WATERMELON RUM FIZZ

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If you need a cocktail that is refreshing and tasty, then look no further. My Watermelon Rum Fizz will hit that thirst right on it’s head!

Ingredients

  • 60 ml Beenleigh White
  • 100 ml Watermelon juice
  • Sparkling water to top
  • The juice of 2 limes
  • 90 ml simple sugar syrup

Garnish

  • Lime Rim (equal amounts salt and sugar combined with some fresh grated lime)
  • Lime slice
  • Watermelon Slices

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INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Place watermelon into a blender or juicer and pulse until smooth.
  2. Add your simple syrup to your shaker, along with you rum and lime. Give it a good ol’ shake.
  3. Strain blended watermelon into your already garnished glass.
  4. Add shaker concoction and stir.
  5. Top with sparkling water, a squeeze of lime juice, and ice.
  6. Enjoy!

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Photography © by Kara’s Rum Quest – Copyright: All rights reserved.

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This article is posted on karasrumquest.com – All rights reserved – Copyright © 2017.

NIGEL’S BOOM BOOM SNACK SHACK- British Virgin Island

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Temperatures are hitting above 40° C here in Sydney and I gotta’ admit, I’m struggling. And I don’t mean I am a little sweaty and a little uncomfortable. I mean I am rendered basically useless during this heat! But this got me thinking; out of all the places I visited whilst away recently, where would I like to spend this scorcher of a day? Without any hesitation, I’ve got to say I would love to be back at Nigel’s Snack Shack at Smuggler’s Cove! Now let’s get this straight, I am not a beach person, a sun person, a heat person or an insect person… and this place pretty much has it all… but I still love it! Nigel’s Snack Shack at Smuggler’s Cove was honestly, by far, the highlight of my amazing trip around the Caribbean.

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Nigel’s Snack Shack is in no way fancy (pretty far from it to be honest), BUT what this place lacks in glitz and glamour is made up by the amount of love and heart that is bursting from it.

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Nigel is pretty much, a one-man band. When he is not serving people drinks he is cooking up the most amazing grub on his simple two burner BBQ. This guy does not miss a beat. He makes sure you have nibbles while you wait, and has some amazing stories to tell whilst he does all of the above.

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This guy also has no interest in using a jigger when he is pouring his drinks. He free pours – which is either super amazing or super dangerous depending how you look at it. When you ask for a dark n’ stormy, be prepared for pretty much a glass full of Gosling Rum and a splash of Caribbean ginger beer on top. Nigel is also very keen to do a Belly Bumper shot (which was a shot of Fireball Cinnamon Whisky) with visitors he likes. Not everyone get’s one, but you know you are in his good books when he breaks out the shot glasses- let’s just say, snorkelling was a million times more fun after I finished up my lunch here.

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I got talking to Nigel about how his snack shack came about. Growing up on the island, Nigel began his career hiring out beach supplies to visitors along with refreshing drinks from his esky. Smuggler’s Cove is a beach is in the middle of nowhere, so this would have been a very welcomed treat for it’s visitors. Nigel put the money he saved towards making a little snack shack for the beach, a little bar that sells cold beverages and authentic Caribbean food for all it’s visitors. Sadly Nigel’s presence has attracted some unwanted attention from BVI holiday homebuyers around Smuggles Cove. They claim that Nigel’s business was illegal and is making the island look bad! To me, they are making the island look bad. People flock to Smuggles Cove just to see Nigel. And those who know nothing about him fall in love with him as soon as they meet him.

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Considering the constant battles Nigel faces with BVI holiday homebuyers, Nigel is the most amiable person I have ever met. I wish I could take a leaf out of his book as I would not be handling his situation as gracious as he is.

Visit Nigel’s Snack Shack, you will not be disappointed.

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Photography © by Kara’s Rum Quest – Copyright: All rights reserved.

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This article is posted on karasrumquest.com – All rights reserved – Copyright © 2016.

 

 

 

 

MOJITO’S AND CUBANOS, OH MY!

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Along with drinking Miami dry, I was also on a mission to consume all of the Cubano Sandwiches I could find! So the first free day we had in Miami, Al and I headed straight to Havana 1957 Cuban Cuisine (a new chain of Cuban restaurants) and grabbed a seat outside. This place is full of character: beautiful music playing in the background, vintage Cuban photographs dotted around the place and above all, super-friendly staff.

