Cuba Comes Calling

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Bartender makes rum cocktails

The Rum Festival returns to Edinburgh to share some drinks, some music, some food, and some more drinks.

The UK’s first ever travelling rum festival has returned to the capital for another weekend of rum filled goodness. As promised, they offered rum enthusiasts two evenings of live music, free sampling, great cocktails and Mexican food.

This year is the second time The Rum Festival has been held in Edinburgh, with last year’s event taking place at the Assembly Rooms. Lucy Douglas, events manager and founder of the festival, explained why she was keen to return to Scotland.

“People love and understand distilling in Scotland because of the whisky culture. They understand products and are open to trying new things – and for us, people trying new rum is what we are all about. It’s great because people are interested and they embrace what we do.”

To spice things up the team decided to move the festival down to the Biscuit Factory in Leith. Although they had an amazing time at the Assembly Rooms, Lucy says the venue was “too clean and very proper” and this year they wanted to find somewhere “a bit cooler and a bit more Cuban”.

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Steel drum band entertains the guests

An impressive selection of 109 rums were on show this year, with 15 different suppliers offering their expert knowledge, advice and tastings. One bar offered a variety of rum and mixers, whilst at another you could find a range of cocktails all made by an enthusiastic and talented team. The live music was typically Caribbean, only adding to the fun mood of the night.

The whole idea of The Rum Festival was born when Lucy realised there were not many places outside of central London where she could drink a variety of new and exciting rums. She decided this must change and in February last year she launched the UK’s first travelling rum festival.

With the recent surge popularity in gin and beer festivals, Lucy’s team of “rum’uns” are keeping up with the new trend. At the same time, they are offering their own original vibe, giving rum experts and novices alike an opportunity to get tasting in a fun and relaxed atmosphere.

By Iona Young

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