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PUBS, PATIOS & BARS: St. Kitts launches rum certification course

St. Kitts is launching a distinctive, first-of-its-kind “Rummelier Certification Program” for both rum aficionados and other visitors simply wanting to learn more about the island’s historic spirit, while also getting a taste of Kittitian culture and history.

The St. Kitt’s Tourism Authority initiative enables travellers to become a certified “rummelier” through two classes led by two local rum experts. The program invites travellers to deep-dive into the history of rum and distilling the spirit, gain hands-on experience in creating spiced rum, and learn to master making rum-based cocktails.

“The history of Caribbean rum and its influential impact can be seen throughout St. Kitts,” says Tourism Minister Marsha Henderson. “St. Kitts is home to the oldest surviving rum distillery in the Caribbean and is also home to a growing unconventional rum scene. We are excited to incorporate an integral part of our history into expanding innovative tourism opportunities.”

Henderson says the program is great way for travellers to experience St. Kitts in a different way and “take back home a part of our island’s rich history…”

The first part of the tour is at Wingfield Estate, home of the Caribbean’s oldest surviving rum distillery. During this rummelier course, expert Jack Widdowson teaches rum theory and the history of rum production methods.

The recently excavated distillery is found on the 18th-century sugar cane plantation owned by a direct ancestor of Thomas Jefferson. While sipping rum and learning the history, guests will see a preserved aqueduct, chimney, mill house, boiling house, and lime kiln and learn how to label their own rum bottle.

The second course takes place at Spice Mill Restaurant on Cockleshell Bay and is run by rum expert Roger Brisbane. This course showcases spiced rum creation methodology, rum-blending techniques, and cocktail creations utilizing tasting procedures and nuances in different types of rums. Brisbane is an innovator in the rum space with Hibiscus Spirits, which is created by infusing handpicked and locally grown Roselle Hibiscus calyx, known as sorrel, to flavour the rum and create a natural red colour.

Details of each course are as follows, with a certificate earned after completing both courses:

At Wingfield Estate – home of the oldest surviving rum distillery in the Caribbean:

● Introduction of Rum
● History of Rum in St. Kitts
● Rum production methods
● Learning How to Taste + Identify Flavour Profiles
● Tour the estate
● Label your own rum bottle

At Spice Mill – home of Hibiscus Spirits:

● Learn how to create spiced rum
● Methodology of creating classic rum drinks
● Learn nuances of creating rum cocktails
● Rum appreciation methods

“This is just one of many upcoming opportunities where the destination will utilize local partnerships to market the island’s unique attributes,” says Ellison “Tommy” Thompson, CEO of St. Kitts Tourism Authority. “Furthermore, this program truly sets us apart from other Caribbean destinations while preserving the Kittitian history of rum and its meaning to the culture. We are excited to invite travellers worldwide to spend a day with kindred spirits.”

The Rummelier Certification Program costs US$150 p.p. For info and to book, click HERE.

With glass purposefully in hand, we at Travel Industry Today continue our series on some of the planet’s best bars, patios and rooftop venues. For more articles in the series, click here:



First published at Travel Industry Today

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