USA's 1st International Cane Spirits Festival & Tasting Competition

Share Article

From March 22-25 inclusive, Ybor City, Tampa FL features Rums, Rhums and Cachacas from the world over. Elements include a Rum Trail, RumFest, Tasting Competition, Rum Ball and Cocktail Contest in search of the Ybor Cocktail.

America’s first International Cane Spirits Festival and Tasting Competition takes place in Ybor City (pronounced EE-bor),Tampa,from March 22-25 inclusive.

Rum Trail & RumFest

Distilleries for Scotch Whisky, Tequila, Mezcal, Canadian & American Whiskies are easily reached by automobile. Not so with Rum.

The Rum Trail makes it easy to walk to Nepal for a taste of Khukri Rum, to Martinique for tastes of Caribbean Imports's 6 expressions of Neisson & La Favorite Rhums, Clement USA's Premiere Canne White Rum, Creole Shrubb & SVOP Rhums, to Guatemala for 7 expressions of Ron Zacapa and Ron Botran Rums, to Tennessee, USA for Prichard’s Fine Rums’s 4 offerings, to Barbados for tastes of Doorly’s XO Rum, Foursquare Spiced Rum and Velvet Falernum Liqueur, to Brazil for an offering of Agua Luca Cachaca as well as a host of other cane spirits, on the weeknights of March 22-24.

RumFest brings all of the brands together for a full afternoon of sipping on Saturday March 25. A Silent Auction will be held, to 100% benefit the Sky Ranch Foundation.

Rum Ball will take place the evening of March 25 to celebrate all cane spirits & those being concurrently judged in the International Tasting Competition, hosted by Ed Hamilton of Ministry of Rum as well as to award the winners of the Ybor Cocktail search.

Cane Spirits (Rum, Rhum, Cachaca) are in the news more and more, a reflection, perhaps, of our changing tastes and likely due to the growing sophistication of offerings from this most versatile of spirits. There are unaged whites, similar to vodka, although a good many white rums are aged prior to bottling and have remarkably delicious flavor. There are premiums and superpremiums that rival any of the world’s foremost aged whiskies and cognacs—and sip well with a good cigar. Flavors, crèmes, liqueurs and spiced presentations abound.

The most dramatic announcement of all came from F. Paul Pacult of Spirit Journal. In the December ’05 issue, the Best White Spirit of 2005 Award went to Neisson Rhum Agricole Blanc from Caribbean Spirits, Inc, with no vodka in sight. Others in Mr. Pacult’s Top 50 Spirits include La Favorite Rhum Agricole Vieux, 10 Cane, Mount Gay Extra Old Barbados Rum and Rhum Clement V.S.O.P.

According to author Ian Williams, the American Revolution started because the colonists were desperate for rum. On a similar note, one of America’s first distilleries was discovered at George Washington’s Mount Vernon. In September, Master Distillers hand crafted authentic colonial-style rum in an 18th century pot still at the site. (We’re certain that an archeological ‘dig’ in Ybor City will turn up a few pot stills!)

Since RumFest in NYC last November, rum was featured by Yuri Kato of Cocktail Times, Vanessa O’Connell of the Wall Street Journal, Gary Regan of Cocktails in the Country in the San Francisco Chronicle and Nations Restaurant News, Ellie van Savage in Cheers Jan/Feb ‘06 issue, Misti Harris on New Year’s Eve in Canada’s National Post, Ed Hamilton in Caribbean Travel & Life’s December issue. And who would ever forget Nick Passmore’s “10 Remarkable Rums” on

And, Cachaca, Brazil’s cane spirit and the 3rd largest category of spirit consumed in the world, now has its own Trade Council

Come and stroll the cobblestone streets of Historic Ybor City and sip from a variety of world-class cane spirits and and choose your favorite cane spirits this coming March. Tickets will be on sale shortly. Must be 21 years or older to attend event. Photo ID mandatory.

For further information, please visit The Polished Palate or write to

Please remember to polish your palate responsibly.


Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Dori Bryant
Visit website