Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Years Eve: Bring on the Party

     This is it the sunset of 2012, a year that I have to say was a very interesting one.  Politics Hurricanes, and so much more.  The important thing right now to me is that all of you will be here with me tomorrow.   Tonight the party day around the world, one that matches no other in the consumption of alcohol.   Make sure as you plan your evening that you plan the way you get back home.  One that doesn't include driving.   I can't emphasize the dangers of even buzz driving, especially on New Years.  The police are out and looking for anyone that is even marginally intoxicated behind the wheel and they will see you long before you see them.

     It is my hope that your 2012 was as interesting and fulfilling as mine was and the prospects for 2013 are equally as bright.  Lets bring 2013 in with a great and fun party and get home safely after the New Year has been rung in.   Happy New Years to all and to all a good night of raucous partying.  ;o)

Sunday, December 30, 2012

The New Day has Risen

  The final Sunday of 2012 has risen and the day has begun.   Today should be a fun one, one I'm looking forward to.  It has been a great year and now it is time to work on making 2013 a better one.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Phillip Greene: "To Have and Have Another"

Phillip Greene
     Phillip Greene, author of the book "To Have and Have Another" will be at the Rum Bar in Key West on Sunday December 30, 2012 for a book signing.  You will be able to chat with Phil and pick up your personal copy of the book in the classic Key West atmosphere that Hemingway so enjoyed from 1928 til 1940.    Phillip will be in the Rum Bar from 2pm until 5ish for you to meet and purchasse your autographed copy of the book..    

    “Part of what got me hooked on Hemingway was how well he described what he was eating and drinking,”   Phillip spends a lot of time discussing the little tricks and innovations of Hemingway and his drinking.  He liked his drinks very cold,” said Greene. “He used tennis ball cans to make giant ice cubes when he made his martinis and he would freeze his Spanish cocktail onions."    This detail of the cocktail and it's history makes for fun and interesting reading.    

"1923, Hemingway at the bullfights in Ronda, Spain. He published two books on bullfighting, Death in the Afternoon and The Dangerous Summer. He's likely most associated with the Fiesta of San Fermin, famous for its "Running of the Bulls." ... Of its setting he once wrote, "Pamplona is no place to bring your wife. The odds are all in favor of her getting ill, hurt or wounded or at least jostled and wine squirted all over her, or of losing her; maybe all three. ... It’s a man’s fiesta and women at it make trouble, never intentionally of course, but they nearly always make or have trouble." 
     The time you can spend with Phillip at the Rum Bar will be thoroughly enlightening and probably lead you a few blocks down the street to Hemingway's home here in Key West if you haven't already seen it.   This is a chance to visit with the author who did the research into the cocktails of the history of the cocktails that Ernest Hemingway enjoyed and how they fit into is works.    Phillip is a very colorful man with an interesting background in the areas of the cocktail.  
"To Have and Have Another" walks the line between a quixotically focused biography and generously informative cocktail book. As co-founder of New Orleans' Museum of the American Cocktail, Greene is an expert on all things booze."  
    Stop on in Sunday afternoon for a Hemingway and a chance to obtain the book signed by the author.   ;o)




Friday, December 28, 2012

I've Put Another Year Behind Me!

     This is a day that I can look back and say WOW!!!   I've been to Cuba, Venezuela, Trinidad, Mexico, and Miami;  all of these destinations have offered something different to enlighten my life.   The world of rum has been good to me and I really have had a great time exploring it.  

     I get to start my life today by receiving a raise for my lifetime of working.  Our federal government, has made me fully vested and social security  eligible.   This is a welcome day, one at times I didn't feel like I would never see.     The level in time where I can work as hard as I want to and not be penalized for hard work by the social security system.  This is a wonderful thing.

