Guest Post – Hemmingway’s Rum Punch

In 1996 Terry Drummey opened Hemmingway’s beachfront restaurant at the Sands resort at Grace Bay, on Providenciales, at that time a little-known island floating in the Caribbean beyond Cuba and the Bahamas. More than a decade later, as the Turks and Caicos has attracted more and more visitors, Hemminway’s has become the heart of Grace Bay, recently voted one of the top beaches in the world.

Hemmingway’s certainly has an astounding view of Grace Bay’s white sand beaches and turquoise waters, and it’s the perfect place to drink that quintessential Caribbean cocktail, rum punch.

There are no distilleries producing rum in the Turks and Caicos Islands and there don’t appear to be any plans to produce rum here in the future either; there’s not much soil on most of the islands, so sugar cane (necessary for local rum production) has never been grown commercially.

However, the Turks and Caicos are located not far from the Bahamas, which has its own rum culture, and the interconnected societies of the two island chains means rum is popular in Turks and Caicos. Bambara is the local rum, and it’s made with blends imported into the Turks and Caicos.

Hemmingway’s rum punch features a lot of Bambara. Here’s the recipe:

1 oz Bambarra coconut rum
1 oz Bambarra dark rum
3oz orange juice
3oz pineapple juice
1 oz grenadine
Float with Myers dark rum
Cherry/pineapple garnish

What’s the connection to Ernest Hemmingway? Not much, except for the Caribbean locale, and the Caribbean ingrendients. It’s a perfect way to get refreshed after a day out in the sun. Sip it, and imagine you’re watching the sunset on Providenciales.

Nevin Thompson frequently writes about the Caribbean for Sands at Grace Bay, a resort in the Turks and Caicos.

Resurrecting Old Posts – Vanilla and Trinidad Especial

As a fun idea i thought i should dig up a few old posts that has been “buried” since the beginning of this blog. So i start with the very first post i made – the start of this blog – that was back in 2008 posted june 29th – and will tell yall that i`m a vanilla freak.

Here is also my take on the cocktail that won the Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge in 2008 and was created by Valentino Bolognese, which gives me a chance to dig up another post from that time.

There is another famous cocktail too – the Trinidad Sour which is a variation on the Trinidad Especial and was created by Giuseppe Gonzalez and that one is a VERY nice cocktail and contains 1.5 oz of Angostura Bitters.

Since then i have learnt so much about cocktails and spirits, it´s fun to dig up old posts like this one.

Here is my post from 2008 :

Vanilla and a Very Special Cocktail


In this blog i`m going to write about my drink (and occasionally some food) experimenting, rums and other spirits and liqueurs. Its going to involve quite a bit of Tikidrinks. But also the making of syrups, bitters and infusions…and whatever else i may come up with.

I do this for fun and i hope you`ll have fun too!


Its something special about Vanilla..maybe its the warm sensual fragrance and flavor of this beautiful exotic tropical climbing orchid…or the beauty of the flowers which only opens for a few hours in the morning. Maybe its the rich fragrant and oily darkness of the cured beans which at first are green. Vanilla flowers once a year in a period of about two months.

I love Vanilla and i always have my favorite beans at home which are the Tahitian beans, from vanilla tahitensis. They are fatter, more “oily” and somewhat shorter than other beans and have a very special floral aroma and flavor.

I`ve made my jar of Vanilla sugar with these beans since many years back. I mix 1 pack each of Tate&Lyles – or Billingtons dark and light Muscovado sugars with 3-4 Tahitian beans which i split on the length and scrape out all those lovely tiny black seeds which i mix with the sugars.

The longer they stay in the sugar the more flavor the sugar takes on from the beans. When the sugar is finished i just add some more and it goes on and on..

I also make my Vanilla syrups using 1:1 ratio sugar and water and add a couple of split beans to the pan, let it simmer and then cool before i discard the beans (rinsing them and moving them to the sugar jar that is) and bottle my syrup.

A friend to me did mention that the Trinidad Especial Cocktail, made by Valentino Bolognese who also won the European Angostura Cocktail Competition 2008 with this unusual cocktail, which indeed is a very special cocktail, using no less than 30 ml of Angostura bitters, is nice poured over Vanilla ice cream…

Such a brilliant idea is one i cannot resist trying out. So i made both the cocktail and then the Vanilla ice cream with some of the cocktail poured over it..and indeed this cocktail tastes good! It wasn`t that bitter as i first expected but rather aromatic and spicy with a heavy dose of clove. On the ice cream it was a real treat!


10 ml. Pisco Mistral
20 ml. fresh lime juice
30 ml. barley syrup
30 ml Angostura Aromatic Bitters.
Shake hard and long, and strain in a Martini glass.


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A cocktail and a dessert in one, i remember this was a real treat. Do you like vanilla and what do you do with it?

SWIZZLES part 5 – Full Proof Mai Kai Swizzle

It`s time to add another swizzle to this blog and i just recently stumbled on a post over at the Atomic Grog blog about the Mai Kai Swizzle and it got me thirsty… and since i had never made that swizzle i tried it – and i find it tasty.

