I don’t think I was alone in believing Captain Morgan, the mascot of the spiced rum, sprung from the imagination of an advertising agency’s graphic artist. Or maybe I was. Doesn't matter, I was wrong.
Captain Henry Morgan was a real person. A real person whose ships sunk in the Caribbean in the 17th century. There they sat until 2010 when an underwater archeologist (yes, that’s a job) found cannons from one of Captain Morgan’s ships.
Captain Morgan, the brand, stepped in to help fund further expedition. They partnered with Sundance Channel to create The Unsinkable Henry Morgan, a documentary about the expedition as well as the influence Captain Morgan, the man, continues to have on Panama, artists, and historians all over the world.
I was invited to bring a guest to a screening of The Unsinkable Henry Morgan in the Screening Room at Public Hotel Chicago, 1301 N State Parkway. The event was, of course, sponsored by Captain Morgan.
The Screening Room is elegantly furnished with overstuffed settees and low tables. It looks like your media room, if you had a media room, and an interior designer with a Restoration Hardware penchant. The room was warm and welcoming, and even had throws for a cuddly movie watching experience.
We had our choice of four Captain Morgan cocktails: The Henry, Captain Morgan Black & Ginger, Port Royal Punch, and Henry Morgan’s Old Fashioned. The Henry was a rum and coke with the addition of Amaretto so I didn’t bother; Amaretto and I do not get along.
My favorite was the Captain Morgan Black & Ginger, Captain Morgan Black Spiced Rum, lime juice, and ginger ale. This was tasty, and the recipe easy enough that I may add the Captain Morgan Black & Ginger to my very limited repertoire of drinks I’ll make.
The Port Royal Punch was quite sweet, as punches tend to be. With pineapple juice, mango juice, grenadine, and lemon-lime soda on top of rum, a sugarcane-based distillation, I can imagine these could result in a horrible hangover.
My guest’s favorite was Henry Morgan’s Old Fashioned that swapped out the usual bourbon in favor of Captain Morgan Black Spiced Rum. We may have to get a bottle of Captain Morgan Black Spiced Rum for our home bar.
Because we were drinking, there was also food in the form of several passed appetizers. There were crab spring rolls with tamarind dipping sauce, chicken samosa with cilantro yogurt, beef satay with basil dipping sauce, and lobster summer rolls. Everything was quite good. The sauces were well paired.
The most interesting appetizer was dried pineapple with basil, mozzarella, and jalapeño. The pineapple was sweet, of course, but also chewy because it was dried, the cheese mild and tender, and the jalapeño gave the tiniest bit of a kick.
The Unsinkable Henry Morgan was very interesting. I don’t want to give anything away, but I do look forward to what happens next. The 30-minute documentary premiers on Sundance Channel on January 20.
Somehow we missed out on the popcorn for snacking during the showing of the film, but after the screening we were treated to more drinks and dessert of chocolate peanut butter mini cupcakes.