Bahama Bob's Rumstyles

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Holiday Heart Syndrome

     I received an email from Julie Bowen today about something that I believe I say happen to a
customer of mine from the Tampa area last spring.   After a day of drinking and partying here in Key West, he wound up in the hospital with chest pains.  This is a very real problem and one that you need to be aware of when you are out partying while on holiday anytime

How Alcohol Increases Your Risk of ‘Holiday Heart Syndrome’ 

     Scientists have long been aware that heavy drinking increases the odds of heart failure. Although there are health risks, no one has pinned downed the trigger factor that leads an alcoholic to cardiac arrhythmias.

     A new study from Sweden now suggests that moderate to heavy consumption of wine and liquor increases the risk for atrial fibrillation, a condition also known as ‘Holiday Heart Syndrome.’
What is Atrial Fibrillation?
     Atrial fibrillation, or an irregular heartbeat, is a quivering of the heart that causes chest pain, shortness of breath and increases the chances of a heart attack or stroke. Usually it occurs in periodic episodes, but atrial fibrillation may last for several days. Atrial fibrillation can occur among people who don’t drink as well, but it is more common in alcohol drinkers.

Details of the Study
     In the 12-year-long study, Swedish researchers kept track of a group of 79,016 adults between the ages of 45 and 83. In the end they discovered 12,554 cases of atrial fibrillation out of this population. The results showed an increase in irregular heartbeat for moderate consumers of alcoholic beverages, which is considered to be one to three drinks per day.
     Furthermore the risk of fibrillation increased by 8 percent with each alcoholic drink consumed. The people who drank the most were 50 percent more likely to develop an arrhythmia.
     Interestingly enough the subjects that chose to drink beer, rather than wine or alcohol, did not seem to be at as high of a risk. There was no direct relationship found between binge drinking beer and atrial fibrillation.

     Susanna C. Larsson, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Unit of Nutritional Epidemiology, Institute of Environmental Medicine at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, was lead author of the study. She thinks the new findings about beer may have to do with the time of the week it is consumed.
     According to Larsson, “It is likely that beer is consumed more regularly during the week, whereas wine and liquor is more often consumed during weekends only. Adverse effects of alcohol on atrial fibrillation risk may be less pronounced if alcohol consumption is spread out over the week compared with consumption of larger amounts of alcohol during a few days per week.”
      The research was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
     There is controversy amid health care professionals over whether light to moderate consumption of alcohol leads to atrial fibrillation. However most agree that moderate to heavy alcohol abuse is a leading cause of heart problems – no matter what you’re drinking.



Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Labor Day Weekend is This Week

Middle Fork of the Stanislaus River
     The traditional end of summer and the kids going back to school weekend, but like so many other things in this world it too has changed.   I still will always remember the family packing all of the camping gear into the station wagon and heading up to the high Sierra's for a three day weekend of camping along the Stanislaus River.   The good news was it was a really fun time of hiking and trout fishing, but the bad news was Tuesday morning all of the summer freedom was gone and we were back in school.
Relief Reservoir
     There were several resorts along the Middle Fork of the Stanislaus River from which you could head into the wilderness areas and really enjoy some beautiful views.  The entire area is from 600o' to 10,000 feet and the stars and the clear skies are just breathe taking.   Hiking or horseback riding the trail into the back country is one of the best parts or the weekend of exploration.  The untouched beauty of this area is still the same today, and will hopefully continue to be this way in this time of so many changes elsewhere.

     Here in Key West, Labor Day weekend is going to be a fun one, but in a very different way.  It is going to be loaded with people that I will be entertaining and hopefully making there long weekend a little bit more fun.   It is different from my experiences when I was young, but it is still Labor Day Weekend and a time for fun no matter how you choose to use the time.  You might want to take a cruise on out Prohibition era black boat on this labor day holiday  ;)

Monday, August 25, 2014

The 12 Bottle Bar: Your Home Bar Cocktail Guide

     With some 260 plus rums on my bar and a few of everything else, it can be a daunting task just to figure out what I want to use to create a cocktail in the evening or afternoon.  here is a new bar guide that I think has brought the home bar back into perspective.   "The 12 Bottle Bar
, by David and Lesley Solmonson, advises consumers to stock seven spirits, one liqueur, two vermouths and two bitters to create the perfect home bar."  It offers a brief history of each spirit style, why it should be included in your bar, and several recipes.   There is also a guide at the back of the book on how to serve cocktails and a selection of virgin recipes.
    "The 12 Bottle Bar" really makes sense to me for a small house bar.  It includes a white and Amber rum, a brandy, dry gin, Genever,  rye whiskey, vodka, orange liqueur (triple Sec), dry vermouth, sweet vermouth aromatic bitters and orange bitters.   

