Interview with David Cid – BACARDI Brand Master

David CID

BACARDI Brand Master

1) Who is David Cid?

Growing up throughout the Caribbean, David Cid bombarded his family with questions about sugarcane and a small rum distillery in proximity to his home.  From there, it was a natural step to pursue studies in science and business at the InterAmerican University in Puerto Rico.

Now, David is focused on translating the science, art, and complex history of rum into educational sessions for consumers, journalists, and bartenders that range from rum tastings to in-depth discussions on the production of rum.

He also puts his skills to use by training in the sensory analysis of rum, and serving as a point of reference for media. He has been featured on Univision, Fusion TV, CNN Radio, amongst other media outlets. He has consulted on the development and launch of various rums including the Single Cane Estate Collection and the Facundo Rum Collection.

2) Biggest achievement you personally feel you have accomplish for the rum industry.

The ability to educate on the category across the globe without a doubt is something I’m very proud of. It’s also a privilege I am very grateful for. First in earning the respect of Master Blenders and learning from them. Secondly, by earning the respect and trust of the trade, media, & consumers in order to share what I’ve learned over the years to help them understand the Sugar Cane Spirits Category.

Also, the opportunity to play a role in the development and launch of rum collections like Single Cane Estates and the Facundo Rum Collection, is something that gives me great joy.

3) What made you fall in love with rum and when did it happen?

For me it’s more than just about rum. I’m in love with Sugarcane! It’s nothing more than a perennial true grass, and yet it has played one of the most fascinating, and ancient, roles in documented history. We can eat it, make sugar, create bio-fuel, use it in the safest of virology studies, and of course, make the most diverse spirit category in the world. What is there not to love?!

This fascination with Sugarcane began around the time I was 10. My interest in rum making came soon after. However, enjoying rum and my interest in the tasting experience of rum, didn’t happen until I was in my twenties.

4) What is that thing that makes you want to continue in the rum industry? ?

This is an interesting question, which has more than one answer, but one definitely stands out. With so many new rum brands/companies entering the market in what seems like a weekly basis, I’m driven by the need for more Sugarcane spirits education.

Things are getting more and more confusing within the category, but thankfully there are many more individuals like myself committed to driving a better understanding of what makes rum the most fascinatingly diverse spirit in the world.

5) Favorite Rum Drink + Recipe?  

Rum Old-Fashioned (variant)

2 parts Facundo Eximo
2 dashes Burlesque Bitters
¼ part Banana liqueur
½ sugar cube
Orange Twist

Method:

  1. Combine sugar and bitters in a rocks glass.

  2. Add large ice cube, Banana liqueur, Facundo Eximo, and stir

  3. Express the Orange twist over the drink and add to glass

  4. Enjoy!

6) Where do you see the rum industry today and in the next 5 years?

For the last ten to fifteen years, rum has experience a wonderful revival. From white to aged dark rum, we have seen the category go from a handful of recognizable brands, to hundreds of new brands birthed in the past five to ten years alone. So it’s safe to say that today, rum is still experiencing a strong growth. However, that growth is now mostly situated within the premium side of things.

With that said, my thoughts on the future of rum are two-fold. On one side, we will see premium aged rums continue to grow, which is great for a category that is years behind in comparison to other premium aged spirits.

On the other side, this very growth can lead to great confusion and misunderstanding due to the lack of global Rum standards. This can undermine the great products, and hard work that many producers have dedicated their lives to.  For example, what does premium mean? We can say price point, age, scarcity, etc. However, at this moment in time, none of these things universally communicate cost of production, and/or quality.

So, until we have some kind of global standards that the majority of producers can stand behind, it will be the responsibility of every producer to clearly explain what makes their product premium. In other words, we will need more education, and educators that can put these things into perspective in order sustain the trust of both trade and consumers.

7) Share some (2-3) of your mentors and how they have help you. 

There are many! For me, life is about constantly learning, and growing. But in terms of my time representing the House of Rum at Bacardi, I have 3 people I will eternally be grateful to.

William Ramos, Sr. Brand Master at the Bacardi Rum Distillery in Puerto Rico, was the first person to guide through the world of rum production, and engrained the belief that this as much about people as it is about rum. He also opened the doors for me to develop a relationship with the sensory analytics team, and the Master Blenders.

The second is Sr. Master Blender Manuel Oliver. Having the opportunity to learn from him to become a better educator on our portfolio and the category has been an amazing experience for me. Not to mention, that I’ve also learned how to be more patient from being around him.

The third will remain nameless for now. However, I will say that from this person I have learned so much about how this business works, as well as, how to, and how not to, manage the business. I hope I can honor all of them in my work for years to come.

8) What 3-5 things do you have in your bucket list for the next 12 months?

Well I just completed the first, which was to take my first vacation in 8yrs! It was all about refocusing on my health, so I traveled to Thailand and did a reboot of body and mind so to speak.

Spending time with the people I care about and want in my life is the second most important item on the list.

In terms of professional items on the list, there are a few projects I can’t share just yet. However, if all comes to fruition, it will be a life goal accomplished and a great set of tools that will help to drive further education.

9) Any last words?

Confidence & strength with humility & gratitude is a fantastic cocktail for life. Also, show and tell the people you love, that you Love them… often!

10) How can people learn more about you? Website? Social Media Page? 

FB: BacardiBrandMaster
Instagram: Masterofrums

Author: Fede

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