Rhum Fest Paris 2019 – The Sugar Cane Journey


The 6th edition of the Rhum Fest Paris will be held in the Grande Halle at the Parc Floral in Vincennes in a 2,800 m2 exhibition space on 13-15th April. With more than 180 brands and nearly 60 countries represented, it has established itself as a vibrant market place with the aim of becoming the leading European rum show.

Rhum Fest Paris: THE major European rum market place

The show doubles its size into a bright and airy environment, for visitors to taste and communicate with rum experts.

This space creates more scope for fresh activities and new formats for stands and offers brands the opportunity to present immersive, personalized spaces. Finding your way around the show is made easy with a hall that is entirely geared to welcoming visitors, exhibitors and journalists, including:

– 6 entrance zones for the public
– 1 entrance zone exclusively for exhibitors
– 1 entrance zone for media guests

Bigger than ever before, and also taking things to another level, Rhum Fest Paris aims to be at the heart of the rum culture and its market in Europe. Thanks to the market place set up on the site, Rhum Fest Paris helps producers, distributors and importers to establish contact and initiate business.

Finally, to avoid queues, this new venue has 5 different food outlets with:
– An indoor restaurant
– 3 world food trucks (Martinique, Venezuela, Afro-Caribbean)
– 1 snack bar for fast service

Not to mention the classic features of Rhum Fest Paris:
– The masterclass marquee
– The entertainment tents with, among other things, an intriguing escape-room game with a rum theme
– Dedicated enclosures so brands can flex all their immersive creativity:
– The novelty bar – All things new and adventurous
– Calypso cocktail bar
– The pop-up Christian de Montaguère boutique – A fantasy of rum and Caribbean delights

In short, Rhum Fest Paris is still a serious rum festival but with even more to appeal to professional visitors and consumer rum fans.

Dates and times

Public days
Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 April 2019
From 12 noon to 6:30pm

Trade day for professionals in the drinks business
Monday 15 April 2019
From 10am to 5pm

Grande Halle du Parc Floral – Vincennes

Ticketing and accreditation

Havana Club Throws Global Cocktail Party To Celebrate ‘Old Fashioned’ Week


Gather your friends and celebrate Old Fashioned Week in style this year with a free Havana Club 7 cocktail at the Havana Club ‘Seven Heaven’ parties around the world on 7th November 2018.

Inspired by the cult of the number seven, Havana Club 7 is taking over seven bars across Europe and Latin America at 7pm (local time) and invites cocktail lovers to discover a new and exotic twist on the father of all cocktails – a Havana Club 7 Old Fashioned, crafted with the rum born and made in the streets of Havana.

The list of bars taking part includes:

Solange Bar, Barcelona
Licorería Limantour, Mexico City
Baltra, Mexico City
Xaman, Mexico City
Baba au Rum, Athens
Ipitou, Athens
No Entry by Big Mama, Paris

Entry to the cocktail party and one Havana Club 7 Old Fashioned per head are free of charge but bookings are essential via Eventbrite.

Meimi Sanchez, Havana Club Global Brand Ambassador, added: “The Old Fashioned is a classic cocktail that will never go out of style, but an Old Fashioned made with Havana Club 7 offers a fresh taste of Cuba that provides a tropical twist that’s perfect for modern palates. Join us at our Seven Heaven cocktail party across Europe on the 7th November and be part of the rum revolution!”

Crafted for the first time in the 1970s from a range of different aged rum bases and a new continuous ageing process, Havana Club 7 Years Old was the first ever extra-aged Cuban rum and offers a variety of deep flavours including tobacco, sweet fruit and spices.

Little Red Door Pop-Up at Callooh Callay’s JubJub Bar

Remy Savage and his team from Parisian bar Little Red Door will be hosting an exclusive showcase of their new Evocative Menu at Callooh Callay’s JubJub Bar from Wednesday 20th – Sunday 24th April.

Launching in Paris on the 18th April, the menu explores the evocative nature of flavours and whether we all share similar feelings when exposed to different sensory stimuli. Composed of 11 works of art created by international painters, sculptors and creatives, the menu offers visual representations of the emotional imagery evoked by each of the 11 distinctive cocktails. Guests are invited to discover a drink not by name, nor description – which can be laced with personal preconceptions – but by unique artistic interpretations, allowing a true multisensory experience.

