Monday, December 31, 2018

A Special Cheers for 2019

Here is an idea to toast in the New Year, This is an interesting blend of rum with a citrus and bitters mix that will light up your party.  It has a bitter sweet flavor that is hard to put down.

Bahama Bob’s Bitter Cheers
  • 1 ½ oz. Mount Gay Eclipse
  • ½ oz. Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
  • ½ oz. Lemon Juice
  • ¼ oz. Simple Syrup
  • 3 oz. Angostura Lemon Lime and Bitters

Place all ingredients into a mixing jar filled with ice and stir until chilled.  Strain into a martini glass or snifter and enjoy. 

Sunday, December 30, 2018

The Magnificent Osprey

     One of the most beautiful and interesting birds that are found here in the Florida Keys is the Osprey.   I love spending around the mangrove islands just to photograph all of the interesting birds that are around there.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Bahama Bob's Hot Buttered Rum

     Hot Buttered Rum is always a great call for a warming cocktail during th wintertime, around the holidays it is even better.  Here is my version of the classic hot cocktail that I think you might enjoy.

Bahama Bob's Hot Buttered Rum Batter

  • 1 1/2  Cups Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 lb. Unsalted Butter
  • 1 Pinch Salt
  • 1/2  Pint Light Cream
  • 1/2 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4  Tsp Ground Cloves
  • 1/4 Tsp Vanilla Extract
Combine the brown sugar,cream, butter, salt and heat in 2 quart pan stir until butter is melted and all of the sugar is dissolved.    Add vanilla, cinnamon and cloves leaving it on low heat and stir into the batter ,   Allow to cool and it is ready to use. 

Making the Cocktail

  • 3 oz. Bahama Bob's Hot Buttered Rum Batter
  • 2 Oz. A Good Dark Rum
  • Boiling Water
  • Whipped Cream   
  • Fresh Ground Nutmeg To Taste

Use about a heaping tablespoon of batter in each mug, top up with boiling water, stir until batter is dissolved.    Add rum,  top with whipped cream and a dusting of fresh ground nutmeg.  Cinnamon stick is a great garnish.

Friday, December 28, 2018

What Does This Birthday Mean?

     As 2018 comes to a close I'm happy to say that this has been a much better year than 2017.  There
have been no Hurricanes here in Key West and the island has had time to take care of most of the damage that Irma did in September of 2017.

     Sanity Too is back to her old self again and we are back aboard and happy to be enjoying the lifestyle that we did before the hurricane.  The year has also allowed us to make some changes to the boat that made it even better than it was before.

     2018 has been a great year for my personal growth.   I've begun to better understand the world of making rum through my year of development in the areas of fermentation and making the still do what is needed to get the quality of rum that we need.

     Today as I move into the next year of my life, I could not ask for a better birthday present that to have everything back to normal and maybe a bit better than it was before the storm.  Looking forward to seeing what happens in my 73rd year of life and 2019 in general.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Looking Back and Feeling Very Greatful

     Coming Home from the distillery yesterday I keep seeing so many things that really make this
place so wonderful.  The way that this town decorates for Christmas and the fun places that I get to visit almost anytime that I want to.

     I tell people that I fee so special, because I get to make the rum in the mornings and enjoy them in the afternoon.  That is a very special place to be at this stage of my life.  I look at all of the things and places that I have been and can't help to feet that someone up there has really blessed me.

     Tomorrow I turn 72, a number that is just that, a number and I wouldn't ever want to go back and try to do it again.  I have to say that I've been able to re-invent myself several time and learn and do things that have made me very happy and leaves me with a feeling of accomplishment.

     Making life special is a full time job in itself, you have to work at it and for me to have a wonderful wife of 44 years and living here in Key West for the past 13 years tells me that it has been really worth the effort.

     I'd like to pass along a very special thanks to all those who have helped me along the way.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Back to Making Rum Today

     Here we go again, day after Christmas and I'm headed back to work.  Today we are refining the low wines from the stripping runs from this month, bringing 2018's rum production to an end.  It has been a wonderful year at the distillery, we have learned so much about the still, fermentation and distilling.

     Looking forward to the new things that we are going to be trying and learning more and more about the process and the results of good procedure and new ideas.  We are going to be allowed to create a few special release expressions next year and with some of the rum that we created in 2018.

