Bahama Bob's Rumstyles

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Sun Sets on Another Week Here in Key West

     Happy Easter to everyone.   This week has been a week of anticipation for me.  I leave tomorrow afternoon for another fun filled week of rum and friendship at the 2014 Miami Rum Renaissance Festival.   If you haven't attended one of these events, it is an experience that you will never forget, there are people that make rum, mix rum, and drink rum there from all over the world.  You can get your tickets online at .  Hope to see many of you there this year.  ;o)

Saturday, April 19, 2014

John D. Taylor's Velvet Falernum

     John D. Taylor's Velvet Falernum is the choice for me when making cocktails calling for falernum.  

     Velvet Falernum has limitless possibilities for mixing very flavorful cocktails. .  This is a very unique liqueur that exudes  flavors of lime, almond, vanilla, ginger, and clove.  I find it to be an essential component for many Caribbean cocktails .   Velvet Falernum is a longtime staple item of resorts and bars in Barbados, and today for its use in Tropical, and Tiki cocktails.   . It is made from an infusion of spices and lime juice into sugar cane syrup and Barbados Rum.     John D Taylor's Falernum,  considered by most to be the original Falernum, and it is today produced in Barbados by Richard L. Seale Ltd.

     Richard L. Seale oversees distilling operations and has a reputation for operating outside of the box when it comes to the use of technological advances in distilling and the overall production of his rums.

Despite being located in a sugar cane plantation , Four Square Distillery gets most of  its molasses from Guyana,    The old sugar cane factory  was separated from the distillery in 1950, with the production of sugar ending between 1987 and 1989.    In 1995 they took over an abandoned sugar factory and after a complete remodeling and the installation of custom built Italian stills, they began producing rum in 1996.

     In Barbados, the "National Cocktail" is "Corn and Oil", a lively cocktail that gets it's unique flavor from the combination of the Bajan rum, John D. Taylor's Velvet Falernum and bitters.     You will find that this is a staple to keep at you bar for adding that special twist to your cocktails.  Whether you are making Tiki, Caribbean or most any other cocktails, this is something you need to keep in mind for making you cocktail very special and memorable.

Corn and Oil
  • 2/3 of a ice filled glass of John D. Taylor's Velvet Falernum
  • two dashes of Bitters
  • Top Up with Doorly's XO Rum
Use a 12 oz. glass filled with ice and add all of the ingredients.  Shake until chilled, and garnish with a lime wheel. 

     There are many uses for John D. Taylor's Velvet Falernum, and you will not be disappointed with the results in many old and new cocktails as you experiment with it.  Hope you enjoy the results like I have over the past few years since I discovered it.  ;o)

Friday, April 18, 2014

Damoiseau Rhums

     The Damoiseau line of Rhums from Guadeloupe in the Lesser Antilles Islands of the Caribbean, while not true Agricole (AOC) rhums carry many of the characteristics of many of the fine French style rhums.   

     Roger Damoiseau bought the estate from the Rimbaud family in 1942.  An abandoned factory of the late 20s, that the Damoiseau brothers would spend the next 40 years renovating the estate to it's present condition. Trees had taken root in the buildings and everything was in complete disrepair and needed to be rebuilt.  The distillery would be gradually revived and the Damoiseau Brothers would  begin the manufacture of agricultural rhum and abandon the industrial rum previously produced on the estate.

     The Damoiseau Brothers cultivate 160 plus acres of cane in Le Moule, Grande Terre and buy the rest of its needs mainly from small planters.  Grande-Terre's indented coastline is surrounded by coral reefs and the island itself is a limestone plateau. Its surface is a series of rolling hills, white sand beaches and cliffs. The island's beaches consist of both white and black sands, as well as beaches of golden sand. Of the two islands, Grande-Terre is home to the majority of Guadeloupe's farmlands and tourist resorts.
 Aging takes place in a cellar built in 1982.  There are over 1400 drums each containing some 53 gallons of Rhum that are being stored in the aging warehouse.   There are many Damoiseau Rhums that are aged for long periods of time and boast tremendously fine flavors.  1953 is one of the Flagship expressions offered by the Damoiseau Brothers.
     A friend of mine stopped by the other day and brought me a bottle of Damoiseau Rhum Ambre .  It was time for me to start a research project to determine what I was going to do with it.    Damoiseau Rhum Ambre is a straw colored rhum that is aged for 1 year in oak.   It has a sweetness of vanilla and cinnamon on the nose with a bit of a fruitiness along with an aromatic sweetness on the palate.   This is a definite mixing rhum and one that I think will work well for me to make a Ti Punch with.   Ti Punch is a very popular cocktail among the French speaking states around the Caribbean.   It is time to look for a traditional recipe for Ti Punch that I can use to put my newly acquired bottle of rhum to good use with.

