Monday, November 4, 2019

Rum Whiskey and the Sea - Papa's Pilar Marquesas Blend Rum

What an amazing evening at Salao Cuban Bar & Pescaderia with Papa's Pilar Rum. The dinner could not have taken place in a better setting, where stepping in takes you back to old Havana, Cuba; to a simpler time where rum and fishing provided simple pleasures, and a larger-than-life man named Ernest Hemingway made his mark in literary history.


I love me a good rum, and I have tried my share of bold, sweet-tasting ones. But I honestly hadn’t tasted one as rich and smooth as Papa’s Pilar Marquesas Blend Rum. 

The limited-edition release was born out of a blend of seven hand-selected rums aged up to 24 years, then finished in #4 Char Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Barrels. So imagine the sweetness of the sugar cane in the rum seeping through the char of the once whiskey-filled wooden barrel, traveling in and out of the staves, imparting the spirits of the rich, complex notes left behind in the porous wood. You really can’t even imagine its greatness until you try it for yourself. 
Its fragrance will seduce you with its sweet balance of vanilla, coffee beans and honey, as well as subtle hints of toasted almonds. Then one sip of this rum neat will offer your palate rich cocoa notes with slight hints of oak and vanilla, while finishing the experience with an intensely growing spice and long, smooth sweetness.

Inspired by Ernest Hemingway’s adventures on his boat “Pilar” the limited-edition Marquesas Blend pays homage to his rum and whiskey experiences with his friends in the Marquesas Keys, a wild group of uninhabited islands near his beloved #KeyWest. Reminiscing on one particular fishing expedition Hemingway and his friends embarked on, this marriage of rum and whiskey was born, allowing all who sip it the opportunity to enjoy the same excitement and unforgettable adventure he and his friends did during that trip.


If rum cocktails are your thing, Papa’s Pilar Marquesas Blend is the perfect rum to craft innovative and luscious libations that will bring a multisensory experience. Each delicious course we tasted at Salao was expertly paired with a cocktail made with this rum and it literally not only enhanced the flavors in every dish but immersed us in the moment.
Let me show myself and give you a bit of a vicarious experience of these spectacular pairings, course by course and sip by sip,  

For example, the first cocktail, the Old Man and the Sea, was a sweet mix of Papa’s Pilar Blond, Grapefruit, Luxardo and Lime topped with Saffron Sea Foam. It was creatively paired with a warm, Pacific Oyster Royale, bringing out the flavors and the scents of the sea.
The Second Course consisted of El Tiraito, a fresh and flavorful raw mahi mahi, topped with bottarga and drizzled with charred leche de tigre, orange and chicharron.  This course was paired with a bold cocktail simply called Rum & Whiskey. It was made with Papa's Pilar Dark and Bourbon, charred pilon espresso bitters, agave, orange essence, cachucha pepper and dehydrated citrus. What an unbelievable way to elevate the flavors of the fish.


Next. we were treated to the main course, a dish called "Not So Hard To Catch". This was a tender and mildly flavored swordfish steak, sitting atop a boniato puree which was insanely delicious, then topped with fresh burgundy truffle and Cuban papaya salad. Silence hit the room. Not only for this dish but also for the Papa's Pilar cocktail accompanying it. Appropriately titled "The World's Most Adventurous Spirit",  it was an exciting blend of Papa's Pilar Blonde, Papa's Pilar Dark, Toasted Pistachio & Coconut Orgeat, Tropical Juices, Benedictine, and then finished off with tiki smoke.
Last and certainly not least was dessert. Salao offers a very popular and original sweet called The Fanguito 2.0. You can read more about it here. But for this dinner, the dark chocolate mousse and pan tosta'o combined with truffle caviar, was paired with Papa's Pilar Marquesas Blend neat. The simplicity and the smoothness of the pairing was ideal. It provided a perfect ending to a magical evening and it left me with the desire to add a bottle of Papa's Pilar Marquesas Blend to my bar at home.
A big thank you to Papa's Pilar and to Salao for giving us all a taste of Hemingway's adventurous spirit through spectacular cuisine and his love of rum and whiskey.  For more information on Papa's Pilar and it's distillery located in Key West, just check out their website here


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