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Bermuda Triangle Party

Last Tuesday night at the Miami Rum Renaissance Festival, Barritt’s Ginger Beer co-hosted an event with the good people from Fee Brothers and the Miami Rum Renaissance staff. After talking with a lot of guests, it sounds like the party was a real hit, and we are really happy that everyone had such a fun time and watched great Miami bartenders throw down and come up with our new signature cocktail, the Bermuda Triangle.

The party was at the Deauville Hotel in Miami Beach, and it was one of the opening night parties here at the Rum Renaissance Festival. Basically, we invited some great bartenders from Miami to come out for a friendly throw down and come up with our new signature cocktail.

The contest rules were simple – come up with the new Bermuda Triangle using Barritt’s, at least one Fee Brothers product, and then feel free to use the rum of your choice with a number of prepared fresh ingredients that we made available for the bartenders. Each bartender had their own space and batched out enough for the audience members to try the cocktail and vote on the winner.

The event was a lot of fun, mainly because there were so many people who made the event so special. First off, we want to personally thank Ezra Pattek from Bar Lab Miami for the bulk of the planning. Ezra made everything come together, and we couldn’t have done it without him. Big thanks also go to Joe Fee, Robin Burr and Robert Burr for getting us involved in this great event. And of course, as time was running short, we want to thank Rocky Yeh, Rob Burr Jr and everyone else who chipped in with prep work.

As for cocktails, Tobin Ellis and Ezra came up with some tasty concoctions, which we will be posting shortly. Both guys came up with drinks for everyone to try before the competition, and it really set the party’s atmosphere nicely.

And finally, big congratulations to Freddy Diaz from AlambiQ for the winning recipe! It was pretty awesome:

The Bermuda Triangle:

1 oz. Barritt’s Ginger Beer
1 1/2 oz. Dos Maderas 5+3
1/2 oz. Dos Maderas PX
1 oz. Donn’s Mix #1 (2:1) (2 Parts Fresh Squeezed Grapefruit, 1 Part Cinnamon Syrup)
1/2 oz. Boiron Lime Juice
1/2 oz. Simple Syrup
1/16 oz. (Small Dash) Fee Brothers Grapefruit Bitters
Garnish with a Thin Slice of Florida Grapefruit rolled and a cinnamon stick TIED TOGETHER with a channel knifed cucumber string.
Donn’s Mix #1:
2 Parts Fresh Squeezed Grapefruit, 1 Part Fee Brothers Cinnamon Syrup
Technique:
In a mixing Glass, add Ingredients.
Shake with Ice.
Strain Over Fresh Crushed Ice in a Tall Zombie.
Top with Barritt’s Ginger Beer and blend Ingredients together with a Bar Spoon.
Garnish.
To find out more, please check out the Rum Connection’s article: http://rumconnection.com/uncategorized/barritts-bermuda-triangle/

More cocktail recipes to come …

Welp, we just limped back from the Miami Rum Renaissance Festival and we have a handful of brand new, tasty cocktails to pass along to you. We will post them all soon, but here’s one to get you started:

The Room Key

-2.5 oz 10 Cane Rum

-3-4 thin mango slices

-3 lime wedges

- bar spoon of agave nectar

- 2-3 oz Barritt’s Ginger Beer

Muddle the agave mangoes, limes and agave nectar. Add 10 Cane Rum and shake with ice. Strain into Collins glass and add Barritt’s

We came up with this signature cocktail recipe at the Miami Rum Renaissance Grand Tasting and we had a lot of people coming back for it. The name comes from one of the co-hosts of the Margaritaville show on Sirius. I’ll think we’ll let him explain the rest …

More recipes to come.

Another esteeeeeemed judge, The Floating Rum Shack

Well, here at Barritt’s mobile HQ, we are having a lot of fun catching up with old (and new) friends in Miami at the Rum Renaissance Festival. The Zombie Jamboree on Monday was loads of fun. Last night, we co-hosted the Bermuda Triangle Party at the Deauville … but we’ll talk more about that in another post.

