Rum & Cocktail Week In Review – 7/10/15

Short Path Distillery
Short Path Distillery opened recently in Boston, MA. Three friends that founded the company have spent months converting a 100-year-old former rubber factory into a distillery. The company produces rum from high-quality, Blackstrap molasses. The name is a reflection of the path their spirits take from their still to your cocktail. Read more at:

Gone are the days of flavorless, light-bodied rums made in stills designed for vodka. We use the highest quality blackstrap molasses, a copper pot still and an extended fermentation time during production which results in a white rum with a complex flavor profile that stands on its own.

Plantation Pineapple Rum Stiggins FancyThe introduces Plantations Pineapple Rum. Many of Charles Dickens’s characters like to drink as much as their creator did. They fill pages by availing themselves of a glass of this or a bowl of punch. For this reason, Dickens’s novels have proved useful as windows into 19th-century drinking habits. And now, one character has lent his name to a new spirit.

Plantation Pineapple Rum Stiggins’ Fancy — recently released by Maison Ferrand, the French producer of Cognacs, gins, rums and other spirits — is named after Reverend Stiggins, an ecclesiastical hypocrite from “The Pickwick Papers” who preached temperance between nips of his beloved pineapple rum.

…The idea to bring it back came when Alexandre Gabriel, Ferrand’s president and owner, asked Mr. Wondrich, with whom he had collaborated on a Cognac and a Curaçao, if he had “any other bright ideas,” as Mr. Wondrich put it.

Mr. Gabriel drew on old recipes and his own expertise. He steeped the flesh of pineapples in his Plantation Original Dark Rum, an aged rum. Then, seeking more aromatics, he distilled the pineapple rind with his Plantation 3 Stars White Rum. The two rums were blended and left in a barrel to spend some time together.

Mr. Gabriel intended the new liquor as a one-off, something to show off as a novelty. But when he poured some out at the 2014 Tales of the Cocktail, the annual liquor convention in New Orleans, bartender reaction was strong. After numerous demands for more, he eventually decided to release it commercially, with a suggested retail price of $30.

PennyBlueXO Spirits merchant Berry Bros. & Rudd and the Indian Ocean Company have released their fourth batch of the Penny Blue XO Rum series. Comprised of rums matured in both Bourbon and whiskey casks aged from four to 11 years, Penny Blue XO 4 Mauritian rum is limited to 10,000 bottles that will be shipped globally, accept for the US. Named after the world’s rarest stamp, Penny Blue is distilled in Medine; Mauritius’ oldest operational distillery which opened in 1926.

Batch four is wonderfully rich and opulent with high levels of complexity which have become associated with each of the Penny Blue releases. – Doug McIvor, Berry Bros. & Rudd Spirits Manager

Bottled at 43.3% ABV, Penny Blue XO Batch Four is said to carry aromas of tropical fruits, eucalyptus, wood spice, citrus, and vanilla. While Penny Blue XO Batch Three was only made available in Mauritius, Batch Four’s 10,000 bottles carry a retail price of £41.95 (€52.95) per 700ml bottle. Read more at:

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf (D) vetoed the proposed privatization of the state’s liquor industry. All wine and liquor sales in Pennsylvania currently are handled within state-run liquor stores that are controlled by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. Consumers have long complained of unnecessarily high prices and limited selections as a result.

This week both houses of the Pennsylvania legislature passed a bill to end Pennsylvania’s state liquor monopoly only to see the proposed bill fall to the Governor’s veto. Read more at:

Rum (Photo courtesy of Caribbean Journal)
Rum (Photo courtesy of Caribbean Journal)

Caribbean Journal stopped to rank their Top 10 American Rums. I encourage you to read more about each spirit. I personally have tried 8 of the 10 and all are delightful in their own way. (Read about each rum at: Caribbean Journal)

Siesta Key Rum
Papa’s Pilar
Richland Rum
Lost Spirits
Thomas Tew
Koloa Rum
Dancing Pines Rum
St George California Agricole Rum
Bayou Rum
Maui Rum

Fish House Punch

Recipe adapted from Jim Meehan, Tasting Table Drinks Editor
Makes 16 to 18 servings

One 750-ml bottle Smith & Cross rum
25 ounces water
1.5 cups simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water, boiled until the sugar dissolves)
6 oz peach brandy (such as Peach Street Distillers)
6 oz fresh lime juice
1.5 cups fresh lemon juice
Ice block
Lime twist, for garnish

1. In a bunch bowl or pitcher, combine all ingredients minus the ice and lime, and chill in the fridge for 1 hour before serving. Place one large block of ice into the bowl to keep the punch cold.
2. Serve the punch in chilled punch cups filled with ice. Garnish with a lime twist and serve.

(Discover more recipes at:

Luau Basil Cocktail (Photo courtesy of Lizzie Munro/Tasting Table)
Luau Basil Cocktail (Photo courtesy of Lizzie Munro/Tasting Table)

Luau Basil Cocktail
Recipe adapted from Kyle Reutner, Hawaii Bitters Company

5 basil leaves, plus more for garnish
.75 oz St-Germain
1.5 oz rum
.75 oz lime juice

1.5 oz soda water
1 fresh lychee, with skin on (optional)

1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle the basil leaves with the St-Germain.

