Archives for March 2013

Lava Flow

Aloha! We enjoyed a Lava Flow on vacation in Hawaii a while back and loved the banana, coconut, strawberry (and rum of course!) taste. Because we add ice to the banana, coconut and pineapple mix, it makes a nice, light and frozen concoction. Close your eyes while you sip and you might even hear the palm trees rustling in the gentle Hawaiian breeze…

Lava-Flow--(600)-O
Lava Flow
(makes one)

1 oz. coconut rum
1 oz. light rum
1 small banana (or half of one large)
2 oz. pineapple juice
2 oz. coconut cream
2 oz fresh strawberries (about 2 large)
1/2 c. ice

Blend the banana, pineapple juice, coconut cream and ice in a blender until smooth and frothy and save in a glass. Slightly blend the strawberries and rums in a blender and pour in a small hurricane glass. Slowly pour the banana, pineapple and coconut cream blend on top of the strawberry and rum mix and watch as the strawberry mix swirls up into the lighter mixture looking a bit like a lava flow! Garnish with a strawberry or slice of pineapple.

If you like the sound of this recipe, you might also like a Miami Vice

You might also enjoy Rum Therapy On Kauai

 

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Saltwhistle Bay Beach, Mayreau

A beautiful crescent shaped beach with soft, white sand and incredibly clear, calm water. Saltwhistle Bay Beach is found on the small island of Mayreau in the Grenadine chain. Good anchorage for the boats and yachts that clamor for mooring in the beautiful bay.

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Access:
Get to Mayreau by boat. Good anchorage (although it’s getting better known by boaters and so it can get busy with boats trying to moor there). We also noticed several larger ships anchored in Saline Bay. From Saline Bay you can hike over the hill through the village of Old Wall and down into Saltwhistle Bay.

Saltwhistle 4 (600)
Saltwhistle 3 (600)
Beach:
a long crescent of soft white sand beautifully fringed with palm trees. Great for swimming with gentle sandy access and usually calm surf. Shallow for quite a way out. Great walking beach. Separated from the rougher Atlantic side by a small strip of land.

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copyright Rum Therapy
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Recommended for:
swimming, walking, relaxing and those that don’t need or want a ton of amenities.

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Tip:
if you have the time, hike up the hill to the village of Old Town. There are several good bars (careful – they serve Sunset Very Strong Rum – good, but potent!), great views and very friendly people.

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Other St. Vincent and the Grenadines post that you may be interested in:

 Jack’s Bar, Bequia

Coconut Bar, Young Island Resort

Petit Tabac, The Grenadines

Mopion, St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Happy Island, an Island and a Bar


copyright©Rum Therapy Beaches, Bars & More, Tropical Travel Guide, 2013

Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

Frozen Mojito Pie

Frozen Mojito Pie, my, oh, my… I was looking for a dessert to make for company this coming weekend with just the right springtime taste. I ran across a recipe for a Frozen Mojito Pie that seemed to require a bit of tweaking, but with a few changes it turned out just right – cool and refreshing and just a little tartness from the lime compliments the sweetness of the rest of the ingredients. Guess I’ll have to make another one for this weekend, ’cause I’m pretty sure this one will be gone by then…

Frozen-Mojito-Pie-copyright Rum Therapy
Frozen Mojito Pie

1 graham cracker crust
1 8 oz. container whipped cream
1 8oz. package cream cheese, softened
2/3 c. sugar
Zest of one lime
Juice of one lime
1 tbsp. light rum
20 mint leaves finely chopped

Soften cream cheese at room temperature. In a large bowl, add cream cheese, whipped cream and sugar. Using a blender, blend ingredients until very smooth. Fold in lime zest, lime juice, rum and mint leaves and blend by hand until evenly distributed. Pour into graham cracker crust, cover and freeze overnight. Let sit for 15-20 minutes before slicing and serving, garnish with a bit of lime zest.

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Sunshine On My Shoulders Makes Me….Sunburned?