     Papa's Pilar and The Hemingway Rum Company has been quite the special experience for me for the past year and a half.  Looking forward to the growth that we expect to be seeing in the next year of so.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Christmas Eve 2018

     Today is a day for families to enjoy each other and to share.  It is a day for time around the Christmas tree and wonderful dinners.  I just want to take a moment to say Merry Christmas to every one and to wish your day be a joyful one.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

The Twenties or Today?

Sitting at my desk today trying to come up with something fun for today, when I looked up to se the picture on the wall.  It suddenly took me back to the Twenties and all of the prohibition days of flappers and speakeasy's and travel by plane was purely for the rich and famous.  Boarding a Sakorski sea plane and flying to Havana for a weekend of gambling, booze and great shows.  What a really exciting time, but I still wouldn't trade it for today ever.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

The Spirits Business Forecast of Rums to Keep an Eye on in 2019

     As rum takes slow steps up the ladder of premiumization, The Spirits Business forecasts the brands to watch in the category next year.   At the start of this year, the Caribbean rum industry continued its recovery from the battering it endured from hurricanes Irma and Maria, which both landed in the final quarter of 2017. Distilleries such as Cruzan, Captain Morgan, Destileria Serrallés and Bacardi temporarily halted production, but, luckily, none have reported a significant impact on their businesses.

     Speaking to The Spirits Business following the disasters, Roberto Serrallés, sixth-generation distiller of Puerto Rico’s Don Q Rum, said: “We’ve been distilling for 152 years and have seen lots of strong storms. This was different. It took us four days just to get a message through because all communications were down, and it took eight days to make sure all our employees were fine. Once everyone was accounted for, there was then the process of getting back to business.”
      As the year progressed, the pace of rum innovation accelerated, with more cask-finished expressions, new flavors and intriguing styles hitting the market. The distilling footprint of rum also grew as new production sites opened up around the world – Scotland, surprisingly, entered something of a rum-­distilling boom.
“Innovation in the world of spirits in general is very important,” says Edouard Beaslay, global marketing director at Diplomático Rum. “Consumers want to explore and try different things, but at the same time we are proud of our tradition and we are true to our history.”  Diplomático has highlighted its artisanal production through a range of new products. Last year, the Venezuelan rum brand launched the Distillery Collection to showcase the diverse distillation processes it uses. In April 2018, the distillery released a 2004 vintage, which has been finished in ex­-oloroso Sherry casks.
     Another brand keen on barrel experimentation is Trinidad and Tobago-based Angostura, which in September unveiled the third expression in its Cask Collection, created using a combination of techniques from the Old World and New World of rum.        “The House of Angostura has been experimenting with ageing rum in different types of casks and techniques for many years, but this is the first time we have used oloroso Sherry casks to mature one of our rums,” Natasha Mustapha­-Scott, Angostura’s marketing executive, said at the time.
     For Richard Davies, founder of Barbados-made Neptune Rum, additional education efforts are boosting the sector. “Consumer knowledge has expanded beyond – dare I say it – the spiced rum category. The education element will help the on­- and off­-trade, business to consumer, and the home consumer. Interest in rum has been tipped to take off for a few years, but now the messaging is finally filtering through.”


The world’s largest international rum brand has had a tough time in recent years as it struggled to claw back sales.   However, speaking to The Spirits Business this year, Bacardi Limited CEO Mahesh Madhavan said the next 10 years will be the brand’s best as it focuses on a more consistent marketing strategy and enhances its ladder of price points.

Neptune Rum

After completing its funding round through private investment, Neptune Rum launched in the UK this year and is lining up its expansion to the US and France.   After recruiting a raft of key personnel, the brand has big things planned for the coming year.
Appleton Estate
Jamaican rum’s GI was agreed this year, and it will be interesting to see how its key proponent, Appleton Estate, benefits.
The brand is also continuing its premiumization mission, having launched a “rare” and “complex” 30-year-­old blend last month.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Lil’ Wayne Featured in Bumbu Rum Video Series

     Rapper Lil Wayne is in the hot seat in the first episode of a new online video series by Bumbu Rum, called The Bumbu Room, in which celebrities answer questions from the their fans.  In the first video of the series, hip hop star Lil Wayne is grilled on plastic surgery, Rihanna and Nicki Minaj, and Michael Jordan versus Kobe Bryant. 
    The video, which is available to watch on YouTube, is the first in a new online series that will see music producer DJ Khaled, American rapper Rick Ross, musician Dave East, and other celebrities quizzed by their fans.  Prior to filming, each artist will announce their Bumbu Room participation on social media to give fans the opportunity to submit their best questions.
     Earlier this year, Barbados-based Bumbu Rum launched a TV advertisement that saw music producer DJ Khaled channel his “inner goat”.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Local Economic Conditions Have Not Slowed The Taste for Rum in Barbados.

