Monday, September 30, 2013

Dockside Mai Tai

     We are headed for the final tepid days of fall and into the chilly days of winter.  Here is an idea for a dockside of poolside cocktail that has it's roots in the 50's.  This is a simple recipe that doesn't require a lot of expensive or hard to find ingredients.   You can sit on the aft deck and watch the sunset as you enjoy this very tasty cocktail.    Don't get carried away with new ideas on this vintage cocktail until you make it like it was suppose to be made and you enjoy the classic refreshing flavor.   Fee Brothers Orgeat is available at many liquor stores and Sugar in the Raw Syrup is usually right above Sugar in the Raw in the sugar section of your local grocery store.

Dockside Mai Tai

·         1 1/2 oz. White  Rum

·         1 1/2 oz. Dark Rum

·         1 oz. Orgeat Syrup

·         1 oz. Triple Sec

·         1/4 oz. Sugar in the Raw Syrup

·         1/2 oz. Fresh Lime Juice (Squeeze it)

·         Splash of Club Soda 

Place all ingredients except the Club Soda in a shaker filled with ice and shake thoroughly.   Strain into a cocktail glass filled with ice.   Garnish with an orange zest, a lime and a sprig of mint.
     Sit back and enjoy the end of the warm for another year.   ;o)

Sunday, September 29, 2013


     Reflections are a very important part of our lives.  They show us how things are from the other side.  There is an intrinsic beauty that we see in the reflection of the sky in the water or yourself in the mirror.   Your reflection on your life will guide you through the next portion of life and make things better if you listen then act.  ;o)

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Taildrager Amber Rum: Pure Rum Personified

Vintage Taildragger, brings back thoughts of Amber Rum
  Taildragger Amber is pure rum personified, It is distilled then aged for six months in rye whiskey barrels and bottled.  There is no filtering to take the flavor or color out of it.   Made from a high grade "Cane Juice Molasses" (first boil in the sugar process) to attain a bit of the agricole style flavor to the expression.   You can smelt he grassy aromas of Taildragger Amber right off the bat.

     This is a rum that will take you to a remote isle in the Caribbean and offers you the feeling of freedom and escape that keeps you in a great and happy mood.   Taildragger Amber is a small batch, hand crafted rum that gives you flavors that can only be achieved through this method of distillation.

     This is a fine young rum, you can pick up aromas of grassy cane, caramel, nuts, dried bananas and some other spices.  On the palate, it has a very smooth, fruity, medium bodied flavor, and slides into a somewhat dry or maybe semi sweet finish. 

     Taildragger Amber is good replacement for white rum in many traditional rum cocktails including Cuba Libre's, Mojito's, or Daiquiri's.   I feel that this very shippable rum, I like it best with a cube or two of ice to open up the flavor and sets the mood for an easy relaxing evening of the aft deck at sunset.  ;o)

Friday, September 27, 2013

Best Ways to Get the Barman's Attention

     According to a group of German behavioural scientists, body language rather than waiving arms or wallets will get you noticed faster.     I know that waiting for your cocktail in a busy bar environment can be very frustrating.   As a barman, I know that my focus has to be split between making the drinks to my high standards and keeping track of who is next to be served.     When the bar is full and there are a lot of people wanting their drinks, there are almost always the impatient ones who try to but in ahead of so many others.     Most of them show their impatience with their body language, usually shoulders back and crossed arms, but it is of no avail for me I believe first in first out.   The bar I work at is a "crafts cocktail bar", meaning the cocktails take a bit longer to create.  If the people in their are impatient, they in the wrong place.  It is like a good restaurant, quality takes a little more time and there are no short cuts.

     The study showed that the most effective method of getting the barman's attention is to "belly up" to the bar and turn towards the barman.   In my own experience I find it hard at times to tell who is next, if there are a few spaces at the bar, someone will crowd in and complicate the process of determining who is actually next.  The waiver I find to be very aggravating,  usually they are the ones that have no respect for others and of the "Me" beliefs.  Even if you take care of them out of sequence they rarely tip or even say "thanks". I tend to ignore a person waiving their hands behind several people that are patiently waiting their turns there is no gain, I really might even skip over them when it is actually their turn because the aggravated me.  .

