August 7, 2006
We're calling it. 2006 is the summer of the Mojito. We can't seem to get away from them. Don't get us wrong - we like any drink that combines rum and lime juice, and when you throw mint in there you can't go wrong.
So, we're finally giving up and getting on the Mojito Boat, and what do we find out? After all, even though it's trendy now, this isn't some drink made up by Madison Avenue fatcats to up advertising revenue. It's a distinguished and delicious cocktail with a rich and long history, and rumor has it the Mojito was Papa Hemingway's favorite libation.
Lo and behold, just as we're celebrating our new embrace of an old drink, we get an email from Thrillist offering Mojito recipes and a chance to win a trip to Miami from Bacardi. What're the odds? Read on to find out more.
Continue reading: "Mojito: Embrace Your Inner Cuban"
July 30, 2006
So we keep seeing stories about this woman who's suing Bacardi over a burn she received when a fellow bar patron lit on fire a stream of 151 Rum being mixed into a drink by a bartender. Now, don't think we're heartless bastards for saying this (though we are), but we think there's something fishy about the whole thing. Yeah, we feel bad she got burned and all but is it really Bacardi's fault? If it happened in 2002 why is the suit just coming around now? And shouldn't the lighter of the rum be sued instead of the producer of the rum? What do you think - does the fact that Bacardi is the number one-selling spirit in the US have something to do with the target on their back?
A bartender, who was not identified in the lawsuit, was pouring shots when a customer lit a menu on fire and placed it in the stream of alcohol. A bottle of Bacardi 151 that was being used to pour the shots turned into a flame thrower and sent flaming rum all over Alleyne, the lawsuit said.
A telephone message left after hours at the office of Robert Dickman, Alleyne's attorney, was not immediately returned.
The lawsuit alleges that Bacardi 151 proof rum "emits a high volume of combustible and explosive vapor" which makes it "unreasonably dangerous" and defective.
- If you're concerned, feel free to contact Bacardi to donate to their legal defense fund.
May 9, 2006
Blended Dark Rum
Imported from Jamaica via South Africa
86 Proof (43% ABV)
We were inclined to lay off rum for a little while, especially after our Screech Rum experience, but all of the to-do about Cachaca lately has warmed up our taste buds for South American liquor. With summer coming, it's time to start thinking about frozen drinks, and rum is the building block of quite a few, including our personal favorite, the daiquiri.
We're big fans of all rums and dark rum in particular (love them Dark and Stormies), but how does Mr. Jack Tar line up against other dark rums like Gosling, Black Seal and Myers? Read on to find out.
The Color: Dark...Rum
Living up to its name, Jack Tar has a dark, molasses brown tint, reminiscent of Bourbons and other dark spirits.
The Nose: Molasses and More
The first whiff was smelled like sugar cane and brown sugar, with a slight smell of molasses. It smelled rich and complex and fruity, and didn't have too much of the alcoholic burn we associate with some lower-end rums.
The Taste: Robust
We swished it around in our mouths, and the first thought was that it was dryer than we expected. It was sweet, but not too sweet, and nowhere near as oily as we would have thought from the smell. Drunk straight, it left our tongue feeling dry and tingly, and it wasn't overwhelmingly "boozy."
The Recipes: Daiquiris Go!
We love daiquiris, and before you make fun of us, we're not talking about the strawberry-flavored ones your mom orders when you're at Applebee's. The original daiquiri was made with a shot of rum, a shot of lime juice (fresh, of course) and some simple syrup or superfine sugar, shaken over ice. They're usually made with light rum, but we mixed ours up with Jack Tar and loved the taste - we can't wait for summer.
We also liked Jack Tar on the rocks, with cola, and in Dark and Stormies (mixed with ginger ale). It made for a supremely good mixer, and we've found that rum, even dark rum, is a liquor just about everyone can agree one when you're milling around the liquor store trying to decide what to buy.
The Verdict: Thumbs Up!
We remember reading somewhere that the British Navy used to "impress" their new recruits - they'd get people drunk on rum, and throw them on ships while they were passed out. We were impressed with Jack Tar, and if left to our own devices with enough bottles of this stuff lying around, we can see how we might suffer the same fate. We wouldn't mind as long as they kept the dark rum coming.
The Site: Thar She Blows!
Learn more about Jack Tar at the Berniko site.