I don’t know about you, but one of the highlights of a tropical vacation for me is feeling that wonderful sun on my skin, although, nothing ruins a great tropical vacation like a bad sunburn, and with all that beautiful sand and clear water, it can happen before you know it. How do you enjoy that well deserved sunshine on vacation without paying the price – short OR long term? Here are a few suggestions:

Toes in the Sand - copyright
Sunscreen:

Sunscreen is of course, the most widely recommended protection against sun damage to your skin. How do you choose the one that’s right for you? Most dermatologists recommend a broad spectrum of full spectrum sunscreen, one that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Doctors usually recommend an SPF of at least 15 and reapplication at least every 2 hours or more if you’re in the water. Check on the bottle to see how many minutes before sun exposure you should apply your first coat of sunscreen.

Avoiding Rays During Peak Hours:
The sun’s rays are most damaging during its peak hours of about 10am – 4 pm, so if you are out in the sun (especially in or near the water) be sure you have good sunscreen coverage and/or protective clothing and hat coverage.

Reef Friendly Sunscreen
Recently we’ve been reading a lot about “reef friendly” sunscreen. Scientific research is showing that chemicals in common sunscreens are dangerous to delicate coral and can destroy the algae reefs rely on. (See article in National Geographic News) According to National Geographic News, approximately 4,000 and 6,000 tons of sunscreen are washed off in reef areas every year causing some of the rapid kill off of our delicate ocean coral.

Which sunscreen chemicals have been found to be most dangerous to coral? Oxybenzone (benzophenone-3), Octyl methoxycinnamate (octinoxate), Propylene glycol and Butylparaben, Camphor, and Cinnamate.

So does this mean that you need to throw out your current sunscreen bottle collection and replace it with new “reef safe” sunscreen? Well, first of all, many of the ingredients found in common products used everyday can have the same negative effect on delicate coral reefs. Organic or biodegradeable products are usually better for us and coral than chemicals, but many experts say to especially avoid product ingredients starting with the prefix “oxy” or “hexa”.

Secondly, there are other larger threats to coral reefs, such as ocean and coastal pollution. But, if there’s something small we can each do to reduce the amount of toxins entering our ocean, isn’t it worth looking in to?

Where do you find “reef safe” sunscreen? The EWG (Environmental Working Group) has published results from their studies of the Best Beach & Sport Sunscreens. On the list it gives links to stores that carry the product listed. I suspect that many diving shops may carry “reef safe” products too and it’s amazing the number of products you can find on Amazon anymore! Reef Friendly Sunscreens on Amazon

Foods That Provide Some Skin Protection
And lastly, for those of us that are looking for as many natural alternatives in our chemically overloaded lives as possible, there has been some interesting research done on foods that give natural skin and sun protection. Not that you should forego using sunscreen or following good sun sense guidelines, but adding these foods to your diet prior to a tropical vacation may increase your skin’s ability to protect itself and possibly even repair some sun damage. What are some of these super skin foods?

Lycopene: apparently lycopene is a biggie. Found in red and pink produce such as watermelon, pink grapefruit and tomatoes – especially cooked tomatoes and tomato paste.

Greens and fresh herbs: spinach, parsley, basil, sage and rosemary

Green and Black Teas

Dark Chocolate! Yes – chocolate! Flavanoids may improve the skin’s ability to protect against some skin damage.

For more info on foods that provide some sun protection and repair, read  6 Food Groups That Will Protect You From the Sun.

Hope this has given you some ideas to increase your “sun sense” and to help protect your skin in the short and long term. Short from avoiding the sun altogether (ummm, not on MY vacation!) these tips could keep you singing “Sunshine On My Shoulders AND Legs, AND arms, Makes Me…Happy!”

Relaxation Day - copyright

copyright©Rum Therapy Beaches, Bars & More, Tropical Travel Guide, 2013
Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

Lime In De Coconut

A smooth, blended, frozen concoction with the wonderful taste of lime and coconut. Light and tasty. Serve it in a coconut for a real tropical look.

