Neptune

Neptune

“Many are the ships wrecked due to Neptune’s wrath. Drink to his better nature and pray that his storms are stilled”.

I do love a good marketing slogan! They capture the brand in one or two sentences, and with the above coming from Neptune rum, you don’t half expect something to blow you away! With this, Neptune has arrived to the UK shores like a breath of fresh air, offering up a rum that is distilled and aged at the renowned Foursquare Rum Distillery within the former 17th century sugarcane plantation in Barbados.

Launched after the first bottle run in May 2017, Richard Davies has created a liquid that mixes both pot and column still variations before being aged within American bourbon oak barrels for a full 3 years. Neptune is then transported to the UK at 63% abv before soft water added to reduce its strength down to 40% abv and caramel to enhance the colour before bottling.

It’s already picking up some fanfare in the awards world, winning Silver in both the Spirits Masters in 2017 and New York World Wine and Spirits, plus picking up a Gold Medal at the China Wine and Spirits Awards earlier in the year.

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

Neptune – 40%

A light, tangy note of fresh banana, vanilla and subtle citrus. A soft kick of caramel comes through to the palate, followed by  ripe green fruits, scented orange oils and a fresh lick of molasses. A long, thin finish that makes you grab the bottle for another.

A great Barbadian rum on its own, but how about a variation on the Manhattan for a twist on your rum experience?

cocktails-1Neptune’s Due

Glass –

Martini

Ingredients –

60 ml Neptune Rum
15 ml Sweet Vermouth
2-3 Dashes Angostura Bitters
Maraschino Cherry

Method –

Pour all ingredients into a mixing glass with ice, stir well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a Maraschino cherry.

One for the rum collection for sure, versatile and you’ll be in love with the story and label. ‘Drink it on a boat’ sort of rum!

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2018. 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.

 

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The Darkest “Hotel” Launches For Valentine’s Day

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Valentine’s Day beneath the tempestuous waves can be a torrid affair, but buoyed with a seasonal kindness rarely seen from the Ocean’s mightiest Beast, The Kraken Black Spiced Rum has delivered the answer many UK couples have been looking for. Seeking out one of the very darkest spots in the UK, The Kraken Black Spiced Rum has crafted the world’s darkest “hotel” – a unique ‘rumantic’ Love Lair draped in black upon black, furnished with imposing midnight décor…And they’re opening it up to couples seeking a wholly particular experience.

Set deep in the depths of the English countryside where even the brightest light struggles to penetrate, The Kraken Black Spiced Rum is inviting the adventurous to the launch of the world’s darkest hotel experience – a unique romantic sanctuary that’s dedicated to the dark, located under one of Britain’s blackest skies. Perfectly positioned in Northamptonshire, one of the darkest parts of the country, the unique accommodation allows you to be fully immersed in the grandeur of nature from the comfort of your own hotel.

But beneath the inky darkness, make no mistake that the benevolent Beast has pulled out all the stops to give you a devastatingly divine VIP Valentine’s treatment. A private bartender will shake up a selection of The Kraken Black Spiced Rum’s finest cocktails at your own personal bar including the Kraken’s signature serve, The Perfect Storm, as well as the sensational Any Port In A Storm. What’s more, a blazing Squid Bite will be served hot to fire up the cockles of our hotel guests.

The Love Lair is decked out with everything you need for the perfect Valentine’s – complete with a fireplace, mini bar, outside decking and luxury throws, everything from the interior to the exterior is delectably dark, decorated with the Kraken’s tentacled touch, this is Valentines the Kraken way…

The Kraken doesn’t discriminate – from best friends to siblings to spouses – those lucky enough to nab a coveted night of stargazing at the Love Lair can stay courtesy of the sea beast itself. The Lair will be hosting guests during the Valentine’s week between 7th to 14th February. A lucky couple will be able to win a night at the Kraken Love Lair via The Kraken Black Spiced Rum Twitter page by tagging their Valentine along with the hashtag #KrakenLoveLair.

