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27 September, 2010

Cruzan 9 Promotional Event at the Busy Bee

Comments : 2 Posted in : Bars and Tasting Rooms, Bars in Raleigh - NC, Events, Rum, Spirits on by : The Gourmez

Two weeks ago, the Busy Bee invited me out to a promotional event for Cruzan 9, a new spiced rum. Appetizers and drinks were provided for free and highlighted a range of Cruzan’s offerings, in both cocktails and cooking explorations.

The Busy Bee cleared their liquor shelves of all but Cruzan’s several flavored rums, and a great Caribbean band provided background music. I tried two of the cocktails the Busy Bee was offering and most of the appetizers. But first, Cruzan 9 itself.

Okay, whatever is in that glass is not Cruzan 9, which is an aged, amber-colored rum. It’s what I was poured when I asked for it, though, and I spent the rest of the evening thinking Cruzan 9 was a silver spiced rum! Cursed bar mix-up that I, in my ignorance, did not realize! So I have no sipping notes for you on the beverage by itself, but I did enjoy the cocktail I had made with Cruzan 9, which I assume used the correct bottle as it tasted like an amber rum that was in the mix. It was the Banana Cruzan Daiquiri, made with Cruzan 9, banana, nutmeg, coconut, apple, and lime.

The 9 was obviously the star of the drink, even with those strong juices joining it, and I could definitely have had more. I give that combination an

3 stars

I dug into the appetizers next, and I was very impressed with what the Busy Bee had to offer for them (I’ve only eaten at the Busy Bee once, and that was only the tater tots, so I don’t have much to judge them by for food). The best was actually the least creative, which I believe was a bruschetta with no Cruzan involved (I could be wrong). I vote it best merely because the tomato and garlic was so good. Next would be a tie between the Chicken Moussaline with Cruzan Black Cherry Jam and the Tuna Ceviche with Cruzan Pineapple.

That’s the chicken dish in the picture. I really liked the texture of the chicken and the inventive way of serving it, making it an ideal platform for the vibrant jam. No picture of the tuna, unfortunately. I did get a shot of the Scallops with Cruzan 9 Braised Bacon and a shrimp bite that wasn’t listed, but was really good with yummy shrimp that were complemented by sweet red onion and sausage slices.

I tried one more cocktail, the Summer “Mary” made with Cruzan Citrus, watermelon, basil, and bell pepper.

This one wasn’t as appealing as the daiquiri. My critique is a strange one—I thought it was too well blended, making it difficult to focus on the fresh ingredients. The watermelon had a very light presence. I enjoyed the red pepper flavor on the aftertaste but it was too mellow. As is often a complaint for me, the club soda watered it down too much. But I loved the gradient of pink shades in the glass, and it definitely made me regret the passing of summer-though I (and my lawn) wouldn’t mind summer packing its bag by this point in September!  Overall, the Summer “Mary” garners a

2 stars

The Cruzan 9 event left me with the following impressions: 1) the Busy Bee can make some fantastic appetizers so I definitely need to make it there for dinner sometime soon, 2) Cruzan 9 works well in a daiquiri and now that I’ve realized I sipped the wrong spiced rum, I need to hunt it down to try on its own, and 3) I still am not a fan of flavored spirits when simply adding a fresh version of the flavor would suffice, but flavored spirits aren’t half bad for cooking.

Thanks for the invite, the Busy Bee!


2 thoughts on : Cruzan 9 Promotional Event at the Busy Bee

  • October 2, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    Cruzan Rum is one of my favorites – when I lived on St. Croix in 7th grade, we drove by the Cruzan Rum distillery every day on our way to school. I have a bottle of an aged Cruzan that I sip from once a week. But I never did get the banana or coconut flavored rums.

    Busy Bee is a cool spot, too. Glad you go the chance to enjoy the party there.

  • October 3, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    Thanks for swinging by, Anton! Great to see you last Thursday. I hope to have a blog up on SMSC early this week. Glad you are a Cruzan fan! It makes my decision to buy Cruzan 9 stronger–just need to get to the ABC store . . .

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