Interview with Forrest Cokely: Key Holder of The Bartender Cabinet / Minister of Culture

Forrest Cokely 

 A Rum Aficionado that’s: Member of Rum XP / Key Holder of The Bartender Cabinet / Minister of Culture – Haas Brothers

1) Bucket List items for this year.

  1. Go to more rum focused events. I went to Miami Rum Renaissance, it was fantastic. I’ve also been to dozens of tastings, presentations. California Rum Fest is coming up in September.
  2. I would love to be able to visit some distilleries this year (or any time really).
  3. Keep finding, tasting, learning about rum / rhum and sharing that information any way I can.
  4. Continue my education in spirits and their histories (obviously with rum /rhum being in the forefront).
  5. See a some of the rum projects that I’ve been involved in finally revealed to the world.
  6. Share a quiet rum /rhum with so many of my friends that I haven’t seen in a very long time, for this smaller groups are preffered, and maybe pepper in some new friend also.

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

Being a strong, informed advocate of great rum / rhum for well over 20 years–and still heading forward.

3) Favorite Drink + Recipe

Well that’s tough. I like it mixed with a nice clean glass just fine. But, a Ti’ Punch or a Daiquiri is really impossible to deny.

4) Where do you see the rum industry today and in the future?

Evolving. More people are finding out about quality rum / rhum, understanding the beauty and freshness of younger rum / rhum along side the depth and character of aged rum / rhum. I think it is an exciting time for people to experience, taste and share great rum / rhum.

5) Where do you see the rum industry in 5 years 

Well, there seems to be a movement towards transparency and I like that. Hopefully the trend will have achieved its goal and people on both sides of the discussion can enjoy whatever it is they enjoy with absolute full knowledge of what they are drinking.

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

One of the very first people to take a moment with me and sip rum and other fine spirits is my very good friend Shervin Shabazi. We would sip spirits and talk about art of every kind for hours.
Trayce Holiday was the first one to tell me it was OK to go on (and on, and on) describing flavors. We had fun discovering so many delicious spirits and teaching sales people about the spirits they were supposed to be telling us about.
All of many friends that allow me to ramble about good stuff (and quietly murmur about the bad) while constantly reminding me we are having a good time.

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Author: Fede

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