    I feel very blessed for my wife, my health and ambition, being able to keep on doing all of the things that I so enjoy doing.  I get to live in Key West on a boat, work in a very cool bar on Duval Street, visit rum distilleries and very interesting places, act as a judge for rums and cocktails, all in the name of rum.   What a great run I am having.   I've gotten to have a cocktail in Havana along side the statue of Ernest Hemingway sitting in his favorite seat at the El Floridita, sip rum with my friend Tito Cordero at the Diplomatico hacienda, and create cocktails 5 days a week at the Rum Bar in Key West meeting new friends every day.

    The funny thing about "age" is you don't have to look back on the "good ole days" when they are today.    Thanks to every one who has touched my life, for you have made it very special.   I just keep look toward today to see where I'm going next.   ;o)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Home Bar According to Facundo Bacardi

I ran across this article the other day in the Wall Street Journal and found it to be very interesting.   It is my belief that a well equipped and stocked "home bar" is an essential item and part of a nice home.   Facundo Bacardi airs his views on the subject.
Source: Wall Street Journal


Dec 26th
"A Rum Scion Tells How to Gin Up a Home Bar"

As cocktails have become more popular in bars and restaurants, so has the practice of mixing drinks for guests at home. When doing so, Facundo L. Bacardi believes in having just the right setting for shaking up cocktails.

"Having a bar in your home makes it seem more of an event, as opposed to you just pulling bottles out of a cupboard," says Mr. Bacardi, chairman of the board of Bacardi Ltd. "Once I get back behind the bar, making things, it's a great place to sit and talk without the distraction of everything else in your home. It feels much more intimate to me."

In that vein, Mr. Bacardi likes having a home bar that feels like a destination. In his Coral Gables, Fla., home, the bar is located within a library-like reading room. "It looks like a club, almost," says Mr. Bacardi, who is the great-great-grandson of Bacardi Ltd. founder Don Facundo Bacardí Massó. Having a bar that is away from the hubbub of the living room or kitchen makes the time he spends with his friends focused, he says.

A traditional full-scale bar isn't necessary; a piece of furniture or some shelving can work just as well. Either way, Mr. Bacardi likes having the bar's décor blend in with its surroundings. His bar has dark oak paneling to match the walls of his reading room so "it all flows together." With a seamless look, the bar area ends up being comforting to the eye instead of jarring. An incongruous look, he says, may give off the air of "you've hired a bartender to come to the house and they're bringing their own stuff."

Although the bar counter itself is fairly small-about 4 feet across-Mr. Bacardi has it equipped with items he believes all amateur mixologists should have: a measuring cup, chopping board, a serrated knife for fruit, peelers for garnishes, a small juice press and a shaker. "There's a big difference between when you stir something versus when you shake something," he says. "The ingredients come more alive when you shake them."

The idea of a home bar goes right to the basis of rumstylin and is always a fun place to hang out.  ;o)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

At What Cost a DUI

     At what cost are you going to drive home this week from the party or your trip to the local watering hole.    The saving of a $15 to $30 cab ride, cost you $15,000 to $24,000 to clear a DUI.    This is something you have to ask yourself as we head into the biggest party week of the year.   What is your plan to get home?   

The potential costs of a DUI are staggering. From court costs, fines and attorneys’ fees, to traffic school, probation and higher insurance premiums, you can expect to pay $10,000 or more for the experience.

About the only way to avoid any of the expenses associated with a DUI is to take one of the field or chemical tests and pass. When you sign your California driver’s license you give "implied consent" to having your breath, blood or urine tested if you are pulled over on suspicion of DUI. If you refuse the test or fail it, your driver's license will be immediately suspended and you will be taken into custody. California will impose a fine and may suspend your license for refusing the test even if it’s later determined you were not driving under the influence.

You may say, “No problem, I have a good attorney.” Not so fast – even experienced DUI attorneys may not help you avoid all the costs that come with an arrest. In 2007, the last year that statistics are available, there were 203,866 arrests for DUI in California and 75% of them resulted in a conviction. 


