I'll keep it simple: anyone who failed to attend missed the rum event of the year, at least in these parts. It wasn't just the rum, there was plenty and forgive me for the reps and companies I leave out:
Santa Teresa. Vizcaya. Seales. Appleton. Cockspur. Mount Gay. JM Rhum. Clement. Diplomatico. Ron Barrilito. Barcelo. El Dorado. Beleza Pura. Four Square. DonQ. Crisma. And more...
All being generously poured at tables surrounding the tasting area.
It wasn't the gorgeous women. Sue Sea and I arrived early and couldn't seem to find the Venetian Pool. It was just then we saw a striking Latin woman in black cocktail dress, spike heels and clutching a bottle of Vizcaya picking her way across a lawn. "Are you looking for the rum event?" she graciously asked. If we weren't, we were then, lol...
It wasn't the great food: scrumptious pulled pork with a creamy, spicy cole slaw and Key Lime pie. Thank god, we forgot to eat before we left. And it wasn't the great crowd and company - a sold out event for 150 I was told by Ms. Burr.
No, it was the setting. The historic Venetial Pool in historic Coral Gables. Now this is old Florida in all its magic and splendor. The folks at the Venetian say it best:
Certainly it is the only swimming pool of its kind with its vine-covered loggias, shady porticos, spanish fountain, three-story observation towers and cascading waterfalls that spill into a free-form lagoon complete with coral rock caves and palm-fringed island.
Even that doesn't do it justice. It has the patina of age and history, as though it were carved out of a coral reef. Being there takes you to another time and place. But even that was not the high point of the evening. And what was that you say?
Simply it was when I alone - among the many attendees - blessed Robert with the gift of one of my now famous tasting glasses. At great expense I might add. Yes, yes I know it only cost $1.99. But there is no IKEA in Miami (unlike Fort Lauderdale, ha!). And gas isn't cheap anymore. And what price can you put on this glass' unique ability to maximize the nosing and tasting experience of rum.
Robert, thanks for yet another magnificent event.