International Cane Spirits Festival Coming to Ybor City

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Cachacas, Rhums and Rums from around the world can be sampled at the Festival March 22-25 in Ybor City, Tampa Florida.

The International Cane Spirits Festival and Tasting Competition March 22-25, welcomes Brazil’s national treasure, Cachaca (pronounced kah-SAH-shah). Excalibur Enterprise brings their formidable Beleza Pura Super Premium Cachaca. Recently this award-winning brand was introduced at world-famous Gaspar’s Grotto. It was an ‘immediate sell-out.’ Speaking of Cachaca, the New Orleans-based company, Sazerac, will be offering samples of P 51 (easier to pronounce than its true tongue-twister name Pirassununga). And, from Brazil’s Minas Gerais region, comes Guapiara & ‘Guap’ Lemon Cachacas. These cachacas join Agua Luca and more to entertain our palates at the upcoming Festival, March 22-25, in Ybor City, Tampa, Florida.

Australia enters the Festival with multiple award-winning Inner Circle Rums. Each ‘dot’ represents different levels of proof.

TASTING COMPETITION 50 judges from the world over will be descending upon Ybor City during the Festival. Among those on this formidable list are Jack Robertiello, Web Editor for the esteemed Adams Beverage Group; Christopher Carlsson , a New York-based connoisseur of fine spirits and Editor of Spirits Reviews; Wayne Curtis, a Maine-based writer whose work has appeared in New York Times, Atlantic Monthly, Preservation, American Scholar, American Heritage and others. His latest book "And a Bottle of Rum: A History of the New World in 10 Cocktails," is scheduled to be available this summer by Crown; Robert A. Burr, a South Florida based connoisseur and promoter of super-premium rums, Writer, Publisher & Host of the "Gifted Rums" seminar in Coral Gables & Editor of The Pedestrian Pocket Guide to Coral Gables website; Paul Artrip – a Virginia based rum connoisseur and collector, food & beverage writer for regional Parrot Head clubs. This list may be viewed at Ministry of Rum.

THE YBOR COCKTAIL CHALLENGE The birthplace of the Rum & Coke is searching for the next new cocktail sensation, to be appropriately called THE YBOR COCKTAIL. To learn more and submit recipes, please visit here. Deadline for entries is February 21. Yuri Kato of Cocktail Times & Gary Regan of Cocktails in the Country are among our esteemed judges.

Tickets are on-sale now. Come and stroll the cobblestone streets of Historic Ybor City and sip from a variety of world-class cane spirits this coming March. Visit the Polished Palate to purchase tickets. Must be 21 years of age to attend. Photo ID mandatory. The International Cane Spirits Festival and Tasting Competition is made possible, in part, by funding from the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners and the Tourism Development Council.

YBOR CITY IN THE NEWS…According to official estimates, 30,000 to 40,000 people are in Ybor City on a normal weekend night…The Florida Cuban Heritage Trail, a statewide route created to increase awareness of connections between the Sunshine State and Cuba, includes Ybor City…One of Florida’s most venerable institutions, the Columbia Restaurant, is in Ybor City. To celebrate 100 years, the restaurant donated $1 Million, $100,000 for every decade in business… WilsonMiller Inc., one of the Tampa Bay area's largest engineering firms, plans to move into the former Ybor City Brewing Co. building this spring after completing millions of dollars in renovations to the century-old cigar factory…Mega Wine Events and BeerFests abound, as noted by Chris Sherman of the St. Pete Times.

RUM IN THE NEWS RumFestNYC took place November 2005. To view photos of that event (and get an idea of the ‘who’s who’ that attended), scroll through some photos…Just launched--Bacardi Internet Radio…US Weekly just announced in their Buzzz-O-Meter that celebrities including Pink and Shannon Elizabeth are zoning into cachaca, Agua Luca, that is.

SPIRITS OF MEXICO The Polished Palate is hosting two Spirits of Mexico major Tasting Events in 2006. The New York City event will take place in early May and San Diego’s takes place in September. Among those stellar brands you may sample are Tequila Espolon de Agave, from Shaw-Ross Importers and Scorpion Mezcal from Caballeros Inc. For a preview of the multiple award-winning Scorpion Mezcals and a tour of the annual Mezcal Festival in Oaxaca, (wah-HAH-kah) every July, please read my (hopefully entertaining) informal journal. And, for the most up-to-date listing of Mexican Spirits, Mark Cannon of Poco Tequila has the most comprehensive site on the subject.

IN OTHER NEWS… The Museum of the American Cocktail will open its permanent New York collection this March at BALANCE, 215 West 28th Street, NYC…their new exhibit opens at Commander’s Palace Las Vegas March 5-8…Moving Pictures Magazine, Official Sponsor of The Tribeca Film Festival, will be hosting another one of their SMASH HIT events in NYC in late April/Early May—stay tuned… Taste of the Nation NYC takes place in May at the Metropolitan Pavilion…COCKTAIL 200™, a celebration of the cocktail's 200th birthday, is coming to the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas on May 13, and features the First Annual American Cocktail Awards

SILENT AUCTION All Polished Palate events support the Sky Ranch Foundation.

Polish your Palate and Proceed to the Silent Auction where you will find offerings of these remarkable spirits and help Sky Ranch in their efforts to treat and care for troubled youth.Always Polish Your Palate Responsibly.

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Dori Bryant
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