Bahama Bob's Rumstyles

Monday, July 21, 2014

Celebrating the 115 Years of Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961)

1939 Cuba
     Today is Ernest Hemingway's 115th birthday.  It makes me think of all the places, people and events that made up this incredible life.   Born in Cicero, IL (Chicago), then traveled all over the world to have his live end in Ketchum, ID  

     Learned to hunt and fish at a family cabin in Northern Michigan, an ability that would follow him through out his life.  He was on the high school paper mostly writing about sports.  Later he would get a job with the Toronto Star, where he feels like he learned to be a writer.  "On the Star you were forced to learn to write a simple declarative sentence. This is useful to anyone. Newspaper work will not harm a young writer and could help him if he gets out of it in time."

WWI 1918
     Served as a ambulance drive for the Italian Army during WWI until being injured.  He also received the Italian Silver Medal for Bravery.  he covered the Spanish Civil War as a correspondent and the same during WWII including such battles as the D Day Landing.

     From his early short stories to the novels his writing followed the lessons he had learned working as a newspaper writer, simple and easy to read and understand.  This is the formula that mad his books so well liked and finally earned him a Pulitzer Prize for The Old Man and the Sea.
Ernest, Gregory and Patrick in Cuba

     He was married four times and lived all over the world, but he has really left his mark on Key West, Paris, and Havana.  The houses that he lived in in Key West and Havana are revered and visited daily by hundreds and hundreds of people.  The displays of his "stuff" and his lifestyle make for a very interesting visit.

Marlin Fishing in Bimini
    Happy Birthday to the Man, he lived larger that life and he remains as the "man's man" even 53 years after his passing.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Summer Sunsets at the Hurricane Hole

     One wonderful thing about the summer is the late sunsets.  I'm off work and at one of my favorite hangouts on the water and get to enjoy these beautiful sunsets nearly every day.   Yesterday was no exception.  I just hope that you can enjoy your last vestiges of daylight like I get to.  ;o)

Saturday, July 19, 2014

National Daiquiri Day

     Today is National Daiquiri Day here in America.  I really can’t think of a better way to celebrate it than by enjoying an original Cuban Daiquiri.  The daiquiri’s broadly accepted history credits a U.S. engineer Jennings Cox with creating the daiquiri.  

     Following the Spanish-American war of 1898 he was sent by the Spanish-American Iron Company to manage mines in the Sierra Maestra region of Cuba .  As you'd expect the conditions were harsh, yellow fever was endemic so the engineers were given good wages and a tobacco ration, plus Cox also negotiated a monthly ration of the local white rum.  One of the mines that Cox worked in was located in the village of Daiquiri, for which the cocktail was named.   
La Floridita Daiquiri

* 1 1/2 ounces rum (Matusalem Platino)
* 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
* 1/4 ounce simple syrup (Cane Syrup)
* 1/4 ounce maraschino liqueur (Luxardo)
* Splash of fresh grapefruit juice
* Lime wedge for garnish

Combine liquid ingredients in a blender with about 4 oz. of ice and blend until smooth (about 30 seconds) pour into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the lime wedge.
     This is the original “Frozen Daiquiri” and was the fourth attempt by Constante Ribalaigua to create the  Daiquiri Floridita in Havana.    Jennings Cox created the original Daiquiri, a shaken version that contained rum, limon verde, and sugar, all shaken over ice.   Hemingway himself was a diabetic, and could not drink cocktails with sugar, so Constante, head barman and owner of El Floridita came up with a special Daiquiri for “Papa”.    Hemingway as the story goes told Constante to take the Daiquiri Floridita and drop out the sugar and double the rum, and Hemingway’s  “Papa Doble” was born.
     Hemingway proudly owns the El Floridita house record of 16 double Daiquiris.  He didn’t want sugar in his Daiquiri; those 16 drinks, if traditionally made, would have involved nearly two cups of sugar.  If the alcohol didn’t kill him, the sugar certainly would.

Papa Doble

* 3 ounces rum (Matusalem Platino)
* 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
* 1/4 ounce maraschino liqueur (Luxardo)
* Splash of fresh grapefruit juice

Combine liquid ingredients in a blender with about 4 oz. of ice and blend until smooth (about 30 seconds) pour into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the lime wedge. 

     Enjoy your National Daiquiri Day the way you want to, but if you haven’t tried a daiquiri, then find a place that can make you a real one or just make your own, but do try one.  ;o)

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Spirits Business Announces the Top 10 Best Selling Rums for 2013

     I find it interesting every year as the top ten lists of spirits sales are announced what has transpired in the past year.  Here is what the Spirit Business has found to be the results of the marketing and the promotions to get you to try and hopefully consume their rums.

     However, the brand didn’t quite make it into our list of the world’s best-selling rum brands, beaten by 200,000 case sales of its nearest rival.

     Ask many of the  rum producers and they will concur that 2013 was somewhat transformational for the category, despite overall declining volumes among the top-selling brands.

    The category continued to experiment with flavors and ageing methods and also continued its ascent up the premiumisation ladder with the launch of an increased number of sipping variants.

