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Top bartender Sai Hamsala reveals the surprising food and rum pairings

How you should REALLY be drinking rum: Top bartender reveals the surprising food pairings you never knew about – and the ‘right’ way to sip

  • A top bartender offers his ultimate guide to the perfect rum and food pairings 
  • Sai Hamsala revealed the surprising foods – including oysters, cheese and steak
  • The Melbourne rum connoisseur also explained the ‘correct’ way to drink spirit 

A top bartender has offered his ultimate guide to the perfect food and rum pairings – and the ‘correct’ way to drinking the spirit. 

Melbourne rum connoisseur Sai Hamsala – who was crowned the world’s best bartender in 2015 – said one of the unusual pairings is fresh oysters.

‘This one sounds surprising but it’s amazing. People add a few drops of rum to oysters as well… I even tried it myself and it tasted great,’ the Asia Pacific brand ambassador for Diplomatico Rum told Daily Mail Australia.

The self-described seasoned rum drinker said cheeses with big bold flavours like Gouda suit the alcohol beverage perfectly.

Bartender Sai Hamsala (pictured) has offered his ultimate guide to the perfect food and rum pairings – and the ‘correct’ way to drinking the spirit

Melbourne rum connoisseur Sai Hamsala - who was crowned the world's best bartender in 2015 - said one of the unusual pairings is fresh oysters (stock image)

Melbourne rum connoisseur Sai Hamsala – who was crowned the world’s best bartender in 2015 – said one of the unusual pairings is fresh oysters (stock image)

Surprising rum and food pairings you need to try

– Oysters

– Cheese like Gouda and blue

– Wagyu beef steak

– Fruits and nuts: Coconut, pineapple, banana, figs, raisins and almonds

– Chocolate: White, dark and salted caramel

‘This will actually blow your mind. I would highly recommend aged Gouda or even blue cheese if you’re feeling up to it,’ Sai said.

The cheeses can be turned into a grazing platter, alongside a variety of fruits and nuts that also pair perfectly with rum. 

‘Coconut, pineapple, banana, figs, raisins and almonds, Sai said, adding: ‘My personal favourite is grilled pineapple with rum.’ 

He said a glass of rum served on the side of a wagyu beef steak are a great match while the spirit and chocolate are ‘an outstanding combination’ – whether it’s white, dark or even salted caramel. 

When it comes to enjoying the spirit, Sai said there’s an art to drinking rum – and it all starts with our eyes.

‘Tasting rum is an experience for all the senses, relying on the eyes, nose, and tongue specifically to celebrate the full-bodied flavour with every sip,’ he said.

‘First things first, you’ll want to observe the density of any rum you are about to bring to your lips. We do this through swirling the liquid around the glass, looking out for what is known as “legs”. 

‘Legs should ideally run slowly down the sides of your glass; this indicates a dense blend that has been well aged and offers a higher alcohol content.’

When it comes to enjoying the spirit, Sai said there's an art to drinking rum

When it comes to enjoying the spirit, Sai said there’s an art to drinking rum

Revealed: The common mistakes people make while drinking rum 

– Over diluting the spirit

– Mixing too many ingredients together

– Taking shots of rum

– Drinking irresponsibly back to the uni days of too many rum and cokes

But it’s not time to sip just yet, as Sai explained how your ‘nose needs a second to make the rum’s acquaintance’.

‘We smell rum in order to pick up the initial aromas that may offer a point of difference once it later hits the tongue,’ he said. 

‘It’s important to keep your distance when smelling a quality rum; no need to get as close you might with wine.’

When you get the first taste of the rum, Sai said ‘surprisingly, it’s the second sip you need to focus on’. 

‘The alcohol content in rum is quite high, your palate has to be prepared before it can interpret the tasting notes properly,’ he explained. 

‘Swirl a first small sip of rum around your tongue for roughly six seconds, then swallow. Now you can indulge in a second more generous swig, and really get a feel for what the spirit has to offer.’



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk