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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Stop panicking, start planning

Everyone I know is freaking out over Hurricane Irma. As of Tuesday morning she was a strong Category 5 storm barreling toward the Lesser Antilles, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

Where it goes from there is still up in the air. Most models show it tracking toward Cuba and the Florida Straits. There are a few models that show Irma skirting up the East coast impacting all of Florida, the eastern coast of Georgia and South Carolina.
Which is correct?

WE DON’T KNOW YET PEOPLE because it is still way too early to tell people. SO STOP FREAKING the heck out.

The one advantage of hurricanes is that there are ways of tracking them and plenty of time to plan ahead. So instead of freaking out you should be planning.
First, secure all your important documents in one location and place them in zip lock bags to protect them from water. Have an evacuation plan in place. If you have pets they should be included in your plans as most shelters do not accept animals. Best place to stay is with family in another state if possible.
Of course you want to have plenty of food and water for you, your family and pets to cover 3-5 days post storm.

Some people already going crazy buying out cases and cases of water. QUIT BEING GREEDY MAN!

First of all if you are planning on evacuating and staying with family and you are planning appropriately, you aren’t going to need to take all that water with you.
For example, if you live in Georgia and plan to evacuate to Ohio, they do have grocery stores with food and water up there you know. So far none of the storm models indicate it will impact areas that far north. SO BUY YOUR WATER THERE and leave ours alone.

Also how about tapping into your own water resources instead of buying bottled water. Start filling up pitchers and if you aren’t sure about your water quality boil it first. This method will save you tons of money and get you through the first rough days. Plus you should fill your bath tubs with water and anything else you can find with water. You’ll need that to freshen up and be able to flush your toilets.
Another good idea is to start making your own bags of ice now. Each time your ice tray fills, dump the cubes into a plastic bag and tie it shut. This way if your power goes out you have ice already made for your coolers.

Always keep your car’s gas tank full, get cash out of the ATM and make sure all your flashlights and batteries are good to go.
But this is a foodie column so let’s get with the program here and talk about hurricane food.
The storm is about a week away so first things first – EAT UP ALL THE FOOD IN YOUR FRIDGE NOW!!
If the storm should come toward us, your fridge should be nearly devoid of anything that will spoil when the power go out. Don’t go out and buy a ton of stuff that needs refrigeration just before a storm because the power WILL go out. That is 100 percent guaranteed.
When planning for the storm, the canned food and chip section of the store are your best friends – DIET BE DAMNED.
Time to grab your favorite chips, crackers, cookies, cakes and of course the all-time classic protein of CANNED SPAM!

Yummy.

The main thing to remember is you need things that are non-perishable. There are healthy options. Granola bars are a good choice as are nuts and trail mix packages. There are many fruits that don’t require refrigeration. Bread and peanut butter can go a long way until things start to return to normal.
But, again, if you plan to evacuate don’t buy more than what you need to get to your destination and then do you’re shopping there. There is no need to have to lug all that extra stuff around if where you plan to go is safe from the storm.

In other words: LEAVE SOME STUFF FOR US STUPID PEOPLE WHO DON’T PLAN TO EVACUATE.

Leave some canned tuna and stuff on the shelves for those of us that, due to choice or job, need to hunker down in place. We need to eat too you know.
All kidding aside the best thing you can do now is to monitor the storm and plan accordingly and above all else – BE SAFE.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

BEER, BACON and BBQ

There is so many great foodie events coming up, two of which involve some of my most favorite things in the world – BEER and BACON.

We are just days away from the annual Savannah Craft Brew Fest. This year it will be held 2-6 p.m. Sept. 2 at the Savannah International Trade & Convention Center.

Have you not been?


Well if you’re a beer lover, like me, YOU MUST GO AT LEAST ONCE.


Dude, I plan to sample every beer they have….all 150 (or more) of them!

I’ve got my ticket. Give me my two-ounce souvenir sampling mug and get the heck out of my way, please.

