Sunday, June 30, 2019

Seven Mile Grand Cayman Sunset

     Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman offers some pretty spectacular sunsets.  Sitting at the bar looking out to the west always seems t provide a wonderful view of the sunset.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

William Grant Feels That They Paid a ‘Fair Purchase’ of Sailor Jerry

     Scottish drinks group William Grant & Sons has stressed that its purchase of Sailor Jerry rum was “made in good faith” as it faces a lawsuit from the family of the tattooist who inspired the brand.  The spiced rum pays homage to Norman Keith ‘Sailor Jerry’ Collins, a former naval officer who later became a well-known tattoo artist with a unique and distinctive style. Collins, who died in 1973, ran a tattoo shop in Honolulu, Hawaii, for several years.
     His widow, Louise Collins, is now suing William Grant & Sons, which bought the Sailor Jerry brand in 2008, for “unauthorised use and misappropriation of Sailor Jerry’s name and persona”.  According to Louise Collins, William Grant & Sons “never sought or received permission” from her to use Sailor Jerry’s likeness.  “I am appalled to see what these folks have done with Jerry’s name and legacy,” she said. “This was my husband, the father of my children, and no one ever even asked our family for permission to use him in this way.”
     Legal representatives of Louise Collins have called the use of Sailor Jerry’s likeness “illegal” and are seeking to “secure a better financial future for his family”.   However, Glenfiddich maker William Grant & Sons said the brand was “developed and protected by multiple owners” before its acquisition, and that the group “undertook due diligence, tracing back a number of decades, to ensure the purchase was fair and lawful”.
     A spokesperson for the company said: “While we are not able to comment on any pending litigation, William Grant & Sons has and always will hold Norman Collins’ legacy in the highest regard. We have enormous respect for the family of Norman Collins and have no desire to cause upset.”  Representatives of William Grant & Sons will meet with Louise Collins and her immediate family in Hawaii later this week to discuss the matter and “fully understand their concerns and needs”.
     “The aim of this meeting is to establish a joint approach to ensure that Norman ‘Sailor Jerry’ Collins’ legacy is protected and celebrated,” a statement from William Grant continued.  Louise Collins and her family are being represented by Honolulu law firm Davis Levin Livingston.  

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Oloroso Sherry Cask Finished Cayman Spirits Rum Launched

Oloroso Sherry Casks at Cayman Spirits
     My friends Walker Romantica and Nelson Delbert of Cayman Spirits located on Grand Cayman Island have just released Cayman Spirits Special Release, Oloroso Cask Finish. a Rare Rum aged in Bourbon Barrels for 2 years & Sherry Cask finished for an additional 2 years.

     I had the privilege a couple of years ago to try their original expression that was still under development at the time.  It was wonderful, I can hardly wait to try this finished expression when I visit in November.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

A Heron in the Mangroves

     Taking a trip out into the the mangrove islands to the north of us  is always a thrill.  The herons and i=the egrets will always provide you with some interesting views.  Today a white heron is hiding in the mangroves here in Mud Key providing a wonderful view.  It is watching us as we watch it, making for a great experience for both.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