Drink

I ordered the Ultimate Mojito. You are able to select which rum you would like in your mojito, so I chose Don Q Anejo rum. From here it is mixed with sugar cane and Yerba Buena. This cocktail was amazing! Don Q Anejo is really light with nice almond, honey and caramel tones; which I loved. I also tried the Zacapa 23 option but I found that Don Q Anejo went down a lot smoother 😉

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Variety of rums

There is an abundance of rum options here! Rum lovers will have a ball with all the varieties they have on offer! I would post them all here but it will literally take up all of the page… so here is a terrible, unedited video:

Food

I ordered the Cubano for $14.50 US. Ham, cheese, roasted pork, pickles, and mustard on Cuban bread, comfort food at it’s best. I was a little taken back by how much this sarnie cost (around $20 AUS) but when I saw this bad boy, I could see why it cost so much… it was HUGE!!! Honestly, I could only eat about half of it because it was so gigantic! It was tasty though, I just hated leaving so much waste at the end.

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Price

Havana 1957 Cuban Cuisine is a little on the expensive size, which was the only downside. I think I would have preferred if they served smaller portions and charged less to be honest. Saying that, if you are planning on visiting, you will find Havana 1957 Cuban Cuisine on 405 Espanola Way, Miami Beach, Florida. If not, do not fear as I will be posting a video of my experience here soon 🙂

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Photography © by Kara’s Rum Quest – Copyright: All rights reserved.

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This article is posted on karasrumquest.com – All rights reserved – Copyright © 2016.

 

BROKEN SHAKER- Miami Beach

Broken Shaker is another highlight from my trip to Miami! Owned by the ever popular Freehand group, this bar is situated in the middle of one of Miami Beach’s most famous 1930s Art Deco buildings, Indian Creek Hotel.

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Although the bar itself is on the small side, outside there’s an abundance of space in their beautiful out-door courtyard: fairy lights, lush trees, mismatched garden furniture dotted around their key feature, an outdoor swimming pool. This is definitely a place where all the beautiful people of Miami hang out every day of the week… as well as all of the drug dealers- so very Miami 😉

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When we arrived, we didn’t waste any time. We squeezed our way to the front of the bar, ordered two Cuba Libre’s and proceeded to the pool area where we people watched and attempted to guess who was a drug dealer and who wasn’t.

Broken Shaker’s Cuba Libre consisted of house spiced Bacardi Gold Rum with homemade Cola and Bittercube Jamaica #1 bitters. Although the Cuba Libre was nice and refreshing, it did taste very watered down. Bacardi Gold Rum is pretty flavoursome as is Bittercube Jamaican #1 bitters, so I could only put this watered-down-ness to the homemade cola or my let lag 🙁

Either way, I really enjoyed my time at Broken Shaker. I would go back and I would encourage you all to go there if you ever find yourself in South Beach Miami- just don’t jump in the pool at 2am as you will get kicked out 😀

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Address2727 Indian Creek Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33140, USA

 

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Photography © by Kara’s Rum Quest – Copyright: All rights reserved.

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This article is posted on karasrumquest.com – All rights reserved – Copyright © 2016.

SWEET LIBERTY- Miami Beach

If you ever find yourself looking for a refreshing tipple around Miami Beach, I beg you to get your butt over to Sweet Liberty! Just to clarify, this is not a paid feature; I just bloody loved it there. Exposed brickwork, retro leather diner booth seats, tropical wallpaper and a shrine of booze from floor to ceiling behind the bar. This place consists of everything I could have ever wanted from Miami!

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We arrived during Sweet Liberty’s happy hour. I ordered a Classic Daiquiri for just $5, which is pretty much a steal in Miami! A healthy dose of Platino Atlantico Rum, lime and sugar syrup is all they use for this cocktail. This simple mixture resulted in a wonderfully smooth, clean, citrusy cocktail with a little bite.

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For me, this bar is pretty much the only bar in Miami Beach that I would recommend friends to go visit. Seriously, Miami Beach’s bar life could learn a thing or two from this place: amazing service, amazing drinks and an amazing space.

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Thank you Sweet Liberty!

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Address237 20th St B, Miami Beach, FL 33139, USA

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Photography © by Kara’s Rum Quest – Copyright: All rights reserved.

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This article is posted on karasrumquest.com – All rights reserved – Copyright © 2016.

CALLWOOD RUM DISTILLERY- BVI

Never in my life did I think I’d be stepping into the Caribbean’s oldest operating rum distillery… and yet, here I stand on the grounds of Arundel Estate in the ever-so enchanting, Callwood Rum Distillery.

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Situated in a tiny limestone building, nestled away from the main drag of Cane Garden Bay in Tortola, this little distillery has a very important role in preserving the island’s heritage. Dating back over 400 years old, this is not only the oldest but also the only working rum distillery operating here in Tortola, BVI.

