Demerara Distillers Ltd – Part One

In Roald Dahl’s classic book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the plot hinges upon a handful of golden tickets tucked into chocolate bars, granting undreamed-of access to a mysteriously magical candy factory.

That story came to mind one day as I scanned a newly arrived email—my own golden ticket! But rather than an invitation to a candy factory, I’d soon be wandering through hallowed ground in the rum world.

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Talking Rum with DDL’s Sharon Sue-Hang

In September 2019, Demerara Distillers Ltd (aka DDL) brought me to Guyana to tour their facilities and meet key members of their staff. I came away with many things to share, which I’ll spread out over several stories. While there, I conducted several interviews. The first one was with Sharon Sue-Hang, Director of Quality Assurance at DDL. Among Sharon’s many tasks is overseeing the blending for DDL’s many rums.

We talked about the challenges of managing so many different distillates for a wide product line, how limited releases impact things, DDL’s use of caramel over the years, her personal preferences in rum, and many other topics.

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Is “Minimalist Tiki” an Oxymoron?

Tiki drinks, by their very nature, lends themselves to excess. Why use one rum when you can use three?  A tasteful, simple lime wedge garnish? That simply won’t do! Not when you can layer together pineapple fronds, mint, a swizzle stick, and perhaps a flaming lime shell for good measure.

Indeed, short of molecular mixology, Tiki drinks may be the most complicated style of cocktails you can make. So, what were my wife Carrie and I thinking when we named our book Minimalist Tiki?

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Alexandre Gabriel – On the Record

One of my favorite things about writing Cocktail Wonk is the opportunity to sit down with key people in the rum industry and go deep with geeky questions of interest to rum enthusiasts. Without any space constraints, I can let them really elucidate their unique perspectives. While these interviews are long, you really get a sense of what the interviewee is all about, at least with regards to rum.

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