Archives for September 2016

Should You Travel to the Caribbean During Hurricane Season?

We’ve all seen them. Photos of the storms and destruction caused by hurricanes. It’s almost enough to keep us from traveling to the Caribbean during hurricane season. Almost.

Hurricane Season - copyright Rum Therapy
We used to completely avoid traveling to the Caribbean and Bahamas during the months of June – November (official hurricane season), but after looking at statistics, we have occasionally chosen to take advantage of the lower rates and quieter season with a few precautions and strategies in mind. After all, statistically, you are more likely to be involved in a serious hurricane event in parts of the US mainland than much of the Caribbean. Of course there’s always a risk, but all we can do is try to reason with the hurricane season…

A few things to keep in mind when considering island travel during the summer and fall:

1. The peak months for hurricane storms are August, September and October.
2. The Bahamas, Bermuda, Turks & Caicos and the Eastern Caribbean islands historically tend to be affected by more storm weather during hurricane season than islands farther south.
3. The islands least likely to be affected by hurricanes are the ABC Islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao), followed by Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and Grenada.
4. Even in the islands most affected by storms, the likelihood of encountering a serious one during the time you are there is slim.
5. Because more people avoid the Caribbean (and Bahamas) during hurricane season, you may be able to find some terrific low season rates.

Additional things to consider:
Some establishments (bars & restaurants) close for a month or two during hurricane season (usually in the August – October time frame), so if there’s a place you’d really like to experience, be sure to check and see if they will be open during your visit.

Travel insurance can help cover you in the event your vacation is cancelled or postponed by weather. Be sure to check with a reputable travel insurance company and make sure they specifically offer trip-cancellation insurance, which ensures that travelers who have purchased airline, cruise tickets and hotel stays will be fully compensated if a storm prevents them from traveling.

Some resorts offer a hurricane guarantee, but be sure to carefully read it and understand it before booking. It may be full or part coverage or a voucher for future travel.

Consider downloading the free Red Cross Hurricane app to keep you up to date on hurricane info wherever you are vacationing.

Armed with facts and good information to help you make the best choices of dates and areas, you might just become a fan of the lighter crowds, cheaper accommodations and beautiful weather of the summer and fall in the Caribbean.

Puerto Rico - copyright Rum Theapy
Do you travel to the Caribbean during hurricane season? Tell us about it!

Find more Tropical Tips at our Tropical Tips & More directory

To see more island posts, check out our Island Blog Directory

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

4 Delicious Recipes to try on National Rum Punch Day!

 Happy National Rum Punch Day! In case you feel like celebrating (or just need a good recipe in the future), here are 4 delicious recipes to try on National Rum Punch Day. Let us know which one is your favorite!

1. Authentic Rum Punch

Authentic Rum Punch Recipe - copyright Rum Therapy
1 of sour, 2 of sweet

3 of strong, 4 of weak
Find out what that means in this
Authentic Rum Punch Recipe


2. Caribbean Rum Punch

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Use the juices listed, or create your own signature Rum Punch by changing up the flavors!
Caribbean Rum Punch Recipe


3. Coconut Rum Punch

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If you like the taste of coconut, you’ll love this one!
Coconut Rum Punch Recipe


4. Pineapple Rum Punch

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Two less ingredients than the Coconut Rum Punch and you can substitute a gold rum for the Coconut Rum. Less ingredients = more pineapple taste! Mmmm…tropically delicious!

Pineapple Rum Punch Recipe


Find more rum recipes here:

Rum Recipe Picture Directory

Rum Recipes  by Category

Rum Therapy Recipes on YouTube

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

8 Things You Shouldn’t Miss on Vieques

8 Things You Shoulldn't Miss on Vieques - copyright Rum Therapy
Isla de Vieques, a small island located approximately 8 miles off of Puerto Rico, is easily reached by ferry from Fajardo or a short flight from San Juan International Airport.

Considered one of the two main Spanish Virgin Islands, Vieques is probably best known for either its Bioluminescent Bay, said to be the brightest in the world, or its history with the US Navy as a former bombing test range.

Not as well known is the fact that Vieques has not been overly commercialized, has a good number of beautiful unspoiled beaches and retains its small island charm. Want huge resorts, nightlife, casinos or crowded beaches? You’ll have to look elsewhere, but if you want a quiet island with friendly people where you can get away from the grind, you might just fall in love with Vieques.