And the incredibly SMART folks of Savannah have one upped themselves by incorporating Bacon Fest into the same weekend. Well, Bacon Fest is actually Sept. 1-4, but they are smart to have them both on the same weekend.

Bacon Fest will be along River Street. Food vendors are encouraged to think outside the box and make bacon the center of all their appetizers, desserts, entrée and snacks.

Think about it!

Chocolate covered bacon. Shrimp wrapped in bacon. Bacon burgers and bacon wrapped hot dogs. Pork belly and bacon sandwich with ham, and more BACON.

I plan on eating my way through the vendors, then hopping on the ferry and drinking my way through the beer crafters.

It is a great plan, indeed. I should go ahead and book a hotel room for the night while I’m at it. I will likely need to sleep off the food coma and beer. Plus I can wake up the next day and head back for some eggs and BACON.

Then of course we have the 14th annual Blues, Brews and BBQ right here in Hinesville on Sept. 23. This event is free, but bring your cash to buy some of the best barbecue in the county.

GUESS WHAT? I was picked to be one of the judges for the bar-b-que competition this year!


I’m actually doing a little happy dance in my head. I do it every time I am reminded that I get to judge the ’que.

Y’all better bring it. I loves me some ’que and I get to sample all the entries (I’ll need some new stretchy pants for that).

The event starts at 1 p.m. and goes well into the evening. They offer a bottomless glass of beer (another GREAT idea) to help wash down the food (and other beverages too of course, but BEER and BBQ, yep). There will be plenty of fun activities for the kids and a lot of blues music from live bands.

I am excited about being a judge. I’ve been doing my research on it. Did you know there is an actual training course to become a certified BBQ judge for national and international events?

I’m glad it’s barbecue I’m judging. They make you spit out wine during those competitive tastings (wasting the wine, shameful).

Hmmm, I guess I’ll have to remind myself to not lick my fingers in between tastings.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Just another Meatless Monday

Trying to eat healthy, I joined a few of my friends in giving meatless Monday a go. Not a big deal in switching to a full veggie meal here and there.

Pizza can be meatless. In fact my all-time favorite is the primavera white they sell at That’s Italian. It’s mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, Ricotta cheese and spinach.

Completely delish! But maybe not a true healthy choice.


There are plenty of pasta dishes that can be made without meat. I like substituting eggplant, zucchini and squash for those dishes.

While shopping for options I picked up an item I have not used in a long time – Portobello mushrooms.

I thought I would try to make a traditional steak with black beans and rice dinner and use the large mushroom caps in place of the steak.

I am such a genius for thinking this. It was the BEST EVER and so simple to cook.

I got out my handy cooking pan, placed it on the stove top and turned the heat to medium-high. I used a teaspoon of olive oil and a sliver of butter in the pan. As the butter melted and mixed with the oil, I sprinkled a little salt and pepper over the sliced mushroom caps and tossed them into the pan.

That’s about it. Well, almost.

As the mushrooms became plump and soaked in the oil and butter, I added ¼ cup of red wine to deglaze the pan. (I measured out 2 cups of wine. I’m sure you can guess what I did with the extra).

IT WAS PHENOMENAL, juicy, tasty, thick portions of sliced caps. It even looked like a steak.

I always make my rice in a rice cooker so that is a no-brainer. As I’ve written before, I use canned black beans but make them my own with added spices and herbs. They end up tasting like my mom’s homemade black beans.

The mushrooms were so good I made them again. This time instead of rice and beans as my sides I made cauliflower rice (my own version) and roasted corn (again my own version).

For the cauliflower rice I simply tossed the cauliflower in Italian dressing and sprinkled with salt and pepper. I set the oven to 375 degrees and roasted it in a shallow pan for 30-40 minutes. Once roasted, the cauliflower was tossed into my food processor and I kept pulsing it down until it looked like rice grains.

I placed it in a bowl and added a little bit of butter and parmesan cheese and lightly mixed it.

