My mother and I have never gone for drinks together so when I attended the Meet the Maker Event at Bird of Smithfield last Thursday, she was my first call. If you didn’t know last Thursday was Barbados National Independence Day and I was lucky enough to go and celebrate in Shoreditch. We got dressed in our homages to Barbados, my mum had on a lovely Yellow dress and I wore blue jeans, yellow shoes and a black top (if you’ve seen the Bajan flag you know why).

We walked in the door at the Bird of Smithfield and the first thing I noted was the lovely stand with all of the Mount Gay Rum. The event I was attending was Meet the Maker of Mount Gay Rum and their UK Ambassador Miguel Smith was standing Tall by the table talking to some guests. It was quite busy in there but we managed to find a table and we ordered some cocktails ‘Memories of Last Summer’. A lovely Orange coloured Cocktail came that contained Mount Gay Rum, Fig Liqueur, Cherry Compote, Pineapple Juice, Lemon Sugar and Egg White. It was delicious and I went over to the display whilst I finished the rest of the cocktail and met two friends that were out for the evening Mark (who had quite a few impressive tattoos) and Nadia (a lovely French Lady). As I spoke to Mark about how to walk in 4 inch heels I noticed how pretty the Christmas decorations looked in the Bird of Smithfield, the décor was fashionable but in a homely and welcoming way. After inviting Nadia and Mark to join our table Miguel was finally free. I got my lesson on how Rum is made and a small Rum Tasting.

When Rum is made, Molasses are mixed with Yeast and Water and heated to a set temperature. The mixture then works its way through pipes and when it gets to the end tank, the tank is flooded from the outside with cold water to cool the mixture to a liquid. When the liquid first comes out the percentage of Alcohol is quite high so it is diluted until around 40% and stored in Barrels. I remember when I went to the actual tour in Barbados 10 years ago thinking that the tanks were humongous that the alcohol is made in. Miguel then went on to describe the 3 Mount Gay Rums that he had brought with him:

  • Black Barrel – A small batch handcrafted blend of Rum that is matured in deeply charred Bourbon Oak Barrels.
  • XO / Extra Old – The finest spirits (8-15-year-old) blended in significantly older barrels bringing a smooth aged taste to this lovely Rum
  • 1703 – 10 to 30-year-old Rums are blended and around 12,000 bottles are released annually due to the scarcity of the most mature casks. The smoothest Rum I have ever tasted and my favourite!

“If you ask any Bajan they do not have blood in their bones they have Rum”, as UK Ambassador for Mount Gay Rum Miguel could not have put it any better if he had tried. By the end of the evening I felt well informed on all things Rum and I had made some lovely new friends. Mark had the best stories ever and Nadia is moving back to France to live on a Farm. That is definitely one thing I can say about evenings like this. You always come back with the best stories!