Those who’d like to guarantee their dark and devilishly romantic night in the Kraken Love Lair can apply for tickets via The League of Darkness (www.theleagueofdarkness.co.uk/krakenlovelair). Price for one night is £50 and includes dinner and Kraken cocktails specially made by our mixologist in your very own bar. A luxury Kraken Love Lair welcome pack containing delicious treats and Kraken apparel to keep you warm, Kraken mini bar goodies and a night in the luxurious lair are all included. See website for details: http://www.theleagueofdarkness.co.uk/krakenlovelair

Edinburgh’s Leon Black Announced UK Winner Of Bacardi Legacy 2018

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28 participants from 10 countries competed in the Northern European finals of the BACARDÍ Legacy Cocktail Competition in Amsterdam. Leon Back from Edinburgh’s Panda & Sons was announced the UK winner with his drink ‘The Queen Street’, and will go to the world finals in Mexico for the chance to be crowned global winner of one of the most prestigious cocktail competitions in the world.

BACARDÍ, the world’s most celebrated rum, invited bartenders from all over the world to participate in the competition. Every year BACARDÍ takes this opportunity to seek out cocktails that stand a chance of becoming genuine classics, like the legendary Daiquiri or Mojito.

28 participants from 10 countries took part in the Northern European finals for a place in the grand finals. One bartender was selected from each of the participating countries to go to the world finals in Mexico, to be held in the spring of 2018. In other words, the participants in these ‘national’ finals only competed against bartenders from their own country, but they did so in an inspiring international context, rubbing shoulders with counterparts from nine other countries.

It was not entirely coincidental that Amsterdam was chosen as the host city of the Northern European finals; the city is well on its way to becoming one of the world’s most important cocktail hubs.

The ten bartenders who secured their ticket to the finals in Mexico yesterday are:

Leon Back / Panda & Sons (UNITED KINGDOM)
Erik van beek / Bar27 (NETHERLANDS)
Didier van den Broeck / Dogma (BELGIUM / LUXEMBOURG)
Harald Gröbl / Mark’s New York Bar (AUSTRIA)
Kacper Dylak / Cinchona (SWITZERLAND)
Carl Wiman / Himkok (NORWAY)
Henri Halonen / Liberty or Dead (FINLAND)
Carl Marcus Erlandsson / Hay Market (SWEDEN)
Anthony Barry / Cask (IRELAND)
Damien Guichard / Velvet (GERMANY)

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Since it was created in 2008, the list of honour for the BACARDÍ Legacy Cocktail Competition has done more than simply put a series of cocktails by some of the world’s best bartenders into the spotlight. It has also become a genuine network of talented people, all connected by a unique contest in which camaraderie always counts for more than the will to compete.

Leon’s winning recipe for ‘The Queen Street’ cocktail can be found below:

50ml Bacardi Carta Blanca
25ml Fresh Lemon Juice
20ml 1-1 Sugar syrup
20ml Martini Ambrato
2 dashes Celery Bitters
Spritz Islay Whisky

Shake all ingredients with ice, double strain and serve straight up in a Nick & Nora Glass. Spray with a spritz of Islay whisky on the side of and top of glass

Bacardi Unveils Sound Of Rum Series

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BACARDÍ® has today announced the launch of Sound of Rum Series, a four-part music documentary which explores the influence Caribbean music has on the world and the intrinsic link between rum, music and the cultures that have combined over time to create today’s the Sound of Rum. The series is the latest iteration of the BACARDÍ the Sound of Rum creative campaign which aims to connect the brand’s island roots to modern music.

The Sound of Rum is a diverse sound and unique concept born from the brand’s partnership with electro/moombahton trio Major Lazer, announced earlier this year. It draws influence from a collection of Caribbean genres including reggae, dancehall and afro beats and fuses them with modern day global influences from hip-hop, trap and grime to create something truly unique. Sound of Rum Series is released to further illustrate and explore this cultural and creative movement.

