Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween: Cocktail for After the Kids Go to Bed

     Halloween is all about scary things knocking at the the door,  ghoulish cocktails that really taste horrid, and look even worse.   This year I'm offering a Halloween cocktail for your pleasure, not something to make you feel like puking just to look at it.

Bahama Bob's Halloween Cocktail

  • 2 oz. Rhum Barbancourt Pango
  • 1/2 oz. Lime Juice
  • 1/2 oz. Agave Nectar
  • Dash of Bitters
  • Top  with Barritt's Ginger Beer
Place all of the ingredients except the Ginger Beer in a shaker with ice and and shake until chilled.    Strain into a cocktail glass filled with ice and top up with Barritt's Ginger Beer.  Garnish with a lime wheel and enjoy the relaxation of the rest of the evening.

     You can relax and let the Mango and Pineapple flavors take you off to a place of serenity and pleasure.    A peaceful place away from the walking dead and gore of the traditional Halloween.   ;o)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Parrotheads Arrive in Key West Tomorrow

The Meeting of the Minds, Jimmy Buffett's fan club convention begins tomorrow in Key West.   The 21st annual Meeting of the the Minds starts with a series of events that take place at the Casa Marina Resort, headquarters for MOTM as well as many other venues throughout Key West.   There is the street concert on Saturday afternoon and many other music and fun events all over the island.   These events are not all offficial MOTM events so you just have to follow your ears to get to some of the parties that are happening every where.   Many of the events are those of local clubs that are here for the event.

     Last year for the first time in six years Jimmy Buffett did make an appearance for his fans with an impromptu concert in the middle of Duval Street.   It is rumored that he may make another appearance this year as well.

    This promises to be another fun filled five days in Key West for all of the Parrotheads.    There will be feathers, coconuts, and just plain nuts covering the islands as the followers of Jimmy Buffet party on in their crazy fashion all over the island.   The schedule for all of the events is available on line at .    Parrotheads  welcome to Key West and have yourselves a really fun convention.  ;o)

Monday, October 29, 2012

American Rum Producers Have Organized: The Rum Wars are on Home Soil

Source: ARA

October 26, 2012

Ms. Kelly Railean, Founder and President of the American Rum Association announced the establishment of the first trade association to unite American rum manufacturers in the USA.

The American Rum Association is a non-profit trade organization for the manufacturers of rum with production facilities and headquarters located in the United States of America (excludes US territories such as Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, Guam, Philippines, etc.).

The mission of the organization is to grow the domestic rum category to one that rivals the world's imports by promoting the production and appreciation of American rum through education, marketing, and regulatory influence. For the first time in history, the American rum industry will have a cohesive marketing strategy that will differentiate American rum from imported brands. This trade association will also provide a unified voice for media, politics, and regulatory agencies.

Kelly Railean, President of Railean Distillers, LLC, said "there are over 80 American manufacturers of rum operating in the USA and it is time to establish quality standards for "American Rum". Ask any American rum manufacturer and they will tell you that the main obstacle to growing the domestic rum category and their small business is the unfair tax subsidies offered exclusively to rum companies operating in U.S. territories such as Puerto Rico and USVI. These subsidies restrict free market competition and give global manufactures such as Bacardi and Diageo an unwarranted hold on the American rum market. The American Rum Association is fully committed to exposing these unfair practices and providing products Made in the U.S.A.; thus providing jobs, fueling our American economy and aiding in the recovery of our economic system."

     This is interesting that we kind of have a rum civil war, of out own government subsidising foreign companies against American companies producing the same products and paying them to sell them in the United States.     I'm all for the subsidies as long as they are helping "American" interests, but when they are benefiting global giant's like the British based Diageo, I have to question how these tax dollars are being spent.   It is election year and time to ask the questions of  the politicians on this issue that has started a global war in the rum industry.   ;o)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Parade and Fantasy Fest is Over for 2012.

It was a fun Fantasy Fest in 2012, Although Sandy tried and failed to dampen the spirits of the revelers, but the party prevailed and now it is gone.   ;o)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Cane and Abe Freshwater Rum

     A customer asked if we stocked Cane and Abe Freshwater Rum yesterday,  a rum that I had not been aware of until then.    I decided to research the rum this morning and found it to be a very interesting one and one that I plan to acquire for the Rum Bar in Key West.   This is an interesting rum that comes from Old Sugar Distillery in Madison, Wisconsin, one of those artisanal distilleries that are becoming so popular these days.

