Archive for August, 2008

Rum Tasting: Sea Wynde, the original British navy rum

Thursday, August 28th, 2008


I have been going into Hostaria 24 so regularly that the other night the Italian boss stopped by my table just as I was finishing my meal to have a drink with me.

He had noticed me gradually working my way through his rum list and offered me whatever rum I wanted on the house.  We got chatting about the rum.  Surprisingly, his more unusual rums all come from New York, arranged by a friend working in wine sales.  The irony of a restaurant in the Caribbean sourcing rum from New York!  If only more restaurants would go to this kind of trouble.


Striking Gold: El Dorado Rum Tasting

Thursday, August 28th, 2008

This is another rum review from the selection at Hostaria 24 in Sosua, Dominican Republic.  The other night I tried their two El Dorado rums, the 12 YO and the 15 YO.  Both were good.  However, I am only going to review only the 15 YO here.  The 12 YO was the end of a bottle and tasting oxidized.  I got big banana tastes and not a whole lot else.  The 15 YO was from a fresh bottle, and having drunk it on two consecutive nights I think I can write a reasonable review.

El Dorado 15 YO



Tastings: Santa Teresa Rum, Monte Cristo Rum and Prestige Beer

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

The main bar strip in Sosua has an excellent little Haitian-staffed Italian restaurant called Hostaria 24.  The pasta there is always al dente, the sauces are great, and to keep things interesting they even do Haitian stewed goat.  The real bonus though is their rum selection.  The menu lists an impressive range of rums from Haiti, Martinique, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Venezuela and Guyana.  If nothing on the list tickles your fancy you will find more rums sitting around behind the bar that somehow never made it onto the menu.

I have been eating there regularly as I try and work my way through their rum list.  Yesterday I stopped by for some spaghetti carbonara, which I washed down with Prestige Beer (Haiti’s national brand), Monte Cristo 12 year old rum, and Santa Teresa 1796 Ron Antiguo de Solera. Tasting notes follow.  No tasting notes on the spaghetti but it was good.

Prestige Beer (5.6%)



Dominican Rum Tasting: Barcelo, Bermudez, Don Rhon, Macorix and Siboney

Sunday, August 24th, 2008




Rum in the Dominican Republic is about more than just Brugal. Besides the omnipresent giant there are a host of other producers, including Barcelo, Bermudez, Don Rhon, Macorix and Siboney. You just have to look a little harder to find their products. In this tasting I focus on aged offerings from producers other than Brugal.



Brugal Rum Distillery Visit

Tuesday, August 19th, 2008

Today I finally made it to the Brugal Rum Distillery.  Heading into Puerto Plata from the direction of Sosua (or the Puerto Plata airport) the hard-to-miss facility lies on your right, sitting on the outskirts of town and between the main road and the sea.



Santo Domingo’s Chinatown

Monday, August 18th, 2008

I like checking out Chinatowns in different cities.  A week or so ago I took a walk around the Santo Domingo version.  Chinatown in the Caribbean, pretty exotic.



Brugal Siglo de Oro Tasting

Saturday, August 16th, 2008

Yesterday was supposed to see me head from Sosua to Puerto Plata to tour the Brugal Distillery.  Unfortunately a hurricane blowing across the island messed up my plans.  The heavens opened during breakfast, and leaving the hotel suddenly seemed a very bad idea.  Even leaving the restaurant was going to mean getting very wet. The Brugal tour would have to wait until Monday.

The weather settled a little in the afternoon, and I took advantage of the break in the rain to hop in a shared taxi to Caberete, a smaller settlement several kilometers down the road.  I had heard a rumor that beside the Caberete petrol station was a shop stocking Siglo de Oro and selling it at non-extortionate prices.



Brugal Rum Tasting: Live from the Dominican Republic!

Friday, August 15th, 2008




I first tasted Brugal rum in Shanghai, when Austrian mixologist Markus Bernthaler (formerly of Taras) all too briefly had a bottle of the Extra Viejo stashed on his top shelf. The Brugal Extra Viejo proved amazingly smooth and cognacy.  It was a rum unlike anything I had tasted before. I dropped back a couple of times with friends so they could have a taste too, and before long the bottle was gone. (more…)

Olympic Cocktails: China Inspired Drinks for Beijing 2008

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

This is really just a rehash of a post I made over at E-Gullet.  If you saw my post already no need to read further.


So cute, but she can’t sing! So plain, but what a voice!  The unfortunate Lin Miaoke and Yang Peiyi.

There may be people out there who got all excited about the Beijing Olympics, purchased an extra big television, invited both of their friends over, then suddenly realized they had no idea what to mix up as their Chinese-themed Olympic cocktail.  Since this blog has featured a few Chinese-themed drinks, I thought I would dust them off and line them up for the world to appreciate.


Mixology Monday: The Rainbow Warrior

Monday, August 11th, 2008


The theme for this Mixology Monday (hosted at Save the Drinkers) is Local Flavor.  The idea is to make a drink featuring local ingredients.  I will treat New Zealand as my locality.  During my temporary sojourn in the Dominican Republic I have no bar besides a couple of bottles of rum.  I think I should blog on a drink I invented a few years ago and had the foresight to photograph.

Sensitive readers should be aware that this drink contains vodka.