Tough crowd
    The study used a robot barman to collect the data and of the 150 customers the robot waited on in Edinburgh, UK, Herford and Bielfeld, 
Germany, only 15 waived their wallets and 25 gestured to the barman.   90% were content to work their way up to the bar and watch the barman until they could be waited on.   One of the other problems in a bar is that it is sometimes hard to distinguish between those who are just standing and talking and those that wish to be served.  This is also complicated by the dim lighting, noise and multiple customers all competing for the attention of the barman.   The process almost becomes a contest to see who can get the barman's attention first.  

     I try to keep the guests in the order that they arrive, but there are times especially when there is a large order that requires complicated cocktails to be made and a big crowd in the bar, I loose track of who is truly next.   It is usually the body language that will get my attention next, but there might be a pretty lady that holds my eye as well.  All I can say is that if you are a little patient, after all if you are in a bar on an island, you should be able to slow down to "Island Time" and enjoy the experience.  Quality cocktails take a little more time, be patient, the wait is worthwhile for what you will receive.  ;o)



Thursday, September 26, 2013

Cocktails that Replace Vodka with Rum

     The cocktail books are loaded with recipes that are made with vodka that can be greatly improved with the use of the right rum instead of vodka.   One rum comes to mind for this purpose.  That one is Brugal Especial Extra Dry.

     I was first introduced to the Brugal Especial Extra Dry rum a little over a year ago at the Miami Rum Renaissance Festival.   This is a great rum for cocktails that call for vodka or white rum.   Extra Dry is for the person that likes a very dry premium cocktail and not one with all of the added caramel, vanilla or sugar that many of the white rums are using these days.  Extra Dry is a clean pure rum perfect for your most discriminating cocktails.

     "A cask-aged white rum that lives up to the dry Brugal house style, Brugal Extra Dry invites one to rethink his or her perception not only of white rum, but of rum in general. Brugal’s proprietary double-distillation technique creates a dry and clean spirit with fewer of the heavy alcohols that lend other rums their sweeter profiles. This blend of rums – aged a minimum of 2 years up to 5 years in White American Oak casks – is triple charcoal filtered to achieve exquisite clarity and conjures a velvety mouth feel as a result of an exceptional aging process."
     Two Cocktails come to mind when I think about Brugal Especial Extra Dry, The Brugal Cosmo and a Extra Dry Dirty Martini.
Brugal Cosmo
  • 2 oz. Brugal Especial Extra Dry Rum
  • 1 oz. Cointreau
  • Splash of Cranberry Juice 
  • Juice of 1/2 Lime
Place all ingredients into a shaker filled with ice and shake until chilled.  Strain into a Martini Glass and garnish with an orange zest.
Extra Dry Dirty Martini
  • 2 oz. Brugal Especial Extra Dry Rum
  • 1 oz. Extra Dry Vermouth
  • 2 table spoons of Olive Juice
Place all ingredients into a shake and shake until really cold.   Strain into a Martini Glass and garnish with two olives.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Day Off, What to Do in Key West

     I'm now working Thursday through Sunday at the Rum Bar here in Key West.   This will allow me some more time to get out on the water and do more of the photography and exploration that I enjoy so much.   It will allow more research into the many rums that I have not explored as well.   Today is my first day off Wednesday, and I'm sitting here trying to figure out what to do with a day that starts with such a beautiful sunrise.    

     I know that I have a few honey do's to take care of, but after I get that under control, it is  water time.   This extra day is a very welcome thing for me, it provides the time to collect more items and ideas on which to base my writings.  

