afrohead rum, drink this bahamamama straight

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i never thought I'd see the day when I get in the habit of pouring my self a (small) glass of straight rum - on the regular.

I'm not confessing that I have a drinking problem (a little rum never hurt anyone!), but I am confessing that I just didn't think rum was good enough to drink on the rocks. Actually, I can't really drink anything straight on the rocks. I've been trying to months to learn to drink whiskey and bourbon straight, and I've made some headway, but it's been hard. When I found Afrohead rum I realized that not only is it possible to drink rum straight, but it's easy

Actually, I should say Afrohead kind of found me and it found me at exactly the right time. 

A well-timed email from a friend in PR came in on the very same day that I came back from New Year's in Cat Cay, a small island in the Bahamas adjacent to the better known Bimini. I was wishing I could still feel the sun on my skin and had another day to experiment with making conch salad (it didn't go very well) and into my inbox (editormiaminice@gmail.com if you have a pitch for me) comes a bit of the Bahamas - Afrohead Rum. 

Afrohead was started in Harbour Island, at the very stylish India Hicks-designed The Landing Guest House and Restaurant. What started as an obsessive effort to make a good rum by "rum savant" Toby Tyler. Toby's an Aussie who kind of embodies what I imagine as authentic Aussie-ness and can tell stories about playing music in the Bahamas with rock and roll legends (including my man Lenny Kravitz #MANCRUSH). Joe Farrell, an owner of The Landings, started selling Toby's rum as the house brand at the Landing, without a name, just on a bottle with an afro headed lady, and it started to develop a reputation as "Afrohead Rum" and requests from guests to take bottles home poured in. 

I met with Toby and Joe and got a real education in rum that also was paired with a rum tasting - which means I can't really tell you all the reasons, in detail, why this is rum is superior, but I believe it based on taste alone. Here's one stand-out point that I do remember: there are two blends of Afrohead rum, 7-year and 15-year. Usually, you'll see a darker color in older rum blends, but these two are hard to tell apart in color because there's no added coloring. From what I understand, it's usually common practice to signal to a drinker that it's supposed to be older by added coloring, but Afrohead rum is as pure a product as you'll come by. I saw pictures of the lab where they did tastings. I saw  pictures of barrels and barrels of rum, like more barrels than the eye can see.

And I heard about the brand from two dudes who seriously know their stuff. Not only is it a great name (seriously, isn't it?) but it's a great story and, most importantly, a great product. I never thought I'd be drinking rum straight, by choice, I even bought special little glasses to accommodate my new habit - thanks Afrohead!