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It’s another weekend and with it comes another rum. This time it was Kraken Black Spiced Rum, a Caribbean 94 proof, 47% abv, black rum that has only been on the market for around four years.

Kraken, which is named after the mythical giant squid sea monster, is distilled from molasses made from locally sourced sugar cane. It is aged for 1 – 2 years and then blended with a mix of 11 spices. It is by far the darkest rum I’ve tried, even held up to the light it is almost completely opaque.

There’s not really much background information to know about the rum. It appeared in 2010 and since then the company behind it has been working hard to make it a commercial success. My feeling is that it will succeed as it’s a very enjoyable drink. It’s smooth and slightly sweet and spiced enough to give it an interesting mix of flavours with hints of vanilla and toffee

I’ve been told that not only does it work as a sipping rum, but it also works extremely well in cocktails as it has a distinctive flavour without being too overpowering. I’m yet to try it in a cocktail, but I’m prepared to believe it.

The only other thing there is to mention about Kraken is the bottle’s design. It is styled in the fashion of a traditional Victorian rum bottle complete with two loop handles at the base of the neck which it can be hung upon. The label has a drawing of a giant squid on it and overall it’s quite a fun thing to display on the shelf.

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I’ve been absent for the last few days, but still busy exploring the world of rum. Prior to last week the only rum I’d really drank was Bacardi, I used to steal my sisters’ drinks when they ordered it with coke. But what I didn’t realise is that Bacardi actually makes a fairly large range of rums, not all of which are designed to be mixed.

For instance the Bacardi Reserva Limitada was originally designed for the family of Bacardi’s founder, Don Facundo Bacardi. It was kept from public release for a number of generations but was finally released commercially in 2003 to celebrate the opening of the Bacardi distillery’s visitors’ centre. It is made from rums that have been mellowed in lightly charred American white oak casks. Unfortunately you can only taste it at the Casa Bacardi Visitor Center in Catano so I’m unlikely to ever try it. However, it reportedly has a rich, smooth taste with hints of vanilla, oak and dried fruit. If you’re ever in Puerto Rico then stop by and let me know what it’s like.

However, I did try a few of the more common Bacardi rums including the Bacardi Black. It is medium bodied black rum which is made from rums that have been aged in heavily charred oak barrels and then passed through a blend of charcoals. It is fairly sweet but has a nice smoky finish and is very smooth. However, it is probably best drunk in conjunction with fruit juice or coke.

I also tried the Bacardi Oakheart, it is spiced rum that is aged in a range of barrels, passed through charcoal and then finished with a blend of spices.  Some would argue that it is not technically rum as the abv is below 37.5%, but it certainly tastes like one. The drink can certainly stand on its own, and while I didn’t like it as much as the Zacapa I drank last week, it is certainly good value for money.

I also discovered that Bacardi is behind Bombay Sapphire Gin, Grey Goose vodka and Martini & Rossi vermouth amongst other well-known brands. As a result it is no surprise that Bacardi Ltd is the largest privately held, family-owned spirits company in the world.

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A lot of bars and nightclubs have special Halloween parties coming up... and you might have your own party as well. Here are some cocktail recipes that you can make for your own parties... click on each one to see full details. Also, remember that all these cocktails and more are available on DrinkedIn's mobile apps.

Bitter Pumpkin

The bitters and spiced rum combine into a fanstic pumpkin drink for Halloween. Take a mixing glass and add all the ingredients to it. Stir it until all the ingredients get mixed well inside the glass. Finally, you can pour the cocktail to a glass or a serving mug. [This recipes was originally published by Spirited Alchemy]


  • 1.5 ounces of spiced rum
  • 0.5 ounces of Averna amaro
  • 3 ounces of hot hark cocoa
  • 1 tablespoon of pumpkin butter

