By Justin Azpiazu
Rum Renaissance Miami – a celebration of cane spirits in the New World, is a chance for fans of sugar cane spirits to sample, learn about and enjoy more than 50 rum brands from the Caribbean and around the world.
Over the four-day event patrons will enjoy a host of VIP parties, rum exhibitions, rum tastings, celebrity seminars, and an event celebrating “island culture” with live music, food and tropical cocktails.
Rum Renaissance will kick off with the 2009 Ministry of Rum Tasting Competition on Thursday, May 14 and Friday, May 15 at the Florida Room inside the Delano Hotel (1608 Collins Ave.). A group of expert distillers, mixologists and spirits journalists have the delectable task of judging a slew of rums on four distinct characteristics: aroma, initial taste, body and finish. Some of the judges include Paul Artrip, a Virginia based rum connoisseur who runs therumdaddy.com, Robert V. Burr, from Coconut Grove, known for the Cane Spirit guide to the younger generation and John Lermayer, chief mixologists for Morgans Hotel Group in Florida, including the Florida Room at the Delano.
On Saturday, May 16 events shift over to the Shore Club (1901 Collins Ave.) for the Grand Rum Tasting event and seminars. The tasting event is open to the public and will be at the Red Room Garden area inside the Shore Club. Many varieties of rums will be on hand including different products from Barcelo, Flor de Cana, Zacapa and Bacardi. Aside from the 50-plusbrands at the festival, some new products are going to be introduced by vendors.
There are eight seminars scheduled, including UK Rum Ambassador Ian Burrell’s “Blind Taste Tour”, a premium rum taste tour through the Americas using your sense of taste and smell to digest the essence of the rum. Some of the other seminars are Willy Shine and John Lermayer’s “The essence of Jamaica,” Ben Reed’s “The sociable history of rum,” and Richard Seale’s “An appreciation of rum: Where is rum’s place in the world of spirits?”
To close the Rum Renaissance, revelers will be treated to The Big Bang Beach and Pool party around the pool of the Shore Club from 2-6 p.m. on Sunday, May 17.
Details for Rum Renaissance Miami
Where: Delano, 1608 Collins Ave.; Shore Club, 1901 Collins Ave.; Mondrian South Beach, 1100 West Ave.
Tickets: $45 (includes Grand Rum Tasting event, seminars, rum guide and show program); $150 (includes Grand Rum Tasting event, all trade and seminars, VIP parties, VIP goody bag, pool and beach bash, rum guide and show program.)
Purchase tickets online at rumrenaissance.com or for more information call 305-443-7973.