Friday, August 2, 2013

Seattle Rumdrops: Ray's Boathouse Rum Sampler

Ray's Boathouse Rum and Caramel Popcorn Sampler
Last week, the Seattle sun may have dried up all the rain, but not our thirst. This Rumdrop presents a special something to keep your lips wet and mouth watering. Just above the water's edge in old Ballard, Ray's Boathouse features a flight of rums paired with caramel corn. Wait. What? That's right, one of Seattle's finest waterfront restaurants has a lovely rum sampler on the menu. What else? This pairing pushes the rumvelope out just a bit more. You may have heard of rum and chocolate or even rum and cheese pairings. These are classic combinations for sure. Further, just last month in the UK, Imbibe Live premiered a rum and marshmallow tasting hosted by the legendary Ian Burrell. But aren't rum pairings just for rum connoisseurs? Well, not anymore. Rum's status is on the rise internationally; in Seattle, it's become a celebrity. Ray's brings to light yet, another delectable combination rum works well with. In addition to its utility in cocktails, rum's unmatched diversity allows for unlimited potential in food pairings. Upon asking Ray's Pastry Chef, Lorna Stokes, about their rum sampler, she expressed wanting to create something, "unique and sexy, that held up in the heat". Oh yeah! The caramel is made fresh in house, mixed with each spice or flavor ingredient and drizzled over the popcorn. Here's a closer look at that tasty creativity.

(Left) Ron Zacapa Sistema Solera 23 & Fennel: This silky smooth blend of rums aged 6-23 years is rich in flavor. It's succulent vanilla, tobacco and caramelized fruit notes allow the fennel's vivid character to open up in the mouth for a sweet and savory harmony.

(Center) Plantation Grand Réserve 5yr & Orange-Almond: A blend of rums aged 5 years originating from Barbados, then refined in France boasts balance and complexity. Each bite unfolds the caramel's orange zest and roughly chopped almonds complimenting the rum's ripe fruits, cocoa and soft oak overtones.

(Right) Pyrat XO Reserve & Fleur de Sel: This interesting blend of rums (up to 15 years) offers a bold orange liqueur-styled bouquet of flavor, overtly sweet with hints of cinnamon and clove. The rich mineral quality of the fleur de sel (sea salt) prompts salivation eaten alone, however with the rum, it quickly resolves the lingering orange sweetness into a surprisingly tasty finish. Suggested tip - sip the rum and immediately follow with a piece of the popcorn.

 Isn't it time you returned to Ray's for some rum with a view?
Thank you to Lorna for such a delicious Rum and Caramel Popcorn pairing. Yum!

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