On June 25, Shellback Rum and Tony Abou-Ganim, The Modern Mixologist, invited trade, media and select consumers to the Chicago leg of their six-city series of interactive Mixology “All Hands on Deck” experiences. Hosted at Loft on Lake, cocktail luminary, Tony Abou-Ganim put guests’ shaking and muddling skills to the test with a fun-filled evening of Mixology tips and sophisticated modern updates to classic rum cocktails made with Shellback Rum.
Chicago Hustles: The Shellback Rum: All Hands On Deck Tour was an amazing evening at Loft on Lake a venue run by a Chicago Creative Entrepreneur couple. We had never been to Loft on Lake but it was an amazingly great time. The day was a sticky one as we hoofed it to Loft on Lake via the CTA as we chose not to drive. We arrived at 6 on the dot and where some of the first patrons through the door. We did not want to miss anything so we figured better early than late. Upon walking into the nicely decorated place we get hit with the AC coolness. Our first expression was that of Homer Simpson when he drools. The air felt so good we just stood there unaware of signing in for a second. We were then greeted by Kylie the friendliest host we have ever worked with in 1.8 years of doing the magazine. She had a smile the size of Texas itself and gave off such positive energy. After introduction & signing in we walk in to check out the venue, nice space. The venue itself is about 8,000 sq ft, close to the Ashland green line, well ventilated and great for any event one could imagine. The tables were set up for the Mixology event with careful precision upon looking across the tables one would notice the glasses in each set up where set exactly the same in very close precision. Our initial thought was wow this is serious! We walked in and went to the friendly staff to pick up a nice rum punch beverage sprinkled with cinnamon. After picking up & snapping a few photos of drinks we were greeted by Tony Abou-Ganim himself. He was a very nice charismatic gentleman and told us how the flow of the night would go. He is a great guy if he comes through your city with this tour make sure to speak with him.
The time we were all waiting for rolled around at 6:30, it’s time to make drinks! Tony walked us through an experience from tasting the rum, capturing its scents and what to add to it to complement its best taste potential. Kylie suggested we sit front row so we wouldn’t miss anything (thanks again Kylie). The table arrangements were placed very nice with all the ingredients for us to make the three drinks of the evening which were 3 of his specialties the “First Mate”, “Milestone Mojito” & “Deck Hand Daiquiri” all personal recipes by Tony Abou-Ganim, The Modern Mixologist.
The first drink he walked us through was the “First Mate“.
1 ½ oz Shellback Spiced Rum
1 oz cinnamon simple syrup
2 oz unfiltered apple juice (Regular apple juice works as well)
1 oz fresh lemon juice
Chilled Fever-Tree ginger beer
Lemon spirals and apple slices for garnish
In a shaker add Shellback Spiced Rum, cinnamon syrup, unfiltered apple juice and fresh lemon juice; shake with ice until well blended. Strain into an ice filled
collins glass. Top with chilled ginger beer, stir to mix and garnish with lemon spirals and apple slices.
Chicago Hustles: This drink was very delicious just the ginger beer I didn’t want to add as I’m not a beer drinker should of tried it for the experience sake but opted out on that part the rest was so so good. This drink a bit sweet still packs quite a punch and would be delightful on a summer patio or swinging in the hammock with a book.
The Second drink we where taught how to make & serve was the “Milestone Mojito“.
1½ oz Shellback Spiced rum
1 oz house made ginger syrup
1 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
12-14 fresh mint leaves
1/2 clementine, quartered
Chilled Fever-Tree soda water
In a highball glass, lightly muddle lime juice, ginger syrup, clementine and mint leaves. Add crushed ice and Shellback Spiced rum. Stir until outside of glass begins to frost. Top with chilled soda water. Garnish with mint sprig.
Chicago Hustles: As a big fan of mojitos you can’t really go wrong in making one unless you are just not into tropical type drinks. The ginger syrup gave this drink a twist with the flavor of the clementine blended in as well. This drink was good REALLY good. We each made two back to back lol. This is around the time the whole room was getting gitty like a bunch of high school students while the teacher is teaching. He had to keep making everyone focus because well truth be told #ShellbackRum is some good stuff wink wink.
The last drink we made was the Deck Hand Daiquiri.
Deck Hand Daiquiri
2 oz Shellback Silver rum
1 oz hand extracted lime juice
1 oz simple syrup
Fresh, seasonal fruits and berries
In a shaker muddle fresh fruits with the simple syrup, add fresh lime juice and Shellback Silver rum; shake with ice until well blended. Double strain into a chilled cocktail coup. Garnish with a thin slice of lime and fruit of your choice.
Chicago Hustles: As with the other beverages all the drinks were very sweet inspired with a flavorful twist. Tony’s recipes are very straight forward but he also educates you on how & why he uses what he does in his recipes. The Deck Hand Daiquiri was super delicious the black berry gave it a slightly interesting pinch of flavor which you don’t experience in most daiquiris.
The creativity involved in making drinks has always been of high interest to us for many reasons. I, coming from a restaurant background some years ago always wondered who or why the drinks were made the way they were without necessarily asking the bartenders. Mixology is going to be our new summer hobby as we often just keep our drinks pretty simple. This event was well curated, the atmosphere was superb and all attendees were friendly and having a good time. We were sitting next to two mixologist who helped give us some insight into the recipes as well to which we thank you.
After the presentation we walked around handed out a few cards while networking a bit. We are glad to have met Cher of Loft on Lake (owner), Lauren Viera (writer), Tyler Lymer (mixologist). Carol Donovan (mixologist), Daniela Vieira (marketing) & the event photographer who did an amazing job documenting the event Lucio Villa.
The event was very consumer geared but it was a great experience one of many we hope to attend for the summer. Thank you Kylie, Loft on Lake & Shellback Rum for inviting us to this great event. Let’s keep those drinks creative with Shellback Rum shall we?
Until Next Experience
Stay Passionate, Go Hustle
Shellback Rum: All Hands On Deck Tour
The taste of the Caribbean pursues a modern progression with the debut of Shellback Rum, named after a proud naval tradition in which the title of “Shellback” is awarded to courageous sailors who have successfully crossed the equator. Available in two expressions, Silver and Spiced, Shellback Rum is produced at the century-old West Indies Rum Distillery (WIRD) on the island of Barbados, the birthplace of rum. Both expressions are a blend of continuous and pot still components featuring neutral, heavy and aged light rum. Adding further depth to the final Shellback Spiced blend, a portion of the rum spends a minimum of 12 months in once-used American bourbon barrels. Shellback Rum is available nationally. The suggested retail price of each expression in the 750mL size is $17. For more information, visit www.shellbackrum.com. Rum, Alcohol 40% by Volume (80 proof) ©2013 Grand Antilles Cane Spirits, Modesto, CA. All rights reserved.
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