The Versatility of Rum

At The Wine Rack

with Christopher Reckord

Thursday, January 03, 2019

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It was truly a journey of flavour when Hampden Estate hosted an “Evening of Rum” at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel recently, which included a lesson in the art of cocktail making, rum and food pairing with visiting bartender/mixologist Chelsea Barrett. It was certainly a pleasure listening to this New Yorker speak so passionately about a Jamaican White Overproof rum – Rum Fire. Hors d'oeuvres and the delicious three course small plates dinner were courtesy of Executive Chef Kenard Swaby.


The Cadillac

Guests were warmly welcomed by Christelle Harris, director of marketing at Hampden Estate Rums, distributors of Rum Fire and Hampden Gold Rum, and a refreshing cocktail created and named 'The Cadillac” by Harris's dad Anthony. The recipe for his cocktail is quite simple: 1oz Rum Fire, 3-4oz ginger ale, 3-4 dashes Angostura bitters served in an old-fashioned on the rocks.


Trelawny – The Grand Cru of rum

In between sampling cocktails, we received history lessons of the storied Hampden Estate, its rum-making techniques and the special terroir of Trelawny that in 1902 saw up to 22 distilleries operating in that parish. Today, only Long Pond and Hampden Estate are still in business. A visit is in the works to learn more.



The invitation said 'bartender', but after a couple of hours with Barrett it was clear from her detailed explanations, preparation and meticulous work that she puts into each cocktail that she was more in the class of mixologist. What's the difference? you might ask. A great bartender hears what the customer wants and can make the most popular spirits mixers, properly serve wines and beers and keeps them happy with great conversation. A mixologist is someone who has developed the skill of understanding mixtures; what and how one ingredient will affect the other ingredients, and why.

Each course was accompanied by a signature cocktail that was carefully concocted with specially prepared ingredients: Course 1 – Let's Make a Date; Course 2 – Mango Lassi; Course 3 – Hot Butter Rum. Thanks to Matthew Hann, Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel marketing/sales administrator, for images of the dishes and cocktails shared here.

Many international bartenders don't know what to do with White Overproof rum: Barrett does!

My challenge for her was to make a Negroni – the iconic Italian cocktail, made of one-part gin, one-part vermouth rosso (red, semi-sweet), and one-part Campari. She was up to the challenge, and so off to The Regency Bar we went.


Christopher Reckord – Wine Enthusiast and CEO of Managed IT services provider tTech Limited. Send your questions and comments to You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram @chrisreckord and on Twitter: @Reckord

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