Long-term guests Karen and Jim Welch (aka Grapegirl and Rumboy) typically spend a few days with us every year about this time and they are always armed with a collection of their adult beverage of choice, rum. Jim is most popular with fellow breakfast diners as it takes little-to-no-prodding for Jim to open his BUCKETS (literally) of rum bottles and graciously share tastings with whoever wants to partake.

The Welches generously offered to enhance everyone’s holiday festivities with an uproarious and delightful, abbreviated in-house tasting of 14 rums. Jim is quite the organized traveling rum-tender as you can see!

Over the years, Jim has expanded his extensive repertoire to include the history and diverse qualities surrounding rums from Great Britain to Central and South America – with his guidance we tasted ourselves from Great Britain to Puerto Rico across to Mexico to Guatemala and on along to Ecuador and Venezuela. A world tour of rum, culture, history, fragrance, and taste! Who would have guessed that what we think of as the typical ‘rum & coke’ barely scratches the surface of the complexity of this distillation?

Speaking of the traditional rum & coke, Jim started us off with his version of a cuba libre using key limes and coca cola ONLY from Mexico – ask him about the sugar cane factor.

With Jim’s careful instruction and guidance, we sniffed and navigated our way, each of us feeling more discriminating as we went. None of us liked them all equally and the stories about the differing processing methods were fascinating. The aroma is nearly as important as the flavor. Jim also told us what rums are best highlighted with was other constituents. Do we look like we are having fun?

Our Miss Bonita experienced her very first ever rum sniffing and tasting while Allen developed an immediate crush on and staked claim on the gorgeous empty bottle.

Great handclaps and humble thank yous to Rumboy and Grapegirl.

p.s. Jemima Pearl is living proof of how exhausting the holidays can be. Notice her slow fade to black, so to speak  . . .

Share This Story!