An exclusive opportunity to sample the menu’s offering in London, walk-in tables will be subject to availability 7pm – 9pm, whilst reservations for 9pm onwards can be made from 14th April onwards by emailing: marie@calloohcallaybar.com

T: @LRDParis @Callooh_callay
IG: @lrdparis @calloohcallaybar


Next Stop Paris For UK Monin Cup Champion

Joe Wild - Monin

Joe Wild from Jenny’s in Liverpool is heading for Paris to compete against mixologists from around the world, following a resounding victory at the UK Monin Cup Final.

Joe impressed the judges with his cocktail, All for One & One For All, featuring Monin’s new Lemongrass syrup, Monin Caribbean syrup, Monin Rose syrup and Monin Spicy Mango syrup, vodka, lemon juice, Prosecco and egg white. He will now go on to represent the UK in the International Monin Cup Final in Paris on December 1.

The UK Final took place on the Tuesday of London Cocktail Week at the Monin Studio in Hoxton Square . Eight young bartenders from across the country shook, muddled and stirred their way through the competition in which Joe Macbeth from Lacehouse in Nottingham took second place and third place went to Jake Mellish from Boilermaker in Nottingham , who also impressed the judges with his brand research.

Each finalist presented their take on the theme “If the UK were a cocktail” to a panel of judges including UK Monin Cup 2012 winner William Humphery, The Cocktail Lovers’ Gary Sharpen and Monin Brand Manager, Darril Ling . The drinks were judged on taste, balance, originality and visual presentation, with points also awarded for performance and interaction with the judges. The only stipulation was that each cocktail must contain at least 20ml of product from Monin’s extensive range of more than 140 syrups, fruit purees and liqueurs.

Competitors were then quizzed on their Monin product knowledge and put through their paces with a taste test, requiring them to blind taste ten Monin different syrups and correctly guess each flavour.

As well as the honour of representing his country at the International Monin Cup Final in Paris on December 1, Joe also wins an all-expenses-paid trip to Monin’s headquarters in Bourges , France .

James Coston, Monin UK brand ambassador, who compèred the event, said: “The competition produced some fantastic drinks, all of which showed flair, innovation and an exceptionally high level of skill. It’s been really encouraging to see just how much young bartending talent we have here in the UK , and we’re delighted with the judges’ decision. I can’t wait to see Joe take on the world at the International Monin Cup Final in December.”

Darril Ling , Monin Brand Manager, said: “The sheer variety of cocktails produced at the UK Monin Cup Final was really impressive. As well as showcasing our best and brightest mixologists, this competition is also about demonstrating the versatility of the Monin product range – and Joe’s cocktail is a perfect example of this.”

All For One And One For AllAll For One & One For All

5ml Monin Caribbean syrup
5ml Monin Lemongrass syrup
5ml Monin Rose syrup
5ml Monin Spicy Mango syrup
15ml egg white
25ml lemon juice
50ml vodka
Prosecco to finish

Shake ingredients and serve straight up in a coupette topped with Prosecco and garnished with a rose bud.

Pigalle Tasting Notes


Pigalle vodka came across my radar in the past week or so, with intrigue from their bottle design capturing my eye. I received one of five different bottle labels, with mine symbolising Paris with the use of a red light glowing from a lamp post, with the Eiffel Tower in the background.

Being a French vodka, Pigalle uses the tradition of the French Spirit Valley Houses and has within French wheat  from the Limousine, Cognac region. It’s fermented in batches and distilled five times, before being blended with 4°C water from the Gensac springs that lowers the abv to 42.6%.

So how does it fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

Pigalle – 42.6%

Incredibly smooth, with hints of the French wheat noticeable at the end. Smooth on the palate, with hints of almond, slight peppet and a growing spice. A long, warming finish.

Not bad to be honest, making it not just the design (others being  a club door, dollars, craps and a show girl) that will have consumers and trade talking. Although not available in the UK as of yet, I can imagine it will be on its way. If you can’t wait, it’s just an excuse to nip to Paris for the weekend and experience! Oh and it’s also award-winning, grabbing a Gold Medal at the BTI (Beverage Testing Institute) official Tasting Institute of Chicago 2013.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Bénédictine Trip Review


This week I’ve been extremely lucky to be invited along to not one, but two fantastic places within France, courtesy of the French liqueur Bénédictine.

