Thursday, April 26, 2012

Rum Renaissance 2012: Rumming Through the Days - pt. 3

Brugal VIP Party at the Soho Beach House

Brugal knows rum and they also know how to throw a party! Remember last year? This year, the view from the private club on 8th floor in the Soho Beach House left many with their mouths open in awe, just in time for a sip of a delicious cocktail. Six specialty concoctions to choose from including a glass of their premium Brugal 1888. Oh yeah!

Some went to the pool to view the Brugal girls (yes, in bikinis) staying dry under their see-through umbrellas. Like the rum, it was a refreshing sight.
Some went to the bar to cool off with a cocktail titled Caribbean Kiss. Either way, the view of a sea of cocktail glasses being raised as the sun went down marked the beginning of a rumtastic night!

Bacardi VIP Party at Penthouse Bacardi U.S.A.

Penthouse Bacardi U.S.A.
One needs only an appetite for rum, fun and nostalgia when entering Bacardi's Penthouse. Images of a perfect daiquiri fill my mind, but then a distraction in the form of a barrel-aged El Presidente changed that. This rum-based lovely was on the menu among several other libations to indulge in while going back in time as you walk in their side rooms loaded with historical information and artifacts. Speaking of age, this year marks 150 years of Bacardi Rum and a perfect time to raise your glass to toast one of the most successful brands in history. Celebrating with a live DJ, tasty appetizers, and of course, copious amounts of rum is my kind of birthday party! Happy 150th Bacardi!!

Diplomatico VIP Party at Surfcomber

It started with a long visually captivating walkway past a pool to get up close and personal with Ron Diplomatico. Set outside with three bars, rum began to flow as the stage filled with women dancers wearing palm skirts. Yes please!

Darkness came, but the ladies on stage showed us the way with exotic fire dances. Sipping Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva over ice was necessary to maintain "order and balance" as the Hawaiian dances and music intoxicated the soul.

Who doesn't love a full 'Diplomatico' moon to light the path to the next rum cocktail?

Appleton VIP Party at National Hotel

This year, the Appleton party made it clear; do it Jamaican and do it properly. The setting was fit for leisure and relaxed imbibing. Cocktails with swagger, freshly made with Appleton Estate Reserve and live reggae played by Jamaican musicians? Ya' Mon!

Appleton VIP Party Reggae Band

The Jamaican Reggae Band killing it!

The night with Appleton Estate continued and all were feelin' Erie!

Appleton Estate Reserve
Bar Display


Monday, April 23, 2012

Rum Renaissance 2012: Rumming Through the Days - pt. 2

The Great Rum Challenge

So, you think you know rum? Many came to test their prowess of rum knowledge; many were humbled. The test consisted of tasting eight rums and all you had to do is be able to identify them (see photo). The bottles from which each sample came were displayed on stage and discussed in detail giving each contestant a fair playing field. Sounds easy right?

The Great Rum Challenge
Congratulations to the only winner, James Soper.
There can be only one!

Miami Club Rum Distillery Tour

Miami Club Rum
We enter an art gallery to find one of Miami's newest rums. Surprised? Miami Club Rum's bottle, like the facility is white walled and pristine, covered with select blown-up portraits of local pinup girls. This small batch distillery boasts a rum created in part by wooden corkscrew style aging and the provocative rhythms of Salsa music. All present had the opportunity to meet and greet the maker of another interesting craft rum coming out of America today.

Now, off for some more rum!

Liars Club Pop-Up Bar

The Liars Club Menu
Few words can describe the spectacle of Bacchanalia the UK team brought to the Deauville's Famous Jazz Club on their opening night. Talented and fearless team leader, Captain Lyndon Higginson and his crew orchestrated a show to the level of Cirque du Soleil, except on Rum. Simultaneously, each team member was slamming out craft cocktails to pulse of music that made one's head spin, literally. It wasn't enough that each bloke would make you a tasty drink; they had to match each one they served by free pouring into their own mouths. Man up! Like a team of thirsty sailors, forced rum rations were dolled out to each other from behind the bar to boost their already ecstatic morale. Readers note, you won't find this scene at your local cocktail bar, or in fact, any bar in the USA. Awesome!!

Joe Fee (Fee Brothers Bitters) enjoying...
The crowd went crazy as glasses became rare and make shift vessels were used. As the night went on, the antics increased. This team is serious. All are members of this year's Bacardi UK Tiki Team. Not suprisingly they won this year's World Tiki Championships yet again. Rumtastic!

