Introducing new Vizcaya Cristal!

The makers of Vizcaya VXOP Cask 21 rum—the ultimate sipping rum—are proud to announce a new addition to the Vizcaya family of fine rums. Vizcaya Cristal is a premium quality white rum with a satin-smooth finish, making it a versatile spirit to add to your bar.

Sip Vizcaya Cristal on the rocks or neat, to savor its nuances of vanilla, sherry and walnuts. We like to think of this as the world’s finest white sipping rum, and just like the VXOP, it pairs perfectly with your favorite cigar. Just because this rum can be enjoyed for its own merits, however, doesn’t mean that it’s not ideal for making a wide array of rum-based drinks. A mixologist’s dream, Vizcaya Cristal lends sophisticated undertones to any cocktail, elevating even the most pedestrian of mixers to create a uniquely satisfying drink.

Made with the same dedication to detail as the award-winning Vizcaya VXOP Cask 21, Vizcaya Cristal is distilled from the juice of freshly pressed sugar cane, using time-honored methods. It is rested in carefully selected oak barrels, to give it the signature complexity that characterizes all Vizcaya rums. Yet make no mistake—Vizcaya Cristal is mellow, mixable and ready to drink.

You already know the pleasures of relaxing with a glass of Vizcaya VXOP Cask 21. Now, it’s time to experience Vizcaya rum in a whole new way. Cristal delivers unparalleled flavor, subtle complexities and a polished finish. It is equally enjoyable served neat or as the starting point for cocktails that will make you the toast of the town. And because it carries the Vizcaya name, you know it is made with premium ingredients and a commitment to perfection.

New Vizcaya Cristal—its merits are crystal clear.

Published in: on August 9, 2011 at 12:00 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Introducing Vizcaya Cask 12

You’ve been enjoying Vizcaya VXOP Cask 21 rum, the ultimate sipping rum, for years. As an aficionado of fine spirits, chances are that there’s a bottle of VXOP in your bar right now. Well, it’s time to make room for a new variety of Vizcaya—introducing Vizcaya Cask 12, a dark rum that possesses the same rich character and high quality as VXOP Cask 21, but with a slightly lighter body that makes it a mixologist’s dream.

Vizcaya Cask 12 is meticulously crafted with the same superb ingredients and traditional methods as Cask 21. After being distilled from the finest of sugar cane—unlike inferior rums, which are made from molasses—Cask 12 is aged for six years in premium oak barrels and then masterfully blended. The finished spirit sings with a rich, complex bouquet; subtle notes of vanilla, cocoa and maple; and a buttery finish.

Due to its slightly lighter body, Cask 12 is also an extraordinarily versatile rum, and can be enjoyed alone or as a component of delicious cocktails. Try it in all the classic rum drinks, or simply splash some over a few cubes of ice and savor the exquisite flavor.

Another way to enjoy Vizcaya Cask 12 dark rum is to pair it with a meal—think tropical tastes, like seafood, coconut and fruit. Of course, you can never go wrong with the classic combination of a fine cigar and a premium rum, and Vizcaya Cask 12 fits that bill to perfection. Relax, enjoy your cigar, and let the heady, spicy aroma of Vizcaya fill your senses.

It’s an exciting time for those who truly appreciate fine spirits. Versatile Vizcaya Cask 12 rum, a premium sipping rum that also works wonderfully in cocktails, will become an exemplary addition to your rum repertoire.

Published in: on August 9, 2011 at 11:58 AM  Leave a Comment  
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Come Drink Vizcaya at Brooklyn’s Friendly, Funky Roneria Caracas

Summer is drawing to a close, and that makes people melancholy, even while it sends them to the streets, seeking to wrest just a little more pleasure from this most hedonistic of seasons. If you happen to find yourself in Brooklyn, feeling a little restless and perhaps more than a little thirsty, may we suggest that you head over to Roneria Caracas for a rum flight featuring Vizcaya VXOP?

Located inside Caracas Arepa Bar Brooklyn, Roneria Caracas is an unusual little venue. The atmosphere is casual, funky, colorful and cozy all at once. With aluminum-siding (yes, we said aluminum siding) and plywood (yup, plywood) décor, a chalkboard listing its collection of premium rums, and a clientele that’s largely comprised of indy hipsters in various array of body modification, Roneria Caracas is not the most sophisticated venue in which to enjoy your Vizcaya—but don’t let that stop you.

Not only are their rum flights a fantastic way to venture into the world of “devil water” if you’re not already an aficionado, but the extremely knowledgeable bartenders will be happy to point you in the right direction if you’re looking for a cocktail. In fact, Roneria Caracas has developed a bit of a reputation for creating fresh, fun versions of old favorites—drinks that are at once surprising and true to the spirit of the original. A mojito with just a soupcon of absinthe; an old fashioned with port-marinated blueberries and bay leaf reduction; a pina colada accented with coconut bitters—these are some of the ways that the cocktails of yore are being reimagined by the mixologists at Roneria Caracas. Naturally, the slightly-smoky, honeyed and spiced notes of Vizcaya VXOP would provide an excellent counterpoint to any of these cocktails, as well as excellent enjoyed on its own.

