Today’s Friday Happy Hour is dedicated to the legions of UC fans halfway ’round the world in The Land Down Under. Yes, it’s surprising but true: we have readers in Australia!
We don’t know too many of our Aussie fans, but a couple of them are actually very close friends. One guy in particular, Mike Garcia, is an old buddy from St. Croix who fell prey to the charms of a sultry Sheila from Adelaide 10 years ago, got hitched, started a family, and has been there ever since.
I often feel sorry for Mike. Not because there’s anything wrong with Australia. Outside of the Caribbean, there’s no place I’ve ever traveled that’s remotely as cool. Talk about friendly and laid-back, people over there have life figured out in a way that we in the U.S. will never understand. Plus, if you’re a black West Indian guy like me, you automatically rate as a celebrity.
Well, there just aren’t that many of us around over there, especially outside of Sydney. Combine that with the country’s mad passion for the game of cricket and virtually any black West Indian male with anything even approaching an athletic build is thought to be a famous West Indian cricketer. Trust me, it’s not a mistake you’ll want to correct, especially when some local offers to buy you a drink, or some other sultry Sheila starts up with the charms.
But I digress.
The real reason I often feel sorry for Mike is that in my experience, good rum is very hard to find in Australia. For someone like Mike who grew up in St. Croix within walking distance of the famed Cruzan Rum Distillery, this is a MAJOR problem.
While bar-hopping with Mike and a few other Crucians in Adelaide back in 2001, all we could find was Bacardi, and even that was scarce. So, I was pretty excited for Mike, and the rest of our Aussie fans, when I read recently that Ron Diplomatico is now available at this Australia retailer.
I got my first taste of Diplomatico at last year’s Miami Rum Renaissance Festival. That was about 10 months ago, but the nice impression this fine aged rum made on me has stayed fresh in my mind ever since.
The pretty boy pictured above is Diplomatico’s top shelf blend, Reserva Exclusiva. According to the Ron Diplomatico Website, Reserva Exclusiva is produced from a combo of 80% heavy (dark) and 20% light rum aged 12 years in old bourbon casks. The result, as I recall, is a sweet, yet bold flavor that finishes in a beautifully smooth fashion. I’ve read that it works equally well alone, or in a mix, though I definitely prefer it with just a few rocks.
However and wherever you enjoy it, Ron Diplomatico is sure to put your mind squarely in the sun-kissed Caribbean. Here’s hoping Mike can get his hands on some soon to see what I mean…