The Jamaica Rum Festival had its assortment of art, artistes and art forms on display. Many came from all over the island to showcase their creations vying for the dollars of spendy patrons. They varied from hand made crafts, a common art form found amongst Caribbean nations to sketch art and paintings. This was one avenue of enjoyment the festival ensured to provide in seeing that it broadened the scope of entertainment for guests who wanted to experience the Kingston festival but aren’t avid rum drinkers.

There was more to enjoy than the traditional art form. Once stepping foot into the artisan village one had the pick of household decorative items to choose from. There were vendors with handcrafted beer and rum dispensers, specialized tea boxes and kitchen utensils and handmade coasters and coffee table decor. Designers also had their garments on display should the fashionista in you really need that handbag or caftan.

busy, busy, busy!

With all that to see and all that to do, Rum Festival kept patrons busy busy! And when someone is up and down buzzing around they tend to get peckish if not hangry from the days activities. The festival was equipped with a large food village that presented options for all dietary needs. It in itself was an experience as guests were constantly connected visually and audible to the festival along with being entertained by the lunch time host. The food court turned out to be a chill spot, a rendezvous point of some sorts for friends to meet up before heading over into the festival as it was one of the first things seen upon entry.

The festival also provided seminars geared towards entertaining attendees on food pairing opportunities specific to rums on hand. Appleton Estate made special arrangements in keeping hourly sessions for those who registered in their booth, where persons learned techniques of rum tasting and what food and meat kind goes with what brand specific rum.

Brand Rep remarks –

“Food pairing is a key element of Appleton Estate’s brand affinity as it is an avenue to highlight the brand’s diversity, giving consumers additional ways to engage and experience the brand and its offerings.

-says AE exec

The Experience

Patrons remarks –

When I arrived on Sunday I came before the hustle and bustle of the crowd so I was able to scope out what the different booths had to offer. So I got to see the whole festival in its entirety in the day time. The Appleton Estate booth was very informative and they had some really cool engagements with rum tasting and photo ops.

While there one of the hosteses told me about food pairing, but i’m not a rum drinker, I’m not one to have it on the rocks I explained, so she told me about rum cocktails which intrigued me because I didn’t know rums could be mixed in a flirty way. I didn’t know rum could be diversified in that way so I registered for the food pairing seminar in the booth and within ten minutes I was in.

We were educated by a locally renowned mixologist and food was catered by the popular M10. They told us how best to pair rums with different foods. They had a dark rum on hand which they paired with a dark meat, which was oxtail and we were told the ingredients that were within the cocktails. I was really excited for the seminar and noticed that it was split equally through gender. The ladies had similar questions and interests of not knowing that such a masculine rum could be turned into a softer manageable drink such as cocktails and blended drinks. The males were more skeptical of the rums softer transformation.

We were offered samples of a cocktail and food sample where we were taught how to consume both. We were told to take a bite of the food and to let the rum sit on our tongues for a few seconds before gulping it down. They asked us if we tasted specific flavours where some persons tasted cherry and others noted a tangy flavour. We were given tips on how to recreate the cocktail at home and encouraged to, even when out, to request the cocktails at our frequented bar.


The experience made me realise that rum festival catered to all rum drinkers. For a girl who wants a mixture of strong liquor sans the harshness but inclusive of sweetness it was refreshing to know that I’m not limited to rum on the rocks or with a chaser.

I realized that I didn’t have to change my mindset about rum. Rum changes itself for me.

-says Zhane Robinson

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