Right now it’s all about the judges for Barritt’s Bermuda Getaway. Peter Holland of the Floating Rum Shack is one of our judges (there are 5 all together).

TheFloatingRumShack.com is the vessel that allows the tag team of Pauline & Peter Holland to explore the world of rum and tell everyone about what they have just found out!  Its ongoing mission (a bit like the Starship Enterprise) is to big-up rum to the people of the UK and the rest of the world who need a break from the domination of crap drinks and need the warmth and fun of rum in their lives.

Peter was a judge for us last year, and he has excellent cocktail taste. He’s a true believer in rum and he now has a site dedicated to gin right here: http://thefloatingginpalace.com/content/

Yes, he’s expanding, and it’s a good thing. I can’t believe I’m going to leave that last sentence untouched.

The Rum Daddy

It is with great pleasure to introduce our Barritt’s Bermuda Getaway judges this week. We have 5 great judges who have overseen all of the cocktails that have been submitted by many talented mixologists.

We will be announcing the two winners (one consumer and one retailer) this week at the Miami Rum Renaissance Festival. And yes, there will be stories to post this week from the Miami Rum Renaissance Festival. But first, we need to thank our great judges.

First up is The Rum Daddy, aka Mr. Paul Artrip. Paul was a judge for us last year and knows a whole lot about rum and the rum industry. He’s a pro. Here’s his website: http://www.therumdaddy.com/

Paul Artrip ‘The Rum Daddy’ www.therumdaddy.com is a well-known rum expert and rum aficionado with friends and connections in the United States and Europe.  His extensive spirits collection includes over 300 rums, rons, rhums, and cachacas.  Paul’s love of spirits ‘spilled’ over into his business, where he created Spirited Adventures, LLC, a brand ambassador and mixology consulting firm. He also writes spirits columns for private publications and for Chilled Magazine.

Paul has served as a judge for the 2010 Rum XP Competition in Miami, the 2009 International Rum Competition in Miami, and the 2008 Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans.  Paul also judged cane spirits as one of the American judges in the 2007 and 2008 UK RumFest in London, England as well as performing industry seminars on American artisinal spirits for the UK and EU market.  Paul has also judged in the 2006 and 2007 International Cane Spirits Festivals in Ybor City, Florida, and performed tasting seminars at the 2006 NYC RumFest 2006.

Paul represented Bacardi USA as the moderator at ‘The Long Legacy of Cuban Rum’ Seminar at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans 2009, performed brand ambassador consultations for Cockspur Rums (Hood River Distillery, Oregon, USA) during 2007 and 2008, and represented Cockspur in Miami at the 2008 Gifted Rums Magazine release event.  Paul also presented American artisan rums at the Rum Renaissance Miami’s inaugural event in May 2009, again in 2010, and also in London, England in 2008. Paul actually started with success in tequila mixology, earning the Grand Prize Winner status in the charity-focused Margaritaville Tequila ‘Conky-Tonkin’ Concoction Contest’ in Key West 2005.

Miami Rum Renaissance or bust

The Miami Rum Renaissance Festival is quickly approaching and Barritt’s Ginger Beer will be involved with it again, and in a bigger way. Please check out this video below from one of Rum Renaissance’s founders, Robert V. Burr:

On Tuesday night, we will be co-hosting the Bermuda Triangle Party with Fee Bros. and the Miami Rum Renaissance team. If you’re in the area, please come check it out. We are going to have bartenders compete to come up with the winner of our new cocktail, The Bermuda Triangle.

The party will be at the Deauville, so stop on by and try a few fantastic drinks!

15 Romolo

I was told to head to 15 Romolo by a helpful bartender in Mill Valley, CA. She told me 15 Romolo was “Bourbon and Branch before Bourbon and Branch.” That’s a pretty heavy accolade, considering Bourbon and Branch makes some of the damn finest cocktails in a cocktail-centric city.

