I was invited to attend a Botran Rum tasting & mojito class at Sabores by Chef James located at 4100 W Flagler St, Miami (saboresbychefjames.com). I got to hangout with fellow bloggers Mitch from Mitch and Mel Take Miami, Geoff from Miami Food Pug, Mirtle from Latina Food Chronicles, Samantha from The Naughty Fork, and Cassandra from The Hungry Post.
We kicked off the night with a mojito class led by Bernie (spiritgeek on instagram). He taught us that there is no replacement to real, fresh squeezed lime juice when it comes to making a kick ass drink. Another tip: you don’t have to crush the life out of your mint leaves. Simply, clap a couple of times while holding the mint leaves in your hand and the aroma of the herb will be awakened. Tweak the amount of lime juice and sugar to make the mojito more sour or sweet to taste. Finally, the last tip is to use a good brand of rum like Botran Rum.
Once we made our own mojitos we sat down to taste the amazing tasting menu by Chef James Tahhan. He paired our refreshing mojitos with perfectly round croquetas made with manchego cheese and guava sauce. The guava added the perfect contrast to the savory manchego cheese. The croquetas were crunchy on the outside and deliciously gooey in the inside.
Next on the menu, we had the bacon wrapped dates with a blue cheese mousse. This was my favorite dish of the night because BACON; but it was also a well balanced dish with fantastic flavors. The sweet dates wrapped in savory bacon served with the frothy cheesy mousse was a great combination. If you visit Sabores by Chef James do not leave without trying these wonderful appetizers.
The dates were paired with a watermelon rum smash. Bernie had previously made the base for the rum smash by blending basil leaves with a sugar syrup and lime juice. This was my favorite drink of the night with its chunks of watermelon. I like fruity drinks and this was one amazing fruity cocktail.
The dates were followed by a new take on shrimp ceviche. Chef James added tomato and orange juice to his ceviche to create a unique taste reminiscing of a citrusy shrimp cocktail. It was garnished with a long and toasty plantain chip.
The shrimp ceviche was paired with an old fashioned made with sugar, bitters, and Botran Rum.
For dessert, Chef James presented a Venezuelan cake made with Maria cookies, chocolate, and condensed milk that melts in your mouth. It was a great ending to our rum pairing adventure. Thank you for the tasty invitation! All the drinks and food were off the menu of the Sabores by Chef James restaurant. Stop by and try your own pairing adventure!