Friday, November 30, 2018

Ready -to Drink Cocktails - The New Spirits Carry Along

2012 Tico Libre Ready-to-Drink Cocktail

   Over the past 5 or 6 years there has been a real interest in the “ready-to-drink cocktail market.   At the Rum Renaisance Festival in Miami in 2012 when Tico Libre introduced their rum and cola pre-mix cocktail, I saw that there would be a serious market for this kind of beverage. 
     Alcoholic Ready-to-drink beverages are primarily spirit-based drinks. These drinks are served in a premixed form and are ready for consumption at any time. The main market is driven by the youth, but for those of you that don’t have a home bar, these are ready to drink at any time and can be kept ice cold lake a beer in the refrigerator.  For a day on the water, at the beach or just a picnic, these can be dropped into the cooler and enjoyed as easy as popping the top on a beer.
    Diageo, Bacardi, Brown-Forman, Global Brands, Halewood and Suntory Spirits are just some of the major players that have invested in the Read-to Drink Cocktail Concept and the numbers are growing.  The companies are producing both Spirit Base and High Strength premixed cocktails to the delight of a fast growing market from North America across Europe al the way to Asia. 

Thursday, November 29, 2018

The Beautiful Wildlife of Key West

This is Our Cock-O-the Walk
     Key West is one off those interesting towns, but we already know that.  One of the unique things here in Key West is that it is a wildlife sanctuary.  What does this really mean?  It means that animals are protected.  We have chickens, cats, iguanas, egrets and herons that all walk freely on the streets of Key West.  They are our neighbors and they must be allowed to go about their lives without being harmed by people that visit or live here.

Eddie the Egret
     Some can be a real pain, but we get to share our island with them and I find it to be very nice.  Most places have pigeons and other pests, but here in Key West we have chickens, iguanas and Herons.  I like the ones that live with us, thank you very much.  Key West is a bit different, but that is what makes us so special.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Holiday Time Honey Ginger Hot Toddy

     Holiday Season has arrived and and so has the cold weather.  It is time for a great hot Toddy, mine of has to be rum based, imagine that, so here is an idea that I feel fits the season and helps soothe the symptoms of a cold at the same time.  

      Give this idea a try it is good for warmth and comfort on a cool fall or winter evening.

Bahama Bob’s Holiday Season Hot Toddy

  • 2 oz  Siesta Key Spiced Rum
  • 1 oz. Bahama Bob’s Ginger syrup
  • ¾ oz.  Fresh Lemon Juice 
  •  Orange Zest and Fresh Nutmeg

Fill a coffee or glass mug with boiling water and add the syrup,rum and lemon juice.  Stir until blended and float an orange zest and grind fresh nutmeg on the top.

Bahama Bob’s Simple Ginger Honey Syrup

  • 1 Cup Water
  • ½ Cup Clover Honey
  • 1 Ginger Root Chopped into ¼ inch pieces

Place water and ginger into a sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Add honey and stir it in.  lower heat and stir until the honey melts into the solution.  Simmer on medium low heat for about 15 to 30 minutes until flavor is to your taste.  Cover and allow to cool to room temperature.  Stain into a suitable container and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Fire in the Marina, Boat Owner's Worst Nightmare

Serious Fire, but the Marina Was Lucky
     Thanksgiving night about 6:30 pm a group of us that live here in Sunset Marina were gathering to
enjoy our Thanksgiving dinner and get together when someone shout that there was a boat on fire.  For all of us there this was a hugely frightening experience.  Luckily the wind was blowing from the North and away from all of the rest of the boats in the marina.

     The neighbors around the fire grabbed hoses and kept the sides of the boat next to the burning boat cool.  The burning boat was almost immediately fully engulfed.  The garden hoses could do little except to protect the boats that weren't ablaze.  When the fire department quickly arrived, they were able to get the fire under control, but the boat sank almost immediately after the fire was extinguished.

