Bahama Bob's Rumstyles

Monday, June 29, 2015

The Singapore Sling Turns 100 Years Old.

Long Bar at Raffles Hotel in Singapore
Ngiam Tong Boon
     It is not a usual thing to write about a Gin cocktail, but the Singapore Sling is a very popular cocktail that has survived 100 years of cocktail sales.   This is a very flavorful cocktail much like those of Don the Beachcomber and Trader Vic, plus in my mind a real "hall of fame" cocktail.
     The Singapore Sling was created by bartender Ngiam Tong Boon in 1915 at the Long Bar in the Raffles hotel in its namesake city. A hundred years later, it is Singapore’s national drink, widely available on menus everywhere you turn, and has gained international fame. It is still de rigueur for tourist visiting Singapore to go into the flagship Raffles and have one at the Long Bar.
The Classic Singapore Sling
  • 1 oz. Gin
  • 1/2 oz. Cherry Brandy
  • 1/4 oz. Cointreau
  • 1/4 oz. Dom Benedictine
  • 4 oz. Pineapple Juice
  • 1/2 oz. Lime Juice
  • 1/3 oz. Real Grenadine
  • Dash of Angostura Bitters
Place all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice and shake until chilled.  strain into a Collins glass filled with fresh ice.  Garnish with cherry and a slice of pineapple.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Summer Fun in the Keys

     The Florida Keys has a real beauty that comes to life in the summer time.  The beautiful blue water and skies against the white beaches provides me with a picture of fun and serenity.

    June is also when the sea turtles lay their eggs on the beaches of the Florida Keys.  These nests are very important to the health of the waters around the keys and the sea turtle species remaining as populous as they are today.   Pleas avoid these nest whenever you are on the beaches during June.  They are very important to all of us who live down here. 

     The beauty of the waters and the beaches can't be beat, so come on down and enjoy them with us, but when you leave, the only thing you should leave behind are foot prints.  Thank You.  ;o)

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Dillon Rum: an Agricole with a Twist

     Dillon is a storied name on the island of Martinique, a landmark French appellation in the heart of the French Caribbean.   But upon deeper examination, it is not quite what it appears. This French name, this French rum, has a bit of a different story.   That’s because behind one of Martinique’s eminent rhum brands is, in fact, an Englishman.

     An Englishman, who, no less, fought in the American War of Independence, a man who, while stationed in Martinique, eventually fell in love and married a local girl from a family of planters. He later served as Governor of Tobago, among other notable posts.   Dillon had a remarkable life, eventually becoming a Deputy in the French government until, charged with conspiracy (a fate all too frequent in the years after the French Revolution) he met his untimely end.   Today, this centuries-old rum brand still honors General Dillon, in more ways than one. 

     We recently obtained a bottle of one of the marque’s top-level rums: Dillon XO Hors d’age.  It has a pale orange-amber color, with a very smooth, sweet aroma of dried apricot and orange zest.   Then it gets interesting: the flavor profile is dominated by apricot, mixed in with a little pepper and orange zest; it’s even creamy, something exceedingly rare for a rhum agricole from Martinique.          It’s something different for this island; the finish is smooth, yes, but with the slightest whisper of white wine — giving the illusion of rum finished in Sauternes barrels.

     Because this rhum, though held to the same rigorous methodological requirements of the world’s only AOC designation for rhum, is not quite like others we’ve tasted from the island.   It’s creamy, sweet, even flowery. And if creamy gives the impression of milk, it shouldn’t; it simply has a velvety, oh-so-luxurious texture.  

Like its famous name, this rhum isn’t quite what one expects. And that’s precisely what makes it so wonderful.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Blackwell Jamaican Rum

     To some, Chris Blackwell is just a music mogul, but his family has been in the rum business for may years.  Chris has put his talents to work on a fine Jamaican rum these days and one that I am proud to say will be available at the Rum Bar here in Key West.

     Chris Blackwell is an international music icon, entrepreneur and cultural taste-maker. His reputation and lifestyle are the inspiration behind the brand and he is proud to offer the best of Jamaica.

     Chris hails from one of the oldest merchant families, the Lindo family. They first came to the island in 1625. His grandfather owned J. Wray & Nephew, renowned for distilling the best rum in Jamaica. Chris continues the family legacy with the introduction of Blackwell Fine Jamaican Rum.

