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And a Bottle of Rum by Wayne Curtis

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And a Bottle of Rum Book by Wayne Curtis

And a Bottle of Rum Book by Wayne Curtis

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The Bottom Line

And a Bottle of Rum by Wayne Curtis is a book that takes the reader through the lifespan of rum. From the liquor's pre-colonial beginnings to pirates and British Sailors, straight through to today's Daiquiri and Mojito crazes, Curtis' book is an authority on rum through the years. It is a remarkable history book told via ten classic rum cocktails and is nothing less than become a page turner. I've read through And a Bottle of Rum twice now and learned something new each time and it continues to amaze me how fascinating the stories of the spirit are.
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Pros

  • Enlightening, lighthearted history of rum.
  • Very thorough on coverage of major events and personalities.
  • It is fun to realize the differences in the culture surrounding rum from grogs to tikis and mojitos.
  • The guide to rums appendix is a great exploration of common brands you may not know.

Cons

  • None

Description

  • And a Bottle of Rum: A History of the New World in Ten Cocktails
  • Written by Wayne Curtis
  • Published by Three Rivers Press
  • ISBN: 9781400051670
  • Released, July 2006
  • 320 pages - hardcover and paperback

Guide Review - And a Bottle of Rum by Wayne Curtis

As the subtitle indicates, And a Bottle of Rum tells the story of in ten cocktails, drinks that were vital to the spirit's immersion in culture, influence on events and adaptation through time. From the Kill-Devil and Grog to the Daiquiri, Mai Tai and Mojito, even the Rum and Coke, are included in Curtis' book and are used to illustrate the last 400 years. A plethora of fascinating stories surrounds each cocktail.

The tales start somewhere in the Caribbean or, possibly South American in the 1600's, or so it goes. Curtis attempts to quell the question of rums origins by admits:

The thing is, no one really knows when rum first appeared. If you want to know about the history of sugar, overflowing archives provide enough information to lead to mental obesity. But for rum, it's a starvation diet.

Curtis' expertise on such a singular subject continues on the travel through time past the British sailors' daily grog to Planter's Punch for which he notes: "If rum is the archetypal New World drink - protean, varied, inconsistent - planter's punch is its cocktail equivalent." Then its on to the hard luck times of Prohibition and shortly after, a period during which rum held strong and was often one of the few reliable spirits available while the rest of the liquor industry struggled. In more recent times, Curtis explains the tiki revolution and the new appreciation for fine drinks like the Mojito. He successfully illustrates that rum is all about refreshing itself through time:

Rum doesn't like endings. And for a good reason: Rum is nothing but a series of fresh beginnings.

As a bonus to this tale of one of the oldest spirits, And a Bottle of Rum includes two useful appendices: "A Thumbnail Guide to Rum" and "When It's Cocktail Time." The former of which highlights some of the best rums which are widely available.

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