Author/Cook/Barman/Spirits Consultant / Niche Brands Ambassador
1) Bucket List items for this year.
1. Get Nominated for Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans- Spirited Award
2. Become better recognized for my craft
3. Write and publish a fourth book for Fair Winds Press
4. Develop new brands of spirits from the perspective of the craft industry
5. Drink Better Rum, like Mezan XO!
2) Biggest achievement you personally feel you have accomplished for the rum industry.
My biggest achievement was participating in the Ministry of Rum tasting competition as a judge in 2010. This event completely changed my life. I went from a former chef- turned banker (for 20 years) turned food/wine writer. A light went on! Why not do what I love? Why Not?
3) Favorite Drink + Recipe
My favorite drink is one of my own recipes. It takes Mezan XO Rum and adds El Guapo Ginger Syrup then adds some seltzer water. Fresh lime juice frames the depth of the cocktail along with Jamaican Jerk Bitters from Bitter End Bitters in Santa Fe, NM.. Brilliant stuff!
4) Where do you see the rum industry today?
I see niche products becoming much more important to the overall industry. Products like Mezan that are not caramel colored, nor chill filtered. They represent a small portion of the overall industry, but a most important one because what they do is set a benchmark for all the other brands in the industry. They are not manipulated therefore they are more authentic!
5) Where do you see the rum industry in 5 years?
I see rum on every corner in America if not the world. It is an extremely versatile product, certainly as important as whiskey in the world arena because it predates whiskey by hundreds of years. World history was changed because of rum!
I see micro distilleries creating their own specific terroir in rum because at the end of the day, the signature is the quality of the molasses… without quality ingredients it cannot be memorable.
6) Share some (2-3) of your mentors and how they have helped you.
Ed Hamilton- Founder of the Ministry of Rum- Ed’s kindness to me in the British Virgin Islands at one of his sail-to book singing events changed by life forever. He and my step-father met over a glass of rum in a clean glass with fresh ice. Not too shabby in the islands where ice is always tough to get and very expensive.
Fred Young- Banker-Mellon Bank Boston- I supported Fred’s efforts at First Union National Bank during the mid 2000’s. His wife, Joy Stocke gave me my start as a writer… Fred always said why send an email when a phone call can do!
Joy Stocke-Young- founder Wild River Review, Stockton, NJ. www.wildriverreview.com
Joy was the first one to publish me and still is the toughest editor I’ve ever had