     "Obviously the main spirits (vodka, gin, rum, brandy, whiskey) need to be included, the choice from there is the brand.   The accent liqueurs were a challenge within themselves. My decision was primarily founded in how often is a certain liqueur used in the greatest number of cocktails or cocktails where the liqueur can act as a substitute for another. After that list, it’s back to choosing a brand. With a well-stocked supply of essential mixers this list can make at least 100 different cocktails."
     The book retails around $10 and is a really nice guide to making cocktails at home with a very minimal space and outlay for the bar stock.   Which brands of spirits you choose can raise or lower the cost of stocking your bar, but even "well spirits" work out for mixed cocktails.  If your palate is tuned to the better spirits by all means put them in your bar.
     "Genever" threw up a question flag for me, but it does make sense once you know what it is.  Genever enables bartenders to work with the authentic flavours of the past to recreate the true classic cocktails the way they were meant to taste.   The whisky-like malt tones of Genever make it also perfect to drink it straight, on the rocks, or in ‘regular’ easy mixed cocktail.  It adds the malt flavor to cocktails with out using scotch.
     I think that this is a perfect starter book for someone to put together a small home bar, and it will surprise you all of the cocktails that you can create with just 12 bottles.  ;o)

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Beautiful Day Sharing the Ocean

     It was a beautiful day for a cruise out to the west of Key West and follow along the string of Keys that lead you out to Boca Grande and the Atlantic Ocean.   Today we were lucky enough to have clear waters and the company of a pod of dolphins.  These creatures are such wonderful mammals that love to play in the boat wakes as we travel along.  I find them to be just plain entertaining as well as beautiful..

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Key West Brewing Up for Labor Day Weekend

     The 5th Annual Key West Brewfest in scheduled to happen next week here in Key West.  A full slate of events are set to keep you going all weekend long.
  See the schedule at .   

     The 5th Annual Key West Brewfest  featuring more than 150 different beers, including many or call 305-295-6519.

award-winning microbrews. Events include seminars, tastings, pool parties, and meals.  The premiere  event is the Signature Tasting on Saturday, August 31 at South Beach ($75 per person for that event, advance tickets required). For more information, visit

     labor Day weekend is always a fun weekend here in Key west and the addition of the Brewfest just adds more color to an already crazy weekend.  Hope to see many of you here in Key West over the long holiday weekend.  ;o)

Friday, August 22, 2014

Just Hangin' at the Marina

     Today is a day off, and I decided to just hang out today here at home in the marina.  I find that once in a while I have to just kick back and do very little.  It is a chance to recharge my batteries and get ready for another week on Duval Street.   I love the time I spend with all my customers at the Rum Bar.   All of the excitement and craziness there, but every now and again, I need to step back and take it easy for a day or two.

     I find that by just laying around the boat and watching all of the birds and the beautiful things that surround me puts my mind back to a place of comfort and stresslessness.   Today was one of those days where I needed to just put the body in neutral and just be for a time.

     I found myself walking up and down the docks and watching the skies and the glassy water.   An unusual flock of "Frigate Birds" appeared over the marina.  I find them so fascinating, I have seen them in Mexico, the Virgin Islands and many other tropical places and they never cease to amaze me.  They look like something out of Jurassic Park, and turn out to be incredible fishermen as well.   Local fishermen will watch for them overhead as a sign of a school of fish  and a place to anchor.

As the day slips away into the evening the sky again puts on another display of artistry as the sun begins to head for the horizon and turn this day of bliss into night.  ;o)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Periodista: What?

     What in the world is a Periodista?  The name is Spanish for Journalist it is a cocktail that  you probably have never heard of before.  It has the style of a daiquiri, lending some credence to the stories that it originated in Cuba during the 20’s or 30’s.   This is one of the oddities of cocktail history, a drink created in Cuba, lost for many years resurfaced in the early days of this century in Boston.   So when Devin Hahn first tried it, he could have been forgiven for taking it fora true rum classic.    There really isn't very much information out there about the Periodista. 
   Devin Hahn had been looking for an excuse to write about cocktails in Boston and with the Periodista, he found a drink offered in every other bar of the city but about which very little was known.  
According to David Hahn,  The Periodista’s a classic Cuban cocktail, they told me.   Hemingway drank them at El Floridita in Havana.   Esquire Magazine revived it in the ‘50s. American reporters sucked back Periodistas during the Cuban Missile Crisis.   This drink was the stuff of legend.”
     The oldest known printed recipe comes from the 1948 Club de Cantineros book.    Devin Hahn suggests we prepare Charles Schumann's version, from his American Bar book (which seems to have been the only printed recipe available in English for a very long time). 

Periodista  (Charles Schumann Version)
·         45 ml Havana Club Añejo 3 años 
·         7,5 ml Triple sec 
·         7,5 ml Apricot brandy 
·         1 bar spoon of sugar 
·         Juice from ½ lime 
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime wedge. 

Bahama Bob’s Periodista
·         2 oz. Plantation 3 Star White Rum
·         1 oz. Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao
·         1 oz. Apricot Brandy
·         ½ oz.  Cane Syrup (Sweetener)
·         Juice of ½ Lime
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime wedge

     This is a very tasty daiquiri like cocktail that I found to be wonderful for an afternoon or early evening libation.  I found it to be very refreshing and fit my taste to a “T”.   I found that I could make it with and without the sweetener and be great for my palate.  If you want a “skinny” version try ½ packet of “Sweeta” artificial sugar.