Rhum Fest 2018
Is there such a thing as rum season? No, there’s a rum for every season and every occasion. This being said, and although there are a few exceptions, it seems that spring and autumn are the big seasons for rum festivals. Over the next two months, rum freaks will be treated to Madrid’s Congreso Internacional de Ron and Miami’s Rum Renaissance Festival. This weekend, the season will kick off in style in Paris with the fifth edition of Rhum Fest – and Havana Club has planned some exciting activities.
France has of course a long history with rum, err, rhum (sorry!). And French enthusiasts have always preferred their own agricole style rum to that of other countries. Cyrille Hugon and Anne Gisselbrecht, the dynamic duo behind the event, have contributed over the last five years to somewhat change the picture. Through Rhum Fest and Rumporter, Hugon’s magazine on all things rum, they have helped all styles of good rum to be taken more seriously. And for this year’s edition, they ask rum drinkers to turn their attention towards lesser-known producing countries such as Vietnam or United States. Proof that rum really is the world’s spirit.
As usual, event goers will be able to taste an awful lot of rum – 170 brands so please behave responsibly. The masterclass program will also appeal to discerning drinkers. Our friend Matt Pietrek will report on the craft movement in the United States. Other talks of interest will focus on rum’s pirate heritage, the future of rum or the health problems faced by cane cutters. As you can see, there’s a bit for everyone.
For us though, the number one event will take place at 3pm of Monday (the pro day): the French premiere of Cuba in a Bottle, the amazing documentary directed by Ben Holman and Charles Inman and written in collaboration with Dave Broom. If you want to find out more about the deep relation between Cuban culture and the island’s rums, you can’t miss this one.
Havana Club, for its part, will be present, as per tradition, with the whole range for straight tasting and some cocktails (if you fancy a real Cuban Daiquiri, don’t miss the aperitivo sessions every day between 12.30 and 13.30). And if you want to get your hands dirty, you can head for the Havana 7 Cocktail School, where you’ll learn how to make the Cancha Cocktail, Havana Club’s contemporary take on Cuba’s oldest cocktail, the Canchánchara.
As always, Rhum Fest takes place in the astounding surroundings of the Vincennes’ Parc Floral. Tickets are available on www.rhumfestparis.com/ and the event is open to the genral public on Staurday and Sunday from 12 to 18.30. Industry day is Monday, from 10 to 18.00.