By Wayne Curtis
One spirit, Ten cocktails, and 4 Centuries of yank History
And a Bottle of Rum tells the raucously unique tale of the United States as visible during the backside of a ingesting glass. With a bankruptcy for every of ten cocktails—from the grog sailors drank at the excessive seas within the 1700s to the mojitos of recent membership hoppers—Wayne Curtis finds that the homely spirit as soon as distilled from the commercial waste of the exploding sugar exchange has controlled to infiltrate each stratum of latest global society.
Curtis takes us from the taverns of the yank colonies, the place rum introduced either an inexpensive wallop and money for the Revolution, to the plundering pirate ships off the coast of vital the United States, to the watering holes of pre-Castro Cuba, and to the kitsch-laden tiki bars of Nineteen Fifties the USA. listed below are sugar barons and their armies conquering the Caribbean, Paul Revere preventing for a nip in the course of his well-known trip, Prohibitionists marching opposed to “demon rum,” Hemingway fattening his liver with Havana daiquiris, and today’s bartenders reviving outdated favorites like Planter’s Punch. In an age of microbrewed beer and single-malt whiskeys, rum—once the swill of the typical man—has chanced on its approach into the tasting rooms of the main discriminating drinkers.
Awash with neighborhood colour and wry humor, And a Bottle of Rum is an affectionate toast to this such a lot American of liquors, a chameleon spirit that has been continually reinvented over the centuries through tavern keepers, bootleggers, front room lizards, and advertising professionals. whole with cocktail recipes for would-be epicurean time-travelers, this can be heritage at its such a lot intoxicating.
From the Hardcover edition.
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Extra resources for And a Bottle of Rum: A History of the New World in Ten Cocktails
Shake and pressure into tumbler with overwhelmed ice. Garnish with fruit and clean mint. bankruptcy nine [Mai Tai] after which, quickly, got here the Plague and the push of the barbarians in its wake, and all of the juices of the orchard went into cocktails. —BERNARD DE VOTO, 1948 IN DECEMBER 1932, a trendy if a little adrift twenty-fouryear-old with a brow made sought after through his receding hairline arrived in southern California, searching for whatever to do. a local of recent Orleans, his identify was once Ernest Raymond Beaumont Gantt. Curious via nature and whatever of a proto-beatnik through selection, he had spent the former months vagabonding at the affordable via the various globe's extra humid locales: Jamaica, Australia, Papua New Guinea, the Marquesas Islands, and Tahiti. by the point he washed up in Los Angles, his funds had run out. Gantt made do within the melancholy economic climate via his wits and unusual jobs—working in eating places in Chinatown, parking autos at advertisement plenty, and interesting in a bit freelance bootlegging within the months sooner than Prohibition ended. Sociable and captivating, he befriended such Hollywood personalities as David Niven and Marlene Dietrich, and during them discovered occasional paintings as a technical adviser on motion pictures set within the South Pacific. administrators have been obviously as inspired by way of his wisdom of the area as through his selection of South Pacific artifacts, that can be borrowed for set props. A yr after he arrived in l. a., Gantt occurred upon a newly vacated tailor store simply off Hollywood street and hooked up to the McCadden lodge. It was once small—just 13 ft via thirty—but Gantt cherished the texture of it, and signed a five-year rent for $30 monthly. He equipped a bar that might seat approximately dozen clients, and scattered a couple of tables within the ultimate area. He adorned where along with his South Pacific gewgaws, besides previous nets and components of wrecked boats he scavenged from the oceanfront. He known as his watering gap “Don the Beachcomber. ” He approached his drink menu an identical manner he approached his decor: with a watch towards frugality. Rum was once the cheapest of the spirits, and Gantt had already sampled a spread in his travels. He devised an unique menu of rum-based beverages that complemented the bar's South Pacific subject, and scratched them out on a board in the back of the bar. the combo of Gantt's outgoing character and the intrigue of his beverages proved impossible to resist to l. a. movers and shakers. between these first beverages used to be one he named the Sumatra Kula, which expense 1 / 4. A well-dressed guy named Neil Vanderbilt got here in a single day and ordered one, then one other and one other. He stated it used to be the simplest drink he'd ever had. He was once a contract reporter for the hot York occasions, and he quickly got here again with acquaintances, together with Charlie Chaplin. be aware of Don the Beachcomber started to unfold via Hollywood and past. “If you cannot get to paradise, i will deliver it to you,” he instructed his consumers. (It did not paintings for everybody; in July 1936 a prosperous businessman struck and killed a pedestrian whereas using domestic after an evening at Don the Beachcomber.