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Rum for All Comes to Washington, DC

How’s this for a way to spend a Tuesday afternoon?

Source: had the pleasure of blind tasting 12 different rums. The Rum for All seminar, held at Smith Commons on Washington, DC’s uber hip H St NE, was led by F. Paul Pacult and Sean Ludford. The 40 or so attendees were comprised mostly of bartenders from the DC area’s finest establishments, such as Jack Rose Dining Saloon.

Pacult and Ludford gave an introductory lecture on the subject of rum, then marched us through a sniff-and-two-sips sampling of each. We were encouraged to guess whether the rum’s country of origin, whether it was made from cane juice or molasses, and whether it had been produced by column still, pot still, or both. Suffice to say, many of us guessed wrongly—such is an advantage of blind tastings. The rums ranged from water clear and lightly flavored to dark and brandy-like. Pacult and Ludford suggested a cocktail for each of the 12 rums.

Rum for All is an educational project—Pacult and Ludford aim to increase the knowledge and appreciation of rum. The effort began three years ago and involves a rum newsletter and website (see and tasting events around the United States. A bevy of rums (see here) have signed on to the Rum for All and their products are featured in the tasting.

After the tasting, we all ambled up the second floor of Smith Commons to enjoy a roast pig and other tasty eats, along with rum cocktails. One real eye-popper was a Rum Old Fashioned—it was made with Appleton Estate 12 Year rum and garnished with toasted mini marshmallows.

Mixologists and bar professionals wishing to attend one of these events are advised to e-mail Rum For All.




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