Ti Punch
  • 2 1/2 oz. Damoiseau Rhum Ambre
  • 1/3 oz.     Depaz Sugar Cane Syrup
  • 1 Slice      Lime
Pour the rum and sugar into glass. Then squeeze the lime disc between your finger and thumb, then drop into the drink.   This expels the oil from the skin and little of the juice into the Ti Punch.   Lastly stir and consider adding two or three ice cubes.   Opinions differ as to whether it should be served with or without ice, but most agree that the "real" ti' punch should be served without ice.   However, adding a small amount of ice allows the flavors of the ingredients to blossom.
     Ti Punch is similar to a daiquiri, but has a definite French flavor, the combination of the agricultural rhum and the oils from the lime rinds give Ti Punch a truly distinctly flavorful cocktail.  ;o)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

April is Alcohol Awareness Month

     Alcohol is a fun and wonderful thing when kept under control, but the misuse or abuse of alcohol like so many other things we encounter in our lives can be disastrous.   Our young people are very vulnerable to the peer pressure and the euphoria of a good buzz, this is something that can lead them down the road to disaster.  This Alcohol Awareness Month is the perfect time to put a little bit of effort into informing the people around us of the perils of alcohol abuse.

The Tragedy of Alcohol Use by Young People


     The month of April is designated Alcohol Awareness Month as founded by The National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence (NCADD) in 1987. 

     Since the beginning years of this month-long event, many other organizations have joined with NCADD in a collaborative effort to stem the tide of underage drinking, and adult alcohol abuse, through preventative education and awareness events; to bring about further awareness of this most serious and pressing problem within our nation. 

     The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), The National Institute on Alcohol and Alcoholism (NIAA), Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), the National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC), and many other organizations have joined in this effort over the past 27 years to bring about awareness and prevention of the use of alcohol by youth, and abuse of alcohol by adults.Alcohol Awareness Month. 

     I know what some of you are thinking. "every month is something month.   A month for this and a month for that." But let me explain the profound wisdom of the founders of this eventful month, and I know, because I was part of that first Alcohol Awareness Month. The month of April is most significant primarily because it is when many youth will experience their first drink of alcohol. It is also significant due to the Easter/Spring holidays where there will be many festivities involving drinking (can you say "Spring Break"?). And, it signifies the end of the school year in the coming month, a reason for young people to "celebrate." But, Alcohol Awareness Month not only draws attention to alcohol use by our youth, but the Abuse of alcohol by our adult population (for Young People under the age of 21 the term "use" is given, the "use" is illegal). 

     Alcohol Awareness Month empathizes, in the words of the founders, "Increased public awareness and understanding, to reduce stigma, and encourages local communities to focus on alcohol use, alcohol abuse, and alcoholism and alcohol related issues." This year, above all other past year's events, "highlights the important public health issue of underage drinking, a problem with devastating individual, family, and community consequences." 

     We have learned over the years that Alcohol use by young people is extremely dangerous, both to themselves and our communities. It is directly associated with traffic deaths, suicide, other directed violent acts, school failure and dropouts, alcohol overdose (alcohol poisoning), unsafe sexual practices, and behavioral problems. Highway statistics tell us that annually over 6,500 individuals under the age of 21 die from alcohol-related accidents and many thousands are injured.


     Talk to you kids and younger friends and let them know that while most of the adult world still takes a drink now and then, we are trying to avoid the binge drinking or over indulging.  There is plenty of time after you are 21 to experiment with liquors, wait until you are not surrounded by so much peer pressure to be stupid.  ;o)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Bahama Bob's Super Mai Tai

     The Mai Tai is one of the more famous rum cocktails of all time.  There have been more versions of this cocktail that there are toothpicks on a bar.   By most accounts the drink originated at Trader Vic’s  during the 1930's in San Leandro, California.   It has been modified and adjusted by most any bartender that has ever made a “Tiki Style” cocktail.  Many of these contain ingredients like grenadine and pineapple juice, that the cocktail never needed.
     There are a couple of constant factors in most Mai Tai’s.  One is a multiple types of rums and the other is the use of Orgeat, otherwise the ingredients run all over the spectrum.    I have a couple of versions that I have used over the years, but this is the one I personally enjoy the most.