Following on from their nationwide cocktail competitions from the past few weeks, winners from Glasgow, Nottingham, Manchester and London came together, alongside the Bénédictine team and fellow media representative Gary Sharpen of The Cocktail Lovers, to enjoy a three-day trip. With an itinerary that included the likes of a tour of the Bénédictine palace, the distillery itself and a cocktail safari of some of the best bars in Paris, the trip was one that I personally had been looking forward to.

Day 1:

After meeting at St Pancras and hopping on the Eurostar to Calais, a bus ride to Fécamp, the location of Bénédictine, gave us all the first glimpse of France and Normandy. The fishing port of Fécamp was the location for our hotel, and only a five-minute walk through the streets to the stunning Bénédictine palace. Here, we enjoyed a Bénédictine cocktail master class by Frenchman David Tanton of Dou Dou drinks (and resident Bénédictine cocktail creator) in the custom-built bar next to their Winter Garden. Here, he created for us ten cocktails that all included Bénédictine. A highlight for me was the following classic –

Milk and Honey

Milk and Honey
Milk and Honey

Glass – 


Ingredients – 

30 ml Bénédictine
Cold Milk
1 Orange slice
1 Cinnamon stick

Method – 

Pour Bénédictine into the glass, add ice, and top up with cold milk. This recipe can also be done with soya milk or hot milk. Garnish with orange slice and cinnamon stick.

Another classic he created for us all was the original Sling, as well as the Singapore Sling version, the Bobby Burns and the simplistic Big Ben. This really showed us the versatility of this herbal liqueur, going from adding tonic water or white grapefruit juice, to combining whisky or cognac to create a powerful yet satisfying drink. Of course, plenty of Bénédictine straight or over ice were on offer, including their lesser known B&B (Bénédictine and Brandy) and their Single Cask variety – a spirit that is only available to purchase within the palace itself.

Dinner came straight after the class, with the evening being held within a rather stunning room named the Abbots Hall. Here, a three course meal was prepared for us all, with scallops to start, duck and sweet pear with veg for mains and a variety of cheese for dessert. This also gave us the chance to get to know the rest of the group, including Philippe Jouhaud, the Sales and Marketing Director at Château de Cognac within Bacardi (the owners of Bénédictine) and our guide for the three days. A nightcap of Bénédictine back in the Winter Garden of the palace (an indoor conservatory decked out with chairs, tables and Bénédictine memorabilia) finished off a long but fantastic day.

Day 2:

Our second say began with a walk back to the Bénédictine palace where we were going to be given a tour of both the palace as well as its distillery within. We checked out the history of the Abbey of Fécamp, the birthplace of Bénédictine back in 1510, and were shown some extremely rare artefacts from the palaces archives, including an authenticated signed charter from William The Conqueror. The palace also holds the original still that Alexandre Le Grand used to re-create the recipe in 1863 that Benedictine monk Dom Bernardo Vincelli had created all those years ago. Drapes of its cutting edge advertising techniques were also shown, as well as a large cabinet full of counterfeit bottles of Bénédictine that have been found from all over the world.

Palais de la Bénédictine
Palais de la Bénédictine

Our next port of call came the distillery itself where it takes two years for the creation of the liqueur. Under the watch of the Master Distiller, the mixtures of plants and spices go to make four secret preparations. The process begins by infusing each preparation in super-fine alcohol. Each preparation is then distilled slowly within copper stills, or even double-distilled, depending on the ingredients in it. These initial stages produce four alcoholates, also known as “Esprits”. The four Esprits then age for three months in oak casks. This maturing period allows the essences extracted from the distilled plants and spices to mix together. Once the Esprits have aged separately, they are blended together. This mixture will then rest for eight long months in a large oak barrel. The elaboration process continues with the final blend – honey and an infusion of precious saffron are added. Once added, it is heated to 55°C. The final blend is then aged in large oak barrels for four months. This final ageing process is necessary to put the finishing touch to the subtle balance between the ingredients.

After a quick hit of Bénédictine before we left, we walked down to the sea front for a spot of fresh fish lunch at La Marée (including a Bénédictine filled crème brûlée) before catching the double-decker train (yes, you read that right) to Paris.

