Interview with Suzanne Long – Founder of Longitude Tiki “Rum” Bar Oakland, CA

Suzanne Long

Founder of Longitude Tiki “Rum” Bar
Oakland, CA

1) Bucket List items for this year.

  1. Visiting more distilleries.  I’m looking forward to a Barbados trip this fall and visiting Pierre Ferrand and Plantation Rums in Cognac, France.  I would welcome the chance to see firsthand the places where all the rum magic happens!

  2. Planning a New Year’s Eve event to top last year’s at Longitude.  To celebrate last year, Longitude hosted a 6 course cocktail pairing dinner and the Northern California debut performance of the Waitiki 7, a world renowned exotica band, and it practically blew the roof off of the bar.  It’ll be hard to top that night, but that won’t stop us from trying!

  3. More Educational Seminars and Special Events at Longitude.  At Longitude, we have an ongoing educational component to our special events – we believe that every spirited adventure sparks another, and in depth education about the spirits we love is a great way to fan the flame.  I look forward to hosting more behind the bar tropical mixology classes, seminars and meet and greets with the greats of rum, this year and beyond.

2) Favorite Drink + Recipe

A classic daiquiri is a beautiful platform to show off a great rum.  The Black Orchid, one of Longitude’s signature cocktails, is a rich and complex daiquiri variation.  We make the cordial by warming Jamaican rum and flambéing it with cane sugar until reduced.

Drink: Black Orchid

2oz Angostura 7 year Old Rum
1 oz Lime Juice
1 oz flambéed rum cordial

Shake and double strain into coupe.  Garnish with an edible orchid and a real pearl.

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

The rum industry is growing, and it is exciting to see a bigger world consciousness of a very old spirit.  As consumers look back to original production techniques and appreciate the traditions of rum distilling, the market reacts by allowing rum to be valued and appreciated on its own terms, instead of rum producers worried about remaining relevant and changing expressions to stay current.  Technology and a faster pace of life have created a keen yearning for a local, fresh, farm-to-table sensibility in the food and drink we consume, and I believe this will have only positive effects for the rum industry and her centuries-old methods.

4) Learn more about Suzanne Long:

A well known figure in the San Francisco Bay Area cocktail scene and the tiki world, Suzanne Long owns and operates Longitude in Oakland, California, a world renowned tropical destination spot serving over 500 premium spirits. With her innovative spin on tropical mixology and expert knowledge of rum, Long frequently presents educational seminars, leads tastings and judges competitions at cocktail, rum and tiki festivals around the world. She has appeared at Tales of the Cocktail, the Beverage Academy at Bourbon and Branch in San Francisco, Hawai’i Cocktail Week, Ohana Luau at the Lake, Tiki Oasis and Miami Rum Festival, amongst others.

Suzanne and her original cocktails have been mentioned in the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Tiki Magazine, Honolulu Magazine, Oakland Magazine, Alameda Magazine, the East Bay Express, 7×7, Diablo Magazine, The Island, Imbibe Magazine, Eater, Tablehopper, Zagat, the Oakland Tribune, San Jose Mercury News and many more.

Suzanne serves on the Board of Directors of the California Revels and is an active member of the United States Bartenders Guild and San Francisco LUPEC.

Black Orchid cocktail photo by Burt Johnson.
Suzanne Long portrait by Paul McMillan.

Author: Fede

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