Do you remember the first time you ever tried a rum?
Every now and then I think back to when I first started to become interested in rum. I think we all remember our first rum experience, seeing, smelling and tasting rum for the first time. For me it was unusual as I’d always been a Whiskey drinker, and I’m ashamed to say – it was nearly always with coca cola.
My first rum experience was with Bundaberg Rum when I was 18. I don’t technically classify this as my first proper rum experience as “Bundy” rum is quite different from most of the rums around the world, but it has its own unique charm (as long as you mix it with something).
My first experience with a traditional rum came about after taking salsa classes. Just down the road form where I took my class was a quiet upstairs bar with intricately patterned floors and day beds, black walls with gold trimming, dimly lit with a series of lights and candles.
Behind the bar were hundreds of bottles – 4 shelves high in all shapes and sizes spanning the width of the room and around the corner. All of them rum. This bar was called Bar Cuba and at the time, boasted to have the largest range of rums in town – over 120.
I must say I was in awe. I had never heard of these rums and had no idea that there could be so many and from so many different exotic locations from around the world. And hence my fascination with rum began.
I asked the bar tender “whats a good rum to try”, he asked “have you had rum before” – I said “only Bundy” and he shook his head and replied “you haven’t had real rum before”. He gave me a “Dominican Republic Rum” – Matusalem Classico. He asked how I wanted it and I had no idea so he gave it to me with dry ginger and some slices of lime. This was how my standard rum drinking went for a while – a new rum with dry and lime. Until one day I boldly broke free and started to appreciate rums for what they were and drink them neat or on the rocks. Which is when my true appreciation began…
What was YOUR first rum experience, which rum it was and how did you have it – I look forward to your comments! RD