There are few things that can hold up to a Chicago winter, and we’ve learned that one of those things is rum. On one of the coldest nights of the year, All-Star 2020 Weekend attendees were invited to BACARDÍ® Rum Room, an event that brought the heat in more ways than one. Chicago natives and out-of-towners alike were treated to a three-room experience highlighting all of the love, commitment, and dedication that BACARDÍ® uses to make the finest quality product that is “aged under the Caribbean Sun”.
Each room was defined by a specific rum and how long it took to mature. The BACARDÍ® Añejo Cuatro Rum Room foreshadowed the special guest for the night - the “Ghost” cocktail - a popular one among attendees. Made with BACARDÍ® Añejo Cuatro rum, ginger ale, and Hella Cocktail Co. Citrus Bitters, this rum was smooth and quick with the citrus bitters adding an unexpected kick similar to a plot twist in your favorite TV drama.
The Nuevo Sol cocktail also made an impression: “This one has become my favorite and I LOVE that it was created by a woman!” one party-goer shared. Created by the USA West Coast Finalist Melina Max during the 2018 BACARDÍ® legacy cocktail competition, it featured BACARDÍ® Añejo Cuatro, Amontillado sherry, orange dry curacao, grapefruit oleo saccharum, and fresh lime juice. This smoothness of the rum matched with the tropical flavors made this drink a bright adventure with just the right kick of energy.
The Cuatro Room also featured a special tribute to the late Kobe Bryant, #PoemsForMamba. Attendees were invited to exercise their creativity and share what moves them on a yellow Post-It note and add it to a growing mural. BACARDÍ® will make a donation to mamabonthree.org in honor of those who lost their lives on January 26th.
Next up in the Reserva Ocho Rum Room, the original Old Cuban drink was an instant standout — made with BACARDÍ® Reserva Ocho Rum, mint, sugar, fresh lime juice, bitters, and Martini & Rossi prosecco. The rum was in perfect balance with the sugar, and this cocktail came out light with a fresh taste. While speaking to the staff, we learned that the Old Cuban cocktail took three years to perfect. In this room Chicago natives and superstars Chance the Rapper, Vic Mensa, and the crowd enjoyed BACARDÍ® cocktails while listening to Chicago classics like Lupe Fiasco, Dreezy, and more.
On hand was also The Zone, Swizz Beatz’s signature BACARDÍ® Reserva Ocho Cocktail with BACARDÍ® Reserva Ocho Rum and lemonade. This crowd favorite was a smooth treat — the rum being a simple but perfect pair with the lemonade and an excellent way to keep the celebration going.
Last up was the Diez Speakeasy, featured downstairs to give guests a special education on the heart and mission of BACARDÍ®. In this room, the featured rum was aged for ten to twelve years, and the presentation was impressive from the very beginning. No additional cocktails this time around — the focus was on how to curate your experience beyond All-Star Weekend. “The first rule of rum is to enjoy it however the hell you want to,” shared David Cid, Master of Rums. In this room, attendees learned about the family owned business, 185-year-old story of BACARDÍ®. David also shared that because their rum is aged in the Caribbean, there is a faster development of flavor and aroma and smoothness than colder regions — makes all the difference.
“We care about the profile of the rum before anything else.” The rum, having a strong, tasty, and smooth effect led David to share a final piece of advice that we’ll carry beyond All Star Weekend: “Always start with a short sip. This will get you acclimated to what the rum is telling you.”
Rounding out the night was a special appearance by Omari Hardwick, who delivered a heartfelt spoken word tribute to his friend Kobe Bryant. Backed by the sounds of Jae Murphy, to the crowd’s surprise, Omari hopped behind the bar to mix up the drink named after his infamous TV character, Ghost. It was already the most popular drink of the night and as one of the hardest working actors of our generation, Omari added his own style, presence, and expression of love, to take the energy of the night up to an even higher level.
In alignment with BACARDÍ®, Chicago is a city that is also defined by tradition, family, and dedication and the BACARDÍ® Rum Room was the perfect warm-up for the Windy City and All-Star Weekend 2020.