The Tasting Panel magazine

June 2012

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SIPPED & SCENE Spirited Festivals Commence Let the W The Zacapa Rum party at The Broken Shaker was one of many events dur- ing Rum Renaissance in South Beach. hat could be better than washing away your government paid debts than sun, beach and a ton of rum in South Beach, Florida on Tax Day, April 16, for the Rum Renaissance? Lucky for me, my tax returns left a pretty penny to justify the week-long escape down South to scope out the latest rum vendors at the two-day long Grand Tasting, along with a week-long of parties-a-plenty, starting with Monday's kick-off Botran Rum Bash and Tuesday's Ron Zacapa happy hour, both of which took place at the much-a-buzzed hot pop-up spot, The Broken Shaker at The Indian Creek Hotel. Rum Renaissance founder, Robert Burr, invited the crew down, not only to compete against the U.S. tiki team at the Grand Tasting, but to also host a late-night bar at the official hotel's bar, The Liar's Club, that Tuesday through Thursday. The tiki crusaders sprayed the crowd with rum punch water guns and filled just about any concoction they could find with a fun and rum inspired creation. Needless to say, their three scheduled nights at The Liar's Club, turned into just one the moment the hotel cleaning crew turned up at the club the next morning. I then decided to do dinner with good friend, Daniel Singer of Filthy Food gar- nishes at local hang out, Clarke's, owned by industry dame Laura Cullen, who tends the bar and serves up delicious comfort food and pints by the hundreds on a nightly basis. While at cozy Clarke's enjoying our lobster dinner plus pints of Guinness, we happily bumped into Appleton Rum's Willy Shine, USBG's Miami chapter President Michael Parrish and Miami-based bartender extraordinaire Ezra Pattek. Thursday began with the Brugal party at Soho Beach House, followed by a bus trip to the Bacardi Penthouse in Coral Gables for a new carbonated creation that Brand Master Juan Coronado whipped up. On Friday, the party crew continued on to the Caliche Rum launch party featuring Esteban Ordoñez behind the stick at the aforementioned Liar's Club. That night, and to officially close out the official festival parties, Appleton Rum hosted its annual VIP soirée at The National Hotel. The event was a serious hit with incredible cocktails by Willy Shine, John Lermayer, Michael Parrish and more bar star talent. To tip off the final day of seven rum-filled days, to no surprise, Tobin Ellis of BarMagic showed up and tossed a casually chic Blenders and Barbecue party at the Rum Renaissance pre- and post-party hotspot, The Broken Shaker. The new and now closer than ever Rum Renaissance friends corralled at the outdoor lounge and enjoyed a variety of blended Don Q Rum sips, staying late into the night before saying their goodbyes the next day. Bacardi USA Ambassador David Cid. 34 / the tasting panel / june 2012 Sun-kissed, seaside-rejuvenated, rummed and ready to get back to New York I was. For the next few nights, I'll be enjoying my fair share of Burgundy for NYC Burgundy Wine Week and then, it's Manhattan Cocktail Classic where my gin, vodka, tequila, whisky, etc. consumption will catch up to its rum counterpart . . . and let's be honest, I have quite the tan for my pretty gala ball gown. BLAINE ASHLEY TANS IN MIAMI OVER RUM, RUM AND MORE RUM

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