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Havana Club adds to Professional Series

Pernod Ricard has introduced two new Professional Editions to its Havana Club rum portfolio. Edition C and Edition D are limited-edition rums that have been developed in collaboration with bartenders Carina Soto Velasquez and Alex Kratena and will be exclusively available to bartenders around the world.

The new rums, which were unveiled this week at Bar Convent Berlin, were created by the producer with the intention of pushing rum boundaries and to inspire bartenders to create inventive cocktails using Havana Club rum. 

Havana Club Professional Edition C is born from Carina Soto Velasquez and Alex Kratena in collaboration with Havana Club rum master, Asbel Morales. Blended from young aguardiente with older rum bases aged in San José Distillery’s ageing warehouses, Edition C has been matured for up to 12 years in large white oak barrels that are up to 40 years old.

Havana Club Professional Edition D is a white rum that has been made from a blend of destilado de caña with aged aguardientes. Havana Club Professional Edition D was created by head of Cuban rum masters, Juan Carlos González, Cuban rum master, Salome Alemán and bar entrepreneurs Carina Soto Velasquez and Alex Kratena.  

Carina Soto Velasquez, founding member of Quixotic Projects, a leading Paris-based hospitality company which manages venues including Candelaria and Le Mary Celeste, and Alex Kratena, a mixologist and co-founder of the non-profit organization P(OUR) and owner at London’s Tayér + Elementary, contributed to the development of these additions in collaboration with Cuban Rum masters, in a bid to nurture and inspire global bartending talent. 

The Professional Edition range is available exclusively to selected cocktail bars around the world, including the UK, France, Greece and Cuba.

Carina Soto Velasquez comments: “It has been a fantastic experience to co-create these beautiful rums, and I can’t wait to share them with the bartending community. The experience of creating Pro Editions C and D with Alex brought me back to my days of working behind the bar – what a great feeling!”

Alex Kratena says: “Carina and I share the same passion for rum; co-creating Pro Editions C and D with her has been a fantastic experience. I look forward to seeing many mixologists around the world experimenting with these rums and adding exciting innovations to their cocktail menus.”

Nick Blacknell, global marketing director at Havana Club International, adds: “This year, we wanted to go one step further to give bartenders a whole new opportunity to experiment with the flavours and rum bases in our distillery warehouse, and the result has been astonishing. An aged gold rum and a fresh white Cuban rum, both born from the collaboration between two leaders in the bartending scene – Carina and Alex – and the unsurpassed skills of our master of Cuban rum, Asbel Morales. They have inspired us with their creations, and we are positive that this range will continue to be the benchmark for authentic and high-quality rum cocktails within the bartending industry on a global scale.” 

The Professional Edition C and D are the latest additions from Havana Club, and follow the releases of Havana Club Professional Edition A – a Carta Blanca made from a blend of three aged rum bases and an aguardiente, in collaboration with the Cuban Bartender Association, or Asociación de Cantineros de Cuba, as part of Havana Club’s celebrations of the 200th anniversary of the Havana bar, El Floridita; and Havana Club Professional Edition B – a collaboration with bartender and consultant, Nick Strangeway.

7 October 2019 - Sam Coyne The Drinks Report, editor