     Here lately it has been too much rum stuff that  has dominated the blog recently and not enough of the fun low latitude lifestyle.  I'm really pleased that I will be able to drift back to the fun of the islands for some more subject matter.   Come along with me over the next few months as I get to explore things that I've missed in the past few years.  ;o)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Taildragger Coffee Rum

Taildragger Coffee Rum
     Tailwinds Distilling Company has introduced their new coffee rum.   Taildragger Coffee Rum is truly a great flavored rum.  It offers the dark brown color of a fine cup of coffee and the aroma to match.  The taste reminds me of a cup of "Café Cubano".  It has that Cuban coffee strength and aroma that takes me to the mornings in Havana.  

     It is mellow on the palate, and finishes with a rich dark coffee flavor that seems to linger for a long time.   I'm liking this one very much and have all ready put it to work this morning.   It immediately made me think of my friend Gayle Seale and how much she enjoys a coffee cocktail in the mornings.  

Rise and Shine Cocktail
  • 2 oz. Taildragger Coffee Rum
  • 1/2 oz. Amaretto
  • 1 oz. Rum Chata
Place all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice and shake until chilled.  Strain into a Martini Glass and top with fresh ground nutmeg and a cinnamon stick.

Give this new coffee expression a try, I think you will enjoy the rich flavor that will really linger for quite a long while.  ;o)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Don Pancho Manhattan

     The Manhattan was a very popular cocktail during the 1930's and 40's.  You would hear many calls for them from the customers at the bar as you wet to order.   This is another of those cocktails that has a varied history as to it's origin.  

    According to Wikipedia, this is how it goes.    A popular history suggests that the drink originated at the Manhattan Club in New York City in the early 1870s, where it was invented by Dr. Iain Marshall for a banquet hosted by Jennie Jerome (Lady Randolph Churchill, Winston's mother) in honor of presidential candidate Samuel J. Tilden. The success of the banquet made the drink fashionable, later prompting several people to request the drink by referring to the name of the club where it originated "the Manhattan cocktail.    However, Lady Randolph was in France at the time and pregnant, so the story is likely a fiction.   The original "Manhattan cocktail" was a mix of "American Whiskey, Italian Vermouth and Angostura bitters".    During Prohibition (1920–1933) Canadian whisky was primarily used because it was what was available.[9]

Francisco "Don Poncho" Fernandez
However, there are prior references to various similar cocktail recipes called "Manhattan" and served in the Manhattan area.    By one account it was invented in the 1860s by a bartender named Black at a bar on Broadway near Houston Street. An early record of the cocktail can be found in William Schmidt's "The Flowing Bowl", published in 1891. In it, he details a drink containing 2 dashes of gum (simple syrup), 2 dashes of bitters, 1 dash of absinthe, 2/3 portion of whiskey and 1/3 portion of vermouth.
Here is my idea on the cocktail, make it with Panama Red, an overproof rum from Francisco Don Poncho Fernandez, who by the way is having his 75th Birthday this week.
Don Pancho Manhattan
  • 2 oz. Panama Red Overproof Rum
  • 1 oz. Sweet Vermouth
  • 1 Dash of Bitters
Place all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice, shake until thoroughly chilled and strain into a Martini Glass.  Garnish with a stemmed Maraschino Cherry.
     Happy Birthday Don Pancho, sorry that my schedule would not allow my visit to Panama for your birthday.   Keep these fine rums of yours coming, they are the finest and we look forward to your next creations.   ;o)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Happy First Day of Fall

   Sunday Mornings arrive here in Key West in some of the most beautiful ways.  Seeing the sun rise around here just really makes my day.   I guess it was because I was thinking of the mid sixty's and visiting Fairbanks, Alaska and the idea of no sun rise for three plus months.  Happy to be where I am and enjoying the warmth of the sun and the first day of Fall here in the Keys.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

How to Sweeten a Tart Cocktail

     There is a dilemma that come up anytime that you need to make a cocktail sweeter.  How do I do it?   Sugar, Honey, Agave Nectar, Cane Syrup, Maple Syrup or Orgeat, all of these are very viable methods of sweetening your cocktail.   One thing to keep in mind is what are you trying to do with the taste of the cocktail.  Each of the sweeteners have different taste characteristics and will add an amount of flavor to the cocktail in addition to sweetening it.  

