Halloween ghosts and ghouls aren’t the only spirits out in force this October, says Zoë Perrett – a well-loved festival is returning to Leeds to celebrate all things rum
If you’re unlucky enough to be navigating your way through central Leeds on a night when the city’s freshers are out, ahem, ‘refreshing’ themselves, you’d be forgiven for thinking the old British Naval allocation of a pint of rum per person per day was still in full force.
But that particular group of drunken sailors have yet to become discerning drinkers, more readily seduced by 2-4-1 Jagerbombs than aged expressions and rare vintages – leaving the myriad delights of the forthcoming Leeds Rum Festival to those of us who take our spirits seriously.
Returning to The Corn Exchange on 27 October, the festival’s third edition promises to be a rum old do indeed: a single-night spectacular made up of masterclasses, music, and enough of the headline tipple to elicit the sentiment ‘it’s a pirate’s life for me’ from all in attendance.
Hosting this year’s Leeds Rum Festival is a trio of the city’s best bartenders, comprised of Mojo’s Samantha Fish and Hedonist Project’s Bruce Lerman and Dan Crowther – the latter of whom also moonlights as Maverick Drinks’ brand ambassador.
So how are they raising the bar this time around? Well, for starters, with 100 rum expressions to sample and a series of expert-led masterclasses hosted by Diplomatico’s brand ambassador Jon Lister. Then there’s a load of live entertainment – including a brand-new Desert Island Disco where, if you’re so inclined, you can shake a tailfeather in a manner more suited to the Caribbean than the Corn Exchange.
And, while rum’s the headline act, the festival will feature a strong supporting cast of whiskies, mescals, tequilas, beers, cocktails and Prosecco – rendering the Leeds Rum Festival the most spirited occasion you’ll attend all year.
Make it happen
Where: The Corn Exchange, Leeds LS1 7BR
Find out more: The Leeds Rum festival takes place from 7pm on Saturday 27 October. For details and to book tickets, click here