Setting the Record Straight on British Navy Rum

History presents a special challenge to those writing it or seeking knowledge from its pages: It constantly changes underneath your feet. Facts we once believed to be true may be contradicted later by later-arriving sources. Reasonable assumptions made about one era may not apply to another. New sources come to light which recast conclusions made by prior sources.

I’ve seen this firsthand when it comes to British Navy rum, a topic I’ve dug deeply into over the past year. Its stories are popular with rum enthusiasts and even make it into the mainstream press on occasion. Unfortunately, these stories mutate over time and become factually incorrect, much like the children’s game of “telephone.” And once a less-than-accurate narrative is released into the wild, it’s particularly difficult to stamp it out.

Continue reading “Setting the Record Straight on British Navy Rum”

Rocky Yeh – A Legend Passes

Heartbreak.

Rocky Yeh is suddenly gone, leaving an entire industry struggling with how to process his life and his impact on so many people.

Although I first met Rocky six years ago, it was only the last year I really got to know him. To sit with him 1-on-1, tell stories, strategize, and muse on the past and the future. That’s when I came to realize just what a modern-day renaissance man Rocky Yeh was.

Continue reading “Rocky Yeh – A Legend Passes”

Your Next Holiday Drink Sensation: The Coquito

A quick post to share a recipe which several people asked for after my social media post.

The Coquito is a sinfully rich drink associated with Puerto Rico and Christmas. Some call it the Puerto Rican answer to Eggnog. I shall not describe its history and cultural significance here as there are many sources readily available.

After many years enjoying Coquitos at Seattle’s Rumba, I looked forward to another coquito season. But having moved to New Orleans, that wasn’t happening without a plane ticket. Luckily, I discovered Coquitos are incredibly easy to make!  You’ll spend more time finding the canned goods aisle in the grocery store than making the recipe.

Continue reading “Your Next Holiday Drink Sensation: The Coquito”

Will the U.S. Get Better International Spirits? A TTB Standards of Fill Update

As any US-based distilled spirit enthusiast knows too well, many great bottles don’t make it to our shores for several reasons. One particularly frustrating reason is bottle sizes. Here in the U.S., the government, in the form of the Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) only allow certain bottles sizes for distilled spirits. The allowed sizes50ml, 100ml, 200ml, 375ml, 750ml, 1 liter, and 1.75 liters

Continue reading “Will the U.S. Get Better International Spirits? A TTB Standards of Fill Update”

Can the U.S. Recognize Rum Regulations?

As Caribbean rum gains in popularity and rum enthusiasts push back on the “Rum has no rules” trope, a common refrain is “The United States doesn’t recognize rum’s rules.” It’s been said by well-meaning advocates online and at public events such as Tales of the Cocktail. In fact, I’ve said something along those lines myself, previously.

If you’re a proponent of artisanal rum, striving to improve its reputation among anybody who will listen, it’s easy to shake your virtual fist at the faceless bureaucrats in the U.S. government who seemingly don’t care about the rum regulations of Jamaica and other countries.

That frustration is misplaced.

Continue reading “Can the U.S. Recognize Rum Regulations?”

Your Guide To Winning $2500 with Minimalist Tiki

As you may have seen recently, Reàl Ingredients has generously agreed to supply the prize money for a fun little contest involving our book, Minimalist Tiki.

In brief, thirteen bartenders and ten bars are featured in the book, along with their recipes that follow the Minimalist Tiki ethos – about 100 recipes in total.

Continue reading “Your Guide To Winning $2500 with Minimalist Tiki”