Destination Spirits: Half Moon Partnered With Iconic Jamaican Distillery To Create Limited Edition Rum – Forbes

In Montego, Bay, Jamaica, Half Moon has offered a tranquil slice of the country for travelers seeking to live the island life since 1954. As the luxury property’s prestige grew over time, Half Moon remained dedicated to emphasizing local producers and purveyors for their guests to experience flavors beyond the resort.
Most recently, Half Moon partnered with Worthy Park, the oldest continually operating Jamaican distillery located in the heart of Lluidas Vale, to create a proprietary rum blend. The Special Barrel series produced exclusively for Half Moon and its guests is selected from a cask aged 14 years, crafted with entirely local ingredients and distilled using the artisanal pot method with a label inspired by Half Moon’s Lester’s Bar.

“Considering Jamaica’s legacy as one of the best rum producers, and in our opinion – the best – the next step for Half Moon was to establish a partnership with a rum producer that would manifest a unique experience for our guests,” Giorgio Rusconi, operations director at Half Moon, told Forbes. Rusconi explains that the rum selection was made by the Steuart family, one of the three owners of Half Moon.
In terms of guest experience, Half Moon offers a rum tasting for imbibers to compare the limited edition Worthy Park rum — of which there are only 306 bottles — with other Worthy Park selects as well as various producers from the island. “The rum is [also] offered in cocktails and is a popular after-dinner drink,” shared Rusconi, highlighting the versatility of the spirit and the quality–able to be enjoyed neat.
Below, Rusconi elaborates on working with Worthy Park, what makes the rum so unique and how this partnership emphasizes Half Moon’s continued efforts to support local.
Dara: Why did you feel Worthy Park was the right partner?
Giorgio Rusconi: Worthy Park is the only distillery in Jamaica that uses solely Jamaican ingredients. It is an exceptional quality rum, highlighting the best of Jamaica which is in keeping with the Half Moon brand.
Dara: What about the spirit is most unique to the property?
Rusconi: The label was created using artwork, which hangs in Lester’s Bar at Half Moon, painted by Michael Lester – a Polish sailor who made Montego Bay his home in 1953. The painting, Junkanoo, is one of many that hang on the walls at Half Moon, known as the largest private collector of his art. The rum reflects history and through production and presentation.
The Junkanoo mural at Lester’s Bar
Dara: Aside from your specific label, how have the bar offerings at your resort changed since opening?
Rusconi: In keeping with our sustainability efforts, we support locally made and offer spirits and liquors that are Jamaican. We create cocktails and mocktails using fresh and organic ingredients grown at Half Moon. [Like the Lunas Cura with Worthy Park 109, espresso, Tia Maria Cointreau, espresso coconut foam, dried coconut and cacao shavings, cacao bitters or the Lluidas Old Fashioned with Worthy Park Single Estate Reserve, Pimento Liqueur, orange bitters, dehydrated orange slice, cacao and toasted coconut on blackstrap molasses].
Dara: Do you see a shift in guest’s demand when it comes to bar offerings?
Rusconi: Our clients enjoy organic creativity and appreciate the science of mixology. There is a great appreciation for locally produced and understanding the legacy of sugar and rum.
This article has been edited for clarity + length.


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