Havana Club launches ‘experimental’ rums for bartenders

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Pernod Ricard’s Havana Club has released a range of Cuban rums developed exclusively for bartenders with the aim to inspire new flavour profiles.

The Havana Club Professional Edition range was presented this week at Bar Convent Berlin. Each edition in the small batch, “experimental” range is designed to “push boundaries and engage and inspire bartenders to create new flavour profiles in Havana Club rum”.

The first rum in the series, Havana Club Professional Edition A, was born from a collaboration with the Cuban Bartender Association as part of Havana Club’s celebrations of the 200th anniversary of the legendary Havana bar, El Floridita.

A blend of three aged rum bases and a pure aguardiente, Havana Club Professional Edition A has been matured in large, ancient oak barrels for up to four years.

The result is described as a “full-bodied” and “intense” Carta Blanca with the mixability of a white rum and the flavour complexity of a dark rum.

Havana Club Professional Edition B is the result of curiosity and a commitment to innovation within the category from the Masters of Cuban rum.

When a delivery of heavily-peated Islay whisky barrels arrived in Cuba by mistake, Havana Club partnered with legendary bartender and consultant, Nick Strangeway, to experiment with adding a smoky note by finishing a rich dark rum in those casks.

The technical complexity was in trying to balance the rum notes with the dry smoky notes, avoiding one flavour dominating the other. Eventually, this was achieved by blending the Islay finished rum with three other Havana Club 7 Year Old rum bases.

Havana Club Professional Edition has a “smoky, yet rich and sweet profile”, that will allow bartenders to experiment with a new taste profile in Cuban rum.

Each further rum in the Havana Club Professional Edition series will be made in association with other leading bartenders and be made available exclusively to mixologists in selected leading cocktail bars around the world each year, including UK, Mexico and South Africa.

To support the launch, a range of cocktails have been developed by Havana Club and its collaborators in the on-trade to showcase the Havana Club Professional Edition range.

Sweetheart by Nick Strangeway
70 ml Havana Club Pro Edition B
10 ml Apple molasses
Dash chocolate bitters
Stir ingredients to dilute. Serve in rocks glass. Part rim the glass with Malic acid, sugar and cacao.

Greta Garbo by Alejandro Bolivar
50ml Havana Club Professional Edition A
25ml Fresh lime juice
15ml sugar syrup
Pernod Absinthe spray
Shake rum, lime and sugar over cubed iced and strain out the ice. Spray Pernod Absinthe twice in shaker and throw 3-4 times. Serve in a chilled coupe glass.

Asbel Morales, Havana Club’s Maestro del Ron Cubano, said: “The rare, small batch rums of the Havana Club Professional Edition range are exceptional new expressions of Havana Club in their own right – but together they represent the exciting and innovative future for authentic Cuban rum.

“At the same time, they respect the traditions of Cuban rum making that we have mastered over the past 80 years, and I look forward to meeting our future collaborators from the world of mixology and pushing the boundaries of Cuban rum even further.”

Nick Blacknell, global marketing director at Havana Club International, added: “Since the launch of Havana Club 7 Year Old 40 years ago, we have been committed to inspiring bartenders to create new rum cocktail experiences and the Professional Edition range is our latest expression of this.

“It was through the world’s best mixologists that rum drinkers were introduced to the Daiquiri, Cancha and Mojito cocktails – we hope that our new range provides the inspiration, through new flavour profiles in rum, for bartenders to craft the next generation of authentic Cuban rum cocktails.”

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