This week there will be more road side check points and more patrolling officers looking for people who have had one to many for the road.   Don't become one of the statistics, take a cab or have another plan that doesn't include driving set up before you start the party.   I want my readers back to enjoy the fun life after the New Years parties are over.   I don't know anyone that can really afford the cost of a DUI, do you.   Lets have a safe and fun week of New Years parties and not have to pay for them for the next seven or more years.   ;o)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas in Key West

A very Merry Christmas to all on this beautiful December 25th, 2012.     My hope is that all is well with all of you and your families this morning.  It is my hope that you are with the people you love and want to be with and sharing the warmth of Christmas.

    Christmas is Christmas anywhere you happen to be.  Christmas is best when you can spend special time with friends and family.    I guess that the thing I like about Christmas in the tropics is the cool crisp air and the fact that there is NO SNOW.    Jimmy Buffett's Christmas song, "Christmas in the Caribbean" nails the idea perfectly with the verse that says "Christmas in the Caribbean got everything but snow".    Last night we all sat around the colorfully lighted boats at the docks and enjoyed the friendship that makes all of us so very happy this time of year.  The evening of Santa hats, eggnog and families joining together and sharing the Christmas spirit and having fun.  

     The real spirit of Christmas isn't lost without snow, and you get to hang out in your shorts.   This is a great thing for me, and I can watch "Holiday Inn" on the tube if I think that I really need the feeling of snow, Not.    No Matter where you are make this a very special Christmas Day and the first Christmas of the the new cycle.  ;o)


Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve: Eggnog

Eggnog is one of the great holiday drinks that you only get to enjoy once a year.    To make the eggnog yourself is best I guess , but you have to be able to spend 3 or 4 hours in the process.   I'll go to the grocery store and pick-up a quart and make the upgrades to it myself.    In the past couple of years I have been using a great spiced from made in Sarasota, Florida call Siesta Key Spiced Rum for my eggnog.  This rum has Christmas written all over it, the spices remind me of gingerbread cookies and pumpkin pie.  

Bahama Bob's Eggnog 

  • Collins glass filled 3/4 full of quality eggnog
  • 1 1/2 oz. Siesta Key Spiced Rum
  • Fresh Ground Nutmeg
  • Whipped Cream
  • Cherry on top
Add the rum to the eggnog in a shaker filled with ice and shake until chilled.  Strain into a Collins glass and grind the nutmeg on top to taste, top with whipped cream, and place a cherry in the whipped cream.  You can also garnish with a cinnamon stick.

     Enjoy you eggnog and have a very Happy Holiday.   ;o)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Winter Morning in Key West

   I know all of you up North with the snow and below freezing temperatures don't feel for us down here in the tropics when we have a cold spell.  That is unless you've been down here when we actually have one.

   It is a beautiful clear crisp morning that is a bit on the chilly side, currently 56 degrees this morning with a humidity of 69%.   The winds are calm, keeping the chill factor to a minimum. 

   By the way I'm still wearing shorts to work this morning.   Happy Sunday to all of you where ever you may be.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Source of the Rum: Sugar Cane

Slaves Cutting Cane in Trinidad
Wind Powered Cane Crusher
The history of rum ties itself to the history of sugar cane.   You go back to the 1600's and the early days of raising cane in the Caribbean and you will find the roots of rum.    The sugar cane, sugar production, and the slave trade have been at the center of the history of rum from the start.  Rum became a valuable commodity that was traded for slaves, sugar, and cash.

Santa Teresa Cane Field in Venezuela
     The by product of the sugar process is molasses, the primary ingredient in most rums.  The places you find sugar cane growing, you usually find a rum distillery.   In some of my recent trips around the Caribbean I have visited sugar cane fields and seen how it is processed for sugar and rum, but the sugar cane is the basis that is so important.   Many of the distilleries today depend on sugar cane being grown in the Dominican Republic and Brazil, but other s have their own cane fields on the grounds of the distillery.

