Archives for August 2011

Tears of a Mermaid

We’re always on the lookout for individuals who are doing something they love to do – especially if it involves something tropical. That’s why we were thrilled when William Torrillo – the amazing photographer who we interviewed for our “Through the Eyes of a Tropical Soul” article told us about Elizabeth. William suggested that we check out Elizabeth’s sea glass jewelry and we’re glad we did! Elizabeth had long enjoyed collecting sea glass during walks on the beach with her daughters and recently began making jewelry from the glass they have found. We asked if we could interview her and this is what we found out:

1. Can you tell us a little about yourself? I have lived in Maryland all my life and I’m 32 years old. I’ve lived in Calvert County for about 22 years. We are a water oriented area, known for crabbing and our ginormous Rock Fish! We are surrounded by water here on 3 sides. The Chesapeake Bay to our East and the Patuxent River to West, The Patuxent spills into the Bay at the southern tip of the county. We are a family of Beach Bums for sure and at home in Maryland we lived about 5 blocks from the Bay and our Beach House is in the Outer Bank of North Carolina where we spend most of our summers.

2. What made you decide to start making your own jewelry? I am a stay-at-home Mom of 3 Daughters 10, 7 and 4. I’ve been home about 5 years and my collection of sea glass was getting out of hand. So, my Hubby suggested we try to wire wrap a few pieces and see what happens. 3. Why sea glass? 3 years ago I found my first piece of Cobalt which is not easy to find. I found it on a girls weekend trip to our beach house and you’d have thought I had found a million dollars!! I immediately took it to a bead shop and had it made into a necklace. Everywhere I go to this day I’m complimented on how gorgeous my necklace is…  After years of finding tons of glass and a friend sharing her secret beach for amazing glass, we decided to give the jewelry making a try!

4. Where do you find your sea glass? The majority of my sea glass is from a place my girls and I call “Our Secret Beach”.  We find gorgeous colors there, aquas, lavenders, and cobalts, as well as the more common colors like greens, browns and whites.

5. What are the challenges of using sea glass? What are the benefits? My only challenge so far has been the earrings. Finding two pieces that are somewhat similar in shape is not an easy task! The benefit is that I have plenty of glass!! HA!

6. Where do you sell your jewelry? We showed the pieces my Hubby and I created to some friends and got an overwhelming response so I decided to open a shop on Etsy.com.  I chose the name Mermaids Jewelry Box because of the old folk lore that says that pieces of Sea Glass are Mermaid’s Tears. 7. Has this been a good career change, choice or path for you? I’m not really looking to make a career, my Hubby and I enjoy sitting together and wrapping the glass. It’s more of a passion that I wanted to share with others that may not have access to it like we do.

8. Is there anything else we should know about you or your business? I never use artificially made sea glass. I use pieces from my own collection. For some reason “Our Secret Beach” keeps us well stocked. I don’t have much luck finding glass in the Outer Banks, only random pieces here and there.

Oh, and I don’t know if I mentioned it or not but the little girl in the picture is my youngest daughter Haley. She’s a Sea Glass Mermaid also! She knows all about it… She’s my Sea Glass Buddy, we go hunt for glass when her older sisters are at school!
And yes, after checking out Elizabeth’s Etsy shop, I had to get a Mermaid Tear of my own (see pic above!) Be sure to check out the Mermaid’s Jewelry Box and see if there’s a piece calling your name too.

Other posts on Making Your Tropical Obsession Your Profession:

4242 Miles to St. Lucia – The Boiled Frog Guesthouse – Danielle and Steve Unruh

Searching for Pieces of Eight – Thomas Gidus

Okolemaluna Tiki Lounge, Kailua Kona, Hawaii – Brice Ginardi

Vessels of Freedom – Captain Darrel Hearne

Through the Eyes of a Tropical Soul – William Anthony Torrillo, Photographer

A Pirate Looks at 10 – Fletcher Morton, Trop Rock Musician

I’m Gonna Live My Life Like a Jimmy Buffet Song by Anthony Bjorklund (book review)

Railean Distillers – San Leon, Texas, Kelly Railean

Miami Vice

Oh, the Miami Vice. Such a sensual treat. The smell of coconut and strawberry mingling with rum. The taste of the tropics. Just looking at one brings me back to vacations past; lounging in a beach chair in paradise, and a bartender keeping us well stocked with a never ending supply of these tropical delights. I came across an easy recipe for a Miami vice recently and good vacation memories came flooding back and I thought – this should be called a “Tropical Beach Party In Your Mouth”.

