Bahama Bob's Rumstyles

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving to One and All

     I'm glad to be wishing all of you a Happy Thanksgiving and hope that you are getting to be with the ones you love.   For me, I'm going to be at the "Rum Bar in Key West" all day Thursday making sure that everyone that is down here in Key West for your Thanksgiving holiday have a fun place to drop by and enjoy your day with me.

     For those of you that are staying home for the holiday, make the time to enjoy the family and or friends and don't get over stuffed where you have to miss "Black Friday".  Just Kidding.  ;o)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Cracking the American Spirits Market

     People often ask me why I don't carry the great rum that had while they were in the Caribbean, but it is really expensive and time consuming to bring a new spirit into the US.   Two years ago Don Pancho Fernandez introduced his "Life's Work" rum Origenes, but I was finally to say that I have it for my customers in the "Rum Bar in Key West" last week.   What had to take place in order for this to happen?

      There was an article in the "Spirits Business" last week that gives you a pretty good idea of what has to transpire in order for brand to be on the shelf for sale
in America.

     Spirits brands continue to covet the US market, but it is one of the world’s most difficult markets to crack
     To make it in America is not just the dream of every British rock band since the Beatles’ invasion of 1964. Every non-US brand of vodka, gin, whisky, or whatever, also wants to crack the most lucrative and dynamic international spirits market on the planet. Thousands try, but few succeed.
     “The structure of the US market makes it theoretically almost impossible to break into,” says Jacob Ehrenkrona, CEO of Reformed Spirits, owner of Martin Miller’s gin. “Basically there hasn’t been a single European brand owned by an independent company that has really conquered America.” When pressed, he makes a possible exception for the Dutch vodka Ketel One, before Diageo bought a 50% stake and took over distribution in 2008.
     “Martin Miller’s has just about managed to get a foothold in America that no one can take away from us,” Ehrenkrona says. “We’ve made every mistake, but we’re still there and we’re growing.” The biggest mistake he sees time and again is “to be mesmerised by the opportunity the US represents. Most brands start in New York, California or Florida, and then other states start demanding the product. It becomes exciting and, all of a sudden, you get swept away by your own success and start spending money. You spend a fortune and spread yourself too thin. That’s the main reason people fail.”
     I hope this will help you understand why so many really fine rums are not being sold here in America.   I really wish it was easier, but the post prohibition laws for the distribution and sale of spirits here in the United States.
 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Coming Soon: Siesta Key Toasted Coconut Rum





     It is official, December 6th at 10:00 a.m. is the release date for Siesta Key  Toasted Coconut Rum! “Finally a coconut rum that doesn't taste like suntan lotion!”   Siesta Key Toasted Coconut Rum is made purely by an infusion of shredded toasted coconut with the rum.   Others may claim "natural ingredients" but for most distillers that means using liquid flavors.
    Drum Circle Distillery is making coconut rum without the use of any liquid flavors is a lot of work, but the results are incredible. The "proof" is in the bottle! Siesta Key Toasted Coconut Rum is bottled at a full 70 proof so you know you are actually drinking rum!
     Troy Roberts and Siesta Key Rums have a strong history of producing fine rums right here in Sarasota, Florida and the addition of this toasted coconut flavored rum is an exciting addition to the brand.   I am looking forward to tasting this rum and will give you a full report when I get the opportunity to taste it. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

The "Freed Up" Daiquiri

     It has been a while since I've been able to spend some time in my "Rum Lab", but with the cool weather this past week I was able to do a bit of experimenting with my favorite cocktail category, the daiquiri.   Below is an interesting combination that I found to be very flavorful and fits well with a cool evening stuck inside.


Bahama Bob’s Freed Up Daiquiri

·         2 1/2 oz. Flor de Caya 12 Year Old Rum
·         1/2 oz. Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
·         2 dashes of Fee Bros. Orange Bitters
·         1 dash Fee Bros. Old Fashion Bitters
·         Juice of ½ Lime
·         ¼ oz. Agave Nectar

Place all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice and shake until chilled.  Strain into a chilled Martini Glass and garnish with a long orange zest.
 
