Rum connoisseur interview of the week:
Rum Ambassador at Christian De Montaguere and
Co-Founder of La Confrerie du Rhum, Rum Gazette & Rum Embassy.
1) Who is Jerry Gitany?
I was born in Martinique in 1953. I am the co-founder of La Confrerie du Rhum ( a Facebook page dedicated to rum lovers, with more than 20.000 members), Rum Gazette and the Rum Embassy. I am also Rum ambassador at Christian De Montaguere the largest rum store in Europe.
2) What made you fall in love with rum and when did it happen?
I have always lived in a rum environment since I was born on the Saint-James Plantation where my grandfather was the director of the distillery from 1950 to 1970. During that same period, I also had an uncle, who was an accountant at the distillery DEPAZ, where I used to spend my holidays. But I really fell in love with rum during my university years in France, because rum was « our sun in a bottle » to quote the most famous Martinican writer Aimé Césaire.
3) The biggest achievement you personally feel you have accomplished for the rum industry.
My biggest achievement has not yet come. But I am proud to have gathered for the first time most of the distilleries from Martinique to promote Agricole rhum at the UK Rumfest in 2015. It was such a big success that, this year 2016, with my Partner Benoit Bail through The Rum Embassy, we have toured through Europe to the European Rum festivals promoting Rhum Agricole from not only Martinique but also Guadeloupe.
I am also very proud to be part of this beautiful adventure which is La Confrerie du Rhum, created by Benoit Bail. This Facebook page has become so important that the majority of the french distilleries and other brands are watching what’s happening in this group.
4) What is that thing that makes you want to continue in the rum industry?
You may not know that I am coming from the banking industry, and rum is so much more fun. I have met a lot of very interesting people around the world and there are so many things to do to educate the consumer, therefore I think I will still be in the rum activity for a while.
5) Favorite Rum Drink?
As a Martinican my favorite drink is the ti’punch: 4 cl of white Agricole rhum from Martinique of course, 1/3 teaspoon of raw sugar cane and a peel of green lemon.
6) Where do you see the rum industry today and in the next 5 years?
Since 2009-2010 we have observed an explosion of the demand for rum due to it’s growing popularity and the increase of speakeasy, tiki, and rum bars along with the popularity and the multiplication of Rum Festivals all around the world, and also the access to information on the net through many websites dedicated to rum.
Some rum producers will be tempted to produce more to answer this demand, we have already seen some who buy rum from other countries, to the detriment of quality.
Concerning Agricole rhum, due to the fact that you cannot extend the Islands, the production is limited therefore price will go up and rhum Agricole will become a luxury item.
7) Share some (2-3) of your mentors and how they have helped you.
I have no mentor. Nevertheless, I want to thank Christian de Montaguere who was the first to open a shop, in Europe, dedicated to rums, 8 years ago and asked me to work with him 7 years ago. This shop has more than 1000 rums, and gave me the opportunity to discover so many rums from diverse origins!
I want also to thanks my young partner Benoit Bail, who gave me the energy and motivation to achieve some projects and always looking forward!
8) What 3-5 things do you have on your bucket list for the next 12 months?
So many things have to be done, at least we’ll probably be touring Europe next year to promote Agricole Rhum and do our educational job about rums.
9) Any final thoughts?
I hope to meet you very soon and wishThe Rum Lab success in its activity in the rum industry.
10) Where can people learn more about you? Website? Social Media Page?
People can follow me on The Rum Embassy Facebook page, and Rum Gazette.com as well as La Confrerie Du Rhum.