The Skimmer to Remove the oils
     Putting the fire out was only the beginning, getting oil control booms around the dock area that the boat went down was the next priority.  This was accomplished almost as quickly as they got the fire under control.  If not for their getting this don there would have been diesel oil throughout the marina.  The next morning the smell of diesel was throughout the marina, but the oil was contained within the booms.  The hazardous waste crew arrive and they put a skimmer in the containment area and were able to remove the diesel and motor oils coming from the boat.

Lifting the boat from the bottom
     Saturday Morning the crane arrived and proceeded to raise the boat from the bottom.  after it was
raised, the fire marshals and the arson squad went over the boat to find the cause of the blaze before releasing it for salvage.  It is on a barge now and ready to head to the boatyard in the morning.  I really doubt that there will be much that will be salvageable, but that is the next step in the process.

Sitting on the barge with the Fire Marshals

     You don't realize the potential for damage that a marina fire can have until you see something like this.  We were very fortunate, if the wind had been blowing out of the south like it normally does, the entire dock could have been involved and the damage much greater.  Fortunately there were no injuries or loss of life in the fire.  The boat damage was only to the boat that was on fire.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Welcome to "Cyber Monday"

     Today is Cyber Monday, should this be a National Holiday or something?  Or is it just a day where the employees spend their day at work ordering their Christmas presents online.  Where did this come from? "Cyber Monday" was created by marketing companies to encourage people to shop online. The term was coined by Ellen Davis and Scott Silverman, and made its debut on November 28, 2005 in a press release entitled 'Cyber Monday'.   It quickly became one of the biggest online shopping days of the year.

     It never ceases to amaze me the number of excuses for sales that will get you to spend your money during this time of year.   Black Friday, Red Saturday and lets not forget Cyber Monday.  It won’t be long before every day between Thanksgiving and Christmas will have a name so you sill run out and take advantage of all the sales.   Americans are just born shoppers and can’t resist a sale.

     Happy Cyber Monday, enjoy your day starring at your computer or smart phone to buy up all of those specials.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

I'm Missing Daylight Savings Time

     It is that time of year when the day ends too early.  Getting close to 5:30 sunset and the day iturns into night.   I wish that the United States would follow the lead of several of the states and keep daylight savings time year round.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

The Holiday Season is Officially Upon Us

     Thanksgiving and Black Friday are behind us and Cyber Monday is ahead, so it is defiantly here.  Yesterday the stores were jammed and as long as the Internet doesn't break on Monday, this is going to be a fun time this year.

     Last year here in the Keys we were still reeling from Irma and it did have a huge effect on our Holiday season.   This year with most of our worlds back in shape we can get into the holidays deeper than we could last year.   I'm hoping that everyone can have a wonderful holiday season this year, especially those in the panhandle that were hit so hard by Michael.  I feel for them, those of us that went through Irma know their plight.

     The most important thing is to get together with the people that are closest to you and have a whole lot of fun this season.   Happy Holidays to all.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Drop In the Tablet and You Have a Flavored Fizzy Cocktail

     Here is something that could be very helpful on a day out on the water or just away from a bar.  This will give you the fizzy flavor of a real cocktail by just dropping a tablet into the cocktail.  Kind of like the days when I was a kid, you could take a “Fizzy” tablet drop into a glass of water an you got yourself a carbonated soda.

      “Making cocktails can be timely and complicated, so we created Fizz to make sure you get the perfect cocktail every time and to bring the theater back to drinks at home as part of our on-going brand mission to bring disruption to the food and beverage category.   Whether you're hosting a party, bringing the fancy plates out for dinner or just want to fix yourself something nice, pop one tablet into a glass of your fizz of choice to watch the color and flavor transform before your eyes.  We recommend pairing your Cocktail F.I.Z.Z. with a glass of Prosecco, Champagne or G&T; equally delicious when dropped into a non-alcoholic drink of choice. Designed to dissolve completely into your drink. The perfect flavor balance, giving your glass the freshness of Elder flower, fresh Rhubarb and a sweet quench of Tropical Passion Fruit.

