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Jamaican rum

Classic Tiki: the Jet Pilot

My uncle was a pilot. Hal flew light, high-wing planes, the type you’d fly into northern Ontario to hunt moose. A couple times a year, he’d fly to visit us, landing in Trimble’s pasture across the road from our house. A low fly-over to let us know he was there, a tight turn over the telephone lines, and there he’d be, roaring across the clover to park by the electric fence next to our mailbox. He knew how to make an exciting entry.

Continue reading “Classic Tiki: the Jet Pilot”

Chasing the Jungle Bird

Nothing says “jungle movie” like a sound track with plenty of evocative “ka-dawing” bird calls and monkey yelling. Throw in the occasional tiger roaring in the darkness, and you have a convincing, if clichéd, aural impression that transports us right into the exotic elsewhere of the tropical jungle.

When I hear a soundtrack done well, I can feel the heat. I can smell the mud and the trees.

When it’s done right, the movie soundtrack is a powerful thing.

Of course, it can be done wrong, and all that power flows in the opposite direction.

Continue reading “Chasing the Jungle Bird”

Rum, fruit and spice — The Ancient Mariner

Warm days are returning to Minnesota; time to think about tropical drinks. As luck would have it, Jeff Berry’s Grog Log came to hand the other day, and fell open to his fruit and spice laden Ancient Mariner.

According to Berry, the Ancient Mariner is an attempt to recreate the flavors of Trader Vic’s Navy Grog, which was itself an attempt to decipher Don the Beachcomber’s drink of the same name. Continue reading “Rum, fruit and spice — The Ancient Mariner”

Punch and Rum — the Doctor Cocktail

The hallmark ingredient of the Doctor Cocktail is Swedish Punch, a liqueur that tastes very much like a sweetened Jamaican rum, with caramel, molasses and plenty of leathery “hogo” at the forefront, and faint notes of smoke, spice and fruit. Continue reading “Punch and Rum — the Doctor Cocktail”

The Hurricane Cocktail

This is shaping up to be a memorable summer in the Midwest. It is the hottest and muggiest in decades; in some areas the rains are breaking records, and in others it is the worst drought in a generation. The upside of it all is that this hot summer has led me farther afield than usual in a search for cold drinks, and I have found two marvelous refreshers that had escaped me before: the rarely encountered Punch family (particularly Philadelphia Fish House Punch), and the famous (some might say “infamous”) Hurricane. Continue reading “The Hurricane Cocktail”

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