But that pretty bartender was right on the money. I saddled up to the bar after a long day of walking the city and going over way too many details in my own head about shouldas, couldas and wouldas.

Actually, let me back up. Before I saddled up at 15 Romolo, I had to find the place. It’s wedged down a dark alley, right behind a strip bar. Before you turn down the alley, you’ll see the Beat Museum. It’s worth stopping in, especially to speak with the lovely couple from Baltimore who run it.

But I wasn’t on the edges of Little Italy for dancing naked women and lectures on Ginsberg, Kerouac and Cassady. I was looking for 15 Romolo.

The bar is down a not-too-well-lit alley. When I walked into the nearly-empty bar, I saddled up to the nearest stool and took a look at the impressive collection of spirits behind the bar. I started talking shop with the bartender named Ian, who knows his cocktails and his booze. We talked shop over a wonderful Fish House Punch, which used Spanish brandy with dark rum (I believe it was Cruzan’s Black Strap). Fantastic combo – the sweet, dark rum was the first taste in your mouth, but the backbone of the Spanish Brandy carried the drink. Then Ian made a little something special that mixed bourbon with tequila. I got to try a little bit of the extra. Unfortunately, I forget the exact ingredients, but the two strong flavors mixed beautifully. If you stop in, ask for this concoction.

In a blink, the bar was packed and I headed out the door to wander some more. But just as I started walking, I caught a glimpse of something I never saw before, nor do I ever want to see again: a man tried to enter a strip club with a baby in a baby carriage. The bouncer turned him away, which means the next generation may have some glimmer of hope.

Smuggler’s Cove … where Ron Jeremy lookalikes, wormwood schnapps cocktails, and rum with gunpowder magically collide!

'nuff said

On a recent road swing to California, I stumbled into Smuggler’s Cove. A fine establishment that has been gaining a lot of great press. My friends at the Rum Bar in Philly told me to visit as well, so I knew there was some merit to the press.

Smuggler’s Cove looks like the Ewok Village was overrun by the cast of Gilligan’s Island. That is an awesome sentence above. It’s three floors of island-themed greatness, with all kinds of rums available. The cocktails are superb.

I guess what made it so special on the night I visited was the combination of bartenders, guests, and spirits. All of the above were phenomenal. At one point, I was trying a wormwood schnapps cocktail that the bartender made up especially for us. The bottle of wormwood schnapps comes from Chicago, and looks like it is distilled in your grandmother’s bathtub. The cocktail was quite nice. As someone put it, the cocktail tasted like a “grapefruit seed.” It would be quite nice as a Sunday brunch pick-me-up. It was also nice to sit next to a gentleman who looked like Ron Jeremy’s thinner, hippy little brother. That may have made the bitter cocktail much, much sweeter. He had some pretty sweet facial hair.

The cocktail scorecard at Smuggler's Cove. I have a long way to go.

As I sat there in the basement portion of Smuggler’s Cove, drinking a Millionaire’s Cocktail and talking shop with the bartender, a strange bottle was pulled off the top shelf from behind another bottle: Man O’War. This is rum with gunpowder and tobacco in it. After reading the label, I decided to give it a try.

Rum with gunpowder in it tastes like a discharged shotgun shell. Gunpowder tastes exactly like you think it would taste. It’s not pleasant. At all.

There’s a reason why it’s hidden on the top shelf. This isn’t like some cool Hollywood Western flick where the saloon owner pulls out the good stuff for the drifter with a good heart and a heavy conscience. No, it’s quite the opposite. Man O’War is something you give to your enemy. Nonetheless, it makes for an interesting story …

More San Francisco adventures to come.

Single Brothers – Winston Salem

It’s been too damn long since I’ve posted a blog entry about my ginger beer travels. Which is a shame, because I am have been able to visit some fine cities, and more importantly, some fine watering holes across the purple mountain majesties and amber waves of grain.