     Can't decide which Cocktail F.I.Z.Z. to get? Well, not only have we facilitated cocktail making, we've also facilitated decision making!   Cocktail F.I.Z.Z. is non-alcoholic. F.I.Z.Z. responsibly. 1 tablet per drink. 100% vegan.  Desiccant grains are enclosed in the cap to keep the Cocktail F.I.Z.Z. dry. 

Available from Smith & Sinclair’s website as well as Harvey Nichols and John Lewis, the tablets are vegan and cost £5.99 or US $7.70 for a pack of 10.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving

     Today is a day for family and close friends, I hope that your day is a fun one and you get to eat, drink, enjoy the family.  Oh There will probably be some football involved, Just enjoy the day however you celebrate it.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Island Company Resort Rum

     Island Company is a resort and lifestyle brand based in West Palm Beach, Florida.   It was founded by Spencer Antle and launched Rum Company in March 2010.   Island Company Rum was made as a rum that women could drink straight and yet appeal to the pirates and the rest of the male population.  The rum is distilled by Angostura in Trinidad in column stills then aged three years in American Whiskey barrels. A true rum starts with a sugarcane derivative, fermented and after a 5 pass thru distillation, the liquid is essentially a neutral spirit containing nearly no sugar.

     Straight up this expression has a pale gold color with a subtle buttery aroma, there’s a slight butterscotch and anise notes on the palate with slight notes of the barrel s well, the flavor is subtle yet complex throughout.  There is virtually no burn from start to finish.   Island Company Rum mixes well without losing its identity, it is suited well for higher end cocktails.  With one cube of ice it makes a nice sipper.  The light bodied mouth feel lends it to a relaxed time of relaxed enjoyment.

     Available on the east coast, distributed by Breakthru Beverage Group throughout Florida, Horizon Beverage for Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and Wolfpack Wine & Spirits in New York and New Jersey.  Distribution is expected to grow to other areas as soon as possible.   Bottled at 80 proof in 750 cc bottles and priced at about $38.

For more information about the product go online to /

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Angostura Lemon Lime Bitters Now in Florida

     Angostura Lemon Lime Bitters is a mixer that I was first introduced to on a trip to the House of Angostura in Trinidad.  We were served a wonderful lunch that was topped off with this unique cocktail of Angostura 5 year old rum mixed with Angostura Lemon Lime Bitters.  I was instantly awed by the flavor, but was told that it was only available in Trinidad.  The disappointment of that day is past today, because it is now available here in America.

     John Imbesi sold his 7UP bottling company and founded North American Beverage Co. with his first products being Chocolate Moose and Chocolate Milk. In the late 90s, NABCo added Havana Cappuccino, a ready-to-drink cappuccino.  Then in the early 2000s, the company added Flathead Lake Gourmet Soda, and in 2009, became the importer and manufacturer of Barritt’s Ginger Beer. Then, in 2017, Angostura Lemon, Lime and Bitters™ was added to NABCo’s product lineup.

     Today we can now get the Angostura Lemon Lime Bitters in Florida.  Breakthru Beverage is the distributor in Florida and if you haven’t gotten this mixer in your bar, you are already behind the curve.

For More information on how to get it yourself, Contact NABCo at

Monday, November 19, 2018

Columbia's Enchantress, La Hechicera Solera Aged Rum

     La Hechicera, pronounced 'etch-ee-seh-rah.' means "the enchantress" in Spanish.  It is a solera aged rum which contains rums sourced and selected by the Riascos and aged between 12-21 years.  The rum producers claims no additives or sugar have been added.

      La Hechicera beautiful dark mahogany tones, in the glass.  The rum gives off aromas of caramel, and toffee and fruity notes.  La Hechicera telegraphs that the taste this is going to be wonderful just from the aroma.  Sipping the rum, it has honest characteristics of a rum that has been aged for at least 8 years or maybe longer.   It is very smooth with virtually no alcohol burn, bottled at 80 proof It is zesty, spicy with a tobacco and bitter orange flavors.   It has very little evidence of oak or smokiness in its profile.   It has a nice long lasting finish leaving behind a n almost coffee like flavor lingering in the back of your palate.

