The time is almost here. The Firewater Sailors Adventure (and Drinking) Team
will be in the Savage Race on October 25th, in Dade City, Florida.
The team shirts are ready.
We've been training and preparing for this adventure.
I'm thinking, survive it, make it to the finish and there's beer at the end.
6 miles, mud, water, ice, fire, barbed wire, rope, hills, metal bars, hay bails, carrying logs and more.
I'd like to say we're ready. Physically, some of us may not be "ready", but, we are going to attack it as a team and help each other through the obstacles.
There will be photos and GoPro Video.
A recent rum cannon was Wicked Dolphin Artisan Rum Silver. This rum is made in Cape Coral, Florida located just north of Fort Myers on the southwest coast of Florida. Cane Spirits, Inc. makes Wicked Dolphin Rum from 100% Florida sugar cane in a copper pot still and ages it charred oak whiskey barrels. Locally made from local ingredients is great for the state that I love and a big selling point for me. I like to support local businesses when I can.
I pulled the cork and took in the aroma of the rum. Being 80 proof its sharp bite is immediately detectable then followed by a sweet, rich candy smell. As there website states, it does have a vanilla and butterscotch aroma and taste which makes it enjoyable and not medicinal, as some 80 proof rums are. I find it a great rum for mixing and versatile for many recipes.
The recipe I used is the Firewater Sailors - Dorothy Mantooth
Turn back a few pages to a several times great grandfather, the captain of a sailing ship. After almost seven years as a hostage on his own vessel, held by some of the most evil of pirates, he and his crew were able to regain control of the ship. The captors were dispatched to the deep without remorse somewhere off the east coast South America. Freedom regained and the ship badly in need of repairs and replenishment they steered for the Caribbean. They stopped in Trinidad, Jamaica, Havana and Cayo Hueso gathering supplies and taking the time to bring the ship back to its former glory. They drank with the Bone Island fishermen for days then sailed into the Gulf of Mexico.
On the day they moored in New Orleans the skies were grey with a constantly falling light rain, it had been that way for days. The captain and his entourage headed into the city to meet with their usual contacts hoping to secure a cargo trip and put his vessel back to work.
The day was long and tiring but it felt good to be back in business and back in America. The captain sent the others back to the ship and started a contemplative walk to his favorite drinking establishment. It was not a place you would expect the captain of a respectable merchant ship to visit, part of the reason he sent the others back to the ship. They didn't need to know everything about him.
The area of town in which the bar operated did not bother him, he was fearless, for the most part, and could handle himself, even when inebriated. He knew it was perceived that he did not belong there, and that he was being watched, but he did not care, he had lingering anger from years of forced labor on his own ship and would welcome an opportunity to physically relieve some of the tension.
Unscathed, he walked in and sat down at the bar. It was not fancy but it was functional. A man quietly played a fiddle in the corner of the dim, candle-lit establishment.
He didn't recognize the bartender, he had been gone too long.
The bartender walked over to him, "What can I get for you?"
"Rum," he answered while showing a glimpse that he had money, "and not what you normally pour. I'll take it from the bottle you keep in the cupboard."
The bartender nodded, sat a glass in front of the captain and went to the cupboard to get the good spiced rum.
"Well, look who it is." Spoken in a thick British accent as a man sat on the stool next to him. "We thought you were dead mate."
"Almost was. The uncivilized pirates, but, they are water-logged south of the Equator now. Long story."
The men smiled and shook hands.
"Glad you survived."
The old friends drank and caught up for several hours. They began talking about keeping in touch, then ordered one more round before they would part ways.
"Bonsoir gentlemen." Spoken from behind them made them turn on their stools to see and older black woman standing there smiling. She wore a long, well-worn dress, a shawl and carried a fatigued black leather doctor bag.
"Bonsoir." They both answered.
"How can we help you madam?" The captain asked.
The woman began to laugh, took a short step forward, "You can buy an old lady a drink," she reached between them, lifted the captain's glass from the bar, gently drank the fine rum down and placed the glass back on the bar. "Merci gentlemen."
"You're welcome," the captain answered, somewhat perplexed.
The woman began to laugh again, turning slowly towards the exit. "Bonne chance captain. il est à vous." She walked to the door, stopped, "les saints prient pour vous." She laughed again and walked out disappearing into the darkness.
Mystified, the captain looked at his friend. "What the Hell was that all about?"
"You getting out of practice? She said he is yours and that the the saints would pray for you."
"Why in God's name would she say that?"
"You are losing your touch. She put something in your coat pocket when she reached for your rum."
He felt his pocket confirming the presence of an object hidden inside. Carefully slipping his hand into the pocket he pulled out the object and sat it on the bar.
A small voodoo doll, somewhat different than what they had seen before. The men looked at it for a moment.
"So she gave me a doll. Why would she give me a gift?"
The Englishman laughed. "I would not call it a gift mate. She said he belongs to you and that you need prayers."
"And, she gave you a bogey in a voodoo doll."
"Yeah, a bogey, a mischievous spirit. I assume it is attached to this doll. Could be good, could be bad."
The captain closed his eyes briefly and shook his head. "That is all I need." He stared at it for moment. "The bartender can have it," he said standing to leave.
The Englishman stood, "I would not do that. She gave him to you. If you want more bad luck then leave him here." He laughed and put his hand on the captain's shoulder. "I'm leaving." He drank his rum down and sat the glass on the bar dramatically. "Great to see you mate. Make sure it is not another seven years." He turned and walked out, drunk and laughing, "The saints will pray for you," and more laughing echoed from the darkness beyond the bar door.
The captain stared out the door, vision and thoughts heavily influenced, then turned and looked at the doll. "I hope they are praying for me you little bastard." He picked up the doll and looked at it closer. "Come on Bogey, I guess you are travelling with me now." He placed the doll back in his coat pocket and walked out of the bar into the after midnight streets of New Orleans.
(Bogey was eventually given to me and is now the Firewater Sailors mascot.)
Tonight's Rum Cannon in the battle against stress, reality and negativity is Appleton Estate White Jamaica Rum. Appleton Estate, having been around since 1749, has most definitely proven itself and is a safe bet when choosing a rum for any occasion.
A mix of sugar canes, the lush soil of the Nassau Valley where it's grown, natural spring water from the estate and generations old yeast come together to make an array of different rums, all with wonderful flavors and smoothness.
Tonight's choice goes along with what I've been drinking lately such as The Naked Turtle White Rum and Shellback Silver Caribbean Rum, both excellent rums. Appleton White is affordable costing me $17.99 for a 750ml bottle. It has a tropical aroma but it really shows itself when tasted. Letting it roll over my tongue what stood out to me was a vanilla and banana flavor. I found that it is excellent for mixing whether it's in tropical recipes or just a cola or soft drink. It is easy to say that I highly recommend this rum.
Now to load this 80 proof cannon in my rocks glass and fight the good fight.