Rum is more than an ingredient for cocktails…
This is one bartender’s search
for the Ultimate Caribbean Blend
The Caribbean is home to the last Wild West of spirit production; rum. The variety of distilling techniques used on the different Islands make for almost endless variation of the popular drink. No other spirit come in as diverse forms as rum, with all its variations of sweetness, colour and flavours.
It all started with the stories of Don the Beachcomber, the legendary adventurer, business man, bartender and WWII veteran, who popularised rum-based cocktails in the 1930s. As the founding father of “Tiki” culture, he served his fabled cocktails to the rich and famous frequenting his world famous bar in Hollywood, California.
But long before mixing drinks for the hottest movie stars of the day, he would travel the Caribbean with his grandfather. Here he explored all the different styles of rum the islands had to offer. After returning to Hollywood, he would mix and blend those different flavours of rum to get the perfect base for his groundbreaking cocktails.
We’re not reinventing rum,
simply remixing it
Not all art has to completely revolutionise everything. Many of the most interesting artists, get creative with the materials they already have. All street art follows this way of thinking. Hip Hop has long been about sampling, mixing and reusing tracks to create a new and original sound.
In our view, Don the Beachcomber was an artist in this senses — sampling and mixing existing rums to achieve new original flavours. Like him, we’re not distilling rum, but using our knowledge and experience as bartenders to blend new unique flavours from existing Caribbean rums.
So in a sense, we’re just interpreters of the Caribbean distillers and the ideas of great pioneers, taking what they invented and refreshing it. We’re not revolutionising the industry. All we want is to refresh it just enough to keep rum and rum cocktails interesting.
Remixing extraordinary flavours
In that spirit, ALIBI Aged Rum is a blend of the unique characteristics of rums from different Caribbean Islands, traditions and distilling methods. This achieves a complex palette of different levels of intensity and flavours, that can be appreciated neat, on the rocks or as base for cocktails.
By hand selecting small batches of unique rums from Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica, we achieve an artisanal dark blended rum with most sought after characteristics from all the Caribbean Islands.
There is no perfect
The perfect rum doesn't exist. There are only endless variations of flavours. Expensive is not better, just different. There is not one region or island that is superior to the others, and the number of years the rum has aged in a barrel doesn’t dictate the value.
That’s the appeal — rum is for everyone. It doesn’t have to be expensive or exclusive to taste great and be interesting. The community of rum aficionados is diverse, accessible and inclusive, rather than excluding. Tiki culture is about mixing and bringing opposites together. That’s why we do what we do; to bring people together.
The traditions of rum making
Over centuries, each island has developed its own unique way to distil rum. The islands under French colonial rule for example, weren't forced to export sugar to France. So they developed a rum distilling process based on cane syrup or freshly pressed juice from whole sugar canes. The islands under British rules, however, would distil rum from molasses — the leftover
bi-product of the sugar exported across the British Empire.
The most common methods of distilling rum are using a pot still or column still. A pot still will give a round, supple flavour, with a deep golden colour, preserving more intense notes throughout the distillation. A pot still will give a purer, clear coloured rum with a lot more forward and direct flavour. We blend both styles to achieve a well balanced blend letting the character of both distilling methods shine through in the taste experience.
Aged in oak barrels
Once the rum has been distilled it is still clear in colour and lacks the sophisticated flavours that characterise premium quality rums. That is why it’s aged in oak barrels to mellow out and soften the harsh characteristics of the distilled spirit. The longer the rum sits in the barrel, the more the flavour matures and a deeper colour is achieved. A dark rum takes several years to age, but the result is a deep and complex flavour that cannot be attained any other way.
Blended for bartenders by bartenders
ALIBI Aged Rum is distilled in Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica, but blended in The Netherlands. After dedicating more than a decade to the art of mixology, award winning bartender and bar owner, Hani Asfdaai, wanted to develop a blended rum marrying the flavours from different distilleries to develop a deep range of complexity. The result is a dark, blended rum, that bartenders can rely on to deliver a consistent, interesting flavour across a wide range of cocktails or sipped neat.