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London Cocktail Week 2014 – El Dorado Hosts “Lost City of Gold” Sep 25

London Cocktail Week LogoEl Dorado Rum Logo

 

 

 

 

 

London Cocktail Week (6th-12th October) heralds the start of a glittering week of activity for the award-winning El Dorado Rum, which will culminate in a series of master classes and tutored tastings at RumFest at Earls Court on Sunday 12th October.

El Dorado will also be working with Trailer Happiness, one of London’s most Tiki-Tastic bars, where a rum and food pairing event will take place, and Harvey Nichols, who will be offering a twist on the 16th Century version of a Mojito, the El Draque, named after Sir Francis Drake.

Beginning on Monday 6th October, El Dorado will be hosting its first ever Pop-up in the basement of 71 Monmouth Street just off Seven Dials, where guests will be invited to discover the legendary Lost City of Gold.

Voted the world’s best rum a record eight times, guests will take a journey through the rainforests of Guyana, the home of El Dorado rum, where they’ll see and hear the sights and sounds of the lush, tropical surroundings which are indicative of the South American country. They’ll take in the expanse of Kaieteur Falls, the highest single drop waterfall in the world, as they delve deeper into the greenery to find the luscious, liquid gold of El Dorado rums.

El Dorado Rum

Cocktails made with El Dorado’s superb range of rums will be available along with the opportunity to sample tasting flights of the El Dorado range.  A planned series of sessions will be hosted by Stefanie Holt, the award winning international brand ambassador for El Dorado Rums, at the Pop-up over the week.  Tickets are available from the London Cocktail Week website – http://londoncocktailweek.ticketsource.co.uk/ .  The sessions are as follows:

Saturday 11th October from 2pm until 3.30pm.  The last of the sessions at the Pop-up.  Here’s a chance to put your taste buds to the test and put the information you’ve learnt over the week, into practice.  The last session is ‘Guess the Rum’ – a blind tasting competition.  Think you know the El Dorado range?  Pop in to the Pop-up and blind test three rums from the El Dorado range.  You’ll be up against the clock but it’s worth it – a bottle of El Dorado 15 Year Old will be awarded to the person who guesses correctly in the quickest time.

Harvey Nichols Fifth Floor Bar will be offering a cocktail made with El Dorado 5 Year Old to those with a London Cocktail Week Wristband for only £4 over the course of the week. For those without a wristband, the cocktail is £5.50.  The Golden Draque, created by Harvey Nichols’ bar manager, Ivan Romano, takes inspiration from the El Draque, named after Sir Francis Drake and thought to be the 16th Century version of the Mojito. The Golden reference is a nod to El Dorado – meaning gold in English- which is used in the cocktail  Here’s how to make it:

El Dorado RumGOLDEN DRAQUE

Ingredients:

50 ml El Dorado 5 Year Old
25 ml Roasted pineapple and coffee bean puree*
25 ml freshly squeezed lime juice
8 mint leaves
15ml gomme syrup
20 ml soda water

*To make the roasted pineapple and coffee bean puree, cut one pineapple into cubes, add 50 gram of coffee beans and cook into an oven on low heat for 12 hours. Remove and discard the coffee bean sand blend the pineapple cubes for three minutes until you get a creamy puree.

Garnish: Mint dusted in gold and coffee beans

Method: Gently muddle the mint with the sugar and lime juice.  Add the puree and El Dorado and crushed ice. Stir together and top up with soda water.

 

 

 

The rum fun doesn’t stop there.  Trailer Happiness in Notting Hill will be offering a selection of three cocktails made with El Dorado Rum, which will be available for £4 to those with a London Cocktail Week Wristband. They are also hosting at Rum Club Food Pairing with El Dorado rum  which will be hosted by Stefanie Holt on Monday 6th October from 7.30-8.30pm.  Tickets cost £5 and can be purchased from the London Cocktail Week website http://londoncocktailweek.ticketsource.co.uk/ .

About London Cocktail Week

Back for the fifth year, London Cocktail Week – the biggest drinks festival in the UK – is just around the corner. From Monday 6 to Sunday 12 October 2014 get ready to shake, sip and party your way to a fantastic celebration of our capital’s unrivalled cocktail culture.

To be part of London Cocktail Week 2014, festival-goers must buy a wristband, which cost just £10 if booked in advance or £15 once the week begins. Wristbands give  access to the huge amount of free sampling and cocktail demonstrations, as well as the renowned self-guided Cocktail Tours; with 250 of the best bars across the capital  throwing open their doors to offer bespoke and unlimited cocktails for just £4 all week. Each bar will be mapped out in your FREE London Bar Guide, so there will be no problem navigating around.

The LCW experience starts from wristband collection at one of the London Cocktail Week Hubs from 12noon until 9pm; hives of activity guaranteed to get you into the cocktail spirit. Each Hub has their own unique twist and is placed in the epicentres of the main bar areas– be sure to set aside four evenings to visit them all!

Ron Botran – Bird of Smithfield Photo Gallery Nov 07

Ron Botran Expressions

Although there’s never a need for an excuse to enjoy a glass or two of any of the expressions in the Ron Botran range, it always helps when there’s an extra reason to celebrate. And what better excuse was there to join Ron Botran’s Frank Quinones, Isabel Molina and Luis Archila, along with Ron Botran’s UK distributors, Distillnation’s Francis and Maya Weier at Bird of Smithfield on the 9th October 2013, to celebrate the recent awarding of Geographical Indication Status to Rones de Guatemala.