For the corn, I removed the husk and slathered the corn with butter. Then I sprinkled it with parmesan cheese, Italian season blend herbs, a little garlic and pepper. I wrapped the corn in tinfoil and placed it in the oven at the same temperature I was using to roast the cauliflower. I left the corn in the oven while I finished my cauliflower rice so it likely stayed in for 45-50 minutes.

I served up my mushrooms, corn and cauliflower.

Meatless Monday second round success story. It was incredibly tasty and again so simple.


I eat a lot of cauliflower but that was the first time I made a rice version. It was fun to think of creative and tasty way to use ingredients. I have a friend who has a gluten allergy and he makes his pizza crust out of roasted cauliflower. Another friend makes creamy cauliflower grits.

YUM


Of course now I am on a mission to invent cool and succulent meals for meatless Mondays. I’ll keep you posted about the successes and failures.

My oven roasted mushrooms were disastrous…messed them up pretty bad. Well, truth be told, I FORGOT I was roasting them. Burned doesn’t even begin to describe them.


If you missed my tip for quick black beans here is a re-cap from a previous blog:

My mom would make the black beans from scratch which takes two days. I tend to cheat when making my black beans. But you can develop great black beans from canned options if you add the right spices. I’ve used the large can of Bush’s Black beans and have been successful in duplicating the flavor of mom’s real deal.

Add half a can of water in the pot, 2 bay leaves, cumin, salt, pepper, Badia complete seasoning (it’s like the powdered spice form of mojo), a little touch of red wine and a dash of red pepper flake. Bring it to a boil then turn the heat to medium-low or low to simmer. Let those flavors marry for at least 30 minutes.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Never go grocery shopping when you are hungry

A good way to blow your good eating habits and your pocket book is shopping for food when you’re hungry.
It’s just a bad idea folks, too much temptation while your tummy is rumbling saying, “Feed me.”
It’s something I tend to do far too often. I start off with the best intentions of getting healthy items but hunger has its own plan.

“Let’s see I need chicken for dinner tonight … oh wait this pizza will take only 15 minutes and has pepperoni and BACON. I should get the chicken to make ahead for tomorrow’s dinner, and get the pizza for tonight. YES. In the meantime let me snag this bag of chips and start on these now while shopping.”
Crunch, crunch, crunch crunch…YAY CHEETOS!


Of course then I need a soda to wash down the chips.

There were a few times where I grabbed a ready-made sandwich at the deli to go along with the chips and soda. And if the hunger lingers I may start going aisle by aisle, searching for the next quick grab and chew option.

OMG pickles, I need some for the house (I didn’t). Chocolate chip cookies. I haven’t had these in years (and should still stay away from them but too late I opened the box). It’s summer and it’s hot, so yes we have room for ice cream. (I don’t care what diet you’re on there is ALWAYS room for ice cream).
PEANUTS and DOUGHNUTS and CHEESEBALLS OH MY.


I blame it on the grocery stores. It’s their fault for not providing healthier on-the-go options.
You can grab a bag of chips or cookies or bag of candy and eat while you shop because you can still scan the EMPTY bag or container when you check out and pay for the goods.

Try doing that with fruit!

I’d love to see the look on a store manager’s face when you eat a banana or two and then try to weigh the peel to pay for it. Or grab a bag of grapes and start eating some so by the time you go to pay, it weighs half of what it used to.
Tempting but don’t do it, you might end up meeting security. Not that I tried or that I speak from experience. Okay I did it ONCE.

Yeah the store manager isn’t going to let you weigh just the banana peel or mango pit. So instead you find yourself grubbing through the chips, candy and quick snack aisles in an attempt to hush the roar emanating from your belly, which at this point, is so LOUD it’s scaring little children.

Grocery stores should have a special scale next to their fruits.
This would allow you to weigh your bananas or grapes or mangoes and produce a ticket with the price and weight on a barcode. You can then eat them to your heart’s content and pay for the full price at checkout.

