Ron Zacapa Rum and Zuma restaurants announced an exclusive partnership that will see the world’s first “evolving cocktail system,” the “Zuma Zacapa Live Solera,” installed across nine Zuma restaurants worldwide from September 2016.
The “Zuma Zacapa Live Solera” is a custom-designed cocktail installation, replicating Zacapa’s famed “Sistema Solera” slow-aging process, where Zacapa rum ages in a series of hand-selected, pre-used American Oak barrels. Initially featuring in nine of Zuma’s international restaurants, each installation will deliver a bespoke, innovative cocktail to be enjoyed by guests, designed to appeal to local palates and to perfectly complement Zuma’s contemporary Japanese cuisine.
Each of the locations will boast a one-of-a-kind “Zuma Zacapa Live Solera” made up of casks seasoned by iconic flavors inspired by the location such as rhubarb in London and sesame oil in Hong Kong. Aged for at least six weeks inside the inverted cask system, the Zacapa rum will mature and infuse with the local flavors to produce a unique cocktail, delivered through luxury bar theatre.
Matteo Fantacchiotti, Global Commercial vice president Diageo Reserve says, “This is one of our most exciting global gastronomy partnerships to date, bringing the authentic Guatemalan art of ‘Sistema Solera’ to nine vibrant cities, with the award winning Zuma Restaurant group. It is a truly special opportunity to showcase the luxury flavours of Zacapa rum to cocktail connoisseurs and food lovers, and a collaboration which we believe will deliver both commercial and brand value. We are thrilled to have Zuma, a pioneer in contemporary Japanese dining, on board as a partner to bring this to life.”
Zuma Group Bar Manager, James Shearer explains: “At Zuma, we are always exploring new ways to interact with our customers. The idea spawned from a creative conversation between Jimmy Barrat, bar development manager for Zuma Middle East, and Tom from Fluid Movement. The ‘Zuma Zacapa Live Solera’ enables customers to engage with the bartender—and not just from a visual or emotional point of view; we want guests to be part of the process.”
Jimmy Barrat adds: “The concept completely fits with our brand philosophy; all of our restaurants are held to the highest standards, when it comes to quality, however each location is individual and has the opportunity express themselves creatively. The makeup of cocktail in each restaurant will be the same but the flavor will be authentic to their city. It’s an amazing project to be part of and we are very excited about sharing it with our customers.”
Zuma Restaurants and Zacapa partnered with Fluid Movement, pioneers of molecular mixology and modernist bartending, to craft the bespoke
“Zuma Zacapa Live Soleras.”
Fluid Movement co–founder, Thomas Aske, says, “There has never been an activation like this before. Working closely with Zuma and Zacapa we wanted to create an extraordinary piece of cocktail theatre, which would fit in with the beautiful, bespoke décor of Zuma’s restaurants whilst staying true to the Guatemalan heritage of Zacapa’s ‘Sistema Solera.’ It was also important that the local seasonings used to flavor the barrels were chosen with care and attention, to complement both the modern Japanese cuisine and luxury Zacapa rum. We’re incredibly proud of the end result and how special and unique to the location each Zacapa cocktail will be.”
The “Zuma Zacapa Live Solera” system will officially launch in Zuma Miami on September 26. The launch coincides with the global final of the Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year 2016, in a nod to the Solera’s unique mixology credentials. The Zuma Zacapa Live Solera will feature in Zuma London, Hong Kong, Dubai and New York restaurants from the week commencing October 3 and Zuma Bangkok, Rome, Istanbul and Abu Dhabi, restaurants from the week commencing October 17.