Dream job of island hopping rum connoisseur from Tufnell Park
15:04 16 October 2011
Some jobs are enough to make you green with envy – a Formula One driver, chocolate taster, international film star.
Two of Ian’s favourite cocktails
Reggae Rum Punch (Ian’s own invention)
- 50ml Wray & Nephew Over-proofed Rum
- 50ml Orange Juice
- 50ml Pineapple Juice
- 20ml Grenadine
- 10ml Fresh Lime juice
Shake all the ingredients and then pour into a tall glass with plenty of ice. Garnish with a fresh pineapple wedge.
- 50ml Appleton Estate V/X Rum
- 75ml Old Jamaican Ginger Beer
- Dash of Angostura Bitters
- Squeeze of fresh lime
Build all of the ingredients in a tall glass. Garnish with a fresh lime wedge.
But how about this; spending your days jetting from one island paradise to another, drinking cocktails and promoting rum on a professional basis.
It may sound like a fantasy, but that is how Ian Burrell – rum ambassador to the world – earns his keep.
“It does involve a lot of travel to places like Jamaica, Barbados, Cuba, Trinidad and St Lucia,” said Ian, a 40-year-old who lives in Carleton Road, Tufnell Park.
“The Caribbean basin is the centre of the rum world, so I spend quite a lot of time there. But because rum is enjoyed in so many different countries – wherever it is needed, I’ll be there.
Ian owns his own company, which is hired by various rum brands to promote the drink to people, companies and the media.
This involves putting on events, rum tastings and making cocktails – and this weekend he has organised The Rum Experience, a three-day event at Kensington’s Olympia.
“It’s an indoor festival with tropical music, dancing, food and 400 different types of types of rum to sample – it should be fun”.
When not island-hopping for the greater good of Caribbean spirits, Ian runs a bar in Camden called Cotton’s Rum Shack, and it was while serving drinks that his love affair with the drink began.
“When I started behind a bar, I realised pretty quickly that rum brought smiles to people’s faces,” said Ian.
“Drinks like Pina Colada or Mai Tai are a lot of fun and I think there is a rum out there for everyone. So I set up the business and now companies approach me, which is great.
“If they need a rum expert, my name tends to come up.
“Then they fly me out to judge a cocktail competition or something, because I lend a certain credibility.”