Rum on the rise: Cubana in Sheffield launches 220-strong rum list

Cubana Adrian Bagnoli John WIckham

Cubana in Sheffield has unveiled a new menu boasting 220 different rums which took the bar’s rum specialist John Wickham nearly 18 months to put together.

He has provided tasting notes for every single rum on the menu, stretching to 12,500 words. It is a big jump for the bar which stocked 161 bars when it won menu of the year in the Golden Rum Barrel Awards in 2016. The extensive collection has been sourced from across the globe, from Cuba and all over the Caribbean to more surprising places such as Japan and Germany.

John (pictured left) said: “The new menu contains a well-balanced, exciting selection and includes many obscure, delicious and affordable expressions of rum with the addition of six ever-changing rare bottlings which will be strictly limited to one bottle of each.”

The profile of the Leopold Square venue was confirmed by the new menu’s launch party last month being attended by global rum ambassador Ian Burrell and other figures in the rum industry.

Adrian Bagnoli (pictured right), Cubana’s co-owner, said: “All the signs are there that rum will follow gin with a massive explosion in the UK – we’ve seen a 100% increase in sales over the past year. I’m here to ensure Sheffield is the country’s leader.”

According to the Wine & Spirit Trade Association, sales of rum in the UK are now topping £1 billion a year for the first time and are expected to rise far higher. At the menu launch, rum industry expert Peter Thornton from UK spirits distributor Cellar Trends said: “There’s no doubt rum is on the ascendancy in the UK and there’s few venues doing more to promote its popularity than Cubana. This new menu will be a hard act to follow.”

Adrian added: “It’s a true honour to be able to tempt not only the world’s only rum ambassador to Sheffield to launch our menu but many ambassadors from some of the finest rum brands globally to show off their superb products. It is a sign of how far we’ve come in the past couple of years in our bid to put Cubana on both the national and international rum map.”

Other achievements for the bar in Leopold Square over the past 17 years include securing visits from internationally acclaimed Cuban band the Buena Vista Social Club, legendary Panamanian boxer Roberto Duran and a visit from Dr Aleida Guevara, daughter of Latin American revolutionary Che Guevara.

Cubana, Unit 4 Leopold Square, Sheffield S1 2JG
Tel: 0114 2760 475

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