Yeah Yeah. As if it wasn’t enough that I’m frequently in a town near you, because I get to travel around the world spreading the gospel according to rum, I now find myself writing this blog on….you guessed it, RUM !!! Well not only on rum. There are a few other things that catch my eyes, nose and palate while building up my air miles; but the sugarcane spirit is usually paramount.
I also love to discover new cities, new bars and help the development of fledgling cocktail communities within cocktail developing countries. This is done by several means. One is to be involved in a local bar show or bar exhibition by way of working for a brand, on a stand or presenting on the main stage. Another is to accept an invitation to run or host a master class or spirit academy to educate aspiring bartenders. Finally the opportunity to judge cocktail competitions around the world is also a benefit, as you get to pass on your years of cocktail experience while arbitrating over some great (and bad) cocktails.
Recently I made my first visit to Budapest, Hungary as the international guest to be a part of their first Bar Show. Held within the University of Budapest it was great to see the enthusiasm and feel the energy of a new show and new era within the cocktail time line of another young bar culture. After comparing the new show to elements of a young London Bar show launched 10 years ago, it will interesting to see how the Hungarian bar scene develops over the years with their show and how they embrace the effect of international bartenders and “spiritual” speakers that might be welcomed to mix a drink or two.