Lobo Plantation Rum Journal

Rebecca Varidel
25th Oct 2014

"I have always had a fascination with rum. Ever since I was a young boy, growing up around the sugar plantations of Cuba, I saw how a baste commoditiy, such as sugar, could shape a nation's economy and have so much influence in society."

And so begins Lobo's Rum Journal from our very own Sydney rum specialty bar Lobo Plantation. A limited number of Rum 'bibles' went on sale this week in the Clarence Street basement bar.

At the launch for the Lobo's Rum Journal, we were taken on a journey of spirit and learnt that the first documentation about rum was by Marco Polo on his travels. We learnt that some rums are better straight up, and some are better mixed or in cocktails. We tasted six neat in a rum flight.

(Though we didn't quite get our lips into the new and locked, rare rum cabinet.)

Tip

Tasting rum is not just about drinking. Start by holding the spirit to the light (look at colour and viscosity) and smelling the aromas (similar to nosing wine - but for rum smell with your mouth OPEN) to engage all your senses. SIP don't SKULL. And hold the precious liquid in your mouth to savour its qualities.

The Bartenders

If you've ever wondered what a bartender drinks after work, we found out that the rum specialists at Lobo Plantation don't leave the rum there. Though it seems that a beer chaser also goes down well. Here's five after bar picks from the Lobo Plantation Team.

Jared Merlino likes a Plantation 20th Anniversary Rum matched with American Brown Ale.

Andres 'Dre' Walters goes for El Dorado 12yo Guyana.

Rowan Vidler hits the (personally imported) Ron Centenario 20 Solera Fundacion with White Rabbit Dark Ale

Julius Yates prefers Lamb's Navy with Red Stripe

Paige Aubort kicks out with Ron Millionario 15yo matched with a daiquiri

The Cocktails

While you can mosey on up to the Lobo Plantation bar and order a cocktail - contemporary or classic, Lobo's Rum Journal is splattered with tempting classic offerings and a little bit of cocktail history, like:

FISH HOUSE PUNCH ($17)
Mt Gay Eclipse, Apricot Brandy, lemon juice and a touch of sugar
The interesting name refers to its origin at the Schuylkill Fishing Company (aka Fish House Club) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

GROG ($20)
Lambs Navy, lime juice, sugar and bitters - served short over cubed ice and lime
Pretty much another classic twist on the daiquiri, we love this yummy~~yummy drink because of it's NAVY kick!

MILLIONAIRE ($17)
Appleton V/X, Apricot Brandy, Sloe Gin, lime juice & real Grenadine - served straight up
This is the original Millionaire Cocktail No. 1 from Harry Cradock's 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book but is also one of Team Lobo's favourites.

SCORPION ($20)
El Dorado 3, Cognac, Orgeat, orange and lemon juice - served tall over ice cube
This drink was first created by Victor Bergeron in 1972, first seen in Trader's Vic Bartenders Guide.

RUM OLD FASHIONED ($30)
El Dorado 12 yo, sugar, Angosturra bitters, orange zest - served short with cubed ice and an orange twist
Lobo's recommendation! THE GREATEST DRINK EVER!!

5 Facts About Rum

1. Rum is a distilled spirit made from sugarcane - from byproducts such as molasses or sugarcane juice. The clear distillate is then most usually aged in oak barrels.

2. In colonial times, rum was a form of exchange, and is most infamously noted locally in The Rum Rebellion - the only successful armed takeover of government in Australian history.

3. Any rum distilled in Australia or imported for sale needs to spend a minimum of two years aging in oak before it can be sold. This is affectionately known as the 'Bundaberg Law' due to the suspected influence the Bundaberg Company exerted on the government of the time in order to get the law passed.

4. The Solera System is a set of barrels with rum of the same type but different ages stacked on top of each other. The oldes liquid is on the bottom and the youngest is on top. This creates a system for blending. By using a system like the Solera System you easily loose track of the ages. The oldest part keeps on getting older while the youngest stays the same.

5. Pussers from the British Virgin Islands is a re-creation of the navy style rum that was traditionally consumed by the Royal British Navy. A blend of 2-4yo rums, it's a product of one of the last wooden stills in operation.

Photos by Mieka White

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Sydney

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