     30 year old Nathan Greenawalt is the owner of distillery and the brains behind this little operation that is producing a fine quality rum that is gathering a lot of attention throughout the world of rum.     

    My research tells me that the rum is fermented from domestic sugar cane produced in Hawaii and Louisiana, and aged 4 to 12 months in new and used heavily charred American Oak barrels.     The rum has a slightly hazy dark amber color.   Aromas of a sweet aged rum that give way to a brown sugar and maple earthy flavors.   The rum is of an oakey nature and has a characteristic robust and smooth taste.   The article that reviewed the rum say it can be sipped, served on the rocks or in a cocktail.   It was noted as one of the rums that brings new flavors to traditional cocktails.

     The rum is named in honor of a bald eagle named Abe, the mascot of the Wisconsin 8th Infantry Civil War Battalion.   ;o)

Friday, October 26, 2012

2012 Fantasy Fest Approaching Climax

Hurricane Sandy
   This week is just flying by and most of the events are going off right on schedule in spite of the windy and sometimes rainy weather complements of Hurricane Sandy in the Bahamas.   Sandy's arms reach out for a long way and the rains and winds are trying unsuccessfully to put a damper on our festivities.    I guess the fun of Fantasy Fest goes deep and the attendees refuse to let a little weather dampen the spirits or the party.   

     Today the focus leads us to the People's Parade and the Friday Night Street Fair.   The fun time of walking through the city streets of Key West decked out in a crazy costume really appealsbecause the parade  is always a huge one.   Crowds of painted and costumed partyers  really are having a fun time as usual.  The full schedule of events is available online at .     You really don't want to let the weather dampen you party spirits, get a nice tropical cocktail and join us on the streets of Key West and party on.  ;o)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Bahama Bob's Fall Daiquiri

     Having done some work in the Rum Lab lately with an old liqueur called Licor 43, I had some ideas for a new cocktail for the fall season.    Inspired somewhat by my recent trip to Cuba, this cocktail is a take off on the basic daiquiri.  
     Licor 43 is a sweet, vanilla-flavored liqueur that is produced in Spain by the Diego Zamora company. According to the producers, it is an ancient recipe, dating back to 200 B.C. and the recipe was passed down from generation to generation until in 1924 it was purchased by Diego Zamora, along with a distillery in Cartagena, Murcia, Spain. Since then it has become a very popular drink in Spain.   Licor 43 is made from 43 different ingredients, including vanilla, citrus and other fruits, as well as aromatic herbs and spices, but the recipe and exact ingredients remains a secret.
Bahama Bob's Fall Daiquiri 
  • 2 oz. Rhum Barbancourt White
  • 1 oz. Licor 43
  • 1 oz. Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
  • Juice of 1/2 Lime
  • 1/2 oz. Agave Nectar
Place all ingredients into a blender with about a cup of ice and blend until super smooth.   Serve in a martini glass with a lime wheel either on the glass or floating on top.

     This is a daiquiri has a very unique flavor that you will find very irresistible.   Keep the channels open for new rum ideas for the fall and on into the holidays this year.  The Rum Lab is still in operation and new cocktail ideas are developing.   ;o)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Fantasy Fest Parties Continue in Key West

This is the week of the party.   It all started on Monday with the Kinky Karnival at Kelly's ion Monday and the go right through the Captain Morgan Parade, the big bash on Saturday night.    There are so many parties that it is hard to name them all, but many of them go back many years.     The schedule for the rest of the week is available online at .

     Some of the older parties like the Sloppy Joe's Toga Party in in its 29th year or the 12th annual "Living Art Airbrush Expo" at the Pier House on Friday.  There is a "Pet Masquerade & Parade" today at 5:30 at the Casa Marina Resort.     Other long running events like the "Homemade Bikini Contest", Fogarty's 11 Annual "Red Night" happens tonight at 9:00 pm.    the list goes on and on.  Tomorrow starting at noon is the "Dante's Halos and Horns Pool Party and Wet T-Shirt Contest". You don't want to miss the Green Parrot's "Monster's Ball", a collection of sea serpents, mermaids, and a host of other bizarre monsters form the sea.  This list goes on and on, most of the party's are too much fun and you can just wear yourself to a frazzle trying to make all of the parties this week.

