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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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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