- This rum education campaign is run by the West Indies Rum and Spirits Producers’ Association Inc. (WIRSPA) as part of its Authentic Caribbean Rum (ACR) Marque promotional campaign and is aimed at bartenders, mixologists and other drinks professionals.
- Diploma sessions will run from April 2014 to November 2015 in major cities of Europe and North America; the initiative will aim to train over 2000 persons.
- Training will lead to full certification including in-depth training in the Caribbean with rum distillers and master blenders
April 2014 – WIRSPA has launched its official training programme for bartenders and other drinks professionals as part of the international campaign for the Authentic Caribbean Rum Marque, the symbol of authenticity, provenance and quality for rums produced in 15 CARIFORUM countries.
The Authentic Caribbean Rum Certification Programme is an international training initiative for drinks professionals offering training in Europe and North America for hundreds of individuals. The programme includes initial in-depth sessions about the rum category in general and the uniqueness of Authentic Caribbean rum from CARIFORUM in particular.
There are two levels of the programme, the Authentic Caribbean Rum Diploma: the initial stage of the training consists of high quality training sessions across Europe initially. Drinks professionals can sign up for these local training events by choosing a date and a city from the calendar available at the Authentic Caribbean Rum portal www.acr-rum.com. In April alone sessions have already been held in Paris, Milan, Berlin and London.
To deliver these sessions, WIRSPA will utilise an international panel of spirits experts, who will aim to educate drinks professionals on the diversity, quality and versatility of rums under the Authentic Caribbean Rum Marque. The panel have all visited Caribbean distilleries and met distillers and master blenders and have been exposed to the unique processes that create Authentic Caribbean Rums. The panel is made up of the following spirits experts:
- Bastian Heuser: bartender, beverage consultant freelance writer for Mixology Magazine, and co-founder and managing director of Bar Convent Berlin
- Gegoire Erchoff: 20 years of bartending Experience in France, Miami and New York
- Andrew Nicholls: world renowned mixologist, presenter at Sipped.tv and co-founder of Barchaeology
- Daniele Biondi: founder and CEO of Rum Club Italiano and beverage and spirits consultant
- Miguel Figueredo: writer, consultant and bartender with experience in Spain, Germany, Holland, New York, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic
- Alberto Pizarro: head bartender at Bobby Gin Barcelona, he was selected as Spain’s best bartender in 2011
- Amit Sood: experienced bartender with wide-ranging international experience in bartender training and consultancy, currently head of professional training at Shaker, London.
After attending a first training session and having obtained the Diploma, drinks professionals can apply for the full Authentic Caribbean Rum Certification. This will include a one-week training programme with rum producers in the Caribbean. Selected trainees will have the chance to visit different distilleries and experience the full rum-making experience. From the sugar cane fields to the glass, the training will cover in depth the fermentation, distillation, ageing and blending processes.
WIRSPA Chairman Frank Ward said: “The launch of this programme is a key step for the Authentic Caribbean Rum Marque in our quest to increase knowledge amongst drinks professionals around the world on the huge diversity and quality of rum from CARIFORUM countries”
The Authentic Rum Marque Campaign is part of a CARIFORUM project financed by the European Union, and implemented by WIRSPA.