Monday, June 30, 2014

Celebrities on Drinking.

     I have always found that celebrities have a different way of looking at drinking, and their expressions of their feelings about the subject can be very amusing.   I find that many of the quips that come from the mouths of celebs can make a lot of sense as well.  For instance Ernest Hemingway, one of the foremost drinkers in the world, said "Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk.  That will teach you to keep your mouth shut".  This is very sound advise, if followed you can save yourself a lot of embarrassing moments.

     Others are just humorous, Frank Sinatra once said, "I feel sorry
for people that don't drink.  When the wake up in the morning, that is as good as they're going to feel all day."  True, but kind of funny anyway.  Dean Martin is credited with saying " If you drink, don't drive, don't even putt".   George Burns, always witty said, "It takes only one drink to get me drunk, the trouble is I can't remember if it is the thirteenth or the fourteenth."   If you don't like taking "responsibility for your own actions, George Gobel's quote, "I've never been drunk, but often overserved" is very fitting.

    Drinking and politics are a good source for good drinking quotes as
well.  Barry Goldwater was credited with saying, " If everyone in this town connected with politics had to leave town because of chasing women and drinking, you would have no government."  

  Dorothy Parker, an American poet, short story writer, critic and satirist, best known for her wit, wisecracks, and eye for 20th century urban foibles also had a few interesting quotes about drinking.  "I love to drink martinis, two at the very most, three I'm under the table, and four I'm under the hose,"

    Then there were the "philosophers on drinking, Louis Pasteur, A bottle of wine contains more philosophy than all the world's books."  James Thurber is quoted as saying, "One martini is alright, two is too many, and three in never enough"

     W.C. Field had a philosophy on everything drinking, but I think his line "Twas a woman that drove me to drink, and I never had the courtesy to thank her", that really summed up his position.  His opinions on the economy were apparent also with "The cost of living has gone up another dollar a quart".

     One of my personal favorite lines about drinking comes from an old Willie Nelson Song, "I Gotta Get Drunk".  The line is "There's more old drunks  than there are old doctors, so I guess we better have another round".  ;o)


Sunday, June 29, 2014

Are We There Yet?

     Summer time in the tropics means pop up thunder storms, almost any time on any day.  The can be very ominous looking as they approach and very wet when they arrive,  fortunately I got home before this one hit me while I was on the highway.   A few drops on the windshield and we were through it as it passed to the north of us.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

World Cup Soccer, Olympics and Cachaca

A Brazilian Spirit Aims for Global Market


Can Cachaça, a Sugar-Cane Drink, Survive Tourist Mispronunciations? 

Jeffrey T. Lewis

June 25, 2014  

     The makers of Brazil's most famous liquor are reveling in their greatest chance for introducing their sugar-cane-based booze to new audience.  

     Now comes the tricky part: pronunciation.   Hundreds of thousands of World Cup and soon, Olympics, tourists are expected to sample cachaça (kah-SHAH-sah), the high-octane ingredient in the country's national cocktail, the caipirinha (kigh-puh-REEN-ya). The mixed drink is traditionally made with mulled lime, sugar, ice and cachaça, which is distilled from sugar juice pressed directly from cane. 

     Brazil's cachaça makers are aiming promotions at thirsty World Cup fans, betting they'll take some home and start asking for it in their local liquor stores. 

   Cia. Müller de Bebidas, the world's biggest producer of cachaça, upped its marketing budget and redesigned packaging to appeal to foreigners. The industry's trade group, the Brazilian Cachaça Institute (IBRAC) is organizing tastings for business groups attending the tournament. 

     "It's the beginning of the process" of boosting awareness, said Ricardo Gonçalves, chief executive of Müller de Bibidas. 

     But sugar and citrus can't mask one of the industry's biggest challenges: a lot of cachaça produced in Brazil is lousy. 

     Cachaça distillers are making a push for U.S. sales. Pictured, a selection of the liquors at a bar in São Paulo. Jeffrey Lewis/The Wall Street Journal 

     Most of the country's estimated 12,000 producers are small fry producing rotgut that can sell for less than $2 a bottle. Also known as pinga, the liquor has spawned the pejorative pinguçu, which means a down-and-dirty drunkard. 

     To improve cachaça's profile, some of Brazil's producers are moving upscale with premium versions worth sipping, much like fine single-malt whiskies or top-of-the-line tequilas. Müller de Bebidas's premium Reserva 51 brand, for example, sells for about $80 a bottle. Sales of the label have jumped, rising 52% in 2014 through May from a year earlier, though from a low starting point, said Mr. Gonçalves, who declined to be more specific. 

     The industry is taking inspiration from Mexico, where distillers managed to transform tequila from a salt-shot-lemon buzz into a respected liquor that sells for upward of hundreds of dollars a bottle.