     Growth could be clawed back this year as, according to data agency Euromonitor, global rum volumes will experience a solid 17% rise between 2011 and 2009 to 1.7 billion liters.

     Based on figures outlined in The Spirits Business “Brands Champions 2014 – where the exceptional category performers are picked out from among the million case selling brands – we identify which are the most popular rum brands across the globe.

    The number one spot could soon by usurped as top-performing Philippines rum Tanduay, which declined to publicize its results for the past year.

10. Appleton

2013 case sales: 1.2m
2012 case sales: 1.2m
Growth in 2013: 0%

Sales of Gruppo Campari’s Appleton Estate have remained remarkably steady for the past few years, with 1.2m nine-liter case sales every year since 2008. However, as some other top-selling brands experience declines, 2014 marks the first year that the Jamaican rum has entered into the top 10 best-selling rum brands list. The distillery released the world’s oldest commercially available rum, the Appleton Estate 50 Years Jamaica Independence Reserve, in June 2012. One month later, Italian drinks group Campari acquired Lascelles de Mercado, the Jamaican company that owns Appleton Estate, for US$414.8million. 

9. Montilla

2013 case sales: 1.5m
2012 case sales: 1.7m
Growth in 2013: -12%

After experiencing slight to stagnant growth over the past five years, Pernod Ricard’s Montilla rum, experienced a 12% decline, dropping from sales of 1.7m cases to 1.5m cases. However, the brand still managed to climb one place to ninth best-selling rum brand. The rum, consumed predominantly in Brazil, has yet to repeat its pre-recession success and smash back through the 2m case mark. The rum was launched in 1957 and is named after the the municipality Spanish Montilla.

8. Madira

2013 case sales: 1.8m
2012 case sales: 2.0m
Growth in 2013: -10%

Another brand which experienced a significant decline in 2013 is Madira rum, which slipped from 2m case sales, to 1.8m. Owned by Indian drinks group Tilaknagar, the brand’s decline comes just one year after witnessing a staggering 43% uplift in volumes, making it the fastest growing rum brand of 2012, and the fastest growing spirit on the year’s list of Brand Champions.

7. Cacique

2013 case sales: 2.2m
2012 case sales: 2.1m
Growth in 2013: 5%

Venezuelan Cacique rum, owned by drinks giant Diageo, is the top-selling rum in its home market and has also gained in favour across the world. Amid a wealth of declines in 2013, Cacique managed to report volume growth of 5%, from 2.1m to 2.2m. Launched in 1959, Cacique means “chief of the tribe” in Spanish. The brand, a blend of several rums which have been triple distilled and aged for two years in white oak barrels, includes AƱejo, 500, and Antiguo variants.

6. Contessa

2013 case sales: 2.5m
2012 case sales: 2.4m
Growth in 2013: 4%

Owned by Indian drinks company Radico Khaitan, Contessa XXX Rum experienced a return to growth after four years of flat sales. In August last year, Radico revealed that its profits had grown almost 11% thanks to the performance of its premium brands, including Contessa rum.

5. Brugal

2013 case sales: 3.5m
2012 case sales: 4.1m
Growth in 2013: -13%

Brugal rum, owned by UK drinks group Edrington, saw the most significant decline out of the entire million case-selling rum brands in 2013, falling 13% from 4.1m case sales to 3.5m. Despite being the number one best-selling rum in the Caribbean and Spain, Brugal failed to meet expectations in Southern Europe last year, causing Edrington to adjust its view of future cash flow. Despite its struggles, Brugal’s sales grew 22% in the US, driven by those in New York, Boston and Chicago.

4. Havana Club

2013 case sales: 3.8m
2012 case sales: 3.8m
Growth in 2013: 2%

Pernod Ricard’s Havana Club rum continued to experienced success in 2013 with a 2% uplift in sales. Despite missing out on the key US spirits market due to sanctions over trade with Cuba, Havana Club remains one of the most well-known rum brands in the world. The brand experienced a blow in 2012 when a long-running trade mark battle with Bacardi over its own Havana Club rum title –  a US-based rum brand produced in Puerto Rico – came to a head and the US government refused to let Pernod Ricard’s Havana Club renew its trademark in the country.

3. Captain Morgan

2013 case sales: 10.3m
2012 case sales: 10.0m
Growth in 2013: 3%

Jumping from fourth to third place on this year’s best-selling rum brands list is Diageo’s category colossus Captain Morgan, which experienced a 3% lift in case sales in 2013, from 10m to 10.3m. The brand has pushed ahead with its innovation strategy in recent months, challenging Bacardi’s dominance in the white rum market market with the release of Captain Morgan White Rum. It also enhanced its premium credentials with the launch of a limited edition Sherry Oak Finished Spiced Rum last year. However, the brand has experienced its fair share of set-backs in recent months. In March this year, Diageo launched legal action against Heaven Hill’s Admiral Nelson’s rum, alleging it uses “copycat” branding. Meanwhile, in February this year, Diageo was forced to pull an advertisement for Captain Morgan in the UK after the ASA ruled it linked alcohol and “aggressive behavior”.

2. McDowell’s No. 1 Celebration

2013 case sales: 19.0m
2012 case sales: 17.7m
Growth in 2013: 7%

Moving up from third to second place this year is McDowell’s No.1 Celebration rum, owned by Indian drinks company United Spirits. McDowell’s is the fastest growing rum brand among the million case sellers, experiencing an increase of 7% in 2013, moving even closer to the 20m case milestone. The brand was launched in 1991 with case sales of just 100,000, but has grown rapidly in years since to become to second best-selling rum brand, hot on the heels of world’s number one. The McDowell’s umbrella also has brands included in our list of the best-selling Indian whiskies and the most popular brandies.

1. Bacardi

2013 case sales: 19.1m
2012 case sales: 19.8m
Growth in 2013: -4%

Despite a 4% decline in 2013 to 19.1m cases, Bacardi has retained its place as the world’s best-selling rum brand. The Bermuda-based company – the world’s largest family-owned drinks firm – continued its foray into the flavored rum category last year and also boosted the super-premium end of its portfolio with the launch of The Facundo Rum collection, a limited edition range of aged sipping rums. It remains to be seen if Bacardi can cling on to this position next year if Philippine brand Tanduay rum discloses its results.

You can

     I hoe that this slow down in 2013 will be followed by a growth of the category in 2014.  With the move to more premium rums and the overall quality of the rums being produce, I feel that it category is due for a resurgence in 2014.  ;o)


Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Historic Bahia Honda Bridge

     Between 1905 and 1912, Henry Flagler and his crews built the Florida East Coast Railway that ran from Miami to Key West.   The Bahia Honda Channel was very deep compared to the other crossings and a different approach to bridging it was required.  Flagler's engineers decided to us a truss construction method to traverse the channel.   The center span utilized a "Parker Truss"to connect the 247 foot opening, the 186 foot spans used "Pratt Trusses", and smaller 128 foot "Pratt Trusses" on the remaining 13 spans.  All of these trusses were connected by pins making it the longest pin connected bridge in America.

     The Railroad operated until the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 blew the train off of the track and did serious damage to the rail bed.   The bridge was late sold to the Overseas Road and Toll Bridge District and converted to vehicle usage.  Unlike the other bridges that the highway could just be widened and laid right on top of the existing rail bed, there was no way to widen the rail bed within the trusses.  The answer was to build road bed on the top of the bridge.  The Bahia Honda Bride was the first to be bypassed and by 1972 after the west end deck girder was removed.  
   While most of the bridge is now abandoned, the east end of the highway bridge is used by the
Bahia Honda State Park for pedestrian traffic.  The Gap is the water entry into the Beautiful Bahia Honda Bay.  The view from the bridge offers a spectacular view of the surrounding keys.

     Unfortunately, the bridges days are numbered.  The corrosion of the steel trusses and the falling
debris from the bridge is rapidly becoming a serious problem.  There is a plan being considered for it's removal in the near future.  If you haven't seen of visited this amazing piece of Henry Flagler's historic railroad, do so before it is gone.  This is an amazing sight to see and to see from atop of it.  ;o)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Hurricane Season is a Month and a Half Old, So Far So Good

     Summer is a double edge sword down here in the tropics, it is beautiful, relatively calm winds and beautiful sunshine most every day.  This is the perfect time to be out on the water and enjoying the good  life.  The water is crystal clear and you have a clear view of the bottom with all of the exciting wild life every time you are out on the water.

     The other edge of the sword is that it is hurricane season.   All of the warm weather raises the water temperature of the ocean and the gulf to the point that it is good fuel for hurricanes and very strong thunder storms as well.   A couple of good solid thunder storms with lots of rain helping to  keep the water temperature in check is also a very nice event, keeping things in check.


     Even though the water temperatures are very warm right now, the forcast is still good.  There are no tropical disturbances in sight and the weather remains beautiful.  I can deal with the warm, but we really don't need a major storm to start kicking up this year.

     I guess that hurricanes are the price you have to be willing pay when you live in your paradise here in the tropics.  Thunder storms that can kick up at any time and the occasional hurricane are not as much of a problem is you keep yourself prepared.   Just be ready and have a plan in mind to deal with it and then just ride it out, preferably with a good supply of great rum.  ;o)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Summer is Daiquiri Time

   Summer is Daiquiri time,. and with Hemingway Days getting underway here in Key West it is time for some Daiquiri ideas.   I find the Daiquiri one of the most refreshing cocktails ever, and one that you can make easily and quickly on the patio or the aft deck of your boat.

    All you need is some rum, sweetener, and lime juice.  Then you get to let your imagination loose and make it a special cocktail of your own.   I love to experiment with the daiquiri format and it is always amazing to me how good they usually turn out to be.

Here is an idea I had a while back that turned out to be pretty good.  Give it a try and enjoy the afternoon time where ever you do that kind of thing. 

XO Daiquiri 

·         2 oz. Mount Gay XO

·         ½ oz. Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao

·         ½ oz. Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur

·         ½ oz. Lemon Juice

·         2 Dashes Orange Bitters

Pour all ingredients into a blender with 1 cup of Ice blend until smooth.  Pour into a Martini glass and garnish with a lime or lemon wheel.