I’ve been on a quest for quite some time now. Not to brag, but I’ve been pretty successful at it. On its face, it is a fairly easy quest: I want to try rum from every part of the world. Once upon a time that meant hopping a plane, or a boat, to travel around the globe. Certainly not a bad way to live, but it tends to be hard on the wallet. The other option would be to find someone who was hopping a boat (or plane) and have them pick you up so rum, but that would involve a lot of trust and patience.
Nowadays it’s a whole different ball game. If one of the two amazingly stocked rum bars here on Key West doesn’t have it, I can easily order rum online from around the world and arrange for it to be delivered. Not as exciting
as trotting the globe, but imminently more practical and much easier to accomplish. Thanks to modern technology, I’ve been able to sample rum from almost all of the Caribbean islands, several South and Central American countries, and even Indonesia.
In spite of this success, there was still one Holy Grail of rum that I was sure I’d never try. Oh, me of little faith….
In 1878 the Havana Club distillery was built in Cuba and very soon thereafter started turning out some spectacular rum. It’s an embargoed product, but luckily I have a friend, who has a friend, who may have had a friend of their own, and just last week I obtained a few precious ounces of Havana Club Reserva Anejo. Let me tell you something. The Cubans may have some political struggles, but they sure do make one heck of a rum! This is easily one of the most perfectly balanced rums I’ve had the pleasure of tasting. Very smooth, a little heat, somewhat sweet, rich in color but with a light enough body that I could imagine sipping on it for a very long time.
One important note. There is a rum available in the states called “Havana Club” that is produced by Bacardi and while a great product, It is not the same thing…not even close.
So find yourself a Canadian friend, get your hands on a bottle, and Make Life One Long Weekend ™ . Follow me on twitter @popcornjack, and meet me here next week for more rumology.
When the daiquiri was created in 1898, it was a drink made of simple accessibility. The rum, lime and sugar cane were simply the ingredients that were most readily available. Today, travel and technology have shrunken the world, so that almost any commodity could be had by most any person. It was that truth that led me to create the Elder Statesman, my modern update of the daiquiri:
- 2.5 oz. Tommy Bahama Golden Sun Rum
- 1 oz. St. Germaine elderflower liquor
- .75 oz. Agave nectar
- .25 oz. Yuzu juice
Combine all the ingredients in a shaker tin with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass or coupe with a powdered sugar rim.
Growing up in Plainville, CT, I always knew I was destined for a more tropical setting, but before finding my way to my current home in Key West, FL, I hit the big city by first attending college in New York, and then with aspirations of becoming an actor, spent time in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Living day to day in the grind of an urban jungle just wasn’t for me so I went in search of a slower, more relaxed way of life. The legend and allure of Key West was all the motivation I needed to plan a one-way trip to the southernmost point of the United States.
Today, I practice the fine art of living well, mastering mixology and spend my days getting to know the locals and tourists from all over the world. Despite my love of acting, I always felt happiest behind the bar, sharing memories of a lifetime with people. I truly love the mixology aspect of bartending the best. For me, it’s not just creating new drinks but being able to tailor a cocktail for an individual and to give them an experience to remember! I’ve always had an interest in the history and mystery of Rum and fortunately, living in Florida provided me access to a wide selection. Tasting, studying, and discussing with other rum fanatics, I soon discovered that I knew more about rum than most other subjects!
When a good friend sent me the link to the Tommy Bahama Search for The First Rumologist™, I entered on a whim, but quickly found myself amongst the top 20 then top 10 then top 5. It wasn’t until I actually received the call that my longshot whim became a reality. The rest they say is history — today I claim the title of being the very first and only Tommy Bahama Rumologist, and since I’ve been living the Tommy Bahama lifestyle for most of my adult life, it almost feels like validation!