     I'm really glad to see Cachaca moving ahead and establishing it's own identity.   It suffered under Caipirinha and they are only right when made with Cachaca, Keep up the good work Brazil, and keep the quality coming up as well.  ;o)
the mislabeling as "Brazilian Rum" for to many years and it is finally getting to stand on it's own these days.   I enjoy a good caipirinha every now and then, you might want to try one.  ;o)

Friday, June 27, 2014

Heading Down to Key West

Florida City
     As many times as I have driven to Key West from Miami, I've never really photographed the journey.  I'm returning from a trip to Boca Raton and I took the time to shoot some pictures through the windshield as I traveled west.  It is amazing how beautiful the journey is and how many things that you can see as you roll through the keys for about three hours on the highway.

Flamboyant Tree in Bloom
     The journey begins in Florida City as you pass through the old gate and on to the "18 mile stretch that leads you to Key Largo.  Jimmy Buffet has a song about traveling down the keys and stopping at many of the "watering holes" along the way as you egress toward Key West and the end of the road.  Believe me there are more places of interest than you will ever have time to visit along the way.  I had the chance in April to spend a day east bound on Highway 1 headed for the Miami Rum Festival with a designated driver and a couple of rum enthusiasts.  It is a wonderful experience, but you can loose your memory of the trip very soon if you are not really careful of what and how many you consume.

Hog Heaven in Tavernier
     Anyway, here is the trip in photos from yesterday, enjoy the "Conchy Tonkin" adventure.  If you get an opportunity to drive the "Overseas Highway", it is something that you should try at least once.  The breathtaking scenery and colors of the waters and the plant life make this a very spectacular trip.

Home of the Rum Runner in Islamorada

Flagler's Old Railroad Trestle

Pigeon Key, Railroad Base Camp


Seven Mile Bridge

Big Pine Key Dear Sanctuary
Osprey Aerie
Approaching Thunder Storm
Key West and the End of the Road.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Getting That Booze into an Event

     I can still remember all of the ways that I have tried over the years to sneak booze into an event, some very successful and some not so much.  I ran across this article the other day and thought that you would enjoy reading some of the many ways they have devised to pull off getting your booze into an event.

"10 crafty ways to sneak alcohol into festivals"
It's not big, and it's not clever (except, it kind of is).
There are still plenty of festivals on the agenda for this summer, which means plenty more chances to perfect the art of sneaking in booze.

Festivals are expensive things – us poor lowly folks have to watch the pennies and see if we can claw back the cash somewhere.

Naughty?   Yes.
 Necessary?   You  betcha.

1. Crotch Wine
Buy a box of wine. Take out the wine bladder (as it is affectionately known) – stuff it down your jeans. Also allows for hilarity later on when you stick the nozzle out your fly to pour people drinks.

2. Drunk Wellies
People don't wear those silly patterned wellies at festivals to look cool – they do it to distract from the hip flasks and miniatures they have stuffed down there.

3. Backpack
We don't mean in
your actual backpack – that would be too obvious. We mean duct tape your hip flask or some stubbies to your back. Oversized clothing or a big coat is essential.

4. Bye Bye Pockets
Wear an old jacket to keep you warm. Cut holes in the pockets and drop miniatures into the lining of your coat, Genius.

5. Bra Booze
Finally the  wearing of bras pays off.   Hello hip flask smuggling device.

6. Pringles Tube of Glory
Step one, eat Pringles.  Step two, fill empty Pringles can with bottles of booze.   Then pop it in your bag and go in all calm like 'these are just my snacks, man.'

7. Sun Cream Bottle
First, thoroughly wash out (and we mean thoroughly) an empty
bottle of sun cream. Refill with your booze of choice.

8. Pregnant Belly
Strap a camelback to your stomach and pretend you are with child. Overacting and waddling optional.

9. Stealth Hip Flask
These days you can get hip flasks that look like just about anything (except a hipflask), Binoculars, canes, lipsticks, or this mobile phone.
Hello, is that Jack? Jack Daniels?

10. Not-So-Healthy Fruit
Then the old stand-by, drunk fruit.  Inject oranges with rum. Desperate times call for hammered oranges.

     Don't get caught it could get you thrown out and an expensive ticket to get in would be lost, but to each their own decision.  ;o)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Elusive Rum Runner: The Cocktail

     The rum runner like it's namesake is an elusive entity and like it's namesake the origin is a bit fuzzy.  The Holiday Isle Tiki Bar in Islamorada, Florida takes the credit for the creation of the rum runner, but like it's namesake and coming from the Florida Keys has a bit of a shady past.  The original recipe was said to come from the 1950's when the barmen had an excess of rum and other liqueurs that had to be moved before the new inventory could be put into storage.  

