Re-posting: Joint Barbados GI Statement From Mount Gay, Foursquare & St Nicholas Abbey by Rum Revelations

I usually don`t repost other`s posts here but this time I want to state my support for this topic which I feel is important and which couldn`t be said any better than what is written by Ivar de Laat who run the Rum Revelations blog. I`m not re-posting the whole content but a part and those who are interested in reading the rest may head over to the Rum Revelations blog.

Joint Barbados GI Statement From Mount Gay, Foursquare & St Nicholas Abbey

For a while now, the people of Barbados have been trying to implement a GI for their rum. GI stands for Geographical Indication. “The use of a GI may act as a certification that the product possesses certain qualities, is made according to traditional methods, or enjoys a certain reputation, due to its geographical origin.“

There are four distilleries on the island, namely Mount Gay, Foursquare, St Nicholas Abbey and West Indies Rum Distillery. The government of Barbados wants all four to agree on a draft GI that can be forwarded to the government for consideration. This has turned out to be a difficult task. Three distilleries are in agreement on what the GI should look like, WIRD is not. They were recently taken over by French company Maison Ferrand, known in the rum world through their Plantation brand.

Similar to what’s happening in Jamaica, where Ferrand is trying to change the existing GI (more about that in this article), they want to be able to add sugar to their rum (20g/l), which is what they do to many of their products. This is something completely foreign to Barbados rum and therefore unacceptable to the other distilleries. It doesn’t stop there. They also want to be able to use any water source, any cask type for ageing, any yeast type and age the rum anywhere in the world after 1 year in Barbados. Apart from the one year ageing, it takes all geographical components out of the Geographical Indication. Essentially making it a generic rum that could be made anywhere.

Click here for an article where Ferrand explains their position, including very far fetched historic “facts” to motivate why everything should be allowed in the GI. Alexandre Gabriel, owner of Ferrand, later explained on his own Facebook page that they want to be able to add 20g/l of sugar to Barbados rum. The historical “fact” for this one is that caramel colouring has been used for centuries in Barbados rum, which leaves a trace of sugar. Not mentioning the fact that caramel colouring is bitter and the sugar it leaves is a microscopic amount. It was never meant to sweeten the rum (it doesn’t), just colour it. My personal opinion is that these kind of statements are propaganda at best.

As I mentioned in my post on Long Pond rums, a GI as proposed by the other 3 distilleries, wouldn’t stop Ferrand from doing their experiments. They simply can’t label it as Barbados rum.

Barbados rum, like Jamaica rum, is an institute…..they are part of the foundation of rum and should be cherished, loved, respected and protected. It’s a real shame that a company which constantly says they respect the terroir of all the different rums, while taking these same rums further and further away from their terroir with all their experiments, is able to stall this process of protecting Barbados rum, purely for financial gain. I feel for the people of Barbados, who should be the ones deciding what happens with their rum tradition.

Foursquare, Mount Gay and St Nicholas Abbey have come up with a press release. Here below it is in its entirety, head over to Rum Revelations blog and scroll down to read the press release:

BARBADOS DISTILLERS UNITE IN PUSH FOR A GI

Santa`s Potion of Danger

It was that time of the year again, the Libbey Glass Europe Glassology Christmas Tiki Cocktail Challenge which they announce on their page on Facebook and where you can express interest in participating. They pick 50 contestants that have a chance to be part of this fun competition and win fine prizes from Libbey.

This year my drink Santa`s Potion of Danger took first place! What a great way to start 2020! and I want to share the recipe here. It`s lenghty but not difficult, and not as complicated as it may seem!

It`s a fruity, spicy, refreshing Tiki cocktail with a pronounced tropical “zest” from the cranberry reduction, with a bit of tartness but without being actually sour, and it´s sooo deceptive… it goes down easily but it contains three of strong.

Santa´s Potion of Danger

15 ml/05 oz passionfruit juice

15 ml/05 oz fresh pineapple juice

30 ml/1 oz fresh lime juice

30 ml/1 oz cranberry and ginger reduction

15 ml/05 oz “Santa`s Spices*

45 ml/1.5 oz Jamaican rum, I used dr Bird (or use Hampden (regular or overproof, your choice) or Smith & Cross)

30 ml/1 oz aged rhum agricole, I used Héritiers Madkaud “Castelmore” cask VSOP

30 ml/1 oz Alamea Spiced Rum

Float of pineapple infused Campari served in a passionfruit (or lime) shell on top of the ice to be floated on the ice before drinking.

Method: Add all ingredients except the pineapple infused Campari into a blender and blend at high speed for 5 seconds with 2.5dl crushed ice. Pour straight into a Kahiko Zombie glass. Top up with more crushed ice to fill. Garnish with the float of pineapple infused Campari and a flaming MK KD Grider Tiki Torch. A warning: these mini tiki torches get VERY hot after burning, so do not touch the torch part when removing it from the glass before drinking.

Serve alight and admire the flaming torch for a little, then remove it, float the pineapple infused Campari and enjoy!

Pineapple infused Campari: Add equal parts fresh crushed pineapple to Campari in a mixing glass and cover with a foil or plastic wrap. Let sit for 24 hours in the fridge, then strain as fine as you can.

Santa`s Spices: Lightly toast 1 bigger or 2 small crushed cinnamon sticks, 20 cloves and 2 star anise, se aside. Make a 2:1 simple syrup with demerara sugar and mash one 1/2 banana into it, add the toasted spices and one slit up Tahitian vanilla bean. Let it simmer for a couple minutes, take off heat and let sit for at least 30 minutes to cool and marry the flavors.

Cranberry and ginger reduction: Reduce 2 dl natural cranberry juice without too much sugar together with 4 cm long and 2 cm thick sliced ginger root until you have what you need for this drink, 30 ml/1 oz. Discard the ginger slices and cool. It should get a sharp strong ginger bite and pronounced tartness from the cranberry juice.

Cheers!