National Brand Ambassador Mount Gay Rum
1) Bucket List items for this year.
- Drink rum on at least 4 different continents (3 down, 1 to go)
- Get down to Cuba and enjoy the last moments of old Cuba.
- Try some pre-revolution Cuban rum.
- Do the Kentucky Bourbon trail
- Punch a shark in the face.
2) Biggest achievement you personally feel you have accomplished for the rum industry.
Being hired as the Mount Gay Rum National Ambassador was a huge step for me. I have always loved rum, and becoming ambassador has allowed me to travel all across North America, and preach the gospel on a spirit that I truly adore. Working for the worlds most historic and oldest rum has been an honor, and sharing the unique story of Mount Gay and Barbados is something that is a pleasure to be able to call work.
3) Favorite Drink + Recipe
– 2oz Mount Gay Black Barrel
– .25oz Turbinado Syrup
– 6 Dashes of Peychaud’s Bitters
– 3 Dashes of Angostura Bitters
Stir all and pour into a chilled, un-iced, Absinth-rinsed rocks glass. Spray oils from a think strip of Lemon Peel, then discard peel.
4) Where do you see the rum industry today and in the future?
We’re at a point of evolution. The bourbon industry has already shown us that a great spirit, with the right support, can transform into a huge category, filled with premium options that people want to taste, seek out, and buy. Rum is almost there. We need as much support and education as possible to show people that Rum isn’t just party punches, blue drinks, and tiki. Rum has diversity, Rum can be sipped, and rum can make amazing classic drinks.
5) Where do you see the rum industry in 5 years
There will be triple the amount of premium offerings. Already, you’re average drinker is becoming more discerning about where their drink comes from, how it’s made, and what it tastes like. 5 years from now, we’re going to see a lot more high-end offerings, and less of the swill on the market.
6) Share some (2-3) of your mentors and how they have help you.
Chester Browne, my predecessor, was hugely influential in my development as an ambassador. His energy and love for rum are what I keep trying to emulate. Whenever I walk into a room, I’m always asked “Where’s Chester?” or “How is Chester?”, which speaks to the amount of influence he had. My goal, one day, is to have that kind of staying power.
Sam Egerton (Palmer & Co., Sydney Australia) was my biggest bar industry mentor. He and I worked together on half a dozen projects over the last decade. He was the one who infected me with my passion for spirits and cocktails, and without his guidance, I would probably be depressed and stuck in an office chair somewhere.