"Mount Gay is the world’s oldest continuously running rum distillery"
- Anies Jordan, Visitor Centre Operation Manager
From the beginnings from where rum was created in Barbados to sharing the perfect rum cocktails - Mount Gay's Anies Jordan discusses how the heritage of the world's oldest running rum distillery makes this place so unique.
TTG: Where did you grow up?
AJ: I was born and grew up in Paris. I enjoyed my entire school life in Paris and then went to university where I specialized in communication and radio.
TTG: How did you come to live in Barbados?
I have lived in Barbados for the past 16 years. Before I moved to Barbados I was residing in London for 10 years where I was actively involved in the cultural industry. A DJ from London had a booking in Barbados and asked me if I could collaborate with him to organize a series of events. He flew me over and together we organized a cultural exchange with Barbadian DJs and entertainers and their English counterparts. The two-week package allowed you to party most nights in a different bar or nightclub and enjoy the beautiful scenery of Barbados in the day time as well. After many years of back and forth, I found love and got married, then when I had my son I decided to settle in Barbados for good.
"Barbados is the place where rum was created."
- Anies Jordan
TTG: How did you come to work at Mount Gay Rum?
AJ: For the past 15 years in Barbados I have been working actively with artists and musicians from the region. I also managed a bar in the courtyard of a luxurious shopping centre and by providing fantastic food and great entertainment, we became the most popular spot on the island. After such an experience I wanted to explore the rest of the region and worked for a few years in Martinique and Guadeloupe in the printing and labelling industry and as a result of this, I was able to visit many distilleries and learn a lot about rum production and the marketing of rums.
When I learned of the opening for the Visitor Centre Operation Manager’s position I jumped at the opportunity: I thought that with my combined experiences it would be the perfect job for me. I joined Mount Gay a year ago to manage the operation at the Mount Gay Visitor Centre. I am also in charge of the client experience at our Distillery in St Lucy.
TTG: Tell us about your role at Mount Gay Rum
AJ: I am the Visitor Centre Operation Manager. The Visitor Centre is a tourist attraction based around our rum experience, we welcome over thirty thousand people a year. I oversee the operation with assistance from my very capable team. We offer various tour experiences inclusive of a Cocktail Making Workshop, our Signature Tasting Experience, the Storied Buffet Lunch Experience as well as a Full Tasting Experience. In addition to the tours we also have a gift shop where we sell rum and merchandise, a bar tended to by some of the best mixologists in the Caribbean Region and a restaurant with a fantastic chef. We also host various corporate functions and organise night events.
"My favorite rum is 1703 Master Select which is crafted from Mount Gay’s oldest reserves."
- Anies Jordan
My day to day tasks include managing the team which is composed of bar staff, tour guides and shop associates. I also liaise with suppliers and service providers and overall location maintenance. My tasks also span financial management and reporting for my division as well as everything pertaining to marketing and overall strategic planning for the success of our department's operations. I also coordinate various events for Mount Gay. We have so much fun working at the Visitor Centre where we meet new people from all over the world daily and make them happy by offering some interactive and fun tours topped up by samples of our rums.
TTG: What’s your favorite part of working at Mount Gay Rum?
AJ: Meeting new people every day and making them happy is one of the highlights of the job. I also like that my role is very diverse and that it and combines all the skills I’ve acquired throughout the past 20 years. I also enjoy working with my team, they are all very talented and enthusiastic and there is never a dull moment for any of us at the Visitor Centre. It is also such a great feeling to make people happy and this is what we do every day at Mount Gay, our work is centered around the client experience.
"The XO Mount Gay. It is distilled in a traditional copper pot and column stills and aged in American Whiskey and Bourbon casks. It can be enjoyed neat or on ice and it is also excellent served with coconut water ice cube and in an Extra Old Fashioned."
