Rum university launched to offer diploma for trade

rum experience seminarAn intensive course culminating in a diploma qualification in rum is being introduced for professionals in the bar and drinks trade as well as rum enthusiasts.

The Rum Experience University, featuring five days of education on the southern coast of Spain, has been put together by Ian Burrell, UK-based global rum ambassador and founder of UK RumFest.

Students will attend a varied and in-depth programme of rum studies and excursions, covering topics such as rum production methods, barrel making, rum tasting and appreciation, the history of rum and rum cocktails, cocktail-making, rum and food pairing, rum blending and effective public speaking.

There will be seminars with guest speakers from the world of spirits including cocktail historians and authors Anastatia Miller and Jared Brown, food scientist Bernard Lahousse, renowned tiki expert Jeff “Beachbum” Berry, master distiller Richard Seale from Four Square Distillery in Barbados, international rum ambassador David Cordoba and Ian Burrell himself.

The first Rum Experience University programme will take place in September at the Best Western Hotel in Salobrena on a stretch of the Andalusian coast that is steeped in sugar cane history and home to the Ron Montero Distillery, Europe’s last remaining rum distillery.

The programme will include trips to nearby sugar-cane fields, the Pre-Industrial Sugar Cane Museum, which features Europe’s oldest sugar mill, and the Ron Montero Distillery.

The Rum Experience University is designed for anyone looking to expand their core knowledge of the world of rum, whether they are bartenders, rum brand ambassadors, journalists, industry specialists or simply keen rum enthusiasts. It is also expected to be used by rum producers and distributors for prizes and incentives for bartenders.

Ian said: “There has never ever been an official course to become a spirits ambassador, let alone a rum ambassador. Too many brand ambassadors are thrown in the deep end and expected to promote categories and brands based on a PowerPoint presentation but without ever having visited the distillery or maturation warehouses where their products are made. We are seeking to empower our students with knowledge and the tools to use that knowledge.”

Limited places on September’s programme are now available from £899 covering the master classes, seminars, excursions, The Rum Experience University book and the diploma and also including accommodation and all meals. Flights and transfer to the hotel are not included.

More details at

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