   This Colombian rum has been available in several markets, starting in the UK in 2012. El Hechicera  was first introduced to the United States during the summer of 2017.   La Hechicer “Ron Extra Anejo de Columbia” comes with a price tag that runs between $40 and $45 in the United States.  It might be hard to find, but it is distributed by Breakthru, but if you cant find it just contact Beth Mool at bpmool@phillipsdistilling.ocm  She will be able to help you find it near you.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Foxy's, One of My Favorites on Jost Van Dyke

     Foxy's is one of those eclectic spots that keeps you returning every time you are in the Virgin Islands.  Located in Great Harbour on Jost Van Dyke, it is an easy access by boat and worth the trip.  Great food and an atmosphere like no other.  Don't miss it when you are in the islands.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Cruzan Launches Hurricane Proof Rum to Help With the Hurricane Relief

Cruzan Rum is launching their newest expression, Cruzan® Hurricane Proof Rum, which will help raise funds for hurricane relief. Bottled at 137 proof, to acknowledge the wind speeds of a Category 5 hurricane, Cruzan Hurricane Proof is named in tribute to the resilience of the Crucians, or those who hail from our home island of St. Croix, as they’ve rebuilt and renewed following the devastation of last year’s hurricanes Maria and Irma.  “We’re proud to introduce Cruzan Hurricane Proof just in time for the giving season as a way to drink well and give back,” said Gary Nelthropp, Cruzan Rum’s master distiller.

As part of Cruzan’s continued dedication to contributing to the Island Spirit Fund (established earlier this year), Cruzan Rum will donate $1 per case of Hurricane Proof sold, meaning every bottle purchased will provide aid and support to communities in need in the USVI and beyond.  “We look forward to continuing to support the Island Spirit Fund and the important work it makes possible into 2019 and beyond.”

Friday, November 16, 2018

Mount Gay Eclipse Since 1910

Mount Gay Eclipse

     Mount Gay’s signature is carefully blending aged rums, and its flagship label, Eclipse, claims to be the world’s very first such blend.   Like many whiskies, the majority of which are blended or “vatted,” the single malt term for mixing, combining rums from different barrels and ages allows the master blender to create a consistent and desired taste profile, whereas single barrel bottlings are unpredictable and can be good or not so good. But Mount Gay takes this concept a step further, and for more than century, its products have been blends of spicier rums produced in traditional small batch pot stills and the ones produced in tall column stills, for a nuanced roundness distinctive to the brand, a best of both worlds approach.
     Eclipse was created in 1910 and named for a momentous event that occurred on May 9, 1910, a total eclipse of the sun.  It showcases the distillery’s four signature taste characteristics found to varying degrees in all Mount Gay products; ripe bananas, sweet vanilla, mocha and bitter almond. Eclipse is light in body, perfect for cocktails, and at less than twenty dollars a bottle, it is an exceptional value proposition given its high quality, a blend of rums aged 2-7 years.
      This is a rum that is good anytime, mixed in a cocktail, neat or on the rocks.  It is one of the most versatile expressions in the world, and available almost everywhere.  Give this one a try, I think that you will really enjoy it.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

The United Kingdom’s Spirits Market Has Changed in Six Years

     The number of distillery businesses in the United Kingdom has jumped 30% in just a year, according to new figures suggesting the UK is on the brink of a ‘Rumnaissance’.  Spirits of unusual and innovative flavors have grown in popularity, particularly among young consumers, as has the preference to ‘buy-locally’ from smaller, urban breweries and distilleries.  The number of distilleries registered has nearly tripled since 2015, according to the figures, with the number of new entrants rising at faster rates with each passing year.