The Story of Josie Russell and Sloppy Joe's Bar Key West

Sloppy Joe's Duval and Greene Streets   Key West

     A long time in Key West there was a bar owned and operated by a man named Josie Russell.   Joe Russell was a charter boat captain, a rumrunner, Ernest Hemingway’s boat pilot, and fishing companion for some twelve years.  Prohibition was looked on as an amusing exercise dreamed up by the government and Josie Russell was just one of several individuals who operated illegal speakeasies. Key West residents including Papa Hemingway, would stop by his home occasionally  to buy illicit bottles of liquor.
Josie Russell and Papa
The official beginning of Sloppy Joe’s Bar, the famous and infamous Key West saloon, was December 5, 1933–the day Prohibition was repealed. The bar would to go through two name changes and a sudden change of location before it would become Sloppy Joe’s,    When Prohibition ended, Josie Russell became a legitimate saloon-keeper-proprietor of the “Blind Pig”, a droll rundown building that Russell leased for three dollars a week.   The rowdy, come-as-you-are saloon was remodeled and renamed the Silver Slipper, with the addition of a dance floor.   It didn’t matter–it remained a the same  shabby uncomfortable place where good friends, gambling, fifteen-cent whiskey, and ten-cent shots of gin could be enjoyed.  It was Hemingway, a favorite patron of Russell’s bar from the start, who encouraged its name change to Sloppy Joe’s. The new name was adopted from Jose Garcia Rio Havana club of the same name.   Because the floor was always wet with melted ice, his patrons taunted this Spanish Joe with running a sloppy place… and the name stuck.
Sloppy Joe's Havana, Cuba
     Sloppy Joe’s literally marched across the street to its present location on May 5, 1937. The move was the result of a rent increase from three dollars a week to a whopping four dollars per week, a 25% increase that Josie Russell refused to pay.  Joe Russell paid $2,500 for the former Victoria Restaurant owned by Juan Farto at the time.  Built in 1917 Located at the corner of Duval and Greene streets, the Victoria had Cuban tile work, busily whirring ceiling fans, and jalousie doors.
     In true Key West fashion, the bar never actually closed during the transition–customers simply picked up their drinks and carried them, along with every piece of furniture in the place, down the block to 201 Duval Street. Service resumed with barely a blink. The new Sloppy Joe’s boasted the longest bar in town. Behind the bar, in the back room, were gambling and pool tables. Inside the bar hung life-size paintings of fighters on the walls, and adorning one wall was a 119-pound sailfish caught by Hemingway. Skinner had a place of pride above his new long curved bar. The bat Skinner used to control his patrons still hangs on the wall today.
     This bar still flourishes today at the same location.  Captain Tony’s Saloon occupies the original location on Green Street today.   Born on December 9, 1889, Josie Russell died of a heart attack at the age of 51 on June 20, 1941.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Barrilito the History of a Little Barrel

     Don Pedro Fernandez would carry it around in a small wooden barrel, rum in arm, giving tastes to his friends and those who wished to try it.  A third-generation sugarcane grower in Puerto Rico, He studied the art of brandy and cognac distillation in France.  Upon his return to Puerto Rico in 1871 he wished to impart in rum the finesse of the French spirits, and in a few years Puerto Rico’s first rum was born on an island covered in sugarcane plantations.
     “Ron del Barrilito,” or the “Rum of the Little Barrel,” was produced in the pot still that he brought back with him .  Ron del Barrilito “three star” quickly became very popular, during Prohibition, Puerto Rico, being part of the United States, was soon a rum-free zone.   The company switched its operations to the production of alcohol for cosmetics and other purposes for the duration.   When Prohibition was repealed, the family quickly returned to return to rum.
     The rum making tradition lived on, and Barrilito’s true art of barrel aging, became the focus of the company, using bulk rum blended with a hints of their  secret blend of macerated fruits and spices combined with onsite aging methods that date back to Don Pedro’s brandy days.
      Barrilito remains the island’s oldest, most beloved rum, the one that gets you an approving glance from the barman when you ask for it.   It’s the pride of Puerto Rican rum making. Balanced by the sherry aging adding just a whisper of sweetness to the rum.  This is a story that is still to this day being written and I’m sure will be carried on for years to come.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

The Paul Castronovo Show Live From the Hemingway Rum Distillery Live

     Friday was a very special day at the Hemingway Rum Company.  The Paul Castronovo Show
came to the distillery to have a really fun time from 6:00 am until 10 am.   Paul's morning drive time show is very popular in the Miami area and a great time for us at the distillery.  We had a great crowd that showed up in the early morning hours for the show and some wonderful publicity for the company.

