Tuesday, January 12, 2010


With the continuing struggle to stay warm in this frigid time in the Keys my thoughts naturally turn to molasses. More accurately to distilled molasses. Behold an illegal bottle in front of me.
My wife found it sitting forlornly on a shelf on Crooked Island, in the Bahamas, which nation has no embargo against Cuba. So she swept it up and brought it home for a taste test.

We have tried Havana Club previously on trips to Central America and not found it to be our favorite. However this is the first time we have tried seven year old "aged" Havana Club. The label on the bottle shows a sticker from the French importer of Havana Club, so one has to assume this bottle made a circuitous route to the Bahamas from neighboring Cuba. Oddly enough the blurb on the back (not very legible in the next photo) is in the universal language; and that's not Esperanto.I have found the Havana Club to be slightly peppery and light, smooth enough but not as sweet as I like my dark rums. This Flor de Cana ("Flower of the Cane") from Nicaragua hits the spot just like brandy might in these frigid times:Aside from the novelty value, Havana Club is a decent rum but I don't feel desperately deprived because it's not sold in the US. I would feel deprived if Flor de Cana were banned. The other bottle my wife brought back from the Bahamas was one of their local rums, flavored with coconut this time. I'm not generally a big fan of flavored rums and I have yet to taste it. Perhaps when it's warmer outside this might do something with ice and a mixer.The old stand by we use to mix rum drinks is a four year old Flor de Cana which comes in one and three quarter liter bottles and does a fine job of putting sweet alcohol in a glass with something else.I also like Barbancourt from Haiti but we don't have any in hand at the moment. I have always liked brandy from grapes and rum from molasses over the harsher drinks like vodka and especially whisky. I usually drink whisky on occasions when I don't want to drink much but I want to be polite, as the flavor prevents me from guzzling the stuff. Sitting around in a mildly heated house looking out at a nearly frozen sub tropical landscape is never a very fun experience in my world. A glass of rum helps.