“Today people expect more from their drinks, drinks that tell a story and create experiences.”
Rum is well and truly shifting its reputation as the spirit only for pirates. It is taking over drinks menus of the hottest bars, being supped by the super sophisticated as an aperitif and converting even the most fanatical after-dinner whisky and cognac drinkers, to become their digestif of choice.
This transformation forms part of the wider cocktail revolution that’s emerging, with some bars reporting over 400 increase in cocktail sales over the past five years alone. However, it’s not just any cocktail, people are turning their attention to the quality of their cocktails, with nearly 80% of UK consumers admitting they would happily pay more for a premium cocktail with high quality ingredients.
Some master mixologists are suggesting that gin and whisky have had their time in the limelight and it’s now time for rum to take centre stage. Loved by consumers and bartenders worldwide, rum is clearly becoming the go-to spirit to create cocktails for every taste.
Where better to explore this mysterious dark spirit than at the final of the World Class Bartender of the Year, hosted this year in Mexico City. This international summit brought together the world’s best bartenders as well as the industry’s leading experts to showcase and predict future trends in mixology.
Sharing some of the secrets behind the success of the world’s leading luxury rum was Lorena Vasquez, Zacapa’s Master Blender, “We’re seeing more bartenders recommending to enjoy rum in the same way as whisky and cognac – straight up – which is introducing this incredible liquid to people all around the world. Zacapa really is the most exquisite luxury tasting rum, especially when served neat, however, its distinctive depth of flavour, rich aroma and versatility also make it perfect for cocktails.
“…For us there’s no greater luxury experience than time. Time is one of our most important ingredients, time to not just possess life but appreciate it.”
“We focus on it through every stage of crafting Zacapa. From taking the time to select the finest virgin sugar cane, to our unique maturing process, to the hand crafting of a Mayan ‘petate’ band for each bottle. Time is integral in every part of the journey. It’s just as important that everyone takes time to savour that little moment of luxury as they enjoy each sip. It’s a philosophy we like to call The Art of Slow and it’s a philosophy that appears to be working.”
And it’s not just at the bar that rum is winning but at the dinner table too. More of us than ever are switching to rum for an after-dinner moment of luxury indulgence.