dinsdag 14 juli 2020

Chairman's Reserve Spice Lab Competition - Spicy Rum Old Fashioned

Most bartender competitions are more or less the same. The goal is to create a fantastic cocktail, using the product(s) of the organising producer. I was excited to see a completely different competition, launched by Chairman’s Reserve, a rum-brand from Saint Lucia Distillers, based on a small island with the same name south of Martinique in the Caribbean.

Next to their original Chairman’s Reserve Rum, they are also known for their tasty Spiced Rum. The exact recipe of this mix is of course a secret, but they based their ‘Spice Lab’ bartender competition on the skill of spicing up your rum.

Bartenders from nine countries (UK, France, Italy, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Greece, China and Santa Lucia) could enter the competition and create their own spiced blend, starting from Chairman’s Reserve original Rum. This flagship product is a marriage of aged rums from coffey and pot stills. Each batch is matured separately in ex-bourbon casks. Later they are blended and rested in oak vats for an additional six months. The average age of the blend is five years. This rum has the typical richness of pot still rums, with aroma’s of cooked banana, caramelized fruits and spicy oak derived vanilla. Flavours of chocolate, golden raisin, tobacco and clove with a long and creamy finish.
The known spices used for their Spiced Rum are cinnamon, bois bandé (bark of Richeria Grandis), vanilla pods, nutmeg, cloves, mint, bay leaves, ginger, turmeric, garlic and several fruit syrups and essences.

On Santa Lucia each family has its own secret recipe to create spiced rums. From all the contestants in this competition, three winners will be selected who can produce their own limited edition of spiced rum, which will be marketed internationally.
In the first round the competing bartenders had to describe their vision of a spiced rum. From idea to serve. The selected bartenders from the first round then received a kit containing six spices, and room for a maximum of three extra spices to be added by themselves.

In the kit : cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, vanilla pods, almonds and orange peel. This second round will end in September, giving the bartenders enough time to perfect their spiced rum creation and promote it in their community.

Only the best creations will be selected for the third and final round : Three bartenders will be chosen and invited to Santa Lucia from the 17th to the 21st of November 2020 to create their own limited edition of Chairman’s Spiced Rum in collaboration with the R&D team. Part of the profits from this Limited Edition will be donated to local associations to help the hospitality community of Santa Lucia, deeply affected by the COVID19 crisis.
I was very lucky to receive the same kit to do my own experiments. I decided to add star anise and liquorice and mix it up to a nice Spicy Rum Old Fashioned. I added the rum and spices to a small jar and let it macerate for a few days. I removed the spices and had it rest for a few more days, before using it in my cocktail. The result was (for my personal taste)… absolutely delicious !

Spicy Rum Old Fashioned

50 ml Home-spiced Chairman’s Reserve Rum
10 ml Simple syrup
1 dash of nutty bitters
1 dash of orange bitters

All ingredients can go directly into a bold tumbler. Stir with lots of ice. Add a cocktail cherry. Enjoy.

P.S. This drink also pairs fantastic with a good cigar !!!
Disclaimer : All pictures and texts are copyrighted by Geert Conard and Esito Management & Communications unless stated otherwise in the article. While some items might have been gifted by the producer or distributor, these are in no way paid promotions or recommendations.

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