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Written by Kevin Godbee

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

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tips and trickswine and spirits

Matusalem Rum - Gran ReservaSome of the best rum in the world comes from the same place as some of the best cigars in the world.

Cuban cigars and Cuban rum have a worldwide reputation for being the best.

What many people do not know is that other parts of the Caribbean and Central America have surpassed the premium quality of Cuban cigars and rum.

Cigars from Nicaragua, Honduras and the Dominican Republic received better reviews, awards and accolades than many Cuban cigars. Some of these cigar brands from Nicaragua, Honduras and the Dominican Republic originated in Cuba. Their owners fled to the other countries when Castro took over 49 years ago.

A similar situation occurred with Matusalem Rum. Matusalem and Company was founded in 1872 in Santiago de Cuba. After Castro took over, the family was forced into exile.

Family feuding began over control of Matusalem and the brand was neglected. In the 1970's various groups struggled over control of the Matusalem brand. It wasn't until 1997 that the once famous brand of rum from Cuba, now from the Dominican Republic, was revived.

My personal favorite drink accompaniment for a cigar is rum.

I have enjoyed Matusalem Gran Reserva Rum many times in the past.

However, when the kind people at Matusalem asked me if I would like a bottle to sample, I said yes. Even though I have had it before, I have a rule to never pass up free booze, especially really good stuff.

Matusalem Rum is so good that it took the "Best Rum" award at the 8th annual San Francisco World Spirits Competition earlier this year.

When I surveyed some of my friends, colleagues and associates about their usual drink accompaniment for a cigar, many said scotch, cognac, and coffee, then rum.

If you haven't tried rum with a cigar, I strongly suggest you do. Rum & Cigars are a match made in the Caribbean. They both come from the same geographical area, so why not pair them up?Rum & Cigars go great together

Tasting Notes for Matusalem Gran Reserva Rum

Color
Gran Reserva has a rich, golden color comparable to those found in the world's best oak-barrel aged spirits. It's clear, brilliant red and amber tones come from the Solera system of blending young and mature rums in oak casks.

Nose
Gran Reserva imparts a keen sense of its grace through its aroma of sweet vanilla, molasses, caramel and plums. This lavish offering results in a mellow, rich, subtle and exquisitely refined rum.

Taste
Superbly blended in the grand Cuban tradition, Gran Reserva offers a delicate taste. Velvety smooth, with an exceptional bouquet and delicate flavors of vanilla, molasses and caramel, its complex palate generates barely any heat. Gran Reserva's satiny texture is that of a unique super-premium rum.

Finish
Gran Reserva's dry, toasty flavors take center stage before slowly ebbing away in a long satisfying finish.

Drink Recipes

Mojito
2 oz. Matusalem PLATINO Rum
2 tsp. sugar
Fresh lime juice from ½ lime
Mint sprigs
Cubes or crushed ice
Soda water

Garnish with lime & mint sprigs

Mix lime juice & sugar in glass; stir until sugar is dissolved; add mint leaves crushing them on the side of the glass; fill with ice; pour Matusalem PLATINO Rum; stir again; top with soda water and garnish with lime & a sprig of mint.

Mojito Martini
2 oz. Matusalem PLATINO Rum
2 tsp. sugar
Fresh lime juice from ½ lime
Mint sprigs
Crushed ice
Soda water

Garnish with lime & mint sprigs

Mix lime juice & sugar in a shaker; stir until sugar is dissolved; add mint leaves crushing them on the side of the glass; fill with ice; pour Matusalem PLATINO Rum; shake well; serve in a chilled martini glass; top with soda water and garnish with lime & a sprig of mint.Mojito Recipe

Havana
2 oz. Matusalem PLATINO Rum
2 oz. pineapple juice
1 tsp. lemon juice
Ice cubes

Garnish with a lemon twist

Pour Matusalem PLATINO Rum into a tall glass filled with ice cubes; add pineapple and lemon juice; stir or shake well; garnish with a lemon twist.

Cuba Libre
2 oz. Matusalem CLASICO Rum
Cola
Ice cubes
Garnish with lime

Fill tall glass with ice; pour Matusalem CLASICO Rum; fill with cola and stir; squeeze and drop in wedge of lime.

Casa Blanca
2 oz. Matusalem CLASICO Rum
1 tsp. triple sec
1 tsp. lime juice
1 tsp. maraschino
Ice cubes

Garnish with Maraschino cherry

Fill tall glass with ice; pour Matusalem CLASICO Rum; add triple sec, lime juice, maraschino; shake or stir well; squeeze; garnish with a maraschino cherry.

Cuban Punch
2 oz. Matusalem CLASICO Rum
Grenadine
Orange juice
Pineapple juice
Lemon-lime soda
Ice cubes
Garnish with lemon or lime twist

Fill tall glass with ice; pour Matusalem CLASICO Rum; fill with equal parts orange & pineapple juice; add a splash of lemon-lime soda; add a dash of grenadine; stir or shake well.

The Gran Rocks
2 oz. Matusalem GRAN RESERVA Rum
Ice cubes

Pour Matusalem GRAN RESERVA over ice cubes; garnish with wedge of lemon or lime.

Cuban Special
1 ½ oz. Matusalem GRAN RESERVA Rum
Juice from half a lime
1 ½ oz. Cointreau
1 ¼ oz. pineapple juice
Ice cubes

Using a shaker with ice cubes, pour Matusalem GRAN RESERVA Rum; add lime juice, pineapple juice & Cointreau; shake well; strain into chilled cocktail glass; garnish with a lime twist.

Cuban American
1 oz. Matusalem GRAN RESERVA Rum
¾ oz. lime juice
¼ oz. triple sec
½ oz. Bourbon
Ice cubes

Using a shaker with ice cubes, pour Matusalem GRAN RESERVA Rum; add lime juice, pineapple juice & Bourbon; shake well; strain into chilled cocktail glass; garnish with a lime twist.

Check out Matusalem's Web Site Here




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