R. L. Seale
     Here is an interesting and encouraging article I found in Barbados TODAY.   It is a great sign that the rum industry may be on its way to regaining its strength in the market place. 
   Local rum producer R.L. Seale & Company is reporting a boom in business. Manager for Spirits and On-Premise Steve Singh is even predicting an equally strong performance next year.  “We have been doing very well although the economy for the past eight years has not been the best. As a company, R.L Seale and Four Square Rum Distillery, have been performing well throughout last year and this year given the circumstances of the economy,” Singh told Barbados TODAY in a recent interview.
     While not revealing figures for the year, Singh highlighted the company’s historic Supreme Champion Award at the International Spirits Challenge (ISC) in London earlier this year, saying this helped to boost the sales for the latter part of this year and he could only look forward to more great achievements next year.   “The outlook is that we can only grow more,” he said.   “The winning rum for us this year has been the Four Square 2005. It was entered in a category where for the first time in 23 years a rum actually beat gin, whiskies and others. Since we have achieved that award this year the sales on it have been doing very well. It is a limited edition but it is outselling the other two limited editions we have,” he reported.   The company also won the rum producer of the year award three times in a row and recently captured the rum distillery of the year award.
     Singh said R.L Seale would be partnering with the Hospitality Institute in an effort to give students an opportunity to learn more about rum and how to better incorporate it into their mixtures.  He explained that this was another way to encourage more visitors to the island to consume the product.  “It helps with our exports in the future and that is foreign exchange for Barbados. That is why we want to educate people on really, what rum is all about and let them know also it is something that is growing worldwide,” he added.  Singh wants Barbadians to have a greater appreciation of rum, pointing out that while many residents still considered rum to be a “poor man’s drink”, the appreciation for, and consumption of the alcoholic beverage continues to grow on the international scene.
     Just last Friday Prime Minister Mia Mottley called for the story of rum to be told to the rest of the world and be used as a way of earning the country more foreign exchange.  “There are people in Europe whose appreciation for rum has grown so much in the last three to five years. We want to let, not just people living overseas but Barbadians, know that you can drink good rum here, properly aged rum that will cause you not to pay for some high-end drink,” Singh said.  “We should really cherish it because it is part of Barbados. This is coming from a distillery, which is one of two Barbadian-owned distilleries in the island,” he added.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Bahama Bob"s Tom and Jerry for the Holidays

     The Tom and Jerry is one of those hot holiday drinks that has been around for many many years.  It is a true classic that I remember even as a kid in the 50's, less the alcohol, but none the less a wonderful hot drink that meant it was getting close to Christmas.

    There are a lot of recipes to make your own batter, but for me I like to head to the store and pick up one that fits my taste.  One of my favorites is Trader Vic's, it is spicy and really flavorful.

Bahama Bob's Tom and Jerry

  • 3 Tbsp of Bahama Bob's Tom and Jerry Batter
  • Blend of Heated Milk and Water
  • 2 oz. Doorly's XO Rum
  • Fresh Nutmeg
Put 3 Tablespoons of Bahama Bob's Tom and Jerry Batter in a 8 oz. Mug,  Mix 3/4 cup of boiling water and 1/4 cup warm milk and add the rum and stir it into the batter..  Top with fresh ground nutmeg and enjoy.

Bahama Bob’s Tom and Jerry Batter
  • 1 Egg (Separate Whites from Yoke)
  •  ¼ tsp. Cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. Allspice
  • ¼ tsp.  Nutmeg
  • ½ oz. Simple Syrup 

Beat egg white until foamy in a large glass or metal mixing bowl until stiff peaks form.  Add Yoke  and beat with the whites.   Add the spices and Simple syrup and fold into the egg whip.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Seventh Annual Caribbean Journal Rum Awards

     It’s hard to believe that this year is the seventh annual edition of the Rum Awards, a celebration of rum that was one of the earliest innovations of Caribbean Journal. And it’s just as remarkable how much rum has changed in these seven years.

     Today, an increasingly knowledgeable consumer base is appreciating the unparalleled diversity and romance of rum — but also asking more of rum companies, pushing them to launch more sophisticated, more authentic — and more premium — expressions.