Lime-in-de-coconut - copyright Rum Therapy
Lime In De Coconut
(makes two)

1 oz. dark rum
4 oz. coconut rum
2 lime wedges (leave peel on)
2 oz Coco Lopez
4 oz Rose’s Lime Juice
Ice

Pour rums and lime wedges in a blender and blend until the lime is broken into very small specks. Add lime juice and Coco Lopez and ice and continue to blend until smooth. Add more ice until it becomes quite slushy. Pour into a glass (or coconut half) and garnish with a lime slice. (straw and umbrella optional!)

 

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10 Best Tropical Rum Drinks

Why is it that the taste of a tropical rum drink can sometimes transport us right back to a hammock on a beautiful beach or a great time with friends at one of our favorite beach bars? Still, whenever I taste a Piña Colada, I can close my eyes and almost feel a light sea breeze blowing while lounging on our boat in the evening during our first BVI sail….

We’ve put together a list of 10 Best Tropical Rum Drinks – those that we remember fondly from our past vacations in the sun. What tropical rum drinks would make your list?

1. Piña Colada

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Can’t remember the first one I sampled, but this is one frozen concoction of pineapple, coconut and rum is one that brings us right back to the islands…This one was enjoyed at The Top Of The Baths, Virgin Gorda.

Piña Colada Recipe

2. The Painkiller

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We sampled our first Painkiller when there was a Pusser’s in Cruz Bay on St. John many years ago…  It has now become one of our favorites and is available in MANY bars in the Caribbean – especially anywhere in the VI. Oh, it also has a pretty tasty cousin – The Nilla Killa!
Painkiller Recipe

3. Caribbean Rum Punch

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We’ve sampled SO many rum punches from tropical locales far and wide that we should be some kind of Rum Punch experts by now. Every place seems to have their own “secret” recipe, but can’t seem to find too many we don’t care for. The difference? The type of rum used and the different fruit juices. One word? YUM!
Caribbean Rum Punch Recipe

4. Frozen Rum Runners

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Just plain awesome. Nothing quite cools ya off as well as a Frozen Rum Runner on a hot tropical day. The non frozen variety are great as well, but the frozen ones, well, kinda like a slushee with a REALLY good kick!
Frozen Rum Runners Recipe

5. Bushwhacker

Bushwacker - copyright Rum Therapy

Bushwackers’s. Oh. my. I sampled my first Bushwacker atop Paradise Point in St. Thomas many, many years ago and was pretty much hooked. I mean, who wouldn’t be? Chocolate, rum and the amazing overlook of Charlotte Amalie – wow, paradise.
Bushwacker Recipe

6. Bahama Mama

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Pretty much tastes like a tropical paradise! Rum, rum and more rum, lemon juice, pineapple juice AND Kahlua. Careful – this one packs one large tropical kick!
Bahama Mama Recipe

7. Mojito

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Well, if you’ve been following us long, you already know that we are nuts for mojitos. Pictured here is the Perfect Mojito (our favorite) although we’ve posted a ton of fruity variations that are all quite tasty! Check our post: 10 Mojito Variations for other delicious Mojito Recipes!
Perfect Mojito Recipe

8. Banana Daiquiri

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Creamy banana goodness mixed with rum? Ahhh… yes. Here’s one that we really enjoyed at Saba Rock Resort in the BVI. Maybe the great view had something to do with it??
Banana Daiquiri Recipe

9. Mai Tai

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Aloha! First sampled on a dinner cruise in Hawaii, this wonderful concoction brings back memories of swaying palm trees and the sound of the ukelele … Requires a few more ingredients than some of the other tropical rum drinks listed, but well worth it!
Mai Tai Recipe

10. Dirty Banana

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One of the most searched for recipes on our website, this Jamaican delight must be a favorite with many of you. Dark rum, Tia Maria and rum cream liqueur all mixed in with a tasty banana. Ya mon!
Dirty Banana Recipe


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Skinny Legs, St. John

Skinny Legs, a  funky establishment serving up good food and drink to happy customers in quiet Coral Bay, St. John. Apparently named after the original owners sinewy stems, Skinny Legs is a great place to land to relax, chat with locals and visitors alike and to enjoy some great burgers and rum drinks.

