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The Rebirth of Rum: A Rum Wave Hits Hong Kong

July 27, 2013



Denizen Takes Over Hong Kong!!


Dateline-Hong Kong, Hong Kong S.A.R
In one of the most dynamic and fast paced places on earth, a surge is beginning to swell and fill this city up to it’s sky-highrise tops with Rum. With a population of 7 plus million on this tiny island boasting Asia’s most international market of young transient ex-pats and nomads of the various industries that fuel its economy, Hong Kong is full of well-traveled wine & spirits aficianados or denizens, if you will.

It only stands to reason that such an international free spirit such as Rum would find a nice cozy nest here in the subtropics as Hong Kong’s renowned nightlife scene refines itself with international superstars of the food and drink world descending upon the city.

Mario Batali, Michael White, Pierre Gagnaire and a long list of internationally renowned western chefs have given it a go in this Gotham of the East.

Alongside (or preceeding) these titans of the culinary scene is the top wine market auction in the world with Somms from all corners making their way to build their dream wine cellar in the annals of some hotel somewhere west of Causeway Bay.

Another strange phenomenon is a (claimatically appropriate) appreciation for all things Latin. There have been a list of wildly successful taquerias and cevecherias that have popped up in Hong Kong during the last 3 years.

Maybe this has something to do with the old football? Maybe it’s investment dollars bouncing back between growing economies like China and Brazil? Maybe it’s something bigger than the sum of these, but the fact is that spirits from the Southern hemisphere in the West have had new life breathed into them in the last half decade.

What’s all this got to do with Rum? A lot. The fascination with Latin and Carribean cultures and the general global trend of craft cocktails meeting at an intersection with the above has resulted in a rebirth of classics like the Mojito and the Daiquiri (Natural) and has opened up the market to the Tiki craze.

In fact, recently Denizen Rum was fortunate enough to be asked to be part of an elite group of Rum producers curated by Hong Kong’s newest and hottest Tiki palace Honi Honi with the participation of the one and only Rum Ambassador, Ian Burrell for Hong Kong’s first ever Rum Festival.

With Hong Kong experiencing this shining moment for Rum, so does it begin to draw the shining stars of the bar world. One of our favorite drinks has been crafted by New York transplant Eric Stephenson of Lily + Bloom and Socialito, two of Hong Kong’s stalwarts with Lily helping to kickstart the craft cocktail renaissance on the island a few years ago.

Eric’s recipe for the Zombito illustrates perfectly the playful nature of these nouveau cocktail joints while they play around with classic tropical flavors in fun new formats.




Zombito – Adapted from Eric Stephenson Socialito HK


1 oz Denizen Aged White Rum
1 oz Havana Club 7yr anejo
1 oz honey syrup (2 parts honey : 1 part water mixed well)
3/4 oz passion fruit purée (or 1/2 fresh passion fruit)
3/4 oz fresh lime juice
8-10 mint leaves and mint sprig
couple dashes of Angostura bitters

Glass: Skull Glass (or Pilsner glass)
Garnish: Mint leaves and Angostura bitters

Instructions: Combine all ingredients except Angostura bitters in a glass and add crushed ice to 2/3 fill. Use a spoon or swizzle stick to stir the mixture until the glass begins to frost. Add more ice to fill. Add a thin layer of Angostura bitters by dashing over the top. Add mint sprigs and a straw to garnish.

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