Sarah Doyle, Vice President of BACARDÍ for Europe, says: “It is important that we continue to create content and experiences that truly resonate with our audience. The Sound of Rum began as something to connect our brand’s island roots to modern music, but Sound of Rum Series goes deeper by clearly defining the concept whilst paying homage to the culture and traditions from which it was born. We are excited to have worked with so many inspiring and authentic artists on this project which, alongside the partnership with Major Lazer, enables BACARDÍ to bring theSound of Rum to life in so many unique ways.”

Each episode of Sound of Rum Series begins with the islands conveying how the Sound of Rum, though born in the Caribbean has traveled and developed throughout the world. Featuring stars such as Major Lazer, Sean Paul and Chase & Status, the series offers musical insights into the scene and reveals how the Sound of Rum has flourished in Europe.

Episode one of Sound of Rum Series can be seen below!

Swedish Victory In The Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai Challenge 2017

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The last two weeks has seen me embrace my favourite rum brand more than ever with a trip to St Lucia for the Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai season. Hosted at Capella Marigot Bay Resort and Marina, the 5* venue became the hub for a host of international and island based bartenders for several days, welcoming with a Chairman’s Reserve Spiced Ice Tea upon arrival and offering the relaxed and chilled vibes St Lucia is famous for.

The aim of the Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai season is to culminate in a combined final of winning efforts from across the world from the last year, paired with St Lucian counterparts to crown the ultimate Mai Tai team and recipe. Representatives include the United Kingdom, USA, Spain, France, Portugal and Sweden, who each won their respective national heats to earn their way to the final.

After being inspired by a tour of St Lucia Distillers within the Roseau Valley, spiced rum talks from local producers, and an insightful chat on all things tiki by the renowned bartender and owner of Spirit of Tiki, Georgi Radev, culminating in the paired teams having the opportunity to experience the Castries Market in the capital city and pick up some local and home-produced ingredients and vessels, ready for the evenings finale.

Mai Tai

With 5 judges, including myself and Alva Preville (Taste of the Caribbean winning bartender in 2010 amongst his host of accolades), each paired team had to create a twist on the Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai, using their inspiration from their trip so far, whilst also showing off teamwork and producing to us all a display that would be worthy of the top prize!

With magic tricks and crowd chants for showmanship, it all accompanied serves such as the ‘Sop It To Me Baby’ by 3rd place winners Anthony Guaetta (Twin River Casino, USA) and Daniel Francois (Capella, St Lucia) that saw Chairman’s Reserve Spiced mixed with the 6th edition of 1931 rum, a homemade spiced liqueur and Key Lime juice. Second place had the ‘Chairman’s Spiced Intellect’ presented by Andrew Turner (Milk Bar, UK) and Ron Hillar (Capella, St Lucia). They shook up a blend of their homemade spiced syrup, Chairman’s Reserve Forgotten Cask, lime juice, pineapple juice, Angostura bitters and a dash of Chairman’s Reserve Spiced, complete with a pineapple, ginger and rosemary garnish.

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The winning drink though? It was the ‘Culture Paradise’ by Sharam Mohebbi of OGBG Bar & Restaurant in Sweden and his St Lucian counterpart Stephen Peter. Mixing Chairman’s Reserve Original and Chairman’s Reserve Spiced with Caribbean sherbet, ginger spice and passion fruit plus freshly squeezed lime, it won the judges plaudits! Earning them a cash prize, trophies and a trip for Sharam back to St Lucia, and Stephen to Sweden, plus local television coverage, it’s meant a truly well-deserved effort from both the winning team and all participants in placing them on the map when it comes to the Mai Tai cocktail!

Look out for the 2018 Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai season as more countries become involved with the challenge, as well as plenty of opportunities to experience a variety of Mai Tai twists, or indeed you can create Sharam’s and Stephen’s today!

