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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Savor the Culture of Vintage Cuba at Rumbar with Vizcaya VXOP

If you’re looking for a sophisticated, refined yet inviting space in which to enjoy Vizcaya VXOP Cask 21 rum, look no further than Rumbar, located inside Key Biscayne’s Ritz-Carlton. The name of this storied hospitality company is synonymous with luxury and exemplary service, and Rumbar puts a decidedly Latin spin on the Ritz-Carlton’s elegance.

With deep, inviting leather couches and armchairs, crimson walls and rich mahogany woodwork, Rumbar looks every bit the gentleman’s club. The atmosphere is genteel and relaxed—perfect for kicking back to savor the spice and complexity of Vizcaya. Rumbar also has a humidor that boasts an extensive collection of cigars for your smoking pleasure.

Despite its decidedly vintage feel—Rumbar reminds patrons not just of Hemingway, as so many Cuban-inspired rum-friendly establishments do, but also, with its slowly turning wooden ceiling fans, of Bogey and Bacall—the small plates offered by Rumbar’s kitchen have a decidedly modern feel. Choose from short-rib sliders topped with goat cheese mousse and arugula, yuca fries with a creamy chimichurri dipping sauce, or a Caribbean pineapple pizza with cilantro. The classic Cuban sandwich composed of ham, pork, pickles and cheese, the Media Noche, is reworked as a panini. Key lime pie is topped with mango coulis in a delicious marriage of two tropical flavors.

As you would expect at a such a delightfully old-school bar, there is a comprehensive list of cocktails, ranging from time-honored standards like daiquiris, mojitos and caipirinhas, to innovative specialty martinis. The true rum lover, however, will probably bypass these in favor of a vertical rum flight—or possibly a tasting of his own devising. It’s also possible to rent one of Rumbar’s VIP rum lockers, in order to store your own personal bottle of Vizcaya VXOP.

Make sure to check out Rumbar on Saturday nights, when Grupo Nostalgia, a four-piece Latin music group, will truly transport you and your date to Old Havana. Any night of the week, however, is a perfect night to sit back and enjoy a cigar as the friendly bartender pours you a neat Vizcaya, at Key Biscayne’s upscale destination for the enjoyment of rum and Cuban culture.

Photograph courtesy of K. Hurley

Published in: on August 12, 2010 at 8:00 AM  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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