Joss Granger, Liquorland store owner, recently returned from a trip to the beautiful Barbados where she got to check out all things rum. We caught up with Joss to hear about her exciting escape:
Tell us about your recent trip, where did you go?
I have been to the beautiful island of Barbados to attend the Mount Gay apprentice program.
What did you do while you were there?
We were greeted on arrival with an evening of rum cocktails and an amazing banquet meal, while a two piece band played in the background. At this point we were also joined by a crew from Canada who had brought about 9 bartenders down that had won a place through a cocktail competition held there. We started the next day with a tour of the World Famous Harrison Caves before getting into our official apprenticeship.
Day one kicked off with a visit to the Mount Gay owned sugar cane fields where we had the opportunity to harvest some sugar cane the traditional way. That was followed by a High Tea in the middle of the fields. We then moved on to the distillery tour, going through the barrel rooms and the copper stills used for distillation. It was then time to work with the man himself, Master Blender of Mount Gay Rum – Allen Smith! Allen joined Mount Gay in 1991 and was promoted to Master Blender in 2010, his experience and knowledge was apparent from the get-go and if anyone asked him how long Mount Gay age their rums for, his simple reply was – "when they are ready".
The history of Mount Gay Rum dates back to 1703, making it the oldest rum distillery in the world. That rich history was evident when visiting the facilities still located at the same site in St Lucy. We enjoyed visiting Barbados’ premier restaurant ‘The Cliffs’ – located on the side of the cliffs and overlooking the ocean in alfresco like dining style and with an amazing 5 course meal, each matched with a different Mount Gay rum cocktail!
What was the highlight of your trip?
Where to start! Meeting Allen was an privilege! Also, the group I was with just made it so much fun to be a part of. Can't forget the rum either..
What do you love about Mount Gay Rum?
The history and the people. And their motto that the rum is ready when it's ready.
If we could pour you a drink right now, what would it be?
Pina Colada! All is rum – a saying I learnt from Mount Gay.