Thursday, 13 October 2011

London Cocktail Week: Day 3 Rum

Wednesday 12th October

A rapid dash from the office to Barrio Central wasn’t, after all, necessary. Their 6 to 8pm time slot included a welcome drink and platters of food before the master class proper started. So a rather flustered Bar Hopper arrived at Barrio, followed the signs downstairs to the “private event” and promptly collapsed on a sofa with a Claro Daiquiri (2 yr old rum) paired with a Sea Salted Caramel – for this was not any rum tasting. This was a rum and chocolate tasting.

Now I cannot honestly say that this was a perfect pairing, though I see where they were going with the salt and citrus combination classic to the margharita. What did go well were the enormous platters of food that were soon parked in front of me (my friend looked hungry apparently) with ribs, steak, patatas bravas, calamari, nachos and more. We made our way through as much as we could before moving to proper tables, all official set up, and opened our minds to this Venezuelan rum experience.

The first drink was
Lady Rosetta

Made with 2 to 5 year old rum, which for me was more attractive on the nose with a sprinkling of nutmeg, unfortunately not following through on the palate. There was a lot of peach on this, too much of the Archers about it. A white chocolate infused with rosemary and lavender was paired with this drink. It looked like an eyeball but really brought out the herbaceousness of the drink, very pleasant.

The next drink was
Fallen Leaf

And combined coffee, ginger and bitters with a hint of tobacco and strongly reminded me of an updated Black Russian. This was perfectly paired to a milk chocolate with notes of ginger and spice with set off the flavours wonderfully.

Finally the straight rum
Ron Santa Teresa 1976

Which smelt of caramel but clearly expressed the bourbon and cognac casks it had been aged in. This could happily sit with the best digestifs. Paired with 60% dark chocolate with a rare peppercorn, the two flirted deliciously with each other.

The only drink I did not try, never enough time, was the Ron Alejandro – the week’s signature cocktail – which sounds naughty: a heady mixture of chocolate, rum and cream. One to return for another day I feel.

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