     This all comes to its conclusion on Saturday night with the Captain Morgan Parade that runs down Whitehead Street and up Duval Street to bring the 2012 Fantasy Fest to its conclusion on Saturday night. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Pan American Airways and Kelly's Caribbean Celebrate PanAm's 85th Birthday

Fokker F7
    Last Friday marked the 85th anniversary of the first Pan American Airways flight in 1927.   The mail flight from Key West to Havana, Cuba marked the beginning of the airway's long history.  The first flight was in a leased Fokker F7, and the flight to celebrate the 85th Anniversary of the flight is a BAE 3101 Jetstream 31.  The changes in between are all a matter of history as Pan Am closed its doors on December 4, 1991.

BAE 3101 Jetstream 31 Today's Birthday Flight Plane

     The 85th birthday party was held on Friday evening at Kelly's Caribbean in the original Pan American Airways ticket office at the corner of Caroline and Whitehead Streets in Key West.   On Saturday morning the crew from Kelly's and Pan Am boarded the Jetstream and took a flight to the Dry Tortuga's and back to celebrate the first flight 85 years ago.

The Airlines long history was covered with firsts by an airline,including the first scheduled airline, and paved the way for the modern airlines of today.   It's history of clippers that spanned the pacific offering cruise ship comforts made Pan Am the choice of many passengers.    The noted battles between Juan Tripp, founder of Pan American Airways and Howard Hughes, founder of Trans World Airlines over routes were legendary, and between the two of them trying to out do each other were responsible for the airline system we enjoy today.

Kelly's Caribbean at the corner of Caroline and Whitehead
     Today it is only Pan Am Brands, and a the  of souvenirs they offer is all that is left of this once magnificent airline, but the history and the glamor of its flights will not soon be forgotten.  ;o)

Monday, October 22, 2012

2012 Fantasy Fest Zombie Bike Ride

     This years fantasy Fest activities really got underway last evening with the Zombie Bicycle Ride from Stock Island to Duval Street in Key West.   There were some 1100 or 1200 participants and the parade went on for miles as it wound its way from We Cycle Bicycle Shop and the Hurricane Hole on Stock Island to Salute on Higgs Beach; then to Green Parrot; and finally The Porch on Duval Street.    

     The participants were painted and dressed as zombies and the parade of the walking dead proceeded through the haunted streets of Key West.    They were young and old and everything in between participating, but they were all dressed for the occasion and the toothy grins could not be hidden by the zombie painted faces. 


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Dry Tortugas Light House Light

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Dry Tortugas Light is located on Loggerhead Key, three miles west of Fort JeffersonFlorida. A lighthouse was established on Bush Key in 1825, and refitted with a new lantern in 1846. Construction on a new lighthouse on Loggerhead Key began in 1856 and was completed in 1858. The Loggerhead Key lighthouse has a stone foundation and a conical brick tower. The walls are six feet thick at the base and taper to four feet thick at the top. The tower was painted black on the upper part and white below (later unpainted on the upper part and white below). A radio room is attached to the base of the tower. The original lens was a first order Fresnel lens, which is now on display at the United States Coast Guard Aids to Navigation School in Yorktown, Virginia. The light was automated in 1988.
The Dry Tortugas lighthouse, along with the Garden Key lighthouse at Fort Jefferson, were the only lights on the Gulf coast that stayed in full operation throughout the American Civil War. The tower was damaged by a hurricane in October 1873[3] and plans were drawn up for a new tower. However, repairs to the tower were so successful that the plans for a new tower were shelved. Its appearance and striping is similar to the Hunting Island Light, though its construction is different.
Beginning with its electrification in 1931, it was the most powerful lighthouse in America, with three million candela

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Alma de Bohemio 15 Year Old Rum

     The latest arrival at the Rum Bar in Key West, Alma de Bohemio 15 Year Old Rum is a great new addition.   This is a very special dark amber / mahogany colored rum from the skilled hands of Master Blender Don "Pancho" Hernandez, famous for Panama Red and Zafra Master Reserve.   

     The rum is produced in central Panama from local sugar cane and fermented and distilled in the distillery in Panama.   The rum is aged in decades old barrels previously use for finishing rum.   Made by the Cuban methods and formulas to attain the high quality and classically smooth and refined Alma de Bohemio Rums.

     The mahogany and copper colors are the beginning for this fine viscous rum.   The aroma is woody, fruity, with a hint of vanilla and spices.    On the palate there is immediate heat that fades quickly to a tropically sweetness with tastes of vanilla, fruit, and spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, and a bit of pepper).
The finish is a long and dry finish, consistent with many of the Panamanian rums.

