There are always different drinks for different seasons. Bar consultant and drinks expert Olson Pereira shares his views on rum, the spirit of fun, freedom and frosty weather.
- What’s special about rum?
Rum is a symbol of great history and deep emotions. It’s one of the oldest spirits, existing for thousands of years in countries such as India and China.
As most rums are consumed in a non-serious fashion, it’s a wonderful spirit for socializing and celebrating life. It can be mixed in cocktails or enjoyed as it is. Rum has gained a well-deserved reputation for its versatility, and every country and distillery has something unique to offer.
- Why is rum considered the next big thing?
Rum has always been a favorite in the spirits world. What has changed over the past two decades is the interest of collectors, especially in bottles from distilleries which have been shut for good, such as Caroni in Trinidad and Enmore in Guyana. Low- and no-sugar rums that are free of artificial additives are becoming more popular thanks to the awareness raised by industry legends like Luca Gargano and Richard Seale.
- Which rums should we be drinking in 2021?
Mount Gay 1703, Habitation Velier Worthy Park 2007, Hampden Overproof, El Dorado 15 Year Old are just some of my top recommendations. However, do keep exploring until you find a style that suits your palate.
- What’s your favorite rum cocktail?
I can’t resist a classic Daiquiri with Bacardi 1909. The Lovers Rum is also a great choice.
- How do you make rum punch?
Remember that punches are made for sharing, so you’ll need to multiply the ingredients depending on the number of people, as this recipe is for a single portion.
35ml overproof rum (Hampden Overproof)
10ml maraschino liqueur (Luxardo Maraschino)
20ml pineapple syrup (Monin Pineapple Syrup)
Two dashes Angostura Aromatic Bitters
15ml lime juice
60ml chilled water
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a Collins glass filled with ice cubes. Garnish with a pineapple wedge and maraschino cherries.
About Olson Pereira
With 15 years’ experience behind the bar, Olson knows more than a thing or two about the drinks industry. Besides working for world-class hotels and brands in Mumbai, Dubai and Beirut, including IHG, Hyatt and Fairmont, he has won several prestigious bartending awards, including Bartender of the Year – Rest of The World Category by Whisky Magazine in 2020.
Olson is currently an independent consultant based in India.