Maple Syrup
      Agave Nectar, Cane Syrup or Sugar will sweeten the blend while adding very little to the taste of the cocktail, but sugar has a price the next morning in the form of the dreaded hang over.    Honey can be hard to get to dissolve in an alcohol environment, but like sugar adds only a subtle flavor to the mix.    Molasses and Orgeat both add  a noticeable flavor to the cocktail, that is not necessarily a bad thing, but be aware that this does happen.

Agave Nectar
     In my mind, there are two very good options for sweetening without adding a lot of extra flavors.  These are Sugar Cane syrup, and Agave Nectar, both will sweeten in a very subtle manner with a more natural sweetness to the cocktail.    Both mix very readily with alcoholic blends and do so very quickly.

     When it is time to sweeten think about what you really are looking for when you sweeten.  All of the options have their uses and all do the job differently.   Experiment with different sweeteners and see which gives you the taste that you are looking for in your cocktails.   ;o)

Friday, September 20, 2013

El Presidente, a Prohibition Era Cuban Cocktail

     During the years of American Prohibition, many thing happened in order for Americans to enjoy their tipple.  Some resorted to "moonshining", "rum running" and others just sailed or flew off to Cuba and enjoyed their cocktails where they were legal.    Just 90 miles south of Key West, this was an ideal place to go for all of the fun of "Vegas" and the cocktails that the "American desert" couldn't provide.

    There was a lot of advertising money being put into this idea by Bacardi and Pan American Airways during this time.  It was a perfectly legal method to provide a safe haven for those that enjoyed the fun of a great cocktail and great entertainment during the dry years in America.   Havana was the "Las Vegas" of that era and not only served some of the best cocktails in the world at that time, but offered gambling and extravagant shows as well.

     One of the cocktails that came from the prohibition Era in Cuba was the El Presidente.  This cocktail's origin is basically unknown, but by some it is believed to have been created by and American Barman, Eddie Woelke while working at the Jockey Club in Havana.   It was a tribute to Presidente Gerardo Machado, the ruler of Cuba during the Prohibition years.

     There is a recipe for the El Presidente in a 1935 menu from the La Floridita, this one seems to be the most likely for a cocktail of that era.  In some of the later recipes I've seen the addition of grenadine and a few other items, the cocktails of that era were a bit dryer than that.  Any way here is the one from circa 1935.

El Presidente 
  • 2 oz.  Aged Rum (in those days most likely Bacardi)
  • 1 oz. Dry Vermouth
  • 1/4 oz. Orange Curacao (Cointreau or Grand Marnier good too)
Place all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice and shake until fully chilled. Strain into a chilled Martini Glass an garnish with an orange zest that is squeezed above the glass before being dropped in.

Take a trip back to the prohibition Era and visit Havana vicariously with an El Presidente using the recipe from the era.  ;o)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Bike Week Gets Underway Today in Key West

     The 41st Annual Phil Peterson's Key West Poker Run and Key West Bikeweek all start today.   Running through Sunday there is a full schedule of events happening all over town.  For the complete "Agenda" check out      This site has all of the information that you need to keep abreast of the fun.

This evening beginning at 5:00 pm is the 6th Annual Bike Week Bar Stroll & Upper Duval Crawl. It starts at 5:00 pm at Southernmost Beach Café at the end of Duval Street on the Atlantic.
For $25 you get a T-Shirt and a map of the 10 participating bars that you stroll to and receive a free drink. For more info call 305-296-6577 or    The Rum Bar is a part of this fun event and you would be remiss to have missed all of the fun of the opening night of the 2013 Bikeweek.

