Last week MMTM was invited to an intimate Flor de Caña rum tasting and food pairing in the cool and understated SoFi bar, Radio. What started off as a pop-up bar in early 2013 has transformed into a local favorite, beaming with craft cocktails and laid-back ambiance. With dim lighting, home décor, and a pool table to keep a friendly game going, Radio has become one of Miami’s hidden libation gems.
On this particular night, we were invited by Nicaraguan rum, Flor de Caña (known for its slow-aged process), for a tasting of Radio’s bespoke cocktails made with Flor de Caña varietals. In addition, a small food pairing prepared by Chef Jose Antonio Mármol was served to the approximately 15 people in attendance, who all raved about the night’s experience.
The tasting was curated by Radio bartender Bryan Canales* who is the personification of the bar and the Flor de Caña rum – both cool and unassuming.
One of the memorable pairings included the cocktail Agua Managua, which is a twist on the daiquiri made with the Flor de Caña Extra Seco 4 year. Bryan explained that the cocktail aimed to pay homage to the celebration of the sugarcane harvest. The shrimp tempura pairing had a chili glaze to help exalt the crispiness of the cocktail. The entire combination was well thought out; the cocktail was subtle enough to let the glazed tempura shrimp bring the notes of dry sugarcane and toasty vanilla to surface.
Another pairing highlight was the Flor de Oro cocktail made with the Flor de Caña Añejo 4 year. The cocktail was a mix of fresh pressed orange and lemon juice with a touch of basil, aperol and bitters. The concoction of peppery flavors was perfectly toned down by Venezuelan tequeños and a caramel dipping sauce. The dichotomy of peppery and sweet flavors was at first sharp and then settled nicely into a soft pairing with strong hints of caramel.
The most memorable libation of the night? The 1890 Old Fashion made with Flor de Caña Centenario 18 year. We usually like our booze how we like our cheese – aged. This particular cocktail was rich and viscous, bringing out the true essence of the rum and helping to highlight the notes of dark chocolate, caramel and roasted nuts. Absolute deliciousness that could be dangerously sipped with ease. As responsible drinkers, we made sure to drink lots of water before departing, but are still secretly dreaming of that Old Fashioned.
Special thanks to Radio and Flor de Caña for the great evening.**
* Stay tuned for a special post featuring Bryan in the coming weeks on MMTM!
** This post was NOT sponsored by either Radio or Flor de Caña. We just had such an awesome time and wanted to share the fun.