SEE PROBLEM SOLVED…get with the program Wal-Mart, Kroger and Food Lion. This should be implemented ASAP so we the hungry can still eat and shop and NOT destroy our good eating habits. (Well, I guess allowing myself to get that hungry to begin with is a habit I may need to address).

All this talk about food is making me hungry. Time to make my list and head to the store.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Tomatoes on the attack

In 1978, the low-budget science-fiction film “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes” was a hit among young moviegoers. The film was a spoof on the horror and sci-fi genre movies of that time and featured monstrous tomatoes revolting against humans, killing them off one by one.

Today, however, tomatoes are highly regarded in helping humans in battling a barrage of diseases. Prostate and breast cancer, surprisingly, top the list.
Research indicates that tomatoes contain lycopene, which scientists consider to be a strong antioxidant.

“Several studies have shown that a diet high in fruits, vegetables, soy, fiber, lycopene — which you find in tomatoes — and the omega-3 fatty acids reduces the risk of both breast cancer and prostate cancer,” Dr. Dean Ornish, a clinical professor of medicine at the University of California San Francisco, reported when speaking about the benefits of a more plant-based diet while in Savannah in November of 2016. “These diets contain a lot of naturally occurring antioxidants that, combined with physical activity, have been shown to reduce what is called oxidative stress.”

Ornish has spent decades researching the benefits of lifestyle changes, including a plant-based diet rich in foods that contain lycopene and other antioxidants, in reducing or completely eliminating chronic illnesses.

Dr. Edward Giovannucci, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said the lycopene found in tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables is a carotenoid, a family of pigments that give fruits and vegetables their bright red, orange and yellow coloring.

In 2002, Giovannucci published his research findings in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute confirming that frequent tomato or lycopene intake was associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer. His research also found that lycopene intake was associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer and that intake of tomato sauce, the primary source of bioavailable lycopene, was associated with an even greater reduction in prostate cancer risk.

More recently, a team of Finnish researchers published a report in the journal Neurology stating that lycopene decreases the risk of stroke in men. The report was published in October 2012 and was based on research following more than 1,000 men over a period of 12 years.

Dr. Andrew Weil is an American physician, teacher and author on holistic health and the founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona. He spoke at the November lecture in Savannah. Weil reported that research shows lycopene may help prevent heart disease, atherosclerosis and breast and prostate cancers. He said it also may be the most powerful carotenoid against singlet oxygen, a highly reactive oxygen molecule and a primary cause of premature skin aging.

Samantha Heller, a registered dietitian and frequent contributor to “The Dr. Oz Show,” said lycopene also is found in pink grapefruit, watermelon and guava. She agrees that it helps with premature skin aging and helps reduce the risk of sunburn.
“It helps protect the skin against the ultraviolet rays that cause sunburn and premature aging,” she reported on doctoroz.com, adding that folks should still apply sunscreen.

Weil noted that despite being red, strawberries and cherries do not contain lycopene. It is found in watermelons and other fruits and vegetables, he said, just not in the amount found in tomatoes.

Like Giovannucci, Weil said the cooking process makes the lycopene more bio-available and accounts for 85 percent of how Americans take in lycopene in their diets.
Giovannucci recommends at least 10 milligrams of lycopene per day and said that because lycopene is a fat-soluble nutrient, it is best taken when combined with some form of healthy fat.

For example, he reported that when cooking a tomato sauce, adding a little oil adds flavor and the fat needed for the lycopene to be absorbed in the body. He added that getting the recommended amount is not that difficult. A one-cup can of pure tomato juice contains 21,960 micrograms — nearly 22 milligrams — of lycopene.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Yep I could eat this 30 days in a row

If you had to eat the same meal for 30 days what would you choose?

OMG; decisions, decisions.

