I go to a lot of events where I get to eat delicious food and drink amazing drinks, but what I particularly love doing is meeting the people behind these brands. A couple of weeks ago I headed to Village East on Bermondsey Street for a private dinner with the family who own and run Venezuelan rum brand, Ron Diplomatico.

The evening started with one of the best cocktails I've had in a while. I don't know if it was that I wasn't expecting to actually like it as I'm not a fan of sweet cocktails (which I thought it would be), or that it was so unlike anything I've tried, but the almond daiquiri, made with Diplomatico Blanco rum, Orgeat (almond) syrup, fresh lime and Bob's Abbott's bitters was top notch. A little bit sweet from the almond but with a sour tang from the lime and bitters.

After maybe more than one of the almond daiquiris it was high time for some food so we headed to the private dining room for an absolute feast of Village East's offerings.... We had starters of maple cured sea trout with horseradish cream, sourdough crumbs and basil oil; crispy baby squid with heavenly black garlic mayo; and various breads and dips to go with them.

For mains we had sharing platters of chicory leaves stuffed with piperade, braised lentils, walnuts and harissa yoghurt; slow roasted pork belly with black pudding, parsnip puree, and a honey and mustard glaze; crab mac and cheese; poutine; and a Flintstones-esque confit turkey leg, which was absolutely delicious.

Our huge helpings of starters and mains (all of which are available on the normal menu at Village East) were paired with delicious wines, but it was the puddings where the rum really came into its own. Ron Diplomatico is made from premium sugar canes and aged for a minimum of two years, giving it a deep, rich flavour with notes of vanilla, spice and orange zest that's the perfect match with dark chocolate, cheese, cheesecake and affogato. We tried the award winning Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva (£40.00 and available from Selfridges, The Whisky Exchange, Amathus, Soho Wines, Drinkshop and leading independent spirit merchants nationwide) with our desserts of decadent dark chocolate flourless cake; cookies and ice cream with toffee popcorn and chocolate sauce; dulce de leche cheesecake with caramelised banana; and a cheeseboard with crackers and chutney. Ron Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva is a 12 year old rum that's distilled in a copper pot and then aged in ex-bourbon and malt whisky white oat casks, creating a distinct fudgy, syrupy, orange taste that went so well with the sweets and cheese. It's one of the best rums I've tasted solo.

We were also lucky enough to try the Diplomatico Single Vintage 2000 (£90.00 and available from Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, The Whisky Exchange and leading independent spirit merchants nationwide) which was incredible. Made from one of the best sugar cane harvests in Venezuelan history, and distilled in the same way as the Reserva Exclusiva, but finished in Spanish sherry wood, it's got an almond and dried fruit flavour with a hint of tobacco that lingers on the tongue, and is perfect for sipping by a roaring fire in winter.

Ron Diplomatico hails from the foothills of the Andes in Venezuela and has been around since 1959. It's a family run business, run by the Ballesteros, and is headed up by master blender Tito Cordero, who I was lucky enough to sit next to at the dinner. Having twice won ‘Rum Blender of the Year’ (Golden Rum Barrel Awards) and also ‘World’s Best Master Blender’ in 2014 (Madrid International Rum Conference) it's fair to say he knows his stuff! Diplomatico is distributed in over 50 countries worldwide and is recognized as one of the finest rums in the world. Definitely one to put on your Christmas list if you're serious about rum.

 Village East of Bermondsey Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


  1. Oh wow the food looks wonderful. I am always surprised when food is paired with alcohol that I wouldn't have considered. Sounds like a lovely restaurant and evening
    Lucy x

    1. It was great Lucy - I'm going to be serving the rum at my pop up on 5th December with my chestnut and chocolate pavlova :)

      Rosie xx


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