We’ve made these before by mixing a batch of pina coladas and a batch of strawberry daiquiris from scratch and honestly, the taste is supreme, but it’s a lot of work. Especially because they go down way too easy, making the host jump out of their beach or pool chair to mix up another batch for everyone. This recipe is simple and it’d be quite easy to double it from the beginning, giving you extra time to relax and enjoy some Rum Therapy!

Miami-Vice-copyright Rum Therapy
Miami Vice

5 oz 151 “overproof” rum
1 can frozen pina colada mix
1 can frozen daiquiri mix
Fresh strawberries

Combine pina colada mix with 2.5 oz of rum and ice – add enough ice to make a thick mix. Set aside. Combine daiquiri mix with 2.5 oz of rum and ice. Again, add enough ice to make it nice and thick. Pour pina colada and daiquiri mixture into a tall glass at the same time. If that gets a bit too messy, alternate pours. Garnish with strawberries.

 

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The Hurricane

Many, many – o.k., many years ago I traveled to New Orleans for a conference and experienced my first Hurricane. No, thankfully not the terrible weather phenomenon that strikes terror in many an islander or coastal region resident, but an equally terrifying drink with the same name. I mean – just look at all the rum in this thing!!

We found several recipes and several of them called for passion fruit syrup which we didn’t have, so we opted for this one. I prefer the recipe with the passion fruit, but by the time I took my last sip of this one, I couldn’t really tell the difference ;) Just be careful, Hurricanes can knock you right off your feet!

Hurricane - copyright Rum Therapy
The Hurricane
(makes one)

1 oz. light rum
1 oz. Jamaican Dark Rum
1 oz. 151 overproof rum
3 oz. orange juice
2 oz. pineapple juice
1/2 oz. grenadine
crushed ice

Blend all ingredients, pour over crushed ice and garnish with an orange slice and a cherry.


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Jamaican Smile

We’ve only had the pleasure of visiting Jamaica once – so far – and certainly enjoyed some fantastic tropical scenery along with some knock your socks off Rum Punches. We hadn’t, however, heard of such rum delights as the Jamaican Smile until Facebook friend Michele Huttenga Shippe asked for help in locating the recipe for the drink she had enjoyed during an apparently successful Rum Therapy session in Jamaica!

As we searched for the recipe, we were surprised at the variety of recipes found on the the web. We found one that looked pretty tasty and set out to make one. About that time, Facebook friend Jehmal David Hartwell posted a Jamaican Smile recipe for us. They were different enough that we thought we should create them both and do a taste test. In the end, they were quite different, but both really good. If you’ve had a Jamaican Smile, let us know which one tastes most like the one you tried – or let us know if you’ve been using a different recipe.

copyright Rum Therapy

Jamaican Smile Recipe #1
from FB friend Jehmal

(makes one)

1/2 banana
8 oz ice
4 oz pineapple juice
2 oz rum
1/2 oz strawberry syrup

Combine all ingredients and blend in a blender. Pour into glasses and garnish with a pineapple slice.


copyright Rum Therapy

Jamaican Smile Recipe #2
(makes one)

2 oz. rum cream
2 oz. coconut rum
4 oz. pineapple juice
1/8 c. frozen pina colada concentrate
1/8 c. frozen strawberry daiquiri concentrate
1/2 banana
Strawberry syrup
2.5 cups ice

Blend together in a blender until smooth, add more ice if needed. Pour into glasses and drizzle strawberry syrup on top.

 

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Coconut Lemon Martini

Summertime and lemons go together like a beach and rum! Here’s an excellent rum martini recipe using a bit of lemonade and a squeeze or two of fresh lemon. Pair that with the sweetness of coconut rum and the taste kind of reminded me of those sweet and sour candies that we used to have as kids. Goes down way to smooth and will have you smacking your lips for another – but beware of tee many martooni’s!  Enjoy!

Coconut-Lemon-Martini-(600)-O
Coconut Lemon Martini
(makes one)

1.5 oz. coconut rum
1 oz. vodka (use the good stuff for a smoother drink)
1.5 oz lemonade
Juice of 1/4 lemon

Shake ingredients over ice, pour into martini glass and garnish with lemon slice.

 

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Strawberry Rum Sundae

Ironic, isn’t it, that National Relaxation Day comes one day before National Rum Day! Combine the two and it seems as if you have a recipe for Rum Therapy! Here’s a recipe idea for National Relaxation Day.  Creamy, smooth and summery – so refreshing!

Strawberry-Rum-Sundae-(600)-O
Strawberry Rum Sundae
(makes 2)

3 1/2 – 4 oz. Cruzan Strawberry Rum
1 1/2 cups of your favorite Vanilla Ice Cream
1 cup fresh sliced strawberries
1/2 c. pineapple juice
1 cup ice

Blend rum, ice cream, strawberries and pineapple juice in a blender until smooth. Add ice, blend until thick and smooth. Add more ice if needed for thickness. Pour in glasses and garnish with fresh strawberry slices.

Two additional options –
1. Drizzle top of the drink with chocolate syrup.
2. Fill straw with 1/8 oz Cruzan Black Strap Rum

recipe by Rum Therapy

 

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The Beaches of St. Maarten/St. Martin by Antilles Treasure

We’ve had the pleasure of “virtually” getting to know the wonderful folks at Antilles Treasures through Facebook and email over the last several months. If you don’t already follow them, you should pop on over to their Facebook page and “like” them for daily pictures and other island related material. They also have a website at: http://treasures.beachjunkie.com/. Through conversations we realized they not only appreciate good rum, but they’ve spent a substantial amount of time on St. Maarten and Anguilla and have taken many wonderful pictures of their adventures. We will be spending some time on St Maarten and Anquilla this spring and asked for recommendations of – you’ve got it – the best beaches and beach bars!!! We wondered if they would be kind enough to do a guest post for us on this topic and here is what they had to say:

The good folks at Rum Therapy asked us to put together a guest blog about a couple of our favorite ST Maartin/ST Martin beaches. Since we love opportunities to discuss our favorite island, we jumped at the chance.

Island background: The island of ST Maartin/ST Martin is a 37 square mile land mass that anchors the northeastern corner of the Lesser Antilles. This island is split by two governments French and Dutch.  Coincidentally, there are 37 named beaches. So for every mile that makes up this jewel of an island, there is a breathtaking beach.

First on most visitors list is Orient Beach, located on the French Side:
If you are looking for a beach that has it all, this one is for you. This is a great “ activity” beach with a plethora of beach bars, each hocking their own chairs, umbrellas and cuisines.

Wherever you choose to park on a thick cushioned chair for the day, you will be greeted by a breathtaking view including some of the small islands just off shore.  Relaxing in your chair, you will be treated to the dance of the sun baked tourists being performed in many acts. This will range from the kids bouncing on the floating trampolines to parasailing boats and jet skis crossing to and fro in the bay that is just a few feet from your chaise.  This is also a great beach for couples of all ages to stroll lovingly hand in hand from one end of the beach to the other.

The south end of the beach features Club Orient which is a clothing optional resort and beach area.  You are on a French beach, so you will most likely see topless women but the only place that everything is optional is at Club O.  No you do not have to participate but it is good to be aware.

Our favorite places on Orient are either Kakao beach or La String.  Our tip for this beach is to visit the KO bar. This is a little Tiki Hut in front of Kakao.  The bartender, GP, makes incredible drinks and if you are lucky enough to land a bar stool you are in for some enjoyable conversations.

This is one of the few beaches that have bathrooms and showers at almost all of the beach bars.

Our favorite venue is Cupecoy Beach; Dutch Side of the island.The sand on this beach is “ever changing”, it shifts with the tides. The backdrop is 20 + feet of sandstone cliffs dotted by several hollowed out caves.  Lying on the beach, you will be treated to a view of the island Saba on the horizon, jumbo jets as they arrive in paradise and boats of all shapes and sizes cruising by.  At this point, Cupecoy is a clothing optional beach.  There are rumbling that this could change, but as of now, you will see sun worshipers displaying all options.

Beach tip.  Stop in and say hi to Dany.  He can rent you a chair for the day, but he also makes an awesome rum punch and some of the best ribs on the island.  We give him our food order as we find our chairs and he will deliver food and drinks when lunch is ready.

Third on the list is Baie Rouge on the French side.

We discovered this beautiful long beach on our first trip, and now it has found a home in our hearts.  The sand here is a bit coarse, and once you enter the water there is a fairly quick drop off.  Views from this beach are breath taking, from the high cliff walls that glow red in the sunset to the multi million dollar villas that dot the cliffs and shoreline.

There are two permanent beach bars on this beach.  One will signal happy hour by the sound of someone blowing thru a conch shell.

Our Beach tip, bring a couple of bottles of water with you and hike the length of the beach.  It is a quite a walk but the far end of the beach is gorgeous and in our minds the best segment of beach on the island.

If none of these beaches tickle your fancy, there are 34 other beautiful beaches to explore, some which will be unpopulated.  There are a few others with the amenities of umbrellas and chairs for rent but the three we described top our list of favorites and bring us back to them day in and day out over our many trips to paradise.
Rob and Mary/Antilles Treasure

A big thanks to Rob and Mary for putting together this informative and picturesque guest blog. Be sure to check them out on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AntillesTreasuresLLC and at their website: http://treasures.beachjunkie.com/

Mango Mojito

Today we had a lovely ripe mango sitting on the countertop and so I thought I’d try it out in a mojito recipe. There were numerous mango mojito recipes on the web, so we tried a few, changed one up a little and came up with a winner!

We assembled the ingredients and began mixing, nearly drooling at the sweet aroma of the mango. Be sure you choose a ripe mango for this recipe for smooth consistency and the best taste. You may be able to substitute mango nectar for the actual mango, but the real fruit tasted delicious in this drink. We used Cruzan Mango Rum for the added sweetness and another shot of  mango taste, but a white rum can also be used. Makes a great summertime treat!


Mango Mojito
(makes 1)

2 oz. white rum or Cruzan Mango Rum (we used Cruzan Mango Rum)
3 – 4 oz. club soda
1 small very ripe mango, skin removed
1/2 lime
5 mint leaves

Blend the mango and rum in a blender and set aside. Muddle the mint leaves and juice of 1/2 lime. Add the club soda and rum/mango mixture. Add a bit more club soda if needed so that the mixture is not too thick. Gently stir. Pour over ice in a tall glass and stir again before serving. Garnish with mint.

5 from 1 reviews
Mango Mojito
 
Makes one
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 oz. white rum or Cruzan Mango Rum (we used Cruzan Mango Rum)
  • 3 – 4 oz. club soda
  • 1 small very ripe mango, skin removed
  • ½ lime
  • 5 mint leaves
Instructions
  1. Blend the mango and rum in a blender and set aside. Muddle the mint leaves and juice of ½ lime. Add the club soda and rum/mango mixture. Add a bit more club soda if needed so that the mixture is not too thick. Gently stir. Pour over ice in a tall glass and stir again before serving. Garnish with mint.


Watch how easy it is to make!

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Shark Bite

We have a niece who is infatuated with sharks. Well, let me rephrase that. I think she’s actually scared to death of sharks and being the wonderful aunt and uncle that we are, we send shark birthday cards and forward shark pictures and articles we come across. Thoughtful, aren’t we??! So, this one’s for you Sammy!

Anyway, Sammy was kind enough to remind us earlier this week that is was, in fact, Shark Week again on the Discovery Channel! So, today when 10 Cane posted a Shark Bite Cocktail Recipe on Facebook, I thought it would be appropriate to try it out and of course post a picture or two along with the recipe.

It’s actually a beautiful looking drink, as long as you don’t really think of why someone thought it looked like a Shark Bite…

copyright Rum Therapy

Shark Bite
(makes one)

2 oz. 10 Cane Rum
3 oz. orange juice
1/2 oz. lime juice
1/2 oz. grenadine

Shake the rum, orange juice and lime with ice. Strain into a glass. Gently pour the grenadine on the top.