Rum & Cocktails News Of The Week 2/12/16

discus_logo Distilled Spirits Council Of The United States (DISCUS) has released sales figures for 2015. While the overall spirits industry experienced steady growth ($72 billion total), the rum industry saw a slight sales downturn falling 1.5% on sales of 24.8 million cases. Rum’s falling sales brought a drop in revenue to $2.3 billion (down 2%). Rum’s lone bright spot is the rise in Super Premium volume seeing an increase 2.8%.

You can view the complete report here.

This article is about Scotch Whisky producers adding caramel coloring to their spirits to provide color uniformity to their spirits but it could easily be written about the rum industry also. The question about any adulteration to spirits, is the use being done to mask the spirits flaws or is it simply done to create a uniform product? The idea of adding color, sugar, or boisé (oak-essence) has been an ongoing battle within the rum industry for a number of years and has no signs of letting up. I encourage all spirit drinkers to read this article. (

Trinidadian bartender Neal Ramdhan won the 2016 Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge (Photo courtesy of Angostura)
Trinidadian bartender Neal Ramdhan won the 2016 Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge (Photo courtesy of Angostura)
The House of Angostura recently held the Eighth Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge (GCC). The finals saw twelve bartenders from across the world challenged to create two original cocktails in under seven minutes:

– A “Freestyle Cocktail” featuring Angostura Orange Bitters using any type of alcohol
– A “Rum Cocktail” featuring one or more of Angostura’s rums and Angostura’s bitters.

Trinidadian bartender Neal Ramdhan was the overall winner receiving the Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge Trophy and the coveted title of “Angostura® 2016 Global Cocktail Challenge (AGCC) Champion,” which includes a two-year contract as the Angostura Global Brand Ambassador. (

Ramdhan’s Freestyle recipe, Bitter Mayan:

– 45ml Angostura 7 Year Old Rum
– 15ml St Germain
– 15ml Beetroot Nectar
– 15ml Fresh Lime Juice
– A dash of Angostura Orange Bitters

Ramdhan’s Rum cocktail, Resurgence:

– 45ml Angostura 5 Year Old Rum
– 15ml Aperol
– 1ml Oleo Saccharin
– A pinch of salt
– Five dashes of Angostura Aromatic Bitters

Imbibe’s bartender of the year is Meaghan Dorman of New York City’s The Raines Law Room/Dear Irving/The Bennett.

HavanaClub_Banner_002 Bacardi took the Havana Club trademark battle to the US Congress as an executive testified in front of the US House of Representatives Judiciary Committee over what is called a “sudden and unexplained” trademark ruling over Havana Club rum. The fact that Pernod Ricard and the Cuban government were able to renew the Havana Club trademark in the US. Bacardi says the renewal has “reversed long-standing US and international public policy and law”.

The battle between Bacardi and Pernod Ricard has been going at it over the Havana Club name since the mid-1990s. Pernod Ricard owns the Havana Club trademark for the rest of the world through a joint venture with the Cuban government.

“These decisions are unprecedented and shocking because they undo decades of United States law and policy by approving Cuba’s efforts to capitalise on, and traffic, in stolen goods…Courts in the United States have steadfastly held that foreign confiscations will not be given effect because such confiscations are ‘shocking to our sense of justice’.” – Rick Wilson, Senior Vice President for External Affairs at Bacardi

Pernod Ricard would be allowed to launch its Havana Club rum brand in the US if the Cuban trade embargo is lifted. While US President Barack Obama has shown interest in lifting sanctions, the change would have to be approved by the US Congress. (

Cocktail_Courier_Logo Earlier this week I was reading about Cocktail Courier and the services they provide delivering custom cocktails directly to your door. Following their motto of “We prep. You pour.”, customers can select and have delivered custom cocktails sold by the serving. Cocktail Courier curates “award-winning recipes from top local, professional bartenders around the country”. They rotate their cocktail menu monthly offering drinks crafted using a variety of spirits and fresh ingredients. Their a la carte and/or subscription service offer custom deliver of all ingredients necessary to craft 4-12 absolutely delicious cocktails delivered right to your door. (

InuAKena-header Fellow rum enthusiast Josh Miller, of, recently published an in depth Rum 101 section to his site covering everything new rum enthusiasts would need to know about rum, distilleries, and the rum industries. I encourage readers to check it out.

Flaming scorpion bowl, in a vintage Steve Crane bird bowl, with a dragonfruit volcano insert. Photo courtesy of
Flaming scorpion bowl, in a vintage Steve Crane bird bowl, with a dragonfruit volcano insert. Photo courtesy of
For this weeks notes on Tiki, I recommend’s post on preparing flaming drinks. I was not aware that using over-proof rum is not ideal. Because rum puts off an extremely hot, light blue hue it is often difficult to see and thus can be dangerous to drinkers (don’t get burned). Humuhumu, Creator of Critiki, suggests using lemon extract instead. Lemon extract is up to 84% ABV and burns with a more visible, orange flame. She also includes tips for adding sparks to your burning drink. Please dear readers be safe if trying this at home! (

Almost forgot this week’s Rum Minute from Rob’s Rum Guide.

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