So in honour of a great night and a great achievement, here’s the unofficial photography gallery from the night. Keep an eye out for the night’s special guest – the Guatemalan Ambassador to the UK: Asisclo Valladares, although I’m afraid to say that he didn’t turn up with a tray of Ferrero Rocher…

The Rum Club – Banks Rum Jan 30

Notting Hill Rum ClubHaving missed out on the last Rum Club of 2011, I was really looking forward to starting the New Year at Trailer Happiness‘ Notting Hill Rum Club. And I can happily say that I wasn’t disappointed.

Having first come across Banks 5 Island Rum at September 2011’s Boutique Bar Show, I thought I knew what to expect of the evening’s rum tasting and that it would be more of an opportunity to catch up socially, with the other rum club members. So it was a pleasant surprise to find out how wrong I was. Not only did I get the chance to reacquaint myself with this distinctive white rum, but we were also introduced to its more complex brother, Banks 7 Golden Age.  Banks Rum Master Blender - Arnaud de Trabuc

Ensuring that good things often come in three’s, James Triffo of Spirit Cartel also brought along the Banks Rum Master Blender, Arnaud de Trabuc, who talked us through our exploration of the evening’s rum and how Banks came to be.

So following a uniquely Banks 5 Island Daiquiri made by the bar team of Alex and Paul McFadyen (covering for Max and Damien), we sat down to listen to James and Arnaud explain the concept of Banks Rum.

Named after the 18th Century explorer and botanist, Sir Joseph Banks, who sailed with Captain James Cook on his first scientific expedition to the South Pacific Ocean aboard HMS Endeavour. As well as introducing the Western world to many plants, such as eucalyptus, acacia, mimosa and Banksia, Sir Joseph Banks was also influential in the propagation of sugar cane in the Caribbean.

In this light, Banks Rum attempts to capture the spirit of this English naturalist by bringing together different rums from both the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean to create a distinctive premium rum.

Conceived in 2009 it took 14 months of blending and sampling, before Banks 5 Island Rum was introduced to America in June 2010 prior to it arriving on the UK shores in March 2011. It is a blend of 21 different rums aged between 1 and 5 years old from 6 different distilleries on 5 different islands: Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad and the Indian Ocean island of Java.

The blend is then aged further in used Bourbon barrels in Amsterdam, before it is then charcoal filtered to remove the colour prior to it being slowly cut with Dutch water to a bottling strength of 43% ABV / 86 Proof.

Banks 5 Island Rum & 7 Golden Age RumThe aroma is noticeably of grassy sugar cane, almost reminiscent of Brazilian Cachaça or Rhum Agricole, while the taste starts with smooth, grassy, tropical fruit flavours, that always reminds me of the British Parma Violets sweets. It finishes with a slightly sweet spiciness.

To describe this rum as unique is not an understatement, it really is unlike any other rum that I’ve tried and it’s one that continues to provoke mixed feelings for me. There’s a lot to like about this rum and I can see it being a really interesting premium white rum for a good mixologist to play with the distinctive and complex flavours. However, that same complexity that I see as allowing a creative expression is also the same complexity that I personally think is too much in some simpler cocktails, such as the Cuba Libre or the Daiquiri.  As such I don’t see this as being my go-to white rum but more of a playful premium mixing rum.

Our other rum of the evening was the soon to be introduced Banks 7 Golden Age Rum and what a treat it was. Aged between 1 and 7 years, this is a blend of 23 rums from 7 different islands: Barbados, Guatemala, Guyana, Jamaica, Panama, Trinidad and the Indian Ocean island of Java. Unfiltered, the addition of the Guatemalan and Panamanian rums give this dark amber rum a sweeter and lighter taste than Banks 5, while still retaining some of the spicy finish. Like Banks 5, it is also bottled at 43% ABV / 86 Proof. For me this was the highlight of the evening and I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone who likes rum.

It’s worth noting that the complexity of both of these rums is due to the distinctive blend of rums. From the simple, but strong Trinidadian rums to the full-on flavour of the pot-distilled Jamaican rums via the fruity Guyanese rum and the elegant and spicy bite of the rums from Barbados. Lastly and possibly the most distinct element in the blend is the addition of the Batavia Arrack from Java, which adds a touch of spice, along with the fresh sugar cane notes. In addition, the Banks 7 Golden Age Rum adds the sweet Solera rum from Guatemala, as well as the smooth flavours of the rum from Panama.

To round of the evening’s tasting, James teased us with a hint of Bank’s next rum, which will be named in honour of HMS Endeavour. Without a sample available for the evening, there’s not really anything more that can be said about Banks Endeavour Rum at this point, but if it’s as good as their Golden Age rum it will be worth waiting for. Watch this space for future news.

Of course no evening at Trailer Happiness would ever be complete without a bit of Tiki inspired flaming on the copper lined ceiling and what’s better than some 73% ABV / 146 Proof rum to help brighten up the place… Of course it also goes without saying, don’t try this at home as you’ll more than likely catch fire to the house, injure yourself or worse still set the cat alight…

Flaming at Trailer Happiness Bar

As usual, my thanks to Max and the Trailer team for yet another great Rum Club and to James Triffo of Spirit Cartel for a wonderful evening with Banks Rum. Details for the next rum club are still pending, so please keep an eye on the Rum Diary for any update. For those interested in learning more about the London Rum Club, please either visit the website or pop into Trailer Happiness and speak to the bar staff.