Winning Cocktail
‘Culture Paradise’


40ml Chairman’s Reserve Original

30ml Chairman’s Reserve Spiced
30ml Caribbean Sherbet
20ml Ginger spice & passionfruit
20ml Freshly squeezed lime

Shaken over ice and served within a bowl or goblet. 

For more information on St Lucia, visit here.
Learn more about Chairman’s Reserve by visiting here.
To experience Capella Marigot Bay Resort and Marina, visit here.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2017. 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.

Havana Club Launches Cocktail Boomerang To Raise Money For People In Areas Affected By Natural Disasters

Havana Boomerang
Havana Club is calling on bartenders around the world to join a global Cocktail Boomerang on Saturday 7th October to celebrate ‘Día del Cantinero’ (Day of the Bartender) in recognition of the skills of the bartending profession.

Meimi Sanchez, Global Brand Ambassador for Havana Club, is calling bartenders to participate in the campaign and asking them to donate £7 for people affected by the natural disasters in Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and North America and Asia.
Meimi and Havana Club are challenging bartenders to make a video of themselves creating a Havana Club 7 Old Fashioned cocktail with a link to their city. They then have to send the drink to another bartender, and challenge another seven bartenders to continue the Cocktail Boomerang.

Using the hashtags #BARTENDAGAINST and #HAVANABOOMERANG, participating bartenders can share the video, tag another bartender’s names and bar’s name on Facebook or Instagram, as well as share a link to the Just Giving Website (www.justgiving.com/fundraising/hc7boomerang).

The Cocktail Boomerang will unfold around the world simultaneously, including London, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Leeds, Chester, Dublin, Paris, Singapore, Auckland, Mexico City and Moscow. Bars interested in taking part should contact Meimi Sanchez, Global Brand Ambassador Havana Club at Meimi.sanchez@pernod-ricard.com or register their interest through the ‘Bartend Against’ Facebook page.

The money raised will be given to GlobalGiving.com, the first and largest global crowdfunding community that connects not-for-profit, donors and companies, who will help hand pick local charities in the worst affected areas.

Nick Blacknell, Marketing Director at Havana Club International, comments: “We would like to persuade bartenders around the globe to continue raising money throughout the one-month long campaign”. Bartenders are encouraged to host activities in their bars, leaving a jar on their bar to collect funds for this project, or donating a percentage of their tips via the JustGiving page.

Additionally, Havana Club has offered to donate 7.000€ as well to alleviate the problems caused by the natural disasters.

To find out more, visit Havana Club Grand Prix Facebook page to watch a video featuring Meimi Sanchez and ‘Bartend Against’, available from Saturday 7th October.

The Kraken Black Spiced Rum Launches Screamfest

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The Kraken® Black Spiced Rum has announced the launch of its biggest integrated campaign of all time, Screamfest – a horror movie-inspired campaign which premieres with an immersive Kraken fright night on 13th October while simultaneously rolling out with limited edition POS in over 2,000 venues nationwide.

Screamfest is the biggest single campaign investment across experiential, branding, trade activation, social and PR the brand has ever launched, following off the back of an incredibly successful year where Kraken outstripped category growth for the fourth consecutive year.

Attendees at the Kraken Screamfest launch event will watch the scariest film of all time screened to the scariest audience of all time: an auditorium filled with clowns. Two screenings will take place simultaneously at London’s Dalston Rio Cinema and Leeds’ Everyman theatre.

The immersive events will feature a top horror film professional makeup artist who will transform the audience into Kraken-themed clowns, special Kraken ‘Inked’ pick-n-mix and a host of specially named Screamfest cocktails including The Bride of Krakenstein, The Oceans Have Eyes and the classic, The Perfect Storm, containing The Kraken Rum, ginger beer and freshly squeezed lime wedges.

