Category Archives: dark rum

Happiness awaits

There’s a sign for Palm Grove Bar & Grill that reads “Where happiness awaits you.”

Ms. S&C just returned from her third trip to Anguilla, and her second to Palm Grove. It was this recent trip that she had the honor of chatting with Nat, the owner, while she ate her grilled lobster (with a tasty curry butter) and drank her Red Stripe. The conversation covered everything from Johnny Cakes, to American politics, to Anguillan heritage, to what it’s like to own a shack (Nat’s word) by the water. Ms. S&C likes this shack by the water. But, Ms. S&C pretty much likes all the shacks by the water in Anguilla.

Ms. S&C and her Red Stripe at Palm Grove, one of many favorite spots on the beautiful, relaxed, 16-mile long island of Anguilla.

Other Caribbean beverages of choice: Pyrat Rum, Carib, and Presidente. And, where are some good spots to drink said beverages? Favorite bars include: Dune Preserve (and if you’re lucky, reggae legend and owner, Bankie Banx, will be around; and if you’re really lucky, maybe you’ll show up on his birthday), and The Pumphouse (if you don’t see Bankie’s son Omari at the Dune, maybe you can catch him here on Friday night).

Favorite restaurants to wine and dine (there are so many!): Tasty’s (the best Johnny Cakes on the island, and they serve them for breakfast, lunch and dinner; Ms. S&C knows because she went there for breakfast, lunch and dinner), Picante (*really* good Mexican), Blanchard’s (for beachfront chic), and Smokey’s (great for live music and fresh fish sandwich). New places that she’ll be back to: E’s Oven (best bite of the trip was the grilled grouper with tomato jam), and Bonjour Cafe (a hippy-ish spot tucked back in the woods with a great vegetable roti).

The best way to hydrate? Fresh coconut water! (A rastaman that’s handy with a machete is particularly helpful in this endeavor.) And hydration is needed after sea kayaking, yoga on the beach, a Thai massage, and a night out at The Pumphouse.

Happiness awaits at many spots on Anguilla. This sunset spot was taken from Ms. S&C’s patio. She viewed it for eight full days. If you are ever thinking of visiting, please let her know (after three trips, she has copious notes that she’d love to share!).

posted by Ms. S&C

Party Spirit

This holiday season more than ever, Miss Mojito is feeling the festiveness. From decorations to gift-giving, from entertaining to party-going, I’m taking it all in and loving every minute of it! And what better way to prepare for the celebrations ahead than a round-up of tasty cocktails and party-perfect footwear to get us through New Year’s and beyond?

For Miss Mojito, nothing says “holiday festivity” better than sparkles, and I’m officially obsessed with the sparkle placement on this green velvet pair from Modcloth. That platform! That bow! That peep-toe! Swoon.

Despite the near-perfection of this particular pair, when the cold weather hits and the fun parties start, I constantly find myself in desperate need of festive close-toed shoes. The uber-reasonably-priced Lulu‘s comes to rescue in this arena. I’d love love love to start circulating these leopard-print pumps into my party repertoire.

Beverage-wise, I’m feeling the love for this Cognac Sparkler from none other than Ms. Martha Stewart herself, who recommends mixing cognac with a sparkling apple cider and bitters. I’m inclined to substitute champagne or hard cider for the apple cider to keep in the truly celebratory nature of the season!

When I’m not sipping on champagne and cognac, I plan on keeping things warm and festive with some hot buttered rum. Rum? Good. Butter? Good. Combined? Even better.

Miss Mojito wants to know: How are you celebrating the season, shoes-and-cocktails-wise?

Dark ‘n’ Stormy

It was a dark and stormy night….Ms. S&C was busy preparing sweet potato skins (with bacon, marshmallows and molasses) for a friend’s annual Halloween bash. She kept watching the clock. The dish was looking good, but there was still a lot to do. And, what about a cocktail? There was no time! No time for simple syrups. No time for punches. She couldn’t show up empty-handed. She’s Ms. S&C! She didn’t want to disappoint. She spotted an almost-full bottle of Gosling’s Black Seal Rum in her cabinet (leftover from last year’s holiday party eggnog). She wondered if she could use it for something. What about the Dark ‘n’ Stormy? Yes, it is a Bermudan cocktail, but it has a spooky name…

goslingsrumSurprisingly, Ms. S&C has never tried a Dark ‘n’ Stormy before (rum is usually not her first choice of spirit). But, she’s heard good things. Read good things. And, she’s seen it on plenty a cocktail menu.

reedsgingerbeerThe zesty combination of the sweet rum and spicy ginger brew (only use the good stuff), and the easy breezy preparation — the Dark ‘n’ Stormy will undoubtedly have a regular spot in Ms. S&C’s cocktail rotation. Not to mention, it is great drink for any time of the year — a Bermuda bash or a Halloweeen fest — the ingredients are always available. And they’re always tasty.

Dark ‘n’ Stormy
serves two


  • 4 oz. Gosling’s Black Seal Rum
  • Bottle of Ginger Beer (Ms. S&C prefers Reed’s Extra Ginger Brew)
  • Lime wedge


Fill a collins glass with ice. Add 2 oz. rum. Top with half of a bottle of ginger beer. Garnish with lime wedge. Repeat.

posted by Ms. S&C

Tiki allure

Bamboo torches, raffia grass huts, Polynesian gods, coconut cups, little umbrellas, exotic drinks – who can resist the lure of Tiki? Tiki offers a bright and happy escape, and all the aforementioned novelties capture the magic perfectly. tells us that current Tiki subculture (file under “Lounge”) is a revival of the Polynesian craze of the 195o’s and 60’s, when people were enchanted with the south pacific.