Skinny Legs 1Friends Dougie  and Moe opened Skinny Legs in 1991 when Coral Bay was even quieter than it is now and it quickly became a favorite of locals. The word has now gotten out and now many tourists to St. John now make their way to the “other” side of the island to enjoy some time at Skinny Legs.

Skinny Legs 2On April Fools Day, 2012, Skinny Legs was purchased by husband and wife team Doug and Jaime who continue to carry on the tradition of good food and drink and a fun-laid back atmosphere.

Skinny Legs 3

Skinny Legs 4Rum Punch and Coconut Swizzle
All drinks are shaken, not blended. Skinny Legs is a blender-free zone!

Skinny Legs 5
We ordered the Pepper Jack Burger and it was REALLY good.

Skinny Legs 6
Eclectic Decor – and one of the Gift Shops in the background

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Patrons enjoying some conversation, football, grub and good drinks

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Had to give the Skinny Legs Painkiller a try…

Skinny Legs 9
As they say on their website – “Skinny Legs – a Pretty OK Place”
We definitely agree…

Find out more:
Skinny Legs, Coral Bay, St. John

Find Skinny Legs on our St. John Map

 

To see more posts on St. John and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory

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Fort Zachary Taylor Beach, Key West

Come for the sunshine, stay for the sunset…

Fort Zachary Taylor 3Fort Zachary Taylor Beach, located on the west side of Key West, scores this weeks Beach of the Week endorsement as a great place to hang out, have a picnic, spread a towel or rent a beach chair, snorkel and swim, fish, enjoy the sunshine and then get treated to some of the prettiest sunset views around. Key West is not really known for it’s beaches, but many feel that Fort Zachary Taylor Beach is the best on Key West – and it’s rumored to be the favorite among the locals. We think it’s well worth a visit.

Access: It can be a bit tricky to get to. Drive south on Southard Street and into the Truman Annex. Follow the road to a guard shack (small admission fee). Continue on a paved road to parking which is close to the beach. We saw quite a few people ride their bikes to the beach and there are bike racks available.

Fort Zachary Taylor 2

Beach: Areas of sand with some rocks in the swimming area, sheltered cove area which is good for children, gently sloping access, some shade, good snorkeling in the rocky areas.

Amenities: Many amenities available, including beach chair rental, snack shop, picnic tables, restrooms and showers, gift shop, and nature trail.

Fort Zachary Taylor 1Swimming area

Recommended for: swimming, sunbathing, picnicking, fishing, people watching and watching sunsets.

Tips: Water shoes are recommended. If you have time, take the guided tour of the Fort located close to the beach. Then, move to the rocky west end as the sun begins to set to be treated to spectacular sunsets as the boats sail by….

Fort Zachary Taylor 5Waiting for the sunset with some pirates who were in the area for a Pirate Festival!

Fort Zachary Taylor 4Fort Zachary Taylor 6Watch as the ship disappears into the sunset and then reappears again!

Find out more here: Florida State Parks – Fort Zachary Taylor

 

copyright©Rum Therapy Beaches, Bars & More, Tropical Travel Guide, 2013
Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

Combating Seasickness

Seven years ago, sailing on the Atlantic side from Norman Island to Cooper Island in the British Virgin Islands, I got seasick for the very first time. Never having a hint of seasickness or even motion sickness before that day, I honestly thought I might die by the time we got to Cooper Island.

Seasickness - copyrightSince that day, I unfortunately have been stricken with the same awful, nauseating, debilitating feeling while snorkeling and sailing. Not every, time, but often enough that I get concerned every time I am preparing for a sail and – this is NOT ALL RIGHT! I know I am not alone and I know I refuse to let this get in between me and my incredible love for being on and in the water, so, after a bit of research on seasickness, what it is and how to prevent it, this is what I’ve found.

Anyone can experience seasickness. Even those that have logged quite a bit of time on the sea are not immune to it – although most people acclimate to the motion of the ocean in 2-3 days and are less likely to experience the most severe symptoms of seasickness by then.

