Though a 1940s bottle of J Wray & Nephew occasionally pops up at auction for $50,000 and up, generally speaking, the most expensive rum you can get hold of readily is the Legacy by Angostura, a blend of seven of the brand’s rarest rums and made recently media famous at London’s Playboy Club by being offered at $6,000 a shot. Produced in Trinidad by master distiller John Georges, its bottle, designed by British jeweler, Asprey, is topped with sterling silver and presented in a leather encased, handmade wooden box lined with velvet and silk. $25,000, angostura.com
TWO FLAMES, ONE BURN
Just out on February 19, the second collaborative effort between LA based Viaje Cigars and partner makers this year EPC Cigar Co. (frequently described as the premium cigar producer in the Dominican Republic) the Viaje Juntos, with its Connecticut broadleaf wrapper, Nicaraguan filler, and Ecuadoran Sumatra binder, is a rich, complex, and smooth smoke, with a consistent and pleasant draw. It comes in two sizes, Toro and Torpedo, both of which are 54 ring gauge, six inches in length, and priced at $14. They are also cleverly packaged in interlocking tins, with Toros in the top, Torpedos in the bottom (when stacked, they form one long canister). “If you enjoy mass produced cigars, you are in the wrong place,” observed Viaje Cigars President Andre Farkas. “We use tobacco sparingly to execute our vision of what a cigar should look and taste like. The Juntos represents the boutique sense of our operation in every sense of the word.” viajecigars.com
Stick and Sword
It’s a little pricey, but this crew’s new year dependability winner in the lighter realm (next to our Zippos, which we still catch flack about for their “flavor altering” qualities) is this Space Age esque and push button Lotus Fury its angled flames forming a cool and sword like “V.” It also features a fuel window and cigar punch, making it a decent all around value, actually. $59,
A recently introduced bill would overhaul virtually the entire tobacco tax structure in the Garden State, and would mean higher prices for most consumers if signed. Ostensibly an anti tobacco measure, Bill 1579 was introduced on January 9 by As semblyman Herb Conaway Jr., (D Bur lington) and contains, among other provisions, a whopping $2.70 tax on all large cigars and institutionalizes a new store license in which tobacco shops would have to pay $350 per year to operate legally. The bill also includes a mandatory $10,000 bond with the state in the event that illicit activity is discovered on the premises of a retail operation. Comparatively, New Jersey’s existing large cigar tax of 30% is actually modest; New York imposes a 75% tax, Connecticut 50%, with Vermont and Washington, D.C. the nation’s highest at 92% and 95%, respectively. Those wishing more information on the proposed NJ bill can visit cigarrights.org
STORM’S a BREWIN’
Generally accepted to be the invention of legendary New Orleans tavern owner Pat O’Brien, whose eponymous bar is still at the intersection of Royal and St. Peter streets in the French Quarter, the Hurricane was a way for O’Brien to through clever blending with fruit juices get rid of the less reputable rum stock he had on hand, and quickly came to be a staple in bon temps party circles worldwide.
1 oz. spiced rum
1 oz. white rum
2 ozs. Passion fruit juice
1 oz. orange juice Squeeze of a half line
1 tablespoon simple syrup
1 tablespoon grenadine
Combine ingredients in shaker with ice, chill, and pour into crushed ice filled hurricane glass (or other specialty vessel, but we wildly prefer the former). Garnish with orange slice and cherry.