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Spirits of Mexico
San Diego, CA
Sept. 11–17 2011
Spirits of Mexico NY
New York, NY
October 13, 2011

Liquid Living Magazine

It’s a Rum Revolution!And, as consumers’ palates become more sophisticated, so, too, do the cocktails.  

Rum Cocktails

In 2005 at the New York RumFest, we hosted a Cocktail Challenge with sponsor Cocktail Times, in search of the best recipes for Rum, Rhum and Cachaca. For recipes link here.

The Winner in the Rum Category, the ADULT FILM STARR , created by Sam Ross, includes a cucumber & a hint of nutmeg. The Winner in the Rhum Category, THE 1838, created by Bobby ‘G’ Gleason, combines Velvet Falernum Syrup & Yellow Chartreuse along with an Aged Rhum. The Cachaca Winner, THE MODA MARTINI, created by John Mautone, combines Cachaca and flavored rum plus the requisite juices and mint.

All of these cocktails were inventive and struck a chord with our guests. Who would have thought that a cucumber could add such refreshingly odd character? Velvet Falernum, while certainly not the word on everyones’ lips, is par for the course at home in Barbados, and is popular throughout the Caribbean. This spirit (Bobby uses Falernum syrup) is a perplexing mixture of spices and herbs—and surely adds ‘that certain element’ to a cocktail. The Moda was one of the first cocktails at the time, to include both Brazilian rum, Cachaca, and a molasses-based cane spirit (in this instance, Cruzan Banana or Raspberry).

Creative, avant garde, spirited certainly. We applaud and celebrate these fine artists for making Happy Hour a never ending journey of tastes.

And, too, we like the concept that Yuri Kato introduced a few years ago—actually, it’s 10 years old this year. Happy Anniversary Cocktail Times!!!!

Cocktail Times never boors! Visit their site and sign up for their frequent newsletters—they’re free! ( http://www.cocktailtimes.com/vip/)—smartly brief, elegantly designed with stunning photos and easy to maneuver through. From classic recipes to the less so, it’s like getting a welcome communication from a best friend every so often.

It’s not hard for us to consider what we might want to imbibe on any certain evening as we generally sip our spirits neat. However, when you’re planning a get-together or simply want a refreshing cocktail, this is the place to surf!

Of the 100’s of recipes, here are a few sample featured cocktails…

This year, Junior Merino will be judging at one of the Polished Palate events, the annual Spirits of Mexico Festival & Tasting Competition in San Diego. Junior is a Master Mixologist and President of Liquid Chef, Inc. We recently ran into him at the Nightclub & Bar Show in Las Vegas. He was right there, muddling away, for Leblon Cachaca, a Gold Medal winner in the 2007 and 2008 International Rum Festival held in Tampa each year. We just HAD to include this cocktail; the name alone…well, we just HAD to taste this and we’re glad we did. The South of Rio (AKA Jalapeno Caipirinha) is a combination that we’d have never conceived of and it’s striking!

Created by Junior Merino , The Liquid Chef, Inc., Rayuela and Cocktail Times

South of the Rio Caipirinha (Jalapeno Caipirinha)
2 oz Leblon Cachaca
1/8 Inch Jalapeno
3/6 Lime
2 Slices of English Cucumber (1/4" thick each)
3/4 oz Agave Nectar

Muddle all ingredients, add Leblon and ice.  Shake sharply and serve on the rocks. Cucumber wheel garnish