Barbados Rum Festival, Industry In Jeopardy

BarbadosThe Barbados Food & Wine and Rum Festival invites visitors to enjoy cooking demonstrations from a lineup of international and Bajan chefs, wine and rum tastings and pairings from wine and spirits experts. Sound like a good time? Better go this year. Barbados and other Caribbean islands may be out of the rum business before long, and for an unexpected reason.

“Any discussion about rum is a discussion about Barbados, and vice versa,” says the Barbados Food & Wine and Rum Festival on its website. “It’s been an integral part of the island nation’s heritage, history, and economy for over 350 years.”

Indeed, Barbados is known for some of the finest rum in the Caribbean if not in the world. Packed with over 1,500 rum shops on the 166 square miles of island, the island’s rum industry is facing stiff competition from U.S. government subsidized rum industries in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

U.S. subsidized rum makers are paying $20 per ton for molasses, a key ingredient in rum, while Barbados and other Caribbean manufacturers are paying over $200 per ton.

“We find that extremely difficult to compete [with] and it is a challenge at this point in time,” said Dr. Frank Ward, Chairman of the Barbados Rum Committee in a Barbados Advocate report.

Barbados is an island country in the Lesser Antilles with a population of about 284,000, of which 80,000 live in or near the popular cruise port of Bridgetown.

This year’s Barbados Food & Wine and Rum Festival is a go and many events are sold out.
Hosted by Travel + Leisure magazine, the festival runs November 16 – 19, 2012.



[Photo Credit: Whitney Owen]

Malibu Rum contest launches search for traveling radio correspondent

summer contests 2011Tune in, Radio Maliboom Boom.

Malibu, the coconutty rum that’s like summer in a bottle, is looking for one outgoing, creative, beach-bum-lifestyle-loving man or woman for their nationwide radio correspondent search.
The chosen one will travel across the country attending concerts, reporting from the road, interviewing celebrities, and “celebrating the season of the sun.”

The Correspondent position was developed to find the emcee for the Station Invasion Concert Tour–a 10-city musical series–which will “bring the spirit of the Caribbean from coast to coast.
As the Radio Maliboom Boom Correspondent, you’ll introduce the tour and musical acts, do video and blog posts, Facebook updates, and tweets. You’ll also represent Malibu by conducting and participating in video, radio, and media interviews across the nation.

Applications are being accepted online through May 15, 2011. You must be 25 and over, fill out an application, and submit a video “reel” that creatively showcases why you should be chosen, incorporating three key messages about Malibu (the rum, not the city). Three finalists will attend training in Malibu’s homeland of Barbados from June 20-23. The summer stipend for the Correspondent will be $15,000-and all the dancing (and, presumably, rum, sunscreen, and hair of the dog) you can handle. Cheers to summer!

Photo of the day – Barbados beach

photo day barbados beach

Sometimes–perhaps especially when it’s cold and gray outside, like it is today in London–all you really want is a beach. This one, snapped by Flickr user TarikB in Barbados, is particularly compelling. The sand, the setting sun, the bent palm trees, and most of all the ocean are incredibly inviting. Barbados for a late winter jaunt? Who’s in?

Got a favorite tropical beach image that you’d like to share? Upload it to Gadling’s Flickr group pool. If we like it we just might feature it as a future Photo of the Day.

Photo of the day – Speedy ride in Barbados

Photo of the day
Today’s Photo of the Day is called “Speedy”, taken in Bridgetown, Barbados by Flickr user EagleClaw. I can only assume he means the name to be ironic, as this is the most laid-back driver I’ve seen in awhile, and it looks to be anything but a speedy ride. Perhaps I’m too used to the mean streets of New York and Istanbul, where taxi drivers can and will mow you down if you aren’t careful when you cross the street. However, looking at this photo instantly relaxes me; even without seeing a beach or water, I’m suddenly on island time.

Have any photos of ultra-relaxed (or homicidal) taxi drivers from around the world? Add them to the Gadling Flickr pool and we may use it for a future Photo of the Day.

First-ever Barbados Food & Wine Festival kicks off November 19

Get a head start on holiday celebrations at the first-ever Barbados Food & Wine and Rum Festival, taking place November 19 – 22, 2010 in partnership with Travel + Leisure, Food & Wine, Departures and Executive Travel brands.

The fest promises big names in food including Tom Colicchio, Marcus Samuelsson, Ming Tsai and Tim Love plus local acclaimed Barbados chefs. Tickets range between $45 and $250 per event.

Direct flights are available from New York City’s JFK Airport on JetBlue, and on American Airlines from New York, Miami and San Juan.