The new Ministry of Rum is almost ready to go live.

February 22, 2007

Over the last ten years Ministry of has evolved with the internet. In the next week or so, a completely new site will replace the old site complete with a new MySQL database. There will be a few problems since I’m far from being a proficient software developer but I think you’ll find the new site easier to use and more informative than ever before. Converting the filemaker Pro 4.0 database records over to MySQL has been a challenge but I’ve been able to incorporate several new features that should greatly improve your online experience.

Trades are now able to edit their accounts and keep more up to date lists of the rums which they sell.
Rum Lovers are now able to sign up on line to recieve periodic emails about events and maintain a list of their favorite rums. Although none of the information provided in the registration process will be made public or shared, rum lovers will have the option of using their Ministry of Rum username to log in to the new rum forum which will be online in the near future.

Take a test drive here.


Rum 101 at the Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge

January 28, 2007

Wednesday, Feb 7th, I’ll be sharing my insights into what it takes to make good rum. Among the topics covered will be the basics of rum production from growing the sugar cane through fermentation, distillation, aging and bottling what have become some of the best spirits in the world.

Join me at The Forbidden Island for an evening of rum appreciation.

2007 Ministry of Rum Tasting Competition

January 28, 2007

The 2007 Ministry of Rum Tasting Competition will be held in New Orleans concurrent with the fifth anniversary of Tales of the Cocktail on Wednesday and Thursday July 18 and 19 from 11am to 1 pm and 3 to 5 pm at Arnaud’s Restaurant.

New Orleans is the perfect city to celebrate food and drink. If you would like to apply to be a judge at this event or produce sugar cane spirits and would like to expose your product to a panel of industry professionals send me an email and I’ll send you more information.

See you in the big easy.

Back from the islands

January 16, 2007

I returned to a chilly Chicago last night from the sunny island of Culebra, Puerto Rico. A month in the islands is never enough. In the coming days I’ll post more about that trip. One of the highlights was passing within about 4 miles of Montserrat on Jan 8 as a small eruption was in progress. Montserrat Jan 8, 2007

2007 Ministry of Rum Tasting Competition

December 16, 2006

I am pleased to announce that the 2007 Ministry of Rum Tasting Competition will be held in New Orleans concurrent with the fifth anniversary of Tales of the Cocktail. New Orleans is the setting for this celebration of gastronomy and libations and will be the most spirited event of the summer. Seminars led by industry leaders, fine dining and the opportunity to meet scores of writers, and industry movers and shakers combine to make this a memorable event and 2007 is proving to be the even more fun than previous years. To have your name added to the mailing list for Tales of the Cocktail and the Ministry of Rum Tasting Competition visit the Ministry of Rum website.

The Tales of the Cocktail website will be updated after Jan 1.

Demerara Rum Cream Liqueur

December 1, 2006

Demerara Rum Cream Liqueur is the latest Rum of the Month on the Ministry of Rum website.

Rich dairy cream blended with aged Demerara Rum adds a decadent dimension to holiday cocktails, or sip it warm or chilled.

Have you tasted your rum lately?

November 26, 2006

We all have our favorite spirits, but when’s the last time you tasted your favorite spirit? Not in a cocktail, but unadulterated, neat at room temperature. Even if you don’t normally drink spirits neat you might be surprised how the taste of spirits change. On the other hand, if you can’t stand to drink your favorite libation neat, maybe you should widen your horizons.

I’ve been a fan of Cruzan rums ever since I first discovered these molasses-based rums in St Thomas a couple of decades ago. The first thing I noticed was that even their cheapest rum was significantly better than those from the 800 pound gorilla distiller a hundred miles to the west. Then towards the end of the last decade Cruzan launched their Single Barrel Rum which was a little too dry for my tastes. Up until that time, Cruzan Estate Diamond Rum was on my short list of favorites, but the Single Barrel Rum lacked some of the body of this new addition to the St Croix distiller’s lineup. About the same time, Cruzan was blending some of the best flavored rums in the Caribbean.

Over the last five or six years, I tried Cruzan’s Single Barrel Rum at various tastings and events and noticed that the blend had changed and had gained some of the body that had been lacking in the original blend. In August of this year, I tasted the Single Barrel again and following the taste of Ron Zacapa Centenario, Cruzan’s flagship rum had become sweeter and actually mimicked the award winning rum from Guatemala.

I’m not suggesting that change isn’t good, but don’t think that distillers aren’t working to make their products more attractive to consumers. In the 1980s Mount Gay Refined Eclipse had lost much of what had made that rum so popular. Fortunately, that blend has improved and is now much better (it lacks the raw, sharp bite typically found in young rums).

Considering rum is aged in used barrels and the raw material source also varies, it’s not surprising that my favorite distilled spirit changes. Distillers typically blend many barrels in an attempt to maintain consistency, but changes are part of any industry. And like many other products, distillers have been known to bottle different blends for sale in different market areas. But every distiller bottles its best rums at the distillery for the local market.