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Packing House hosts Captain Morgan's new 1671 rum tasting

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I am developing a small love affair with rum. Am being continually surprised at how good the stuff can be. Recently tasted one of a well-known distiller’s latest lines called Captain Morgan® 1671 Commemorative Spiced Rum. It’s a blend of blend that’s full of complex flavor with notes of chocolate and dark fruits with hints of vanilla. Very tasty on its own over ice and also fabulous for mixed cocktails.

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Jon Ruiz, the handsome and fit young bartender who took such good care of us when we were there, demonstrated two of the cocktails he invented specifically for this new 1671. He used fresh lime juice, raspberry tea and demerara syrup, diluted so it's not too sweet, for a light and way-too-easy-to-drink version of a rum punch (recipe below). As of this writing I still haven’t found out where to buy the Chipotle rosemary syrup he used to make my absolute favorite – and I’m not a mixed drink person – the delicious Chipotle Runner (recipe below). Seeing that Jon used to be a chef, it’s clear he comes honestly by his passion for combining ingredients to make things that are simply delightful.

The appetizers put out by the folks at Packing House went really well with the cocktails. From what I’d read briefly about the Packing House, I expected the salty, tangy cured meats that came out on a platter. But was then delighted with the three cheese platter – each one rich and delicious. And I was pleasantly surprised that there was more intriguing stuff yet to come.

Soon came pork rillettes with fig jam, herbed focaccia with whipped ricotta (num!) and ahi tuna with kohlrabi salsa verde – all creative and delicious. The lobster appetizer with roasted lemon and tomato was so loaded with generously sized lobster pieces that it put to shame other appetizers I’ve had that call themselves lobster-related. The several types of pizza were also enjoyable – mozzarella (with blue cheese and arugula), Margherita (with burata, basil & sea salt), and pepperoni (with cheese, tomato & gardiniera). Though I typically leave as much of my pizza crust behind as possible, this crust was enough like rich bread dough that I continued nibbling at the outer edge.

Recipes for the Captain Morgan 1671 cocktails we tasted are shown below. I am really sorry to say this stuff is only available for a limited time. I’d highly recommend you get some and have a party.

As for Chipotle rosemary syrup, I’ll let you know if I ever find out where to buy it. My brother-in-law, also a chef at heart, says you could probably make it yourself with a simple sugar syrup steeped with some springs of rosemary. Hmm – might have to try that. That Chipotle Runner is a great drink.

Chipotle Runner*
1.5 oz. CAPTAIN MORGAN® 1671
.5 oz. Chipotle rosemary syrup
1 oz. Lime juice
3 dashes Orange bitters

Horizon Punch*
1 oz. CAPTAIN MORGAN® 1671
.5 oz. Cointreau noir
.5 oz. Lime juice
.5 oz. Demerara syrup
1.5 oz. Berry tea

Dark Horse*

1 oz. CAPTAIN MORGAN® 1671
.5 oz. Ginger liquor
1 oz. Lime juice
.5 oz. Agave syrup

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