The Sydney Rum Club made a much anticipated return last Monday, at Surry Hills' latest Caribbean restaurant and rum bar Jonkanoo, featuring a tasting of the full line of Mount Gay rums including their latest release, Mount Gay Black Barrel.
Black Barrel was launched in Australia around this time last year and to some of my international friends' dismay, only recently in the UK.
The rum is a blend of double pot and column distillates, aged in oak and finished in charred bourbon oak barrels. Based on the name I think you can guess just how charred those barrels are, right? Pretty damn charred would be my guess.
Next stop, Moscow! Tuesday March 4 at The Mint aka the Rum Hospital Fred Siggins of Black Pearl took home the crown at the Bacardi Legacy Cocktail Competition National Finals with his Empire of Dreams cocktail.
A combination of Bacardi Superior Rum, pineapple juice, apricot brandy, Crawley's orgeat syrup and fresh lime juice shaken over fresh coffee beans. A delicious concoction indeed.
Competing against David Nguyen-Luu (Rockpool, Perth), James Irvine (Hinky Dinks), Marco Nunes (Papa Jacks) and Nial Maurici (IXL Long Bar) it was no easy task winning the final given the serious talent Siggins was up against.
Sitting in the judges panel their creations were judged by Simon Difford (Diffordsguide), Hayden Lambert (Bar Americano) and Mark Wyatt (Rum Bar, Airlie Beach). One of the key criteria in the competition included a marketing and a social media campaign, which each of the finalists had the opportunity to showcase to the judges and audience in addition to their cocktails.
The audience also had the opportunity to taste each cocktail made by the finalists as well as other refreshments available at the bar.
I look forward to seeing Fred Siggins up on the stage in Moscow in May and wish him all the best and good luck!
"Do you remember as a child, rabidly clawing open Advent Calendar doors to get to the chocolate-y goodness within? What if, as an adult, you could regain that festive excitement?"
I remember, and I also remember the first time Master of Malt announced their Whisky Advent Calendar, an absolutely spiffing idea, might I say, and a great way for me to relive my childhood... in an adult and perhaps in a slightly more responsible way.
Earlier this year I was privileged to be invited to an exclusive launch event with Facundo Bacardi and the Master Blender Manny Oliver, together with several other Rum Experts from the International Rum Expert Panel.
The event was held at the Bath Club in Miami where we participated in an exclusive luxury dinner and a tasting of the new Facundo range of rums, named after the company founder.
The Facundo Rum range consists of four different rums starting with the white rum Neo, aged up to 8 years. It is one of the oldest white rums currently available and in my opinion also one of the more complex white rums. The suggested retail price for Neo is USD$45.
The second in line is called Eximo, which is a blend of medium to heavy bodied rums aged for 10 years in oak, retailing for USD$60.
Exquisito is the third rum and is a blend of 7 to 23 year old rums, interestingly finished in sherry casks that adds to the rich flavour profile, retailing for USD$90.
Finally we have the Paraíso, a superb blend of 15 to 23 year old rums finished in French Cognac barrels. This is a very rich rum and you can really notice the barrel influence in the flavour. The Paraíso will retail for around USD$250 per bottle.
For the first time in its five year history the Bacardi Legacy Cocktail Competition will enter Australia, challenging local bartenders to create a cocktail that aims to reflect the 150-year-old legacy of the Bacardi brand, a drink that will stand the test of time and become a true classic.
“BACARDI Legacy is one of the true grand slams of competition bartending, and we are delighted it’s open to Australian bartenders for the first time. Australian bartenders are internationally recognised for their innovation and creativity, and I can’t wait to see an Australian bartender representing us in Moscow.”- Demetrius Giouzelis, BACARDI - Senior Brand Manager
Bacardi will hold Regional Finals in each of the major states in Australia in October and will select one finalist from each state who will compete in the National Final in Sydney, in March 2014. The winner of the Bacardi Legacy National Final will represent Australia in the Global Final in Moscow in 2014.
Having just introduced cocktails, in a world first, to the Antarctic, the Rum Experience University is the latest venture of Ian Burrell, the organiser of the annual UK Rum Experience, and promises to educate students in rum in an in depth five-day course in Spain.
The course is meant for anyone wanting to earn a living within the rum or spirits industry, such as bartenders, aspiring brand ambassadors and even bloggers and will entail everything from production methods of rum to barrel making to mixology to tasting and blending rum.
During the week you will have an opportunity to learn from not only Ian Burrell but also from other industry veterans such as Richard Seale from Foursquare Distillery, rum ambassador David Cordoba, Tiki author Jeff Berry, food scientist Bernard Lahousse, consultant Michael-Don Smith and cocktail historians and authors Jared Brown and Anistatia Miller with more speakers to come.
Want to see how rum is produced at the Clément and J.M distilleries on Martinique? Then check out these two inspirational videos taking you through the beautiful surrounding nature and culture to the distilleries where the juice is extracted by crushing the sugar cane, fermented, distilled, aged and bottled for your pleasure.