Thursday, January 26, 2017

Three People Bar Owners and Bartenders Should Thank

Bar and tavern owners, as well as their bartenders, should pause for a few seconds each day to give thanks to these three great men.  These men provided them the opportunity to earn a living, generate profits and be rewarded with huge tips. This article highlights the three greatest bar legends: Henry, Facundo and Jose.

Henry, the son of Wales farmer, became famous in the British Navy not as a sailor but as a privateer (which by the way - was not a pirate).  During the 17th -century. Henry earned the reputation of being one of the most successful privateers in the Royal Navy. When the British finally succeeded in ousting the Spanish fleet from the Caribbean, the King of England personally appointed Henry the Lt Governor of Jamaica from {1664-65}.

Henry did not like government work though so he resigned to become a land owner in Jamaica. On his land, Henry grew all sorts of wonderful spices native to Jamaica. Henry also loved rum - so he grew his own sugar cane so he could to distill it into rum. Henry wanted a unique flavor of rum so he infused the rum he produced with the favorite spices he grew.

Though Henry made all his rum in Jamaica he chose to call it a product of Puerto Rico - is true! - because that’s where Henry first enjoyed the wonderful taste of rum. Yes, the Henry I am talking about is none other than Henry Morgan - Captain Henry Morgan - or who sometimes bar owners and bartenders refer to just as the Captain.  So you see there really was a Captain Morgan. 

Today Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum is the largest selling rum in the United States, Canada, Great Britain and South Africa. The image of a man in a dashing, red coat, with long flowing black hair, standing on one foot - printed on every label is the actual likeness of Captain Morgan.

The Second person bar and tavern owners should thank is Facundo. Facundo was a Spanish wine merchant who immigrated to Cuba in 1830.  While in Cuba, Facundo discovered the wonderful flavor of rum.  At the time, Cuban rum was considered an unrefined drink that only the poorest of peasants would drink. Seldom, was rum ever sold in taverns or fine restaurants. Facundo however liked the taste of rum so much that he decided to use his wine making skills to refine it. 

Facundo worked for years trying to isolate the perfect strain of yeast suitable for properly distilling rum; most important - he even went one step further. He filtered all his rum through charcoal which he believed would to remove any impurities. Finally, Facundo decided to age his rum - just like wine was aged - in fresh white oak barrels.  He thought aging rum would 'mellow its wild flavor'. 

Facundo was the first person to ever produce a “clear or white" rum. Since everyone enjoyed his new rum he set up a distillery in Santiago, Cuba in 1862 in an old warehouse building which was full of fruit bats in the rafters. Working near those bats every day inspired Facundo to create his logo for his rum. 

What many people forget is that Facundo invented two very special drinks the world still loves to this day. The first one he created right after the Spanish War which he called the " Cuba Libre" (which literally means 'Cuba is Free') along with another wonderful drink he created just for the ladies so they to could enjoy his rum. He called his second drink - the Daiquiri.

Facundo always insisted Cuba was the home of rum and his rum - Facudo Bacardi's Rum - became the King of all rums. Ironically the Bacardi distillery he created and used for over 100 years was confiscated by Fidel Castro.  When Castro nationalized all businesses after taking power in Cuba Facundo's family q
uickly decided to move their distillery operation over to a neighboring island - Puerto Rico. 

Today, though Barcardi Rum is distilled in Puerto Rico, it is still called a Cuban Rum. Bacardi rum is the largest privately held spirit production company in the world.

And just so you no there never was a Ron Bacardi. ‘Ron’ which is on the label of every Bacardi bottle is the Spanish word for rum. 

The final man in this story of legends is really amazing. When the Spanish conquistadors arrived in Mexico back in the 1500’s they were introduced to a local drink called 'pulque'. The conquistadors found it disgusting but by using modern techniques they were able to refine the distilling process of pulque and created an entirely new spirit called Mezcal.

King Ferninand the VI of Spain happened to grant a noble Spanish citizen a land grant in Mexico 1758 so he could start a farm in the Mexican state of Jalisco. On his new farm, this Spanish gentleman began to cultivate agave, a native plant that grows wild throughout central Mexico.  Agave by the way is what is distilled to make Mezcal.  However the Spanish farmer only harvested the best agave he grew on his land and by doing so he was able to quickly improve the taste of Mezcal. 

Like the conquistadors he also improved the distilling process for his agave and radically changed the flavor of Mezcal.  In fact, he changed the flavor so much he that he created a new spirit which he named after the village where he lived in Mexico – the village of Tequila.

However his real brilliance was that he did something unheard of. While every distiller at the time always provided their spirits in huge wooden kegs or small wooden casts, Don Jose Antonio de Cuervo decided to try using a new Portuguese invention called the glass bottle.  So Jose bottled all his Tequila. 

As a result, Jose Curveo's Tequila became the most popular selling tequila in the world. Today, Jose Curveo sells 35% of all the tequila sold in the world - twice as much as it nearest competitor.

If you like good bar and tavern trivia do the right thing -  Google Eba Gee. Not only will Eba Gelso share great bar trivia with you - Eba will teach you simple ways to increase your bar and tavern sales as well as earn more in tips. Go ahead connect with Eba Gee either on Face Book or Linked In ... you won't be sorry.

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