The Tasting Panel magazine

November 2015

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Page 84 of 136

84  /  the tasting panel  /  november 2015 BRAND PROFILE "The true meaning of bar- tending is to relate to people, and Wray & Neph- ew is helping ignite the passion in me and other bartenders." —Mattias Horseman, Bar Manager at Chefs Club at The St. Regis Aspen Resort A Celebration of an Iconic Jamaican Spirit WRAY & NEPHEW LEADS THE TIKI REVOLUTION by Becky Tsadik / photos by Jeremy Swanson A Jamaican Cultural Mainstay What do welcoming new additions to the family, blessing a new home and paying homage to the departed all have in common? The answer is Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum. From toasting to life at nighttime vigils to being poured on the foundation of a new home to ward off evil spirits or "duppies," Jamaica's number one spirit plays an integral role in Jamaican culture. In 1852, bar owner John Wray began producing his own rum out of his Kingston, Jamaica bar, the Shakespeare Tavern. His nephew Charles James Ward would decide to join him 35 years later and thus J. Wray & Nephew Ltd. was born. The spirits made by J. Wray & Nephew Ltd., which include world favorite Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum, garnered numerous awards throughout the mid-19th century. Then in 1907, a great fire burned Kingston, destroying most of the city, including the Port Royal Street block where the company had relocated operations. Luckily, the company survived and its aged rum stocks escaped damage, allowing J. Wray & Nephew Ltd. to blaze forth and become a mainstay in every bar and home in the country. "Out of this World" Flavor The spirit's influence extends far beyond the island of Jamaica, however. A 17-year-old J. Wray & Nephew rum was used in the world's first Mai Tai, developed by Victor "Trader Vic" Bergeron in 1944. A friend from Tahiti tasted the new drink and shouted "Maitai roa ae!" or "Out of this world—the best!" As the Mai Tai's popularity soared, supplies of the 17- and 15-year-old J. Wray & Nephew rum

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