That Boutique-y-Rum Company 10 Year -Old
     Smaller, independent alcohol brands that have generated high sales growth and achieved premium   Halewood Wine & Spirits, meanwhile, acquired the Cornish spiced rum brand Dead Man’s Fingers earlier this year.  But while the spirits industry looks to continue its growth, James Simmonds, partner at UHY Hacker Young, identified current sales figures which suggest the UK is about to undergo a “Rumnaissance” which mimics the growth of the gin category over the past decade.  Rum sales in the UK hit £1 billion in 2017, up from £960million in 2016, according to the Wine and Spirits Trade Association.  “The growth of the UK spirits industry looks to continue into 2018 as consumer demand for premium priced spirits, an increase in M&A activity, and the rising number of distillery businesses shows no signs of slowing.”
pricing have become attractive M&A targets for larger companies.

     New rum-focused enterprises have launched this year, both in the on and off-trade. Last month, a family of four running their own micro-rum distillery in London relocated to Scotland, having secured £100,000 to begin building a state-of-the-art facility Livingston, West Lothian. The owners have predicted a 400% increase in annual turnover.   Atom Brands, the company responsible for That Boutique-y Gin Company, extended its collection of limited edition small batch casks to rum last month.  The range comprises of rare bottles and aged rums from exciting or long-lost distilleries, including the Caroni Distillery in Trinidad and Monymusk in Jamaica, as well as unexpected finds such as unaged offerings from O Reizinho Distillery in Portugal. There will also be a selection of top secret distillery bottlings aimed at the most devoted collectors.

Read More at 

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Can Alcoholic Beverages be Diet Friendly?

     Most dietitians tell people to steer clear of alcoholic beverages when trying to lose weight, but if properly managed, it can be included in your diet.   This usually doesn't stop people from tying to rationalize, "what is the best drink to have on a diet?"  There alcoholic beverages that are more waistline-friendly than others, so your choices are critical if you really want to “have your cake and eat it too”.   If you're looking to shed pounds, you first need to gather the information on what you are drinking and change what you drink.   Here are some of the lowest-calorie bets are a shot of spirits or with water or on the rocks.   A 1.5-ounce shot of vodka, gin, rum, whiskey or tequila contains an average of 97 calories, a glass of champagne, about 84 calories per 4 ounces, a glass of dry wine 120 to 125 calories per 5 ounces or a traditional martini, with an average of 124 calories for a 2.5-ounce serving.   Light beer is approximately 100 calories or a glass of reduced-calorie wine, about 90 to 100 calories are some of the other lower-calorie options.
     Pure alcohol contains 7 calories per gram, this is less than a gram of fat, which has 9 calories, but more than protein and carbs, which have 4 calories per gram each.  The biggest variable of your drinks that influence the calorie counts the amount of alcohol, the total volume of a beverage including the amount of carbohydrates and sugars and mixers you add to the alcohol.
     Most spirits, including vodka, tequila, rum and gin, do not contain any carbohydrates or sugars. Some producers may add small amounts of sugar to combat any perceived bitterness, but this small amount would not bump the calorie count much. Though they have higher alcohol by volume, the volume of a standard shot is small, making them a relatively lower-calorie option, if you can stick to one shot or mix it with a zero-calorie beverage, like ice, water, diet cola, soda water or seltzer.   Other ingredients including mixers, tonic water, juice, soda, syrups, cream and coconut, pack sugar and fat calories on top of alcohol and should be consumed with caution.   "Margaritas and pina coladas can have close to 500 calories per drink, depending on the size and how it's made, and could be a real challenge for anyone trying to lose weight.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Rob Roy, A New York City Special Cocktail