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Unlike most Caribbean rums, Callwood Rum Distillery distills their rum from pure cane juice- not molasses like we are generally used to in this big ol’ rum world of ours. Their process begins when cane (grown from their property) is cut and put through a pressing mill. The sugar cane juices are extracted, flow through receivers into a large iron cauldron and then boiled on a fire until it reaches a temperature where alcohol is produced.  It is then run through a coiled cooling system and finally stored in their oak barrels (which are burnt on the inside) till it ages to the desired effect.

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For just $2 US dollars, we were poured a shot of all four of their rums: the white rum, the golden rum, the 10-year aged rum, and one classily names one called the “Panty Dropper.” The white rum is the equivalent of a Bacardi white rum… more of a mixer than a sipper sorta’ deal. The golden rum was our favourite, as was the 10- year aged rum. Super smooth, no after burn and full of individuality. And lastly, the so-called “Panty Dropper”; a rum geared more for the ladies due to it being easy to drink. Although it was indeed easy drinking due to all the sweetener added to it, simply based on the guy’s description alone “this rum guarantees to get the ladies in your bed…” this rum get’s a huge thumbs down from me.

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Rum lovers and globe trotters should add Callwood Rum Distillery to their list of places to check out. It was one of the highlights of my trip around the British Virgin Islands and well worth the visit for the history alone.

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Photography © by Kara’s Rum Quest – Copyright: All rights reserved.

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This article is posted on karasrumquest.com – All rights reserved – Copyright © 2016.

LUNCH WITH ROSIE CAMPBELL’S

In my eyes, there’s no better way to soak up the excess of Melbourne Cup Day then by heading to one of Sydney’s famous rum bars, Rosie Campbell’s. Now I’m not going to lie, I did myself a bit of a doozy this Melbourne Cup and was feeling pretty sorry for myself for a little while after. So to receive this invite was possibly the best thing ever! But I could not go it alone, so I invited lifestyle & fashion blogger, Bunny Bernice to come with me and share the experience.

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The brainchild of Rosie Campbell’s is Graham Cordery (The Soda Factory). During a trip the Jamaica, Graham fell in love with the Jamaican culture and decided to bring it to Sydney, and for that I will be forever grateful 🙂

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First, you are instantly hit by the amazing technicolour scheme they have as soon as you enter; canary yellows, baby blues and tropical greens. Oh my! The sweet and spicy aromas that flow from the kitchen is no doubt second, and the third is the insane amount of rum they have just plotting behind the bar – if there was such a thing as heaven on earth for me, this place would be it!

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We were welcomed with a selection of cocktails. First up was their Friday special, The Dusty Daiquiri. This cocktail is made up of house made Falernum, Angostura Bitters, fresh lime and generous amount of Pampero Especial. A daiquiri is usually made with white rum, sugar syrup and lime juice but this cocktails base was made with a deeper, more intense golden rum from Venezuela. I found this rum added some much needed sweetness to what you would usually get from a daiquiri, here you get a sweeter cocktail which is super smooth and super delicate. So good!

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Next up was Rosie’s Coco Colada, one of Rosie’s signature cocktails. There is so much to love about the Coco Colada! Pampero Dark Rum infused with Pimento, pineapple, coco lopez, sugarcane, lime and banana foam slushie all served up in a coconut! It’s fun, flashy, and oh so boozy! This one is a show stopper for those who love a super sweet treat.

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Rosie Campbell’s cocktail list was created by award winning geeza, Mikey Enright (Palmer & Co, The Barber Shop), so it is not a menu to mess with.

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As Bernice and I talked about all things rum (did you know her favourite cocktail is a Long Island Iced Tea) and social media, we were served up an amazing tasting plate of delicious treats from Rosie’s menu.

Jerk chicken wings $22

These twice cooked chicken wings are very tasty. This is not the type of jerk chicken that I grew up on, but these wings are tasty none the less. Sweet, slightly spicy and a nice crispy skin, I could happily dive in to a full bucket of these and be quiet content.

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Jerk Chicken Burger $12

You can’t go wrong with this super juicy chicken burger and jerk seasoned fries. I love the contrast of the sweet and spicy jerk chicken served on top of a fresh, crisp coleslaw. That combo always makes me super happy.

