By: David DiPino Contributing Writer
Death or Glory Bar owners Isaac Grillo, Annie Blake and Keith Popejoy are becoming known for their tasting dinners and as the place to eat, drink and chill just off the beaten path of bustling east Atlantic Avenue.
AFROHEAD Rum celebrated National Rum Day with Death or Glory Bar, 116 NE 6th Ave., and Grillo, Blake, Popejoy and Death or Glory executive chef Jessie Steele, who came up with an amazing spread of dining courses paired with AFROHEAD Rum during the Dine & Daiquiris tastings.
Starting with course one, consisting of grilled paneer cheese, fenugreek aioli, pickled red onion, crostini and micro cilantro, chef Steele came up with a divine trip around the culinary world and a perfect accompaniment to the AFROHEAD Rum.
“I have affinity for the juice (AFROHEAD Rum)! I’ve been drinking it a long time… We have two made with the AFROHEAD Briland 07’ (for the Dine & Daiquiris event) a couple of rums in their teens with the youngest BEING 15-years old and the oldest in its mid twenties’ both of them are hand-blended, single barrel aged and all the juice is done in Trinidad. It’s lends itself to be a very dry styled rum so you get that inherent sweetness. With the 07’ I get a lot of bright Caribbean fruits; with the XO I get a lot of dried fruits with a wicked long finish. My personal favorite is the AFROHEAD XO,” Grillo said. “For our Dine and Daiquiris dinner we put the AFROHEAD Rum in the cocktails, rum in the food… There’s rum in everything!”
The paneer appetizer was a brilliant start because the creaminess of the paneer cheese mixed with the kick of the fenugreek aioli, the crunch of a perfectly toasted crostini and washed down with the Garden Party consisting of AFROHEAD Briland 07’ lemon pressed cucumber and pineapple, cilantro and parsley, had the taste buds thinking this combination is a very vegetal, slightly sweet kind of feel and as super interesting as the newest film from Bollywood.
AFROHEAD XO, Grillo’s paired with course two, this selection from Chef Steele and the man of the hour, Popejoy, was quite a treat with shrimp ceviche, lime, coconut milk, red onion, sweet potato and popcorn. Paired with Sweet Potato Old-Fashioned AFROHEAD XO, and on the culinary side, sweet potato coconut water reduction, lemon bitters and citrus popcorn, was about the most appealing ceviche recipe found in Delray.
“The Sweet Potato Old-Fashioned here balances out all of the acidity of the ceviche. A little salt, a little sweet…” Popejoy said.
This Sweet Potato Old-Fashioned was a nice business cocktail for the mouth field.
Round three was a knockout featuring jerk Korean chicken wings which Chef Steele brined, rendered off the fat to make oh so delicious! The Jerk wings were placed strategically on a plate next to rice and peas, a Jamiacan staple, and sweet plantains. Popejoy, Death or Glory’s resident mixologist, paired the jerk food with a Jerked Banana Daiquiri featuring AFROHEAD Briland 07’ some twisted lime, Jerk banana reduction and nasturtium. A man from Boston Bay, the famous locale in Jamaica and the birthplace of Jerk food, was impressed with the dish because all that was left on his plate after savoring the Jerk chicken were the bones. It was like the Jerk chicken was meticulously pulled right off the bone.
“You’re making Jamaican me happy,” a happy Dine and Daiquiris patron said.
“The whole Dine and Daiquiris theme was very island, a Caribbean style,” added Grillo.
The grand finale consisted on homemade Death or Glory Vanilla ice cream with warm AFROHEAD Rum caramel, dark chocolate, candied pecans and whipped cream. Paired with the Pecan Flip, featuring AFROHEAD Briland 07’ spiced pecan milk, sweet vermouth, Angostura and egg, it could’ve been titled AFROHEAD Eggnog because it was like the best egg nog found around the holidays with a twist of summer and oh so refreshing! Pairing the AFROHEAD Rum with ice cream as a desert had the taste buds raving about how they were treated to such an artisan, scrumptious sweet ending of a perfect rum dinner at Death or Glory. The homemade ice cream cooled the light rum bite of the AFROHEAD Briland 07’ and the sweetness of the caramel and the nuttiness of the pecans drizzled with dark chocolate was executed exceptionally.
AFROHEAD Rum was brought to Death or Glory bar by Joe Farrell, a Sarasota resident who based the label originally adorning his bottle, on a beautiful Bahamian woman, a goddess, a Miss Bahamas from the 60s.’ Farrell, started the rum a decade ago in Harbor Island, Bahamas, and then after noodling with the ingredients with rum savants around the Caribbean and taste of AFROHEAD Rum ended up in a rum factory in Trinidad which uses a century old yeast to make barrel rum batches. Farrell who owns a winery has tackled and succeeded in an appealing spirit in AFROHEAD Rum.
“A Flip is a cocktail that actually incorporates a whole egg. So, that pecan and spice is going to create a nice little mouthful and compliment the sweetness of the caramel very well,” Popejoy said.
For more information visit Death or Glory Bar at DeathOrGloryBar.com or call 561-808-8814. For AFROHEAD Rum visit afroheadrums.com.