The Tasting Panel magazine

July 2014

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Page 43 of 134

42  /  the tasting panel  /  july 2014 42 /  the tasting panel  / july 2014 P anama is home to the most diversified wildlife of all the countries in Central America—and now, thanks to Master Blender Francisco "Don Pancho" Fernandez, it's home to one of the world's finest rums. Selvarey Rum is the realization of a lifetime commitment to distilling from Don Pancho, a man whose love for rum (and a woman) lead him to Panama's premier sugarcane region, the Herrera Province, to stock the city—and our grateful taste buds— with barrels of white and cacao-infused rum. "Have you tried it on the rocks?" asks Bar Manager Jeremy Lake at Crossroads Kitchen in West Hollywood, "because that is where this rum deserves its start." Lake put the Selvarey White Rum over ice and proceeded to gather the ingredients for his "Escapist" cocktail—a delight- ful infusion of sweet banana and rum flavor that will have you dreaming of that sweet tropical escape (see recipe below). Crossroads, a Mediterranean eatery that is revamping what it means to be a vegan restau- rant, was one of the first bars to serve Selvarey at the start of the year. "People come to Crossroads to experience something new and fresh. Our cuisine is naturally and seamlessly vegan but our cocktail program requires some innovation, and that's where great products like Selvarey, and my mixology skills come in handy," he smiles. Lake worked with owner and Chef Tal Ronnen to design a cocktail menu that is completely vegan and delicious, turning to out-there swappers for honey and egg whites that are the staple of many cocktail programs. The experienced and creative Lake has nothing but praise for the Panama-distilled rum. "Selvarey Rum is truly something special and has completely invigorated and inspired the rum market. The white rum is classic, and its cacao flavored sibling is as premium as flavored rum comes," he continues. While many flavored spirits may use artificial ingredients and syrups, Selvarey Cacao uses the finest locally-sourced Panamanian chocolate to elegantly enhance the five-year-old rum's inherently complex and silky flavor. Selvarey Rum and the unique and exciting Crossroads Kitchen continue to diver- sify our eating and drinking needs stateside, while the sugar cane and cacao down in Panama have THE TASTING PANEL wishing we were born in the jungle, where there quite possibly might be "everything you want, whatever you may need"—good call, Axl Rose. Welcome to the Jungle SELVAREY RUM AND CROSSROADS KITCHEN ARE PROVING THEY'VE GOT MORE THAN JUST FUN 'N' GAMES The Escapist ◗ 1½ oz. Selvarey White Rum ◗ ¾ oz. Giffard Banane du Brésil liqueur ◗ ¾ oz. Harmless Harvest 100% raw coconut water ◗ ¾ oz. lemon juice ◗ Shake ingredients with ice. Serve in a rocks glass with ice. Garnish with a lemon twist. by Brian Kustera / photos by Mark Ryan Jeremy Lake, Bar Manager at Crossroads Restaurant in West Hollywood.

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