What’s shakin, cocktail fans? Welcome to Episode 247 of The Modern Bar Cart Podcast!
This time around, we catch up with rum and cocktail expert Matt Pietrek (@rumwonk). He’s a New Orleans-based beverage writer and scholar known for his extremely popular first book, Minimalist Tiki, but he’s here to talk about his latest, epic project, Modern Caribbean Rum: A Contemporary Reference to the Region’s Essential Spirit. Pre-order your copy at Wonkpress.com.
In this fascinating deep-dive into the world of cane distillates with Matt Pietrek, some of the topics we discuss include:
- How Matt and his wife Carrie collaborated to create an 800+ page self-published treatise on the rums of the Caribbean: through strategy, structure, and of course visiting so many of the incredible producers who pour their life into this spirit.
- Then, we get into the weeds on a wide-ranging set of topics related to the classification of rum. And this is really the heart of the book. We talk about:
- The broad-strokes differences between British-style, French-style, and Spanish-style rums
- The impact of colonial history and economics on the timelines and styles that were propagated in different islands and regions
- And why Matt thinks about Rum as a “Meta-category” of spirits that contains multitudes of styles and flavors.
- Along the way, we cover the palletized nuances of self-publishing, the four main decision buckets that dictate the kind of rum that a given producer will bottle, the surprising influence of Canadians on overproof rum bottling strength, and much, much more.