Rum Tast­ing at the Four Sea­sons Ne­vis

Luxe Beat Magazine - - Contents - By Tim Cotro­neo

If it’s Thurs­day night on the is­land of Ne­vis, then you’ll find three shot glasses per­fectly po­si­tioned on the ma­hogany bar counter at 101 Rums Bar. Like a ma­gi­cian ready to per­form a sleight of hand, Mark Theron stands ready and will­ing to work his rum magic for a new group of stu­dents.

Theron’s gallery is com­prised of travel savvy va­ca­tion­ers who fly from around the world to lux­u­ri­ate at Ne­vis’s posh Four Sea­sons Re­sort. The va­ca­tion­ers are in Ne­vis to enjoy a real Caribbean ex­pe­ri­ence, in this case, learn­ing about the liq­uid that for cen­turies has been the drink of choice for pi­rates, navy of­fi­cers, beach bar own­ers and col­lec­tors like Theron.

Theron jour­neyed to Ne­vis af­ter first hav­ing set up shop in the sail making and hur­ri­cane pro­tec­tion busi­ness on the is­land of St. Martin. The now-50-year-old Theron con­fides that his per­sonal rum story be­gan af­ter drink­ing a rum named Red Heart while serv­ing as a 17-year-old sol­dier in the South African Air Force.

More than Three Shots of Rum

To­day, Theron’s per­sonal col­lec­tion of rum va­ri­eties is 200 and count­ing. While mes­mer­iz­ing stu­dents with sto­ries of rum history and rum-making at 101 Rums Bar, Theron ac­tu­ally has 126 rums at his dis­posal. The bar, con­nected to the Four Sea­sons ocean­front Mango Restau­rant, is build­ing a rep­u­ta­tion as a Caribbean rum des­ti­na­tion site. The bar and restau­rant is also home to Kendie Wil­liams, an award-win­ning mixol­o­gist, who con­cocts color­ful rum cock­tails for va­ca­tion­ers on a nightly ba­sis.

The three shots that Theron fo­cuses on at the be­gin­ning of his pre­sen­ta­tion rep­re­sent the cat­e­gories ac­count­ing for the rum in­dus­try as we know it. We’re talk­ing Ron for Span­ish rum, Rum for English rum, and Rhum for French rum. The stu­dents’ mis­sion, if they choose to ac­cept it, is to in­hale and then sip th­ese di­verse cat­e­gories of rum in the hopes of not only de­ter­min­ing which they like best, but also to earn a cer­tifi­cate for their night of rum tast­ing. For Theron, the best part of his night is shar­ing with stu­dents how study­ing the history of rum is like jour­ney­ing across the Caribbean.

Theron coun­sels stu­dents in how to read a rum la­bel, what to look for when buy­ing a new rum, the dif­fer­ence be­tween col­umn stills and pot stills when making rum, and the best way to ex­pand their rum pal­ette. “Per­son­ally, I’m al­ways seek­ing out new rums. I love the an­tic­i­pa­tion just be­fore tak­ing that first sip. Here, at 101 Rums Bar, we like to tickle our taste buds and dis­cover our new fa­vorite rum,” Theron said.

A Price­less Rum

When asked which was the most ex­pen­sive rum cur­rently stocked at 101 Rums Bar. Theron pointed sky­ward to a top-shelf rum in a black con­tainer em­bossed in gold. “The Ap­ple­wood Es­tate Ja­maica rum is aged in oak bar­rels for 50 years be­fore serv­ing. Here at 101 Rums Bar, a shot can be pur­chased for $450,” Theron said. He then re­marked that the age and the price of a rum doesn’t al­ways mean it’s bet­ter than an­other. “What tastes right for me doesn’t al­ways taste right for you,” Theron cau­tioned.

Af­ter a night of rum ap­pre­ci­a­tion, the stu­dents ad­mired their cer­tifi­cates be­fore hail­ing bar­tender Wil­liams in the hopes of ad­vanc­ing their new­found rum tast­ing abil­i­ties. Theron beamed like a proud Papa while watch­ing and lis­ten­ing to his new pro­tégés speak his lan­guage. On the tiny is­land of Ne­vis, the 101 Rums Bar is a great place to talk ron, rum, and rhum.

www.foursea­sons.com/ ne­vis/din­ing/restau­rants/ mango/101_rums/

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