Unfortunately i don´t have the same rum as the recipe called for so i might have missed that thing which makes it stand out a bit. That said it doesn´t mean you can`t make it nice with other rums and that´s the beauty of rums – you can create so much variation.

Just one thing…i prefer strong drinks over weak and this one is weak or mild so allow me to pimp it up a little…

The post says it needs that golden rum from Appleton but since i don´t have it i decided to use Appleton Extra – one of my favorite rums…because i have many – and let the drink get a healthy dose of two overproof or strong rums.

I really like overproof rum – when used right it takes a cocktail or tiki drink to the next level, not just in strength but also flavor and we know that stronger proof concentrates flavors better. But one needs to be careful though, it´s so easy to have one drink too much..

I luckily have a few overproof and full proof rums to chose from at various strengths –

Coruba overproof (75%), Lemon Hart 151(75.5 %), Pusser´s overproof (70%), Plantation dark overproof (73%) Smith and Cross ( 57%) Tiki Lover`s Dark (57%) and JWray overproof (63%) and in this drink i used the Plantation dark overproof because it´s flavor profile fitted the other rum best i figured.

What i call “full-proof” are those that are between 50 – 60% ABV. I don´t know if that`s what they are officially called but to me it sounds appropriate…

The swizzling technique is another thing to mention but instead of writing the same things again i point you readers to this excellent post. It´s fun to swizzle and it gets even better if you have one of those original swizzle sticks from the swizzle stick tree - (Quararibea turbinata) which grows in the Caribbean and whose branches grows in a forked star shaped fashion thus producing perfect swizzle sticks! – called bois lele on Martinique.

Bois lele.The thicker one is from Guyana and the other is from Martinique.

You can get the original swizzle sticks here.

So now i got the ingredients, the shaker and glass, the ice and the swizzle stick or bar spoon, let´s get started!


1.5 oz fresh-squeezed orange juice
0.5 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice
0.5 oz mango juice
0.5 oz rich sugarcane syrup - (2 parts sugar to 1 part water, heated and cooled)
0.25 oz orgeat (almond) syrup
1/8 oz falernum
1 oz Appleton Extra Jamaican rum
1 oz Smith and Cross jamaican rum
Float 0.5 oz Plantation overproof rum on top of the drink

Swizzle in cocktail shaker with 1 cup crushed ice. Pour into a stemmed cocktail glass and fill up with more crushed ice if needed and garnish with a mango slice – or like i did here with my fruit carving knife – a palm frond out of the mango fruit.

The combination of mango juice, orgeat and falernum is a bit special and very tasty, very tropical. Since i don´t have Appleton Special Gold rum i can`t compare this stronger version with the original, all i can say is that it´s tasty and rummy.

The other swizzles in the swizzle series on this blog are these:

1 – Swizzles part one - Queenspark Swizzle and Creole Swizzle

2 - Chartreuse Swizzle with caramelized demerara sugar

3 - 151 swizzle

4 - Swordfighter swizzle

Keep swizzling!

Easter Sour with colored egg ice balls

Easter is around the corner…so let´s toast with a sour that is chilled with colored egg ice balls…

I tried Camper´s fabulous ice egg experiment or how to make colored egg ice balls – yeah i still wanna be a kid sometimes! and booze bloggers are always into some nerdy stuff or another.

It´s very easy to make these ice egg balls, you just fill small balloons with colored water and freeze. You need to hang them up in the freezer to get the round shape. Also it´s a good idea to rinse the balloons first before you fill them with the colored water.

I used purple, gold, green, yellow, blue and red food colors for this, the colors are in powder form and i used about a half tsp per balloon.

Then when you take them out – after 2-3 hrs – rinse them again quickly in cold water before you use them so you get rid of any balloon-powder if there´s any. And nope – it doesn´t change the flavor of the drink either.

If you drink way too slow the only thing that can happen is that the color will change the drinks color, it didn´t happen to me so i´m not sure but i guess it does.

For the Easter i wanted a sour so i made a twist of the Eastern Sour and switched bourbon for rum, lemon for lime, and added a little bit of orange, honey and St Germain plus an egg white and called it Easter Sour and served it in a tall glass so i could put 4 colored ice eggs in it.


0.5 oz fresh grapefruit juice

0.5 oz fresh orange juice

0.75 oz fresh lime juice

0.5 oz st Germain

1 oz white rum (use a good one, like Banks 5 Island for example)

1 oz rhum agricole vieux ( i used Clemènt VSOP)

0.25 oz liquid honey mixed with 0.25 oz sugarcane syrup

1 egg white

Shake the hell outta all this so that the egg white emulsifies well and serve in a tall glass filled with colored ice eggs and garnish with 2 pineapple leaves and orange slice.

The drink turned out nice enough with some fresh sour notes and the rhum agricole did also shine through with it´s grassy notes. Maybe a green Chartreuse would be better than St Germain as accent flavor to stand up against the rhum agricole but i need to try that.

In any case, this is a refreshing drink.



Happy Easter!