    The only problem with that story is that the Holiday Isle Tiki Bar started serving cocktails from a bar know as the Hapi Hula Hut in 1969 and the original hotel owner had challenged "Tiki John", the bar manager to  invented the "Rum Runner" from the excess inventory in 1972  I have to  believe that the second version is the real story.

     The original recipe hasn't changed much over the years, but there are a few different variants out there.  The original was a frozen cocktail, but the more popular one at least in Key West is the "on the rocks" version.

Holiday Isle Tiki Bar Rum Runner

  • 1 oz. Light Rum
  • 1 oz. Dark Rum
  • 1 oz. Banana Liqueur
  • 1 oz. Blackberry Brandy
  • 1 oz. Pineapple Juice
  • 1 oz. Orange Juice
  • Splash of Grenadine
Place all of the ingredients into a blender with 2 cups of ice and blend until smooth.  Pout into a "Hurricane Glass" and garnish with an orange slice and if so inclined float with Bacardi 151 rum.

    I have my own ideas on the subject, but they are not really that different.  I think that the frozen version makes the cocktail taste very watered down, then add the fact that I avoid grenadine at all possible means.   Here is my version of the cocktail that I serve at the Rum Bar in Key West.

Bahama Bob's Run Runner
  • 1 1/2 oz. Dark Rum
  • 1 1/2 oz. Light Rum
  • 1/2 oz. Banana Liqueur
  • 1/2 oz. Blackberry Brandy
  • Equal amounts of Orange, Pineapple and Cranberry Juices
Place all ingredients is a 12 oz. tumbler filled with ice and shake until mixed. You can float a good aged overproof  rum like Lemon Hart 151 or Plantation Overproof if you desire.  Garnish with a lime slice.

     Either version is really good, so give one a try and enjoy the "Cocktail of the Keys".

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Florida Old Reserve Rum

     Last week while wandering through the Pier House Key West Bacchanalia event, I ran across Mark Bell from the Florida Caribbean Distillery in Auburndale, Florida.  He introduced me to a rum that I haven't had the pleasure of tasting before.  Florida Old Reserve Rum, the name is a bit of a misnomer, because it is only a two year old rum, but the rum is absolutely wonderful.  This blend of two year old rums that has been aged in sherry casks offers flavors that will truly surprise you.

    Florida Old Reserve Rum comes in a bottle that is hand numbered, Batch No. 526 and the  signature of Master Distiller Ron Call.  This sherry cask Aged, Florida rum is sourced from local sugarcane molasses, with water from the "Floridian Aquifer".   It is bottled at 84 proof to preserve the flavors of the barrel from being diluted by lowering the proof.

     This is an inexpensive rum, generally around $19 a bottle, but one that you can enjoy on a regular basis at home or at your favorite rum bar.   Take the time to look this one up and see if you can find it, then purchase it and take it home to sip of make some of your favorite cocktails with it.  ;o)   

Monday, June 23, 2014

Let Mother Nature Help with Summer Rehydration

     The summer heat is upon us and drinking spirits can add to your summer dehydration.   Here is an idea that might help with the problem.  Natural coconut water is a great electrolyte to help replenish you fluids loss to heat and sweating.   "Coconut water may be better at replacing lost fluids than a sports drink or water -- as long as you enjoy the taste. A study recently published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise shows that coconut water replenishes body fluids as well as a sports drink and better than water but the athletes preferred the taste of the sports drinks."

     This is an idea that might help if you are drinking alcoholic beverages in hot weather.   Down here in the tropics the local myth is have a glass of water between cocktails and it will keep you hydrated.  I'm afraid that it will take a bit more than that, but by having a cocktail made with coconut water and eating a few pretzels or maybe a banana along with the water between cocktails you might be able to better maintain your safe hydration levels in the heat of the summer.

Bahama Bob's Hydration Cocktail
  • 2 oz.  Brinley Gold Mango Rum
  • 1 Banana
  • 4 pieces of Pineapple  (Fresh if Available)
  • 2 oz.  Vida Coco Sugar free Coconut Water
  • 1 oz.  Orange Juice

Place all ingredients into a blender with a cup or so of ice and blend until smooth.  Pour into a pint glass and garnish with fresh fruits.
     This is not a cure all, but it can't hurt to put some thought into your cocktails if you are out in the heat this summer.  Keeping hydrated is really important when you are drinking out on the boat or working in your backyard, it is really easy to get dehydrated and really sick as a result.  Alcoholic beverages add to the dehydration problem, but with a little bit of thought about what you put into your cocktails, you can help the situation.  Drink Smart this Summer, watch for any signs of dehydration.  ;o)