While you’re at Roneria Caracas, make sure to try the speciality of the house at Caracas Arepa, arepas. These pocket-sized flatbreads can be stuffed with meat, chicken, cheeses or combinations of vegetables, and make the perfect snack to pair with a snifter of Vizcaya, or to nibble in between tastes of the rum flight.  If your appetite is already whetted when you arrive, try one of Caracas’s full plates, or order a tableful of arepas, empanadas and delectable side dishes to share.

Weather permitting, enjoy your smooth distinctive Vizcaya on Roneria Caracas’s patio and watch the fascinating parade that the Brooklyn streets provide. Cheers!

Published in: on August 27, 2010 at 1:28 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Frequently Asked Questions About Rum and Vizcaya VXOP Cask 21 Rum

Q. What is rum made from?
A. Premium rums, like Vizcaya VXOP, are made from the freshly pressed juice of sugar cane. This juice is then fermented, distilled, aged and bottled. Many popular rums that are widely available in both bars and liquor stores in the United States today, however, are made from molasses—which, rather than being produced specifically for the creation of rum, is a byproduct of other processes. Molasses generally results in an inferior product, but when you drink Vizcaya VXOP, you can be assured of experiencing only the highest quality spirits, made from sugar cane harvested at the peak of freshness.

Q. Is all rum aged? Does rum continue to age in the bottle, like fine wine?
A. Not all rum is aged, although most of it is aged in oak barrels to provide a mellow, more elegant taste to what might otherwise be a somewhat raw-tasting tipple. Vizcaya VXOP is aged in select oak barrels that once contained fine bourbons or armagnacs, in order to impart to this distinctive sipping rum a rich, nuanced quality. Most rums are aged before blending, and then bottled. This arrests the aging process, so you can be confident that each glass of Vizcaya will taste as consistently delicious as every other.

Q. What is “rhum agricole” or “methode agricole”?
A. The “methode agricole” is a unique distilling process that can be likened to the “methode champenoise” used to produce fine champagnes. It originally referred to spirits that were produced from freshly squeezed sugar cane juice and distilled to approximately 70 percent alcohol (140 proof) by volume. Rhum agricole, which simply means “agricultural rum,” is in direct contrast to mass-produced industrial rums. Vizcaya VXOP Cask 21 rum, which is painstakingly crafted in the Dominican Republic in the old Cuban style, is a rhum agricole and the ultimate sipping rum.

Q. So what is a sipping rum? Can’t I use Vizcaya with mixers or in cocktails?
A. A sipping rum typically has more complex, refined flavors that are intended to be enjoyed for their own merits, rather than combined with other ingredients that might overpower or obscure them. Sipping rums like Vizcaya are often paired with cigars or food to bring out the rum’s unique characteristics—notes of spice, butterscotch, vanilla, wood smoke and fruit, as well as a warm, inviting bouquet and smooth finish. Considered the ultimate sipping rum, Vizcaya VXOP may be best enjoyed neat, n on the rocks, or with just a splash of water to let its full flavor profile shine through. Nevertheless, we’re not going to tell you that you can’t enjoy Vizcaya as a component of an extraordinary cocktail—make the rum your own and savor it however you wish, as long as you don’t overdo it.

Q. Did pirates really say “Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum”?
A. Probably not. The phrase comes from a fictional sea shanty in Robert Louis Stevenson’s famous novel Treasure Island, and has been referenced or used in everything from poems, to television series, to a graphic novel, to a ride at Disneyland. Nevertheless, the tradition of rum drinking aboard ships, whether Navy or pirate, is a long-standing one, and singing “yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum” fits nicely with the romantic vision we have today of brave, seafaring men.

Published in: on August 24, 2010 at 10:40 AM  Leave a Comment  
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What Cigar Do You Like To Pair Vizcaya VXOP With?

As with any pairing—wine and cheese, rum and food, music and mood, even peanut butter and jelly—the pairing of spirits and cigars is largely a subjective matter. What appeals or seems ideal to one man could well be a total turn-off for another, although it’s likely that they would all agree that at least half the fun is in the pursuit of a classic combination. If you enjoy Vizcaya VXOP Cask 21 rum, and if you are a cigar smoker, it’s likely that you will already have done some experimentation to find your favorite cigar to pair with the ultimate sipping rum. Nevertheless, we are pleased to present a basic guide to rum and cigar pairing.

