Wednesday Social

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

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The inaugural Jamaica Rum Festival, presented by Appleton Estate in partnership with the Jamaica Tourist Board and the Tourism Enhancement Fund, was a veritable rum-infused hot spot for hundreds of Jamaicans and foreigners who ventured to Palm Drive, Hope Gardens, last Saturday and Sunday for the two-day celebration. The supporting arms, National Rums of Jamaica, Wray & Nephew, Charley's JB Rum, and Hampden Estate, ensured there was no shortage of rum.

Along the rum-misted driveway big screens catalogued the history of Jamaican rum and the impact that Appleton Estate has had on the industry. Meanwhile, over by the Hampden Estate booth, the Academy of Bartending, Spirits & Wines co-principal Debbian Spence-Minott led Rum 101 beginner sessions at hourly intervals for those who wanted to learn more about the process at the Hampden Estate distillery.

Guests checked out several purveyors including Fruit Blossoms Ja, which provided samples of alcoholic and non-alcoholic Fruit Popz, fruit salads, and chocolate covered bites, I'd Rather Fall In Chocolate's rumball: a rum-filled chocolate cake made with organic Jamaican chocolate or chocolate rum shots. Indeed, rum and scrumptious fare go hand in hand. The food court was the stomping ground for several patrons who sought carb-fuelled fare to quell potential hangovers. There was Tooksie Kay Catering, Happy Foods Soups from CB Foods, Bad Dawg sausages, and myriad seafood or fried fare offerings courtesy of Rainforest Seafoods, and other popular foodie chains.

There were shortcomings, however. A map of the grounds, perhaps outlining the course, would've been helpful, for example. Adding educational activities to inform patrons of the global impact of Jamaican rum and the involvement of social tourism could also be useful.

That said, kudos to the organisers for adding a host of reggae recording artistes to the performance line-up on both days. Some even partied and shared photo ops with fans.

You had us at rum! Wednesday Social takes you back to the festival.

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