     Consumers are also beginning to discover the joy of the world of Rhum Agricole, a small fraction of global production that manages to produce a wide-ranging, artisanal, terroir-focused offering that includes some of the greatest cane spirits you will find anywhere.

     It all means that rum is in a very good place, whether one is starting his or her rum journey or taking trips to collect rare bottlings in the far corners of the West Indies.

     It also means that every year the judging for the Rum Awards gets more difficult, as the Rum Journal team travels across the Caribbean region, visiting distilleries and sampling rums (and sampling them again). This year, we began the judging with a dossier of more than 200 rums tasted, one that eventually whittled down to a field of 12 rums for the Rum of the Year category.  

     This year’s final judging was conducted again at the terrific  Casa de Montecristo by Prime Cigar in Miami, where the Rum Journal panel conducted six rounds of spirited tasting and eventually settled on the winners.

     This year’s slate of winners is as impressive as ever, hailing from across the Caribbean and the United States and demonstrating, again, the wonder of the world of rum.  But remember, as we like to say at Rum Journal, the best rum in the world is the rum that’s in your glass right now.

     Rum of the Year: Havana Club Seleccion de Maestros, Cuba Each year, choosing the Rum of the 
Year gets more difficult. More and more producers are making exceptional aged rums, using new blending and aging techniques, experimenting with special finishes and helping to raise the perception of premium rum in the marketplace. But this year’s winner was a veritable institution of the rum world, from one of the great rum producing countries of the world. Havana Club, Cuba’s flagship rum, produces a broad portfolio of expressions, from traditional white rum to rums specifically blended to be smoked with Cohibas. But this year, its signature ultra-premium rum took home the crown. Havana Club’s Seleccion de Maestros, bottled at a robust 45 degrees, is a blend of reserve-stock rums, brought together by the company’s master rum makers. After multiple rounds of judging, the Havana Club held up against all competitors, thanks to its hallmark: a truly remarkable balance. This is a delicate, luxurious rum that just kept holding up after repeated tasting, one that is consistent from start to finish and that simply begs you to pour another glass. Plainly, it’s an exquisite rum.

Double Gold: El Pasador de Oro Rum XO, Guatemala
Gold: El Dorado 21 Year Old Rum, Guyana
Silver: Angostura 1824, Trinidad
Bronze: Chairman’s Reserve 1931, Saint Lucia

     Best New Rum: One Drop, Harbour Island, Bahamas Harbour Island isn’t like other places in the Caribbean — or even in The Bahamas for that matter. It’s a bit like an English-speaking St Barth, chic but carefree, charming but unpretentious. And it’s also an island that loves its rum. That was how the island’s Afrohead rum was born a few years back — and now Toby Tyler, the master blender behind Afrohead, is at it again, this time with a blend of 10-year-old and 12-year-old Jamaican juice. The result is a rum (hand-bottled on Harbour Island) that is delightfully drinkable, with a fruit-forward flavor profile and a funky but velvety finish. It’s not like other Jamaican rums, and that’s cool — it’s kind of a new interpretation of that island’s spirit, and a rum that’s made for, well, people who like rum. And it’s the best new rum of 2018.
     Get the rest of the lists of the award winners at

Where Did Rum Really Come From?

Sugarcane Fields

     There is some disagreement as to the exact origin of rum, but Barbados and Brazil are some of the most repeated ones.  There is a lot of talk about early rums coming from the areas of the South Pacific as well.  Sugarcane has its origins in that area, along with a large sugar production.  Anytime that you have fermentable materials, you will generally find an alcoholic beverage made from it.

Early Sugar Processing Pots
     Plantation slaves first discovered that molasses, a by-product of the sugar refining process, fermented into alcohol. Later, distillation of these alcoholic by-products concentrated the alcohol and removed impurities, producing the first true rums. Tradition suggests that rum first originated on the island of Barbados.

     The first distillation of rum in the Caribbean took place on the sugarcane plantations there in the 17th century. Plantation slaves discovered that molasses, a byproduct of the sugar refining process, could be fermented into alcohol. ... However, in the decade of the 1620s, rum production was also recorded in Brazil.   Cachaca is a rum like spirit that is made in Brazil from fresh sugarcane juice, it has many of the same characteristics as rum.