Tiki bars and cocktails are seeing quite the resurgence. Places like Don the Beachcomber’s and Trader Vic’s are the founding fathers of tiki bars and cocktails (both claim to have invented the Mai Tai), but only one is still in existence. Solomon’s Island, Md.,  has a great Tiki Bar, and when that place opens for the season, it is apparently quite a to-do. Squidoo’s also has a top ten ranking of the best tiki bars in the country, in  case you’re looking.

Last month, Jason Wilson, The Washington Post’s spirits columnist, wrote an excellent article on tiki cocktails that led Ms. S&C to Agraria, on the Georgetown waterfront, for a Zombie and a Pancho Villa. While her drinks were top-notch, there was something missing. And that something was the tiki allure. There was no hut, no ceramic mug, no adornment, not even an umbrella. She wanted that as much as she wanted a tasty, tropical cocktail.

Tiki drinks have many ingredients, and most of them are not your staples, which is why Ms. S&C likes to go out for hers. Or, she recommends that you invite enough people over to make it worthwhile. The Mai Tai, the most well-known of tiki drinks, contains the classic ingredients of rum and orgeat (an almond-flavored syrup). Here’s one of many versions.

Mai Tai
makes one serving


  • Ice, preferably crushed ice
  • 0.750 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice, reserving a spent half-lime for garnish
  • 0.500 ounce orange curacao
  • 0.500 ounce orgeat syrup (see related recipe)
  • 0.250 ounce simple syrup (see NOTE below)
  • 1 ounce aged Jamaican rum, preferably Appleton XV
  • 1 ounce amber rhum agricole, preferably Rhum Clement VSOP
  • Mint sprig, for garnish


Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Add the lime juice, orange curacao, orgeat syrup, simple syrup, Jamaican rum and rhum agricole. Shake well, then pour (unstrained) into a double old-fashioned glass or wineglass. Garnish with a mint sprig and the spent shell of half a lime.

NOTE: To make simple syrup, combine 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a slow, rolling boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 5 minutes. Transfer to a glass container and let cool to room temperature. Cover tightly and refrigerate until chilled before using; store indefinitely.

Recipe Source: The Washington Post, Adapted from “Sippin’ Safari,” by Jeff “Beachbum” Berry (SLG Publishing, 2007). Picture: Mark Finkenstaedt for The Washington Post.

FWespadrillesAnd, the perfect shoes to complement grass huts and fruity cocktails? Behold the espadrille! The bright colorful prints and the woven wedge heels definitely speak to the tiki vibe. We love these Oscar de la Renta ikat espadrilles that Fashion Washington highlighted in their Lush Life section, but the $400 price tag has us looking for other options. These navy floral ones and these morracan paisley ones, both from Tommy Hilfiger for $70, will do. Also like the bright tropical fabric and wicker heel on this pair on sale for $35 at Piperlime. Wear them with a solid colored maxi dress, break out the ukulele, and don’t forget the little umbrellas, please.

posted by Ms. S&C

Holiday party cocktails

Break out the punch bowls!  S&C has two great holiday drinks for you.  Our friends LC and CA hosted their annual gift exchange party over the weekend.  LC served the delicious champagne punch she makes every year.  I think it is a family recipe.  It is bubbly and festive and everybody loves it.  If you don’t make it for the Christmas holiday, it would be perfect for a New Year’s Eve bash.

LC’s Family Punch



  • 2 bottles of champagne
  • 1 bottle of white wine
  • 8 oz. apricot brandy
  • 8 oz. triple sec
  • 1 liter club soda

Combine all ingredients in a punch bowl.  Add block of ice.  For less potency, half the amounts of brandy and triple sec.  (As the night goes on and you continue to refill the punch bowl, halving is not a bad idea.)


After attending the Holiday Cocktails seminar, I was inspired to make homemade eggnog for LC’s party.  Eggnog is quite easy, as long as you have an electric mixer.  And by mixing the ingredients one by one, it ensures that they are well blended.  This recipe is an adaptation of several I’ve seen.  I didn’t add cognac or brandy (a spirit found in most recipes), mostly because I didn’t want it to be too boozy.  I also added more vanilla extract and spices to make it more indulgent and dessert-like.  I think the final product was a perfect accompaniment to chocolate pound cake and the other fine desserts served at the party.  It is also a fine substitute for cream and sugar in your coffee.



  • Dozen eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon clove
  • 2 teaspoons nutmeg, plus extra for garnish
  • 4 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 5 cups milk
  • 2 cups dark rum (I used Gosling’s Black Seal)

In a large bowl, beat the eggs until frothy.  Add sugar, continue beating.  Add vanilla, clove, nutmeg, continue beating.  Add heavy cream, little at a time, continue beating.  Add milk, little at a time, continue beating.  Chill for 1-2 hours.  Before serving, add rum and mix well.  Garnish with nutmeg.  For less indulgence, substitute some of the heavy cream with milk.


S&C Wishes You Happy Holidays and Best in 2009!