Rums Of Puerto Rico Holds Tasting In Santa Monica
By Kevin Wilkerson, PubClub.com Blogger
If you’re wondering what it takes to get PubClub.com to cover an event, serving rum is a pretty good place to start.
It was this promise of rum that lured me to the Viceroy hotel in Santa Monica, CA, on what turned out to be a chilly Tuesday evening in mid-November.
The event was put on by the Rums of Puerto Rico and it was to showcase a new series called “Rum Times” the companies are sponsoring in partnership with the History.com website.
The Twitter and Instagram hashtag of #itsrumtime prompted a “well yes it is!,” PubClub response.
And they certainly had rum, a couple dozen of them in fact. Bacardi, Don Q, and Barrilito 3 Stars were among the ones served by busy bartenders at portable bars rolled out poolside.
Some of the rums were was basic and some were excellent. The really good rums (aged 15 years) were poured as sipping shots rather than in drinks.
It took me three trips but I finally found a bartender who was pouring the good rums in sufficient quantity to satisfy my needs.
The Best Mix For Rum Drinks
I asked for the rums to be mixed with orange juice. I noticed many people were having them with Coke; obviously they were not regular rum drinkers as this was all they knew, but us veterans know rum is best mixed with juice.
Despite my appreciation for rum, I am not generally one to have it straight. That is until I started chatting with a guy from Puerto Rico who almost whispered to me, as if sharing some kind of nuclear secret, “the best rum here is the single barrel. Go ask for it.”
So I did just that and let me tell you it was fantastic. It’s a Bacardi rum and unlike the Don Q 15-year-old I had earlier, had absolutely no burn. It went down as smoothly as Auburn’s football team this year. And just about as quickly, too.
Suddenly, I was meeting people all over the place. This turned out to be a real “L.A.-style” of an event. An independent film festival was also taking place in Santa Monica and participants had obviously been invited over to treat this as a type of post-films cocktail party.
Everyone I met was either a filmmaker or producer. Well, almost everyone. At these type of L.A. events – sleek hotel, by a pool, free drinks and even food being passed around by waiters and waitresses – you never know exactly what you are getting with the people.
They are L.A. characters, and you can’t ever quite figure them out, even after you’ve talked with them for a while. They tell you things – usually what they do in a vague but impressive-sounding manner – but you’re left wondering if they are trying to impress you or impress themselves.
One short and reasonably attractive blonde said she had a mansion in the Hollywood Hills and wanted to hold events at it. She claimed she obtained it because she was a Playboy model. Possibly one of Hef’s girls, I gathered.
This was hard to confirm, however, as her Playboy-ish physical features were covered up by a coat. Also, the business cards she handed out were computer generated, printed out on thick paper and cut with scissors. The one she gave me even had the top of the next card on it (perhaps she had some rum prior to taking the scissors to the paper).
Still, her story is worth checking out, of course. I mean, what guy can possibly turn down the prospect hanging out with a Playboy model!?
There was a bloke from Australia, a tall bald guy with a loud voice who told me he dealt with the richest people in Los Angeles and Sydney and was freshly divorced. He then bolted at the sight of the first passing female.
I had a Puerto Rican girl friend (not girlfriend but girl friend) with me and as we settled into our single barrel sips, we wound up having a very good time. I enjoyed going to my favorite bartender and asking for the drink as “neat.”
I never do this in the bars I go to and it made me feel kind of James Bond-ish.
And that helped make the whole event, well, neat.
• Rums Of Puerto Rico Websidoes Featured On History.com