The Tasting Panel magazine

November 2014

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 104 of 136

104  /  the tasting panel  /  november 2014 RUM T he myriad of small boating communities sprinkled along the Northeast coastline have a number of qualities in com- mon. Chief among them is a sailing, fishing and maritime heritage that dates back to the early days of American history. One such town is Mystic, a quaint little community nestled along the Connecticut coast, boasting beautiful scenery and, as locals confi- dently put it, some of the best seafood in the world. It's a reputation embraced by Dan Meiser, owner and Chef of Mystic's premier farm-and-sea-to-table restaurant, The Oyster Club, which recently won regard in the pages of Travel + Leisure magazine as one of the Best Oyster Bars in the country. "We often get overshadowed by Boston and New York, but Mystic is the quintessential weekend and summer escape," says Meiser, who opened The Oyster Club in 2011. For Meiser, qual- ity ingredients are key for both The Oyster Club and his second concept, The Engine Room, a bar and grill devoted to burgers, bourbon and beer. "We pride ourselves on a commitment to sourcing our ingredi- ents as locally as possible and making everything from scratch," says Meiser, who revealed that they even butcher about two steers a week for The Engine Room. It's a restaurant philosophy that also extends to his bar program, which was one of the very first to stock The Real McCoy rum, owned by Mystic local Bailey Pryor, an award-winning docu- mentary filmmaker who recently began a second career in rum production. Meet McCoy Pryor discovered former bootlegger Bill McCoy while research- ing for a documentary film on rum running from the Caribbean to the U.S. during the Prohibition era. A luxury boat builder from Syracuse, New York, McCoy began running spirits from the Bahamas as a way to use his boating skills to make money during a tough economy. He justified his occupation as legal because he was selling liquor to people three miles off shore, outside of federal waters. His customers were the ones breaking the law. McCoy stood out to Pryor as an intriguing character who fell into the role of one of the country's most successful bootleggers, if for no other reason than because of the quality product he sold, something he could have easily cut corners on considering many Dan Meiser, owner and Chef of Mystic's farm-and-sea-to-table restaurant, The Oyster Club. The Real McCoy in Mystic FROM A LEGENDARY RUM RUNNER TO A MODERN CRAFT SPIRIT, THIS BRAND IS AT HOME ON THE CONNECTICUT SHORE by Jessica Dupuy / photos by George Tazzini

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Tasting Panel magazine - November 2014