Diplomático Rum – Master Blender
1) Bucket List items for this year.
- Continue to actively contribute to the “premiumization” of the rum industry, through innovation and the creation of exceptional rum blends.
- Visit Diplomático’s new markets in Asia, and get to know their culture and their spirits preferences.
- Help launch the first Rum Conference in Venezuela, in order to promote and position Venezuelan rum nationally and internationally.
- See my daughter graduate and receive her university degree.
- Improve my skills as a cook by learning new recipes, especially those that can be paired with Diplomático rums.
2) Biggest achievement you personally feel you have accomplished for the rum industry.
Becoming a Maestro Ronero (Master Blender) and being internationally recognized for my work is my biggest achievement. In 2011 and 2013 I received the Golden Rum Barrel Award “Rum Blender of the year” at the UK Rum Fest, and the “World’s Best Master Blender” recognition at the Madrid International Rum Conference in 2014.
3) Favorite Drink + Recipe
My favorite cocktail is the Diplomático Old Fashioned.
– 2 Oz of Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva
– 0.25 Oz of sugar syrup
– 2 dashes of Angostura Bitters
– Orange zest
– Garnish: Orange zest twist and/or Maraschino cherry
– Glass: Old Fashioned
Combine Reserva Exclusiva, the brown sugar syrup, the Angostura bitters and the orange zest by mixing it in a glass with large ice. Stir vigorously and strain into the old fashioned glass, over one large ice cube. Garnish with an orange zest twist and/or a Maraschino cherry.
4) Where do you see the rum industry today?
In recent years, rum has experienced a revival and is now considered as a sipping spirit that competes directly with traditional sipping spirits such as cognac and whiskey.
The category is growing fast and it’s mainly due to the development of the Premium and above rum categories. There is a greater understanding and increased interest for the aforementioned spirits categories thanks to the visibility and education provided by industry professionals at trade events and international rum festivals.
5) Where do you see the rum industry in 5 years?
I see the industry maturing and rum itself being widely recognized as a premium spirit. I believe that all the work that is being done by industry professionals and premium rum brands, in terms of education, training and visibility, will bear its fruits. Innovation is also a key factor for this industry in order to remain dynamic and interesting in the long term.
6) Share some (2-3) of your mentors and how they have helped you.