Tag Archives: rum

Don’s Favorite Cigar & Rum Pairing

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Summer, warm weather, picnics and holiday parades – a perfect time to enjoy a fine cigar.  My selection is the Montecristo #2 handmade in the Dominican Republic.

monteMany consider the famous Montecristo cigar brand to be the finest cigar in the world.  Montecristo is among the youngest (the most recent addition was Cohiba) of the traditional Cuban cigars now made in the Dominican Republic.  It was founded in 1935.  Our offering is hand rolled using high quality long filler and binder tobaccos.  It is then finished with a USA Connecticut shade wrapper.  This refined smoke starts mild-to-medium and remains consistent throughout the entire cigar.  It’s one of our most popular cigars.

At 6 x 50, the #2 has the same roll as the familiar Toro shape, but it has a tapered head, hence the Torpedo designation.

A brief historical side note:  Before the advent of radio, it was common place for the rollers to be informed and entertained by a reader or lector. Legend has it that their favorite story at the cigar factory in Cuba was Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Montecristo, hence the name given to the cigar.

kirkI would pair the #2 with Kirk & Sweeney 12yr rum also from the Dominican Republic.  This is rich but somewhat drier than many other aged rums and it works well with the cigar’s hints of vanilla and spice. It’s a great pairing.

Montecristo #2 Torpedo (6 x 50) — $14.99

Kirk & Sweeney 12yr Rum — $34.99

Enjoy, and Happy Father’s Day!

-Don

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How to Spike Store Bought Eggnog

If it isn’t the most asked question at Bottles this time of year, it’s the second for sure: “How do I spike the carton of eggnog that I just bought at Eastside Marketplace?” Here’s where we come down on the matter:

What To Use to Spike:
Brandy is the most traditional, but we love a mixture of dark rum and Cognac. Some folks will add to that duo a third spirit: bourbon. We find that the trio is a bit too boozy – the ‘nog gets lost. But if you like that sort of thing, go for it.

Because you’re using the spirit as a mixer, there’s no need to break out the most expensive bottles on your bar (unless of course you want to – it is the holidays after all). Dark rums we like include The Real McCoy 5 Year, Privateer Amber, and Ed Hamilton 86 Proof. Great Cognacs that would work well, and won’t break the bank are: Pierre Ferrand Ambre, Germain-Robin Craft Method and the Marie Duffau Napoleon (an Armagnac). 

How to Spike:
We recommend a ratio of 1 part spirit to 5 parts prepared eggnog. Which means if you buy a one-quart container of ‘nog, use 6.5oz of spirit, total. We top each glass with a grating of orange peel, which adds a vibrancy to all of that creamy richness, as well as a short dash of freshly grated or powdered nutmeg.

Enjoy your eggnog – and Happy Holidays!

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PUNCH! Local, Herbal and Delicious

Whether you’re hosting 4 people or 40, serving a big bowl of premade punch is a stress free and festive way to ensure your guests drink well. Bottles’ friend Jessyloo Rodrigues, the Botanical Bartender behind the Parcel Apothecary herbal CSA / cocktail farm, recently shared with us tips and tricks for perfecting your punch, as well as three of her favorite seasonal recipes.

A Traditional DIY Rum Punch

Tips on ingredients:

The original word for punch comes from the Sanskrit word meaning 5, and refers to the 5 traditional ingredients in classic punches: alcohol, sugar, lemon, water, tea/spices. Consider using variations on those key elements when constructing your punch.

Our new favorite way to remember the recipe for a Traditional Rum Punch is with a rhyme: “One of sour, two of sweet, three of strong, four of weak.” Using that rhyme as your guide will allow you to riff with ingredients and open your punch up to what’s in season.

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Sour: lemon juice is traditional, but you could also use lime juice, grapefruit juice, tart/sour cherry juice or a blend.

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Sweet: A classic simple syrup is an easy way to add the “sweet.” To make simple syrup, mix 50/50 sugar to warm water and stir until sugar is dissolved. You can use traditional cane sugar, or grenadine syrup (pomegranate & sugar simple syrup), or make your own simple syrup with any of the following sugars: honey, agave, maple syrup, coconut sugar, demerara. Consider adding strawberries, raspberries, passionfruit, or any other fruit to your simple syrup. Or infuse the simple syrup with your favorite aromatic herb (like lavender, mint, basil, rosemary). To do so, add the herb after the sugar is dissolved and the water is slightly cooled, and let steep for 15 minutes, then strain out the herb matter.