     Certain cocktails seem to have their own gravitational pull.   Some might deem them workaday drinks, the Rob Roy isn’t lacking in fanciful appeal, it is poured into a long-stemmed cocktail glass, its auburn glow begs for dim lights and slow sipping.   But unlike its swinging socialite sister, the Manhattan, the Rob Roy is a little bit tamer, but not quite a wallflower.   Children of Rob Roy devotees may carry a flame of nostalgia for the drink, that’s not the reason it’s hung in there for more than 100 years since its likely creation at New York’s Waldorf Astoria hotel. 
     That simple cocktail likely came to be because of Waldorf Astoria’s original location on Fifth Avenue from 1893 to 1929, conveniently perched smack within the Great White Way, the original well-lit section of the city devoted to the stage arts.  According to Caiafa, also the author of “The Waldorf Astoria Bar Book”, that a Herald Square Theatre production of an operetta named “Rob Roy” by the composer Reginald De Koven inspired the birth of a drink. It’s a tidy origin story and though it lacks the often-cited exclamations of fuzzy impossible-to-pin characters in drinking lore, it’s likely a true story.
     According to Phil Greene, “Vermouth was an Italian import that no one in America had heard of until it appeared in the melting pot of the cocktail. Everyone started using vermouth then.” By the 1860s, vermouth cocktails began showing up in American bars. Soon after, we find evidence of the Manhattan cocktail. By 1894, says Greene, rye was swapped for scotch, and the Rob Roy was born.

Bahama Bob’s Rum Rob Roy

  • 2 oz. Doorly’s XO Rum
  • 1 oz. Sweet Vermouth
  • 3 dashes Angostura Bitters 
  • Garnish: Cherry  

Place all ingredients in a mixing glass filled with ice and stir gently.  Strain into a martini glass and garnish with a cocktail cherry.

Monday, November 12, 2018

The Awe Inspiring View in the Mountains of Grenada

     I was sitting on the aft deck the other night thinking about some of the wonderful places that I have been able to visit in the pursuit of rum and rum history.  Grenada always seem to come to mind when I start thinking about the wonderful places that I have visited.   This lake was such a wonderful place to visit up in the mountains of central Grenada.  The clouds working their way over the mountain from the ocean as the cooling air of the mountain create a shroud covering the mountain top.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Happy Veterans Day

Honoring The American Military

    The Veterans Day Parade here in Key West yesterday reminded me how much all of the veterans here in America owe to those that have given of their time and lives to the cause of freedom in America.
     Veterans Day, once known as Armistice Day, was originally a U.S. legal holiday to honor the end of World War I.   Officially took first took place on November 11, 1918.  In legislation that was passed in 1938, November 11 was "dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be hereafter celebrated and known as 'Armistice Day.'" As such, this new legal holiday honored World War I veterans.   In 1954, after having been through both World War II and the Korean War, the 83rd U.S. Congress at the urging of the veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word "Armistice" and inserting the word "Veterans." With the approval of this legislation on June 1, 1954, Nov. 11 became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.  In 1968, the Uniforms Holiday Bill ensured three-day weekends for federal employees by celebrating four national holidays on Mondays: Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day. Under this bill, Veterans Day was moved to the fourth Monday of October. Many states did not agree with this decision and continued to celebrate the holiday on its original date. The first Veterans Day under the new law was observed with much confusion on Oct. 25, 1971.
     On September 20, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed a law which returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to its original date of Nov. 11, beginning in 1978. Since then, the Veterans Day holiday has been observed on Nov. 11.  With that new law, we still to this date, America celebrates Veterans Day on November 11th.  Happy Veterans Day and a big Thank You to all of those Veterans that have served America in one of our military services. 

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Appleton Estate Launches a 30 Year Old Limited Edition Rum Honoring the Joy Spence Appleton Estate Rum Experience

     Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Joy Spence Appleton Estate Rum Experience (JSAERE),  J. Wray and Nephew has launched a premium 30-year-old rum.   Only 4,000 bottles of the rum will be sold globally, making the rum an extremely rare limited edition. It is the second time in 10 years that Appleton Estate has released a 30-year-old expression, part of its ongoing efforts to lead the rum industry's global trend towards premiumization.

     While, like its predecessor, the youngest drop of rum in this offering has been aged for at least 30 years, the inclusion of rums aged over 50 years in this new expression, creates “a distinguished, and one-of-a-kind sipping experience,” according to the release. The blend is said to feature notes of vibrant vanilla, toasted oak, ginger and warm cinnamon with a smooth and long, spiced honey finish, and is best served neat to appreciate the flavors.