With a hotel within the fashion district of Paris and only a two-minute walk from The Louvre, we were ready for our cocktail safari, visiting five of the best that Paris has to offer. With well-known trade representative Marie Delaporte of Bacardi at the helm, she took us to our first bar of the evening, Le Forvm. A gin Martini was my tipple of choice to begin the evening, with the others going for some specially created Bénédictine cocktails or a choice off their cracking menu. Little Red Door was our next port-of-call, with cocktails using the likes of Makers Mark, Mozart chocolate bitters, Campari and Bénédictine on offer. A great venue, with our group situated on the mezzanine level looking over the bar and the famed little red door. A spot of food was the next stage, La Conserverie the host. With some signature Bénédictine cocktails created by the team (a favourite of the night for me which combined Laphroaig, Antica Formula and Fernet Branca) and platters of meat, bread and cheese on offer, it easily sticks in my head as one of the quirkier venues we visited, but a charm that i would love to go back and see again. Soon after, we were on our way to Curio Parlor. A bar complete with stuffed foxes and peacocks adorning the walls, gave us some of their Bénédictine creations. I though was getting ready for our last venue of the evening, Park Hyatt. This 5* hotel boasted some of the most expensive cocktails I’ve come across, but my my were they good. The highlight? La Parisien Cocktail – Bénédictine, rye whisky, Martini Rosso, Peychaud bitters and Ardbeg. To die for!

La Conserverie
La Conserverie

Day 3:

An early start for me as we had a couple of hours to pass the time with a spot of sightseeing of Paris, taking in the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe and the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. A taxi ride back to Gare du Nord train station to catch the Eurostar started the long journey back to London and Manchester.

Highlights? The Palais de la Bénédictine with the tour of the rooms and the distillery itself. Having dinner within the Abbots Hall will always be remembered, as well as visiting the Paris bars of Le Forvm, Park Hyatt, Little Red Door and La Conserverie. This was the first time I’ve visited France and Paris, so even the sightseeing aspects were a bonus for me.

The trip has given me a greater idea of how versatile Bénédictine is, as well as seeing how well-loved the brand is here in its home country. It’s always  great to put pictures into perspective too, and the chance to see a liqueur distillery (a very different affair compared to your gin or whisky set-ups). A trip I didn’t want to miss, and I’ll happily go back again.

Also, watch out for a great little video that will be hitting the web very soon, courtesy of the guys from MC2tv. I won’t spoil the surprise, but I can safely say it puts a different view on the journey undertaken!

Check out a whole host of photos via my Facebook page of Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3.

Check out my piece on Bénédictine as well as tasting notes for all three of their expressions here.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Cocktails Spirits 2013 Winners Announced


Last week, 4.000 professionals contributed to the success of the sixth edition of Cocktails Spirits – the Paris Bar Show. Bartenders from all over Europe, key industry “movers & shakers”, buyers, distributors, brand owners, producers, brand ambassadors visited the show, attended conferences, presented, especially shared and exchanged during the Paris Bar Show’s two days.

With a 30% growth in the attendance, Cocktails Spirits has become an international event and a must visit for the European scene.

Cocktail bars from various countries presented their city’s cocktail trends and their operations on the Bar Rouge stage. New York City’s newcomer Dead Rabbit, Istanbul’s “Bar with no name”, Munich’s Gamsei bar, Copenhagen’s Ourselves Alone, London’s Happiness Forgets, Stockholm’s Little Quarter and Gent’s Jigger’s The Noble Drugstore shared their experiences and their “savoire faire” with the audience.

Cocktails Spirits is “the place to be” to observe trends, anticipate new patterns of consumption, discover new products and taste the cocktails of tomorrow.

Cocktails Spirits Awards 2013 ceremony closed the show:


The Best European Bar award was presented to London’s Happiness Forgets.


The award for Best French Cocktail Bar went to Paris’ Sherry Butt.

The award for best French bartender was given to Montpelier’s Papa Doble owner Julien Escot.


This 2013 edition showcased various trends for the up and coming years, trends that are leading towards greater simplicity and authenticity with a search for purity in the style approach.

If you did not attend cocktails Spirits 2013 but wish to see what happened, you can access the photos and video links of the Bar Rouge and its enthusiasts, the innovations bar, the Embassy and the various brand demonstrations.

The entire Cocktails Spirits team invite you next year for the seventh edition of the show, always more exciting and more ambitious.

Health! Salute! Prosit! Tchin! Cheers! Saude! Na Zdorovie! Salud! Kampaï!