Cane enabled

Until recently rum was just a cocktail ingredient or something mixed with Coke, but the category has upped its game to become a sipping drink in its own right

When London nightclub mahiki opened in 2006, its bartenders had a tough job convincing punters they wanted to drink rum-based cocktails. “We normally ask what kind of alcohol they prefer and, when we opened, 80% of the answers were gin, vodka or whisky,” says Georgi radev, head mixologist for the group. “Very, very rarely people ordered a rum-based cocktail, but there’s been a massive change since then. Now more than 90% ask for rum, and they’re starting to pay attention to brands as well.”

Such is the increased interest that mahiki owner piers adam has teamed up with ex-Nobu chef and Kurobuta founder Scott Hallsworth to open ramusake, a high-end restaurant and nightspot in London’s posh South Kensington specialising in rum and sake. While radev’s nightclub clientele mostly opts for rum-based cocktails such as the eponymous mahiki, his customers at ramusake tend to order the spirit in manhattans and Old Fashioneds – all adapted to match the restaurant’s food offering of Japanese small plates and sushi – or on its own as a digestif, reflecting a more discerning rum-drinker.

Read the full article in Restaurant magazine (October 2014)