Sunday, August 25, 2013

exploring Rum and a continued interest in Campari

Of all the base spirits (Gin, Vodka, Whisky, Tequila, Rum) I have much experience with Rum in one iteration....the Pina Colada.  Now, I am not knocking the Pina Colada, but in most cases, it lacks some sophistication.  I love a good Pina Colada, but after hitting my stride with bourbon, rye and gin, I figured it was high time to start exploring some other good old fashioned Rum drinks.  
I have also become a big fan of Campari in the past few months.  I know, based on previous posts, this is ironic, as my first experience was not enjoyable.  But, it is an acquired taste, I guess.  I have definitely acquired it!  

So, in my first foray with new Rum drinks....I made something called Crimson Slippers, recipe found here.  I used equal parts Campari and Rum, and given I did not have homemade triple sec I used Controy.  I also left out the bitters, for no particular reason.  Technically Campari is a bitter, so I guess that is why.  And then I added a squirt of lemon.  This was delicious.  Sweeter than a Negroni, with a fair bit of body.  The Rum and the Campari were nice foils for one another.  Definitely going in the rotation!  

The next Rum drink of the weekend is a classic called the Dark and Stormy.  It is a riff on the Moscow Mule, only Rum rather than Vodka.  I used spiced rum, Kraken, and ginger beer with a half a lime.  Wow, what a refreshing drink.  Perfect for summer!  

Rum cocktails abound, so more to come in the next few warm months!  

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Panama (the country, not the song....)

I had the good fortune to visit Panama last week.  I had spent some time in my 20s living in Costa Rica, and loved it.  I expected Panama would be similar to Costa Rica, being that they share a border and are both part of central america.  I was somewhat surprised to find a city whose skyline was more Hong Kong than San Jose.  I had hoped for some earthy black beans and rice with every meal, but was met with a New York Bagel shop and italian eateries.  It seems that a shared border does not mean a shared cuisine!
In addition to the howler monkeys, sloth, humpback whales and seeing my family, a great discovery was Cerveza Atlas, one of the national beers of Panama.  I am partial, as my son's name is Atlas.  I can't say the beer is anything to import, but there is something special about finding a beer with the same name as your kid!  At least if you like booze as I do.....

So, here ya go, a photo of Atlas (the beer, not the kid):