Thursday, August 16, 2012 is National Rum Day. In recent days I’ve received more rum recipes than I could possibly publish but I would be remiss if I didn’t post a new blog post on National Rum Day. Never heard of National Rum Day? Well, you’re not alone, unless you’re a rum drinker that follows the internet buzz on my favorite spirit. In about it’s fifth year of being a recognized day of appreciation for sugar cane spirits National Rum Day is being recognized by all of the important media including too many blogs to mention and that icon of credibility, the Huffington Post. Sorry cachaça drinkers and importers, cachaça is still classified as rum in the US where National Rum Day was born but at the Ministry of Rum we still accept you as a sugar cane spirit.
How you celebrate National Rum Day is up to you, but here are a few tips to help you make the most of this special day. Take the opportunity to try something new today. Everyone has their favorites, but rum is the most diverse of all the distilled spirits. Celebrate the diversity of rum with something you haven’t tried before. There will still be time to go to one or two of your old favorites, but you owe it to yourself, if you call yourself a rum drinker or an adventurous soul, to expand your horizons. If you’re like most of us you’ll be working part of the day, so take some of that work time and educate yourself about a rum you haven’t tried before. You don’t want to be another boring rum drinking do you? Learn something you can share with your friends. Even if you and your friends enjoy the same rums do you know the population of the country where that rum is made? What year was rum first made in that country? What is the capitol? And what is the current exchange rate between your countries? The moer you know about the rum in your glass the more you’re going to enjoy it.
Invite a friend share some rum with you. You’ll feel better and so will your friend.
Ask your bartender what they recommend? Bartenders are a wealth of information and misinformation, but they shouldn’t be overlooked as resources. Even if they don’t know the capitol of the country that made the rum they are pouring, they could very well introduce you to a new drink that will become a new favorite.
So what rum should you drink on National Rum Day? Go with a a few to celebrate the diversity of this noble spirit. My first drink of the day will be a ‘ti punch made with rhum agricole. Then I’ll look for something to eat and a rum punch made with something that has been aged, but not aged too long. After dinner it will be time for a rum old fashioned or something aged in a glass with a little water.
What is the best rum to drink today? Twenty years ago I was visiting Barbados and was asked this question by a local reporter. The previous week I had enjoyed a lot of incredible rums ranging from fairly young rums to some of the oldest in the Caribbean. It was getting on into the night but I gave that reporter an answer that I has stood the test of time. The best rum is the one in your glass. There is a bit of magic in every glass of rum. No other spirit can take you from wherever you are to a sunny Caribbean beach in one sip.
Since rum is a truly international spirit, I’d like to offer a suggestion for National Rum Day. This day should be changed to International Rum Day. And to all the PR interns that have sent me rum recipes, you can post them on this website by registering on the forums and adding them yourself to the database. They will be selected at random to be shown on the front page every time that page is loaded, about 70,000 times a month this year.
Lastly, remember that you can’t lie on the beach and drink rum all day if you don’t start in the morning. Enjoy the day even if you aren’t on a beach in the islands. Cheers!