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Strong, aka, the alcohol: The punches below use locally-made spirits. If you’re not in the Rhode Island vicinity, be sure to look for spirits made in your area. Thanks to the boom of small craft distillers, they can be found in your local radius anywhere in the US at this point. Use just one spirit, or a mix of several.

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Weak: Go with one juice, or try a blend. Pineapple, orange, pomegranate, and watermelon are all good choices. Or, try freshly squeezing a blend of your own juices (carrot &  ginger are terrific). When cocktails meet your health kick – your trainer will be proud! Also, it’s always a good idea to balance the juice with water (tap, coconut, acai, etc.) as it helps dilute the juice’s concentration.

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Using large-format ice is ideal, as it slows down the dilution of your punch, while keeping it chilled. Consider using a bundt pan as a ring mold, and float your garnish (citrus wheels, herbs, garnish, edible flowers, or a little prize) in the water before freezing. Alternately, use plastic bags or a small plastic bowl as your mold. Large-format ice cube “trays” are easily available, too. We have several sizes and shapes at Bottles.

All recipes below are formatted for the standard, large 8-quart punch bowl.

punchdoneA Traditional Rum Punch 

Ingredients
1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (sour)
2 cups simple syrup made from demerara sugar (sweet)
3 cups Thomas Tew Rum (strong)
4 cups of a 50/50 mixture of pineapple juice and coconut water (weak)
Garnish: fresh limes, cranberries and rosemary. Jessyloo chose rosemary, a symbol of remembrance, for this recipe as it represents the rhyme that will help you remember how to make punch! It’s also a lovely aromatic herb that will inspire you and your guests to stir up fond memories of loved ones at your holiday gathering this year. (Herbal Fun Fact: simply smelling rosemary once a day can improve your short and long term memory.)

Method
Combine all ingredients into a punch bowl, stirring well after each addition. Add large-format ice and garnish with fruit and herbs. In our punch, Jessyloo filled the limes halves we squeezed earlier with cranberries and rosemary for garnish.

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Here are two additional recipes that will require a touch more effort, but are worth every second.

Honey Bee in a Pine Tree

Ingredients
9 green tea teabags
12oz freshly-squeezed lime juice
1 bottle (750ml) of Barr Hill Vodka (distilled from Vermont honey)
12oz Combier (an orange liqueur)
18oz Pama Liqueur
8oz Zirbenz (a pine liqueur)
1 bottle (750ml) Mionetto Brut Prosecco
Garnish: pomegranate jewels and lime slices

Method
Prepare 18oz of green tea by brewing 9 teabags in 18oz of boiling water, and letting steep for 5 minutes. Add the next 5 liquid ingredients into your punch bowl, stirring vigorously after each addition. Let sit in the fridge for 2-4 hours. Top with a 750ml bottle of prosecco. Add ice and garnish with pomegranate jewels and lime slices. (Herbal Fun Fact: white pine needles are edible and high in vitamin C.)

Five Pointed Punch

Ingredients
1 tbsp Chinese 5-Spice Powder
7oz raw honey
6 Roobios teabags
25oz of Sons of Liberty Gala Apple Whiskey
8oz Lime Juice
12oz Orange Juice
10oz Apple Cider
32oz club soda or seltzer
Garnish: lime, orange and apple slices cut width-wise to reveal their star (remove seeds).

Method
Make a 5-Spice honey simple syrup: stir the Chinese 5-Spice Powder and raw honey into 8oz of hot water until dissolved. Add to your punch bowl. Prepare 12oz of strong Roobios tea by brewing 6 teabags in 12oz of boiling water, and let steep for 15 minutes. Add to the punch bowl. Add all remaining liquid ingredients except the club soda into your punch bowl, stirring vigorously after each addition.  Let sit in the fridge for 2-4 hours.  Add ice cube and top with club soda before serving. Garnish with the fruit slices. (Herbal Fun Fact: The spices used in Chinese 5 Spice are star anise, szechuan peppercorns, fennel seeds, cinnamon and cloves. These represent the 5 natural elements in traditional Chinese medicine, thus making the powder a balanced and powerful blend. All 5 spices are used for digestive complaints and as an ingredient in tooth paste.)

