I had the opportunity this weekend to go to The Miami Rum Renaissance Festival that took place at the Deauville Beach Resort in Miami Beach. This event is actually a week long celebration of rum. Saturday and Sunday was The Grand Rum Tasting, an exhibition of all kinds of styles of this spirit from around the world.
The organization of the event was great! They managed to fit seminars, cocktail competitions, parties and the selection of the best rum with the RumXP International Tasting Competition all in one week. The Grand tasting exhibition included Zaya, Cartavio XO, Koloa Dark, Blackbeard Spiced, Dzama Rhum, Banks 5 Island, Botran Reserva, Zafra 21 among others.
Each brand had its own booth to display their products. Many of them equipped with brand ambassadors, bartenders and of course some eye candy. A few others chose to rely exclusively on eye candy, which was in a way disappointing (once the eye candy effect faded) to go to a booth and ask a few questions about rum aging, blending or barreling and get an I don’t know for an answer. It just goes to show how some spirit brands still don’t get it and have not realized what has been occurring in cocktail culture for over a decade.
I was really glad to see other rum brands bring their A game and have celebrated mixologists in their booths making cocktails and answering all kind of questions to the attendees of the festival. My congratulations go to Sailor Jerry for having mixologist Charlotte Voisey and Appleton 12 for having mixologist Willy Shine from contemporary cocktails. I had the chance to talk to both of them, here they are on this next video.