Sunday, April 27, 2014

Miami Rum Renaissance 2014

Yesterday I went to the Grand Tasting of this year's Miami Rum Renaissance at the DoubleTree Miami Airport Convention Center. Ed Roberts and I did the rounds and tasted rums and cocktails from dozens of distilleries. We bumped into Rum Royalty, Rob Burr, who was busy but always ready to stop for a moment to talk rum.

We chatted with the vendors about their products and posed for some pictures with a few cute models. (You can see some of my favorite moments below!) Pamela Obando, who you met on an episode of ByTheGlassShow, was there representing Papa's Pilar rum, and she made one of the two best cocktails of the day. The jalapeno kick to it was amazing! The other awesome cocktail, well, you're going to need to watch the video below to find out! Check out his moves!

As for the best rums tasted neat... I loved Zafra, Centenario 25, Diplomatico 12, Dos Maderas 5+5, and Don Pancho to name a couple off the top of my head. Sadly, most of the vendors did not have enough product to carry them through to the end of the event. It wasn't so much missing the opportunity to drink more rum. I had already had my share. But just the experience being cut short was a little disappointing.

But I went home, cooked some killer burgers, and somehow an impromptu party kicked up at my house. And that never happens! I'll definitely be going back next year.

And again, some of my favorite moments are posted below, but be sure to visit the full gallery I created over at

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Ole Smoky Apple Pie Moonshine Martini: The Dolly

A few months ago I received two Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine products: their Apple Pie Moonshine and their Moonshine Cherries. I was supposed to try to recreate a cocktail for one of the silly made-up holidays of the past few months, but by the time I got the booze, it was too late. So I picked a recipe and decided there was no date like my anniversary to publish it, especially considering I've repeated this same cocktail a bunch of times for my wife!

Ole Smoky has several varieties of their moonshine including Original, Peach, Pineapple, and Strawberry. Apple Pie Moonshine though? Yum! It is 20% alcohol and the cherries are jarred in 40% neutral moonshine which dilutes them to the 25% alcohol finished product.

I chose to make The Dolly Apple Pie Moonshine Martini, though they have published many other cocktail recipes for you to try. Now it did not take a genius to mix equal parts of the Moonshine and Ginger Ale together, but how do you think my amateur photo above compares to the professional one below? BTW, the recipe is there too.

As I mentioned, I've made this cocktail probably a dozen times for my wife and mother in the past month or two. Why? Because it's simple and delicious. The sweet apple pie flavors come through strong, but the alcohol does a great job of keeping that sweetness in check. I found that adding a little of the "juice" the cherries are swimming in also adds a nice secondary cherry flavor. Oh, and those cherries rock! They are potent and flavorful little alcoholic bursts in your mouth!

Definitely check out some of these Moonshines and grab a jar of cherries for all of your cocktails.