We hope you enjoy making these punches. Our thanks to Jessyloo, and Happy Holidays!

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Featuring Bully Boy Distillery!

Bully Boy Distillery in Boston

Located in Boston and owned and operated by brothers Will and Dave Willis, Bully Boy is a New England craft-method distillery you should know.

Will and Dave Willis were inspired by their childhood home and fourth-generation working family farm, where a basement vault of local artisan spirits was discovered roughly 70 years after Prohibition. This inspired the idea for an artisan distillery named after Bully Boy, a favorite farm workhorse. Paying particular attention to the caliber of ingredients used in its product, Bully Boy hand-produces premium spirits, carrying on the tradition of small-batch distilling and emphasizing quality over quantity.

We’re featuring all Bully Boy bottles in-store this winter, just look for our large spirits display. Also, you’re in luck if you’re on a budget, because they are all on sale for $5 off their regular price!

Cheers!

Bully Boy White Rum

White Rum

Continuing Boston’s legacy as the center of rum production, Bully Boy’s signature White Rum is made with Blackstrap Molasses. Using techniques handed down from Cognac distillers, they use a blend of cuts to create white rum that has both depth and a remarkably smooth finish. Enjoy straight up or mixed in your favorite cocktail.

Bully Boy Boston Rum

Boston Rum

Boston Rum grew out of a desire to resurrect the city’s storied history of rum production, which dates back to 1667. Colonial Americans had a healthy appetite for rum, and much of the original spirits were distilled in Boston. Made with blackstrap molasses, Bully Boy Boston Rum has a bold flavor, which is created using deeper cuts on the still. It’s aged in a blend of used bourbon and red wine barrels, and the final product has a fruity complexity, a subtle vanilla note, and a bit of sweetness.

Bully Boy Vodka

Vodka

Bully Boy’s USDA certified organic vodka is made with wheat on a 600 liter copper still. Wheat was chosen as the base for the vodka because it creates a spirit with a subtle sweetness that aids drinkability. Distilled only once, the spirit presents a silky texture and clean, chiseled finish. Enjoy neat or mixed.

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White Whiskey

All whiskey comes off the still as a clear spirit; it is the aging process that imbues whiskey with its deep brown hue and oaky taste. A popular spirit during prohibition, white whiskey (moonshine) was manufactured using primitive techniques and inferior ingredients making it harsh and undrinkable. Times have changed. Bully Boy’s USDA certified organic white whiskey is clean and mellow. It’s akin to vodka, but with bolder flavor notes. You can enjoy it neat or use it in place of vodka in your favorite mixed drink.

Bully Boy Whiskey

American Straight Whiskey

Bully Boy’s aged whiskey uses corn, rye, and malted barley as its primary ingredients, and is aged in new American Oak. The corn makes for subtle sweetness, and the high rye content creates a dry spiciness; the flavors are further refined through the barrel-aging process, which imparts both a prominent caramel note and a nutty finish. An excellent sipping whiskey! As with all Bully Boy’s spirits, their American Straight Whiskey is made in small, numbered batches, so you know you are getting a truly unique spirit.

Bully Boy Hub Punch

Hub Punch

Inspired by the original Hub Punch recipe popular in the late 1800’s, Bully Boy Hub Punch, a barrel aged rum infused with fruits and botanicals, revives a historic Boston tradition that was a casualty of Prohibition. Originally concocted at the now defunct Hub Hotel, Bostonians typically enjoyed Hub Punch mixed with soda water, ginger ale, or lemonade. Bully Boy consulted a variety of historical accounts of Hub Punch to craft a spirit that pays homage to the traditional recipe and spirit of the pre-prohibition era Boston. Bully Boy Hub Punch is fruit forward with the botanicals providing tea-like undertones ideal for mixing with both dry and sweet mixing agents.

Favorite Bottles: Top Holiday Spirits

Liquor Gift Ideas

If there’s a time of year when you need a special bottle of something, it’s the holidays. Whether you’re looking the perfect gift for those you really appreciate, or need a memorable bottle to open up and share with family and friends, we’ve made sure to bring in our favorite picks to feature in the shop. 