Thinking of visiting? Check out this list of 8 Things You Shouldn’t Miss on Vieques to help you start your planning.

1. Sun Bay Beach

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Just one of the beautiful beaches on Vieques, Sun Bay has a long expanse of soft, golden sand and calm shallow water, making it a great beach for the whole family. A snack bar and restrooms are close by too. You may find horses wandering the grounds and enjoying the beach and scenery as well.

2. Horses

Horses on Vieques - copyright Rum Therapy
Speaking of horses… (see above)  It may seem an odd addition to the list, but be sure to watch for the horses that roam freely on Vieques. Find out more about these beautiful creatures here: Vieques, Where the Horses Roam Free

3. Mosquito Bay (Bio Bay)
Mosquito Bay, on the southern side of Vieques, is a bioluminescent bay. Best observed during the New Moon phase, the waters of Mosquito Bay, that are rich in a single celled dinoflagelate organism, “light up” at night when they come in contact with another organism, such as a boat, oar, or person. There are several bio bays in the world, but Mosquito Bay has claimed the title of “the brightest” bio bay in the world by the Guiness Book of World Records.

4. Hike to Playa Negra – a black sand beach

Playa Negra, Vieques - copyright Rum Therapy
Playa Negra is a black sand beach just west of Esperanza. The color of the sand is a little surprising given the goldens, tans and whites of the other beaches on Vieques, but the pretty hike down a riverbed to the beach made it worth it to us. We were the only ones on the path except for a mare and her foal who walked right past us.

5. Enjoy a rum punch at Bananas

Bananas, Esperanza - copyright Rum Therapy
Thirsty after your hike to Playa Negra? Stop at Bananas Beach Bar & Grill in Esperanza for a delightful Rum Punch. Want to stay a little longer? Check into Bananas Guesthouse – a no frills place that’s close to the Bio Bay.

6. Enjoy the shops, museum and restaurants at El Malecon, Esperanza

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The coastal side of Experanza is known as El Malecon or “The Strip”. Here you will find a few small shops, some restaurants,  a museum, a beach and a beautiful view. This is probably the busiest area on Vieques and a favorite hangout for visitors. Tours for the Bio Bay leave from this area.

7. The Rest of the Beaches

Media Luna, Vieques - copyright Rum Therapy
We visited a number of Vieques beautiful beaches during our visit and were pleasantly
surprised with the beauty and solitude of many of them. If you have the time, rent a jeep and see how many beaches you can visit. They’re all a little different, but none are crowded.

8. Catch a sunset at Al’s Mar Azul

View from Al's Mar Azul in Vieques - copyright Rum Therapy
Before catching the ferry back to Puerto Rico, stop and enjoy a sunset (with your favorite cold drink) at Al’s Mar Azul – just a block from the ferry. The sunsets here are spectacular and it’s a beautiful way to end your day on Vieques.

Have you been to Vieques? Tell us about it!

 Find Vieques on our Puerto Rico Map


To see more island posts, check out our Island Blog Directory

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

The Best Piña Colada Recipe

There are good Piña Coladas and then there are excellent Piña Coladas and we have well, tried our fair share. Although the standard Piña Colada Recipe is by far the easiest, by taking just a little extra time and adding a few more ingredients you can turn that average Piña Colada into a creamy and rumlicious tropical delight. By freezing the pineapple, you reduce the need to use as much ice and less ice = more flavor. Plus, the addition of the fresh lime juice, heavy cream and just a dash of bitters makes this a Piña Colada you won’t soon forget.

pina-colada-best-copyright Rum Therapy
The Best Piña Colada Recipe
(makes 2)

2 1/2 to 3 c. fresh pineapple, cubed
4 oz. gold rum (we used Cruzan Aged Rum)
3 oz. cream of coconut (such as Coco Real or Coco Lopez)
2 oz. heavy cream
1 tsp. fresh lime juice
1  c. ice (add just a bit more if needed)
1 small dash of Agnostura bitters (easy does it!)
toasted coconut
nutmeg
1/2 – 1 oz. dark rum to be used as a floater (we used Myers’s Dark Rum)
Maraschino cherry and pineapple slices for garnish

Freeze fresh pineapple chunks until firm. In a blender, add rum, Coco Lopez, heavy cream, lime juice, the bitters and the pineapple and blend together. Add ice and blend again until creamy. If the mixture is too thick, add a few drops of cream or pineapple juice and blend until the desired consistency. Serve in a tall glass. Add a floater of dark rum, a sprinkle of nutmeg and toasted coconut and garnish with a cherry and a pineapple slices.

