The rum making class in London is held at the cocktail bar/restaurant Laki Kane, 144-145 Upper Street, Islington, London N1 1QY
I was greeted by a super friendly waitress who showed me to an area of the bar/restaurant to wait for the rest of the group.
The area was inviting with its bright green velvet sofas. Beach scene pictures adorn the walls together with bold wallpaper. The tables were wooden topped with rope wrapped around the base and leather stools set around them. It was a hot night and with the bi-folding windows pushed right back, the cool breeze added to the tropical feel.
Rum Making Class in London
3 classes are available…
- Express Rum making class £45 per person – this includes learning the history of rum, tasting 5 rums, flavouring and re-distilling a 100ml bottle, a gift bag of mixers and the opportunity to reorder your personalised rum.
- Rum making class – £65 per person – As with the Express rum class but also includes 3 cocktails, olives, nuts and 2 extra rums to taste.
- Premium rum making class – £85 per person – As with the Rum making class but take home a full 700ml bottle of personalised rum.
Note: When a rum making class is purchased, you may dine in Laki Kane’s restaurant later and benefit from a 20% discount on all food and drink ordered that evening. This is highly recommended. Click on the link to read my full review as the food, cocktails and live music with DJ was fantastic!
Paul, the host, greeted us and led us to a room upstairs in preparation for the rum making class.
The room was dimly lit with a golden glow creating a relaxed ambience. The long table was set with name tags and copper alembic pot stills ready for us to design and make our own rum!
A cocktail was presented on arrival made from rum, mint, pineapple, cucumber and honey water decorated with a flower and a slice of cucumber. Each straw used is biodegradable and made from pasta. We were each given a bottle of water to cleanse our palate, together with a snack of mixed nuts and olives.
In front of us were tiny plastic cups. The 3 to the left were filled with sugar cane, sugar cane juice and molasses. The rest were filled with a variety of rums
Paul introduced himself and explained how their rum is made from natural sugar and their own honey water. They also use fruit in their cocktails which is less mainstream.
Firstly, we watched a 15 minute program on a flat screen above us. This focussed on some interesting facts about the history of the rum making process.
Black Tot Day
It was really interesting to learn about Black Tot Day. I hadn’t realised that the Royal Navy were issued a daily, half pint ration of rum until 31st July 1970. The rum was 57 ABV. It is believed it needed to be this high because if the gunpowder on deck got wet due to a casket of rum being ruptured, it could still ignite if the rum was over 57 ABV!
The Tasting Session
As rum is a drink made from byproducts of sugar cane we were initially given sugar cane to chew followed by a taster of sugar cane juice and molasses with a little water. This was a surprising exercise as the sugar cane was nowhere near as sweet as I imagined it would be!
Pot Still Rums
The first rum was a golden Jamaican rum called Rum Bar Gold – a 4 year old rum with an oak influence, fruity and spicy with lots of flavour! This was my favourite without a doubt!
Multi Column Still Rums
These rums are Spanish and generally lighter rums are produced. We tasted Bacardi Quattro 4 year old. This was a light, silky vanilla rum with an oak influence. It tasted a lot more like pure alcohol. We felt this was better suited for cocktails where other flavours could be added
Creole Column Rums
We tasted Rhum Hse Eleve Sous Bois – a French rum. This had an intense grassy taste which reminded me of whisky. French rums are sugar free and it had a very intense flavour.
We tasted Santa Teresa 1796 Venezuela. This was a full bodied, silky, toffee and fruity rum with an oak influence. This was very smooth and much sweeter than the other rums.
Pussers Gunpowder Rum is Navy strength as mentioned above. This was an explosion in your mouth, full of flavour and intense as there was less water in it. This is a rum that could be felt at the back of your throat.
We tasted Pussers spiced rum. This was light and sweet and actually reminded me of calpol, it had a medicinal flavour to it.
Finally we tasted a spiced, dry rum flavoured with ginger, cardamom, citrus, cacao, coconut and lime which is made by Laki Kane and currently only available to drink there or, purchase via their website.
Making our own Rum
Now it was our turn. We had the opportunity to re-distill a rum using spices of our choice to take home. We were advised on approximate quantities of spices to use and given a measuring spoon.
Next we began to smell each of the spices and decide which ones to add to our rum…
Finally, we added water and bottled it ready to take home. We were given the opportunity to name our rum. It was given its own unique number so that it can be re-ordered, if desired.
Let’s Get Tropical Book
A cocktail recipe book is available to purchase at a reduced price of £10 while at the rum making class..
The rum making class in London was thoroughly enjoyably, informative and entertaining. Paul, our host was extremely knowledgeable and I can recommend this 100% for a solo activity. Everyone had a common interest in rum, it as mixed age groups and we all discussed which ones we liked and didnt like. It was a great experience.
Suggested Further Reading:
Restaurants in London where I have enjoyed dining solo
Hotels in London I can recommend
Things to do in London – Other solo activities I have enjoyed