Rum and cigars are a natural match, simply because they are both traditionally produced in the same regions of the world. Just as vegetables that ripen concurrently in a particular climate tend to go well together, so the spicy, smoky flavors of rum tend to complement the warm and complex notes of a good cigar. Of course, the fact that both promote relaxation is not to be ignored, and for many cigar and rum aficionados, the very act of pouring that glass of Vizcaya and lighting up might produce a Pavlovian effect, allowing you to kick back and savor the moment thoroughly.

The first rule of thumb when choosing a cigar to puff with your Vizcaya is to choose one with an equally robust flavor profile. Vizcaya VXOP, after all, has a depth and intensity that works well with  many cigars. Its weight of flavor, which comes from having been distilled with real sugar cane and then aged in oaken barrels, requires a cigar that is also substantial enough to create some balance between the two indulgences.

That said, there are times when contrast becomes harmonious. As long as the cigar won’t pale in comparison to your neat or on-the-rocks Vizcaya, or vice-versa, choosing a particularly smooth and sweet cigar will provide a tasteful counterpoint. The notes of brown sugar, butterscotch, vanilla and maple in Vizcaya will sing more prominently when echoed by a rum that exhibits characters of sweetness. moke loves sweetness. Think of the way barbecue sauces often incorporate an element of sweet, fruity flavor that is tempered and deepened by the smoke of the grill.

Yet even a drier, more savory cigar can complement Vizcaya VXOP nicely, by playing up the rum’s substantial spice elements. You might notice a new element—say, clove or black pepper, oak, raisin or molasses—when enjoying a medium-bodied cigar, which wasn’t apparent just moments ago, before you lit up.

Vizcaya’s refined, intricate taste profile can be enjoyed on its own merits, or amplified by your favorite cigar. We think that the attempt to find the perfect marriage of a cigar with Vizcaya VXOP Cask 21 rum is a task well worth pursuing, and we invite you to share some of your favorite cigars in the comment.

Photo courtesy of Alex Brown

Published in: on August 10, 2010 at 11:27 AM  Leave a Comment  
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Calling All Rum Enthusiasts! Join Vizcaya in San Francisco

Miss Pearl's Jam House

This weekend marks one of the most anticipated events in the rum enthusiast’s yearly calendar: the San Francisco Bay Ministry of Rum Festival 2010. Hosted at Miss Pearl’s Jam House, located in the Waterfront Hotel in Oakland, CA, this event gathers together rum lovers from around the around the globe to celebrate their favorite spirit.

This year’s festival marks the second appearance of Barrie Lynn, the Cheese Impresario. Barrie will show festival goers that the pairing of rum and artisanal cheeses, while unorthodox, can be absolutely delicious. This event proved very popular at last year’s festival, so you won’t want to miss Barrie’s return or any of her delectable pairings.

After partaking of cheese, taste sugar cane spirits from many different makers, including Vizcaya VXOP Cask 21 Cuban-Style rum. Also on hand will be some of the Bay area’s most respected and experienced mixologists, who will be whipping up rum-based cocktails, both classics and modern drinks.

Of course, you’ll also be able to wax enthusiastic about Vizcaya with fellow aficionados, including Edward Hamilton–considered the world’s top authority on all things rummy and the man behind the Ministry of Rum. All in all, the 2010 San Francisco Bay Ministry of Rum Festival promises to be a rollicking good time that will both educate and entertain all comers.

The festival will be held Sunday, August 8, 2010, beginning at 1:00pm for VIPs and press, then open to the general public from 2:00pm-5:00pm. Tickets can be purchased at the door on a cash-only basis, and are $50 per person.

We’ll see you there!

Stir Up Some Spicy-Sweet Vizcaya Grog For Black Tot Day

Tomorrow is Black Tot Day—the anniversary of a dark day on the seas, when the British Navy ceased issuance of a daily rum ration to its sailors—and in honor of those brave seafaring men for whom a glass of grog was a welcome interruption of the nautical routine, we’ve got a recipe for you.

Grog began as a way to make more palatable the watered-down rum that Naval bigwigs ordered as a preventative against drunkenness.  Because water on board ship was often foul, a mixture of citrus, sugar and spices was added to the drink. The use of lime or lemon not only helped flavor standard-issue rum drinks, it also helped stave off scurvy. Modern men and women who partake of grog, however, do so because it’s a tasty way to enjoy Vizcaya VXOP, as a novel change of pace from taking the ultimate sipping rum neat or on the rocks.

There are nearly as many recipes for grog as there are tales o’ the sea. We present to you a basic template, which we hope you’ll experiment with and make your own. The proportions of this recipe closely follow those of the original Naval grog, and acidic lime juice brightens all of its flavors. While the spices will help illuminate the underlying complexity of the Vizcaya, feel free to eliminate them or to experiment with other garnishes.