See, I can actually do this. If I had to live on chicken soup, or say chili, or fried chicken for 30 days, no problem. Better yet tell me I can only eat ice cream and I’ll make it work for breakfast, lunch and dinner — EASY.

Oh, 30 days’ worth of Lowcountry boils. YES, please!


Wait! Pizza, yes by gosh. Pizza is definitely something I do for more than 30 days.

Let’s see, what else would I possibly consider? Hmm.

It would be easy to pick something like tacos (way too easy). As much as I like hot dogs I’m not sure I could commit to that for 30 days straight.

I think I would stick to something from my childhood. Something I asked my mom to make nearly every day.

Bistec de palomilla, con arroz y frijoles negros! (Palomilla steak with white rice and black beans).


Mouthwateringly delicious to even think about.

A palomilla steak is just top-round or a sirloin cut. The magic is that it is thinly sliced (or pounded thin, a quarter inch or less). It is marinated in lime, juice, garlic salt and pepper.

I let mine marinate overnight, but setting it aside for 30 minutes will do if you’re in a pinch. When it’s time to cook, you just need a little olive oil to pan fry the steak.

Traditionally a palomilla steak is served with finely minced raw onions and cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice (the flavor of the finely minced raw onion and cilantro adds a little texture and bite to the meal). I also like my steak topped off with caramelized grilled onions.

My mom would make the black beans from scratch which takes two days. I tend to cheat when making my black beans. But you can develop great black beans from canned options if you add the right spices. I’ve used the large can of Bush’s Black beans and have been successful in duplicating the flavor of mom’s real deal.

Add half a can of water in the pot, 2 bay leaves, cumin, salt, pepper, Badia complete seasoning (it’s like the powdered spice form of mojo), a little touch of red wine and a dash of red pepper flake. Bring it to a boil then turn the heat to medium-low or low to simmer. Let those flavors marry for at least 30 minutes.

I have my rice ready in my rice cooker.

The thin steak is tender and juicy. I plate up some rice and pour any remaining cooking oil over it. Then I pour a big scoop of black beans over my rice.

DINNER TIME!

Yes I could eat that every day!

Option B would be serving that Palomilla topped with a mountain of thinly cut fries (and I mean thin, think potato stick fries).

YES!

OMG, there used to be a restaurant in Miami that was famous for palomilla steak and fries. Lila’s steakhouse. The pile of fries was stacked so high you had to search for your steak underneath. The fries would soak up the luscious steak gravy. Ahhh, I can taste it now.

Okay I could eat my palomilla meals for 30 days, and plan to…starting TONIGHT!

What would you choose for your 30 day meal?

Friday, June 30, 2017

Daufuskie Island Rum Company

This story was originally printed in the Dec./Jan. 2015 edition of Liberty Life Magazine.

Daufuskie Island Rum Company will be celebrating their first year in business this December and owners Anthony Chase and his newlywed wife Kristi are still in awe of just how successful their little venture has become.
During a somewhat rainy October afternoon, Chase greets a group of visitors who came to tour his 1,500 square foot business and distillery. He glances at the large group gathered in the foyer and can barely contain his excitement.
“Those push pins represent where people live right now and we’ve had visitors from 48 different states already,” Chase says pointing to two different maps on the wall of his tasting room.

He says they are only missing guests from South Dakota and Alaska. “And we’ve already had visitors from 38 different countries as well,” he adds. “It’s been pretty remarkable to see the number of people who actually come to Daufuskie Island…we have about 300 people who live on the island full time but we get about 100,000 visitors a year.”
Many of those visitors have made their way to the distillery where Chase, a former Pharmacist and Hospice Program Manager, has turned his modest dream into a bursting reality.