Symptoms of seasickness appear when the central nervous system receives conflicting messages from the body, inner ear and eyes. Some say you can will it away – I say that’s said by someone who has never experienced it! So what can you do if you are going on a cruise or a sail and don’t want to spend the first several days of your vacation bent over the railing?

These are some of the recommendations I’ve received from doctors and others who love to sail who also struggle with it. Some work for me and some don’t, and some I have yet to try. Be sure to check with your doctor before using any type of medication.

  1. Take deep breaths and drink lots of water.
  2. Don’t go below deck, stay where you can see the horizon.
  3. Refrain from drinking alcohol or eating heavy foods prior to sailing.
  4. Over the Counter Medications. Take an over the counter medication for motion sickness prior to sailing or snorkeling, such as Dramamine, Bonine or Meclizine.
  5. Presciption Medications. If the over the counter medications don’t work for you, there are several prescription medications such as Promethazine and Ephedrine, but be aware of potential side effects.
  6. The patch. I know many people who find a patch with a drug called Scopolamine placed behind an ear very effective, but I am a bit leery of it based on a reaction one of our boat mates had to it on a sail to the Grenadines.
  7. Herbal remedies. Ginger is purported to work quite well in thwarting the effects of seasickness. This one I haven’t tried yet, but believe I will bring some ginger capsules (and maybe ginger candy!) on my next sail. Check with your doctor first, but apparently the recommended dosage for seasickness is one gram of powdered ginger (1/2 tsp) or its equivalent, every four hours as needed (not to exceed four doses daily), or two ginger capsules (1 gram), three times daily. You should not ingest more than four grams of ginger daily. If pills and powder are not your thing, chew on a piece of fresh ginger, a piece of ginger candy or sip on ginger ale.
  8. Acupressure or Motion Sickness Wrist Band. According to Chinese medicine, acupressure can be helpful in relieving nausea associated with seasickness. With your thumb, use pressure on your inner arm about two inches down from your wrist. Or – by a motion sickness wristband that will keep pressure on the same area.
  9. Acupuncture. I have a friend who has recently tried acupuncture to alleviate the nausea felt during a bout of seasickness. She receives an acupuncture treatment prior to her sail and swears that it has kept her from getting sick on both of her recent sails. I have a bit of an aversion to needles, but think I may just have to give this one a try too.


    Do you have other methods that have helped you combat seasickness? If so, we’d love to hear them!

Duffy’s Love Shack, St. Thomas

In a parking lot in Red Hook, St. Thomas sits a bar named Duffy’s Love Shack. Pretty much the size of a shack – albeit a nice shack, this little bar’s got itself some character.

Duffy's 3
Dubbed the  coolest parking lot bar in the Caribbean, and with a drink menu that includes Voo Doo You Doo, The Shark Tank, Wacky Pineapple, Thar She Blows, Booty Call and Jaws, we thought we must spend some time at Duffy’s doing a bit of research.

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Duffy’s used to be located in an alleyway in Drakes Passage in Charlotte Amalie until a hurricane hurled a 40′ sailboat into the bar in 1995. Duffy’s was later rebuilt in it’s current location in Red Hook.

Duffy's 4
Bartender putting the finishing touches (a plastic shark) on a Shark Tank – a 64 oz. concoction of 5 rums, 3 tropical liqueurs – ouch!

It was Happy Hour when we arrived and being the cheapskates we are, we opted for the Cruzan Rum drinks that were a buck fifty each and quite tasty with some stiff pours!

Duffy's 1Happy Hour Cruzan Rum Drinks

Duffy's 2
We ordered some Jerk Chicken Quesadillas and the Mountaintop Greens – both dishes were very good.

Duffy's 5
The conversation was fun and easy with some locals at the bar and the bartenders. Great vibe, good food and tasty drinks – Duffy’s is the only parking lot bar we’ve ever been to in the Caribbean, but
we still think it’s gotta be the coolest...

To find out more about Duffy’s, check out their cool website here:
Duffy’s Love Shack


Find Duffy’s Love Shack on our St. Thomas Map

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Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC