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JOHN WATLING'S Rum Dum cocktail


Wilfred Sands was 18 when he was told by his parents to start working. Back in the day Wilfred’s parents didn’t have the money to send him to college. He therefore set-out to find employment through golf professional Jack Kay and landed a job at the uber-exclusive Lyford Cay Club in The Bahamas.

The Club is considered one of the wealthiest and most exclusive neighborhoods in the world. It was built Edward Plunkett Taylor a prominent Canadian businessman and thoroughbred breeder. His stables gave birth to Northern Dancer, the greatest sire of the 20th century. In addition to 16 Queen’s Plate races, Northern Dancer won both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes in 1964.

At the age of 23, Wilfred was promoted to a waiter by the club manager who said “you can do better in life; we’re going to make you a bartender”. Wilfred taught himself by keeping a bartender guide under one of the old cash registers. Then, one day, a member came up to the bar and asked Wilfred for a drink that was not too overly sweet and could be served in a tumbler. Wilfred got creative and after some experimentation the Rum Dum was born.

Wilfred went on to win a Bronze Medal at the “Taste of the Caribbean” in 1971 where he dazzled and wooed the judges with his Rum Dum. For this event he also invented the Yellow Elder – a non-alcoholic drink, named after the National Flower of The Bahamas.

Then in 2010, alongside The Bahamas Culinary Team, Wilfred placed Gold in the Taste of the Caribbean Culinary Classics Competition. He explains that at the competition he said to the judge; “My next drink is going to the ‘Island Gal’ – its sweet.” The judge said, “You must mean the Island Girl” to which Wilfred replied, “No, no – I’m an island boy so it’s got to be an Island Gal.”

After retiring from the Lyford Cay Club in 2012, Wilfred was asked to work for John Watling’s Distillery. When interviewed by the press and asked why he skipped retirement to work at John Watling’s and after showing off his new brass foot-railed, mahogany bar, Wilfred replied, “…wouldn’t you?”

Wilfred Sands: About
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