Last week Merivale venue Beresford Hotel hosted a mysterious, spectacularly macabre scene as part of Campari Australia’s launch of a new brand of spiced rum named after Haitian/Lousiana voodoo spirit of death Baron Samedi. Campari Australia teamed up with Nova Entertainment putting together an immersive musical and theatrical experience available exclusively for competition winners and media, which included a special guest performance by 2015 Triple J Hottest 100 chart toppers The Rubens.
Baron Samedi Spiced sails in from the shores of the Caribbean and is infused with vanilla, cocoa, cinnamon and native perennial grass Haitian Vetiver giving it a balanced earthiness. Taken neat, the spirit is smooth, mellow and pleasantly not overpowering in its spiciness. Three carefully crafted cocktails produced at the event complemented the rum against the tart flavours of a Hoodoo Voodoo – spiced rum, fresh blueberries, sweet vermouth and pomegranate, the sourness of a Baron Samedi Spiced and Ginger Beer – spiced rum, ginger beer, bitters and fresh lime and the rich sweetness of a Baron Iced Tea – spiced rum, fresh lemon, dark sugar and spices.
The theme of the night proved to be a touch of the mystique with tones of voodoo, gothic and victorian style throughout, reflected in the sombre yet enchanting ladies greeting guests at the door and the bartenders and wait staff donning feathered top hats and dramatic, ghostly make-up. Old world met new as soon as The Rubens hit the stage though, lead singer Sam Margin in a fantastically bright orange shirt enthusiastically encouraging patrons to ingest as much of the rum as possible before the band launched into an incredible set. Highlights of which included a beautifully harmonised live version of new single ‘Hoops’, much loved favourite ‘My Gun’ and another new funky number ‘Cut Me Loose’. Special guests included Joyride and Kai (Jackie Onassis) from the One Day crew.
For those eager to experience the true effects of Baron Samedi’s ever watchful gaze, upstairs Beresford Hotel will transform into his lair every Friday and Saturday night until June 4th giving punters a chance to try out one of Baron’s signature cocktails before the spirit is made commercially available in all leading liquor retailers ($50 rrp) later this month.
For more information on the new Spiced Rum check Baron Samedi Spiced at their official site.