Using any seasonal excuse to try out a new cocktail I joined a friend at the recently opened Purl bar in Marylebone to discover the stylish way to `do spooky`.
Sitting in a candle lit underground cavern we sipped on a `Mr Hyde`s fixer Upper`.
Presented in a metal wine cooler with dry ice spilling over the sides we were presented with a mysterious looking glass bottle. Our bar tender popped the wax seal and filled two chilled glasses with its maroon coloured liquid. Made with an uber-premium rum, Zacapa 23, as well as cola, chocolate and orange bitter it made for a bittersweet taste sensation.
The bar is one of the latest trendy nightspots offering the luxury spirit. Apparently it`s made using only the finest ingredients and is aged at 2,300 meters above sea level within the mountains and volcanoes of Guatemala to slow the aging.
Finding myself surprisingly clear headed the next day proved to me this was fine stuff and after chasing down their marketing team I was allowed a quick phone chat with the brands master blender Lorena Vasquez who, as it turns out, is one of a small number of female master blenders in the world!
Here what she had to say on the matter and that incredible rum:
Is rum or in fact, the drinks industry in general, a man’s world?
It is very much a male dominated world. When I first started it was difficult as it was nearly all male master blenders who were older and more experienced than I was. It became easier as I acquired more knowledge and expertise; I really just had to grab the bull by the horns!
Are people surprised to find the master blender is a woman?
At first yes. But they go on to appreciate that the Rum has a female signature to it
How did you get into this career?
I`ve always had a strong interest in aromas and flavours, I began working in the drinks industry and it developed from there
What do your friends think of it?
I think they envy me!
Has it changed your attitude to Rum?
Yes. I grew up in a rum drinking culture but my attitude towards rum has certainly changed over the years
Ultimate rum cocktail?
I would always say that Zacapa should be drunk neat or on the rocks, it`s a perfect digestif
Most criminal way to drink rum?
Zacapa and coke!
Has the way in which people drink Rum changed?
Yes, The quality of rum has really improved and there are many premium rums on the market now that have been aged for longer
Is the UK attitude to Rum different to elsewhere?
I wouldn`t say there`s a major difference, but the UK does set trends in cocktail making
For more information on Purl and it`s cocktails please see: http://www.purl-london.com/
Disclosure: For this blog post we were able to gain access to a sample product or service.
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