Archive for the ‘Jamacian’ Category

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.


Appleton Estate Rum Tasting

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008



On Tuesday night I got the chance to attend a tasting organized by Appleton Estate, the famous Jamaican rum producer. The tasting was led by Joy Spence, master blender at Wray & Nephew (producers of Appleton Estate). Joy was an interesting character. She had a fun and not-too-serious approach to rum, but the look of concern on her face when she described how the Hilton was using her 21 year old rum to mix cocktails indicated that her easygoing demeanor only extended so far. There was no doubt she was serious about her work. Tickets were fully booked by the time I realized this tasting was happening, but Jak Jakicevich of Glengarry Wines kindly managed to squeeze me in after a last minute cancellation. The tasting was more action-packed than any other I have been to, adding up to a very entertaining evening. I was glad to be able to make it. (more…)


Friday, March 14th, 2008

Falernum is a spiced syrup with a rum base used as a sweetener in certain tropical drinks. The precise origins of falernum are a little murky. Supposedly it originally hails from Barbados.

It is certainly relatively common in Barbados, being drunk in classic local drink the Corn’n'Oil (rum, falernum, Angostura Bitters, and a squeeze of lime). The Corn’n'Oil shows how versatile and easy to use Falernum is. You can simply splash it into rum to enhance the rum, or it can be used to create a more elaborate concoction like the Don the Beachcomber Mai Tai. It is sort of like a mildly alcoholic tropical version of sweet-and-sour mix.


So far I have relied on making falernum myself. (more…)

Kingston Cocktail

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008

I never got around to experimenting with the Kummel I bought a few months back. I think I got a couple of decent drinks out of my recent exploration of apricot brandy so I figure I will try and do the same with Kummel over the next few days. To kick things off here is a slightly unusual Kummel drink from the Savoy. This one drags Kummel away from Northern Europe to holiday in sunny Jamaica, where it meets fun ingredients like Pimento Dram liqueur and Jamaican rum.



Trader Vic’s and my Mai Tai

Saturday, February 10th, 2007



Last night I dropped into Trader Vic’s recently opened Shanghai restaurant for a Shanghai Expat hosted cocktail party. The service at Trader Vics is five star, the Polynesian decor takes you a world away from the grime and grind of Shanghai, and the food and drinks are not half bad. However, you can’t help thinking the cocktails could be better. The drinks are by no means bad, but it is depressing to patronize the joint that invented the Mai Tai only to find the great drink a mere shadow of what it could be. (more…)