Interview with Scott French – Founder of


Scott French

Founder of


1) Bucket List items for this year.

1 – Continue my rum hunt. To me, the most exciting thing about being a rum enthusiast is discovering and tasting new rums.

2 – Participate in more Rum/spirit events, tastings, and classes. The craft cocktail scene is finally spreading across the Southeastern United States so more opportunities are being offered around the region.

3 – Get my tiki on. In June I am attending The Hukilau where I get to bond with fellow tikiphiles and sip terrific cocktails all week long. My collection of tiki treasures continues to accumulate so I plan to enhance the decor in my Tiki Home Theater.

4 – Explore more cocktails. I’ve only begun to explore the cocktail and bartender guides I have accumulated and I want to delve into the expanding world of bitters.

5 – I want to expand and enhance I want to advance my writing skills, publish more, upgrade my photography, integrate audio & video, etc.

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

I’ve worked hard to expand the scope of The Rum Trader via social media. These mediums allow me to share my excitement for Rum with a widening audience. Its introduced me to some great people and allowed me to advise consumers and friends on the wonders of rum.

3) Favorite Drink + Recipe

This year I have been drinking a lot of Rum Old Fashioneds. This recipe is based one I found on a few years ago. Lately my rum of preference has been Diplomático Anejo but it works well with almost any rum.

Rum Old Fashioned

  • 2 oz Diplomático Anejo
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 2 dashes of Regan’s Orange bitters No. 6
  • 1 tsp demerara syrup
  • 2 orange slices
  • 2 Maraschino cherries

Add the demerara syrup, bitters, one orange slice, and one cherry. Muddle. Remove the orange rind if desired (I do not). In a rocks glass combine with rum and ice. Stir. Garnish with the second orange slice and cherry.

4) Where do you see the rum industry today?

The rum industry is currently experiencing a tremendous expansion that is being driven by the explosion of American craft distilling. New artisan distillers are constantly adding new expressions to the market. Since the industry has no real production restrictions or geographic requirements we are seeing rum produced in all corners of the globe. The diversity these new distillers bring to Rum is forcing large distillers to produce higher-quality, more divergent Rums.

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

I think the US governments (state and federal) will continue to lessen the legal and tax burdens on the spirit industry. The boom of craft distillers will continue, which has the potential to flood the market beyond sustainability. While I believe more established distillers will continue to expand their premium and Ultra-premium Rum offerings, I do not think there will be a dramatic rise in Rum prices. I also think we will see greater cooperation among regional Rum producers to better define their traditions, origins, and production methods.

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

I do not have a single mentor instead my mentors are a collection of terrific industry writers/bloggers who have unknowingly taught me nearly everything I know about the industry. From their experiences and writings I’ve learned about rum production, how to appreciate and review rum, how to conduct rum tastings, what trends effect the industry, and they continually keep me informed about the world of rum. I owe a debt of gratitude to a number of current and former writers including Tiare Olsen, Robert Burr, Ed Hamilton, Matt Robold, Peter Holland, and Bob Davies.Lastly, as a rum enthusiast and tikiphile, I pay tribute to Jeff “Beachbum” Berry for his dedication to cocktail education and his nearly 20 years of publishing. Like so many others, Beachbum Berry’s Grog Log was a major factor in building my enthusiasm for fine rum and the art of cocktail creation.

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Author: Fede

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