    The week offers numerous events throughout the city and you really don't want to miss any of them.  Come on down to Key West and become a part of all of the shenanigans and the color of thousands of bikes stretched up and down Duval Street this weekend.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Vintage 1930's and 1940's Cocktails with a Rum Touch

Clark Gable and Constance Bennett in Office After Hours
     The idea of revisiting the 1930's or 1940's through cocktails is a really fun one.  I only have one problem with doing this, most of the cocktails of that era were based on Gin.  There were some rum and whiskey cocktails, but most of that era was gin based.

    It was an era of glamorous movie stars and flapper dresses, and tied together with depression era dancing, canapes and big band swing  jazz.   Cocktails for the most part were served in Martini Glasses and had a very strong glamorous look to them with unique garnishes.

     Again I would like to take two of the more famous cocktails from the era and make them into a rum cocktail.

     The Manhattan was a very popular cocktail of the era that was made with rye whiskey.  I think that if you use a rum like Abuelo 12 or 7 year old rum this will be a really nice cocktail.

Abuelo Manhattan

  • 2 1/4 oz. Abuelo 7 Year Old Rum
  • 1 oz. Sweet Red Vermouth
  • Dash of Bitters
Place all ingredients into a shaker filled with ice and shake until chilled. Strain into a Martini Glass and garnish with a cherry.

Plantation Sidecar

  • 1 oz. Plantation Barbados 2000 Rum
  • 1 oz. Cointreau
  • 1 oz. Lemon Juice
Place all ingredients into an ice filled shaker and shake until chilled.  Strain into a sugar in the raw rimmed Martini Glass and garnish with a lemon zest or an orange .

Give both of these a try, I think you enjoy revisiting the Big Band Jazz era with the help of some very fine rums.  Rums carry the notes of the original spirits, then add a certain sweetness that the whiskey lacks.   Enjoy these cocktail when you get an opportunity

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Color Season is Fast Approaching

Gatlinburg In Fall
     If there is one thing that I miss living in the perpetual land of summer is the beautiful vistas of fall in North Carolina.     Going up in the mountains around Ashville and seeing Mother Natures tapestry of reds, yellows and oranges painted all over the mountain.   It was always fun to jump in the car and drive up Interstate 40 and see all of the splendor of fall.  I can remember going to Gatlinburg and taking the tram up to the top of the mountain, looking down on the color of the valley and just being absolutely in awe of the visions.

Royal Poinciana in Bloom
    I guess that living in any area has it perks and it's price for living there.  I do miss all of the beautiful colors of fall up North.  Down here we have color season the summer when the Royal Poinciana's goes into bloom.  Flying into Key West is like having a red carpet rolled out in front of you on final approach to the Key West Airport.    Up North the wide spread color even reaches  into my back yard where I had over an acre of deciduous trees, this made the yard absolutely gorgeous for about 2 weeks.   Then the leaves fell on the ground and I had to rake up that acre of leaves.  Not so pretty then, especially when spring came and I had to shovel all of the mulch back out into the gardens to make the plants and leaves grow again so I could repeat the process the following fall.

    I guess that you get to choose what is really more important to you, for me I'll take the summer blossoms of the tropical trees and living where it is warm year round.   By the way those Royal Poinciana blossoms fall on the ground too, yes and they have to be raked and swept up as well.   I guess that is the real price for the beauty that you behold.  ;o)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Like Fine Wine, Hangovers Get Better With Age

I ran across this great little article in "The Huffington Post" and thought you might enjoy reading all about it.

Many older people report being unable to bounce back from a night of drinking as quickly as they did when they were younger.

But, contrary to popular belief, older people actually are less likely than younger people to complain of a hangover following a night of drinking, according to a new study from Denmark.

Researchers looked at the drinking habits of 52,000 people aged between 18 and 94, which included how often they experienced a hangover after binge drinking -- defined as consuming more than 5 alcoholic drinks in one sitting. They found that people are not as prone to hangovers after binge drinking as they age.

Janne S. Tolstrup, a research program director at the University of Southern Denmark, noted that this is the only really large population-based study that has included information on hangovers.