Here is our selection of Gin, Vodka, Rum, Mezcal, Whiskey, Scotch, and even Chartreuse that we find especially delicious and interesting. Plus, they’re easy on the eyes! Cheers!

Gin

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GIN

Uncle Val’s Botanical Gin – A delightfully dry gin made with cool, crisp cucumber & aromatic citrus. As well suited to a Gin & Tonic as a dry Martini, this bottle is a real treat for the gin lover in your family.  Make a Botanical Spritzer

St. George Botanivore Gin – A remarkably well balanced gin in the London Dry style. Deeply aromatic, its juniper flavors blend seamlessly with note of citrus & herbs. Try it in a Dorflinger

St. George Terroir Gin – This heady gin is made with botanicals that grow in California. It has a big nose of spruce tips, with a finish of laurel & oranges. Our recommended cocktail: Terroir Martinez

St. George Dry Rye Gin – Rye is super spicy! This gin is electric with bright, spicy, dry rye flavors. Perfect for a Dry Rye Negroni.

Vodka

VODKA

Karlsson’s Gold – Made from seven separate distillations from virgin Norwegian potatoes. Incredibly smooth, with a rich mouthfeel and a creamy, lingering finish. Neither Eric or Liam are allowed to bring it home anymore – it goes too fast. Try it in a Black Gold (Karlsson’s on the rocks with a crack of black pepper).

Jewel of Russia ‘Ultra’ – Each unique, hand-painted bottle contains one of the purest spirits we’ve ever encountered. It’s almost like drinking nothing at all. How do you drink this? Shake over ice & strain. That’s it.

Mezcal Tequila

MEZCAL

Xicaru Silver – Made from 100% Espadin agave, smoked over mesquite, and crushed in the traditional Tahona method, this is a Mezcal of distinction. From its earthy start to its finish of light citrus notes, this is the perfect bottle for the Mezcal lover in your life, or for someone longing to be introduced to the world of Mezcal. Fantastic in a Mezcal Paloma – Pour 1 oz. of Xicaru in a highball glass with ice, and top with grapefruit soda.

Pierde Almas Coñejo – This remarkable Mezcal is only made once a year, and in very limited quantities. It’s produced by wrapping fruit, almonds, and anise in a rabbit & hanging it in the still, rather like a gin is produced. The final product is akin to drinking a big, beautiful, smoky, citrusy roast. Made for sipping.

Rum

RUM

Grand Ten Medford Rum – Grand Ten Distillers, in Boston, has brought back a lost, forgotten style of rum with their Medford. Made from a sour mash of blackstrap molasses, it’s creamy, buttery, & hugely aromatic. This is a whiskey lover’s sipping rum. Looking for a cocktail featuring Medford Rum? Make a Palmetto.

Clement 6 Year Grand Reserve – A true sipping rum, the Grand Reserve is a blend of rums aged for years in different oak casks – some in French Limousin, some in charred new American oak. The resulting blend of finish rums has flavors of almonds & biscotti, hazelnuts, tarragon, & green tea. Delicious as is.

Chartreuse

CHARTREUSE

Chartreuse Green – Truly in a class of its own, Chartreuse is the creation of Carthusian monks, who have been passing down & perfecting their recipe for centuries. Trying to describe the flavor of Chartreuse is like trying to describe your first kiss. It’s strange & wonderful, ethereal & delicious all at the same time. If you need a Chartreuse cocktail, we recommend a Chartreuse Smash.

Chartreuse Green V.E.P. – As if a bottle of Chartreuse wasn’t good enough, the monks also make an extra aged version. As far as we can tell, it’s made from unicorn tears, ambrosia, and the laughter of children. It’s a rare treat, and a stunning example of the heights people can achieve when they put their minds to it.

Cognac

COGNAC

D’Usse – This is a newcomer for us, and we were impressed with its intense flavors (of cinnamon & clove) and its light, creamy mouthfeel. This is a great bottle for the Cognac drinker in your life who’s looking for something new. D’Usse makes an impressive Vieux Carre.

Cognac Louis XIII

Remy Martin Louis XIII – This legendary blend contains no spirit less than 50 years old. It has subtle & nuanced flavors of hazelnuts, truffles, & prunes. Distinct & impressive, this is truly a gift for someone very deserving.