     Christopher Columbus was the first to introduce sugarcane to the Caribbean in the 1400’s, but the plantation slaves of the late 1600’s finally started distilling rum.  Columbus brought the sugarcane from the East Indies that he introduced to the Caribbean.  I guess that it really doesn’t matter the exact origin of rum, but it seemed to pop up anywhere there was sugarcane.  Some places it was made from sugarcane juices and other places used the industrial waste of the sugar processors.  The bottom line is we do have it today.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Old Town Panama City, Panama

     I've been thinking about all of the places that this blog has taken me over the past seven years.  One of the early trips was courtesy of Abuelo Rum to Panama.  Besides visiting the distillery in Pese, I spent a great afternoon in Old Town Panama City.  In addition to the beauty of the sidestreets of this historic town, there was remnants of some of the damage from the battles to extract Manuel Noriega in 1989.   This picture s one of the really colorful sidestreets I ran across in Old Town Panama City.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Francisco "Don Pancho" Fernandez and Yolo Rum

Francisco "Don Pancho" Fernandez and Carlos Esquival 

     Yolo’s flagship 10 Year Old Rum is blended with rum that’s distilled and aged at Consorcio Licorero Nacional in Panama City. It’s a deep amber-brown, with notes of vanilla. The taste is rich with flavors like cake batter and toffee. On the side of every bottle is the sentence “Blended by Francisco Don Pancho Fernandez.”
     Don Pancho became the head of research and development for rum at the Ministerio de la Industria Alimentaria, which was the government owned agency responsible for the Cuban beverage industry. That’s where he picked up the nickname Minister of Rum. He worked for brands like Matusalem and Havana Club, which led to the nickname Great Grandfather of Havana Club.    Don Pancho’s career in Cuba lasted 35 years. Pernod Ricard acquired the rights to distribute Havana Club in 1993, but Don Pancho didn’t come with the brand. He moved to Pesé, Panama, a region known for its sugar cane, where he worked for Ron Abuelo and helped rebuild Las Cabras distillery with a friend named Carlos Esquivel.
     There are people that question whether Don Pancho, , the legend, exists. “If you had Googled Don Pancho when we started Yolo rum, you’d have thought he was a fictional character”. “There are conspiracy theories about him even existing, like, ‘Oh, he never existed before 1998.’ That’s because he was in Cuba.”  Guerin says that he had to educate people on who Don Pancho was. He’s modest and doesn’t seek accolades or publicity.  “The people who question him—none of that bothers him,” says Guerin. “I say, ‘We have to do this to counter,’ because I want to help fight his battles for him, but he doesn’t care.”
     Don Pancho gave Guerin the blend that’s now Yolo on the first try. “He basically told my wife that he had it ready for us when we showed up,” says Guerin. “And he told her, ‘This is the standard that all rums should be held to.’ Once we tried it, it just blew my socks off.”  .
     Guerin started a rum brand because he wanted to share the Central American rum that made him fall in love with the spirit category. Through a series of fortunate events, he ended up working with the man who helped popularize Havana Club, one of the most storied names in rum. There were probably easier paths to getting a rum brand that didn’t involve Guerin trying to convince people of his master blender’s authenticity. But hey, you only live once

Friday, December 14, 2018

Goslings Releases Papa Seal, the “Father of all Rums”

      A new, but rare rum is being released by Goslings, the rum has been hand-selected and slowly aged in single-use bourbon barrels.  The company described the rum as: “Startlingly mellow with an elegant finish carrying notes of spice, leather, banana, caramel and molasses. The expression is so refined, Goslings urges owners to savor it neat or over a single cube of ice”.
          Malcolm Gosling, president and chief executive officer of Gosling’s International Limited, said: “Our obsession has always been on crafting the finest rums possible, not the most rums. With that mantra in mind, we proudly created Papa Seal ‘the father of all rums’. My only regret is that we are forced to limit the number of people who can experience it.”  Because of the limited offering, Goslings is restricting each customer to a maximum purchase of six bottles, which cost $179 each.
     The entire output of Papa Seal rum will be restricted to 12 barrels, and of those only one has been reserved for Bermuda customers.  However, the barrel for Bermuda is extra special, because it is the first of the Papa Seal rum barrels. Bottles from the barrel will be numbered and hand-packaged in display boxes.  

Thursday, December 13, 2018

A Few Things You Should Know About Rum

It Must Be From a Derivative of the Sugar Cane.

