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Old 02-12-2008, 09:29 PM   #1
Edward Hamilton
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Sailboat in the Caribbean and hotels.
Posts: 4,796
Default How the Ministry got its name

It wasn't a dark and stormy night, but we were drinking rum anyway. We, a few of the usual suspects and I, were in the cockpit of the rum research vessel Tafia, anchored behind a reef not far from where the full moon party was held that gotten me on the rum trail three years before. I was preparing to head down island with a load of freshly printed books. The first edition of Rums of the Eastern Caribbean had been in print a little over a year and sales were brisk. The next edition was in the planning stages and with a little luck I'd be out of first edition books by the end of the year. Already I was hearing from people who had bought my first book and were following in my wake to the distilleries, and loving every minute of the experience.

I was excited to be leaving in the morning but was at a little of a loss as to how I was going to continue the momentum and hopefully make the next book as much of a success as the first one. I wanted everyone who bought this book to go to the distilleries and see for themselves how the rum in the bottles was made. And I wanted everyone to meet some of the best people in the islands, to meet the people who had dedicated their lives to making the spirit of the Caribbean.

After another round of rum, I came up with the idea of adding a Passport to Rum to the next book. And to go with the passport would be visas good for free samples, discounts or drinks at restaurants, bars and distilleries. Everyone on board that night agreed that a passport to rum had a certain ring of success to it. But . . . How could a guy on a sailboat just issue passports and visas without some kind of authority?

Within the hour, while we savored from another bottle of rum from St Vincent someone suggested that I start the Ministry of Rum. A certain glow illuminated the dark cockpit and without another word we toasted the Ministry of Rum. Hell, in the islands there were Ministeries of almost everything, Education, Health, Labor, Tourism and somewhere there was even a Ministry of Lack of Tourism and Labor.

And so it was decided that I would start the Ministry of Rum, issue passports and visas to select places along the rum trail in the Eastern Caribbean and generally do my best to enjoy the Spirit of the Caribbean. I wasn't crazy about the idea of being the Minister of Rum, I knew I wouldn't be able to keep up a job, but, after a little more rum, I agreed that I would work for the Ministry of Rum, at least until I found a more suitable candidate for the job.

More than ten years later, I'm still at it and the Ministry of Rum has grown to include more books and this website. I'm still not sure I want a job, but as someone much wiser than me once told me, Find something you really love to do and you'll never have to work a day in your life.
Edward Hamilton
Ambassador of Rum
Ministry of Rum

When I dream up a better job, I'm going to take it. In the meantime, the research continues.
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