April 10, 2006
The first time someone mentioned Cachaca to us, we wanted to say "Gesundheit." It turns out they weren't sneezing, however - they were telling us about a rum-like Brazilian spirit that's starting to appear in bars and liquor stores all over the country. Who knew?
Cachaca (kah-SHAH-sah) is a colorless liquor made from sugar cane juice. Regulators in the United States would call it a rum, which is defined here as any spirit distilled to less than 95 percent alcohol made from molasses, sugar cane juice or sugar cane syrup.
In fact, the drink we consider rum is made from molasses and has a higher proof than cachaca, says Ed Hamilton, an importer, author and proprietor of the Ministry of Rum Web site (www.ministryofrum.com).
Cachaca traditionally "has been considered a cheap peasants' drink," Hamilton said by phone last week, several days after the International Cane Spirits Festival Tasting Competition in Tampa. "A lot of it isn't wonderful."
courier-journal.com: Can You Say Cachaca?
Sounds like South American moonshine to us, and after a ringing endorsement like that, of course we ran out and got ourselves a bottle - the review will be posted soon. If you end up with a bottle of the stuff, you should know it's not traditionally drunk straight - it's usually used to make the caipirinha (kye-pee-REEN-yah), where it's mixed with a pantload of sugar and fresh lime juice to make a drink somewhat similar to a Mojito without mint. You can check out a typical recipe at Maria Brazil, and if you don't have any cachaca on hand, go ahead and make one with rum or vodka.
December 9, 2005
A few weeks ago we told you about Fighting Cock Bourbon, and it was everything we could do not to make certain juvenile jokes about the drink's name. On a completely unrelated note, the next time you're in the Cayman Islands we recommend you pick up a bottle of Big Black Dick Rum.
Not only does it have an...interesting name that makes it a must-have for bachelor and bachelorette parties, but can you imagine whipping yours out at a family gathering or church picnic? "Grandma, you look like you need a Big Black Dick."
We don't usually buy our drinks on the power of the name alone, so we did some research on the flavor....according to the site, "some have described it as stiff, yet tasty." It's also interesting to note that Big Black Dick comes in multiple flavors, including dark, white, coconut and vanilla. You have no idea how much enjoyment we got out of writing that last sentence.
You can learn more about Big Black Dick rum, along with his hot sauce, premium cigars and clothing, at BigBlackDickRum.com. On an unrelated topic, why do we get the feeling we're going to be getting a lot of people to the site soon who weren't look for booze?
November 28, 2005
Appleton Estate V/X Jamaica Rum
80 proof blended golden rum
Typical Price: Less than $20 for 750ml - Buy it at Internet Wines & Spirits
Initial Thoughts: We like rum. In fact, there was a time when we would drink it quite often, mixed with ginger ale or orange juice. That was back before the Screech Rum debacle of '05, however, and it's taken us a few weeks to get our rum legs back under us. In Appleton Estate V/X, we've found a drink that can soothe the hurts and make things right.
Appleton Estate V/X consists of various types of rums aged between five and ten years, which are blended together in oak vats and allowed to age for a few months. The result is a spirit somewhere between white and dark rum, which smells like molasses and brown sugar, with even a hint of maple. When you taste it, it's not too sweet, however, and the sweetness is balanced out by citrusy, nutty flavors. The rum has a creamy, mellow finish that is dry on the tongue and resilient enough to last until your next sip without being overwhelming.
Cocktail Recipes: We tried a few recipes suggested by the Appleton Estate website, and two of our favorites are included below:
1 ½ oz. Appleton Estate V/X Jamaica Rum
3 oz. Bloody Mary Mix
Season to taste with horseradish, Tabasco, pepper, salt, Worcestershire sauce, lime juice. Rim highball glass in sea salt and/or pepper. Garnish with celery stick, olives, tomolives. [Note: We're not sure what tomolives are; we just stuck to olives.]
1 ½ oz. Appleton Estate V/X Jamaica Rum
2 ½ oz. Cranberry Juice
3 ½ oz. Orange Juice
In a highball glass, pour rum and cranberry juice over ice. Slowly add orange juice and garnish with an orange wedge.
Finishing Thoughts: Appleton Estate V/X is unique and tasty rum, and a good way to dip a toe into the aged rum category without breaking the bank. It would make a great base for your typical tropical drinks without being too strong or too sweet, and we liked it on the rocks as well. One of our reviewers described it as tasting good without being "too rummy," and that just about sums it up for us.
