Identifying different flavor notes in beverages is a mark of refinement, like discerning the pedigree of a horse by its taste in jazz. Sip on singular selections with this Groupon.
At the Grand Tasting event, visitors sample over 200 fine rums selected from the Caribbean islands while participating in cocktail competitions, strolling through island-lifestyle exhibits, and attending rum seminars.
As rum collector and enthusiast Robert Burr sensed what he termed the "awakening of rum" in 2005, he decided to direct his passion toward educating the community. Drawing from an earlier career in magazine publishing, he compiled a list of 100 of his favorite rums each year into a free guide, which he gave to local liquor stores. As he developed connections with other enthusiasts and tasting judges, he formed the International Rum Expert Panel, an organization of 36 cane-spirit lovers from around the world. He gathers the majority of these experts in Miami Beach each year for the Miami Rum Renaissance Festival, a celebration of the libation's international varieties. Through the festival's schedule of events, Robert aims to honor iconic spirits while also featuring lesser-known rum makers that guests might not otherwise find without finding and deciphering Blackbeard's long-lost treasure-map pajamas.
Held at the opulent Deauville Beach Resort, the annual event has grown to include 80 exhibitors in a 20,000-square-foot space and more than 200 rums hailing from countries such as Jamaica, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, and Puerto Rico. As they mingle under gilded chandeliers in front of 20-foot windows overlooking the ocean, visitors navigate a labyrinth of bartenders and brand ambassadors proffering island apparel, art, and books. At an open stage space in the center of the exhibition hall, industry experts expound on the history, origins, and childhood fears of the libation during weekend seminars. Included in the speaker list, English rum enthusiast Ian Burrell discusses the pina colada's origins while stirring sample cocktails for his audience, and Carl Kanto from El Dorado Rum expounds on Guyana's current use of 1800s wooden rum stills. The World Tiki Team Championship pits US cocktail artists against their UK counterparts to showcase bartending skills, tiki-cocktail knowledge, and teamwork. Culminating in a humorous improv skit, the competitors fashion massive batches of their chosen drink to distribute to the thirsty masses. Attendees also revel at a two-day tasting exhibition, late-night parties, and VIP events at various Miami venues.
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