True Rum Masterclass
Well, I went along to "Vinopolis" on Tuesday and had a really great time. The event was organised by IP Bartenders and the West Indies Rum and Spirits Producers Association (WIRSPA) with the aim of promoting the "Authentic Caribbean Rum Marque".
There was a very good attendance, mostly of bartenders, some people having travelled from as far away as Spain and Italy.
The morning session started off with a talk from Ben Reed about the history of rum, and this was followed by a detailed look at rum production.
After lunch, Paul took over and we tasted 15 rums from several different Caribbean countries. These were:
Angostura 5 year old (Trinidad)
Appleton VX (Jamaica)
Banks XM Royal (Guyana)
Barbancourt 5 star (Haiti)
Barcelo Imperial (Dominican Republic)
Brugal Extra Viejo (Dominican Republic)
Chairman's Reserve (St Lucia)
Clarke's Court Old Grog (Grenada)
Cockspur 5 star (Barbados)
Doorly's XO (Barbados)
El Dorado 5 year old (Guyana)
English Harbour 5 year old (Antigua)
Mount Gay XO (Barbados)
Mount Gilboa (Barbados)
One Barrel (Belize)
Sunset Captain Bligh (St Vincent)
After we had recovered from all of those, it was time to mix some cocktails. 9 cocktails were prepared - 3 Daiquiris, 3 Mai Tais and 3 Mojitos; each one being made with a different rum.
After everyone had tasted all the cocktails, we all sat a test and those who passed received a certificate.
I enjoyed myself immensly as the course was both entertaining and educational. I understand that there are plenty more such days planned to take place this year and next year, both in London and other UK cities. I would strongly recommend this course not only to bartenders, but also to anybody who wants to increase their understanding and appreciation of rum.
Finally, a huge thank you to Paul, Ben and especially Nick who ended up doing most of the donkey-work.