Blog: Olly WehringLive Blog – Bacardi Triangle, Puerto Rico - Friday

Olly Wehring | 31 October 2014

1340 EDT: I've just got back from a press briefing, held pool-side, with Palomino Island – the location for tomorrow evening's musical extravaganza – as a backdrop.

We started off with a word from Dmitry Ivanov, Bacardi's senior global category director of rum. Ivanov was asked about this weekend's 'Bacardi Triangle' event here on Puerto Rico, specifically, why Bacardi had decided to throw such an event. “”We just like hosting cool parties,” the Russian replied.

As if to back that up, next we were presented to Ellie Goulding, who is drawing to a close the touring of her second album tomorrow, on Palomino Island.

It's all very glam, so it's to the pool for me now.

I'll be sitting down with Ivanov for a one-to-one later today. If you have any questions for him, email me at olly@just-drinks.com.

1020 EDT: The business side of my trip (yes, there is a business side) rears its head this morning, when there is a press briefing from Bacardi. Also present will be two of tomorrow night's headline artists, Ellie Goulding and Kendrick Lamarr, who will be available for questions. I'll be sure to plug them both for their views on the global prospects for the white rum category.

Then, later this afternoon, I will be sitting down with the company's senior global category director for rum, Dmitry Ivanov. If you'd like me to fire any questions at Ivanov, drop me a line at olly@just-drinks.com.

0930 EDT: Yesterday was long. Very, very long. What started with an alarm in London at 0530 GMT ended with a Bacardi eight-year-old nightcap in Puerto Rico at 0730 GMT the following morning. In between were a cab ride to Heathrow, two flights – one markedly longer than the other – from LHR to Atlanta and Atlanta to San Juan, and a coach ride to our Puerto Rican home for the next two nights.

I'm here with a smattering of media from the UK's bar scene and the mainstream and music press. There are (we're told) a total of 1,862 (the year Bacardi was founded, y'see) folk staying at El Conquistador hotel on the eastern coast of Puerto Rico – the vast majority of whom are global competition winners and their friends (up to three per winner) for 'Bacardi Triangle', part of the company's 'Untameable since 1862' worldwide marketing campaign for its namesake white rum.

We arrived to a light-show that even Bacardi hadn't planned for: The weekend's forecast here in the Caribbean is for outrageous rain and the early evening descent into San Juan International airport from Atlanta suggested that hell itself was awaiting us.

The sheets of rain did their worst as we travelled to El Conquistador, a hotel resort that Bacardi has commandeered for the weekend. The place is exclusively the home of 'Bacardi Triangle' and everyone staying here has the same mission: To have a bloody good time.

The festivities were already in full swing when we got here, at around 2130 local time last night. The main pool area features two DJ podiums (far enough apart to keep two separate areas bouncing) and bars a-go-go, serving Cuba Libres, basically anything that has a white rum base (a scan of a wrist-tag means you get six drinks per day free, top-ups are available but you'll pay for those yourself).

The rain cleared to leave a very humid night, so warm that several revellers took advantage of the pools. Not I, though – British decorum dictates.

Dancing and drinking dominated, only drawing to a close as the crowds started to thin from around 0200 local time. Much as 'partying' is the theme and the rum is clearly flowing, folk seemed to prefer to conserve their energy for the next two nights: This evening comprises a Hallowe'en-themed pool-side soiree (the them is 'the beautiful and the damned – I haven't picked one yet), while tomorrow is 'The Big One': Ellie Goulding, Kendrick Lamarr and Calvin Harris headline a set that takes place on Palomino, a small island that is a boat-ride away and sits within the fabled Bermuda Triangle.

Bacardi Triangle – Bermuda Triangle. See what they did there?

The good news on awaking this morning is that the sun is winning – we're at around 23°C and it's only just 0830. Should be a good day, then.

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