    This is one of the new rums that we have added to the collection a the Rum Bar in Key West, and I suspect one that will draw a goodly bit of attention as the word gets out and it is tasted by the rum lovers.   ;o)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Havana Club Museum - Havana, Cuba

Model of Early Distillery
     One of the highlights of the excursion to Havana last month was the visit to the Havana Club Museum.     This is a really cool visitor's center that takes you through the early rum producing equipment and processes.    There are many displays throughout the museum that cover everything from the stills to the bottling and storage of the bottles.    Havana Club has a very colorful history in Cuba and remains as the premier rum of Cuba.    Havana Club rum, was first created by José Arechabala in 1934 and sold throughout the world from his family-owned distillery in Cuba.   After the Cuban Revolution in 1959, the distillery and company were nationalized by the Cuban government and the Arechabala family emigrated to the United States.

     Today Havana Club in Cuba is a thriving company that is producing a variety of fine rums from the Anejo Blanco all the way to the nearly $2000.00 per bottle Maximo.   The tradition of excellence has been adhered to through the years and the rum lives up to its legendary reputation for quality and flavor.

     The museum also houses  the original "long bar" from Sloppy Joe's in Havana.   The bar serves today as the tasting room bar in the museum for fine cocktails and a chance to travel back in time when Havana was the place to be for party going Americans.

The Bar Havana Club is being finished up at the museum now.  It will serve as a place for visiting mixologists to stop in and apply their craft for the guests at the museum.  This is going to be a highlight for the visiting mixologists and the tourists as well.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Fantasy Fest Starts Saturday with Goombay in Key West

      That zany time of year has arrived again here in Key West.   The annual week of craziness starts Saturday and runs through the following Saturday night where it culminates with the parade.   This years theme "A-Conch-Alypse" based on the end of the Mayan calender in December.  Like every year this promises to be another fun filled week with enough parties and events to wear out the most seasoned partier.   Get the complete schedule at .

   This is always a fun filled time of costumes and bazaar events to keep your head spinning from sun up until sun up.   If you haven't got your rooms reserved and your costumes made for the week long happening, then now is the time to get it done before you can't find one here in Key West.

What ever you do don't miss the 2012 edition of Fantasy Fest in Key West.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

St. Nicolas Abbey Distillery Strikes Gold in UK

     The St. Nicolas Abbey Distillery in Barbados offers unique rums to its guests that visit the Abbey each year.    There will soon be a new unaged white rum being added to the inventory.
    The new white rum made its debut with a big bang at the UK Rumfest in London.   St Nicolas Abbey's new unaged white rum won the Boutique Rumfest Award of Best White Rum.   In addition, St. Nicolas Abbey won the Golden Rum Barrel for "Distillery of the Year" in addition.   All in all a very productive visit for the Warren Family in London.

     Larry Warren and his family have done an outstanding job of restoring the Abbey and over the past few years I have enjoyed visiting them and seeing the progress that they have made on the project of bringing St. Nicolas Abbey back to life and making it a great destination for visitors to Barbados.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Bodegas 1492: A New Ultra Premium Rum

     Itwas brought to me as a surprise from a yacht broker, but what a pleasant surprise it was.   1492 Ron Anejo Golden Age a relatively new rum produced in Panama initially and currently being made in the Dominican Republic by the Bodegas 1492 Corporation.   The rum is the product of the "lush paradise where the sugar cane, the base and fundamental element of the Caribbean Rum is produced".    It was the history of rum and the romanticism of the discovery of the Caribbean and its unique atmosphere and tropical climate that drove Bodegas 1492 to produce their fine rums.

     "Through our Rum Experts, Bodegas 1492, Corp., presents its wide line of rums aged in the most diverse displays, from 4 to 21 year aged, to satisfy the most select and refined palates of those who seek body, superb balance with a very intense profiles and woody bouquet in a good rum, which through the years of aging, dedication and knowledge, our technicians have developed with the best and most selected alcohols of the Caribbean, to place our product on top of the finest rums of the world."
     "To enhance our products, we have selected for our displays of 18 an 21 years aged, the prestigious company of the Czech Republic, Moser, with whom Bodegas 1492, Corp, has an exclusive contract for the manufacture of handmade bottles."

