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London Cocktail Week 2014 – El Dorado 25 Year Old Rum Tasting Oct 09

London Cocktail Week LogoEl Dorado Rum Logo

 

 

 

 

 

 

The one that you won’t want to miss. Whether you are dyed-in-the-wool rum lover or new to rum, you NEED to get tickets to this session.

A rare chance to sample El Dorado 25 Year Old, a limited edition vintage rum. Distilled in 1986 and blended by the late Master Distiller at the Diamond Distillery in Guyana, only 4000 bottles were made and this is your chance to try magic in a bottle. Stefanie will build up your taste buds with samples of El Dorado 12 Year Old, 15 Year Old and 21 Year Old rums beforehand. More details can be found here.

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!

Floridita Rare Rum Club – Mount Gay Rum Nov 12

Floridita Rare Rum ClubDespite the complete lack of a tropical climate, it’s clear that London has an important role in the international Rum scene; what with it playing host to RumFest every year; having several great rum bars and during 2011, it’s been home to 3 different Rum Clubs.

For several years now, Notting Hill’s Trailer Happiness has been the home to the London Rum Club and while it may not always have been as regular a fixture on the calendar as it should have been, for several months now it has without fail taken place every 1st Monday of the month. It is well supported by the rum trade, the bar and it’s staff and of course the regular Rum Club enthusiasts.

Then this July we found a new Rum Club raisingMount Gay 1703 Rum Tasting its head above the parapet, at the City of London’s Tiki bar: Kanaloa. However, despite a promising start, it appears that it wasn’t mean to be. Maybe it was the format of “once every two weeks” being too much for London’s Rum Aficionado’s; maybe it was slightly sporadic nature of which evening of the week it took place on; maybe it didn’t help that on the night it managed to clash with the London Rum Club, London also happened to go up in flames with the riots this summer or maybe it was just a bit too similar to the London Rum Club.

Maybe it was all of those reasons or none of them, but what is fair to say is that following the departure of then Head Bar Manager – Stuart Hudson, priorities at the bar appeared to change. Now with Tiki Bar Tender Jamie Kimber due to depart for Lab Bar this weekend, I think it’s fair to say that August’s Kanaloa Rum Club featuring Ron Diplomático was the last Rum Club to be held at this great Tiki bar and that it’s unlikely that we’ll see another Rum Club held at Kanaloa anytime soon.

What then of London’s third Rum Club. One that I heard about as a whispered rumour. A Rum Club mentioned in quite conversations, as it was thought to be so rare and so limited in available places that those few who knew about it, were concerned that by telling too many people about it, that they Old Rum at Floriditathemselves would miss out. One that dared to be a bit different and maybe a little bit special. Special enough that even I was concerned that by writing about it, I’d either miss out on a place or maybe it would become too crowded and change the atmosphere.

So enter the Floridita Rare Rum Club, held on the last Thursday of each month. The brain-child of the bar’s Head Bar Manager, Richard Woods. Generally recognised as one of the more influential people in the Rum trade and having one of the largest collections of rare rums in the world, it’s fair to say that Richard knows and loves his Rum.

Although it started at the end of March this year, it wasn’t until July that I even heard about it. By then they had already played host to Havana Club and their Maximo Rum. The Rare Rum Club was launched with a promise that reads:

Floridita’s Rare Rum Club is designed to encourage the tasting of Premium and unfamiliar Rums through a drinks forum, bringing some of the finest enthusiasts, imbibers, blenders, distillers and experts from around the World taking part in Seminars.

And as far as I’m concerned, it has so far succeded. Since attending my first Rare Rum Club in July I’ve tried Plantation Guadeloupe Old Reserve 1998 Rum, El Dorado 25 Year Old Rum, Mount Gay Rum 1703 Old Cask Selection and on the one evening that I couldn’t make it, they had Bacardi Reserva Limitada. Each of these is clearly rare and special and some of them have been extremely premium.

Although the format has changed slightly since its inception, the principal of enjoying rare and premium rums hasn’t. Having changed to being a paid for event, the evening now includes a sharing platter of food for the group, a rum cocktail each, access to the bar’s live music and of course the tasting. Currently, numbers are somewhat more intimate than say the London Rum Club and in fact they always be will limited. But as Richard has pointed out, this is how he wants the evening to be, as it gives everyone who attends the chance to have a proper taste of these great rums.Mount Gay 1703

So following a Daiquiri (or two) and some great tapas, the evening of Thursday 27th October 2011 found a small group of us sitting down with Richard to talk about and taste the contents of a bottle of Mount Gay Rum 1703 Old Cask Selection.

Everything about this Bajan rum shouts quality, from the simple elegance of the bottle design to the weight and feel of the bottle stop. Of course the packaging is just that, so what of the contents?

Well, 1703 Old Cask Selection is a Blend of aged Mount Gay Rum from the reserves of the Master Blender. These rums would have been fermented in wooden vats for 72 hours and then distilled in either a double distilled pot still or a copper Coffey column still, before being aged in ex American whiskey barrels.

During the aging process, the Master Blender will decide that some barrels are just right, for setting aside and they’ll be aged for a longer-than-normal period of time. With these older barrels, they can then marry the rum with other younger or older rums to create specific blends or to help balance the expected taste of their normal production rums, such as the Eclipse or the Extra Old. And it is from these older barrels that the blend of pot and column, aged between 10 and 30 years old, that 1703 Old Cask Selection comes from. Like the younger Mount Gay Rum Extra Old it is bottled at a slightly higher 43% ABV / 86 Proof.

It is a rich and complex rum, with notes of spiced fruits, banana, caramel and leather. Of course with a blend of rums up to 30 years old, it also has a richness of oak, but not so overpowering that it would detract from the enjoyment and taste. It has a warm, smooth start, with a slightly spicy finish and is every bit the luxurious expression of quality rum from Barbados.

Bacardi Havana ClubAn unexpected finish to the evening off came about when Richard then introduced us to another special rum from his collection. One that due to international trade mark issues you will generally not see outside of Miami. Following the Cuban Revolution in 1959, the Havana Club distillery and company was nationalized and as such its original creator, José Arechabala, left Cuba and headed to the United States, taking the original recipe for Havana Club Rum with him.

Today that recipe is owned by Bacardi and is currently produced for the US market only, in Puerto Rico, as Havana Club Brand. Distinctly different from either Bacardi Superior or todays Cuban Havana Club Añejo Blanco, this is an excellent pouring rum that among many things, makes for a great Daiquiri.

Expect to find a white rum, with enough complexity to make it enjoyable to sip, while remaining light enough to mix in many a cocktail. If you are lucky enough to spot a bottle of this on your travels, I highly recommend you pick one up.

So what next for the Rare Rum Club, well I’ve been advised by Richard that there won’t be any more Rare Rum Club’s held this year as the end of November will be too busy for Floridita, with Christmas bookings and that the last Thursday of December may well find the bar closed for the evening. So all being well, the Rare Rum Club will be back at the end of January, bringing in the new year with another special rum. More news on that as and when it’s available.

So my thanks to Richard and the bar team at Floridita for continuing to offer another great event on the London Rum scene and I look forward to many more. Also expect to see write ups in the future for both the El Dorado 25 Year Old and the Plantation Guadeloupe Old Reserve 1998 Rum.

For those interested in learning more about the Rare Rum Club, please either visit the Floridita Website or email Hannah Sakellariou at hannahs@danddlondon.com for more details.