Brad Beach, the globe trotter behind BeachOutpost.com, sits down with us to talk rum, travel and whatever else comes to mind. Check out the full interview.
How and when did you become interested in rum?
Rum has always had an impression on me ever since I was a child reading “Treasure Island” by Robert Louis Stevenson. I used to sing the sea shanty Dead Man’s Chest chorus with my younger brother exclaiming, “Yo Ho Ho and a bottle of rum.” The song did not make much sense until I raided my uncle’s liquor cabinet with my cousin a few years later. It was then I discovered why this spirit is so widely celebrated.
How many rums are in your collection?
Right now? I have one half-bottle of Bacardi Superior. For me, it is very difficult to keep enough bottles of rum on hand long enough to merit a collection. If I purchase a bottle or two, the rum is usually gone after sundown. Especially when friends are visiting.
What is your favourite rum (or rums) in each category and why?
I love to consume Cruzan Estate Light or Havana Club for mixing cocktails. If they are not available, I tend to lean to Bacardi as a standby. I really enjoy Appleton Dark for spiking my cola drinks. However, one of my favorite drinks is the Caipirinha from Brazil. This is not made from rum, but from cachaça. My favorite, Pirassununga 51 Cachaça is very difficult to find in North America. Costs roughly $7 for a full bottle down in South America. Sagatiba Pura is more widely available up here but does not taste quite the same.
Do you have a favorite rum bar?
The “Daiquiri Shack” in Nassau, Bahamas will always have a place in my heart. Also, a rum bar along the Atlantic Coast of Argentina called “Cienfuegos” always has great people serving up mean drinks in a fantastic atmosphere along the beach. Their Caipirinha is simply amazing. They make everything fresh and use about one quarter of the bottle per serving.
What is your regular cocktail?
The mojito is definitely one of my top choices. I actually prefer to personally make my mojitos, among other rum drinks, at home since many bartenders are too lazy to make one properly. A little piece of me dies every time I see a bartender use a bottle of mojito premix. If I cannot enjoy a properly made mojito, I will settle for a rum and cola just to get something made more quickly. How difficult is it to screw up a rum and cola, anyway? Mojitos need to be individually made with love, care and attention and never mass produced.
Where is the best place to buy rum in your area?
Royal Liquor Merchants, Liquor Depot or Willow Park Wines and Spirits always have a great selection of rum.
Which rum would you travel to buy?
Nassau Royale Rum.
When did you launch beachoutpost.com and what is your focus?
Beach Outpost was originally founded in July 2008 after my wife and I were married on Love Beach in the Bahamas. My main focus for Beach Outpost is to document as many beaches as possible. As much fun as this sounds, this is a very large task to undertake.
Today, Beach Outpost is based on everything beach related including photos, news, beach etiquette, education, stories and of course, rum cocktails that deem a worthy, refreshing beach drink. The website even has a Beach Wiki but needs more new members to sign up to add their favorite beaches. As much as I would love to travel the world to visit and document as many beaches as possible, the idea is very financially demanding. That is why having members sign up and add their beaches to the wiki would make this task a lot easier.
My goal is to make Beach Outpost the world’s source for everything beach related. It is a place to visit for inspiration and for readers to mentally escape from the usual demands of everyday life. Recently, Beach Outpost experienced some minor complications so I decided to pull the site and start developing something new. In the mean-time, beach fans can still interact with the official Beach Outpost Facebook page and Twitter.
What should we watch out for on Beach Outpost in the coming months?
Since Beach Outpost is undergoing major renovations, I plan to encourage more user involvement where people will have the opportunity to sign up and add their favorite beaches for others to enjoy. Further future prospects, I want to offer beach fans clothing, including custom cabana shirts and T-shirts. Clothing perfect for the beach.
Words of wisdom….etc….
Rum is an experience on its own. Whenever I buy a rum I have never tried before, I always sip a taste to discover its unique, individual qualities before mixing it into a drink. I believe that every rum has its own distinct flavor and personality where one should always be experienced on its own before anything is added to it. This makes it easy to identify its presence once it is mixed, especially in those special cocktails where you can barely taste the alcohol. I like to consider myself a very effective rum consumer. This would probably explain why I lack a large collection.