Thursday, October 31, 2013

Old Fashioned by Barman Dale DeGroff

The Old Fashioned

I attended a holiday punch event at Apartment 13 last evening featuring three punches created by both Leo and Dale DeGroff using PAMA Liqueur as a base ingredient. All three were really enjoyable each in a different way. The Millenium was cognac-based, the Caribe rum and PAMA based and the PAMA Paloma was PAMA, Del Maguey Crema Mezcal, and Pedro Ximenez based.

My favorite though was the Caribe Punch made with Santa Teresa 1796 rum, PAMA Liqueur, Kalamansi, Lemongrass, Lime and Flamed Orange was my favorite. It was bright, fresh, tart and delicious. 

Beyond the punches and conversation, one of the highlights of the evening was sipping an Old Fashioned made by Dale. He it made with Louis Royer 53 VSOP Cognac which is a high-proof cognac perfect for this kind of cocktail. It packed a punch and was spot on.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Grand Cayman | What I Came Home With

On a recent trip to Grand Cayman I did what I always do when traveling, I explored the local liquor and food stores. Ok, I'll be honest - when I travel, I tend to hit most of the liquor / wine stores in a town. It might be left over from my days at Chambers Street Wines; it might be an odd form of liquor store OCD. Whatever it is, it's part of my urge to find that bottle I can't find at home.

Food stores, on the other hand, are the perfect way to see what the locals are eating at home and to discover local fruits, vegetables, meats and seafood.

From Grand Cayman, I returned with a bottle of Seven Fathoms rum and Grand Cayman Sea Salt. These souvenirs serve both as lovely reminders of an experience, but also as an opportunity to try something new.

Seven Fathoms rum is the only rum distilled locally on the island and they have a unique selling point in that the rum is aged in barrels seven fathoms under the sea. The theory is that the temperature and humidity is perfect, but also the motion of the ocean mimics rotating the barrels on land and is similar to aging rum on ships back in the day. And since I bought the bottle at the distillery, it was signed with palm tree by the distiller.

Sea salt is another perfect souvenir or even gift. It is an expression of the local waters brought to life in seasoning form. At home I have salt from Portland, Vancouver, the Florida Keys and now Grand Cayman. It's not always the cheapest gift (thanks mum and dad for that Florida Keys sea salt), but you'll remember your trip every time you season your food.