Friday, June 27, 2008

June 26, 2008 - Port Orly, Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu

Actual coral colored coral - first place we've seen that

For those of you who have been reading the blog for a while, you know that one of my favorite drinks is a Dark and Stormy. The official drink of Bermuda is made with dark rum (Goslings if you can get it), ginger beer and a squeeze of lime. It was with a heavy heart that I pulled my last can of Barritt's ginger beer, which is made in Bermuda with some inscrutable thing called neutral cloud, out of the fridge. Knowing that my stock of Barritt's was running low, back in New Zealand I'd stocked up on ginger beer, but it was with the untested Bundaberg brand. In an effort to turn lemons into lemonade, or actually as this is the tropics, limes into limeade, I decided that it was time for a taste test - Barritt's vs. Bundaberg.

As I'm very partial to the Barritt's, I felt that we needed a wider panel of tasters in an effort to get an unbiased opinion. So, we enlisted Gavin and Catherine from Chaotic Harmony to represent the southern hemisphere palate. Bundaberg is made in Bundaberg, Australia. Catherine and Gavin hail from Cairns, Australia, just up the coast from Bundaberg, so perhaps they wouldn't be the most unbiased participants. But since there were only two boats in the anchorage, I didn't have a lot of options. Besides, Catherine and Gavin are just about the nicest people we've ever met and somehow I knew they would be happy to participate (let's just say that a little birdy named Captain Morgan told me so).

First we had a round of classic Dark and Stormy's, made with Barritt's. The grog was good. It tasted like a Dark and Stormy should taste. Then we tried the Bundaberg. Now I know that in some circles (primarily the group clustered around the bar at the NYYC) this will be considered blasphemy, but we all (not just the Aussies on the panel) preferred the Bundaberg. It was tangier. Zippier. Peppier. Frankly, it was a cheerleader in a glass.

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