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Crystal Clear Water and a Summer Day

     Sunday's remind me that people love to head out on the water and just enjoy the day in the sun and the beautiful crystal clear waters around the keys.   The bright sun on the beautiful waters around Boca Grande Key to the west of Key West has some of the prettiest waters I've seen anywhere.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Prichard's New Distillery at Nashville's Fontanel Mansion is Open

     Prichard's Distillery, the first craft distiller founded in Tennessee in the past 50 years, celebrated the grand opening of their second distillery on Wednesday, June 18 at the Fontanel Mansion in Nashville. Prichard's hosted visitors at a log cabin converted to a tasting room and shop on the grounds of the Mansion at Fontanel, the former home of country music legend Barbara Mandrell.    The Estate is now a museum, hospitality and entertainment destination that welcomes over 500,000 visitors a year.   The new Prichard's production facility is adjacent to the log cabin tasting center and includes a 400-gallon Alembic copper still custom-designed by Vendome Copper and Brassworks in the style of French cognac.  It is the first still of its kind in Tennessee.


    The Pricard Family is known for their fine bourbons and rums.  The new facility will give many new visitors the opportunity to enjoy their fine spirits.   This family’s heritage in the spirits business goes back many generations and I’m glad to see the growth into their new facility at the Fontanel Mansion.   The new still and plant will give them capabilities far beyond what they were able to do at the “old school house” in Kelso, Tennessee. 


    Best wishes and congratulations to the entire Prichard family for their latest endeavor, looking forward to getting up your way to visit the new distillery.  ;o)


Friday, June 20, 2014

2014 Rum Brand Champions Announced

     Here are the 2014 Rum Brand Champions as announced by "The Spirit Business".

Rum Brand
Sales in Millions
Percent over 2013
McDowell's No.1 Celebration
United Spirits
Captain Morgan
Havana Club
Pernod Ricard
Radico Khaitan
Pernod Ricard
Wray & Nephew

     Please welcome the newest member to the Rum Brand Champions, La Martiniquaise’s Negrita, which sailed into millionaire territory with an 11% increase in sales.

     Having formed part of the French drinks group’s stable since its acquisition of Bardinet in 1993, Negrita has been the subject of intense focus for La Martiniquaise in the past 24 months. Not only has the brand re-launched globally, with new, updated packaging, but the release last year of Negrita Spiced was catalyst enough to see the brand break through the one million case barrier in 2013 and enter the Brand Champions for the first time.

     Meanwhile, the title race for the world’s largest-selling rum brand will have to wait another year, after Philippine brand Tanduay failed to share its sales data in time. With Bacardi reporting a 4% decline and Tanduay now launched in the US, the brand was looking strong to become the number one international rum brand.


     Negrita Spiced Rum is described as being flavored with vanilla and "a hint of lemon," which suggests to us a more citrus styled drink very likely designed for daiquiri cocktails or perhaps mojitos. It is sourced from the Caribbean and then blended and bottled in France. 

     This is a very interesting list of very strong expressions of rum from all around the world.  I am disappointed that Tanduay did not choose to become a part of this sales championship.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Barbancourt Pango Rhum Runner

     After a fun weekend with my friends from Rhum Barbancourt, I started thinking of some new ways to use their really nice flavored Pango Rhum.   This is a great 4 year old rum that is blended with macerated Mango and Pineapple.   This can be put into many, many cocktails and put them into a wonderful new dimension. 

     I'm thinking how it can bring a Rhum Runner into a Caribbean world with all the fruitiness of the islands.   After fooling around for a while with some ideas this is what I came up with.  I love the combination of the Mango, which is just starting to fall off of the trees here in Key West and fresh pineapple flavors that always add to a great tropical cocktail.  

Bahama Bob’s Pango Rhum Runner

·         1 oz Barbancourt 4 Year Rhum
·         1 oz. Barbancourt Pango Rhum
·         1/2 oz. Banana Liqueur
·         1/2 oz. Blackberry Brandy
·         1 oz. Orange Juice
·         1 oz. Pineapple Juice
·         1 oz. Cranberry Juice
·         Lemon Hart 151 Float or Plantation Overproof (Optional)
Place all ingredients except the Lemon Hart 151 in a shaker filled with ice, shake  until chilled.   Strain into a 12 oz. tumbler filled with fresh ice.   Garnish  your Rhum Runner with a lime wedge.
    This is one of the really refreshing patio or aft deck cocktails that you can relax around the pool, on the lake or at the beach with this summer. 



   Give this fun Mai Tai to your friends and guests on the patio or the aft deck of the boat this summer, they will really be hang around for a while, or at least until you run out of them.  ;o)