Don Q Rum Dinner at The Breadfruit
Last month, The Breadfruit and Rum Bar (one of my favorite spots as seen here) hosted a Don Q Rum dinner with special guest Roberto Serrallés, 6th generation rum maker. Puerto Rican Don Q Rum, named for Don Quixote, embraces a 150-year legacy with Don Juan Serrallés producing his first sugar cane rum in 1865. The company is also a leader in sustainability and ecologically-responsible operations. Although this has been Puerto Rico's top-selling rum for decades, it has only been available in the US since 2006. The Breadfruit and Rum Bar was naturally the perfect spot to enjoy Chef Danielle Leoni's wonderful Jamaican cuisine paired with rum historian Dwayne Allen's cocktails.
Our four-course dinner started with a fresh palate-opener of local arugula and cherry tomatoes with lime vinaigrette. Next, a cocktail was poured for the second course - The Poncho, a refreshing combination of Don Q Signature Release Single Barrel 2005 (a silky amber rum with creamy brown sugar and nutmeg notes), Campari, lime and ginger syrup. I especially loved the intense ginger punch of flavor with Dwayne's innovative technique of using CO2 extracted ginger.
For course two, Chef Leoni strayed from her Jamaican specialties to make tostones, a Puerto Rican staple, topped with sweet and spicy mango relish and habanero crème fraîche.
For our main course, there was a choice of dishes, each paired with a unique cocktail. I decided on the jerk pork belly nestled on a bed of sweet plantain mash and glazed with a tangy guava-lime reduction. To pair was the Spanish Armada, made with Don Q Limited Edition 2007 (my favorite of the night, with hints of banana, toffee and vanilla), strawberry syrup, lime, rhubarb, and a finish of fragrant citrus blossom spray.
Seafood always shines at The Breadfruit (Chef Leoni is the first Arizona chef to qualify for the James Beard Foundation Smart Catch sustainable seafood program). My husband opted for the curried prawns with herbed rice and a pear and strawberry salsa cruda, paired with the vibrant New Old San Juan. The sweet herbal notes of Don Q Añejo were bolstered by yellow chartreuse, housemade horehound tincture, and turmeric.
Our grand rum finale was a pour of the Don Q Gran Añejo. Rich and balanced, the Gran Añejo contains rums aged between 9 and 12 years plus Solera rums aged up to 50 years, with layers of dried fruit, vanilla, and rounded sweetness from the sherry barrels contributing to a cognac-like finish. It was paired with a creamy coconut panna cotta with hibiscus gelee and vanilla bean fumée that was so good, I'm still thinking about it.
Count me in as a new fan of Don Q Rum. In fact, on the way home we stopped to buy Don Q Cristal (their white/silver rum) and Añejo to add to our home bar, and I'll be tracking down the Limited Edition 2007.
The Breadfruit and Rum Bar boasts a 150+ rum collection and is located at 108 E Pierce St, Phoenix, AZ 85004. It is open for dinner daily at 5 pm except for Sunday. For reservations, call (602) 267-1266.
I received a media invitation and my dinner was complimentary