Daufuskie Island Rum Company started out simple enough.
“We opened on Dec. 23, 2014 with the white rum. On April 11, 2015 we had a launch party for our spice rum, we called it our get spicy party and we had live music and about 300 people here. On the Fourth of July we released our gold rum and that is what is aging in these bourbon reserve barrels,” he says leading the group into the distillery.
Chase says he was happy managing hospice programs across the country. Leaving hospice behind to open a rum company wasn’t his original plan when he and his wife searched for an island home.
“Kristi and I started looking for a beach house and we were going to use it just intermittingly until it came time to retire,” Chase says adding they were both still quite happy with the Kentucky farm home they lived in for many years.

The couple searched for a place on Zillow and came across the listing for the Daufuskie Island property.
Chase laughs, his blue eyes sparkle and he strokes his short white beard commiserating on how neither of them had ever set foot on Daufuskie Island in their life. But, while looking at the property photos online, they decided to make an offer, sight unseen.
“And the offer was accepted,” he says with a smile admitting, at that moment, they weren’t quite sure what they were about to get themselves into. “We came down the following week on a Thursday and stayed until Monday.”
After a few more short visits the couple fell in love with Daufuskie, leased out their farm in Kentucky and became full time island residents.
“I am a bourbon guy,” Chase says about his Kentucky heritage. “And bourbon is meant to be made in Kentucky. But to me, rum is an island drink...so since I live on an island, and a somewhat remote island, I felt like making rum was the right thing to do,” he adds with a laugh and admits he thinks he is finally putting his Pharmacology degree to good use.

Between tours, Chase looks out the front porch across the pond at the open and welcoming setting he created. The rum distillery looks like a country store, meticulously decorated to include a tin roof and rocking chairs outside the front porch.
He says he purchased 12.4 acres. The wondrous scenery of the pond, ducks and trees is much different from what the land originally looked like.
“When we got this it was pretty much a junk yard and what it was once used for was for an incineration station and a dump site,” he recalls. “It took us weeks to clear out that wide open space. And we’ve cleaned it up to this park-like setting.”
Chase says he takes pride in making a good product for more reasons than a good tasting drink.
“I am an army brat,” Chase says with admiration. “I grew up all over the country. Both my mother and my father were in the army and I wanted to make sure that everything that touched our rum was made in America.”

In order to do so Chase had his distillation units made in Alabama instead of Europe, uses all natural ingredients only grown in the United States and went through the Made in the USA Certification process.
“And they certified us with 100 percent US content,” he says adding that it also was fitting that his latest product, the reserve gold rum, became available for sale on the Fourth of July of 2015.
“We had roughly 350 people here for the gold rum launch party and sold 213 bottles at the event,” he says still sounding surprised. “We thought it was going to be about 34 percent of our business, it turned out to be 50 percent.”
Chase leads the group from the first room of the distillery, which is lined with bourbon barrels filled with rum and stacked three levels high. The group walks a few feet into the back room where the rum is actually made and Chase explains the process.

Chase says all rums start out as white rum and all are made with only three ingredients the most important being sugar.
“It has to be a sugar cane product or a byproduct of sugar cane in order for it to be called rum in the United States,” he explains. “So you have sugar, water and yeast and that’s it.”
Walking around the distillation and fermentation units, Chase picks up a cup of sugar and holds it up for the group to see.
“Sugar is the only opportunity you have to affect the flavor profile of your rum, so you got to choose the right sugar,” he says and laughs as he explains he tried 40 different rums until he found the one he liked the most.
“Believe it or not no one wanted to help me with that task,” he says smiling. “The one that I found that I liked the most was from a little distillery in Georgetown, Guyana called El Dorado.

