As September 2015 is about to begin we are only a few weeks away from the California Rum Fest. Federico Hernandez the promoter and mastermind behind the festival took a few minutes to talk about how the foundation of his festival and his love of the rum world.
1. What inspired you to do the California Rum Festival?
After a few years of producing the Puerto Rico national Rum Festival “Taste of Rums”, the craving to branch out began. I grew up fantasizing about living in California at some time in my life, surfing throughout the gold coast. That is still in my bucket list, yet now that we live in Seattle, producing a Rum Festival at one of the key states in the USA was feasible. Last fall during my 11year anniversary, my wife and I visited SF and just loved it. The cocktail scene is above and beyond! SF also host one of the most famous Rum Bars in the world like Smugglers Cove, Forbidden Island and most recent Longitude.
2. What other festivals do you promote?
The Rum Lab founded and has been producing the following events
- Taste of Rum - Puerto Rico National Rum Festival going now to its 7th Anniversary
- Taste of Rum USA Tour
- MidWest Rum Festival - presently held in Louisville, KY
3. How did your interest in rum begin?
- Being from Puerto Rico one is introduce to rum at an early age. It is just part of your blood. Initially in my early years our company “Dynasty Productions” produced some events and promotions for DonQ, Ron LLave, Ron Granado, Palo Viejo and Bacardi.
- Then in 2008, I became partner at three restaurants in Puerto Rico that needed a major facelift and support. We turned one of the restaurants in the first Rum Bar in Puerto Rico called Caña, located in Hotel El Convento, Old San Juan. Barbara Velez from Rums of PR helped me evolve the concept even more.
- At the same time I realized that Puerto Rico being the rum capital of the world didn’t have a rum festival and that’s when Taste of Rum was born.
4. Do you have a favorite cocktail?
- I grew up drinking simple drinks like (1) Rum & Coke w/ lime wedge (2) Rum w/ Coconut Water (3) Rum + Club Soda + Lime (4) Limoncillo = White rum with water + Crystal Light Powder (5) Piña Coladas…
- Daiquiris + Punches were not common. Now I love to try different cocktails and infuse myself in mental journeys gathering all the varieties of flavor.
5. Where should readers go to learn more about your event?
Best of luck with the show.