This week we caught up with Nick Feris, rum educator, author and founder of The Rum Collective, the longest running rum society in the U.S. based in Seattle. An advocate for quality and a voice for lesser known, traditionally-made rums, Nick tirelessly promotes the beauty of his favorite spirit, loves overproof rums, and probably knows a sea shanty or two. So pour yourself a measure of grog as we chat with Nick.
NightOwl: Nick, you’re a rum educator, author and founder of The Rum Collective, the longest running rum society and a voice for traditionally made rums, tell us where you got your passion for rum and how did that lead you to where you are today?
Nick: I enjoyed Cuba Libres in university while being social and talking about what I liked to drink: rum. This pastime evolved, after visiting a few distilleries and my travels abroad, into a passion. I began collecting, writing reviews and then judging rum competitions, both nationally and internationally, until I conceived the idea of The Rum Collective – a website and Seattle’s first rum society. After that, the rest is better rum and more fun!
NightOwl: What goes into making a great rum?
Nick: Lots of rum love! I think a “great” rum should have flavors that represent its origin distilled into it (not out of it), and if aged, further enhanced by effects from the cask and/or blend. There are many great rums out there, but many people simply have not had the opportunity to experience them yet.
NightOwl: What’s your favorite rum concoction and recipe?
Nick: Favorites for me change by the season, by the day and sometimes by the feeling of moment. My go to drink is a Ti’ Punch, but more recently I have been crushing hard on any mixed drink or cocktail with Rum Fire, like a simple, authentic Jamaican mix I call a TNT or “Trelawny ‘n’ Ting”.
- 2oz of Clement Premiere Canne
- lime coin (quarter size, equal parts peel to pith)
- 1/2 tsp of Sirop de Canne
- *small rocks glass, no ice, swizzle it
TNT “Trelawny ‘n’ Ting”
- 2oz Rum Fire
- 6oz Ting Grapefruit soda
- *Collins glass, over ice, lime wedge garnish
NightOwl: What are your five favorite Rum Brands?
Nick: Top Five? That’s tough, but, at present:
- Rhum Clement
- Rum Fire
- Rum Nation
NightOwl: Tell us about some of your upcoming events and some of the new things on the horizon.
Nick: The largest Cuban Rum tasting in the U.S….ever. It’s in Seattle and details to be announced soon!
NightOwl: It’s 5 o’clock on Friday – where will we find you?
Nick: In the capable hands of Jason Alexander at Tacoma Cabana…
NightOwl: Tell us something about yourself that we might find surprising?
Nick: I prefer splitting the base and splicing the mainbrace when it comes to cocktails – make it diverse and overproof! Martinique rhum & Jamaican rum OR a mezcal and Jamaican rum are winning with me and will be trending soon.
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