Gosh, it seems like such a long time since my last blog post and I truly must apologise but I’ve been #adulting…
*insert an incredibly loud sigh here*
But, I’m back and boy do I have a story for you, a rum story, a great epic story because after all, every epic story starts with alcohol – so here goes the story of the ‘Mount Gay Rum Cocktail Tour’…
I have been dying to do a tour at ‘The Mount Gay Rum Visitor Centre’ for a while now, but timing was never on my side – you know, work, sleep… life; but, here I was, desperate and in dire need of a vacation, and for the first time in a long time, I was actually spending my vacation in Barbados – so what a better way to de-stress than a rum tour?
This really did seem like an epic idea – #VacationInBim plus rum, need I say anymore?
Now, I’m not a huge drinker but I’m a lover of cocktails so we opted for the ‘Cocktail Tour’, mainly because, I love cocktails – duh, and obviously, the chance to make our very own cocktails was also very appealing. But upon starting our tour, we quickly realized that the tour was more than just drinking rum – the stories, the product and without a doubt, the staff are truly captivating!
So, meet Rum-Al – our fantastic tour guide for the ‘Mount Gay Cocktail Tour’ which included:
A Cup of Rum Punch – at the beginning of the tour to open those taste buds
The History of Rum – where you’ll see the copy of the deed showing that Barbados was indeed the birthplace of rum and much more
A Short Film – which gives a visual incite into the brand and its products
Tasting of 5 Rums – Mount Gay Eclipse, Silver, Black Barrel, Extra Old and Mauby Rum
A Quick Visit to the Bottling Plant – to simply see where the magic happens
One would expect that a tour which includes a history of rum as well as a short film about rum, would be…well, boring. But it was anything but! ‘Mount Gay’ truly engages you in an exciting story and Rum-Al was friendly, entertaining, engaging all while being extremely informative and simply amazing.
Quite frankly, I’m such a huge ball of energy, so anyone who can keep me engaged deserves a medal and to be honest I learnt more about ‘Mount Gay Rum’ in those 3 hours than I ever knew – and I live in Barbados!
#DidYouKnow – that Rum was called “Kill Devil” by the Barbadians who first distilled – see I told you I was paying attention!
Meet Ryan, also affectionately known as ‘The Barman’ who you’ll meet at the ‘Cocktail’ portion of the tour. Ryan teaches you how to make an amazing cocktail as he prepares you for the ‘Cocktail Making Challenge’.
#DidYouKnow – Ryan holds many accolades under his belt including the Caribbean Bartender of The Year, Barbados Bartender of the Year 2016-2017, Independence of Creative Arts Mixologist of the Year 2015-2016 and much much more! He is truly a celebrity mixologist!
For the ‘Cocktail Challenge’, ‘Mount Gay’ gives you a variety of fresh fruits and garnishes, splits you into groups and challenges you to make your very own signature cocktail.
My group actually lost the challenge but Rum.Al said we placed second in his eyes. So, if you ask me, my team finished with a strong second place – yayy!
Tip: If you are the last table to be judged, don’t give someone a low score (even if it’s true), because they’ll return the favour, even if your cocktail deserved a higher score. So just go and have a great time because everyone’s a winner!
Interactive tours like these are ones I love the most because even though it was very interactive from the start, we weren’t just learning about rum. We also got the chance to mix and mingle with locals and tourists alike while learning about (and from) everyone who was a part of the tour!
I believe this is ‘Mount Gay’s’ way of saying, the party isn’t done yet, we jammin’ still!
Meet Rhea and Adrian.
Adrian – another bartender at Mount Gay, introduced us to our lovely spread of fresh ingredients prior to the ‘Cocktail Challenge’. We didn’t get to interact with him much during the tour but he gives great advice and makes amazing cocktails!
#DidYouKnow – that he can be spotted at many parties across Barbados, so if you’ve been to any of the well-known parties on the island, chances are you’ve seen him and he’s gotten you drunk – hehe!
Also, as Rum.Al was our tour guide for this tour, we didn’t have much time to interact with and get to know Rhea – another tour guide and bartender at ‘Mount Gay’ – but her spirit is truly captivating and I can only imagine that she’s also just as amazing as Rum.Al – because after all, aren’t they all amazing!
Meet Christopher, also known as Topher, the Digital Marketing & Communications Specialist at ‘Mount Gay’. You may not always see him during the tour but when you do he’ll probably have a camera in one hand and a drink in the other.
He also goes by the nickname, RumPapi, but Senior RumPapi to you!
I must say, I learnt a great deal about ‘Mount Gay Rum’ and tours like these always reinforce why tourists come to the lovely island of Barbados for the ‘sand, sun & sea’ but stay because of the love of the people!
“Every great story begins with a time and a place.” – Mount Gay Rum