Hangovers are characterized by headaches, exhaustion and queasiness. And the cause is primarily dehydration.

"We found that the tendency to have hangovers decreased by increasing age," Tolstrup said in a press release. "The first explanation that pops up is that this finding would be due to differences in drinking pattern in different age groups.

"However, trying to account for such differences as much as we could, did not even out the differences in hangover tendency," she said. "In other words, while it is true that older individuals on average binge-drink less often than younger individuals, we did not find in our data that results were due to differences in drinking patterns."

According to the research, the chances of experiencing a hangover after binge drinking were 11 times greater among men aged between 18 and 29 compared with men aged 60 or over. For women, the chances of experiencing a hangover were 8 times greater among those 18 to 29 compared to those 60 or over.

I found this to be true about myself , I have not really had a hangover for several years.  I have always attributed it to the fact that I am drinking a higher quality spirit these days, but I can accept age has something to do with it as well.  ;o)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Big Sails on the Waters

     I had some friends by yesterday at the Bar and the thoughts of sailing season started coming to mind.   I member a day out on the waters in America 2 enjoying the races and the sights of all the sales in the air pushing the boats around.  All of the antics of the crews to get into the positions they needed to be in for the start and through out the races.   ;o)

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Adding Rum to the Vintage Cocktail Recipe

     Most of the pre-war vintage cocktails are based upon Gin, Whiskey and Vodka, but with the properly selected rum, you can create a modern version of these classics that is very fine tasting and maybe even an improvement over the original.    I have been doing some experimenting with this idea for about a year now and I've found that many of these classic cocktails translate very well to the replacement of vodka or bourbon with the correct selection of rum.   

     I have had a good success using the classic Old Fashion recipe, replacing the bourbon with several different rums like Mount Gay XO or Black Barrel, Zafra, or Abuelo 7 Year.  This has worked very well on many occasions.  Today we are going to take another Classic cocktail and do a rum make over.

     The Morning Glory Cocktail first seen in the late 1880's, was a common cure for a hangover.  It is a basic cocktail that is based on some very strong spirits.   It starts with Rye and Cognac a bit of sugar and a trace of curacao for flavor and a softening of the cocktail and a couple of dashes of bitters for medicinal purposes and topped with a few drops of Absinthe and a splash of soda.  This drink was known to be soothing and yet it would go down easily the morning after.

   My idea is similar with a few small adjustments to bring it into my world of rum.

Panama Morning Glory Cocktail

  • 1 oz. Zafra Rum
  • 1 oz. Cognac
  • 1 tsp. Cane syrup (or simple syrup)
  • 1/2 tsp. Cointreau (or Triple sec)
  • 2 dashes of bitters
  • 2 drops  Absinthe (Don't get carried away)
  • 1 oz. chilled Club Soda
  • Strip of Lemon Zest
Mix all ingredients except the club soda and the lemon zest in a shaker filled with ice.  Shake until chilled, and strain into a rocks glass and top with club soda.  Garnish with a strip of lemon zest .

     This is a fun cocktail, that has its roots in the earliest days of cocktailing with a new twist of quality rum.   Give it a try, you will really

Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday 13 September, 2013

    Friday the 13th,  with a second 13 in it.    This should be an interesting day, I'm not really superstitious, but a double 13 on the same Friday.   I guess it is a day to put your best foot forward and charge straight ahead into it with a huge smile.  That usually does the trick, it will drive those who are having a bad day crazy and give me a way to avoid all of the negative energy.

     If you go at it with a positive aura the day will be just wonderful, but if you become one of the evil thoughts types you might find yourself face to face with your old buddy "Jason" and probably not have a very good day.

    Just look at this one a being just another fun day and come down to the Rum Bar and enjoy the day with me and the 235 bottles of fine rum that I have there to make the day very special.  This day will be as good as you make it, so lets get out and have a really fun Friday the 13th of September, 2013. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

How Does Rum Present Itself?