     Sugar cane which is a type of grass that grows best in warm tropical climates, like South and Central America, the Caribbean and the Central Pacific. Once the juice is extracted from the sugarcane, it can be turned into molasses or kept in its raw juice form. On its own, it has a sweet, grassy taste that gives you a major sugar rush. Mixed with yeast and water, it begins the fermentation process.

It Has a Lot In Common Other Brown Liquors.

     The barrels! After the fermentation process, rum is distilled to extract the ethanol from the rest of the stuff in the fermented wash . After that, the alcohol is often aged in American bourbon barrels. Why? When making bourbon, the rules of Bourbon say that you can only use new oak barrels to age it. These oak barrels are then sold to rum and other spirits companies, where they are used aging rum and other spirits.

There’s A Lot Of Fire Involved.

     A good rum has a broad spectrum of flavors, from caramel and vanilla to smoke. How do rum makers achieve this complexity?   Fire, that chars the insides of the oak barrels, imparting a toasty flavor on the rum aged inside. So those notes of wood ,vanilla, and caramel you're tasting.

White Rum And Dark Rum Are More Similar Than You Think.

     After the rum has been aged to the distillery’s liking, some of the aged rum is filtered through charcoal filters to remove some of the color and a bit of the oaky flavor. This is what we refer to as white rum, the preferred rum for mixed drinks. Dark rum, its counterpart, maintains more of the charred woody flavor and is usually consumed neat or with ice.

You Can Do Your Own Quality Check.

     Good spirits depend on your senses to determine if it is a rum that you will enjoy.   Pour it into a clear glass and examine its color and clarity, dark rums will have an amber to mahogany hue, White rums should be clear and free of debris or cloudiness.  Some of the age white rums may still have a hint of color that was not complexly filtered out leaving some of the flavor of the barrel.   Take a small sip, then swoosh it around in your mouth, if alcohol the first thing you taste, that sharp burn is often indicative of a cheaper bottle.  The quality rum will give you complexity immediately of sweet, smoky, and smooth mouth feel. This is the type of rum you want to sip slowly.   The whites are best saved for quality cocktails like a Mojito or other fine mixture.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Rum: The Manual by Dave Broom

     Here is an idea for a Christmas present for your rum lover.  It will be a welcomed addition to any rum enthusiast’s library.  It is available through Amazon and is priced at only$13.59 and is a prime eligible product.

     This is a book by Dave Broom about how to drink rum of all kinds. It's about classic rums and new-generation rums, about rhum agricole and about premium aged rums, about rums from all over the world. It's about rum enjoyed with cola and ginger beer. About the best rum for a classic daiquiri. About rum cocktails that ooze style and personality. Above all, it's about enjoying your rum in all kinds of ways.

     The days of rum being seen as a minor spirit are over. The category has been reborn in recent years with developments such as the rise of premium aged rums and spiced rums. The range of rums available has widened dramatically, with tiki bars in every major city globally. Add in cachaça - Brazil's native cane spirit - and you have a hugely popular distillate. So there's no surprise that the premium rum market is growing at an astonishing rate - from 23 percent per annum in the US to 74 percent per annum in France, for example. 

     The mission of this book is to help drinkers appreciate this complex spirit, find the style they like and discover how this versatile spirit can best be enjoyed. It will help you to understand your rum - how it's produced (whether from molasses, cane syrup or cane juice) and whether it's dry, sweet, fresh or oaky. More than 100 different rums are featured and analyzed, from rich, sweet mellow Guyana rums to the vegetal peppery rums of Martinique or Guadeloupe and contemporary spiced rums. Dave Broom provides a description and graded tasting notes for each brand, allowing you to create the perfect mix every time. Finally, a selection of classic and contemporary cocktails shows just how wonderfully versatile this spirit is.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

License To Swill: A Report on James Bond’s Drinking Over Six Decades

     This is a great and in depth report that covers James Bond’s vices and the use of alcohol and cigarettes.   The report is very well documented and I find it very interesting as to the things that James Bond can do after drinking several cocktails.

   Two of the authors, NK, AT watched all 24 James Bond movies in the Eon Productions series (1962–2015; online.   Alcohol-related content was identified, discussed, and recorded on a pre-printed form, and the details then transferred to an Excel file. A third investigator, PS also watched selected segments when there was uncertainty about coding decisions, with final decisions reached by consensus.

