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Nominated for Tales of the Cocktail 2008 Spirit Award for Best Cocktail Writing

Polished Palate RumFest 2008 - Rum, Ron, and Rhum PDF Print E-mail
Written by Debra C. Argen and Edward F. Nesta   

Edward Nesta and Dori Bryant at Polished Palate RumFest 2008Do you know the difference between rum, ron, and rhum? Dori Bryant's annual Polished Palate RumFest 2008 brought New York rum aficionados out in droves for an exciting evening of education and spirits tasting, and of course, Luxury Experience Magazine was there.

So, what is the difference between rum, ron, and rhum? Besides the spelling: rum is the standard spelling for the spirit, ron is the Spanish spelling, and rhum is the French spelling, most notably associated with rhum agricole from Martinique, Guadalupe, and French Ghana; rum, or known by any variation of its spelling, has its own nuances reflective of how and where it is made and must be experienced to be fully appreciated.

Edward F. Nesta and Dori Bryant at RumFest 2008
Edward F. Nesta and Dori Bryant

With that said, Luxury Experience Magazine, along with other guests at Dori Bryant's Polished Palate RumFest held on October 7, 2008 at la venue, had the opportunity to travel the world without the hassle of leaving New York and bringing our passports, and experience the individual styles of rum, ron, and rhum, with tastings from Barbados (Mount Gay), Bermuda (Goslings), Cuba (Vizcaya VXOP, Cask 21), Dominican Republic (Ron Barceló), Guatemala (Ron Zacapa), Jamaica (Appleton Estate), Martinique (Depaz Blue Cane Amber Rhum, Rhum Clément, Rhum J.M.), Puerto Rico (Barrilito, Don Q, Bacardi, Captain Morgan), Trinidad (10 Cane), and Venezuela (Aniversario Pampero, Diplomatico).

For many guests previously unfamiliar with Martinique Rhum Agricole, this was the big surprise of the evening as unlike the majority of rums made from molasses or concentrated syrups, Martinique rhum agricole and only 3% of other rum manufacturing is made from crushed sugar cane without any of the sugar removed, so the first time that you swirl the glass and nose the spirit, the aromas that waft from the glass are completely unlike what most people have come to expect from a traditional rum.

Edward Nesta and Debra Argen at RumFest 2008
Debra C. Argen and Edward F. Nesta at RumFest 2008

The varied styles in making rum not only elicit different notes on the nose and on the palate, but in some cases, also affect the color of the spirit. It was an evening of spirit enlightenment as RumFest guests had the opportunity to taste the spirits side by side and let their palates determine the style that best appealed to them from a large selection of unaged, aged, vintage rums, and rum cocktails.

In addition to the tasting, there were educational sessions, and a Silent Auction to benefit Sky Ranch Foundation, a 501c non-profit organization that has helped troubled youths since 1960.

One of the seminars, was Phillip J. Greene's session where he had us drinking like Ernest Hemingway, perhaps the most notable of rum aficionados, by sampling the Hemingway Daiquiri, also called the Papa Doble, which uses Maraschino Liqueur to replace the sugar; the classic Mai Tai, a blend of lime juice, flavored syrups, and rum; and Phillip's original cocktail, the Brewin' Storm, which is a nod to the cocktail, Dark & Stormy.

Phillip Greene at RumFest 2008
Phillip J. Greene

The Cocktail Recipes

The Hemingway Daiquiri aka the Papa Doble



Bacardi or Havana Club Rum


Limes, juiced


Grapefruit, juiced



Maraschino Liqueur or cherry brandy

Method: Fill a blender ¼ full with ice, preferably shaved or cracked ice. Add rum, lime juice, grapefruit juice, Maraschino Liqueur and blend.

Mai Tai - Recipe by Jeff "the Beachbum" Berry



Fresh lime juice



Orange Curacao



Orgeat Syrup



Aged Jamaican rum



Martinique Amber Rhum

Method: Use a Lewis Bag (canvas bag) or blender to crush the ice. Shake well with crushed ice, pour into a glass with ice, and garnish with a sprig of mint.

The Brewin' Storm - Recipe by Phillip J. Greene



Domaine de Canton



Depaz Blue Cane Amber Rhum



Fresh lime juice



Angostura Bitters

Method: Stir well with ice in pint glass or shaker and strain into a chilled champagne flute, top with ¾ ounce cold Kasteel Cru lager Beer. Garnish with lime wedge.

Dale Degroff, Edward F. Nesta, and Jill DeGroff at RumFest 2008
Guests Dale DeGroff, Edward F. Nesta, and Jill DeGroff

Rum, ron, or rhum, no matter how you spell it, this is a fabulous spirit. Cheers!

The Polished Palate 

To learn about upcoming Dori Bryant's Polished Palate events taking place in New York and around the United States, please visit the website:

© December 2008. Luxury All rights reserved.

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