     Blackwell Rum has a dark bronze color with reddish highlights. the aroma brings notes of Demerara sugar and molasses.    The blend brings out notes of cocoa and chocolate, lasting long after the first sip.   This will be a welcome new addition to the Rum Bar collection of fine rums.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Cuban Government Still trying to be Sell Havana Club as Havana Club in the United States

     The Government of Cuba has asked the United States to allow Havana Club to sell its product in the United States.   They are claiming  the import ban continues to breach World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.   During the meeting of the WTO’s disputes settlement body, Cuban's diplomat Anayansi Rodríguez Camejo,  a permanent representative at the United Nations office in Geneva, argued that the restriction went against a 2002 WTO ruling.  US still supports the rights of Bacardi to sell Havana Club-branded drinks in America. 
     "The long-running dispute is one issue requiring resolution for the recent US-Cuba rapprochement to deliver normal trading relations. But WTO speech indicates that the Havana Club dispute is far from over. "Cuba has made countless efforts…" demanding US concessions for the Pernod Ricard joint venture, said the diplomat, but the import block "remains intact and in force." Cuba could in theory apply for authorization to levy retaliatory duties on US imports, but given the paucity of US-Cuba trade that is unlikely".
   Havana Club's director general, acknowledged that Havanista could be regarded as an insurance policy if it fails to get back the original trademark in the US. “We want to be sure we will be number one company in the US selling 100% Cuban rum."    If you visit the Havana Club Museum in Havana, you can buy Havanista Rum today and take it home with you.

     This is an interesting dispute that goes back to 1959 when the Cuban Government nationalized both Havana Club and the Bacardi Factories.   Bacardi bought the rights to Havana Club from the Arechabala Family.   There has been a bitter battle between Bacardi and Pernod Ricard all the way to the US Supreme Court where the court decided in favor of Bacardi.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Changes at Bacardi as it Slips from #1 in Rum Sales

     After decades as the king of rum, Bacardi has fallen from the top selling rum in the world.    United Spirits' McDowell's no.1 Celebration, according to The Millionaires' Club 2015 has taken over the top spot in the rankings, with Tanduay coming in number three.   

     Bacardi's sales has dropped 5% in 2014 to 18.2 million 9-litre cases, third successive year of sales decline.  Meanwhile, Indian rum brand's slide was slower, at only a 4% drop, enabling it to slide into the top spot in the category for the first time by only 100,000 cases.   It was a reverse of 2013 when Bacardi retained the title over McDowell's by the same amount.   Tanduay has recovered its losses from typhoon Haiyan in 2013.  Tanduay has grown some 17million cases in 2014 moving into third place in the category.  The full report will be published in July in Drinks International.
    Bacardi is "plagued" by "fundamental issues" that are pushing it "off the business cliff", one of the company's former regional presidents has said in a blistering public attack.   Posting an open letter to chairman Facundo Bacardi on social media, Rob McPherson, the former president of Bacardi Canada, gave a scathing criticism of the world's largest family-owned spirits company, claiming that its recent managerial reorganization left him "compelled" to speak publicly.
     Bacardi announced that its chief marketing officer, Dima Ivanov, was quitting the company after just six months in the role.   Bacardi said that Ivanov's departure was directly related to its management restructuring, which is seeing marketing duties devolved to two regional managers, who will also have global responsibilities for some of the company's brands - such as Martini, Grey Goose and Bacardi rum - divided between them.
     Bacardi has not responded to Rob McPherson's open letter thus far.  More can be read at
     There are a lot of things beginning to happen at Bacardi and it will be interesting to follow what they are doing and if they will be able to regain their long held spot at the top of the sales charts in the coming year.   ;o)


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Sipping Rum, What a Concept

     The one advantage of going to Key West for a rum adventure is the Rum Bar at the Speakeasy Inn.  With some 240 rums on the shelves, you are very likely to find one that you can sip and enjoy. 

     The majority of the rums are of a sipping quality, and can be enjoyed neat or with a cube of ice or two.  You can literally travel the world with fine rums.   Just think you can go to most any island in the Caribbean, off to Asia if you desire.   Madagascar and Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, to Mexico, Central and South America, you can find rums from these parts of the world.  Fine rums are made in so many countries around the world offering opportunities for your taste and pleasure.

     The thing that I like about the rums is that they all have a different flavor.  I can bring
my palate to life in different ways according to my mood and desires.  I'm often asked what is my favorite rum, and my answer is "the one I have in my hand".  This may sound trite, but my personal collection and the rums at the Rum Bar give me so many opportunities for fine rum.  It is the truth, and I find new favorites quite often as I am brought new rums to taste and review.

    The summer offers may opportunities to sip rum on your patio or the aft deck of the boat, so find the ones that suit you and enjoy your summer leisure time.