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Pretty much from the second I found out about the Tea Party Museum and Ships’ construction in Boston, I was excited to not just check out the new attraction, but also that something nice was being built on the bridge I crossed over for a year while working in Fort Point. A few months passed, and I only visited the museum’s gift shop, putting off my tour for another time. When I received an invitation to a Boston Cocktail Summit kickoff party at the museum, I responded yes instantly. A cocktail party featuring spirits like Brugal rum, Mount Gay rum, Black Grouse whisky, Cutty Sark whisky, and Cointreau in the Tea Party Museum was bound to be a fabulous event, and Thursday night we confirmed that it was.

Boston Tea Party Museum

Boston Tea Party Museum

We arrived at the party through the West Meeting House door of the Tea Party Museum, and we were greeted by actors in period costumes. Inside the meeting house, we checked in and received our cocktail passports for our travels throughout the evening.

Boston Cocktail Summit

Abigail's Tea Room, Boston

The whole museum was open to us, and we took advantage of the chance to explore inside and out.

Boston Tea Party MuseumInside one of the ships, we found a setup showing what the ship might have looked like in 1773. The mannequins looked sort of lifelike, and coupled with the tiny space and dark, misty evening, made for a slightly creepy scene. It was great to see the inside of the ship as well as the deck where passengers can throw “tea” overboard in their very own reenactment of the Boston Tea Party.

ship at the Boston Tea Party MuseumThe museum would be a fun destination and history lesson for people of all ages. I look forward to returning to check out Abigail’s Tea Room.

ship at the Boston Tea Party Museum

The Tea Party Museum made for a unique, fantastic venue for an event. Cocktail tables were set up in both the indoor, upstairs part of the Tea Party Museum as well as downstairs on the deck. A spread of New England food from Jasper White was featured on upstairs tables, still leaving plenty of old wooden tables to put down a drink or stop to have a bite.We enjoyed lobster rolls, hot dogs, crab cakes, and chowder before getting our cocktail tasting on.

Each of the brands present featured a cocktail made by a Boston bartender. Here’s what was on the cocktail menu:

Cutty Sark “Into the Mystic” by Nicole Lebedevitch, The Hawthorne

The Black Grouse “Rendevous with History” by Michael Ray, Boston Nightlife Adventures

Cointreau “Four Ships” by Michael Rose, Jerry Remy’s Sports Bar & Grille

Mount Gay “The Earl of Windsor”, by Cyllan Hicks, Mount Gay Rum Ambassador

Brugal Extra Dry “Elevation Punch”, by Joy Richard, Franklin Restaurant Group


Brugal rum cocktails

In addition to the cocktails on the passport, each table also featured another cocktail, making for lots of sampling. Sharing sips became out strategy, ensuring we could taste everything while still able to walk out of the event in a straight line. Favorites included “The Earl of Windsor” at the Mount Gay table, a cocktail made with Earl Grey tea,  the Cointreau “Four Ships”, made with green tea, the Brugal Dehumidifier, and the Cutty Sark “Into the Mystic” made with tea maple syrup. I’ve been loving cocktails that contain tea lately, so this theme was right on for my palate. I also really enjoyed a Blood and Sand made by Nicole Lebedevitch, along with a brief chat about her performance in the Speed Rack event the night before.


Mount Gay cocktails

Black Grouse cocktails

Everyone mixing and pouring drinks did a great job of showing their knowledge and enthusiasm for what they were making. The spirit of the evening was contagious, and the spirits were delicious! Many thanks to Brugal and my friend Catherine for inviting me to participate in such a fun evening.

Did you go to any of the Boston Cocktail Summit events? Do you have a favorite fall cocktail?

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Tags: Black Grouse, Boston, Boston Cocktail Summit, Brugal, cocktails, Cointreau, Cutty Sark, events, Mount Gay, rum, Tea Party Museum

Our first meal of 2012 was brunch at Papagayo. It was fabulous, and contrary to what  I said about writing about food this year, I did take pictures, and I will be blogging about it. A make-your-own Bloody Mary bar is worth writing about.

