitters

    ·         Splash of Barrett’s Ginger Beer

    Place all ingredients except the Ginger beer in a shaker filled with ice.   Shake until chilled and strain into a blender filled with crushed ice and swizzle.    Pour into a pint glass and top-up with Barrett’s Ginger Beer.   Garnish with an orange wheel and a mint sprig.

         No matter how you choose to use this fine overproof rum, it is really enjoyable.   By the way try it over ice with Barrett's Ginger Beer, makes for a really stormy treat, one that can blow you over.   ;o)

    Friday, February 10, 2012

    Key West Is Second in the "Most Trashy" Spring Break Destinations

         Key West finished second to Las Vegas as the "trashiest " destination for Spring Breakers in Neal Lynch's survey for 2012.    

    The 10 trashiest U.S. cities for Spring Break (and Florida is home to five of them)

    America’s 'Top 10 Trashiest Spring Break Destinations' have been revealed in a list of cities college students want to visit most - and their parents want them to visit the least.
    Las Vegas has been crowned number one most trashiest Spring Break destination, it may not have a beach but it is the home of gambling and strip clubs.
    Florida was the state to make the most appearances on the the list with five cities being listed in the top ten; with Key West coming in at second place. 
    Party-place: Miami beach, pictured here as students drink beer from a funnel, has been rated as the 6th most trashy destination for Spring Break in America


    1. Las Vegas:  Home to gambling, strip clubs and the only Hooters Hotel. Vegas makes up for not having a beach with its popular pool parties. 
    2. Key West, Florid: Garden of Eden, a clothing-optional bar, is a spot the site recommends.
    3. South Padre Island, Texas: Coed says 'How can it get any trashier than South Padre, a beach that essentially exists for the sole purpose of having wild parties?'
    4. Daytona, Florida:  This city’s high number of underage-drinking arrests helped win it a spot on Coed’s list.
    5. Myrtle Beach, S.C: Coed makes a distinction between North and South Myrtle Beach and advises that if it is trashiness you’re after,  South Myrtle beach is where you want to be.
    6. Miami Beach: The online magazine points out that The Jersey Shore taped a season here.
    7. Panama City Beach, Florida:  Coed, again, uses the reality to show to measure the trash factor, saying that stars from the Jersey Shore were among last year’s celebrity visitors. 
    8. Fort Myers, Florida: Lana Kai hosts a daily 'booty contest' during high season.
    9. Lake Havasu, Arizona:  A tattoo convention is held during Spring Break. According to the site, Kokomo Havasu and Martini Bay are two of the trashier destinations.
    10. San Diego:  'We know that most of the people who live in the San Diego area head to other destinations for Spring Break,' Coed writes, 'but that just means the people left partying here are extra trashy.'

    Neal Lynch, the site’s editor in chief told, 'Typically, people associate “trashy” with things of poor quality, however we associated the word with enjoying guilty pleasures. Like reality television — but in real life,where you can have the most amount of fun with the least amount of money.'
    Lynch admits however that a fuller wallet may be necessary to enjoy the full experience at the number-one destination on his list.

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     It has been my experience that Key West has earned it's title, based on Neal Lynch's explanation of what he meant by "Trashiness".  

        I know that spring break is just a few weeks away and if this year is anything like the past few years it is going to be a fun time again in Key West.    I think it is the laid back vibe of accepting of people that makes Key West so popular with the spring breakers.   It is OK to party, it is OK to act a little crazy, it OK to drink (providing you are old enough), and it is OK to just have a great time down here.    I guess what I am really saying is that for a lot of us here in Key West that haven't gotten "too old", spring break is still a fun time that most of us enjoyed in our college days and a tradition that should be enjoyed by the kids today.

          The attraction to Key West, at least in my interaction with the breakers has been on of mutual respect and the ability to have as much fun as they are.    2012 is nearly upon us and as for me I can only say "Bring it on", let the party begin.     ;o)

    Thursday, February 9, 2012

    Malibu has a New Spin for the Winter

         Malibu has a newly released coconut rum with the coconut f;akes that look like a winter snow storm.     This congers up memories of the snowy orbs that I got as a kid, you know the ones you shake up and watch the snow fall on the village.    This one you shake up your cocktail and watch the snow flakes fall to the bottom of the glass and you get to enjoy them later.

         Malibu Winter Edition has added flakes of real coconut into the mix, giving you snow in the Caribbean effect for your cocktails.    The great thing about this is that you still get your favorite Malibu Coconut flavor with the added treat of real coconut floating in suspension.   Great idea, reminds me of the drinks we make with rum and coconut water and the pieces of coconut float throughout the cocktail.

         If you are of the coconut rum persuasion, Malibu Winter Edition is a geat little rum that brings you to the Caribbean in the middle of a snow storm of fine coconut flavor.   Enjoy your experience with the Winter Edition of Mailbu Rum.   ;o)

    Wednesday, February 8, 2012

    Marquesas and a Beautiful Day

         What a day out at the Marquesas, sunshine, warm, and smooth water, it just doesn't get any better.    We headed West at about 1pm yesterday afternoon, and after clearing there Northwest Channel it was glass water in the Lakes Passage all the way to Boca Grand.    We then turned North at that point for the last 7 miles to the Marquesas.     We picked up a bit of wind against current chop, but nothing that would slow our determination to make it to the Marquesas.       We first noticed that there were several new "chugs", you know the boats the Cuban refugees come to America in, scattered on the beaches and sandbars.   The tide was out this afternoon, so we couldn't get to the beach where the newest chugs were.    We did finds three or four more that had been set afire and were laying on sand bars just off of the beach.    

         The bird life was really abundant on this day, hawks, eagles, ibis, pelicans, cormorants, just to name a few.    We stumbled across a rather large spotted eagle ray as we drifted across the shallows on the Southwest corner of the key.    This was one of those days where every where we turned we found something of interest.     Birds, fish, chugs, airplanes, old wrecks that the low tide had exposed, it was hard to know where to point the camera next.

         It was noticed that the sun was starting to get a bit low in the west and time for us to point the boat back toward the east and cruise back to Key West and civilization again.

         This area never ceases to amaze me with her beauty and abundance of life, don't miss the chance to explore it if you have the opportunity.   ;o)