Rum training programme launched for bartenders

rum training
A training programme on rum has been launched for bartenders and other trade professionals as part of a global campaign for Caribbean rum.

The Official Certification Programme has been developed by the West Indies Rum and Spirits Producers’ Association (WIRSPA) with an international panel of experts in bartending, drinks and training.

It includes initial in-depth sessions about the rum category all over the world followed by intensive professional training with rum producers in the Caribbean.

It links to the Authentic Caribbean Rum (ACR) Marque which was created by WIRSPA as a symbol of authenticity, provenance and quality for rums produced in 15 Caribbean countries.

The marque was devised to help trade customers and consumers identify ACR brands, but in the short-term it is being used to promote the development of authentic caribbean rum as a distinct sector within the drinks industry.

There are two levels of the programme, which will need to be completed to obtain the official certification by the Authentic Caribbean Rum Marque.

The first is the Authentic Caribbean Rum Diploma, consisting of high-quality training sessions led by the international panel members across Europe, with the USA and Canada due to be added soon.

Trade professionals can sign up for these local training events by choosing a date and a city from the calendar at

The panel includes Amit Sood, an experienced bartender with wide-ranging international experience in bartender training and consultancy, who is head of professional training at training company and consultancy Shaker in London.

Other members of the panel are: bartender Bastian Heuser who is a beverage consultant, writer and co-founder and managing director of the Bar Convent Berlin exhibition; Gegoire Erchoff, who has 20 years of bartending experience in France, Miami and New York; Andrew Nicholls, a renowned mixologist, presenter at and co-founder of Barchaeology; Daniele Biondi, founder and CEO of Rum Club Italiano and a beverage and spirits consultant; Miguel Figueredo, a writer, consultant and bartender with experience in Spain, Germany, Holland, New York, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic; and Alberto Pizarro, head bartender at Bobby Gin in Barcelona, who was named Spain’s best bartender in 2011.

After attending a local training session and obtaining the Diploma, trade professionals can apply to be one of a selected few to go on to complete the full Authentic Caribbean Rum Certification Programme.

This will include a one-week training programme with rum producers in the Caribbean. Trainees will have the chance to visit different distilleries and experience the full rum-making experience. From the sugar cane fields to the glass, the training will cover in depth the fermentation, distillation, ageing and blending processes.

Sessions for professionals will run from April 2014 to November 2015. Registration and full details at

WIRSPA chairman Frank Ward said: “The launch of this programme is a key step for the Authentic Caribbean Rum Marque in our quest to increase knowledge amongst trade professionals around the world on the huge diversity and quality of rum from CARIFORUM countries.”

CARIFORUM states are Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St Kitts-Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago.

WIRSPA represents distillers associations from across CARIFORUM countries.

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