     The JSAERE opened its doors 30 years ago to share the 269-year-long history from cane to cup. Joy Spence has the honor of being the first woman in the world to hold the position of master blender in the spirits industry and has been able to witness over the past couple of decades the increased popularity of Jamaican rum in markets globally.

     Spence told the media, “When I first joined the industry, rum was pretty much a standard spirit that was served with colas or juices. Appleton Estate was one of the first companies to see the potential for premium rum and we were at the forefront of developing and defining the premium rum category,”.   “We have launched several premium limited editions to highlight the rich complexity of premium rums and to demonstrate that they can be enjoyed in the same way as a scotch or cognac. We have been educating consumers globally on the joy of premium aged rums.”
Appleton Estate 30-Year-Old is available currently at select retail locations, including the Joy Spence Appleton Estate Rum Experience in Siloah, St Elizabeth, Jamaica.

Read More at 

Friday, November 9, 2018

Las Vegas’ Mob Museum Opens Prohibition Inspired Distillery, Brewery and Speakeasy

The Underground's Still and Condenser

    The Mob Museum, The National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, has reinvent the way guests experience history when they visit The Underground, a permanent exhibition dedicated to the history of Prohibition, that first opened in April 2018.   Guests touring The Underground will learn about Prohibition-era bootlegging and rum running. Prohibition shut down thousands of breweries and distilleries across America, but it could not eliminate the public’s desire for alcohol. It simply forced the brewing and distilling of booze into the shadows, where it became the purview of organized crime syndicates. Indeed, Prohibition led directly to the rise and proliferation of the Mob in America.

Ther Underground Speakeasy
     The Underground will take visitors on an uncommonly vivid journey back in time: Situated discreetly in the basement of the Museum, The Underground houses a real working distillery and speakeasy. While visiting these vibrant, immersive environments, guests will be compelled to ponder the time when consuming alcohol was not only a criminal act, but also bred secret watering holes that became the most glamorous places to be. 

      Numerous artifacts found in the distillery and speakeasy will add depth and context to the experience. Items to be on display include a beaded chiffon dress, ca. 1926, which is an example of the new and bolder fashions that became popular during the Prohibition era due to the rise of flapper culture, as well as a 5-gallon whiskey still, one of the smaller home stills used to make alcohol during Prohibition.  Complete with luxurious Art Deco-inspired design motifs, and a distinctive sense that something illicit is afoot, The Underground speakeasy will feature The Mob Museum’s own house-distilled spirits and house-brewed beer, as well as tempting Prohibition-era cocktails. Genuine Moonshine made onsite from corn mash will be the centerpiece of the cocktail collection, which will also feature a full bar including the Museum’s proprietary vodka, gin and rum.   Tickets for the Mob Museum’s distillery tour cost $12 per person.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Rums of Puerto Rico Has Launched a Campaign to Promote Puerto Rican Rum

Several Puerto Rican government figures have partnered with rum distilleries on the island to launch a campaign to “expand the knowledge base of rum in Puerto Rico”.

     The Rum Standard campaign was launched by the Puerto Rican government and distilleries on the island.  The Rum Standard campaign has been launched by the secretary of the Department of Economic Development and Commerce, Manuel A Laboy Rivera, and the executive director of Rums of Puerto Rico, Alexandra Salgado Colón.   The campaign aims to highlight the four regulations that apply to all rums made in Puerto Rico – that it must be made from molasses, produced using a continuous distillation process, should be aged for at least one year in American oak barrels and produced in Puerto Rico.

     Laboy Rivera said: “We are confident that with this campaign, the production, sale, and export of Puerto Rican rums will continue to grow. With this promotional effort we aim to increase the number of people in the world who know and love Puerto Rican rum.  “We will present it at events where we participate, in and out of Puerto Rico, and through the various networks of the government of Puerto Rico that promote the island internationally.  “The commitment of our administration and governor Ricardo Rosselló Nevares, is to continue supporting this industry because it is a high quality local product that has gained international recognition.”

