The Proof Flat
Last night I went to a rum masterclass organised by Keyyes held at The Proof Flat on 43A Hong Kong Street. As it was my first time there, I was given the grand tour of this flat owned by a fictional character named EC Proof. Portraits of his parents hang on the wall, and his books adorn the shelves. In fact, this tastefully adorned flat is available for parties and cocktail-making classes.
Not Just A Man’s Drink
By The Ladies For The Ladies
This event was held in conjunction with International Women’s Day. A group of about 20 ladies gathered in the living room of Mr Proof’s flat while Richelle & Hutch broke down the world of rum for us. I appreciated how they used language & analogies I understand rather than having some dude mansplain it to me.
The Rum Brief
Richelle started by explaining how rum is made by the process of fermenting, distilling and aging sugarcane. Subsequently, Hutch discussed three main flavour profiles and which cocktails they might be found in. First we learnt about Spanish rum which tends to be more buttery & rounded than the heavier, spicier English rum. Finally Hutch told us about her favorite French rum which is more grassy.
One of the ladies asked about value, specifically if a white or golden rum might be considered more expensive. The ladies reasoned that there were many factors accounting for commercial value. Another lady asked about the barrels and Richelle explained that while oak is commonly used, there were fewer rules in general with production than say, with whisky or wine.
Rum & Chocolate Pairing
After the lecture, we tried some bottles of Plantation & Diplomatico, before and after milk, white and dark chocolates. It was surprising how the tasting notes changed in very different ways. I excitedly went back and forth with the rum and chocolate pairings for various permutations.
The addition of water also altered the taste of the rum, in much the same way as it does whisky. A fundamental difference I learnt between rum tasting and wine tasting is that for rum, you don’t stick your nose in the glass. Rather, you sniff it carefully and gradually move in. Also, in between glasses, to recalibrate, you can sniff yourself!
Now most of you know my husband is a wine merchant for https://tastetradition.com/ and boy does he love his wine. However if I’m at a bar I prefer tasting different types of whisky, gin or rum. When we go out and order a glass of wine & some spirit on the rocks, guess what happens? The bartender inevitably places the wine in front of me and gives the other to him. We usually have a laugh and swap drinks immediately but I cannot help but wonder why bartenders always assume so. It’s interesting isn’t it? The hidden biases that become the norm.
Upon reflection, I notice that I emphasise to my sons the importance of holding the door open for their sisters because it is the gentlemanly thing to do. Not to be outdone, my 6-year-old daughter, M5, has started holding doors open for everyone. I asked her about it recently and she said everyone should be kind. Yet another moment where my spirited daughter schooled me.
Happy International Women’s Day, ladies! Let’s be kinder to one another and to ourselves. Cheers!