The Yum List chats with Miguel Smith, Mount Gay Rum Ambassador, and discovers a little more about life behind the scenes.
What do you do and how did you become the ambassador for Mount Gay?
I share our 315-year old story, how we are made and where we are from. Hopefully, I present a good story and convince people to choose or try Mt. Gay Rum. I’ve been sharing this passion of mine for many years before Mt. Gay approached me to be their brand ambassador, so the change from bartender to brand ambassador was quite organic. Some might say it was written in the stars of destiny….
What’s the best/ worst part of your job?
The best is meeting new people in new places. Worst is not being able to stay in these new places longer!
What’s your favourite Mount Gay cocktail?
A simple highball we call a Bajan Buck – a double measure of Black Barrel, topped with ginger ale, a wedge of orange and lots and lots of ice!
What’s one of the most outrageous things you’ve seen behind the scenes?
Outrageous but a lesson learnt: In the past, I insisted on creating the best recipe for freshly squeezed grapefruit juice consisting of at least three different varieties in order to make the best Hemmingway Daiquiri. It took six months of testing. My team hated me but in the end, we succeeded. I still suffer from an excess of attention to detail syndrome.
The perfect day off would be…
… anything at home!!
A day in the life of Miguel Smith is…
… different every day. From sales force training to PR events to judging competitions and being a husband and father! Very diverse and busy!
What do you do for fun?
I like to read autobiographies and historic books on planes which are rare moments of quiet for any brand ambassador.
What’s something you’d like guests to know about Mount Gay?
It is a rum from Barbados that has a real story of integrity and sincerity, since 1703. A singular source demonstrating tradition and artisanal production, using a unique limestone filtered water source. That rum is worthy and a super spirit for any occasion. Highly mixable and versatile as well as reassuringly sophisticated for discerning consumers.
What’s your favourite food and Mount Gay pairing?
Dessert of course! Anything with chocolate that I can pour our Mount Gay Rum over!
You were recently in Malaysia for the La Maison Cointreau bartending competition. How did you find your stay?
It was a delightful stay. I always wish I can stay longer! Warm hospitality, great food and drinks and lots of culture.
The last time you were in Malaysia was four years ago. Have you noticed any changes?
Certainly, the appreciation for rum and rum-based cocktails has grown. There are more interesting bars opening offering diverse and tasty offerings.
What’s your view on the cocktail scene in South East Asia?
It’s emerging and moving at a fast pace with new independent bars opening up to compete with the known hotel bars.
What’s in store for you in the upcoming months?
More travel, more places to visit, more people to Rumspire!