Pairing Vizcaya VXOP with Food

It’s not difficult to enjoy Vizcaya VXOP Cask 21 rum—really, all you need is a glass and maybe a few ice cubes. Rum drinkers who like to gild the lily pair Vizcaya with a premium cigar for the ultimate exercise in relaxation.

And then there are those epicurean adventurers who relish the challenge of pairing fine spirits with gourmet food.  A truly inspired match of delicious food and rum will bring out the most vibrant flavors of both—and will make your tasting party a gastronomical event to remember.

The most natural pairing for Vizcaya VXOP, with its complex notes of cloves, cardamom and pepper, may be tropical food—coconut-crusted shrimp, pineapple salsa, jerk chicken or pork, mesquite-grilled fish, sweet potatoes or fried plantains. Don’t be afraid to add some heat, either, as the robust and sweet character of Vizcaya will stand up to spicy habaneros or other fiery peppers, and even temper their fire somewhat.

A similar, yet slightly less expected cuisine to try matching with Vizcaya is southern American barbecue. Slather your next rack of grilled ribs with a peach-chipotle glaze and pour a glass of Vizcaya to go with it. You may find that the smooth, dark sugar tones of the ultimate sipping rum are a natural companion to the unctuous, flavorful pork. Creole and cajun foods like jambalaya, etouffee and blackened meats, when paired with rhum agricole, will also provide the perfect balance of heat and sweet.

Any cuisine that makes use of lime juice would also be an excellent candidate as a companion to Vizcaya VXOP. Spicy Thai food, with coconut, lime and ginger flavors, may not be the first food you’d think to pair with rum, but it’s a surprisingly good marriage.

Don’t forget about dessert! Coconut ice cream with rum-glazed pineapple, a tropical fruit salad featuring mango and papaya with a lime vinaigrette, or even an old classic like pineapple upside-down cake are great partners for Vizcaya. Lastly, experiment with sipping your Vizcaya while nibbling a few pieces of fine dark chocolate—each are complex, intense, with nuances of coffee, butterscotch, allspice and vanilla.

Vizcaya VXOP Cask 21 Cuban-style rum is a winner right out of the bottle, but we encourage you to experiment with rum and food. You might discover a delicious new combination—and if you do, we’d love to hear about it!

Published in: on July 15, 2010 at 11:38 AM  Leave a Comment  
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Vizcaya VXOP Helps You Stock Your Home Bar

A well-stocked bar is an absolute must-have for the spirits aficionado. Having the proper tools to craft a cocktail—or even just the right sort of glass for drinking your Vizcaya VXOP in cocktails or on the rocks—will complement your entertaining experience. Whether you have a dedicated room in your home as your bar, or simply a bar cart in the living room from which to serve yourself and your guests, it’s important to make sure you have supplies on hand before you need them.

So what should the well-stocked bar include? Obviously, you’ll want to keep the ingredients for a variety of cocktails on hand:

A selection of premium liquor, including a few bottles of Vizcaya VXOP Cask 21 Cuban-style rum
Standard mixers–club soda, tonic water, sodas, fresh and canned juices, Grenadine and bitters
Garnishes—olives, citrus wedges, cocktail onions, cherries or other fruit

Besides liquor and mixes, you will want to ensure that you have the proper glassware and mixology tools:

Shot glasses, which can double as a jigger
Tall and short rocks glasses
Champagne flutes
Wine glasses for both red and white wines
Pint or pilsner glasses
Martini glasses
Wine opener
Bottle stoppers/pourers
Cocktail shaker
Bar towels
Cutting board and knife for preparing garnishes

Don’t forget the little touches such as straws, stir sticks, cocktail picks, napkins and coasters. If you or your guests are cigar smokers, you should have cigar cutters, lighters and ashtrays close at hand. Having these items readily available for your guests can truly make the difference between a sophisticated, elegant home-bar experience and one that is sub-par.

