How to make time for taste and elevate summer moments

(BPT) – Summer is a season full of excitement, from cookouts to beach days to gatherings with loved ones and other celebrations. No matter the occasion, infusing delicious flavors into any moment makes it memorable. Whether you’re a cocktail enthusiast, grilling guru or simply like to experiment with new flavors, it’s important to make time to enjoy the good things in life, especially a refreshing cocktail and delicious dish!

If you’re planning an upcoming event or just want to make any day more special, try these simple hosting tips and ideas from Mount Gay Rum:

Set the stage

As you make time for taste this summer, create an atmosphere that sets the tone for the occasion and reflects your personal style. From an intimate backyard barbecue to a festive dinner party, think about the mood and tailor the ambiance and menu accordingly. A sophisticated theme can add creativity and help inform the menu. Lastly, while food and cocktails are the heart of any gathering, the decor in your space will add to a great experience for guests and make for a party to remember.

Start with a refreshing summer sip

If you’re looking to entertain or quench your thirst in the heat, no other spirit can do that better than rum. Mount Gay, the world’s oldest running rum distillery dating back to 1703, is known for its rich, flavorful tasting notes imparted by its unique maturation process, which utilizes a variety of casks such as ex-American whiskey, bourbon and cognac. These distinct tasting notes transform delicious cocktails and make for a great base for any recipe, from classics to riffs that use fresh summer ingredients. Try shaking up a Mount Gay Black Barrel ‘Good Old Pine’ cocktail instead of your usual Old Fashioned by simply swapping in pineapple syrup in place of simple syrup to kick this cocktail up a notch. Mix in 2 ounces of Black Barrel and two dashes of bitters and stir over a big ice cube in a rocks glass before garnishing with a lemon peel or dehydrated pineapple.

Prepare with the essentials

Whether you are a seasoned host or new to entertaining, ensure you have the essentials to create a fail-proof menu. To start, keep your bar stocked with Mount Gay to craft exciting libations and refine your easy-to-prep food pairings. Mount Gay brings the essence of summer flavor to life with a new limited-edition “Summer Taste Essentials” kit available on Cocktail Courier through July 15. Curated with ‘Next Level Chef’ and TV personality, Richard Blais, the kit encourages pleasure-seekers to savor delicious flavors and upgrade memorable occasions with everything needed to craft ‘Good Old Pine’ cocktails, along with a cedar grilling plank and set of seasonings to spice up your dishes.

Explore flavor pairings

Nothing elevates an affair better than thoughtful cocktail and culinary pairings. According to Blais, “pairing refreshing cocktails with savory summer grilling staples is the perfect way to discover new flavor combinations,” so take advantage of barbecue season to experiment with different taste profiles and seasonal ingredients. “I think there’s a basic misunderstanding that rum is sweet, understandably because it gets paired with fruit often, but it’s so much more complex, especially with the barrel aging. You can think of Mount Gay in the same way you think of whisky or bourbon,” said Blais, who pairs it often with meat off the grill, roasted chicken and vegetables. Beyond pairing Mount Gay cocktails with his favorite culinary bites, he also enjoys bringing the flavors of the rum into the actual dish — like his Black Barrel Blaised Ribs.

For great cocktail recipes, visit or follow @MountGayRum.

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