     The world of rum dredges up nautical and adventuresome images, that is what the "Madison Avenue" types are focused on when they pour out the rum ads.    Rum has the image of a sexy and exciting outlaw spirit.  It is thought of with the idea of getting you away from the city and the doldrums of life, getting you into the high seas adventures of pirates and other swashbucklers.  There is also the whimsical side of rum as well, like the 10 Cane ad on the right.

    Cruzan takes a look at the dramatic in their ads of high drama flying.  Both of these ads are geared to get your adrenaline pumping and headed out to purchase their spirit.   I truly mean spirit, not only is rum the spirit of the sugar cane, but a spirit of the mind as well.  It has the spirit of adventure and all of the fun that is associated with it.

     There is a truly sexy side of rum as well.  The pirate wench, the lovely salsa dancers of the Caribbean or the Polynesian hula girls of the Pacific.   The lure of the opposite sex is always a part of any ad campaign, and especially one that rum is a part of.

     Even the ads during Prohibition that lured the rum lover to an exotic time in Havana and a chance to enjoy their Bacardi brought the visions of an adventure in a far away place and a chance to skirt the law and enjoy the "demon rum" that the states had outlawed.  Pan American Airways and Bacardi teamed up to lure the prosperous Americans to Havana for rum, gambling, extravagant shows and a bit of larceny.

     Today it is still much of the same, and the ads that you remember are the sexy adventuresome ones that get your imagination going and take you to a place with "Jack Sparrow" or "Gilligan" on an abandon island with Ginger and Maryanne.   Isn't a wonderful spirit that does all this for us and we don't even have to leave the house to enjoy it.  ;o)


Wednesday, September 11, 2013


     September 11, 2001, a day that to this very day really haunts me.   I can't believe as I was measuring a chassis that would be driven by Jimmy Johnson in the Busch Race the next weekend, the crew chief came in and dragged me over in front of the shop TV and I saw a rerun of the first plane hitting the tower, and then it cut to live and the second one hit.   It was like a bad movie.

     The sad part of the whole thing is we have gotten totally involved again in someone else's problems and twelve years later we are still loosing American lives without solving a single problem.

     Always remember, but it is time to memorialize the losses and move ahead.  It is time to leave the revenge in the past and make progress again.   It is a lot like Pearl Harbor, we memorialize our losses and quit looking for more blame.  ;o)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A New Artisan Louisiana Rum

     Rank Wildcat Spirits  from Acadiana, Louisiana is hitting the ground running as one of the newest artisan rum producers. Founded in the middle of 2011, David Meaux and Cole LeBlanc  decided to open their distillery.  They have created their little niche in a very impressive manner, including the making of their own still (Lulu) and virtually all of their other equipment.  Then most importantly they created their rum in their own way also.   This is a true grass roots operation that had to create all of the equipment, contacts and formulas with out any outside influence.

M.A. Patout and Sons Sugar Mill
    It was really important that all of the raw materials were gotten from the local area assuring the legitimization of the grassroots Acadiana rum.   All of the cane juice and raw sugar is supplied by M.A. Patout and Sons LTD in Acadiana, this is one of the largest sugar mills in Louisiana.   First opened in 1825, the family owned and operated sugar mill fits the bill perfectly for this local rum producing operation.

David Meaux and Cole LeBlanc
     "Sweet Crude Rum" is the result of their trial and error method of creating a rum that met their tastes and the tastes of the community.   Sweet Crude has an all natural flavor with nothing added to enhance or change the rum.   This is an all natural product and they are extremely proud of that fact.   In fact it is 100% gluten free.   There is a smooth sweet richness  to this rum that comes only through a tightly controlled process and a small batch operation.  

     The future will bring about an aged expression that will tentatively be called
"Black Gold".  The small operation sees this coming in its future, but only when it is to their high standards.  The art of barreling and blending has to be learned before they will be able to accomplish this portion of the art.    If you are in Louisiana, see if you can find a bottle of this fine artisan spirit.  ;o)