After being greeted with a rum hot chocolate topped with a Cointreau cream and chocolate chip marshmallows, we began our evening! Everyone was given a tasting note card (and a pen to those of us who forgot to bring one!). Then we were let loose on the amazing selection of rums being showcased. Set up as a large collection of stalls, we moved leisurely from table to table, each with a different brand and a perfectly paired chocolate. Some of the longer established rums had two or three things for us to try, and it was fantastic to taste and really understand the differences. Because, the only thing more impressive than the number of new to the UK rums was the in depth knowledge that each brand representative came with. First, they poured generous tasters for each of us, then explained where the products had come from and why they were different from their competitors. The more rums we tried, the more it became obvious that there’s far more to rum than most of us understand. It was a perfect evening — informal and fun, but you somehow walked away having learned a hundred new things! With a total of fourteen different rums from eight different brands there was plenty to try. In a short amount of time, our palates were transported from the Caribbean to Europe and the Americas and back again. No one could pick a favourite, because the flavours we loved were so different, Spytail’s ginger flavour was just as mind-blowing as Pirate’s Grog Black Eight’s coffee notes. For the rum purists, there were plenty of classic white and dark rums, but it was great fun to try lots of new offerings! People with different backgrounds and varying experiences all came together for this delightful event, the only thing connecting everyone being our love of rum! But the friendly chatting and discussions about favourite drinks brought us all together in a heartbeat. We were all sharing our favourite cocktail recipes and happily disagreeing about how rum should be served. Even the brand representatives couldn’t agree about how to serve rum, most served their rum neat or maybe with one ice cube, only one created a cocktail for us to try. No matter what, there was something for everyone who loves rum. Of course, the night wouldn’t have been complete without the paired chocolates! With each of the rums we sampled one of Harvey Nichols’ signature chocolates. These ranged from light, honeycomb milk chocolate to the most sumptuous dark chocolate truffles ever tasted. It was these thoughtful little details that made the night an evening to remember, and with similar events planned for the future, we’re eagerly waiting to see what Harvey Nichols hosts next!