Anguilla’s Rhum Room – It’s Not What You Think
If you thought the 16-mile-long Caribbean island of Anguilla was thick with rum bars you’d be wrong. In fact, when the Rhum Room at Zemi Beach House Resort opened in 2016, it became the island’s first and only rum bar.
If in your mind’s eye you envision the Rhum Room as a rustic shack that’s bleached by Anguilla’s year-round sunshine, you’d be twice wrong. In fact, the Rhum Room’s classy stone exterior opens to a bar featuring posh furniture, a humidor for cigar aficionados, and a selection of over 90 rums from all over the Caribbean.
If you visualize the Rhum Room’s bartender as a grizzled character whose specialty is pouring one for himself to match whatever you order, you’d be wrong again. In fact, the Rhum Room’s resident rum expert is the youthful Princess Anthony. This Anguilla via the island of St. Lucia transplant only started sampling the Caribbean’s favorite spirit after assuming the title of Rummelier while on the job.
Rum’s Chosen One
The Rhum Room isn’t your grandfather’s Caribbean rum bar. Nearly every aspect of this island cocktail emporium is opposite to preconceived notions. This contrarian point of view includes the spelling of the bar’s name which plays to the Rhum Room’s select offering of French rums which complement their stable of Spanish and English spirits.
Princess Anthony is the Rhum Room’s maestro behind the bar. Anthony arrived at Zemi Beach House when this spectacular resort opened on Anguilla’s famed Shoal Bay Beach. Anthony originally saw herself as a Zemi Beach server before making the leap to promoting Anguilla’s original rum bar.
“I didn’t choose this job. This job chose me,” Anthony said with a smile. Anthony has developed a loyal following during her two years serving rums hailing from Antigua, Barbados, Bermuda, Columbia, Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Peru, Trinidad, and Venezuela. “I’ve got Rhum Room guests who will shift to another Zemi bar if that’s where I’m working. I also email customers who want updates regarding what’s going on here in Anguilla,” Anthony said.
Starting and Savoring Rum
Most of the Rhum Room clientele are novices when it comes to rum tasting. Anthony quizzes guests on what they typically drink before making suggestions on her wide variety of rums. “It’s better to do a tasting after dinner. If someone is just starting out, I’ll usually recommend a Spanish rum, because its scent and taste is sweeter,” Anthony said.
Whether she’s lined up a single shot or a flight of rums, Anthony suggests going through the 5S process of tasting. This means seeing the rum, swirling it in your glass, smelling the scent, sipping, and then savoring what you drank.
If a guest wants a total rum tasting experience, the Rhum Room presents distinct flight choices based on which way the guest’s palette may lean. The flights range from the Pirates of the Caribbean, to the English Invasion, the French Invasion, and the Spanish Conquistadors. If a guest asks Anthony to choose, she’ll present her Ultra-Premium Rummelier Selection of rums.
The runaway rum favorites are Eldorado Special Reserve from Guyana, Santa Teresa from Venezuela, and Ron Zacappa from Guatemala. The Rhum Room’s most expensive choice is the 50-year-old Appleton Estate rum from Jamaica that goes for $650 per shot.
Rum Like a Royal
There are plenty of beachside establishments throughout the Caribbean who meet and exceed your vision of what a rum bar looks like. But if you’d like your next rum to taste and feel like a royal experience, there’s only one Rhum Room in which you’re served by a Princess on the island of Anguilla.