Tuesday, February 17, 2015

4th Annual 'Tis The Season for a Holiday Punch Competition & Toy Drive

Young St. Nicholas Punch - 1st Place

Each December, The Rum Collective joins forces with Seattle Gin Society at Liberty Bar and does more than just celebrate our respective spirits; we drink them from a punch bowl for a good cause. That is to raise money for the Toys for Tots Foundation. In fact, over the past four years, it is one of the highlights of the year where our mission becomes even better; it becomes philanthropic. The event's end effect not only  "increases awareness and develops appreciation for rum" but also brings a smile to a few local area children that holiday season. If only every event could be more like this one! This year, guests brought either $20 cash or equal-valued unwrapped toy for a cup of each of the four different (two rum and two gin) punches in the competition. Seriously, "gin vs. rum punch", you ask? Is that even a fair competition? It is arguable  that most well-made rum punches would win. However, this is all in good fun and more votes, made by poker chips deposited in to glasses, could be bought for a small fee. It became apparent (over the past three years) gin people have more money than rum people, but this year, attendees voted without their pocket books and guess what? The Rum Punches took 1st and 2nd place. Not to rub it in but well over half of the attendees were "gin people". Big surprise, eh!

Let's take a closer look at these rum punches!

Young St. Nicholas Punch feat. Diplomatico Anejo
This punch was created as the greeting cocktail for The Rum Collective's 3rd Anniversary event featuring Ron Diplomatico. It was well-received by guests then and now. Simple, refreshing and balanced, here is the winning punch of the event! 

Young St. Nicholas
recipe by Rebekah Karnofski

(single serving)
0.5oz lime juice (fresh pressed)
0.75oz grapefruit juice (fresh pressed)
3 healthy dashes of Angostura Bitters


Korporal Krampus's Quarterdeck Punch - 2nd Place
This year we had special guest, Jason Alexander, create the second rum punch. Hailing from Tacoma Cabana, he tends and owns one of the best tiki bars in the country and it's located a convenient 40 minutes south of Seattle, Jason does tiki with the best of them. His tiki punch featuring the recently released Lost Spirits Navy Style Rum awakened many palates to the complexity of flavors found in this style of cocktails. A more or less magical potion overflowing with happy endings, his was the first punch bowl to go dry!

Jason Alexander serving it up
It was the United States Marine Corps who founded Toys for Tots, so military men and women are more than welcome at this event. In addition to a being an award-winning bartender and owner of one of the coolest up-and-coming cocktail bars in Washington State, Jason, also a marine, served his country prior to choosing a station behind the bar. Respect! Well, when some quality overproof rum flows, lips loosen, and soon the running joke of the evening recalled Proctor & Gamble's Secret punchline and went something like this:

"Lost Spirits Navy Style Rum, Strong enough for a Marine, but made for the Navy"

Probably good we didn't have any folks from the Navy there! Haha!!

If you make your way (and you should) to Tacoma Cabana, ask for this punch. Jason may serve it to you as he envisioned it (see photo below). 

Korporal Krampus's Quarterdeck Punch
photo credit and permission by: Jason Alexander, Tacoma Cabana

Korporal Krampus's Quarterdeck Punch
recipe by Jason Alexander

1.5 cups grapefruit juice (fresh pressed)
1 cup lime juice (fresh pressed)
1.5 cups vanilla spiced syrup (Tacoma Cabana house-made)

In addition to sampling punches, the night was filled with many raffle prizes and two silent auctions. Although we didn't meet the fundraiser goal, we managed to raise $736 dollars that night for local area kids! All of the money and toys raised at the event were donated. To collect the donation we had the pleasure of having a decorated marine, LtCol Michael J. Byrne present with us at the event.

Left to Right: Gene Shook, LtCol Michael Byrne, Nicholas Feris

A big thank you to Ron Diplomatico, Lost Spirits (both distributed by American Northwest), 
Giffard and Vinum for their generosity and support!

A round of applause for Jason Alexander's service and skills!

Special thanks to Andrew Friedman of Liberty Bar for his continual support of our events!

Thank you to Toys for Tots for their commitment to helping children!!

Cheers and rumlove until next year!!!


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