Is rum the new gin? Hong Kong Rum Festival returns with beefed up presence and following

Photo by Vicky Wong.

The Hong Kong Rum Festival is back. This time around (its fifth run), there are over 150 rums on display, plus some of the world’s best-known rum distilleries and their master distillers here to take part in the activities.

Some industry folk and connoisseurs are saying that rum is expected to overtake gin as the spirit of choice by 2020. Gasp.

At the festival, it certainly did seem that Hong Kong is on that track. So far, plenty of relative newcomers curious to learn more about the spirit have come by. One of the main attractions of the event are the rum masterclasses, where they do a crash course on the history of rum and what to look for in a well-produced one. That’s then followed by rum tastings, and food served by Pololi Hong Kong.

Quick side note: Although more well-known for its poké, we actually thought that the Huli Huli Chicken Bowl with rice and mac salad, as well as the Huli Huli chicken skewers, made much better (and more filling) pairings for all that rum.

Huli Huli chicken bowl from Pololi Hong Kong. Photo: Vicky Wong for Coconuts Media

The event was organized by Honi Honi Tiki Bar — which wowed us with its rum cocktails — but other affiliated Hong Kong bars will also be taking part in the rum festival, with special guest bartenders doing shifts and helping everyone “get their rum on.”

Those bars: Stockton, Lily & Bloom, Kerry Hotel, and Employee’s Only.

Photo: Vicky Wong for Coconuts Media

Guests will get a Rum Festival snifter as a souvenir, plus be among the first to taste “Hong Kong’s first rum” — a product made in a collaboration between Honi Honi and New Grove Mauritian Rum.

Coconuts HK got to have a sip of this rum, which has been aged for three years in a cognac barrel. It’s smooth, but with a backbone of spice, and leaves a nice gentle burn that lingers at the back of your throat for a good minute.

There are only 37 bottles of that one, though, so once those are all out, then tough luck.

 

Hong Kong Rum Festival 2018 (running from June 1 to 2)

Where: Rum tastings at Preset Event Space on 33 Wellington Street, Central; rum masterclasses at Honi Honi Tiki Lounge on 3/F Somptueux Central, 52 Wellington Street, Central
Tickets: HK$150 via Pelago

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