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Gifted Gourmet

A History of the New World in Ten Cocktails

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Washington Post article

Wayne Curtis has tried in this book "to run to ground the story of America" by telling the histories of 10 drinks in which the chief ingredient is rum. The idea is not quite as far-fetched as it sounds ...  his argument is original and interesting. The history of rum, he says, is "the great American story: the ne'er-do-well who overcame the unfortunate circumstances of its birth to be accepted in the more rarified world of the gentry." He continues: "Rum has always had a distinctly American swagger. It is untutored and proud of it, raffish, often unkempt, and a little bit out of control. The history of rum tends toward the ignoble, many times pleasingly so. . . . Rum, in short, has been one of those rare objects in which America has invested its own image. Like moonglow, the life of America is reflected back in each incarnation of rum."

Looks as if this book would be a bit more than merely interesting ... apparently, recipes are included as well ... :wink:


Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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I'm just getting started on this book, but I like the style and it appears to be very well researched. Apparently Wayne is a well known writer, though I didn't know much about him. I'll follow this up over the weekend, I hope.


Edward Hamilton

Ministry of Rum.com

The Complete Guide to Rum

When I dream up a better job, I'll take it.

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After years of researching rum from the more business end of the still, and discovering first hand how rum is part of the West Indian fabric of life, Wayne has given me a new perspective of how rum was woven into the fabric of colonial life as well.

Unlike some writers, Wayne tends not to suggest facts but researches them. But there is more than rum that makes this a memorable addition to your bookshelf. Who else would tell you about a published procedure to revive drowning victims by rubbing hot rum on the victim's breast while using a mechanical device to blow cigar smoke in the victim's orifice that rarely saw the sun?


Edward Hamilton

Ministry of Rum.com

The Complete Guide to Rum

When I dream up a better job, I'll take it.

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It's inevitable that speculation and hearsay play a significant role in this sort of construct. Time and further contemplation may erode some assumptions, but I think Curtis has written closest thing we've got to a definitive popular history of rum as well as the rightful heir and companion to William Grimes' "Straight Up Or On The Rocks". This really is a good book.

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