The Velvet Tango Room and a Visionary Cocktail Recipe

December 11, 2012

The Velvet Tango Room is located off a dimly lit street in Cleveland, Ohio.  I was asked to visit this unique, liquid driven, often sensual boîte- frequented by denizens of the night by the hip owner, Paulius Nasvytis. 

It's been a couple of days since I've returned from performing live mixology on stage courtesy of Heidi Robb, then serving cocktails to an appreciate group at Mahall's in Cleveland

(Thank you!) and my mind is adrift in possibilities. 

The scene in Cleveland is unexpected and certainly not clique.  There are surprises on every corner in this Rust Belt town.  Vietnamese, Thai and brew pubs coexist in an up and coming manner that is both refreshing and culinary to say the least.

The Cleveland Hostel who so kindly put me up is a gem.  It's too bad that the weather was so cold and rainy, I would have enjoyed spending more time gazing out over the modern and not so modern skyline.

I had a great time and want to go back soon. 


This time I hope to do a cocktail seminar at the Velvet Tango Room. 


A few weeks ago I received a most considerate shipment from Rhum JM.  JM is Rhum Agricole from Martinique.  Rhum Agricole is quite simply, rum that is freshly crushed sugar cane.  Rum of this caliber is unknown to most drinkers of rum.  When you mention rum, many drinkers will assume that the ingredients are comprised of molasses.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  How do you know that your rum is actually made from cane?  It might as well be produced from beets!

Rhum Agricole from Martinique (a French protectorate) is produced under a specific Appelation.  This means that law permits the distillation according to a specific recipe.  In France, an AOC is the tag given to the production of wine according to law.  On Martinique, rum is treated as a distinct and historic product.

The flavor of Rhum JM Agricole is of white flowers, salty sea air and sweet cane sugar.  The power of 100 Proof distilled cane "moonshine" melts into the background.  I love to drink my Rhum Agricole as simply as possible.  Perhaps in a Ti Punch? (Rhum Agricole, Fresh Lime chunks and Cane Sugar Syrup)

Yesterday a lovely new product came to the door.  My friend Deborah Meniane of her company named Victoria's Kitchen sent me several bottles of her newest invention.  This new flavor packed bottle of joy is a mixture of soft Almond Water and tropical Coconut Water. 

Of course I wanted to mix some with a large cube of ice from my Mavea "Inspired" Water pitcher and a good dose of Rhum JM Agricole.

And how can you blame me

Victoria's Kitchen's Almond Water with Coconut is one of the most delicious things to pass my lips this year... or any year for that matter. 

To make the Velvet Tango Room Cocktail you only need a couple of things.  Here's to Pallius for your lovely cocktail lounge, the cool jazz and the black and white movies.. Hat's off to you sir!

The Velvet Tango Room Cocktail


Rhum JM Blanche (White)

Victoria's Kitchen Almond Water with Coconut

Ice in a 2x2 cube from your Mavea Inspired Water Pitcher

A clean glass


Add a large hand cut ice cube to your clean glass

Pour 3 oz. Rhum JM over the top

Top with a measure of the Victoria's Kitchen Almond/Coconut Water over the top

Drink and make that reservation to Martinique for the entire winter!


Warren Bobrow is the Food and Drink Editor of the 501c3 non profit Wild Table on Wild River Review located in Princeton, New Jersey.

He is one of 12 journalists world-wide, and the only one from the USA to participate in the Fête de la Gastronomie- the weekend of September 22nd. 2012 in Burgundy. 

He attended Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans in 2011/2012.

Warren presented freestyle mixology at the International Food Bloggers Conference in Portland, Oregon. (2012)

Warren judged the Iron Mixology competition at the Charleston Wine and Food Festival (2012)

Warren has published over three hundred articles on everything from cocktail mixology to restaurant reviews to travel articles.

You may also find him on the web at:

Warren is a published food writer and former cook.

He's written food and cocktail articles and news for Edible Jersey, Chutzpah Magazine, Voda Magazine, Tasting Table, Serious Eats and Total Food Service Magazine.

Warren attended the Kentucky Derby and the Oaks Day Races this year while on assignment for Voda Magazine.

He writes for the "Fabulous Beekman 1802 Boys" as their cocktail writer.  (The Soused Gnome)

He also writes for The Daily Basics, Leaf Magazine and Modenus

He writes for Williams-Sonoma on their Blender Blog. 

He is a Ministry of Rum judge.