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UK Rum Fest

Our boozy European vacation continues in London this weekend with a sampling of more than 400 rums at the fifth annual UK Rum Fest.  Here’s more….

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The Rum Experience

Rum is not just a drink; it’s a way of life. For two days rum-lovers will have their taste buds tantalised by the world’s most exclusive rums; listen to live bands playing exotic rhythms; and sample some of the tropics most relaxing past times. Plus, savour the delights of the brand new Tropical Food Market 2011 marks the fifth anniversary of UK RumFest, the world’s biggest festival dedicated to celebrating rum and sugarcane spirits. To honour this landmark occasion UK RumFest has added a brand new Tropical Food Market to its already action-packed weekend of salsa dancing, cocktail sampling, live music, masterclasses and seminars.  

This year UK RumFest is running two once-in-a-lifetime competitions. The first, open to all visitors to the show, seeks to find the Rum Experience Chef of the Year who will be whisked off on an all expenses paid trip to the Taste Festival in Barbados. The second, celebrate the best barristers in London, and hopes to find the Tiki Bar Tender of the Year sponsored by Don Q Rum who will be jetted off to Hollywood and receive a walk-on part in a A-list film.   

Yo ho ho and 400 bottles of rum 

This weekend, Kensington’s Olympia 2 event space 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.  

BRAND NEW for 2011 – Tropical Food Market  

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. 

Let’s get ready to Rum-ble  

To keep the party spirit alive over the weekend, live music bands will be playing out their reggae rhythms accompanied by salsa, samba and zouk dancers. For those who want a little bit of relaxation, head to the Bacardi Dominoes and Daiquiri Zone and try one of the tropics’ most relaxing pastimes while sipping on a cool Daiquiri. 

Cocktails and Dreams 

Think Tom Cruise, 80s films and amazing cocktails; this year’s UK RumFest is hosting the world’s first Tiki BarTender of the Year sponsored by Don Q Rum competition. The award aims to celebrate the best in the business and those who can whip up a Marama Rum Punch or create a mean Mai-Tai will be put through a round of challenges. Visitors can watch the industries top Tiki bartenders compete in a speed and guess the rum round, before the winner is chosen and taken on the trip of a lifetime. Not only will the winner be jetted off to Hollywood but they will also get a walk-on part in a blockbuster film.  

“The tropical lifestyle is one which should be shared with as many people as possible and we are extremely proud to hold an event which brings this culture to London,” says Ian Burrell, UK Rum Ambassador and UK RumFest founder. “The weekend has a carnival feel to it as hundreds celebrate rum and the lifestyle that comes with it including exotic foods, salsa and zouk dancing and live music.”  

Ron De Jeremy  

The name ‘Ron Jeremy’ tends to conjure up rather explicit imagery, however the adult movie star is branching away from Porn films and launching a new rum called Ron De Jeremy. A well-balanced 7-year-old rum from Panama it has an inviting light amber color with attractive copper hues and tastes fantastic drunk on the rocks or on its own. Ron Jeremy says:  “I love Ron de Jeremy – the taste is long and full, and the finish is smooth, which suits me perfectly! And I love the idea. Ron means Rum!” 

To learn more about the UK Rum Fest, check out their website.