Sweet and Spicy Vizcaya VXOP Grog

2 oz. Vizcaya VXOP Cask 21 Rum
1 T lime juice
1 T simple syrup or demerara sugar
6-8 oz water, depending on taste
pinch of nutmeg, cinnamon or black pepper

Stir all ingredients together in a highball glass. If you like, enjoy with the traditional Saturday toast of the Royal Navy: “Here’s to wives and sweethearts—may they never meet!”

Published in: on July 30, 2010 at 1:19 PM  Leave a Comment  
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The Past, Present and Future of Rum: Vizcaya VXOP and Smuggler’s Cove

Celebrating the past, present and future of rum, Smuggler’s Cove rum bar in San Francisco offers a selection of premium rums and rum-based cocktails, including Vizcaya VXOP, the ultimate sipping rum.

Smuggler’s Cove offers “traditional drinks of the Caribbean islands, classic libations of Prohibition-era Havana, and exotic cocktails from legendary tiki bars” in a venue that is reminiscent of historic tiki bars and that also prides itself on nautical décor. When you step into the venue, located at Gough and McAllister Streets, you’ll immediately feel the spirit of the islands, the sea, and the people who have inhabited them throughout the ages.

Of course, Smuggler’s Cove wouldn’t be worth its salt if it didn’t offer an extensive list of premium rums, and it does just that. Try a rum flight or, if you’re truly a connoisseur, ask the bartender for a scorecard. You can keep track of all of the rums and cocktails you’ve tried, and when you’ve worked your way through the menu, you’ll receive an exclusive gift and merit badge—and have your name added to the Smuggler’s Cove Manifest. Another nice touch that the rum bar’s owner, Martin Cate, provides is a tasting notes section of the website, where rum lovers can view the truly spectacular menu and make their own notes as they experiment.

With capacity for only 49 people, Smuggler’s Cove is an intimate experience. The bartenders and mixologists who are here to serve you will take their time crafting a premium cocktail for you, whether you choose one of their specialties from the menu, or give them a little more leeway in making your drink. This is a place to gather with a few good friends, sip a cocktail and enjoy a spirited conversation.

Vizcaya VXOP Cask 21 rum, which prides itself on a robust, complex palate of flavors—including allspice, clove, nutmeg, butterscotch, vanilla and honey—is, similarly, a drink that is best enjoyed when you have a little leisure to fully appreciate its nuances. Smooth, sippable and even sultry, Vizcaya is the ultimate sipping rum and one that will conjure up the remarkable qualities of a traditional, handcrafted Cuban-style rum.

We’re proud that Vizcaya VXOP is among the offerings at Smuggler’s Cove, and invite you to indulge in a cocktail made with this premium rum, or to savor a glass neat or on the rocks, in the remarkable seafaring atmosphere of Smuggler’s Cove the next time you’re in San Francisco.

Published in: on July 22, 2010 at 10:22 AM  Leave a Comment  
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Vizcaya VXOP and Dominos At Philly’s Rum Bar

Let’s face it: when you think of rum, Philadelphia is not the first location to come to mind. The owner and mixologist behind Rum Bar, however, wants to change that.

Adam Kanter has painstakingly crafted a rum list and cocktail menu to showcase a variety of rums, including the ultimate sipping rum, Vizcaya VXOP Cask 21. Rum Bar, which is located conveniently just off Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square Park, is a cozy yet not overly intimate setting in which to sip a glass of Vizcaya and perhaps indulge in a small plate or two from the restaurant’s island-inspired menu. After all, who could resist an order of jerk chicken wings, Jamaican beef patties, or ahi tuna tacos with pineapple slaw, pico de gallo and sweet avocado sauce?

Don’t let the delectable food offerings fool you, however; this is a serious rum bar, with a collection of over 140 rums and a cocktail menu designed to showcase them. The knowledgeable bartenders at Rum Bar will mix you up something familiar—a mojito or Mai Tai made high-end by the addition of Vizcaya—or something a little more esoteric. How does a creole daiquiri or a cucumber-rum sour sound? And should your companion be less of a rum enthusiast than you, there’s also a unique selection of South American wines.

Rum Bar features live music, ranging from samba to calypso to rock, every Saturday night, as well as rum flights, and drink and food specials that differ each day. Perhaps most notable among their special events, however, are their Save the Daiquiri Wednesdays, in which the bartenders will craft authentic daiquiris for half price, while patrons can enjoy a spirited game of dominos and the laid-back sounds of live reggae music.

The ambiance at Rum Bar is lush, warm and inviting—much like the experience of sipping Vizcaya VXOP. So the next time you’re in Philly and want to talk rum or enjoy some good company while drinking great Cuban-style Vizcaya VXOP rum, stop in to the Rum Bar Lounge and Restaurant.

Published in: on July 15, 2010 at 1:03 PM  Leave a Comment  
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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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