1492 Anejo Golden Rum is an amber colored rum of exquisite aroma and a palate that seems to have a woody, well balance, complex, and long lasting flavor.  The finish is smooth and warm with no bite at all.  Simply stated a very wonderful tasting viscous rum.    ;o) 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Serralles USA Makes Big Steps in US Market

     Distileria Serralles, Inc. and Death's Door Spirits LLC have agreed to a long term contract co-operating the US distribution and marketing.     "In a joint statement, aspects of their products and practices.  Destilería Serrallés, Inc. and Death’s Door Spirits, LLC have inked a long-term, co-operating U.S. distribution and marketing agreement. This alliance brings together two “brand-first” companies that are at the forefront of “craft & quality”

   This merger brings Serralles USA ( The American distribution arn of Distileria Serralles) a world class rum distributor the new markets of craft gins, vodka, and whiskey into their sales arsenal.      This move is to broaden the footprint  of Serralles USA in all 50 states and provide new venues for its sales.     On the other side of the merger Death's Door Spirits will gain  for its portfolio a national distribution system in which to sell their products.     This looks like a win win situation for all involved.   

     “We are extremely pleased to have Death’s Door Spirits as a strategic partner. As a successful small, upstart company, Death’s Door Spirits has shown that strong passion and clear voice are welcome in the spirits industry. We look forward to setting a new standard of 'brand-building' in the spirits industry. Furthermore, we believe the strategic partnership with Death’s Door Spirits is crucial to sustaining the momentum our company has as an emerging industry leader,” says John Eason, Vice President & National Sales Manager at Serrallés USA.

     “This opportunity has tremendous upside for both parties,” explained Brian Ellison, President and CEO of Death’s Door Spirits. “As Death’s Door Spirits has grown, we have always looked for greater avenue to tell our story to a larger audience. I feel the values and vision that both the Serrallés family and John Eason’s team holds matches closely with our core values: commitment to quality, focus on all aspects of the production process from ground to glass, and vigilance toward sustainability.” 

     Both companies will remain as separate operations.   Death's Door Spirits National Sales Manager John Kinder and Serralles USA Vice President and National Sales Manager John Eason will be working side by side to make this program successful.


     In another note Serrales Has added Greg Ellison as the Director of National Off- Premise Chains and Steve Jurbala as the new South Central Regional Sales Manager.   The move was made to help the Serralles USA to expand the name and reach more customers fulfilling the goal of "reaching every customer".

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Festival of Speed: Saturday

  Today is the final day for the 2012 Miami Festival of Speed at the Epic Hotel.   The collection of luxury yachts, super sports cars, custom motorcycles, and luxury lifestyle displays is all available to you in one place today.   Take the time to board one or more of the luxury yachts and see how comfortable you can feel on the water.  The living quarters of a luxury condominium all afloat.     You can get the chance to feel the thrill and comfort of living on the water in luxury.

     When your thirst says I need something refreshing, stop by the Rhum Barbancourt tent and have one of our crafts cocktails and relax in the tent.

     How about a gold Lamborghini, a couple of James Bond cars, Bugatti, and custom build super sports cars, and a group of beautiful models everywhere. 

    The Festival of Speed opens today at 11:00 am and runs until 5:00 pm.   Tickets are available online at and click "tickets".

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Festival of Speed: "Cocktails Under the Stars"

   The 2012 Festival of Speed is under way at the Epic Hotel in Downtown Miami.    The Barbancourt booth is my home for for the event.  Got a chance to see my friend Darrell Gwynn and meet many new friends last night at the "Cocktails under the Stars"   The Rhum Barbancourt and Magellan Gin cocktails created in the Rum Lab were very well received by the attendees under the stars for the Festival of Speed.
    The displays of cars, yachts, watercraft, motorcycles, and luxury lifestyle products make this event a very special one.     If it's James Bond that excites you, his movie Aston Martin is on display along with Ferrari, Maserati, Lotus, Porsche, and many other marques of super sports cars are on display.

    The displays are set up in a walk through style that allow you to experience the displays in an up close and personal manner.    Today the Festival of Speed opens at the 11:00 am and you can wander through the displays until 5:00 pm.   Then do it again on Sunday during the same hours.

     You can also stop by and visit me at the Rhum Barbancourt booth and sample one of the fine rhums from Rhum Barbancourt or one of the Rum Lab cocktails featuring Magellin Iris Flavored Gin that I'll be making just for you on the spot.    Hope to see you there.   ;o)