The Vices

Anise Spirit Dinner: Afrohead Rum

Hello again, friends!!! It’s been about two months since I’ve been back in Tampa and I have been itching to find the perfect event to hop back onto this blogging train. I am now working at Anise again and a huge perk is getting the heads up on exciting upcoming events. This past Tuesday featured Anise Global Gastrobar’s first spirit dinner of the season. We popped the cherry with a four course dinner paired with four Afrohead Rum based cocktails. I somehow talked my way into an extra seat and brought my mom along as my date. She was also my ride but that’s not the point =]

This was the flyer we ran promoting the event. If you’re friends with any of the staff, I’m sure they did their part in flooding your newsfeed. Maybe next time, you’ll heed the call and come to the next dinner!

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Look at mom…all happy and sober. She’s never been drunk in her entire life. If it weren’t for the physical similarities I’d swear on my life she wasn’t my mother. She’s a proud 53. It’s nice to know what I have to look forward to.. Moving on!

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 It Me! (Just in case you were questioning my grammar, vernacular and manners, you can throw out any proper anything out of the window right now 😛 ) And I’m standing next to the Afrohead Rum step and repeat, signed by their Rum Savant, Toby Tyler.

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And me again, being a 5 year old next to aforementioned step and repeat. You can’t take me anywhere nice so I’ll take myself.

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All guests were greeted with a tropical starter cocktail.

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Featured Professional: Ryan Brown aka Hand Model aka Bar Director of Anise aka Expert at the double pour.

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I forgot to mention that this spirit dinner was located inside of Anise’s new private event space! Some of you have been lucky enough to grab glances as it was being built but now it’s complete and IT. IS. BEAUTIFUL!!

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These photos do no justice to the ambience, decor and mood lighting.

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This is mom’s face after Kurt peer pressured her to drink. I kid. That MIGHT be the hanger in her eyes.

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Before the dinner started, Ryan introduced Toby Tyler to the room. A little back history of Afrohead Rum’s Master Rum Maker:

From Sydney, Australia, to the West Indies, to working jobs as a songwriter, playing guitar in a band to becoming a rum expert. According to the website, when asked what his favorite rum was he replied, “It hasn’t been made yet.” After 18 months of blending, he tasted his favorite one. That was in 2008. And here we are in present time enjoying an exquisite dinner with the man himself.

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Beautiful orchids waiting to be used as garnish.

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First up, the amuse bouche.

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The samosas were paired with the “Don’t Forget the Pineapple” cocktail: Afrohead 7year, bison grass vodka, sage simple syrup and lemon tonic.  Delicious and refreshing.

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Presentation is everything and I am a sucker for orchids.

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A punch bowl shared is a punch bowl enjoyed. I was so happy to be seated amongst friends. Great company is icing on the cake! Seated with us was one of my CrossFat50 teammates, Kurt Raschke, and my dentist and Anise regular, David Goldschein. 

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I don’t know how we did it but we talked mom into taking a sip.

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I think she liked it. I also think she’s super light weight because she looks way too happy and willing.

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Yay!! More food! More alcohol!

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Will you just LOOK at this space?? This used to be a part of the Five Guys space that was in the building that Anise took over.

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Such a classy, swanky, sexy room. Cheers!

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Ryan working on the next batch of cocktails for the room.

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“A Dose of Refreshment” came with a vial of yuzu spearmint tea limencello.

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The cocktail prior to adding the concoction was delicious, especially if you like tartness. It was even better after adding the potion.

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Kurt with the slow and sexy pour!

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Taco Tuesday! Smoked tuna tacos with mango relish, ginger aioli and pickled onion. Just the right amount of crunch and tangy sweetness. All the right tastes and textures. Chef Mary and the kitchen crew never disappoints.

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Everyone loves a close up taco shot 😉

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Toby Tyler keepsakes =]

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Ryan prepping the “Out for a Smoke” cocktail with housemade handcrafted ice cubes with torched applewood woodchips.

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Our GM, Christina, with the slow pour. Anise is apparently not without its share of hand models.

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Hello, sexy girlfriend!! The Afrohead 7Yr rum based “Out for a Smoke” is garnished with a grapefruit peel wrapped around a fig that was used in making the mezcal based liquer. Talk about a layered spirited cocktail!

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I envy those who can dig in and resist the urge to take photos of their food first. Goldschein, you’re an inspiration =P

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Is that a vertebrate on your plate or are you just happy to see me? Both. The answer is both. This braised oxtail came with pineapple chow chow, curried chickpeas and fried plaintains. It also came with a heavy side of “OMFG, DELICIOUS” but without the acronym.

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Chef Mary and Ryan dropping some food and cocktail pairing knowledge.

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The oxtail pretty much did me in but I always somehow make room for dessert…

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….And dessert cocktails!

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Presentation, presentation, PRESENTATION! And LOTS of drool. DSC03148 (800x794)

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I have been reduced to my most basic “I can’t even” self. I am not worthy of this baklava. The love and time and effort that went into this dessert is beyond this world. I had a square inch of it left and you better believe I boxed it up.

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One last boozy stop before we hit the road. A tasting of the Afrohead Rum 7 yr and Afrohead Rum XO 15yr.

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Toby’s turn to drop knowledge. He was obviously very well informed on his product and SO so nice, gracious and grateful. He explained how the lighter 7yr had more vanilla notes and the 15yr was more oaked. They were both smooth. The 15yr was my favorite. I already can’t wait to have it in my rum Old Fashioned.

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Every guest left with a surprise goody bag =] ‘Thank You’ notes, vials of the yuzu spearmint tea limencello and a pair of Afrohead headphones!!!

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Look at how gorgeous these are!! Sound the sirens of jealousy.  I get it 😉

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Are you hungry yet? I just read through this and realized I’m too hungry AND sober. Please please PLEASE, keep an eye out for the next Anise spirit dinner. I’m sure I’ll keep you posted on my socials and I’ll be there to document future events to nudge you into attending the next one. Anise has hosted Boozy Brunch, a Tequila Ocho dinner, a Mumm spirit dinner and so many tastings. Who knows what will be next!


Things you NEED to know:

Anise Global Gastrobar

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777 N Ashley Dr

Tampa, FL, 33602

(813) 225- 4272

Afrohead Rum