The Rum DiariesFebruary 3, 2012
Paper umbrellas, be gone. Blenders, beware. Fine aged sipping rum – akin to scotch and bourbon or, depending on the cask, even cognac – is the stuff of sophisticated connoisseur dreams and it could not be further away from the sticky-sweet concoctions of Pina Coloda fame. What gourmands have known for years is (finally) catching on – premium rum is delish. In fact, Forbes recently reported that Americans are drinking 10% more super premium rum annually, and a deep appreciation has developed, especially with men, for this smooth and complex spirit. Rum has gotten so jet-set and on-point, our sister property One&Only Ocean Club is hiring a RUMMELIER (I’m not kidding) to guide guests to the perfect before or after dinner drink.
Made from cane sugar, rum is an island specialty, woven into the culture and legends for centuries (pirates and Rum Runners, anyone?) and its history permeates the Bahamas and its neighbors. My favorite sipping rum is Pyrat XO Reserve (Anguilla) http://www.pyratrum.com, which is on the sweeter side with its notes of apricot and honey, but Bernard Mazet, senior beverage manager of Ocean Club swears by Cruzan Single Barrel (from St.Croix, Virgin Island), Eldorado 15 years Old (Guyana) and English Harbour (Antigua) and, yeah, he really knows his stuff.
Sipping rum is meant to be savored and pondered, like life’s great mysteries. And from what I hear, rum and cigars are a match made in humid tropical island heaven so go for a two-for, sit back and light up a Bahamian-made Graycliff stogie (available at Ocean Club) as you sip. The point is to go slow: pull up a chair, talk, listen. Fine rum may spark a conversation; it just may make your night. Who knew that Blackbeard was such a trendsetter? Bottoms up!