Rum is such a versatile spirit with plenty of romance. It comes in a plethora of different styles, it can be white, golden or dark, made from sugar cane juice or mollases, distilled in pot or column stills and be flavoured and spiced.
I first fell in love with rum on a visit to the Caribbean to see my family – although my first experience was with a 151% Antiguan rum that isn’t for the faint-hearted.
There are four main flavour camps with rum – the intense, pungent Jamaican style of rum, the rich, sweet Demerara rums from Guyana, delicate styles of rum from Barbados characterised by Mount Gay, and light fragrant rums from Cuba such as Havana Club. Not to mention rhum agricoles from the French West Indies or the dark Navy Favourites like Captain Morgan.
If you are keen to try these and much more, then head down to RumFest 2011, now celebrating its 5th year and adding a Tropical Food Market to the mix of salsa dancing, cocktail sampling, live music, masterclasses and seminars.
Next weekend (15-16th October) Kensington Olympia 2 will be transformed into a paradise island showcasing the finest that rum culture has to offer. Rum enthusiasts can whet their palettes with over 400 rums from across the globe including brands like Bacardi from Puerto Rico; Appleton Estate from Jamaica; Havana Club from Cuba; Mount Gay Rum from Barbados; Ron Zacapa from Guatemala and Santa Teresa from Venezuela.
Plus, there will also be an opportunity to sample some of the rarest, most exquisite rums on the planet. UK RumFest brings together the industry’s top blenders, distillers and mixologists. For those who want to get in the tropical fiesta spirit and understand where the shake in their Daiquiri and the kick in their Mojito comes from, a plethora of masterclasses, talks and seminars will be taking place where rum novices can learn all there is to know from industry experts.
UK RumFest aims to celebrate not just the drink but the entire culture surrounding rum. This year sees the launch of a Tropical Food Market – an entire area devoted to presenting the finest delicacies and cuisine the tropics has to offer. Highly acclaimed rum chef Paul Yellin, who has travelled the Caribbean discovering how to create unique dishes using rum, will be demonstrating and giving seminars on how to use rum in cooking. The
Mette Cantina will be the tropics-inspired setting for the celebrity chefs and also for the Rum Experience Chef of the Year. Paul Yellin will be searching for the Rum Experience Chef of the Year where budding rum chefs will be asked to devise a run canapé and the winner will be whisked off on an all expenses paid trip to Barbados to attend the Taste Festival in November. Need to tap up my family for some inspiration for a recipe that might help me bag the trip.
Location: Kensington Olympia 2
Date: 15 – 16 October 2011
Opening hours: 12 – 6pm
Tickets: Single day tickets are priced at £22 and can be purchased from:
I arrived back in Madrid, Spain last weekend after four long months away. I’ve collected a lot of stories on my travels