Pour pineapple juice, cream of coconut and rum into a blender with the crushed ice and blend until smooth. Add more ice if needed to thicken. Pour into a glass, sprinkle with nutmeg and garnish with a slice of orange or pineapple.

5 from 1 reviews
The Best Piña Colada Recipe
 
Author:
Recipe type: Drinks
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 2½ to 3 c. fresh pineapple, cubed
  • 4 oz. gold rum (we used Cruzan Aged Rum)
  • 3 oz. cream of coconut (such as Coco Real or Coco Lopez)
  • 2 oz. heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1 c. ice (add just a bit more if needed)
  • 1 small dash of Agnostura bitters (easy does it!)
  • toasted coconut
  • nutmeg
  • ½ – 1 oz. dark rum to be used as a floater (we used Myers’s Dark Rum)
  • Maraschino cherry and pineapple slices for garnish
Instructions
  1. Freeze fresh pineapple chunks until firm. In a blender, add rum, Coco Lopez, heavy cream, lime juice, the bitters and the pineapple and blend together. Add ice and blend again until creamy. If the mixture is too thick, add a few drops of cream or pineapple juice and blend until the desired consistency. Serve in a tall glass. Add a floater of dark rum, a sprinkle of nutmeg and toasted coconut and garnish with a cherry and a pineapple slices.
  2. Pour pineapple juice, cream of coconut and rum into a blender with the crushed ice and blend until smooth. Add more ice if needed to thicken. Pour into a glass, sprinkle with nutmeg and garnish with a slice of orange or pineapple.


Find more rum recipes here:

Rum Recipe Picture Directory

Rum Recipes  by Category

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

PiZZA Pi VI – A One of a Kind Floating Pizza Boat

A floating pizza factory? A commercial grade food truck boat? A one of a kind offshore dining experience in the beautiful VI’s? Check, check and check!

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PiZZA Pi VI is the brainchild Sasha and Tara Bouis. Sasha is an MIT grad who worked on Wall Street for five years before realizing that being “cubicle plankton” was not enough for him. Tara, originally an elementary special education teacher in Indiana during the winter and a SCUBA instructor at SeaTrek BVI was also an award winning chef and culinary judge who trained specifically in the art of the New York style pizza pie.

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Together they rebuilt their aluminum sailboat, retrofitted it with commercial­ grade pizza ovens, an oversized pick­up window and an eye-­catching paint job. They then named the boat Pi, with a pizza business in mind.

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PiZZA Pi VI opened in November of 2014 and is anchored in Christmas Cove, Great St James Island. Sasha and Tara live on land nearby and dinghy out to open and serve pizza daily from 11am until  sunset (closed Mondays & Thursdays). 

Because of limited space in the galley, they offer 5 types of pizzas from traditional NY style to specials that vary depending on local and seasonal ingredients.
Some of the fan favorite pizzas include: 
“Sweet Home Indiana” – Porcini sauce, sage sausage, pickled sweet corn & fresh spinach
“Blumin Onion” – Aioli sauce, chopped leeks, radicchio, blue cheese & honey to finish
“Mango Mami” – Tangy mango sauce, red onion, fresh mango, bacon & goat cheese

 See their menu here

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To visit PiZZA Pi, you need to find your way out on a boat.  Visitors to St. Thomas or St. John can rent a charter boat for a full or half day trip and along with great pizza they get to enjoy an action packed day tailored to their group by a knowledgable captain. They also serve dinner to many of the week long charter boats that make St. Thomas their home port.  Enjoying great food on a boat while snorkeling in pristine waters is the PiZZA Pi experience.  

Although closed for the season right now – PiZZA Pi needs your help. The food-truck-boat has operated in Christmas Cove, US Virgin Islands for nearly two years now, but in order to continue, the local government is requesting a show of public support. If you have already enjoyed the pizza and the experience of PiZZA Pi VI, or even if you just hope to in the future, Sasha and Tara ask that you would consider signing the petition to keep PiZZA Pi VI in Christmas Cove. They are hoping to get at least 5,000 signatures, and have received over half already. If you’d like to support PiZZA Pi VI – A One of a Kind Floating Pizza Boat, you can find the petition here:
Petition for PiZZA Pi VI

And – if you’d like to find out more about PiZZA Pi VI, check them out here:
Website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

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all photos property of wherethecoconutsgrow.com