I adore rum cocktails and aged rum as a slow sipper. So, I was mighty delighted to be offered an invite to a Rums of Puerto Rico event at the Empire State Building, excited to potentially meet some of PR's finest rum producers and a few keen mixologists as well.
Unfortunately, what I got was a sad list of unimaginative cocktails at the bar (Rum and Coke anyone? or how about a Rum and Orange Juice?), a lot of thumpa-thumpa music blaring in my ears (if that complaint makes me old, so be it!), and political speeches aplenty. Throw in two bartenders who put on a pathetic homage to Tom Cruise in the 80's flick "Cocktail" and an odd appearance by Food Network star Claire Robinson (it's not like she's Puerto Rican or a bartender), and you've pretty much got the evening's festivities down.
Even the gift bag (pictured above) was disappointing. Think rum cake and cigars. Seriously.
I hope the producers of this rum reception think more about the rum the next time they come to town. I'd love to learn -- and taste -- more. If the Cotes du Rhone folks could turn their annual event from Cotes du Wrong into Cotes du Right, I have every faith that the Rums of Puerto Rico team can deliver.
Until then, you can find me at the bar at The Edison Hotel's Rum House, downing a Tortuga or two (or three).