DRINKS WITH… MITCH WILSON

‘Drinks with…’ is an exciting new addition to my blog where I combine two of my favourite things; drinking rum and having a good ol’ chat. What I want to gain from this new addition, is to learn more about the rum I drink during my quest as well as learning about other people’s love for this golden elixir.

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Mitch Wison, bar manager of Henrietta Supper Club is my first guest, and what a first guest to have! As soon as I arrived, Mitch served me up a beautiful Daiquiri- my very first one may I add. It was a few sips in to this beautifully balanced cocktail (a little bit sweet and a little  bit sour) where I started to regret not having any lunch that day.

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With a generous splash of Plantation 3 Star, fresh limejuice and some sugarcane syrup, this cocktail was simple and delicious and definitely something i’ll be ordering again.

Plantation 3 Star is a blend of rums from three islands: Trinidad, Barbados, and Jamaica, which makes for a pretty special white rum. As Mitch pointed out to me, each rum holds different characteristics from the place it was produced. In this case, Trinidad adds to this rums refinement, Barbados provides the aroma and character and Jamaica supplies the spice and structure. Such a great mix for this beautiful white rum. I can see myself passing on a Bacardi Superior White Rum in favour for this white rum in the near future.

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Trailer Happiness is where is all started for Mitch. Working behind the bar in one of London’s first ever Tiki bars is where Mitch learnt about all things rum. These days he provides Plantation rum to pretty much all the best cocktail bars in Sydney- not a bad job to have I guess.

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Next on the list to try was Plantation’s Pineapple Stiggins’ Fancy rum. Now I must admit, I was pretty worried about trying this rum. As most people have experienced, fresh pineapple can become pretty irritable on the tongue if eaten even in the smallest amounts. That, along with a rum after burn just sounded like something out of a horror story to me… yet, this rum was actually pretty damn tasty. I tried this straight with no ice, but I could totally drink this on ice or even as a mixer for a new twist on a Dark’n’Stormy or my new favourite, a Daiquiri- yep I am pretty obsessed now.

For those who appreciate a little history: Pineapple rum dates back to the 1700’s. Pineapple flesh and rinds were thrown into a barrel of rum, left to distill and when ready, ‘enjoyed’. A popular drink mentioned in many a Charles Dickens tale, Plantation rum decided to bring it back for us 21st century folk… but obviously a little more refined.

These days, Plantation rum infuse ripe Queen Victoria pineapples in rich, aged Plantation Original Dark Rum for around 3 months. Once ready, the result is a beautiful solid rum with a sweet pineapple aroma, that is not at all over powering. With very little after burn (which is always a good thing) this mix has me singing it’s praises.

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Next up, Plantation Barbados 5-Year Grand Reserve, and what a treat this was. I am still getting used to trying rums neat… and warm, yet the more Mitch informed me about how much goes in to these rums the more excited I was to try them all neat.

The first thing I noticed with this rum was how light in colour it is compared to all the others I have come across on my quest. Light gold in colour, which is pretty surprising considering the amount of time it has been aged in American oak- both in Barbados and France… but not light on flavour in the slightest.

Definitely an explosion on my tongue when I first took a sip, but that quickly dispersed and I could start to taste traces of caramel and hints of coconut.

This is not a drink to be mixed at all. You need to have this all by itself to fully appreciate it.

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By this point, the drinks were starting to get a hold of me. I am sure if I was sensible enough to have some lunch (the nerves of interviewing for the first time was too much for me) I could have gone on for longer, but when it came to my last drink (which was an incredible Mai tai) we ended the interview.

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On my way out, I could not help but have a little nose around the bar. A pretty decent sized space with a 3am curfew. This place is a hidden gem in this time of lock out laws and stricter rules when it comes to drinking in Sydney. This is an excellent location for a late night drink or booking private functions before it opens to the public at 10pm. They also hold cocktail making classes – which is always good to know.

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Thanks again Mitch for an awesome chat and most importantly, setting fire to a whole pineapple… and the bar! (Video to come.)