     Just like last year it was a great experience to be a part of Paul's show.  I just want to say thank you to all at I Heart Radio and the Paul Castronovo show for coming down to Key West and broadcasting from our distillery.  I totally enjoyed the entire experience.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Bacardi Launches a New Flavored Rum With Coconut Rum

     The new expression follows the release of Bacardi Spiced earlier this year, and Bacardi Ginger in   Bacardi Coco, Spanish for coconut, combines rich coconut flavor with pure Bacardi Rum. To obtain this one-of-a-kind coconut taste, the coconut is steeped to release the flavor. The spirit is then filtered. The result is a clean, dry spirit with a rich coconut aroma and authentic taste, reminiscent of coconut right off the tree.
2018.   According to the brand, “global demand for flavored rums continues to rise”.

     “Sales in the rum category are at an all-time high and this has been largely led by the flavored rum segment,” said Tine Van Nevel, brand director – Europe, Bacardi rum.  “The response to our previous flavored rums has been overwhelmingly positive and we are certain that Bacardi Coconut will be a welcome addition to the ever-growing Carta portfolio.”   The brand recently expanded its flavored offering in the US with the launch of Bacardi Lime.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

A Twist on the Clasic Seabreeze Cocktail

     Sitting on Cape Cod the last few days reminded me of a cocktail that I use to get quiet a few requests for when I was behind the bar at the Rum Bar.  The Seabreeze is a classic vodka cocktail that I really lik when it is made with a really good white rum.  It is a combination of New England with the cranberry juice and the tropics with the pineapple juice.  Give this on a try, I think that you will really enjoy it.

Bahama Bob’s Rum Seabreeze
1 ½ oz.  Yolo White Rum
2 ½  oz. Cranberry juice
2 ½  oz. Pineapple juice

Place all ingredients into a shaker filled with ice and shake until chilled.  Strain into a highball glass filled with fresh ice and garnish with a lime wheel.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Quick Trip to the Farm in Raynham Massachusetts

     This is one of the earliest dates that I have been to the farm in Massachusetts in many years.  It gave me a chance to see some of the more beautiful portions of the farm while everything was "spring fresh".   Rhododendrons were in bloom, the lush green plant life around the pond was also quite beautiful.

      It was also a time to spend with my mother who is 98 years old.  It was a great time that I'm so glad that I was able to enjoy,

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Grenada Prime Minister Impressed as the Renegade Rum Distillery Project Nears Completion

     Prime Minister, Dr. the Right Honorable Keith Mitchell has described the Renegade Rum Distillery project in St. Andrew’s as transformational.  Touring the project site on Thursday and learning of its various dimensions the various aspects of it, Dr. Mitchell said it is revolutionary in every sense. Speaking after the hour-long tour, he said, “Coming here today and seeing this expansive activity taking place, and the vast potential of the end-product in promoting Grenada, I must say I am truly impressed.
     This project has evolved into something way beyond my expectation.  It is revolutionary in every sense of the word.” Grenada’s latest rum distillery is the brainchild of project developer, Mark Reynier who is the CEO of Renegade Rum.  The project which will produce premium rum from locally-grown sugarcane, is considered a game-changer in the industry.

     The Prime Minister lauded the project for its significant impact on the agriculture industry and the rural economy. “This project is having a real impact on the revitalization of the agriculture industry.  I am amazed to learn that 150 acres of land are currently under sugarcane production.  This by itself, has significant potential to transform the rural economy. In addition, there is a growing level of ancillary activity taking place in the community and there is scope for much more.”   Once the distillery is operational, it is anticipated that about three acres of sugarcane will be harvested daily to facilitate production. 

     Dr. Mitchell said, “The extensive capacity of this distillery will facilitate a level of rum production that will impact significantly on our export earnings and economic activity in general. This project is having an enormous impact on the country as it is also contributing to diversification of the local economy.
     I must commend the project developer and his team for conceptualizing this initiative and bringing it to fruition. In facilitating Thursday’s tour, Graham Williams said most of the equipment for the project is already on island and within the next few weeks, they will be installed, bringing the project closer to completion.

