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Rum Appreciation in Nevis

A rum pairing dinner… on an island in the Caribbean? It sounds absolutely dreamy. Follow along as writer Leslie Long takes us on her journey to the island of Nevis for some REAL rum appreciation.

Learning rum appreciation in Nevis

A Mango Mojito makes the most of rum and Nevis’ popular fruit – and the most of rum appreciation. Photo courtesy Four Seasons.

Rum Appreciation 

On a recent trip to the glorious, green island of Nevis, I enjoyed an evening that wasn’t what I expected during my stay at the Four Seasons Resort. While the resort is admittedly gorgeous, giving guests everything they’d ever dreamed of, I was surprised when my friends suggested going slightly off campus for a Rum Pairing Dinner at Mango. Surely, wine pairings are common, but I’d never heard of a rum pairing. But why not? After all, islands and rum belong together.

Mango is the home of the 101 Rums Bar, the only bar in the Caribbean dedicated to fine-aged rums. And these days, the bar offers even more than 101 because you can choose from over 120 varieties, ranging from rarities such as Naked Turtle and Appleton 50-year old Jamaican Independence Reserve.

Mango and the colorful, inviting bar feel like true island dining spots with the vibe of a well-tended beach shack. For guests at the Four Seasons who are content staying put, this is a wonderful option for a night of authentic Caribbean ambiance without going too far. While Mango is actually part of The Four Seasons (easily reached by foot or golf cart), it feels worlds away.

Beginning every Sunday night at 6, the Rum Pairing Dinner is perfectly timed for experiencing the full beauty of the sunset, as the courses and rums unfold. Strolling through the bar to our waterside table, we were excited to get started.

The 101 Rums Bar in Nevis for rum appreciation

Over 120 varieties of rum make 101 Rums Bar a popular Nevis destination, perfect for gaining rum appreciation. Photo by Four Seasons.

Rum appreciation with Kendie Williams.

Kendie Williams is the Chief Mixologist at the renowned 101 Rums Bar.

Youre in good hands with Kendie.

Chief Mixologist Kendie Williams was our affable and knowledgable rum sommelier, explaining each course and its accompanying rum along with its inherent attributes. When not taking guests on the rum journey, she’s at the bar creating Caribbean drinks from locally sourced fruits, spices and herbs (many from the Four Seasons’ own herb garden). For her authentic cocktail creations, Kendie goes above and beyond the expected, blending homemade mango purees, hot pepper sauces, Caribbean spices and hand-picked herbs.

Twice named “Hotel Bartender of the Year” and one of the “Most Interesting People in Rum,” by the Caribbean Journal, Kendie also won the Patron Spirits Margarita Moments Cocktail Competition in February 2017.

Perfectly paired, the dinner progressed.

Just as the meal moved from savory to sweet, the rums Kendie served us followed suit. Our courses included Nevisian Lobster Fritters, Ceviche, Wagyu Steak Fajita, Mango’s Famous Barbecued Ribs (still dreaming of the Coconut Coleslaw) with a fascinating array of rums from Venezuela (Pampero Anniversario), St. Croix (Naked Turtle), Jamaica (Appleton Estate 21 Year Old) and Guatemala (Ron Zacapa 23 Year Old). Kendie  gave us taste cues for each and every rum — and the magical matches were expertly made.

Dessert was a rich, dark confection called Suzette’s Chocolate Rum Cake (what else?)  and coconut ice cream paired with Brinley Gold Shipwreck Vanilla Rum, hailing from the Nevis’ sister island of St. Kitts.

I’ve mostly experienced rum in mixed drinks, so it was a revelation to taste the differences between them on their own individual merits. On a very warm night, the rums just added to that cushy Caribbean feel, sending even more warmth through our bodies. Not quite ready to retire, we stopped at the bar for one more revelation in rum: Kendie’s Mango Mojito. With the fresh taste of mango (Nevis grows endless varieties of this fabulous fruit), it was pure island happiness through and through.








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Leslie Long

Leslie Long is a New York-based travel and lifestyle writer and photographer with a love of authentic places off the tourist track. She and her family often cross many state lines and travel far and wide in search of fabulous food and indigenous restaurants. She enjoys baking pies, growing as many herbs and vegetables as she can in containers ,and the constant pursuit of things that are wonderful and new.

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