finished my Montego Bay Scarf just before christmas and brought it to Jamaica with me. I wore it on the plane and it was lovely, warm and soft. I even managed to get some nice photos of it relaxing by the beach in the sun.
Travel is an amazing thing, we left Dublin on a chilly snowy morning and arrived in Kingston to hot sun. I presume most of you aren't amazed but this was only my second trip across the Atlantic so the complete season change on landing is still amazing to me.
We saw blue skies, crocodiles on the Black River, flowers, listened to christmas reggae music and snorkeled to see a coral reef which was beautiful. I'm sure it will inspire me to make some crochet coral for the Irish Crochet Coral Reef. More photos here.
Appleton Rum distillery which was a fun trip. I've never been to a distillery before so it was interesting to see how rum is made. Unlike many producers Appleton actually let you in to see the distilling room and the barrel aging room. Rum is made from sugar cane and nowadays it's a very efficient process with almost all of the juice being extracted from the cane and the waste fibre used to power the plant. The juice from the sugar cane is boiled to reduce it to molasses. It's then fermented and after that distilled to produce a pure clear spirit. Appleton uses mostly pot stills combined with continuous column stills. Even though it is mostly pure some flavour compounds remain from the fermentation and the still to give the spirit it's taste. This spirit is white rum and at 60% it's rocket fuel, drink carefully!
In Jamaica it's traditional to drink white rum with sorrel, sugar and ginger as a christmas drink. We had this on christmas day and it really fits the season with it's lovely red colour, it's sweet and spicy and pretty refreshing on a hot christmas day.
I also tasted El Doardo 15 year old rum from Guyana which my sister in law assured me was the best rum in the world. It's pretty powerful stuff but I don't really know how to describe it. I think it may have been a bit lost on me I'm afraid. I'm much more of a beer girl than a spirits lady.
Speaking of beer I discovered Red Stripe had just launched a new beer called Bold. When big beer brands release something new it tends be a thin light imitation of their original so I was expecting another new beer along the lines of Red Stripe light. Red Stripe light is great in the hot climate as it's 3.5% so you can drink it and not get too tipsy. Red Stripe Bold is surprising in that it's a stronger, darker, sweeter, hoppier version of the original Red Stripe. It's quite nice, a little too sweet for me though. It's pretty strong so care is needed in the heat when it's tempting to drink lots of them to keep cool.
We had a great christmas in Jamaica, that injection of sun will help with the long cold dark days of january. It been really cold here with snow and ice that just isn't melting. Maybe it's time I took out the brewing gear and made a lager, kolsch or alt beer. I'll also have news of my exciting win over at undermeoxter. With all the snow I'm inside knitting a lot so there will be many new finished projects coming up. This post is a mixed bag of all my interests, let me know if you guys like it.