Bahama Bob’s  Super  Mai Tai

·         1 oz. Diplomatico Blanco  Rum

·         1 oz. El Dorado 15 Year Rum

·         3/4 oz. Grand Marnier

·         Juice of 1/2 Fresh Lime

·         1/2 oz. Agave Nectar

·         1 oz. Orgeat

·         Lemon Hart 151 Float

·         Splash of Club Soda

Place all ingredients except the club soda and the Lemon Hart 151 in a shaker filled with ice, shake  until chilled.   Strain into a large rocks glass, or a 12 oz. tumbler filled with fresh ice, add the splash of club soda and float with Lemon Hart 151 rum.   Garnish  your Mai Tai with an orange zest and a sprig of mint .

     Hope you get a chance to try my “top shelf” Mai Tai and enjoy it as much as I do.    ;o)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

2014 Rhum Fest Paris: Concours Awards

     The results for the 2014 Rhum Fest Paris are in and I finally have them translated into English.  There was a true international jury to access these fine rhums and rums, and

their findings will be honored for a year until next year's event.   Below are the Jury of judges.

List of international judges:


·         Ian Burrell (England): Global Rum Ambassador

·         Dirk Becker (Germany): Berlin Rum Fest

·         Kristina Wolf  (Germany) Rum XP

·         Robert Burr  (USA) Miami Rum Renaissance Festival

·         Javier Herrera  (Spain) Madrid International Conference Rum

·         Philip Ili Barake  (Chile) Cigar Sommelier

·         Peter Holland  (England) The Floating Rumshack

·         René Van Hoven  (Netherlands) Rum XP

·         Benoit Lease (Luxembourg) Consultant

·         Leonardo Pinto  (Italy) Rome Rum Festival

·         Vingtier Alexandre  (France) Rumporter

·         Stephen Martin  (France) Best Mixologist de France 2009

·         Vallanet Jérôme  (France) Mixologist

·         Michael Landart  (France) Owner at Maria Loca

·         Julhes Nicolas (France) Le Petite Salon du Rhum

·         Alexandra Bernet  (France) Consultant

·         John Gibbons

·         Marc fought (France) Baroof

·         Alexandre Jarry

·         Pierre Moreau

·         Sébastien Scarf (France) Genepi
These are the final results of the judging  for your perusal.
         Agricultural rum and juice white:
Gold: Heir Madkaud
Silver: The heart of cane Favorite
Bronze: Depaz - cuvée of the mountain
Molasses White Rums
Gold: Flor de Cana Extra Dry
Silver: Diplomatico Reserve Blanco
Bronze: Plantation 3 *.
Agricultural Rum and Juice aged in wood, straw, amber...
Gold: The Favorite heart of rum
Silver: Reimonencq André
Bronze: Neisson Reserve
Amber Molasses and Gold Rums
Gold: Planting Original Dark
Silver: Rum Fair Belize
Bronze: Mount Gay Black Barrel
Agricultural Rum and Juice 3 to 6 years old
Bronze: Depaz VSOP
Agricultural Rum and Juice 3 to 6 years old
Gold: Chairman's reserve
Silver: Savanna 3 years
Bronze: Planting Guatemala
 Agricultural Rum and Juice old over 6 years
Gold: Longueteau old XO
Silver: Nation Martinique out of age
Bronze: Karukera 1999
More than 6 years old Molasses Rums
Gold: El Dorado 15 years
Silver: The spirit of rum Travellers
Bronze: Mount Gay XO
 Spiced Rums
Gold: Rebellion Spiced
Silver: La Mauny Spicy
Bronze: Old Orleans New Cajun Spice
Specialities of Rum (liquor, shrubb...)
Gold: Dormoy Shrubb
Silver: Chamarel liquor coconut
Bronze: Chamarel liqueur coffee
Rum for Cocktails:
Gold: Diplomatico Reserva Exclusive
Silver: Blackwell
Bronze: Arcane Cane Crush
 Rums Arranged
Gold: Isautier flamed banana
Silver: Isautier Gingenbre lemon
Bronze: TI arranged CED pineapple Victoria
Innovation of the Year
Gold: Arcane Cane Crush
Silver: Nine Leaves Clear
Bronze: Mount Gay Black Barrel
Special Prize of the Jury
Rum HSE Sauternes finish
Marks Favorite Users
Gold: Plantation
Silver: Ti' arranged by CED
Bronze: Damoiseau
    This is an interesting group of Rhums and Rums and the catagories are very different than many events that I have seen before.  Well done to the jury and I hope you enjoy the fine winners of the 2014 Rhum Fest Paris Concours.  ;o)