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Hit the Holiday Weekend with this Travel-Inspired, Rum-Infused Salad Recipe from Antigua and Barbuda
It’s officially summer, and the big holiday weekend of the season spells festive get-togethers and celebrations in the sun and the heat. Well, you can take a cue from a year-round hot-weather destination and spice up your summer salad with a salad recipe from Antigua and Barbuda that hits the spot this hot holiday weekend.

This distinctly tropical salad is simple yet oh so delicious and refreshing – and adults only! It features a large watermelon and is infused with Antigua’s signature Cavalier Rum; yes, rum! The secret is letting the sliced watermelon marinate in the rum for up to two days, ensuring the ultimate sweet flavour that will amp up your festivities and set a high note for the holiday weekend.

This twist on a watermelon recipe comes courtesy of Rodrick Beazer, the Executive Sous Chef of Curtain Bluff Resort in Antigua and Barbuda, the twin-island nation in the heart of the Caribbean Sea.

Antigua and Barbuda offer upscale island travelers not one, but two uniquely distinct experiences. Both islands enjoy ideal temperatures year-round, a rich history, vibrant culture, exhilarating excursions, award-winning resorts, mouth-watering cuisine and 365 stunning pink and white-sand beaches - one for everyday of the year!

The largest of the Leeward Islands, Antigua, comprises 108-square miles with rich history and spectacular topography that provides a variety of popular sightseeing opportunities. Nelson’s Dockyard, the only remaining example of a Georgian fort, a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site, is perhaps the most renowned landmark. Antigua’s tourism events calendar includes the prestigious Antigua Sailing Week, Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta, and the annual Antigua Carnival; dubbed the ‘Caribbean’s Greatest Summer Festival.’

Barbuda, Antigua’s smaller sister island, is an off-the-radar celebrity hideaway. The island lies 27 miles north-east of Antigua and is just a 15-minute plane ride away. Barbuda is known for its untouched 17-mile stretch of pink sand beach and as the home of the largest Frigate Bird Sanctuary in the Western Hemisphere. 

 

Antigua and Barbuda’s Cavalier Rum-Infused Local Watermelon Salad

INGREDIENTS:
Start with a large watermelon; seedless watermelon is best for this recipe
1 cup Cavalier rum 
½ cup toasted sliced almonds 
1 bowl of fresh island greens
½ cup local goat cheese
2 sprigs kale 
 
MAKE-AHEAD INSTRUCTIONS:
To infuse the watermelon: 
1. Cut the watermelon in half, horizontally. Place half side down on a clean, dry surface. Then slice a portion off the round top and then each side, making it a square or rectangle. Slice into approximately 1-inch slices.
2. Place sliced (and seeded, if you aren't using seedless) watermelon into vacuum / sealable plastic bag(s). Pour in the Cavalier Rum. 
3. Place vacuum bag into chamber vacuum sealer and pull a full, 100% vacuum on the fruit. You can also do this carefully without a vacuum sealer carefully by hand pressing out all the air.
4. The fruit can marinate in the rum in the refrigerator for up to two days. (After two days, juices will start to expel from the fruit, surrounding the fruit in the vacuum pouch. The fruit is usable, but the texture isn’t as perfect.)
 
To Serve:
1. Remove watermelon from the pouch. Top with goat cheese, almond slices, and kale. Garnish with greens and serve!
 
Chef Beazer says that the rum-infused salad is a perfect side dish for barbequed fish - especially salmon - or chicken. He suggests pairing it with a light rosé or pinot noir wine to accentuate the sweetness of the watermelon.
Until you can make your next – or first! – trip to Antigua and Barbuda, we know this salad recipe will be your travel-inspired star of your sizzling summer entertainment!
 

Start your Tropical Trip!

 
Salad image and recipe courtesy of Antigua and Barbuda.

Enjoy a Rum-Soaked Taste of Antigua This Holiday Season
Located in the heart of the Caribbean Sea, the twin-island tropical paradise of Antigua (pronounced An-tee'ga) and Barbuda (Bar-byew’da) should be on the radar of any traveler looking for a beach escape away from the masses with a different beach for every day of the year, and two distinctly different island experiences.

At just over 100 square miles, Antigua is the largest of the Leeward Islands. Its rich history includes Nelson’s Dockyard, the only remaining example of a Georgian fort, and UNESCO World Heritage site. The island’s calendar prestigious events includes Antigua Sailing Week, Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta and the local version of Carnival.

Little sister island Barbuda is a couple of dozen miles north-east of Antigua; only a 15-minute flight away or a short sail. The secluded, romantic island is famous for its pink-sand beaches and the largest Frigate Bird Sanctuary in the hemisphere. It also punches above its weight in attracting global celebrities, including actor Robert De Niro, one of the partners in the upcoming Nobu Beach Inn, to accompany the celebrity-chef Nobu Restaurant on the island.

Perhaps nothing combines Antingua and Barbuda’s culture steeped in British traditions and Antiguan-style Caribbean flavor, than its holiday black rum cake.

Visit Antigua and Barbuda and one of the country’s luxury resorts, Carlisle Bay, share with us an Antiguan version of a Caribbean holiday staple: black rum cake.

This version of the rich, moist and morish fruit cake is made using only local rum from the island's very own Antigua Distillery: a leading distillery renowned globally for their English Harbour Rum. The deep noir of this decadent dessert is achieved through the wonderful caramelization of soft sandy white sugar and cups of 5-year English Harbour rum.

It’s the perfect Christmas and fall holiday treat to warm you from the inside out with a touch of tropical decadence.


Carlisle Bay’s Black Rum Cake Ingredients
   1lb unsalted butter
   1lb white sugar
   6 free-range eggs
   2 tsp cinnamon
   1 tsp nutmeg
   2 tsp vanilla extract
   1lb plain flour
   1 tbsp baking powder
   4 tbsp food browning
   1lb dried blend mixed fruits, mainly cranberry, raisin, currant, dried citrus
   2 cups English Harbour 5-year rum

Method
Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add free range eggs and vanilla extract and mix.

Sift flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg together. Combine dry mixture to sugar, butter, egg mix until all incorporated. Add the browning & dried fruits and mix thoroughly.

Finally add the rum, taste and add more if you wish for a stronger flavor.

Place in a greased baking tin of your choice and cover with greaseproof paper. Bake at 280 degrees (Fahrenheit.) for 40-60 minutes, checking regularly til set. The ideal internal temperature of the cake is 205-210 degrees Fahrenheit.


For a truly authentic Antiguan confection, soak your dried fruit in the rum for as long as possible in advance. It is not unheard of for Antiguans to start the soaking step in January or even ahead of baking! But don’t worry if you haven’t started a whole year in advance, this rum cake will be a winning treat on your holiday table.

Serving
Rum goes in the cake - and with the cake when served! Treat your family and holiday guests to a shot of vintage English Harbour Rum on the side, drizzle the cake with rich cream and rum-infused caramel sauce; and you could even go as far as to pour more English Harbour Rum on top, the more the merrier!


What other travel recipes have become part of your culinary repertoire?

No matter what your family traditions, wishing you a happy holiday season!



Images courtesy Carlisle Bay




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