Barbados Sugar Cane Field
     The French make their rhums kniwn as agricoles, from a documented sugar cane that is crushed and fermented, rather than using the molasses.  In Barbados, the rum is made from molasses, which makes sense because of the enormous amount of sugar processing that took place there in the early days of the island.   This is an interesting part of the rum process, because of the history involved with the development of sugar throughout the Caribbean and the tropical climate areas.  

From the sugar triangle to the modern day rum producers, the basis is still the same today as it was in the 1600's.  Sugar cane is cut, some places manually, other places by machine, hauled to a crusher and sugar is extracted.  The residue molasses is then fermented and the rum process begins.   Much is talked about in the production of rum, but the sugar cane and the molasses that comes from the sugar processing are the real heritage of the rum.  ;o)

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Beginning of a New Cycle: Hopefully and Improvement

     A lot has been bantered around about the world ending at 6:11AM EST, but it is after 8 and I can no longer procrastinate writing today's blog.   I guess the predictions are as usual a pile of "horse feathers" and we must go ahead with living as usual. 

    The truth about the Mayan Calender is that the civilization was gone before the end of their calender.   The Mayans were scientists and great observers of the things around them.   Just because the did not create a calender for the next cycle it doesn't mean that there wasn't going to be another cycle.

     This is a new cycle starting today, one that I hope will bring some sanity to this world that we live in.    It is a chance to start with a clean slate and make tings better this time around.   It is my sincere hope that people will start respecting the ways and views of others as they expect others to respect their views and ways.

    This is our new calender, it goes into effect in 11 days.   This is the time to make a sincere effort to make things better, not to just talk about it and repeat the rhetoric, it's time to "do".

    I think it is time to celebrate the new cycle and go have a  glass of nice rum add a couple of cubes and just hope that the future is brighter than the past.   ;o)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Mount Gay XOld Fashion

   A couple of weeks ago, a young lady stopped by the Rum Bar and asked for an Old Fashion.  This setme to thinking of an  idea to recreate the cocktail my way.  I thought to my self why not put a new spin on this venerable ole cocktail and make it with rum.   It dawned on me to base the "new" old fashion around Mount Gay XO Rum.   This is a rum that is bold and dark rum that is generally regarded as a sipping rum, but it has qualities that lend it to being a great ultra premium cocktail rum as well.

Bahama Bob's XOld Fashion 

  • 1 1/2 oz. Mount Gay XO
  • 1 oz. Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
  • 3/4 oz. Agave Nectar
  • 2  Maraschino Cherries
  • 1 Dash of Bitters
Muddle the agave nectar, Cherries, and the bitters in a rocks glass.  Pour the muddle into a shaker filled with ice and add the liquors.  Shake until chilled and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice.  Float an orange zest on the surface and serve.

This is a great evening cocktail that I hope you will enjoy.  ;o)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Havana Club Trademark Battle Moves to WTO

Cuba Protests Use of Havana Club Trademark by US Company
Source: Havana Times
December 18, 2012
     "Cuban diplomats registered their complaints on Monday before the Dispute Settlement Body (OSD) of the World Trade Organization in Geneva about the illegal use of the Havana Club label on rum sold in the United States, reported the Prensa Latina news agency."
     "The Cuban delegation alleges "inconsistencies" in the report presented by the US since the OSD disapproved Section 211 of the Omnibus Appropriations Act of that country. This stripes the Cuban owner of the trademark from its right to trade labels, thus allowing the Bacardi Company to use the name of the prestigious Cuban rum company."
     "The interim chargé d'affaires of the Permanent Mission of Cuba in Geneva, Nancy Madrigal, demanded once again the US repeal Section 211 and to comply with its legal obligations as a member of the World Trade Organization."
     "The Cuban position was supported by the delegations from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, India, China, Ecuador, Mexico, Uruguay, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Vietnam, South Africa and Zimbabwe."
     This is the next round for the Pernod - Ricard organization to preserve the integrity of their brand name in the US market.   After many years of their pleas falling on deaf ears in the American Court system, they have decided to take their case to the World Trade Organization.  Pernod - Ricard said that the Supreme Court decision would not be the end of this issue, and this seems to be the next strategy to protect the Havana Club Trademark.
     I really wonder why this is going on at all, it is an absolute show of disrespect for what is obviously an established brand trademark.    These actions tug at the roots of the whole purpose of the trademarks.  It is more about the politics than about a trademark, politics that should have ended many many years ago.  This whole thing has become very child like right down to the still existing embargo of Cuba.   We buy from Russia, Vietnam, and China, all countries that have done worse things to the people of the United States and more recently.  This stupidity needs to come to an end.  ;o)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Tis the Season

