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HONI HONI Hong Kong Rum Fest 2015

HONI HONI Rum Fest — the biggest gathering of tiki heads and rum heavyweights to hit Hong Kong’s Central’s district, kicked off once again this year under the guiding hand of venue founder (and festival instigator) Max Traverse.

HONI HONI is renowned its for providing premium cocktails to the hottest beats from international DJs in town, and has grown to be a voice for rum culture in Hong Kong by housing an array of 190+ references of the most rare and exotic rums from around the world.

The annual Rum Festival serves as a platform for education and entertainment and was introduced this year by International Rum Ambassador, Ian Burrell, who spoke on his experiences at Rum Festivals around the world; and a talk on Tiki culture by pineapple solider and Don Q Ambassador, Alexx Mouzouris.

Marking celebration’s third year running, the team at HONI HONI opened the doors to over 1,000 visitors catering to everyone from cocktail dabblers to dedicated disciples of Don the Beachcomber himself.

Those attending embarked on a journey discovery and appreciation with events and master classes showcasing a display of over 90 rums, some of which had never before been tasted on Hong Kong shores – proving yet again that for anyone with even a passing interest in the spirit, the weekend long celebration is one not to be missed.

“This years Rum Fest was bursting with more lifestyle brands, rum experience and rum flavours than ever before! It was definitely a weekend to remember, full of an outstanding amount of rum surrounded by great friends”, says Traverse, who is no stranger to the intricacies of both rum and it’s place in tiki cocktail culture, having used both as the guiding inspiration for HONI HONI since its inception.

In addition to what is arguably the most expansive list of rums ever seen, Traverse’s standard menu pays tribute to classic Polynesian inspired drinks as well as novel creations such as the Maori Spring Punch, or his personal favourite, Honi Honi Kiss – a mix of passion fruit vodka, passion fruit puree, French vanilla syrup, fresh guava juice and Taittinger Brut Champagne.

The two-day extravaganza was also packed with master classes from the likes of John Gakuru, General Manager of The London Academy of Bartenders; Richard Seale, Master Distiller and Blender at R.L. Seale’s and Foursquare Distillery in Barbados; John O’Toole and Tom Wood from Brand Connect; Herve Leroux from Sino Vantage Wines; Alexandre Gabriel Master Distiller for Plantation Rums; Alfonso Castilo, Asia Pacific manager of Diplomatico and Robert A. Burr, President of Quantumleap Network.

This year also saw return of the New Groove Cocktail competition, taken out by winning bartender Vicky Kwan of Quest by Que, and the anticipated speed competition where reigning champion Tom Wood was crowned a two consecutive year victor.

With 12 suppliers in attendance representing over 30 brands, The People’s Choice Award for favourite Rum of the Festival went to La Hechicera, brought to the Rumfest by Drinks99.