Liars Club Pop Up Bar
Left to Right
Danny Murphy, Alexx Mouzouris, Georgi Radev, Lyndon Higginson
This bloody brilliant scene can not be communicated by a simple post alone. If you were lucky enough to experience this in person, you will agree a movie is as close as you can get to properly highlight this British invasion. Thankfully, a co-drinker, Lauren Scheich, captured two short clips just as the party got started. Check this unedited footage out below.

Raw, Uncut & Unedited - The Final Video
The Liars Club
by Lauren Scheich

Cheers UK team and long live the style of Manchester's legendary Liar's Club!

The Liars Club Pop Up Bar Team
{Capt. Lyndon Higginson, Bart Murphy, Georgi Radev, Alexx Mouzouris and Danny Murphy}

..stay tuned for the next days' VIP parties!!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Rum Renaissance 2012: Rumming Through the Days

Ron Botran VIP Party at the Soho Beach House

Ron Botran Solera 1893
Soho Beach House
The places were set for beautiful things...and beautiful things there were. Botran's premium rums including the Añejo Reserva and Añejo Solera 1893 were showcased, shaken and served in style, kicking off Rum Renaissance 2012! Let's have a closer look...

Punches and fine cocktails were in order. Smartly dressed gentlemen served their craft. Smiles followed...

Robert and Robin Burr
The dense foliage couldn't camouflage the good times. The family behind the festival, Robin and Robert Burr, indicate their approval (see photo). Live music, an array of appetizers and hand-rolled cigars were some of the highlights.

Dirk Becker

Rum and spirits aficionados travel from far distances all around the world to experience this week of rum in Miami. Dirk Becker, owner of the famous RumClub Berlin and host of German Rum Festival, enjoying himself (see photo). Rum is fun!

The After Party at Broken Shaker

The after party with Ron Botran continues at one of Miami's hottest new bars called Broken Shaker. Brought to you by the masters of mixology at Bar Lab, this speakeasy speaks classic cocktails fluently. Ron Botran gave each cocktail an accent of its own finishing out the first day of events. For those who didn't get their fill of Broken Shaker, the shaking continued on day 2.

Ron Zacapa VIP Party at Broken Shaker
Ron Zacapa Punch
The VIP experience continued with Ron Zacapa at Broken Shaker. Spectacular punches with this amazing rum filled glasses for that hand to mouth duty we all love. Aged near heaven, the succulent nectar of Ron Zacapa did not disappoint.

Adam Kanter & Paul Yellin

The entourage of fine chocolates, Ron Zacapa cocktails and smokey aromas of grilled meat sparked interest from some of the best in the business. Yum! Adam Kanter, owner of the award winning Rum Bar in Philadelphia and Paul "Rhum Chef" Yellin narrow in on their target.

Ron Zacapa

The western hemisphere's largest rum festival begins!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Seattle Rumdrops: AQUA's Hurricane

AQUA by El Gaucho
Getting out of the rain and into a rum-based cocktail is a good goal for any Seattleite. On a beautiful sunny day like today this isn't too difficult to accomplish (psst...don't tell anyone it isn't raining in Seattle). AQUA by El Gaucho, with its 180 degree water view and modern decor, makes it easy to slip into happy hour. Staying true to our wet weather theme, today's forecast calls for a Hurricane at Pier 70. This cocktail's name is based off the classic glass it's usually served in; but the mix of what's inside is rumoured to have originated as way to dispose of unwanted rums. A potent mixture concealed by its fresh fruit juices and sugar based syrups. Straight out of Pat O'Briens in New Orleans and served proper, it can bring a category 5 storm to the unfamiliar drinker. Often this colorful liquid display is too sweet for many palates due to the misuse of grenadine syrup. The Hurricane at AQUA is well-balanced and refreshing, just the thing to get the party started. Their outdoor patio opens soon and unlike many other outdoor waterside venues in Seattle, it has seating for you and your friends! A note for readers who have little ones, they boast a family friendly restaurant and their service is top notch. Oh, did I mention they also have a talented pianist named Ben behind their grand piano in the bar? And that their happy hour continues seven days a week? If your first Hurricane doesn't rock you the live piano will. Awesome! Stop by for a cocktail, say hi to Ben and enjoy an evening sunset in one of, if not the best, bar views Seattle has to offer.