Bar owners can create their own Halloween themed cocktail menus via The League of Darkness, a website which serves as a platform for members to engage with the Kraken community. Vendors can also receive a free POS kit by purchasing three bottles of Kraken Rum from nominated wholesalers throughout the whole of October.
The POS materials have been designed to help give bars a terrifying Halloween makeover and drive sales of Kraken products. They include a whole host of branding materials including Screamfest guides, promotional posters, table talkers and bar runners, black lollipops, terrifying face cards, t-shirts, make-up kits for staff and
more.

Existing stockists can also benefit from wholesale kits containing A3 Screamfest promotional posters, A5 table talkers, Screamfest face cards, Kraken mason jars, bar runners, chalkboards to list drinks offers and branded t-shirts for staff to get involved in the action.
Specially selected ‘Hero’ venues in Glasgow, Belfast, Leeds, Manchester and London will be taken over by horror-themed sampling teams, competitions and giveaways, plus a scream activated photo booth with which consumers can engage. Each of the ‘Hero’ venues will be visited by iconic Kraken Hunters who will not only engage with customers but will also bring Screamfest to life by adding value and visibility to the campaign. The Kraken Hunters will also actively encourage entry into a competition to win a year’s unlimited movie pass and other Screamfest prizes via the hashtag #ISCREAMFORKRAKEN.

Kraken has partnered with London’s Time Out magazine and Dork magazine in Leeds to promote Screamfest in both cities where the screenings will take place. Kraken is also putting elements of the campaign in the hands of its fan base by crowdsourcing the opinions of its dedicated social followers in order to determine what they think is the scariest film of all time, and this film will then be played at the terrifying screenings.
Tickets will be available from The Kraken Black Spiced Rum Facebook page from the 25th September, with presale available on the 22nd September via The League of Darkness.

Find out more at https://www.theleagueofdarkness.co.uk

Final Five Named In The Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai Campaign

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Spirits innovator Emporia Brands and award-winning Chairman’s Reserve rum of St Lucia Distillers, are proud to announce the final five venues who will be participating in the UK final of the current Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai campaign.

The evening, to be held at The Magic Roundabout, one of the cities iconic pop-up sites in London, will feature five venues from across the UK who have been tasked during July and August to promote their twist on the classic Mai Tai cocktail using two expressions of Chairman’s Reserve. Once gaining a spot in the final, the winning venue are rewarded with a training visit for two to St Lucia as part of the prestige Chairman’s XI programme.

Earning their way to the final on Tuesday 26th September will be last year’s winners Alvino’s of Newcastle upon Tyne, Colonel Porter’s, also of Newcastle upon Tyne, Milk from, Ten Mill Lane from Cardiff and our wild card entry of Panda & Sons from Edinburgh.
The respective bars will now be invited down to Magic Roundabout next Tuesday to re-create their Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai cocktail to the public at the biggest Mai Tai party of the year!

With a secret panel of judges on hand to test out each cocktail too, the winning bar will find out on the evening whether they have earnt their place on the plane to St Lucia later in the year.

Venue: The Magic Roundabout, Old Street Tube Station, London, EC1Y 1BE
Timings: 7pm – late. Open to general public and trade.

St Lucia Itinerary for the winning venue:

Day 1: Arrival in Saint Lucia
Day 2: Visit of Saint Lucia Distillers, local art makers & the Castries market
Day 3: Training session for local bartenders & Friday night in Gros Islet with the SLD Team
Day 4: Local Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai Competition judged by European winners and guest shift in the evening at Chairman’s Reserve event
Day 5: Day out on catamaran with local bartenders & SLD team
Day 6: Flights back home

Havana Club Celebrates Successful 2017 Awards Season

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Havana Club, the global leading rum in the super-premium and above category[1], has been awarded five Double Gold or Gold medals at the world’s most influential spirits competitions this year, including top medals from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, Beverage Tasting Institute and International Spirits Challenge.

