Tufnell Park rum ambassador opens bar in Antarctic

PUBLISHED: 07:10 28 March 2013




The temperature could be minus-30C and the only passing trade may be penguins – but that hasn’t stopped a global rum legend setting up a cocktail bar in Antarctica.

Pina coladas are normally associated with the tropics, but Ian Burrell, of Carleton Road, Tufnell Park, will be dishing them up at his sub-zero pop-up bar, expected to be open from today (Thursday).

Mr Burrell is an international rum ambassador and normally earns a living flying around the world promoting the drink while showing people how to taste and mix it properly.

But for his latest escapade he is crossing three continents, two oceans and travelling thousands of miles to shake drinks with the seals – and all to raise cash to provide drinking water for the world’s poorest people.

He said: “It all started when I realised I had served drinks in every continent in the world apart from Antarctica.

“I thought ‘well I’m the only person who can stop me from doing it’ and I started planning the trip.

“I will be serving up pina coladas, daiquiris, things like that. Drinks normally associated with hot countries. I’m like the Cool Runnings of the cocktail world.

“I don’t know who the customers will be. There is an Australian film crew there at the same time, so I will keep them well-lubricated.

“I know I won’t be allowed to serve the penguins – I’d be breaking the law in about 35 countries.”

Mr Burrell’s epic journey began on Saturday when he flew to Argentina.

From there it was a four-day boat trip to the peninsula, mixing drinks for the passengers on the way, where he set up the “fold-down” rum shack for around 36 hours.

He said: “We waste so much water in the drinks industry, water that could save people’s lives.

‘‘Hopefully by doing this I can raise cash and awareness. If 1,000 people can donate just £10, we can start to make a difference.”

Wine for water is a non-profit making organisation set up to provide clean drinking water to the one billion people in the world who don’t have it.

Since forming in 2004 they have worked in 15 countries, providing water to 150,000 people.

Doc Hendley, head of the organisation, said: “All of us were so thrilled and honoured to have Mr Burrell choose us for such an awesome campaign.

“In many of the countries we work in, women and children have to walk for hours every day just to gather a life-giving resource that we in the bar industry take for granted.

“I am certain this campaign will not only shed some light on humanity’s most precious resource, but it will also give us an opportunity to serve thousands more in need of clean drinking water.”

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