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Red Stripe Beer Braised Oxtail $20

I was a little worried about this dish. Whenever I have had oxtail in the past, it has either come in soup form or a pretty boney piece of meat that has no flavor or substance. But what was served up here was a whole different ball game. A bowl arrived full of the most amazing slow cooked meaty meaty goodness- 9 hours to be exact. This oxtail was flavored within the inch of its life in the most gorgeous, rich gravy which just made me wish it was cold and rainy outside so I could get the full effect of it warming my cockles. Some may say it is a little on the fatty side, but I personally believe that is where is all the flavor is at – I may have to start putting Red Stripe Beer in all my meat dishes from now on!

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Grilled Jerk chicken $20 

Marinated chargrilled chicken thigh served with a side of coconut rice and a wedge of lime. This was the winner for me. Although the rice was a little on the flavourless side, the chicken was super succulent, far from dry and full of flavour! Faultless in my eyes… and mouth!

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Dem Belly Full Ribs $20

A close second for me was these bad boys. Two long stripes of slow-cooked pork spare ribs, generously slathered in a jerk marinade, crowned with a crunchy pork crackling & fresh lime served all served with a house-made sunshine slaw. Heaven. There is something about pork and coleslaw that I just can’t fault. And the added crunch of peanuts just topped this dish off like nothing else. Get this, you will not be disappointed!

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With over 100 rums to choose from, an amazing music selection and above all and some of the juiciest jerk frickin’ chicken I have tasted, this bar is not like other rum bars you find here in Sydney. Rosie’s are hospitable, to the point you feel like you are at your grans house; you know the type of gran who just wants to feed you because you look too skinny. In other words, these guys actually want you to stay and enjoy yourself, rather than hurrying you out the door to make room for another costumer. I love Rosie’s and you can guarantee that I will be back, again and again.

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10/10

 

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Photography © by Kara’s Rum Quest – Copyright: All rights reserved.

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This article is posted on karasrumquest.com – All rights reserved – Copyright © 2016.

AYE AYE, CAPTAIN!

It’s starting to get hot out there in the streets of Sydney… like, really hot! Those who know me know that I am not built for the heat. If I am not ducking and diving to some sort of shade, I am looking for a quick and easy way to cool off. Queue, ‘Freeze + Squeeze, Captain Morgan and Cola’ pouches taste testing.

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For those who are not sure what the whole ‘Freeze and Squeeze’ element is, I’ll explain it to ya. These frozen pouches are pre-mixed ice drinks. All you need to do is pop one in your freezer until frozen. When you are ready to drink, give the pouch a squeeze, pour the contents into a glass and get yo sip on- simplicity at it’s best.

I left my Captain Morgan and Cola pouch in the freezer for eight hours- like it recommends on the back of the pouch. When ready, I took it out of the freezer, crushed up the pouch to loosen up the frozen drink and poured the rum based slushy into a glass.

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Smell: The initial smell of the rum was pretty overwhelming when I cut the pouch open. Not the usual Captain Morgan smell, but a more metallic smell.

Taste: I wish I knew what kind of Cola was used in this mix as I found it super, super sweet. And not the nice sweet, it was more of a sickly, syrupy, artificial sweet.

Best for: These are awesome for those trips to the beach with an eski, a house party where you don’t have the time to make your guests a drink or even a BBQ/Picnic in the park. They are just so convenient and quick. If I had a party, these would be great to have as a back up in the freezer to serve my guests.

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Overview: Not that bad to be honest- considering all of the above. Although pretty sweet, it was a pretty nice to drink and are fuss free. I found them refreshing, packed full of rum and actually pretty moreish. I can see the younger generation really enjoying these, or for time strapped people like myself.

DRINKS WITH… PASAN WIJESENA

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Earls Juke Joint is a hidden gem situated behind the doors of an original 1950’s butchers shop, “Betta Meats”. From the drapes to the awning, everything has remained the same, except for what’s behind those swinging doors. Once inside, you are instantly thrown from the streets of South King Street to the deep, dirty south of New Orleans. Named after Earl Palmer (an American rhythm and blues drummer), in here you will find the music loud and proud, the walls embellished with photos of blues legends alongside Cajun, Creole, and Caribbean culture; this bar is nothing short of awesome!

So when I got the opportunity to sit down and have a little chinwag with Pasan Wijesena, owner and lead bartender of Earl’s Juke Joint, I almost lost my mind! Those who know me, know my husband and I are fans of this bar, so to get the chance to pick the brains of one of Sydney’s most acclaimed bar gods was pretty nerve wrecking exciting!