2. Add the rum and lime juice, fill the shaker with ice, then shake vigorously until well chilled.

3. Strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Top with soda water and garnish with lychee and basil leaves. Serve.

1 fresh lychee, with skin on (optional)

1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle the basil leaves with the St-Germain.
2. Add the rum and lime juice, fill the shaker with ice, then shake vigorously until well chilled.
3. Strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Top with soda water and garnish with lychee and basil leaves. Serve.

(Discover more recipes at:

bankslogoWith Bacardi Rum sales slipping over last few years they company has expanded their portfolio with the purchase of super-premium Banks Rum, Port Louis, Mauritius.

Banks primarily produces Banks 5-Island Rum and Banks 7 Golden Age Blend. On occadion they have also released a variety of limited editions.

Company founder and Master Blender Arnaud de Trabuc was inspired by the adventures of legendary 18th-century British explorer and botanist Sir Joseph Banks. Banks Rum uses a secret formula developed by blending rums from up to seven different origins (Trinidad, Jamaica, Guyana, Barbados, Panama, Guatemala, and Java) according to the company says. Once blended, the rum is aged again within used bourbon barrels.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Read more at:

Facundo Rum CollectionBacardi announced the launch of it’s ‘Limited Edition Sipping Library’ The Facundo Rum Collection around Europe. First launched in 2013, the collection is dedicated to Bacardi founder, Don Facundo Bacardí Massó.

Consisting of four “sipping rum” blends pulled from the Bacardi family’s private rum reserves: Facundo Neo, Facundo Eximo, Facundo Exquisito and Facundo Paraíso.

The collection’s European release is limited to under than 10,000 bottles and will be available where it will be available in high-end bars, hotels, restaurants, and retailers beginning in October 2015.

Notes on each expression include:

Neo: an “aged, light sipping rum” blended with rums oak-barrels aged up to 8 years
Eximo: is blended with rums aged up to 10 years
Exquisito: is a blend of seven to 23-year-old rums that is finished in a sherry cask for a month or more
Paraíso: is finished in French XO casks – with rum more than 60 years old

Each rum is bottled at 40% abv, and is available at the RRP of £48 for Neo, £65 for Eximo, £130 for Exquisito and £300 for Paraíso. (Read more at:

black-coral-rum-bottles Black Coral Rum, a new craft rum distillery in Palm Beach County recently opened. An organic rum that does not include any artificial flavoring or added sugars. They distill using locally sourced molasses in their fermentation. Producing Black Coral Rum is a six month process from fermentation to bottle. Black Coral is produced with their local community in mind pledging to donate $1 for each bottle sold to Operation 300, a locally-based organization that helps the family of fallen military. (Read more at: recently spoke about Ron Cartavio from Peru who is gaining regard as a world-class producer.

In the world of rum, Peru is not considered to be a hot bed of rum production. In fact it doesn’t get much recognition at all. That is slowly changing thanks to passionate advocates Jim and Carole Driscoll, owners of Ekeko Fine Wines & Spirits. The Houston-based importer specializes in products from Peru after the Driscolls fell in love with the country, its people, and its rum.

Peru’s semi-arid climate works well for rum production. Its lack of rain requires sugar can fields be irrigated which allows farmers to control the plants water supply. Farmers will deliberately restrict the water so the plants are forced to struggle a bit. That struggle allows sugars to concentrate within the plant. The extracted sugar juice is boiled down into rich, dark molasses.

Ron Cartavio is leading the way to change the image of Peruvian spirits. Founded in 1929, three Cartavio rums medaled in the Extra Aged category at the San Francisco Spirits Competition. The Selecto took a silver medal, as did the XO. Most impressively, the Cartavio Solera took a gold medal. Ron Cartavio XO took Best In Class Gold for the Premium Rum Category at the Miami Rum Renaissance Expert Panel.

Cartavio XO only exists due an unexpected find at the distillery. It was a stash of 30- or 40-year-old barrels that went forgotten and unrecorded. At one point, Cartavio was a government-owned facility, so the hypothesis is that those barrels were reserved for generals and other high-ranking officers in the military.

Cartavio uses a Solera system, which allows from blending of rums that are different ages and from different types of barrels. Barrels of various origins—those used for aging bourbon or port, for example—are filled and stacked vertically in racks. The older barrels get shuffled down while the younger ones stay towards the top. The rum is blended from various barrels to achieve a certain flavor profile and the age stamped on the label indicates the oldest barrel used.

Peruvian Daiquiri

1.5 ounce Cartavio Blanco rum
.5 ounce Santiago Quierolo Masco pisco
.75 ounce fresh lime juice
.5 oz Simple Syrup (made with two parts sugar to one part water)

Build in a mixing glass or shaker tin, add ice and shake until cold. Fine strain into a cocktail glass or coupe. Garnish with a lime wedge.

(Read more at:

Piña Cola (Photo courtesy of
Piña Cola (Photo courtesy of
Piña Cola (Photo courtesy of Ever wonder what kind of beach drink you might be? I took the quiz and found out I am a “a chill Piña Colada”. Take the quiz yourself at!

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