Vampire Blues

Interesting flavors fill this Halloween inspired cocktail, especially pumpkin butter. Get a cocktail shaker and add bitters, pumpkin butter, simple syrup, lemon juice, sherry and bourbon to it. Then fill the rest with ice and shake well for few minutes. After that, stain it into an ice filled rocks glass. Finally you can garnish it with a cinnamon stick. [This recipe was originally published by Spirited Alchemy]


  • 0.5 ounce simple syrup
  • 0.5 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 0.5 ounce East India Solera Sherry
  • 1.5 ounces old Weller 107 Bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin butter
  • Cinnamon stick for garnish
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • ice

Halloween Black Brew

Served up in any glass, this scary brew is a delicious addition to any Halloween party. You need to use a large container to prepare this cocktail with less hassle. When you get the glass, you need to fill it with ice, Chambord, blue curacao, Malibu rum and grenadine. Then you need to fill the rest with cranberry and shake it for several minutes.


  • 0.75 ounce blue curacao
  • 1 ounce Malibu rum
  • 0.75 ounce Chambord raspberry liquor
  • cranberry juice
  • ice
  • 0.5 ounce grenadine

Halloween Drink

This one was sent in a while ago by a member and we don't even have the real name for it... so it has a generic name... nevertheless, a picture is worth a 1,000 words... This one is made with dark rum and a spider! Cover the black sugar in a small bowl. Cut the lime in half and juice lubricate the edge of the glass. Lower the glass in the black sugar so that it stuck around the edges, then fill the glass with ice. Combine in a shaker rum and juice of 1 lime, fill with ice and shake well. Pour the rum into a glass of ale. Put the candy in the form of a black spider on the bottom.

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Miami has long been known for the attractive singles who make their homes there, from South Beach to Silver Bluff. While nightlife in The Magic City has historically been spread out, with rapid development in Brickell, from luxury condominiums like Brickell Flatiron to acclaimed restaurants like Zuma and Edge Steak, the neighborhood has gained popularity with city's residents and tourists alike, who flock to this densely-populated area to find Mr. or Miss Right.

The Filling Station and Garage Bar

If you're looking for an unpretentious vibe and don't mind making a first impression while chowing down on one of the Filling Station's famous burgers, this is the spot for you. With a large menu of craft beer and some of the most celebrated comfort food in the city, The Filling Station is a low-key.

Hangout spot that doesn't has that meet market vibe.

FIFTY Ultra Lounge

Folks who enjoy a more upscale vibe should head down to FIFTY at the Viceroy Hotel, where beautiful people and stunning views abound. Even if hanging by the bar isn't your style, there's plenty to keep you occupied in this singles-friendly social scene, from world-renowned DJs to a rooftop pool.

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I finally got around to beginning my self-education about rum and the first thing I discovered is that there is almost nothing straightforward about it.

Rum is made from sugarcane by-products, such as molasses, or directly from sugarcane juice. However, it is very hard to actually define rum or divide its types into categories. This is because there isn’t a single standard for what constitutes rum. Rather, rum is defined by the by the laws of the individual nations that produce it. For example, in Colombia rum must have a minimum alcohol content of 50% abv and in Chile and Venezuela it is 40% abv. In Mexico rum must be aged a minimum of eight months while in other countries it is two years.

Nonetheless, there are some fairly common terms when it comes to talking about rum. For instance the term ‘Dark Rum’ is normally used to describe those that are dark in colour. They are usually made from caramelised sugar and aged longer in heavily charred barrels. This gives them a particularly strong flavour. Most dark rums are produced in Jamaica, Haiti and Martinique.

In addition to ‘Dark Rum’ other common terms include ‘Flavoured Rums’, ‘Gold Rums’, ‘Light Rums’, ‘Overproof Rums’, ‘Premium Rums’ and ‘Spiced Rums’. The names are pretty self-explanatory and as a result it is usual to find that most rum is labelled as belonging to one of these categories.

So, forearmed with this knowledge I set off to the pub to try my first rum. I’m sticking to one type of rum per visit and decided to start with the best the pub had to offer. In the opinion of the bartender this is Zacapa Rum.

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