Give this one a try, I believe you will be freed up from the doldrums of winter long enough to picture a warm Caribbean sunset.   ;o)

 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Tropicana Theater: Havana, Cuba

     The Tropicana in Havana is one of my favorite memories of Cuba.  The show that so many Americans and others from all over the world came to see is still going on today.   This is a must see for anyone that is headed to Cuba.  It is still so much like the 1930's that I was waiting for Carmen Miranda to appear on the stage. 



Saturday, November 22, 2014

Rum's Top 10 Historical Moments.

     The Spirits Business published a very interesting article recently, dealing with historical events that have shaped the rum business and the way the rum is perceived today.


"Exile, revolution, war and Prohibition all played a part in shaping the fascinating story of rum. Here are the spirit’s top 10 historical moments."

     From Navy rations to the Cuban Revolution, these are the biggest moments in rum history.  
     It may be one of the biggest spirits categories in the world, but rum has encountered its fair share of set backs and challenges since molasses were first distilled in the 17th Century.
 
     With roots in the colonial slave trade, the spirit later became forever associated with drunken sailors as the Royal Navy were rationed a “tot” of rum a day.
     The world’s largest rum brand Bacardi was created in 1862 and laid claimed to being the first rum to feature in the Cuba Libre cocktail.
     While Prohibition proved fruitful for the industry, when other sectors were contrastingly dealt a fatal blow, it soon encountered its biggest upheaval in the Cuban Revolution and the ensuing US/Cuba trade sanctions.
      The origins of rum lie in the Caribbean plantations, where slaves are believed to have discovered that molasses could be used to distil alcohol.
     Many historians believe that this process was first discovered in Barbados – where an ancient document calls the spirit a “hot, hellish and terrible liquor” – while others believe there was proof of rum production in Brazil as early as the 1620s. Meanwhile, evidence of alcohol made from fermented sugarcane dates back to the 14th Century in Europe, India and China.

     Rum production then moved to colonial North America, where the first rum distillery is thought to have been opened in Staten Island in 1664.

     In 1655, the Royal Navy famously switched the daily liquor ration it gave to its sailors from
French brandy to rum.   However almost a century later, in 1740, sailors’ tots of rum began to be watered down to prevent drunkenness, creating a mixture known as grog. This added lemon or lime juice to help prevent the onset of scurvy.   Until 1970, the Royal Navy continued to give its sailors a daily ration of rum, and do so on special occasions to this day. The day the daily ration of rum ended is known as Black Tot Day.

The story has much more to tell and you can read the rest of the story at http://www.thespiritsbusiness.com/2014/11/top-10-moments-in-rum-history-2/

     This is an interesting linking of historical events with rum.  It is a good read and one that I think that you can enjoy.  ;o)




Friday, November 21, 2014

Casa Bacardi Tours in Puerto Rico No Longer Free


SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — The drinks are no longer on the house at Casa Bacardi in Puerto Rico.

     Foreigners will now have to pay $12 and residents $6 to visit one of the most popular tourist attractions in the metropolitan San Juan region, officials said Tuesday.   The seaside rum distillery was well-known for its free drinks and tours.   The new cover charge includes a welcome drink, a commemorative 12-ounce acrylic glass and a tour of the Bacardi Visitor Center, according to a statement by Casa Bacardi. Those who want a tour of the distillery, a sampling of four premium rums or a drink-confectioning course must pay an additional $23.    Casa Bacardi officials said they also plan to renovate their facility and revamp their drink menus.
     Mari Jo Laborde, a spokeswoman for Puerto Rico's tourism company, said Bacardi officials have already met with tour operators and cruise line officials to notify them of the changes.    "It's one of the most important tours for us," she said. "They didn't consult us, but they did inform us about their plans. It's a private company and they take their own financial and strategic decisions."   More than 250,000 people a year visit the Bacardi distillery, where more than 83 percent of Bacardi rum is produced.

     This is a rend that has happened to the wine industry as well.  In my days of living in the Sonoma Valley of California I use to jump into my 1959 Austin Healy Sprite and drive over the mountain to the Napa Valley and sample all of the free wines at the wineries in St, Helena and Calistoga.   Today this is no longer a "free" event either.  Times change, insurance costs go up and it becomes necessary to charge for such visits.  In the case of Bacardi, it is no different.  You can not run a business at a loss and costs need to be covered.  The price of entry is about the same as having a couple of cocktails at a bar and you get so much more