How was your weekend? Today is officially my very first day of retirement (ok, maybe retirement for this year). In case you want to extend the weekend for another day, I’ve got a little somethin’ somethin’ for ya. Enjoy (if you’re over 21)!
So a few weeks ago, Privateer – a local new rum distillery in Ipswich, Mass – invited a group of food bloggers over for a rum tasting and lunch. Rum happens to be my hard liquor of choice (hello, sugarcane juice! ) so I was very excited to see where and how all the magic happens.
Privateer is a brand new premium rum distillery (they are just on their second batch!) but the product has received so much buzz and demand (and already started winning competitions!) that they have just committed to expand beyond Massachusetts in the early 2012!
[Is this for napping after a little too much tasting? Sure looked comfy!]
The event was a bit chaotic since people were arriving at different times and there was no real “tour” schedule. Adam and I caught a quick explanation about the process of fermentation and distillation of sugarcane juice and molasses, which is then aged in oak barrels (don’t quiz me, ok?)… and then got to one of my favorite parts – tasting.
The Privateer Silver Reserve Rum was incredibly smooth drunk straight up (with a mellow burn in the throat as you swallow)…
…and lent itself beautifully to mixed drinks. Seriously, the stuff was so smooth, it could be dangerous! Once mixed with juices and sweeteners it was completely undetectable. There was no burn, no harshness. It’s the kind of stuff that’s so tasty it would sneak up on you if you’re not careful. Now I totally see why the couch is necessary…
A happy consumer of the William Tell cocktail, made with Privateer rum:
I really, really enjoyed trying all sorts of rum concoctions head distiller (turned bartender for the day), Nelse Clark, whipped up for us. Adam and I already decided that we will definitely be replenishing our current rum supply with Privateer (it’s only a few extra $$ compared to Bacardi but it’s so much smoother and we love supporting local companies). But the most memorable part of the trip was talking to Privateer president, Andrew Cabot.
Just by interacting with Nelse and Andrew, Adam and I immediately got the vibe that these are genuinely nice people. And I was really interested to hear about how Andrew started his business. How someone with a software development background (hello, Adam is a software developer!!) was able to get funding for a brand new rum making venture in these economic times (these machines and barrels aren’t cheap!) and how they continue to drive demand for the product. The answers were pretty simple (although not necessarily simple to execute) – he presold the first batch (30 barrels?) to fund all start-up costs and when you make a great product, it will speak for itself (and apparently fly off the shelves).
And how does a software developer even get into a rum business? Andrew is simply not your typical software developer. Every 5 years, he took a year off and did something completely unrelated. He worked in a school one year, traveled the world… and last year, once he heard about the Privateer brand, Andrew decided to figure out how to make a great tasting premium rum (he did his research and realized that there was a gap in that market). “These breaks made me feel alive.” And that, my dear blog friends, is how I feel today (on my very first day of “retirement” for 2011). Alive.
Ready for a tasty drink yet?
Apple Cider Rumtini (largely adopted from Privateer William Tell cocktail) – Serves 1
- 1.5 oz white rum
- 4 oz apple cider
- 1/2 oz simple syrup
- juice of 1/2 lime
- dash of cinnamon
- Optional rim: 2 tablespoons of sugar + dash of cinnamon
- Combine rum, apple cider, simple syrup, lime juice and cinnamon. Shake with ice.
- For the (highly recommended) sugar rim, wet an outside rim of the glass with a piece of lime. Combine sugar with a dash of cinnamon in a medium plate or wide-lipped bowl. Dip glass into the cinnamon sugar.
- Serve chilled in a martini glass, or over ice in a highball.
[This was my Sunday afternoon… oh yeah!]
PS – Just 4 more cocktails to cross off a 30-by-30 item! I better get moving…
Do you have a favorite cocktail recipe?