     When Bond was seen drinking (the glass or bottle reaching his lips), this was deemed an “observed alcohol use event”. If the alcohol brand or bottle label was not visible, we assessed the beverage as being alcohol on the balance of probabilities. We classified other events as “alcohol use assumed” if actual drinking was not observed but alcohol was on the table in front of Bond and it was likely he had consumed some in that setting. In contrast, we did not assume that alcohol was consumed by Bond if alcohol was present but he was in a dangerous situation, eg, when his drink could be spiked. Examples of inclusions and exclusions are included to minimize the chance of missing drinking episodes, we cross-checked our data with details in a publication on Bond’s drinking.

     The Women in James Bond’s world were similarly classified the alcohol use by the lead woman character in each movie — based on the order of the cast list.   For the two greatest binge events observed, we estimated units of alcohol consumed and Bond’s blood alcohol levels, based on one standard measure of spirits being 25 mL. Blood alcohol concentrations were computed with the routinely used Widmark formula, with Bond’s weight assumed to be that of an average British man approx.. 84 kg.

     Bond’s activities after drinking were recorded for the period until he was presumed to have gone to sleep for the night. Bond’s post-drinking activities included fights, driving vehicles, gambling, sex, athletic extremes, and operating complex machinery or devices. “Alcohol used as a weapon” described instances in which alcoholic drinks were used as vehicles for drugs, or bottles were used in fights or to start fires (eg, Molotov cocktails).   Data on specific visible alcohol brands, eg, on beverage containers, on advertisements in the background, were collected. Evidence for product placement was cross-checked with a website devoted to product placement in movies and with the names of alcohol companies listed in the movie credits.

     Bond had a mean 4.5 drinking events per movie (median, 4; range, 2–9), with no statistically significant trends over the six decades.   Bond has consumed a diverse range of drink types, indicating that he is happy to drink whatever is readily available. He does, however, show a preference for cocktails and other spirits (55% of all drinks). This class includes a cocktail he designed himself (the “vesper”), for which he provided instructions to a barman in Casino Royale (2006). Also included in this category is his fairly stable level of martini consumption. He was seen to drink beer on only four occasions.        One statistically significant change over time has been the declining use of alcohol as a weapon by any character, including Bond.   Alcohol as a weapon mainly involved using bottles in fights, but alcohol was also exploited as a vehicle for drug delivery, eg, chloral hydrate in spiked drinks in From Russia with Love and The Living Daylights and, on two occasions, for starting fires, Thunderball and A View to a Kill.
     Both the lead female characters and the random sample of Bond’s sexual partners had a stable pattern of drinking across the six decades. In contrast to Bond, who has not smoked while drinking since 2002, some of his sexual partners have continued to do so, eg, Séverine in Skyfall, 2012.
     After drinking, Bond frequently engaged in a wide range of potentially high risk activities. These included fights, driving vehicles, including chases, operating complex machinery, eg, flying a helicopter, contact with dangerous animals, and sex. The latter is noteworthy, as it sometimes involved enemies, eg, Fiona Volpe in Thunderball, Helga Brandt, No. 11 in You Only Live Twice, or was undertaken with guns or knives in the bed, eg, Jinx activated a flick knife in bed during a post-coital moment in Die Another Day, 2002. In other movies, Bond was under the influence when escaping a komodo dragon, evading a tarantula, and playing a drinking game with a scorpion on his hand. An example of the extreme complexity of the mix of his post-drinking tasks include a series of contiguous events in Dr. No in 1962: Bond operated nuclear power plant machinery, destroyed almost single-handedly Dr No’s nuclear/space complex, killed Dr No, rescued Honey Ryder, and escaped the island. Similarly, on another post-drinking occasion he successfully killed the “Man with the Golden Gun”, accomplished the mission goal retrieving a solex unit, and escaped the island before it was destroyed. On yet another occasion, after drinking at lunch he chased May Day up the Eiffel Tower, jumped on top of a high speed lift, drove a stolen taxi recklessly on footpaths and through the streets of Paris “violating most of the Napoleonic code” in the process, then jumped about 10 meters from a bridge and through the roof of a barge. Performing these types of activities after drinking has not declined over time, and high stakes gambling by Bond after drinking has indeed significantly increased.
     In conclusion, there is strong and consistent evidence that James Bond has a chronic alcohol consumption problem at the “severe” end of the spectrum. He should seek professional help and try to find other strategies for managing occupational stress. His workplace (MI6) needs to become a responsible employer and to refer him to support services, and to change its own workplace drinking culture.