Introducing: Jason-Candid Knüsel, Drinks Distilled Rum Guide

Get to know Jason-Candid Knüsel, one of our Drinks Distilled rum guides.



Jason-Candid is a bartender with East African roots, born in Switzerland.

He has developed an arsenal of skills in hospitality over more than a decade in high-end environments.

After being awarded Bartender of the Year in his home country back in 2017, his natural choice was to progress further in the cocktail capital of London, where he joined the American Bar at the Savoy Hotel. His skills also contributed to the success of the newly opened NoMad, London.

He is not only one of the UK’s rising mixologists with a fascinating love for rum and various other spirits, he also celebrates photography in nature and is a certified Nutritionist that focuses on raising wellbeing awareness within the hospitality sector. He understands the challenges within hospitality and actively supports the sustainability of people via his non-for-profit organisation named Healthy Hospo.


Tell Us About Your Selections

Appleton Estate is the staple of Jamaica Rums. An irresistible classic that never disappoints, this is a rich and full-bodied rum made by slow fermentation and marked by a distinctive bouquet. Appleton Estate 12 Year Old Rare Casks has hints of vanilla, dark chocolate and toffee.

Thanks to its 12 year maturation, this characterful spirit is extremely well balanced and promises a unique experience on the palate followed with a subtle coating finish. If you haven’t tasted an aged rum previously, it’s best to work your way up to this one!


What Are the Most Common Misconceptions People Have of Rum?

The most common entry points for drinkers experiencing rum for the first time tend to be cheap bottles from supermarkets or white rum. However, given that most white rums are actually closer to vodka than to rum due to their purity (thanks to the high level of distillation used), I’d encourage you to broaden your horizons and to try aged rums for more variety.

Rum is extremely versatile and with just a little more investment, you finally get to experience what the category really is about. From light and uncomplicated to herbaceous and grassy. Or tropical and fruity to dry, rich and spicy. Be warned though, Dark Rum doesn’t necessarily mean it is aged. By law, the addition of caramel colouring is permitted, so if you are looking for an aged rum, look for AGED Rum or an aged statement on the label.


What Are Your Top Tips for Picking Rum?

In general, I always recommend doing some research into their flavour profiles, or to pop into a bar to sample them and talk to a bartender and get some free education! Let them guide you a little to discover what appeals to you the most.


Where is Your Favourite Place to Enjoy a Rum Cocktail?

On a beach in the Caribbean or Cuba - where else!? In London, visit Laki Kane in Islington or Trailer Happiness on Portobello Road.


What’s Your Top Home Bartending Tip?

Make entertaining at home nice and easy, by preparing things ahead of time and have fun! Make sure you have enough quality ice on hand. If you're using a syrup, make it yourself so it can cool down a few hours before (or over night). If using citrus, juice freshly on the day, but a little ahead.


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