Best in Show – Imbibe Live, London 2014

The UK’s biggest bar show, Imbibe Live closed out another great year with a wider selection of boutique brands and products than previously experienced. Bartenders, brand reps and industry gurus were all there in a mélange of waistcoats and unkept facial hair. With a vast array of masterclasses and presentations covering everything from Cognac blending to […]

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The Navy and Rum: Part 2 – Dogs, Tankies, Scuttlebutts and Fanny-cups

Beginning as a simple means of substitution for an already spent beer ration, navy rum under its seafaring moniker ‘grog’, had spread around the world on the back of the Royal Navy and was now being enjoyed in the taverns and coffeehouses of Europe’s most influential trade ports. As a fortified spirit, rum played the […]

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The Navy and Rum – Part 1: Jamaica, Grog, Pussers and Proof

“The only way to drink a tot [navy rum] is to swallow it whole, grimace, and sit down to appreciate the glow which spreads from the stomach and engenders that wonderful feeling of peace and bohomie” – Nelson’s Blood by James Pack. Where would rum be if not for sailors? Moreover, where would sailors be […]

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The Story of Rum – Part 2

After the first successful American colony was established in Jamestown, Virginia in 1607, a group of Anglican separatists known today as Pilgrims, established the rival Plymouth Colony on the Southeastern tip of modern day Massachusetts. Unlike the hardships encountered by the first Virginians through trade and cultivation, the Pilgrims met with greater success largely thanks […]

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The Story of Rum – Part 1

The epic story of the spirit commonly known as rum,  naturally begins with the story of its base ingredient, sugarcane. A perennial grass of the genus Saccharum, prior to cultivation sugarcane grew naturally throughout tropical SE Asia from Burma to central China & Pacific.  While there is evidence to suggest cultivation as early as 4000 […]

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George Washington and the tactical use of alcohol

In 1758 – when campaigning for the Virginia House of Burgess (the first assembly of elected representatives of English colonists in North America) – George Washington enlisted the aid of a barrel of Barbadian rum from which complimentary serves were ladled out to prospective voters.  The future President went on to win the election despite […]

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Rum, the building blocks of Australia

The first colonist arrived into Australia in 1788 with a fleet of 11 ships and 759 people (albeit not all savoury characters) in preparation to build a penal colony on behalf of the British crown. With a new community established, a central church was required as was the common currency amongst settlers, willing workers were […]

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Cachaça grows out of discovery

Portuguese explorer Pedro Alvarez Cabral, along with 13 merchant ships on route to the spice islands, made landfall on a landmass later to be named Brazil. The date was April 22, 1500. Believing it to be but a new island, Alvarez writes, “On the following morning, Wednesday, …at the hour of vespers we sighted land, […]

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