Bars join exclusive society for UK launch of pineapple rum

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Twenty bars have been chosen to become members of an elite group stocking the newly released Plantation Pineapple Stiggins’ Fancy 1824 Recipe Rum.

Only 6,000 bottles of the rum will be available in the UK after it was officially launched at new bar No Such Place in Covent Garden, London, last night by producer Maison Ferrand and UK distributor Identity Drinks Brands.

Along with 10 other bars across the rest of Europe, the selected UK bars will be given stock as members of the new Plantation “Pineapple Society”. The rest of the allocation will be available only through Marks & Spencer.

The members of the society are Trailer Happiness, Aqua Shard, Opium, Mahiki, Little Bat, Portside Parlour, 68 & Boston, Hush, Coq d’Argent, The Luggage Room, Mercury Bar, Sovereign Loss, The Rum Kitchen Brixton and Street Feast in London, Tiki Bar & Kitsch Inn in Glasgow, HMSS in Bristol, Cane & Grain and The Liars Club in Manchester, Copper Blossom in Edinburgh, and O’Malley’s Pina Colada summer pop-up. Continental members will include Dirty Dick in Paris.

They will all come together in the summer to enjoy a barbecue at Maison Ferrand in Cognac, the home of Plantation Rum, and help create the next batch of Plantation Pineapple.

Each bar will have exclusive access to the spirit and will offer a Pineapple Daiquiri as a house cocktail. There will also be opportunities for others bars to run one-off “pineapple nights” that support Plantation.

Nick Rodgers, co-founder of Identity Drinks Brands, said: “This remarkable product deserves to be in every bar, but it is so time consuming to make we just don’t have enough to go round.

“I implore every serious bartender or rum fan: hunt down a bottle from your local M&S, drink it with your best friend, then get to a Pineapple Society bar to enjoy one of the finest Daiquiris you will ever have.”

The rum is inspired by Reverend Stiggins, a character from Charles Dickens’ The Pickwick Papers, who used to preach abstinence while knocking back his beloved pineapple rum.

This 19th-century drink was revived after cocktail historian David Wondrich challenged his friend Alexandre Gabriel, owner of Maison Ferrand, to bring Reverend Stiggins’ favourite tipple back to life.

Exhaustive research of historic archives led them to believe the secret to achieving the correct balance of natural flavours was in the rind of the pineapple. However, they first had to select the correct fruit, a process that involved three months of tireless pineapple tasting before they settled on the Victoria pineapple, a variety renowned as being one of the sweetest and most fragrant.

The pineapples are peeled by hand and the rind is infused in Plantation 3 Stars White Rum for a week before distilling in pot stills. The flesh is infused in Plantation Original Dark Rum for three months, at which point, the rind and fruit infusions are married together and rested in casks for a further three months. This six-month process enables the rum to deliver its distinctive, delicate pineapple flavour.

It was initially intended as a one-off thank you to the apprentices of the Tales of the Cocktail festival in New Orleans but reaction from the bar community was so strong that Alexandre was convinced to produce further batches for limited wider release.

Drinks expert Joe Wadsack, who presents BBC2’s Food & Drink, commented: “This is a remarkable drink. They’ve used centuries-old techniques to deliver a complex and delicate flavour.

“I love that it already has a cult status amongst the global bartending community – those guys really know their stuff, which reaffirms what a gem we have here.”

Pineapple Daiquiri
50ml Plantation Pineapple Stiggins’ Fancy 1824 Recipe Rum
20ml Fresh lime juice
15ml Simple sugar syrup (1 to 1 sugar and water)
Shake and strain into a martini glass or over fresh cubed ice in a rocks glass.

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