     Twenty-five Grenadians have already been employed by the distillery and 60 others are currently employed in the construction phase of the project.  The Prime Minister was accompanied by Parliamentary Representative for the area and Minister with responsibility for Youth Development, Hon. Kate Lewis.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Alcohol Consumption Showed a Global Drop of 1.6% in 2018

     Drinkers across the globe consumed a total of 27.6 billion nine-liter cases of alcohol last year – a decline of 1.6%, according to International Wine and Spirit Record Drinks Market Analysis.   The new data forecasts that total alcohol consumption will gradually increase over the next five years to 28.5 billion in 2023.   Looking at retail value, the global market for alcohol last year was just over US$1 trillion. The IWSR expects this number to increase by 7% by 2023 as “consumers continue to trade up to higher-quality products”.
     Of all the alcoholic drinks categories, gin posting the largest volume gain of 8.3% in 2018. Pink gin helped to boost the category’s growth, selling more than 72 million cases globally. By 2023, gin is forecast to hit 88.4 million cases globally with “strong growth” in the UK, Philippines, South Africa, Brazil, Uganda, Germany, Australia, Italy, Canada and France.  In the UK, gin grew by 32.5% last year. The world’s largest gin market, the Philippines, posted growth of 8% boosted by a “booming cocktail scene and premiumization”.  Brazil was a “new hotspot” for gin, with volumes more than doubling. The market is expected to increase by 28.5% CAGR 2018-2023 as the trend for gin and tonics increases in high-end bars in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
     The global whisky category grew by 7% last year driven by “innovation in whisky cocktail and highballs” and largely bolstered by a “strong” Indian economy. In India, whisky grew 10.7% as consumers traded up.  The US and Japan posted 5% and 8% growth respectively. The IWSR forecasts whisky to grow by 5.7% CAGR 2018-2023, to almost 581 million cases.
     “Continued interest” in Tequila and mezcal (particularly in the US), and “innovation in more premium variants and cocktails” pushed the agave-based spirits category to 5.5% growth in 2018 globally. The category is forecast to increase by 4% CAGR over the next five years.        Vodka saw its volumes drop by 2.8% in 2018 as the lower-priced segment continued its decline in Russia and Ukraine – the largest markets for the category.  Over the next five years, vodka will “remain sluggish” and is expected to fall by 1.7% CAGR 2018-2023.
     The liqueurs sector also reported a decline last year, falling by 1.5%. It is expected to continue to drop this year before witnessing a slight rebound in 2020.  
     The mixed drinks category – including pre-mixed cocktails, long drinks, and flavored alcoholic beverages – grew 5% globally in 2018. By 2023, it is anticipated that more than 597 million cases of mixed drinks will be consumed across the world.   The growth is backed by continued strong gains in ready-to-drink (RTD) cans in the US and Japan, the category’s two largest markets. In the US, the popularity of alcohol seltzers has boosted growth in the RTD market.  Mixed drinks and cider “are taking share from beer as perceived accessibility increases”. In the cider category, almost 270 million cases are expected by 2023, a 2% CAGR 2018-2023.
    While the spirits category posted growth, beer declined 2.2% last year, and wine fell by 1.6% in volume.    “Every year our analysts spend months traveling the world to speak with suppliers, wholesalers, retailers, and other beverage alcohol professionals to assess what is happening market by market in this fast-changing business,” said IWSR CEO Mark Meek.   “The raw data we collect is enormously valuable, but equally important is what that data tells us in terms of trends, challenges, and opportunities facing the industry.”

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Bahia Honda Sunset

     Since Irma, there have not been any chances for spending the night upon the boat at Bahia Honda.  I really miss the kayak ride out between the bridges.  A reat time to anchor and enjoy an evening cocktail and fantastic sunsets.   Hopefully Marta and my schedules will allow us to spend more nights at the park marina and kayak out there again.