BACK IN THE DAY

After a brief stint working at the Oxford Art Factory, Pasan became friends with Jason Scott and Anton Forte (Swillhouse crew). The trio opened up Sydney’s infamous Shady Pines Saloon (where taxidermy and whisky merge into greatness) and somewhat changed the game for Sydney bars. You could say that Sydney’s bar scene was pretty dyer back then. VIP rooms ruled pretty much every drinking hole that Sydney had to offer, bar staff got nothing from their jobs, and there was no love for the small bar scene. Now, thankfully, because of bars like Earls, Shady Pines and Baxter Inn (all bars Pasan has worked in) they have paved the way for a new era of bars here in Sydney that make going for a pre dinner drinks or an after work bevvie much more exciting!

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FROM THE CBD TO THE QUIET STREET OF SOUTH KING STREET

Even though Sydney CBD was hella’ ready for a small bar scene, Pasan took a great risk steering away from the bright city lights and heading to the quiet end of Kings Street, Newtown. Even now, it is very rare for any type of bar or restaurant to survive setting up shop on South Kings Street. Many places go out of business quicker than they open… so I asked Pasan ‘what makes Earls so different?’ As expected, Pasan humbly bigs up his team. ‘Even three years after being open, we are always trying to be better at what we do and how we do it. We’ve got a great local and regular clientele, and we get great support from other hospitality staff. I think taking part in comps, winning awards, etc obviously doesn’t hurt, but you have to back it up too, and not rest on your reputation. ‘ And what a rep these guys have. I can honestly say the reason I come back here time and time again is due to the team Pasan has. I have never had a bad experience with them, and to see them enjoying their night on the opposite side of the bar tells me something is working.

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SO WHAT’S NEXT?

A rum focused Tiki bar in Enmore is Pasan’s next adventure. Named after Dr. Lawrence Jacoby from Twin Peaks, Jacoby will be opening early next year. Coincidental with the whole Tiki movement that seems to be gathering steam worldwide, Pasan and his team have been sitting on this idea for a while. It came to light whilst drinking at Tiki-Ti in Los Angeles. ‘Anything Tiki is always fun! It’s the anthesis to humourless prohibition styled cocktail bar tending with drinks that are still bonafide classics, so what’s not to love?’

Twin Peaks, kitschy fit-outs and drinking rum out of a zombie head, that has my name written all over it… plus it’s local, oh and it has a late license! Nothing about this can be faulted ☺

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SPEAKING OF RUM

As you can probably gather by now, I love rum! I love to drink it, I love to make cocktails with it and I love to talk about it! Lucky for me, Pasan also enjoys all things rum 😀

‘El Dorado 12 was one of the first rums I tried that actually made me want to drink rum neat.’ Here is where my fan girl moment set in! El Dorado was also the rum that changed the game for me also. I had been having a pretty hard time drinking rums straight recently, and was very close to throwing in the towel drinking it like that. That is, until I came across El Dorado 12- but you can read about that in another of my posts.

‘What I love about rum is the complexity, the versatility in drinks, the history and culture around it, and its delicious! We should be making more great rum in OZ, given how much sugar cane and molasses we have’. Pasan makes a great point here; Australia should be making more quality rums that incorporate our native flavours, such as Blood lime, Lady Apple and River mint. As nice as spiced Caribbean rums are, we have the resources here to change the rum game. Man, how amazing and unique would those rums be….my mouth is watering just at the thought of it.

TOP THREE COCKTAILS

‘A Daiquiri due to it being so refreshing, delicious and you should be able to get a good one anywhere. Tangy, sweet, it is just such a well-balanced drink. My choice of rum to use in a Daiquiri would have to be Havana 3 year old or Plantation 3 star. Fish House Punch, essentially it’s a rum punch is just delicious- Rum, cognac, peach brandy, lemon and sugar. You put it in a big bowl and go for a swim. And lastly, it would have to be a Pina Colada. That for me is the ultimate, ‘I’m on holiday’ cocktail. You just can’t go wrong with it… even a bad one can ultimately be a good one.’

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WORDS OF WISDOM

And like that, we came to the end of our interview. But before I left, Pasan gave me a few words of courage for my rum quest. ‘Don’t be afraid to try new things, a tiki cocktail is a fun and easy way to get into drinking rum, and then experiment with rum in classic drinks e.g. a rum negroni (A right hand), a rum old fashioned etc. Premium stuff is also a lot more accessible than premium whiskeys for example, so you can try some really amazing liquid at a fraction of the price of similar aged whiskeys.’

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Thanks again Pasan for an awesome chat and for the umpteen cocktails you made me. To those who have not checked out Earls Juke Joint, please do yourself a favour and go asap. The place is faultless as is the team that work there.