Chase said once he found the flavor he wanted he called the distillery to see what sugar they used.
“It turns out they use demerara sugar,” he says and points to bags of demerara sugar he currently uses that is produced in the United States in Florida. Chase Says demerara sugar is minimally processed and has not had the molasses removed from it. He says that is what gives his rum a rich flavor.
The water, yeast and sugar are mixed together in fermentation tanks made of cypress wood which Chase says is the only wood that will not impart any flavor to the rum. He says the yeast converts the sugar to alcohol.
After five days the fermentation process is complete and what they have is 300 gallons of 13 percent alcohol. But Chase says that still has to be distilled to remove other byproducts of the liquid.
Chase walks over to the two 150 gallon distillation units and explains to the group the liquid will be brought up to a temperature of 200 degrees.
“The reason for that is that ethyl alcohol, the good stuff the stuff that we want, boils at 170 degrees and water boils at 212. So what I want to do is boil out the alcohol and leave the water behind,” he says.
The alcohol is then condensed back into a liquid and workers must then remove what they call the ‘head,’ which is the chemical component that is too strong for human consumption but perfectly suited to be used as cleanser for the facility and equipment.

Chase says these ‘head’ components, acetone, acid aldehyde and methyl alcohol, is what often killed moonshiners who didn’t properly remove them from their final distillation process, during the prohibition era.
At this point the product is 190 proof rum which is then further processed until its 80 proof white rum.
“Every bottle is hand filled, hand corked and hand labeled. And every single bottle gets a batch number and bottle number hand written on it,” Chase explains as he holds up a sharpie marker and the labels they place on the bottle once full.
“Now if we are making the spice rum what we will do is take that same rum, and I will take my nine secret spices, and these are all natural, I don’t use any extracts or artificial flavors, and I place them in a spice bag, place it in the rum and let it steep for a week,” he says.
Once ready it is also hand bottled labeled and marked.
Chase says he is most proud of the gold reserve because he incorporates a little bit of his Kentucky bourbon heritage into the mix.
The gold rum is aged in bourbon barrels provided by Woodford Reserve, Chase’s favorite.
“As I said earlier I am from Kentucky and we in Kentucky believe that bourbon should only be made in Kentucky and that it has to be aged in virgin American oak barrels,” Chase says. “That means they use the barrel one time and then we get the barrel. These barrels probably have about two gallons of bourbon soaked into the wood. So when we put in our rum…what happens is it leeches some of the bourbon out into the rum. When you taste that gold rum you are going to taste a little bit of that bourbon undertone and it will finish with the sweetness of the rum so it doesn’t burn.”

The rum ages for six months, is bottled and the barrels are then sent to a new microbrewery set to open in Bluffton called Salt Marsh. Chase says he is working with the brew masters to create a Daufuskie Rum ale. He says he is also working with a Florida honey company who are going to take a few of the barrels to make a rum infused honey.
Chase leads the group back into the tasting room and explains that the white rum only takes a week to produce, the spice rum takes about two weeks while the gold rum ages for six months. Each batch will produce 350-400 bottles.
“I bartended my way through Pharmacy school in Lexington,” Chase says as his wife pours out samples of all three rums for the group to sample. He says the white rum is what is typically used to make a traditional mixed drink like a rum and coke or mojito.
He says the holidays are best served with his spiced rum.
“The spiced rum tastes like Christmas,” he says as he tells the group to first take in a good whiff and detect the spices before taking a sip. “I would try it in eggnog,” he adds. “It has really nice aromas and flavors to it.”
Chase says the best way to enjoy the gold rum is to simply pour it over some ice.

Chase says they plan on producing a vanilla rum he says will surely become another holiday classic and available by late November.
“We are not just flavoring it with artificial vanilla flavor,” he says. “I’ve taken our white rum and put the vanilla beans in it and made my own extract. I am using my own vanilla rum extract to flavor the rum and each bottle will have a vanilla bean in it before we cork it up.”
Kristi Chase says the spice rum would be the perfect addition for a holiday rum cake recipe. She says several of her customers have shared cocktail recipes on their Facebook page. She adds a few customers have used their rum to marinate ribs and beef before grilling.

Daufuskie Island Rum Company is one of only two American rum distilleries located on an island. It is located at 270 Haig Point Road, Daufuskie Island, South Carolina. The facility is open to the public from Wednesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Call ahead to book a tour. For more information call (843) 342-4786.

PHOTO BY GEOFF JOHNSON