Apparently Ron Diplomatico, from Venezuela, is one of the best rums in the world, with a unique rum-making style that combines Hispanic, American and British distillation traditions. The distinguished gentleman’s face on the bottle label, leaves no doubt in my mind that it is a quality product, made with pure mountain spring water, honey and sugarcane molasses.
I never heard about it until yesterday.
Yesterday, I received an invitation to the Diplomatico World Tournament, which stopped in Aruba last minute, because of the turbulent, political situation in Venezuela, where it was originally scheduled to unfold.
Businessman Franz Sydow reports that about one week ago, the distillery, situated in his hometown in Venezuela, called and asked to move the semi-finals of the world tournament to Aruba, with 23 bartenders from around the globe competing for a chance to go to London, UK, for the world finals.
So Franz enlisted the help of Elizabeth Guanipa, a local PR and media personality, and together they made it happen, accommodating the contestants, and the organizers at the Ritz Carlton, and setting up the competition at BLT Steak, yesterday in the morning hours, where all competitors master-mixing new and innovative cocktails. The dozen semi-finalists, competed again in the afternoon at +297, in a fun, nicely orchestrated event.
At the end of the afternoon, the semi-finalists were announced, they will be travelling on to compete at the Diplomatico World Tournament on June 25th. The lucky winners who were picked by an international panel of celebrity judges were: Representing North America, Kevin Beary from Chicago, representing Central America, Enrique Auvert from Panama, and representing South America, Jose Luus Valencia from Peru, who expertly mixed his winning cocktail wearing white gloves.
Franz Sydow is a true entrepreneur, and I have been following him for the past decades since he opened the first Japanese restaurant, Sushi House, in Aruba, on a rooftop overlooking Oranjestad; then Pasion came next, a Spanish Tasca on the Noord road. He joined the corporate world for a long while as the Food & Beverage Director of the Wydham, then off to Venezuela as a Resort Manager, before the time became too turbulent to bear, and he returned home to Aruba. In between hospitality gigs Franz developed a number of successful real estate ventures, raised a few tennis champions, and opened a wine and spirit distribution company by the name of La Cava, importing Ron Diplomatico to the island, via Panama, besides some fine Argentinean, Chilean and Spanish wines, while waiting for the permits to start construction on his latest project the Zoetry Isla di Oro Aruba, Wellness & Spa . Best of all, he’s been married to the same beautiful woman for all these years.
I tried the Diplomatico reserve Extra Anejo 8 years. Neat. It is dark and golden, aged for 8 years, resulting in a rich, fruity and sweet, sipping delight. It went straight to my knees.
For more information, please visit http://www.diplomaticoworldtournament.com/