Whiskey - Tin Cup

WHISKEY

Tin Cup – American Whiskey at its finest, Tin Cup is a new release from Jess Graber out of Colorado. Distilled from grain and a generous amount of rye, it’s light & lively on the palate, with a dry finish that makes it equally as suited to cocktails as it is to a few cubes. Wonderful in a classic Old Fashioned.

Michters Celebration Bourbon Whiskey

Michter’s Celebration – Hand selected by Master Distiller Willie Pratt, this extraordinary blend of 20 – 30 year old Bourbons & Ryes is going to make one very lucky person very, very happy. It could be you!

Bruichladdich Scotch Whiskey

SCOTCH

Bruichladdich The Classic Laddie – Previously known as the ‘Laddie 10’, this unpeated Single Malt is made from 100% Scottish barley, carefully distilled, and aged in American Oak. It’s equal parts fruity, malty, biscuity, creamy, & delightful. The perfect bottle for the Whiskey lover in your family.

Macallan 25

Macallan 25 Year Sherry Oak – One of the highest rated & consistent Single Malts in the world, the Macallan 25 Year exhibits deep & profound notes of cinnamon, wood smoke, dried fruits, and a touch of citrus. The kind of gift that lets people know what you really think of them.

Cheers!
– The Bottles Team

Have a Cigar & Sip Rum! 5 Vegas Classic Corona

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New cigars at Bottles! And we recommend you enjoy 5 Vegas Classic Corona with a stronger drink – Clément V.S.O.P. Agricole Rhum, a barrel-aged sipping rum. Rich and strong without being overly powerful, the Classic is blended to smoke like a Cuban cigar. A winning pairing to enjoy on late summer evenings.

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5 Vegas (Farms) Classic is an exceptional smoke. It receives consistently high ratings, and ranked as one of the best non-Cuban cigars in a Cigar Aficionado blind taste test. The long fillers are a blend of Dominican and Nicaraguan tobaccos, and it is finished with a rich, flavorful Sumatra wrapper. This is a medium bodied smoke, with earthy flavors and just a hint of cedar. The Corona size is perfect for a 45 minute smoke. Your new go-to cigar!

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Pair the Classic with Clément V.S.O.P. Rum, an Agricole Rhum aged a minimum of four years. What makes is rum special and sippable is how it’s made – from freshly pressed sugarcane juice, which is then matured in oak barrels. The barrels impart a deep, rich mahogany color and notes of caramel, dried fruits, and spices. The long finish makes this a superior sipping rum to complement the Classic cigar.

Enjoy!

3-Ingredient Rum Cocktails to Try This Summer

Enjoying a rum based drink is part of what makes summertime feel like summertime.

But who wants to miss out by spending too much time mixing up elaborate cocktails? Ideally, you’ll want that delicious, delicious, rum cocktail in your hand without breaking a sweat.

Here’s 4 recipes that are easy to whip up, and that you’ll find sophisticated and refreshing. Rhum Clément is featured in each of these recipes; they’re Agricole Rhums with impressive flavor profiles to elevate and add diversity to your basic Sidecar, Margarita, and Daiquiri. Read more about Agricole Rhums and Sipping Rums here.

Swing by Bottles; we’ve got the full Rhum Clément series, all the cocktail ingredients, and recipe cards (plus free swag!) lined up in our spirits section.

Creole Sidecar - Rum Cocktail Recipe

‘Creole Sidecar’

2 oz. Clément Select Barrel
1 oz. Clément Créole Shrubb
¾ oz. fresh lemon juice

Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass with a partially sugared rim. Garnish with a large lemon zest.

Clément Select Barrel is made by aging rum for a minimum of 3 years in toasty barrels. The result has nuanced vanilla and toast flavors, with a remarkably smooth finish.

Creole Reverse Margarita - Easy Rum Cocktail Recipe

‘Creole Reverse Margarita’

2 oz. Créole Shrubb
1 oz. premium tequila
¾ oz. fresh lime juice

Shake and strain into a cocktail glass rimmed with lime and salt (optional)

A Shrubb is a mixer, traditionally made with vinegar and spices as a cocktail flavoring. Clément’s Créole Shrubb is based on an old recipe, with a blend of rums, macerated orange peels, and spices. The result is hugely aromatic, zesty, and spicy, with a lighter body and feel than other orange liqueurs.

