By Wayne Curtis
One spirit, Ten cocktails, and 4 Centuries of yank History
And a Bottle of Rum tells the raucously pleasing tale of the USA as visible in the course of the backside of a ingesting glass. With a bankruptcy for every of ten cocktails—from the grog sailors drank at the excessive seas within the 1700s to the mojitos of contemporary membership hoppers—Wayne Curtis finds that the homely spirit as soon as distilled from the economic waste of the exploding sugar exchange has controlled to infiltrate each stratum of recent international society.
Curtis takes us from the taverns of the yank colonies, the place rum brought either an inexpensive wallop and funds for the Revolution, to the plundering pirate ships off the coast of important the US, to the watering holes of pre-Castro Cuba, and to the kitsch-laden tiki bars of Fifties the United States. listed here are sugar barons and their armies conquering the Caribbean, Paul Revere preventing for a nip in the course of his well-known trip, Prohibitionists marching opposed to “demon rum,” Hemingway fattening his liver with Havana daiquiris, and today’s bartenders reviving previous favorites like Planter’s Punch. In an age of microbrewed beer and single-malt whiskeys, rum—once the swill of the typical man—has came upon its method into the tasting rooms of the main discriminating drinkers.
Awash with neighborhood colour and wry humor, And a Bottle of Rum is an affectionate toast to this so much American of liquors, a chameleon spirit that has been regularly reinvented over the centuries via tavern keepers, bootleggers, living room lizards, and advertising and marketing specialists. entire with cocktail recipes for would-be epicurean time-travelers, this is often historical past at its such a lot intoxicating.
From the Hardcover edition.
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Extra resources for And a Bottle of Rum: A History of the New World in Ten Cocktails
Newfoundland Screech used to be recognized for being all yet undrinkable—strident and overproofed adequate to reason a hasty imbiber to involuntarily emit the sound and then it was once named. viewers to bars alongside rowdy George highway in St. John's are this day requested innocently if they have been “screeched in. ” If no longer, an impromptu rite is prepared. This consists of repeating a few nautical jargon, vouchsafing one's allegiance to the island, publicly kissing a taxidermied and well-worn codfish, then downing of a shot of Screech. Screech is now a trademarked model advertised through the provincial liquor authority, and it's been enormously tamed and gentrified lately. After tinkering with the mixture and upgrading the product, the province sells Screech that's now strangely gentle and engaging. on the 2003 rum pageant, Screech even gained a gold medal, that is offered to the top-scoring 3rd of all rums in every one class. getting ready to pass judgement on the superpremium rums, I now carry the Zacapa rum to eye point in live performance with the opposite judges and respect its wealthy amber colour lower than the sunshine. Zacapa is taken into account via many that can (and do) argue at size over such issues to be the simplest commercially on hand rum this day. i've got noticeable bottles of Zacapa hidden on cabinets within the workplaces of competing West Indies distillers, who've sheepishly admitted they have been striving to breed it, as but with no luck. Zacapa accomplished a ranking of ninety eight issues on the Beverage checking out Institute in 2001, and it continues to be the top rating rum ever rated. It received most sensible honors on the festival's rum judging occasion 5 years working, and in 2003 the competition coordinators selected to retire it from pageant. They enshrined it in a newly verified rum corridor of reputation with the democratic notion of permitting different opponents a shot on the best award. The Zacapa rum we are served this present day isn't really in festival. it really is our benchmark rum, permitting us to calibrate our palates for the blind tastings to stick to. I swirl it lightly and convey it lower than my nostril. It has a dense, candy body spray, an earthy bouquet, like roses grown in a compost of chocolate and cherries. I sip. I shut my eyes. the 1st flavor washes over me and brings to brain the scene within the Wizard of ounces within which the blackand-white international abruptly bursts into colour. A dozen or extra sly flavors dart round my mouth—pralines and roasted nuts and vanilla. a steady heat spreads from my reduce backbone slowly upward via my neck. i am transported to a sunnier weather, faraway from the icebergs. this can be, surely, a unprecedented rum. The pourers stream in the course of the room with the 1st of the twenty-three rum samples we are going to be judging during this consultation. Then we are going to have a holiday, and move into the following consultation, and the subsequent, with the development unfold over 4 days. we will pass judgement on a complete of 166 rums, and the development will take us world wide: a United countries of sugarcane-based liquor, with representatives from—no surprise—much of the West Indies, but in addition Nepal, Mexico, Australia, Canada, and the USA.