- Anies Jordan
TTG: What do you think makes Mount Gay Rum popular on social media
AJ: Mount Gay is the world’s oldest continuously running rum distillery, so we have been right there at the start making our fine spirits in Barbados, the birthplace of rum. Our unique terroir and unrivalled expertise set the tradition for the future of rums. Additionally, The Mount Gay Visitor Centre is a fun place to go to, you can learn about our process and taste our delicious rums. People always have a great time with our team, it is truly a fun and entertaining tour and we receive great reviews.
TTG: What's your favourite Rum and why?
AJ: My favorite rum is 1703 Master Select which is crafted from Mount Gay’s oldest reserves. The 1703 includes 10-30 year old pot and columns still rums, it is so smooth on the palate and is enjoyed best with a large ice cube and great company (or a piece of dark chocolate).
TTG: What are the best three Rums for three different occasions.
AJ: After the 1703 which is for very special occasions, my second choice is The XO Mount Gay. It is distilled in a traditional copper pot and column stills and aged in American Whiskey and Bourbon casks. It can be enjoyed neat or on ice and it is also excellent served with coconut water ice cube and in an Extra Old Fashioned (1.2/2 oz of XO, 2 dashes of bitters, a teaspoon of sugar, orange peel and orange slice, topped with a maraschino cherry).
AJ: My third choice is the Black barrel as it is the perfect rum for any cocktails, it is also delicious with ginger beer and apple juice too. It can be enjoyed neat, so is perfect to share at a picnic or party.
"We welcome over thirty thousand people a year."
- Anies Jordan
TTG: What has been your most exciting experience so far since working at Mount Gay Rum?
AJ: For me this year it has to be putting together a charity event that was filmed and distributed in the region. The show called “Inside the Circle’ was a collaboration with a Canadian film Company. We transformed a bond into a concert hall – the show was outstanding, and we donated the entire profit to the Substance Abuse Foundation. I was extremely proud to be part of it as we raised ten thousand US dollars and created more awareness on drinking responsibly.
TTG: Sum up Mount Gay Rum in three words
AJ: Heritage, Craft and Time well spent.
TTG: Tell us about the places on Barbados where you go to escape
AJ: When I want to escape I go to the East Coast of Barbados, which is known for its rocky beach and rough water, the scenery there is just breathtaking. When in season you can buy cashew nuts with its fruit, pick a few wild pomegranates, and make a stop for breadfruit chips and a fresh piece of fish. I also like to go to the Animal Flower Cave which is located at the most northerly point of Barbados in the parish of St.Lucy, I go there whale watching in season and for meditation.
"Start a day waking up with the sun, go on a hike on the savage east coast of Barbados, then a little stop at a rum shop before a swim in the blue transparent sea."
- Anies Jordan
TTG: When you're not at work, where on the island would you be most likely be found?
AJ: When I am not working I like spending quality time with my friends; we always find an excuse to lime ("get together” as we say in the Caribbean). We often find a beach spot to meet up. I supply the rum and we all bring a potluck dish and celebrate life and all its blessings. On the island, Barbados is also renowned for its many shows and festivals, there is always a lot to do.
I have had a lot of fun since I moved to Barbados and I am enjoying also the simple moments of life here, the turtles in the sea, the colorful birds and parrots, the monkeys in the trees, the rum shops (there are 1200 in Barbados) and all the jokes and conversation we have over a glass of Mount Gay rum.
TTG: Tell us one thing that tourists don’t really know about the island
AJ: Barbados is the place where rum was created.
TTG: If you could only recommend one thing for visitors to do on Barbados during their stay, what would it be?
AJ: I would recommend anyone who comes to Barbados to start a day waking up with the sun, go on a hike on the savage east coast of Barbados, then a little stop at a rum shop before a swim in the blue transparent sea. Relax for a moment on the white sandy beach, and go to a fish market where you can enjoy local dishes and speak to the people, as indeed Barbadians are the most valuable treasure on the island. When you add sun, sea, Barbados friendly people, beautiful beaches and scenery and of course – a glass of Mount Gay rum, what more do you need to be happy?