We recommend drinking Appleton Estate V/X on a beach somewhere; if that's not possible, crank up the heat in your house, sprinkle sand in your living room and crack open a bottle to emulate the experience.
Learn more about Appleton Estate V/X and the other rums in the Appleton family at the Appleton Rum US website.
November 7, 2005
Buy it Online
There was a time, not too long ago, when tattoos were cool. We're not talking about that Tasmanian Devil you have tattooed on your ankle, or your girlfriend's "tribal" lower back tattoo. We're talking the big, beefy sailor tattoos that involved manly things like snakes and skulls and half-naked women. We're talking the kind of morning where you wake up six states away from where you started with a black eye, an empty wallet and some badass ink on your forearm.
The folks over at Sailor Jerry Rum know a thing or two about that kind of morning as well. They make a 92 proof spiced rum that's based on the "customized" rums sailors used to make when they were bored on long ocean journeys. While this is no Screech Rum (a good thing), it's no pantywaist rum infused with coconut essence and pixie dust, either. Based on what we've read, Sailor Jerry rum is spiced with punk rock and testosterone, and they know a little something about bad ass - their namesake, "Sailor Jerry" Collins, was a Honolulu tattoo artist who spawned a mythos with when he redefined the old-school tattoo. From the Sailor Jerry site:
This is man stuff. Filled with the grit, romance and heartbreak that drives some men to do what most would not. There's a tension about port cities filled with men who consider themselves on a mission to have a good time and return with evidence of such. And it's drawn into all of Sailor Jerry's tattoos. Keep your eyes out for his work, not in galleries, but in bars and on the street. If you find yourself strangely captivated by the girl on an old man's arm, we suggest you go ahead and offer to buy the guy a drink of Sailor Jerry Navy Rum. Hopefully, he'll be so impressed with your taste in rum, he won't punch you out and maybe he'll tell you some stories.
You can keep your rums that feature Admirals and Captains - we'll stick with Sailor Jerry, and we'll get a review up as soon as possible. Until then, learn more about the rum and shop for tattooed Sailor Jerry gear including t-shirts and glassware at SailorJerry.com
or buy a bottle online
at Internet Wines & Spirits.
October 29, 2005
We're not big rum drinkers, especially after the Screech Rum incident of '05, but we opened our b3ta newsletter this morning and found this video, and we couldn't stop laughing. It feels like a mash-up of Captain Morgan and the new Burger King ad campaign, but whether it's satire or some edgy guerilla marketing being perpetrated by the Captain, we liked it. There's a small part of us that says this video wasn't made by them, but the world may never know.
See the video and decide for yourself at putfile.
Oh, and sign up for the mailing list at b3ta; as long as you don't mind the fact that you won't get some of the British-oriented jokes, they send out some funny-ass newsletters.
October 14, 2005
Update: Liquor Snob recently posted a retraction to this Screech Rum review. Yes, we know it's been four years. We didn't want to be too hasty.
Regrettably, a couple weeks ago, we covered Newfoundland Screech Rum.
Tonight...we reviewed it. A few minutes ago...two of us finished the entire bottle.
Screech Rum may be from Newfoundland, but it tastes like Toronto with a Detroit chaser. And somehow...against all advice...we finished the bottle. Because once the cap comes off, you realize it should never go back on. It gets dumped in one of two places: your mouth or the sink.
Things Screech Rum doesn't mix with: Orange Juice, Cranberry, High Life, Tomato Soup (no joke - we hoped it would kill the taste).
Things Screech Rum mixes with: Nausea, Exuberance, Anger, Melancholy, Regret and Nausea.
Even the Quaffer couldn't help. We used it for the shots so we wouldn't have to pause for the chaser, but the stuff is deadly and it burns like napalm going down.
Kill Us. For the love of all that is holy...kill us.
September 28, 2005
Here at Liquor Snob, we're suckers for a hard liquor with a mythology behind it. Who are we kidding...we're just suckers for hard liquor. But when our friend Erik told us about the story behind Newfoundland Screech Rum, we were even more intrigued than usual.
It is an island tradition, but this rum doesn't get its mystique from some steamy Caribbean jungle. Newfoundland, for those of you without a globe handy, is a big island off the coast of Canada (the 15th largest island in the world, if that matters to you). So how did this Canadian province get its own rum, a drink usually associated with warmer climates? Therein lies the story.
Continue reading: "Newfoundland Screech Rum: An Island Tradition"