Envision the gentle beach breeze you feel when hanging out under a tiki hut bar sipping a refreshing rum-based cocktail. OK, so that won’t be the exact scene at this weekend’s Miami Rum Renaissance Festival, but if you like rum, it’s the place to be. Here’s why.
1. VIP Tasting Bar
This is the place for serious rum enthusiasts. Here you’ll sample luxury, vintage and limited edition rums. Robert Burr, author of Rob’s Rum Guide and host of Rum Minute on YouTube, opens up his private collection for this special tasting. The bottles are like artwork contain high quality rums from Jamaica, Barbados, Martinique, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic. Saturday and Sunday 1 to 6 p.m. for an additional fee.
2. Grand Tasting Village
This is the main event for the weekend and where you can get your true rum fix (if you’re not careful, you might leave here talking like a pirate). The aforementioned Burr guides enthusiasts through an impressive American Rum Portfolio as well as Rums from Puerto Rico including Bacardi, spiced rums, cane rum, rum from El Salvador and plenty of Caribbean rums. Keep that Uber app updated and handy for the ride home.
Who doesn’t love a good competition? Let’s face it, rum is the perfect vehicle for blending delicious original concoctions. Watch as exhibitors vie to win over the judges with their creative blends in their quest to win the top prize — two tickets to the Hukilau event in Fort Lauderdale — in the Shaker Showdown Exhibitor Cocktail Competition. There’s also the Consumer Rum Jury Tasting Competition, a blind taste test.
4. Classes and talks
No, these won’t be boring talks because c’mon, it’s all about the rum! Learn about pairing rum with chocolate from Italian Rum Master Leonardo Pinto or about Tiki in the Big Easy and New Orleans ties to rum with Carol Cortright, owner of Roadside Attraction. There’s always a tie to pirates with rum and author Dave Broom explores that, creating a Rum Flavor Map detailed in his book Rum: The Manual which he will divulge extensively.