Updated Nov. 14, 2022
We won’t even venture to guess what a night out on the town in Miami costs these days. Sure, the bars and clubs are top-notch. But so are the prices. After parking, cover charge and a drink or two, you’re likely already down $100 without even getting warmed up. Never mind the icy stares of the too-hip-for-you crowd jostling for space at the bar.
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Here’s a refreshing alternative: You could spend two full days tasting some of the world’s best spirits, learning from premiere industry experts, and hanging out with a friendly gang of easy-going rum enthusiasts. All for not a whole lot more than that C-note.
Our course, we’re talking about the Miami Rum Renaissance Festival, returning to Coral Gables this weekend for its 13th event spotlighting the underappreciated spirit in the perfect setting. Miami may have many vices, but the city’s appreciation for rum is certainly one of its most endearing.
“South Florida is the No. 1 rum market in the world, and its only fitting that we present Miami Rum Fest as the best rum tasting program in the United States once a year in this location, festival co-organizer Robert A. Burr said. “Its also a chance for the international rum community to come together, from the islands of the Caribbean and the Americas to Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa and beyond.”
The traditional “grand tasting” event, which offers guests free samples from dozens of new and established brands, will return for a third time to the quaint Coral Gables Woman’s Club on Sunday, Nov. 13. For at least four hours, you can enjoy tastes of premium spirits and a wide selection of cocktails, chat with reps and label owners, attend seminars and workshops, and simply immerse yourself in the laid-back atmosphere. All for just $49 (or $59 for a VIP pass).
New for 2022, a second day of festivities has been added on Saturday at the nearby Hyatt Regency Venetian Ballroom. For $69, you can attend three master seminars hosted by leading experts and take “a complete journey through the rum production process.” Rum samples are included, of course, along with light snacks.
Miami Rum Festival highlights
Saturday’s Seminar Day: The lessons are divided into three parts, running from 12:30 to 4:15. Your teachers are Alexandre Gabriel (master blender and owner of Maison Ferrand and Plantation Rum), Don Benn (master distiller at West Indies Rum Distillery), and Gabrielle Hinds (quality control for West Indies Rum Distillery). The classes cover “Cane Culture and Fermentation,” “Distillation Using Traditional and Modern Methods,” and “Wood Management and Blending.” Rum geeks are encouraged to bring their curiosity and ask questions while enjoying this virtual visit inside the historic Barbados distillery.
Sunday’s Grand Tasting: From Brinley Gold Shipwreck (St. Kitts) to Zafra (Panama), the spirits on offer in the tasting rooms will span many styles and countries. Dozens of rum brands will be on hand promoting their wares, and not just those from the Caribbean. Multiple American rums will be featured, including several produced in Florida: Cotherman Distilling (St. Pete/Clearwater), Everglades White Lightning (Fort Lauderdale), Noxx and Dunn (Polk County), and Revenge Rum (West Palm Beach). Other interesting international newcomers include Copalli (Belize) and Ten To One (multiple Caribbean islands). But don’t fret, you can also sample stalwart brand such as Rhum Barbancourt, Pusser’s, Diplomatico and many more.
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PAST ATOMIC GROG COVERAGE
Photos, recap: Miami festival reunites rum family for one-day tasting event
Our highlights from the 2021 Rum Renaissance Tasting Event, including photos and our favorite sips of the day.
Preview, photos and event history: Miami Rum Renaissance Festival is back for a 12th taste of cane spirits
Everything you need to know about the return of the Miami Rum Festival, including an in-depth preview and look back at the past 11 events with exclusive photos and remembrances.
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2019 PHOTOS AND RECAP: Rum festival returns to its roots
EVENT HISTORY: Miami Rum Renaissance Festival year-by-year
ATOMIC GROG FLASHBACK: Our top nine Miami Rum Fest memories
More Miami Rum Festival recaps
* 2018: Spirited mash-up: Rum Renaissance Festival moves next door to The Hukilau
* 2017: Miami Rum Festival and Trade Expo turns 9
* 2016: Koloa, Plantation and Don Q dominate awards at annual Miami festival
* 2015: Miami Rum Festival boldly explores the next frontier of cane spirits
Rum aficionados gather for 7th annual Miami festival
* 2014: Upstart spirits share spotlight with major players at Miami Rum Festival
Cocktails reach new heights of creativity at Miami Rum Festival
* 2013: Miami festival showcases a never-ending variety of rums
* 2012: Miami festival offers many lessons in rum appreciation
* 2011: We be Jammin: Rum Renaissance Zombie fest at The Mai-Kai
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