     The campaign consists of seven videos, five minutes each, that summarise the history and the process of making rum on the island. The Rum Standard campaign also features a one-minute video that summarises what the Rums of Puerto Rico brand is all about.  As part of the campaign, has been redesigned and relaunched to offer information and insight into the production of Puerto Rican rums.  According to Laboy Rivera, the Puerto Rican rum industry generates more than US$300 million annually for the local economy and represents 700 direct jobs in rum distilleries.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

David Gates, The Drive Behind Johnny Walker has Moved to Brewdog Distilling

David Gates

     During his time as global whisky category director at Diageo he established steady growth for    The appointment comes as Brewdog’s distilling arm, Lone Wolf, reveals its plans to expand its spirits range beyond vodka and gin to encompass whisky and rum.   Over the next six months Lone Wolf will concentrate on developing Lone Wolf rum and whisky, to join its small-batch gin and vodka releases.
Scotch Whisky and as Johnnie Walker global brand director he led the brand in becoming the most profitable international spirits brand in the world, according to Brewdog.

     Brewdog co-founder, James Watt, believes David is as obsessed with quality and flavor as we are.  His proven success in building an established division makes him a force to be reckoned with in the industry.   I am thrilled to have him on board and can’t wait to see where David takes Lone Wolf.  He shares our vision in standing as a market and custodian of purist, truthful distillation methods, and his fresh, challenging thinking will not only take Lone Wolf to new levels, but the entire category as well.
     Gates said, The opportunity to shake up the spirits category with the industry’s biggest disrupter was just too good to pass up.  What Brewdog has done for the beer industry is nothing short of awe-inspiring, you can’t help but be impressed with the energy, vibrancy and unapologetic attitude they have injected into the category. It is that same creative flair and obsession for quality that I hope to bring to the spirits portfolio.
     According to Steven Kersely, Head Distillery at Brewdog Distilling, the team has already done a great job getting the Lone Wolf brand out to the public and looks getting the brand to the next level with its introduction of new whiskeys and rums by the injection of more excitement, creativity and playfulness into their spirits.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Bahama Bob's Sweet Nothings

     Here is an idea for a nice not to sweet cocktail for the evenings in front of the fire.  This one has great flavor with only a touch of sweetness up front.  The combination Doorly's XO Rum with the Amaro and lime make for an interesting mouth feel, and a touch of sweetness that goes away at the finish.

Bahama Bob's Sweet Nothings

  • 2 oz Doorly’s XO
  • 1 oz. Amaro
  • Juice of ½ Lime
  • ½ oz. Bahama Bob’s Honey Syrup

Combine into shaker filled with ice, shake and strain into a stemmed cocktail glass.  Garnish with an orange zest.

Bahama Bob’s Honey Syrup

     In a sauce pan, place equal parts of honey and water, bring it to a biol, stirring until the honey is all dissolved. turn down and simmer for about two to three minutes.   Allow to cool and place in a suitable container and keep refrigerated until you use it.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Recovering From Mother Natures Rage

     A little more than a year after Irma and Maria devastated the Caribbean along with Florida and the Florida Keys, there has been a lot of progress, but the recovery is far from complete.  I talked with some friends from St. Johns in the US Virgin Islands and they have finally gotten their internet back within the past month.  Things are a lot better and many of the tourist sites are back in operation, but the overall infrastructure is still not back in full operation.

Little Palm Island a Month After Irma Hit

     Here in the Florida Keys the hardest hit areas of the middle keys are making a strong recovery, and much of the restoration is done or well under way.  Cruising down the coast to Bahia Honda last month I noticed that much of the debris that was there last October, was gone and many of the houses have been repaired.   Living in Key West where most all of the repairs have been completed months ago you don't have a good picture of what is really still happening in the heaviest devastation areas.

Mexico Beach after Michael
     I know the feeling of having your world turned upside down by a natural disaster, and how long it
takes to bring thing back to what was before.  My sympathy lies with those in the panhandle of Florida as they are just beginning the long process of recovery from Michael.  It is a long process that feels like it will never end, but eventually the tasks will be completed and life will return to normal.  Keep a strong outlook for recovery and you will get there.