Agricol Daiquiri Cocktail Recipe

‘Agricole Daiquiri’

2 oz. Première Canne
¾ oz. Sirop de Canne
½ oz. fresh lime juice
¼ oz. maraschino liqueur – *okay, that’s four ingredients, but you’ll forgive us, right?

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime wheel.

Première Canne: Freshly pressed sugarcane juice is allow to ferment, and is then put through a single, gentle distillation to preserve the cane’s unique flavor. The result is a distinctly dry spirit with notes of cocoa beans, black tea, fresh grass, and a subtle candy sugar finish.

Like the best Vermont Maple Syrup, Clément Sirop de Canne is made by slowy reducing pure, pressed sugarcane juice with rolls of cinnamon, cloves, and vanilla beans. The result is a dry style of ‘simple syrup’ which lightly sweetens and then adds a hint of spice to your favorite cocktails.

Ti Punch - Rum Drink Recipe and Ingredients

‘Ti Punch

1 ½ oz. Clément Canne Rhum Bleue
1 bar spoon Sirop de Canne
1 lime disc (silver dollar-size twist cut off the edge of a lime to capture a little pulp and zest)

Squeeze the lime to extract as much lime oil and juice as possible. Add the Sirop de Canne and Première Canne. Add ice, or don’t add ice… as you like in tradition of our Martinique ritual. Swizzle with a bois lélé or a bar spoon.

Clément Canne Rhum Bleue is a very unique rum, made from a single variety of blue sugarcane. The result is a very bright spirit with flavors of meringue, cucumber, tingly pepper, and wet stone.

Don’s Cigar Picks: Onyx Reserve Toro Maduro with Clément Rhum Select Barrel

OnyxCigar2The weather is heating up…and so it cigar season! An array of brand new cigars just arrived at Bottles and we can’t wait to light them up. This week, Don is smoking the rich, medium-bodied Onyx Reserve Toro Maduro (6 x 50). The Onyx is boxed pressed for an easy draw smoke and the aged Maduro wrapper provides a sweet finish.

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It is actually rolled at the same Dominican factory that makes Romeo y Julietta and Montecristo. The Onyx, however is rolled with a complex blend of Dominican, Nicaraguan and spicy Peruvian tobacco. The smoke is long (approximately 1 hour) with smooth, rich espresso flavor.

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“Over the years, this has been one of my favorite after dinner cigars. I would pair this cigar with a dark, rich rum straight up. This is a high quality smoking experience from start to finish.”

 

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The Onyx will pair well with a dark rum. We have enjoyed it with Amrut Old Port Deluxe from India, which pairs especially well with several different cigars. But today we’re drinking Clément Rhum Select Barrel, which is distinctively smooth while it’s soft vanilla notes compliment the sweet finish of the cigar. With this pairing you’re in for an intense aromatic experience of aged oak and spice.

Cheers!

Onyx Reserve Toro Maduro – $7.99
Clément Rhum Select Barrel – $31.99

 

Rum & Smuggling on the Bay!

Last night, Bottles partnered with The Watson Institute at Brown University for a special rum tasting hosted at Save The Bay along the beautiful Narragansett Bay. Brown University professor and author of “Smuggler Nation: How Illicit Trade Made America,” Peter Andreas led us through the history of rum smuggling and it’s pivotal role in the American Revolution.

Throughout the evening we sipped 5 different rums; Don Q Gran Anejo from Puerto Rico, Appleton Estate 12 Year from Jamaica, Clément V.S.O.P. Rhum Agricole Vieux from Martinique, and two local favorites, Thomas Tew from Newport and Bully Boy from Boston. It was a beautiful evening of history and rum…What could be better!

Check out our photos below!

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Thomas Tew Rum – Drink Rhody Rum!

Thomas Tew Rum - Rhode Island Rum Distillery

Thomas Tew Rum is made by the Newport Distilling Company in nearby Newport, Rhode Island. Watch the tour and overview of how their barrel-aged rum is made, with Brent Ryan, master distiller. Brent was kind enough to give us the behind-the-scenes tour of the distillery. Watch, sip, and enjoy!

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Thomas Tew Rum - Distillery Tour Newport Distilling Company