So, I’ll catch everyone up to speed, one bar at a time. I’ll start off with Single Brothers in Winston-Salem, which is a great watering hole with some fantastic cocktails:

There are a lot of great selections choose from, but I have to give the nod to cocktails made with one of the local spirits: Junior Johnson’s moonshine.

A delicious concoction with Junior Johnson's Midnight Moon ... memory is failing on the name, but it was made with lemon juice, mint and Blenheim's Ginger Ale ... I think that's it.

Piedmont Distillers makes two kinds of hooch, Catdaddy and Junior Johnson’s Midnight Moon. Both are fantastic spirits (Midnight Moon is a white whiskey, Catdaddy is spiced).

And yes, for full disclosure, we here at Barritt’s are doing some work with them on some signature cocktails for the fine state of North Carolina. They make great stuff, and we are happy to work with them and get some good on the cocktail menu. We will certainly update on any cocktails we have. In the meantime, get yer ass over to Single Brothers and enjoy a fine cocktail as the sun sets in a beautiful part of the South.

Until next time, ginger beer lovers …

Barritt’s Bermuda Getaway – Last year’s winners

We have started receiving some entries into this year’s Barritt’s Bermuda Getaway, and I realized that I should probably do a sensible thing here: post last year’s winners! Without further ado …

The Consumer Winner: Lawrence Spies from Texas.

The Cocktail: “Storm Warning.”

The Ingredients: 3-4 oz Barritt’s Ginger Beer, 2 oz. Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, 2 oz. Domaine du Canton with a garnish of a lime or lemon wedge.

The Instructions: fill tall glass with ice and add 2 oz. Golsing’s, 2 oz. Domaine du Canton, and top with Barritt’s Ginger Beer. Serve in highball glass.

The Retailer Winner: Sam McDaniel from Illinois. He is the Beverage Specialist at the Whole Foods Market in Lincoln Park, IL.

The Drink: “Sake Blossom”

The Ingredients: 2 oz. of Barritt’s Ginger Beer, 1 oz Clement Creole Shrubb Clementine Orange Liqueur, 1 oz sparkling cava, 1 oz. junmai gingo sake, .5 oz lemongrass simple syrup, 1 strawberry diced, 1 orange blossom (garnish)

The Instructions: muddle diced strawberry, lemongrass simple syrup and sake in a shaker. Strain into champagne flute. Add Barritt’s, Cava and Clement Creole Shrubb Clementine Orange Liqueur slowly to the champagne flute. Serve in champagne flute

Both of these cocktails were fabulous, and our independent panel of judges deemed these two the best out of some great cocktail recipes.

I think it’s important to note that there’s no particular rhyme or reason to the cocktail winners: one is simple, one is complex. They were just two quality cocktails that our judges deemed the best.

So best of luck to everyone in 2011! Please be sure to enter here: http://www.barrittsgingerbeer.bm/recipe_contest/

Barritt’s Bermuda Getaway

The second annual Barritt’s Bermuda Getaway has just been launched, and we are excited to get some great, original cocktail recipes that use Barritt’s Ginger Beer.

The contest is simple: come up with a cocktail using Barritt’s Ginger Beer. Submit it here: http://www.barrittsgingerbeer.bm/recipe_contest/

Please identify yourself as a retailer or a consumer. We have separate categories for everyone in an effort to be fair and recognize everyone. You must be 21 years old to enter and living in the United States.

Then an independent panel of judges with excellent palettes (and high tolerances of alcohol) will pick the winners. We will be introducing everyone to the judges soon.

The contest ends in mid April. There is no limit to the number of recipes you can submit, so go buck wild, if that’s your thing. Just submit quality recipes that are drinkable.

And please, PLEASE, use quality ingredients that are somewhat recognizable and are able to be purchased at quality food and liquor stores. You’re not going to win if you use a Himalayan herb that can only be picked by a blind Sherpa in mid-May. So please tone it down on the esoteric.

With that said, best of luck to everyone! We had some great recipes submitted last year and we expect more great ones to come. I’ll be submitting last year’s winners shortly.