Honi Honi’s Max Traverse brings Hong Kong Rum Fest to the city for the fifth year running. By Holly Graham.

Now in its fifth year, the Hong Kong Rum Festival founded by Honi Honi owner Max Traverse, will run from June 1 to 2 at the PRESET Event Space (33 Wellington Street, Central). 2018’s line-up includes over 150 rums as well as appearances from master distillers, distillery owners and rum ambassadors from around the world.

The festival strives to increase consumer and industry category knowledge through a series of tastings, guest bartending shifts and masterclasses. Tastings at PRESET will span a huge variety of spirits, including some rare bottlings such as Takamaka Bay Rum from the Seychelles and an exclusive first taste of Hong Kong’s first rum by Honi Honi, distilled in collaboration with New Grove Mauritian Rum.

Rum Fest’s guest bartending shifts around town this year include: Daniele Dalla Pola (renowned tiki bartender and founder of Nu Lounge Bar, Bologna) at the Kerry Hotel; Alexx Mouzouris (Don Q brand ambassador) at Honi Honi; and Marc Battais (organiser of the Rhum Fest Awards – part of the Rhum Fest Paris) at Employees Only.

As well as the tastings at PRESET, several masterclasses will take place at Honi Honi itself. Highlights, June 1 (all at Honi Honi):

  • “Rhum agricole history”, by Marc Battais (master of rhum agricole / Rhum Fest Paris Awards Organiser), 2-3pm;
  • “DonQ Rum and its environmentally responsible production”, by Alexx Mouzouris (Don Q Rum brand ambassador), 3.30-4.30pm;
  • “What’s Hot in Rum? A look into why rum is the hottest spirit category on the planet”, by Ian Burrell (global rum ambassador), 5-6pm.

Highlights, June 2 (all at Honi Honi)

  • Moet Hennessy Diageo World Class Cocktail Championship Introduction, 1-1.45pm;
  • Real/Bacardi tiki cocktail presentation, by Daniele Dalla Pola, 2-3pm;
  • “Lessons in rum – six chapters on rum from rum making to rum history”, by Richard Seale (brand owner and master distiller of Four Square and Doorly’s), 3.30-4.30pm;’
  • Chalong Bay cocktail masterclass, by Thibault Spithakis (brand owner and master distiller of Chalong Bay), 5-6pm.

The event closes with the Hong Kong Rum Fest 2018 afterparty at Honi Honi with Marc Battais, plus an after-afterparty at Employees Only with Symphony Loo and Andrew Yap of Neon Pigeon (Singapore).

To buy tickets for this year’s Rum Fest, click here.