Review of Wild Geese
Rum is a drink that is definitely on the rise in its public perception! Traditionally us Brits would associate Rum with the Royal Navy, and the vast daily allowance of a pint a day that was probably designed to keep the sailors brave enough to do their horrendous job and not become mutinous either! It wasn’t something to be savoured… just a grog to get you in the mood for a brawl in Portsmouth!
Rum is a lot more complex and subtle than that though! And that appreciation of good rum is making itself felt with premium brands pushing ever better products under our noses!
My partner and I made our way to Bitters and Rye , located in the basement of 6 Exmouth Market, in Clerkenwell. The evening begun with us being given a shot glass of a daiquiri as a precursor to a series of cocktails made with the best rums from Wild Geese. The name comes from the Irish who were forced to work in the Caribbean. Ireland was torn by injustice and natural disaster. In the years leading up to the Treaty of Limerick in 1691, when The Exiles took the name The Wild Geese believing they would return, many had already been forced from their homes and transported to the Caribbean and Americas to work on plantations.
Some lovely antipasti was served from Paesan, the restaurant upstairs, hopefully to stop us getting too merry, too quickly…. for landlubbers anyway!
We sampled several cocktails. A lovely Cuba Libre had a stronger accent on the citrus flavour of the lime, and was much better for it than the usual sweet, over-cola’d offerings.
My partner then went and procured two Ginger Mules for us to try. The staff and PR were very friendly and helpful, and kept us well informed of everything we were trying. They were very knowledgeable, and are really heart and soul behind their product.
The Ginger Mule was wonderful! Ginger often overpowers the base alcohol, but not in this case, it was very subtly flavoured, complex even?
Next up was the Mai Tai which again was very subtly constructed. Cocktails should be like that really….. You don’t want to be smashed in the mouth by a punchy first taste and then be unable to savour the rest of the drink.
Having been well lubricated with the cocktails, attention was called and Dominic Tait from Marblehead (The Wild Geese’s UK distributor) gave us a short talk on the history of Rum and the Irish influence in the Caribbean, and how the Wild Geese Company came to be distilling their excellent products. This was followed with a short masterclass from demonstrating the simple techniques of mixing the cocktails.
We were offered small shots of the neat Rum, which is always interesting, as it will show up any rough or harsh elements in the spirit. The Wild Geese collection was all smooth and subtle though, with some excellent complexities and differing taste notes. Both myself and my partner would be happy drinking them neat or over ice.
Mention must be made of the Brand Logo, the metallic, polygonated crystalline Skull. An impressive artwork had been created by the company, and was on display in the bar. The Skull moved by itself on occasion, and was certainly a talking piece!
We were introduced to the designer/creator of this piece, Ray Beverly of Protégé international, and having all sampled many cocktails by this point, got on famously! Which is exactly what Rum is all about!
The Wild Geese collection are premium Rums, and are well placed to make an impact on both quality Rum in the UK, and cocktail mixing as well. An excellent meal at Paesan, followed by a trip downstairs to Bitters and Rye for a few Wild Geese cocktails will make for an evening to remember!
The cocktail recipes are included here if you want to try your hand.
50ml The Wild Geese Golden Rum
25ml fresh lime juice
Build this classic cocktail in a highball glass over ice cubes, adding first 50ml The Wild Geese Golden Rum. Add 25ml of fresh lime juice and top up with cola and angostura bitters. Garnish with a lime wedge.
50ml The Wild Geese Premium Rum
25ml lime juice
10ml solano syrup
10ml orgeat syrup
To create this classic with a twist, add 50ml The Wild Geese Premium Rum, 10ml sugar, 10ml solano syrup, and 10ml orgeat syrup to a cocktail shaker. Add a couple of drops of grapefruit bitters and shake ingredients together. Fill a tumbler glass with crushed ice and pour ingredients. Garnish with a cherry and serve.
50ml The Wild Geese Caribbean Spiced Rum
25ml lime juice
10ml Kings Ginger Liqueur
Wedge of lime
Build cocktail in a highball glass, adding 50ml The Wild Geese Caribbean Spiced Rum, 25ml lime juice and 10ml Kings Ginger Liqueur. Top up with ginger beer and garnish with a wedge of lime.
Bitters and Rye, and Paesan are located at
2 Exmouth Market
020 7837 7139