Inspired by drink. Again.
A few months ago, when I was 5.7 sheets to the wind, I made a visit to the shelf where the bottles live in my flat. We’d run out of whiskey, gin and vodka – and I wasn’t anywhere ready to move on to tequilla – so I plumped for a rum. It had a picture of a pirate on the front, so that had to be OK, right? It wasn’t. This stuff was so harsh I would fear for the structural integrity of the walls if you used it as paint stripper. Bleurgh!
So I wasn’t exactly looking forward to a night out with a couple of guys who’ve created their own rum. And again I was completely wrong. These are the guys behind something called Elements 8 and they’ve developed a premium rum that you’d be a fool to drown in Coke and ice. There’s two kinds – Platinum, which is a four year old filtered rum, and Gold, which is a 6 year old honey-coloured rum. They’re very different and very delicious.
Lucky swine that I am, I joined some of my blogging buddies on a bar swagger (it’s a bit like a pub crawl, except you do it with swanky cocktails) down Portobello Road. (Hi Chris, Tim, Melanie, Dom, Lea and Annie Mole). We started in the Portobello Star for some American style cocktails, then moved on to E&O for some asian-style cocktails before putting the cherry on the top of our hangovers in Montgomery Place. (You can see some shots here, if you’re interested.) All the drinks were absolutely awesome but what really interested me was the story.
I love a good story!
Carl and Andreas, the two rum dudes, used to work for big drinks companies. They’d been chatting for a few years about creating their own premium rum, then about three years ago decided it was now or never. They gave up their jobs and toured around the Caribbean until they found the perfect distillery – the oldest one in St. Lucia. They chose it because St. Lucia has such a unique microclimate, being where the cold Atlantic meets the warm Caribbean. It’s also fed by amazingly pure water from the rainforest and has the ideal temperature for distilling rum.
Bringing in sugar cane from Guyana, Bourbon barrels from Kentucky and using three varieties of yeast to produce 9 different rum bases, they blend it to create something so smooth you can drink it neat. It seems that most new innovations today are about cutting costs and doing things for less effort. These guys have taken the risk to do the exact opposite. And – boy! – is it worth it!
I’d be happy to run out of whisky, gin and vodka if I had a couple of bottles of this on my drinks shelf. Yum!