Havana Club 7 Years Old was awarded a Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition – one of the most respected and influential competitions in the world. The judges were impressed with the rich, smooth and complex flavours of this exceptional rum – honouring the continuous ageing process that makes Havana Club 7 Years Old one of the finest, premium Cuban sipping rums. “The Foundational rum” – as it is widely known for laying the foundations for quality dark aged rum – also scored 92 points at the Beverage Testing Institute in Chicago.

In addition, Havana Club 3 Years Old claimed its second Gold medal in a row at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and its fifth consecutive Gold medal at the Beverage Testing Institute.

Havana Club Selección de Maestros, first expression of the Icónica Collection, also received high p raise at the International Spirits Challenge, where it was honoured with a Gold medal, adding to the already extensive list of trophies earned by this triple barrel aged rum, which is crafted through an extraordinary collaboration between the eight members of the Guild of Masters of Cuban Rum.

Nick Blacknell, International Marketing Director at Havana Club International, commented on the continued success of the Havana Club portfolio: “The broad recognition we have received from the world’s leading spirits tasting competitions demonstrates the quality crafting skills of our Maestros del Ron Cubano[2]. We are incredibly proud of the production team in Cuba, as they are the ones who know the “añejamiento” (ageing) technique – a distinctive ageing process that is exclusive to Cuban rum. We dedicate our five leading medals to the whole team of Maestros and look forward to the 2018 awards season”.

Flor De Caña ‘Rum Frontiers’ Showcases In Glasgow

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Flor de Caña discovered the new UK ‘Rum Frontier’ Champion on Monday night, as guests basked in the electric vibes of Nicaragua enjoying street food, Flor de Caña cocktails, live street art and a world renowned DJ in one of Glasgow’s best loved venues, Drygate.

Featuring an incredible line-up of first class mixologists from all across the country, each finalist pushed the creative boundaries of cocktail making to the edge in a live heat where they were challenged to design innovative cocktails inspired by the exotic home of Flor de Caña rum. The cocktails were fashioned around many areas of Nicaraguan culture, from its world famous coffee beans to the unique and vibrant art that fills the streets, the volcano which Flor de Caña’s own distillery sits at and the fact that the country is run on 58% clean, renewable energy.

Ten finalists battled it out to be crowned the #RumFrontiers UK winner and get their hands on the coveted prize: a trip of a lifetime to Nicaragua where the winner will represent the UK in the worldwide final as well as enjoying incredible tours of Nicaragua’s top attractions.

The winning cocktail blew away the judging panel, boasting an incredibly diverse and creative skillset from bartender Ryan Rhodes of Dusk in Aberdeen. Named Lava Flava, Ryan’s drink was inspired by the artist Scott Lambeck and his colourful interpretation of Nicaragua which adorned the sides of the glass. Ryan described his cocktail as a drink which he felt reflected Nicaragua; vibrant, fun and playful.

As well as the excitement of live heats, earlier in the day attendees enjoyed a masterclass run by two of the esteemed judges: Daryl Haldane (Head of Brand Experience, Whyte & Mackay) and Tristan Stephenson (The Curious Bartender). Also tasked with judging the cocktail creations were the highly-regarded Andy Gemmell (The Drinks Cabinet) and Marc Catalan (Flor de Caña).

Jonathan Gillbanks (UK Sales Director – On Trade & Specialists, Whyte and Mackay) said: “RumFrontiers was a fantastic event; we witnessed some of the most exciting bartenders from the UK come together to learn and create with Flor de Caña premium rum. The creations from the competitors were truly outstanding.”

Ryan will experience six days of adventure in Nicaragua this September, including sand-boarding on the active Cerro Negro Volcano before spending the night in the historic city of Leon. He will then return to Managua for an exclusive tour of the Flor de Caña distillery ahead of the world wide #RumFrontiers final. The remainder of the trip will be packed full of excursions including a visit to the Masaya Volcano, Masaya Artisan Market and Apoyo Lake. There will also be a City Tour of Granada along with a trip to a private island before returning home.