Rum & Cocktails Week In Review – 5/13/2016

Three adult skeletons from the Royal Naval Hospital cemetery in Antigua (c. 1793-1822). Images used with kind permission of Tamara Varney. has an interesting story about rum’s role in the death of British soldiers during the Napoleonic Wars West Indies campaign from 1804-1810. “A group of researchers led by bioarchaeologist Tamara Varney of Lakehead University examined 31 people found in the Royal Naval Hospital in English Harbor, Antigua.” Using advanced x-ray techniques, the reasearchers measured the lead concentrations in the skeletons and found it to be more than 10 times higher than an average person. These high concentrations of lead in young, British Navy personnel have led the researchers to believe that the men most likely died of lead poisoning. How did these high levels of lead get into their bodies? From their rum tations!

“One unique cause, though, ‘is the consumption of lead contaminated alcoholic beverages, notably rum,’ Varney and colleagues note. They further explain that ‘rum was both formally and informally distilled using lead worms (condensation coils) on stills, and it was consumed in quantity by naval personnel who were entitled and accustomed to at least their daily allotment of rum, a well-established tradition in the Royal Navy’ well into the 20th century. Excessive consumption of Antiguan rum, along with potential medicinal treatments and stagnant water, likely contributed to the high levels of lead in the bones of these men associated with the British Royal Navy.”

Brazilian_Cachaca Florida Today writer Christina Jordan spent time learning about Cachaça at this year’s Miami Rum Festival & Trade Expo.

“Cachaça may not be found in every bar around Brevard County but it should be. It is distilled from fresh sugar cane juice. From there, depending on the brand, style and aging, the flavor of Cachaça can vary widely. It is the perfect base for a cocktail. I was lucky enough to sip it straight and sample it in a variety of drinks.”


Tax Free World Association (TFWA) president Erik Juul-Mortensen has revealed that global travel retail and duty free wine and spirits sales declined 2.7% in 2015, with total sales for the industry falling 2.3%.

Speaking at the 2016 TFWA Asia Pacific Exhibition & Conference citing provisional 2015 Generation Research figures, Juul-Mortensen said total sales for the year stood at US$62.1 billion, the first contraction in six years.

The Asia Pacific region continued to lead the industry in terms of both market share and growth, accounting for 40% of all sales at US$25.2 billion, up 2.6%.

Star Wars Geeki Tiki mugs from
Star Wars Geeki Tiki mugs from

Combine your love of tiki mugs and Star Wars with these newly release Star Wars mugs from

“And what better tiki mug to drink from than one that looks like a character from the Star Wars? Choose to drink with Boba Fett, Chewbacca, Darth Vader, R2-D2, a Stormtrooper, or Yoda. Each holds about 14 oz. and has a contrasting interior, which will make you happy when you get to the bottom of the drink and have to ask, “But why is the rum gone?” Or at least, it’ll entertain you a little. We think the lack of rum has something to do with moisture farming, but you didn’t hear it from us.”


Carnival Cruise Line has officially taken delivery of what becomes the line’s newest, largest and most innovative ship, Carnival Vista.

The 3,954-passenger ship will be summering in Europe until it begins operating year-round Caribbean cruise service from Miami in November 2016.

The ship includes new features like a suspended cycling experience called “SkyRide” and the first IMAX theater at sea, among other amenities.

JetBlue JetBlue is the Caribbean’s fastest-growing airline and they just added yet another route. It now offers daily flights between Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood and Barbados’ Grantley Adams International Airport. (

Reg as a bosun at Trafalgar Night (

Very cool story about using salvaged wood from an British World War I ship to make a ‘rum tub’ out of splintered pieces of the ships decking.  The original owner’s grandson used the ‘rum tub’ for years serving rum rations from it on during Trafalger Day celebrations. (

Punch Magazine talked about the improved offerings found in bar wells around the country. What are well spirits?

“Well spirits aren’t the bottles of liquor that bartenders keep on display along the back bar, but, rather, holstered in troughs or “rails” located below the bartop, somewhat hidden from the drinker but in easy reach for pouring drinks with alacrity. This is the home of the standard “house” liquor—in contrast to the more premium stuff one can see and “call” (i.e., request by name).”

Luckily for drinkers, well offerings have improved greatly over the past decade moving from rock-guy spirits to respectable options. When naming rums found in the rails, two were named most often: Platation 3 Stars and Bacardi Silver. (See the full list by spirit)

Rob Cooper, who is credited with breathing new life into the craft liqueur category and resurfacing once-forgotten historic spirits, made his mark on our industry. Photo by Allison Webber photography.
Robert Cooper, founder of St-Germain elderflower liqueur and spirits visionary, passed away at the young age of 39. The third-generation distiller played a huge part in the resurgence of liqueurs and the rise of craft cocktails in America over the last decade. (

Garret Richard’s Jungle Bird variation called ‘Yacht Rock’.

“It was bitter and a little bit light and had that weird orange-chocolate thing going on,” he recalls. “People loved it.” You won’t find it on the menu at either of the bars, but just ask for it; “it’s always been an off-menu item for me.” (

Yacht Rock


3/4 oz rum, preferably Coruba
3/4 oz rum, preferably Smith and Cross
3/4 oz Campari
1/2 oz sweet vermouth, preferably Dolin Blanc
1/2 oz creme de cacao, preferably Tempus Fugit
1/2 oz simple syrup
1/2 oz lime juice
1/2 oz orange juice

Garnish: lime boat and an orchid
Glassware: snifter


In a shaker tin, combine all ingredients except garnishes and shake with three cubes of ice.
Strain into a snifter over crushed ice. Garnish with a lime boat and an orchid.

miami-rum-fest-banner-2016-640[1] shared some of their photos from last month’s Miami Rum Renaissance Festival.

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