This year’s London Cocktail Week, which took place in October and actually lasted for a full month, and why not, seeing as last year was pretty much a write off, was a wonderful opportunity to catch up with all that’s new in the world of drinks and cocktails in what is arguably the drinks capital of the world. And it was on one particular evening that I paid a visit to ‘Essence House’ sponsored by Moët Hennessy, which was the hub of London Cocktail Week located in the picturesque Carriage Hall in Covent Garden.
It was here that I attended a small and intimate gathering to learn about Eminente Reserva Cuban Rum from their local UK ambassador.
For those of you unfamiliar with Eminente Reserva, it is a full-bodied 7-year-old rum that has a rich amber and mahogany hue with an aroma of freshly roasted coffee that gives way to notes of dulce de leche, toasted almond and cocoa.
Eminente Reserva was created by César Martí, the youngest Rum Master or Maestro Ronero, who was inspired by 19th century sugarcane eaux-de-vie and its aromatic complexity. To create the rum, César blended 70% aged aguardientes which is the most complex eaux-de-vie you can find on the island of Cuba, which is then aged for 7 years in white oak whisky barrels, helping to give Eminente its complexity and depth of aromas.
Made in the traditions of the centre of the island, it is known by the locals as ‘Isla de Cocodrilo’, thanks to its rather unusual shape that does indeed look like the native Cuban crocodile.
Cuba is an island of contrasting rums, that vary in colour, taste and use. For example, Occidente or Western-style rum is made near the capital Havana, and is well-known for being intense, dry and punchy, making it ideal for creating cocktails. However, on the other side of the island, Oriente or Eastern-style rum is far smoother and fruity, ideal for sipping neat. Eminente on the other hand, is made in the Central province of Villa Clara, combining the best of both regions to create a perfectly balances rum that is refreshing and robust as well as being smooth and complex at the same time and can be enjoyed on its own or in cocktails.
The bottle itself is a piece of art, with the side label, made from cotton by-products from the textile industry, individually numbered and resembling a travel ticket that tells the story of Eminente by Maestro Ronero. The bottle, which is produced in nearby Mexico, and packaging are made with 100 percent recyclable or recycled products and the cork is FSC certified.
So, what is the best way to enjoy Eminente, for me personally, I like it on its own with a large cube of ice to take the edge off it, but it is also makes for great tasting cocktails. This is a full-bodied and deep rum, rich with vanilla and smoky notes and hints of coffee and raspadura, which is the taste of unrefined cane sugar. You also get spicy notes of ginger and Sichuan pepper along with a light taste of prunes.
Eminente is actually one of very few Cuban rums sold internationally to hold the much coveted ‘Denominación de Origin Protegida’ or ‘D.O.P. Ron de Cuba’ which is granted by the Regulatory Council who impose strict rules ensuring the authenticity of Cuban rum.
Eminente Reserva retails for £45 for a 70cl, ABV 41.3% bottle and is available in a selection of bars, restaurants and hotels around the UK as well as to buy from The Whisky Exchange, Master of Malt, The Whisky World and online at www.eminente.com
Simon Burrell is Editor of Our Man On The Ground, a member of The British Guild of Travel Writers and professional photographer.
Photographs courtesy of Moët Hennessy