Since many fans of Vizcaya VXOP enjoy our premium sipping rum either neat or on the rocks, we’re sometimes asked what the ideal glassware for Vizcaya would be. Our recommendation is a brandy snifter if you like the rum neat—in order to fully appreciate its spicy, aromatic nose—or a rocks or highball glass if you like it slightly chilled by a few ice cubes. Yet there’s no wrong way to enjoy the lush, delectable flavors of this Cuban-style rhum agricole, so don’t stress over it. Just pour yourself a glass of Vizcaya VXOP Cask 21 and—most importantly—enjoy.

Published in: on July 7, 2010 at 11:41 AM  Leave a Comment  
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A Taste of the Tropics: Brought to You By Eva’s Carribbean Kitchen and Vizcaya VXOP

If you’re like us, you’re always looking for exciting and unique venues in which to enjoy a glass or two of Vizcaya VXOP Cask 21 Rum. So we’d like to let you in on a little secret: Eva’s Carribbean Kitchen.

A hidden gem located just off the Pacific Coast Highway in Laguna Beach, California, Eva’s is an adventure in Carribbean cuisine and cocktails. The expansive rum tasting list is matched only by the house cocktails. Why not start your evening with a glass of Vizcaya VXOP rum punch? Or try one of the fruitier house specialties, such as a Pink Punani, a Mango Tango or a Rum Cosmo.

The taste of the islands isn’t just in your glass, however. You’ll experience it in the crunch of the Carribbean conch fritters—which are billed as “Carribean Viagra”!–or the heat of cajun prawns, served with grilled pineapple, roasted pepper and passionfruit relish. And these delectable small plates are just for starters. Jerk chicken with mango chutney, blackened catfish, and pineapple-glazed pork loin are some of the entrees that await you. Whatever you choose, make sure to leave room for dessert—West Indian key lime pie, say, or banana passion flambe—complemented by another Vizcaya VXOP, this time served straight up or on the rocks, perhaps with just a squeeze of lime to bring out its sultry, slightly spicy character.

Dining at Eva’s is like embarking on a minature vacation. The décor is as bright, fiery and spicy as the food, lively Carribbean music sets the scene, and the service is attentive, quirky, laid back. Don’t be surprised to see owner/chef Eva Madray herself mingling with the diners, exchanging warm greetings and hugs, and ensuring that everything is up to her high standards. Not only that, but Eva likes to spoil her diners by giving them complimentary tastes of everything from her Callaloo soup to her signature rum libations.

Whether you hail from the tropics and want a taste of home, or you’re simply a foodie and fine rum aficianado, Eva’s has something special in store for you. Drop in, enjoy a glass of Vizcaya VXOP Cask 21 Rum with some delectable seafood or a cooked-just-right jerk steak, and feel the ocean breeze. Eva’s Carribbean Kitchen, as its many loyal guests will attest, is an experience that will transport you to the islands.

Published in: on June 29, 2010 at 12:33 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Introducing… the Vizcaya Rumkist

One of the finest pleasures of summer is that of relaxing outdoors–on your porch, deck, patio or even your boat–and sipping a well-crafted cocktail, like the Vizcaya Rumkist, made with Vizcaya VXOP Cask 21 Rum. Infused with bright, sunny flavor thanks to fresh ginger and lemon, this is the quintessential summer cocktail. Enjoy one while getting the grill ready, watching the sailboats, or just enjoying a sunset.

Vizcaya Rumkist

1 tsp fresh ginger

juice of one-half lemon

1 oz simple syrup

1 oz Vizcaya VXOP

Tonic water or seltzer

Muddle ginger and lemon in the bottom of a highball glass. Add ice cubes. Add simple syrup and Vizcaya. Fill to the top with tonic or seltzer. Stir and enjoy.

Published in: on June 27, 2010 at 3:44 PM  Leave a Comment  
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The Many Renaissances of Rum Culminate with Vizcaya VXOP

Rum is one of the oldest spirits in the world, with a fascinating and storied tradition. Even Marco Polo recorded an account of tasting “a very good wine of sugar” offered to him in what is now Iran, in the 14th Century. A slightly more modern origin of rum is described by spirits historian Anthony Dias Blue in his Complete Book of Spirits: A Guide to their History, Production and Enjoyment. Blue quotes a document from 1651 which describes the fermentation of rum in Barbados: “The chief fuddling they make in the island is Rumbullion, alias Kill-Divil, and this is made of sugar canes distilled, a hot, hellish and terrible liquor.”

Thankfully, the process of distilling rum has become much more refined, and today’s rums, like Vizcaya VXOP Cask 21, are a vast improvement over such “kill-divil,” or “demon water,” as rum was once called.

Rum has had a valuable place in American history—some estimates say that before the American Revolutionary War, every man, woman and child in the colonies drank an average of over 13 liters of rum per year—as well as in British. One of the most abiding associations with rum is as a ration issued to Naval seamen, after the British fleet captured the island of Jamaica. Mixed with lime juice, sugar and water into a concoction called grog, the daily rum ration was a staple of seafaring life until 1970. Today, the rum ration is still issued on special occasions such as marriages or births within the Royal Family.

In the mid-20th Century, rum enjoyed a renaissance thanks to the burgeoning Tiki culture, and was featured in such drinks as the mai tai and the Zombie. Americans fell in love with fruity, tropical drinks that complemented Asian-inspired food and could be sipped pool- or beachside—or even just in a suburban backyard lit by tiki torches. Those who were slightly too young to enjoy tiki drinks may have discovered rum through another pop-cultural phenomenon: the pina colada, which soared in popularity after the Rupert Holmes song “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)” hit the charts.

Today, rum has become more sophisticated than ever before. Take Vizcaya VXOP, the ultimate sipping rum. This is no ordinary rum, to be mixed and drunk and forgotten about. Vizcaya is a rum that commands your full attention and all your senses. Enjoy it neat or on the rocks, with or without a good cigar, or take the time to craft a cocktail with premium ingredients that will showcase the spicy, intricate notes inherent in Vizcaya VXOP Cask 21 rum.

Whether you enjoy your drinks with a paper umbrella or a wedge of lime, while gazing out over still waters or rough, treat yourself to the very finest in spirits—Vizcaya VXOP Cask 21 rum. Here’s to the history of that noble spirit, rum!

Published in: on June 24, 2010 at 1:00 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Vizcaya and La Descarga: Two Tastes of Old Havana

If you’ve ever dreamed of experiencing the sensuous heat, lush scents and vibrant nightlife of Havana, the men behind Los Angeles’s newest classic cocktail venue have created a dream come true.

La Descarga is the newest venture of twins Mark and Jonnie Houston, and this East Hollywood nightspot transports guests to another time and place. Step inside, and you’ll find a venue that seems lifted right from 1950s Cuba, down to the foyer turntable playing salsa, cumbia and mambo music. Authentic touches are everywhere, from the ceiling fans and wrought iron decorations, to the cigar smoke that swirls on the smokers’ patio, to the colorful atmosphere and even more colorful dancers.

What really sets La Descarga apart, however, are its cocktails. Premium rums like Vizcaya VXOP can be sipped neat or on the rocks, but if you really want the full Old Havana treatment, have the mixologists make you a classic: a Hemingway daiquiri (double the rum, natch!), say, a rum punch, or a minty and refreshing mojito. In the mood for something new? Try a Bad Spaniard, a Tropical Holiday, a Honey Swizzle or another offering from the cocktail list.

La Descarga’s owners have hinted that rum flights and punch bowls may soon be available, which gives rum aficionados something to look forward to. For now, sip a Vizcaya VXOP Cask 21 rum or rum-based drink and enjoy the Latin beat of the shows at La Descarga, which feature congas, fire sticks, bar-top dances and some of the curviest performers in L.A.

The vibe at La Descarga is a perfect match for the flavor of Cuban-style Vizcaya VXOP. Close your eyes as you sip; listen to the beat of the drum as you taste the warm caramel and spice that the rum offers up. The combination of Vizcaya’s sensual tastes, soul-stirring music and the murmur of beautiful women will make you feel you’re in Old Havana–you may just forget all about the here and now.

The Details:

La Descarga
1159 N. Western Ave., Los Angeles

8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays

Reservations are encouraged: (323) 466-1324

reservations@ladescarga.com

Published in: on June 16, 2010 at 1:43 PM  Leave a Comment  
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