Unfortunately, brunch, followed by shopping for new running shoes, followed by grocery shopping, was too much for my illness-worn body, and by the time dinner rolled around on January 1, I was back in bed. At 6:00.

Thank goodness for Sex and the City marathons to pass the time. Oh yeah, and Homeland and Midnight in Paris. Clearly, I had an active weekend. I pretty much did nothing for three days, but I don’t feel at all relaxed. Does that even make sense?

Anyway, I woke up Monday with my 10th day of a sore throat but feeling better. I was determined to make something delicious for dinner, even though my appetite was still missing.

whole chicken

I started by cleaning a whole chicken and popping it into a large tupperware container for brining. On my way home from Ireland, I watched a Jamie Oliver Christmas special on the plane, and I had been thinking about his jerk ham brine ever since. I used some elements of it as inspiration for my own brine.


I coated the chicken in salt and let it sit out in the open air while I mixed up its bath for the day.


About 1 cup of Brugal white rum – I planned to use more, but I think it evaporated because most of the rum was gone.

A ton of spices – fresh black pepper, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, chili powder, paprika, cinnamon, and more salt

spice blend

I added the spice mixture and rum to the chicken, rubbing it on with the back of a spoon and filling the cavity with some of the mix. Then I poured in enough water to cover the chicken, added more salt, some cumin, mixed it all up, and then put the sealed container in the fridge for about six hours.


Before I was ready to get cooking, I set the oven to pre-heat to 375 and got started on some veggies. I found these beautiful sweet peppers at Market Basket, and they were the perfect thing for roasting, along with some yellow onions.


Once the chicken was out of the brine, I stuffed it with a few pats of butter and let it cook for about an hour and 20 minutes until crispy and golden. In the meantime, I mashed up a bunch of sweet potatoes with SO Delicious coconut milk. I highly recommend.


The chicken smelled amazing, and the peppers cooked down really nicely. Apologies for the mangled drumstick, I went to check it, and it fell off.



Yum. I served the chicken atop the sweet potatoes and alongside the peppers and onions, topped with a simple homemade gravy. It was such a satisfying, delicious, and somewhat healthy meal and a great way to kick off the New Year. Lots of leftovers mean lunch for both of us today!

What was the first thing you cooked in 2012?

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Tags: brine, Brugal, chicken, dinner, Food, peppers, roast chicken, rum, spices

Happy National Rum Day! I love a holiday, and I love that national food and drink days give us something to celebrate every day. Life is too short to not celebrate, isn’t it?

We are celebrating National Rum Day with our friends at Brugal, who very kindly sent me samples of their Ron Blanco Especial and Ron Añejo to whip up some delicious cocktails.

Our first cocktail is called Boat Drink because that is where we enjoyed it over the weekend and the perfect place for a fruit rum cocktail to be served.

I started with about 1/3 of this bottle of Brugal Ron Blanco Especial.

Brugal rum

I poured it into my trusty plastic cocktail pitcher along with 17 ounces of Vita Coco coconut water with pineapple, half a can of Dole pineapple juice and a generous splash of Angostura bitters.

cocktail ingredients

Before heading down to the boat, I poured myself a sample cocktail in one of my nana’s dessert dishes. Don’t tell my nana I am using her dessert dishes for cocktails, but I love how Drink serves their cocktails in fun containers and thought these were perfect.

boat drink

boat drink

The second rum cocktail we made using this delicious rum was a kicked up Dark and Stormy.

Brugal Anejo

The cocktail contained the Ron Añejo, a shot and a half per glass.

I mixed that with a teaspoon of freshly grated ginger. You can never have too much ginger spice!

grated ginger

To each glass, I added half a bottle of Reed’s ginger beer. While I like this ginger beer, I wish it was spicier. I may try making my own sometime soon.

ginger beer

This kicked up Brual Dark and Stormy is topped off with a generous amount of lime juice, half of a very juicy lime in each glass, and lots of ice.

We have more rum left to mix up cocktails, AND Brugal sent us some cocktail recipes from Eastern Standard and The Wequasset Resort on Cape Cod. Long live National Rum Day and the summer!

What are your favorite rum cocktails?

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Tags: Brugal, cocktails, ginger, ginger beer, pineapple juice, rum

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