     Last night was the annual Hurricane Hole Christmas party, The crowd was huge and a great number of locals and employees partied on until around midnight.   It hit me last night that I had not mentioned anything about being careful and not driving to or from the holiday parties.   This is the time of year that the most DUI citations are given and there are always a large number of serious accidents that ruin the holiday season for many many people.

     "You're not paranoid, they really are out to get you. If you plan to drink during this up-coming holiday season and get behind the wheel of a vehicle, the police are determined to get you off the road".     "Yes, there are more patrolmen than usual on the highways during this time of the year. And there are more of those pesky checkpoint roadblocks set up around the area. On top of that, almost everyone on the road has a cell phone now and can report erratic driving instantly".  Read more at .

    Make your holiday season a fun one, but if you do decide to enjoy your rum or other fine spirits be responsible enough to take other transportation home.  Do not become a statistic, drinking and driving is a lose lose proposition.  
     My Friend Robert Burr in the blog he writes,   gave us a information on a program that is in effect in Georgia that simply states "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" There are many of these programs going on in all of the states.  The sign is correct, "they will see you before you see them"   Enjoy your holidays and take a taxi or have a for real designated driver.   I don't want to loose any of my readers of have them spending a year or better straightening out a mess that drunk driving got them into.

     Have a very pleasant and fun holiday season.   ;o)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Reality Has Set in

    The reality of being back home after a really fun vacation has set in.  I returned to work yesterday, and dealt with the really slow time of the year here in Key West.  Christmas shopping for the locals, and the tourists are waiting for New Years to let it all hang out down here in Key West again.

    There was a beautiful sunrise here in key west yesterday and another today.  These are the tings that get me going and make me so happy to be living down here in paradise. 

Today I'm going to be in the Rum lab playing with some "Valentine" and "Regatta" cocktails for some up coming events.  It seems so strange to be working on 2013 projects when we haven't ended 2012 yet.   This is always fun and gives me an excuse to enjoy some Mount Gay XO while I'm working out toe recipes for the Regatta Cocktails.    The Valentine Cocktails will "require" the use of Rhum Barbancourt, such a shame that I have to deal with all of these rums and rhums in the same day.    

This is the price of reality in my world and a job that I enjoy doing.  I'm just very lucky to be in this position and get to play with some of my favorite spirits on a regular basis.   This is all I have now from Key West, but as the day develops, I'll bet that there will be more things happening to brighten the day.  ;o)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sun Rise Brings Vacation to an End

The Cancun sunrise is telling me that vacation has come to an end and the reality of returning home is here.   Going back to work hits you right in the face like the brightness of the morning sun.    It isn't so bad though, it was a great vacation, but I'm ready to get back home and the fun of my everyday life.  ;o)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Xplor: The Natural Park South of Playa Del Carmen

     Just South of Playa Del Carmen  is a very unusual theme park.  Based on the natural caverns and cenotes of the Mayan Riviera there is a world of beauty, excitement, and fun.   Wandering through the miles of stalactites and stalagmites of the caverns and cenotes will hold your attention all the way through their passages.

     There are 10km of off road trails that you can drive through the jungle and into and out of the caverns.  This is a beautiful tour that is loaded with interesting plants, animals and birds.  Your travel over the 10 km of trails, you will be very busy as the trails switch back and forth through the jungle is a real joy.

If that is not enough, you can ride a raft or swim through the cenotes and explore the waterways in a barely lit maze of waterways that takes twisting  through the caves for the better part of a half hour.  There is a toll that is taken on the arms as you paddle these rafts through the waterways.   My shoulders are a bit sore today from the use of muscle that I didn't know that I had.    The aches and pains of my muscles are a small price you pay for a very worthwhile trip.

    The real excitement of the park for me was high above the jungle and the caverns.   The 14 zip lines take you from one end of the park to the other at a breakneck speed.   The serious stairways up to the top of the towers has your attention and the legs are talking to you by the time you reach the top of the tower, but immediately forgotten as you hook up on the lines and prepare for the run down to the next tower where you repeat the process again.  In all, there were 14 different zip lines, that we made 2 passes on each before the day was concluded.  Yes the legs were definitely tired, but if there would have been more time I would have gone another round, 28 rip lines in  a single day is my idea of a great day.

   If you are in the Cancun area, this is a trip you do not want to miss.  High energy fun and a great all inclusive beverage center(non-alcoholic) and restaurant.  This is not a place you want to be drinking and playing it is the formula for a disaster.  So I waited for my arrival back at the hotel and enjoyed my Havana Club 7 on the rocks and the end of another day.  ;o)

Friday, December 14, 2012

Rum Wars: Guyana Meetings of CARICOM

     At the end of the two day meetings of the  Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) of CARICOM in Georgetown, Guyana.   COTED issued the following statements.
   “In addition to being the largest agriculture-based export industry in CARICOM, the rum industry is a substantial employer and a major contributor to foreign exchange earnings and government revenues,”   "CARICOM continues to have serious concerns about the threat to the competitiveness of Caribbean rum in the United States market resulting from the massive subsidies provided by the governments of the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) and Puerto Rico to multinational rum producers in those territories."     “The nature and scale of these subsidies are such that they threaten to distort rum markets not only in the US but elsewhere,” CARICOM warned, adding that “time is not on the side of the Caribbean rum industry."   “Given the likely deleterious effect of these subsidies on the long-term viability of an industry which is of such critical importance to the economic fabric of so many countries in the region, the COTED supports strongly the deep commitment of CARICOM countries to pursuing all avenues available to secure a resolution of this matter that restores the competitive balance in the marketplace.”

Irwin LaRocque
CARICOM Secretary General Irwin LaRocque said that the rum issue, involving Diageo, the global rum producer, continues to "threaten Caribbean rum into the US market, and the leaders agreed that strong and urgent political intervention was needed to address that issue.
"There is a concern with regards to some subsidy that is being provided for Diageo, the multilateral and one of the largest rum producers which is currently located in St Croix in the US Virgin Islands," said LaRocque.
"There is an arrangement in the US government that allows for resources to be provided based on the exports of rum from the Virgin Islands, but more than that the resources are being used to provide a direct subsidy for a modern rum factory that is being constructed in St Croix," he added.
In August,  the UK-based Diageo reportedly warned that should CARICOM mounts a complaint to the World Trade Organization (WTO) over the alleged subsidies it would  ‘re-evaluate’ its Caribbean interests.
Diageo has denied ‘flooding’ the US market and has defended the US governments 100 year old “cover over” programme, which it said granted the USVI and Puerto Rico much-needed revenues to promote economic stability and fiscal autonomy.
     The issue doesn't seem to be getting the attention of the American administration, even though the calls for a dialog with Washington.    This is an issue that just doesn't see to be going away soon even if Washington does keep ignoring it.    I don't mean to sound trite about this, but we have enough problems with our own rum producing companies here within the boundaries of the United States, and here we are supporting the largest rum producer in the world and a British  company at that.   There is no subsidy being set to the rum producers here within the United Stat es, but we can afford to send the money to foreign companies.   There is surely a problem here that needs our attention. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Early Departure for South of Playa del Carmen

  Thursday morning and it is off to Xplor just South of Playa del Carmen.   This means that I have to write the blog tonight,  I'm just writing a little something to let you know that I think about the blog even on vacation. 
     Today we had a bit of rain and cloudiness, a perfect day to work on the book.  I spent the better part of the day collating the components of the book into a somewhat ordered piece.   For what time I could get out, I did walk along the beach for a while and later on managed to sip a couple of glasses of Havana Club just to help chill.   

    Anyway, that is about it for day five of my vacation, tomorrow is off road vehicles and zip lines, should be a blast.  Will let you know on Friday.  ;o)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Sun, Surf, and Havana Club 7

     Vacation time allow the mind to wander and enjoy the beauty that is often not noticed as we hurry through life.    Sitting on the veranda overlooking the Caribbean, I seem to be noticing many things that I miss when back at home and in the midst of my "normal" daily routine.    It could be the rum and the relaxation, but more than anything, it is the lack of a schedule that forces me to be in so many places at certain times.  

    Relaxing and a bottle of Havana Club 7 makes for a pretty nice afternoon.   The sun filtering in through the veranda walls and the steady rumblings of the ocean rushing against the shore makes for an afternoon that just sends me off into a series of short naps and awakenings.   These make for a revitalization that I so needed.

     Rum, surf and sunshine the perfect vacation.   There is nothing to take seriously, but the sheer beauty of the picture infront of me makes me very happy and my time here very worthwhile.    I know, you don't need to be in Cancun to relax like this, there are times that I can accomplish the same feeling on days off on the back of the boat.  It is more about the letting go and allowing yourself to unwind.   ;o)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Ron Mocambo 20 Anos and the Caribbean

 The second full day in Cancun found me taking a trip down to the malls of the "Zona Hotelera" looking for something in a good Mexican rum.   At the little tequila museum in the Kukulkacan Mall, I found the a bottle of "Ron Mocambo 20 Anos Edicion de Arte".  This is in my opinion the finest rum that comes from Mexico.   The day was spent traipsing through the various malls and shops in the "Hotel Zone" in search of some new rums.    There are a thousand or more tequilas, but very few rums, especially ones that are made here in Mexico.
     The Mocambo 20 Anos is a relatively dark mahogany colored rum with a slightly woody almost desert dusty and semi sweet eye opening aroma that leads to an aged oakey flavor that is only the start of a leathery tobacco flavors that hit the back of your mouth.   The rum is dry on the finish and still has the smokey taste that led you from the palate.   All in all this is a really enjoyable rum as I sit on the veranda of the room overlooking the ocean.
     Today is one of the days that as usual, clouds up in the afternoon and makes for a perfect atmosphere to just relax and enjoy the tantalizing flavors of the Mocambo along with the company of good friends make for a very enjoyable afternoon.  This is really what a vacation is really all about.  The rest, the seeing of things that I want to see when I want to see them, and no schedule to follow.    I try very hard to keep this that way with out being carried here and there on tours, appointments, or other obligations.  It is what I want to experience on my own terms.   ;o)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Morning Along the Beach

    The wonderful thing about being on vacation is the freedom to follow your whims.   This morning I decided to walk the beach just after sun up and see what I could find before the sun bathers took over the beach.    The fun part of hitting the beach early is that you get to leave your footprints in a clean slate of sand.     Just being the first on the freshly erased sand that the surf freshly cleaned just for me to leave my mark on.    The great thing is that I am just leaving foot prints behind, nothing else.

     The surf is always putting on a wonderful show for me as I walk down the sand and see it spray as the waves ebb and flow over the rocks just off of the beach.    This is what the beach really offers, drawing me to just wander farther and farther down the sand along with the occasional bird flying overhead.   I think why do so many people go the hotels and resorts to watch the man-made water features, when mother nature has it all over the artificial water wonders.  Off of the rocks comes little waterfalls and rivers of water that are left behind as the waves retreat.   These provide a wonderful visual effect that is continuously changing and never seems to repeat.

     Then there are the birds.   This morning the Frigates were riding the air currents above as I ambled down the beach.   The birds look like something out of a prehistoric time, but have the ability to snatch fish from the ocean more efficiently than most any other.

    This has been such a beautiful morning, one of relaxation and pleasure for me.   Today is part of a week that I hope continues to give me such pleasure and chill as the first full day here in Cancun has.   The sun, the sea, the birds and the friends, all make for a great and relaxing day.  The Havana Club on the rocks hasn't hurt the experience at all either.     ;o)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Cancun and Rum Day One ;o)

Day one after several hours of travel to Miami by car and then Airborne to Cancun, I'm at the Sun Palace in Cancun.    Check-in behind me, it is off to the Lobby Bar and some rum that I don' get everyday in America.    " Havana Club Anejo Especial" and a couple of cubes of ice, just what a weary traveler's tired body needs.    After a few of these it is time for a meal and then some more of the spirits.

     I was disappointed that the only Havana Club was the anejo especial, I was hoping for Havana Club 7 Year.  The surprise was how good it was as a sipper.  I've only had the Anejo Especial as a mixer in a mojito's or daiquiri when I was in Cuba.  i had to try it again just to make sure that I wasn't in denial, but after three or so I was sure that it was a very good sipping rum after all.   A few good friends and a bottle of Havana Club makes for a really relaxing afternoon. 

    We got a chance to talk and wonder the grounds of the resort enjoying the rum before supper time.   After dinner it was back to the Lobby Bar and a chance to enjoy another of the rums that I don't find in Key West.   Bacardi Ron Solera is a fine smokey rum that I only seem to be able to enjoy when I am in Mexico.    The rum, the friends and a really great atmosphere make for a wonderful evening to relax and begin a vacation.    

    The 4am rising, the travel, and the rum makes for an early evening and it was off to sleeping time.   The vacation is underway and I'm looking forward to my first full day overlooking the Western Caribbean and by the way did I mention sipping some really good rum.   Today I am going out to "research" the local rum scene in the land of Tequila and see where the rums can be found locally.    The "adventure" continues tomorrow.  ;o)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Cancun Travel Day

   Today is a travel day for me headed to Cancun  for my VACATION!!!!!!
I will be posting as usual, but the subject matter is up for grabs as I don't know what I may be doing or seeing to write about.

The Rummy Quintet:  Karaoke Style

Mount Gay Extra Old: The Mixer?

     Mount Gay Extra Old is one of the premier rums on the market today.  It is known for it's sipping qualities and the bold taste of wood, fruit and spice with a long lasting warm finish.   This rum is an excellent mixer as well.  It adds a boldness to ultra premium cocktails that is missing with many other rums.    It fits well with the back deck of the boat at sunset or on a starry moon lit night in a snifter and a couple of ice cubes, but it fits there in a fine cocktail as well.

     In preparation for the Yacht Races in Key West we are developing a few new cocktails with Mount Gay Extra Old.    These are cocktails that will be available at the Rum Bar in Key West in the evening during the races, January 15 - 20, 2013.

Regatta Daiquiri
  • 2 oz. Mount Gay Extra Old Rum
  • 1/2 oz. Triple Sec
  • 1/2 oz. Luxardo
  • 1/2 oz. Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 oz. Agave Nectar
  • 2 Dashes of Bitters
Place all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake until chilled, strain into a Martini Glass and garnish with an orange slice.

Mount Gay Elder
  • 2 oz. Mount Gay Extra Old Rum
  • 1/2 oz. St. Germain
  • 1 Dash of Bitters
Place all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake until chilled, strain into a rocks glass and garnish with a lime slice.

     There will be one or two more that will be served, but I'll save them for another day.   Try these at home or stop by the Rum Bar during the races and I'll be glad to make them for you.