Published by The Rumlab ago
In the exciting and captivating world of rum, there is one name that stands out for his passion and dedication: Martin Cate. Known as a rum and tiki cocktail expert, Martin has left an indelible mark on the industry, promoting rum appreciation and bringing the exquisite flavors of tiki to palates around the globe.
We invite you to enjoy the full conversation with Martin Cate through our Live stream and Podcast on Zavvy. In this exciting interview, Martin shares his experiences, knowledge, and passion for the rum industry.
Martin's Impact on the Industry
Martin Cate is the owner and creator of Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco, a tiki bar renowned worldwide for its impressive selection of rums and its welcoming and authentic ambiance. The bar features cocktails that span three centuries of rum history, and Martin has been instrumental in promoting and revitalizing tiki culture, a trend which originally reached its peak in the 1950s.
Before delving into the world of rum and tiki, Martin Cate had a career in the logistics and transportation industry. He represented California fruit and nut producers and worked as a freight forwarder, acting as a “travel agent for cargo.” However, his love for tiki culture and fascination with vintage tiki bars began to grow while working in that industry.
The decisive encounter that set him on the path to the world of rum occurred in 1994 when he visited Trader Vic’s in Washington DC, his first tiki bar. The experience was mind-blowing, and from that moment on, Martin embarked on a quest to learn everything he could about tiki and rum. His passion for this culture led him to collect vintage tiki mugs and attend themed events related to this fascinating and exotic beverage.
This passion and dedication eventually led him to open his own tiki bar, Smuggler’s Cove, in San Francisco. Since its opening, Smuggler’s Cove has become a temple for rum and tiki cocktail enthusiasts, boasting an impressive selection of over 1300 rums from around the world. The bar has gained worldwide reputation for its authenticity, focus on quality, and ability to transport its patrons to a bygone era when tiki culture was synonymous with escapism and fun.
In addition to Smuggler’s Cove, Martin Cate is also a co-owner of other famous tiki bars in different cities across the United States, such as Hale Pele in Portland, False Idol in San Diego, and Max’s South Seas Hideaway in Grand Rapids. His presence in multiple locations highlights his influence in expanding tiki culture and appreciation for rum in different communities.Empowering Rum Enthusiasts: The Classification System
One of Martin Cate’s greatest contributions to rum education has been his innovative rum classification system. Through this system, Martin has created a guide to help enthusiasts better understand the different categories and styles of rum available in the market.
The system is based on identifying different rum profiles based on their raw material , production method, and aging.. Additionally, within each category, additional details are provided about specific brands and distilleries that offer rums with those particular characteristics.
The main goal of the classification system is to empower consumers to make informed decisions and venture into new flavors and styles of rum. Through this guide, rum enthusiasts can explore and discover rums that suit their personal preferences and expand their palates. Moreover, this system also encourages appreciation for the diversity of flavors that rum offers, as each category represents a unique and exciting experience. Ultimately, Martin Cate’s rum classification system contributes to enriching rum culture and creating a more informed and passionate community of connoisseurs.
Martin classified rum into 21 different categories based on the production method and aging qualities. In his book, he even provides examples of rums that fall into each category.Pot Still
Long AgedColumn Still
Coffee Still Aged
Pot Still Unaged
Pot Still AgedCane AOC Martinique Rhum Agricole
Long AgedPot Still Cachaca
As you can see, a deep level of knowledge is required to understand this system, but at the same time, it conveys a wealth of information.Tropical Treasures Unveiled: Martin’s Book
Martin Cate’s book, co-authored with his wife Rebecca Cate, is titled “Smuggler’s Cove: Exotic Cocktails, Rum, and the Cult of Tiki” Published by Ten Speed Press in June 2016, the book has become a definitive guide for enthusiasts and professionals in the world of rum and tiki cocktails.
The book delves into the rich history and culture of tiki, exploring its origins and the influential figures that shaped its development. It also highlights the significance of rum in the tiki tradition, showcasing the diverse flavors and styles of this cherished spirit.
One of the book’s standout features is the innovative rum classification system created by Martin Cate. As mentioned earlier, the system categorizes rums into 21 different groups based on their production methods and aging qualities. This unique system helps readers understand and appreciate the wide variety of rums available in the market, making it easier to select rums that align with their preferences.
In addition to the educational aspects, “Smuggler’s Cove” contains a collection of over 100 historic and original cocktail recipes created by Martin himself, as well as contributions from other renowned mixologists. The book not only provides the recipes but also offers insights into the techniques and secrets behind each drink.Conclusion
Martin Cate is a master in the world of rum and a passionate advocate for tiki culture. His journey from the logistics industry to becoming a prominent figure in the rum industry is inspiring and demonstrates that following one’s passion can lead to remarkable results. With his famous bar, Smuggler’s Cove, and his rum classification system, Martin has left a lasting mark on the industry and has contributed to the resurgence and appreciation of tiki culture worldwide.
Published by The Rumlab ago
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