ALBERT Dock Rum Festival returns this weekend (Friday and Saturday, March 4 and 5), celebrating that most popular of seafarers’ tipples. Albert Dock’s bars, restaurants and shops will be showcasing their wide rum selections, as well as foodie flavours of the Caribbean and live music from the tropics. Leading the jollity will be The Smugglers Cove, who will be holding a series of rum tastings during this special celebration. Relax in the grand surroundings of this dockside tavern, as its rum specialists talk you through sample rums from its vast collection, while a live Caribbean steel drum band and jerk chicken specials further excite your senses. Elsewhere, there will be rum-based cocktails available at Circo, Gusto, What’s Cooking?, PANAM and Revolution, free tastings of Pusser’s Gunpowder and Pusser’s Spiced Rum at Nauticalia, while Costa Coffee will be catering for the teetotallers with its fruity Caribbean-themed coolers. La Crepe Rit on The Colonnades will also be serving up rum-flavoured flambés, while rum cake and other Caribbean-inspired dishes will be made fresh on the day at Vinea. Clare Rawlinson, marketing manager, Albert Dock Liverpool, said: “Albert Dock Rum Festival is an opportunity to celebrate the city’s rich mercantile past, a time when the docks were a gateway to the world, and imported rum enriched Liverpool’s fortunes. Many of our bars and restaurants will be getting into the tropical spirit, and we encourage as many visitors as possible to come down to the Dock over the two days to soak up the exotic atmosphere and take advantage of the many special deals on offer.” Here are some of the highlights to look forward to: The Smugglers Cove Steel drum band performance – 3-4pm, 5-6pm on Friday and Saturday Rum tastings – £20 per person, eight spaces each tasting, tasting eight rums in 90 minutes (Friday – 3pm, 6pm) (Saturday – 1pm, 3pm, 5pm – 5pm tasting is hosted by Chairman’s Reserve) Food special – jerk chicken – £9.95 Rum flights – five samples of rum for £9.95 Revolution Signature cocktail – “Ember of the docks”- a fierce and fiery combination of spiced rum and sharp lime, relished together in fresh mint and Tabasco Circo Saturday – £5 rum cocktail offers All staff dressed as pirates Two-hour masterclass on Saturday and tasting at 4pm – £10 per person (only 25 places available) PANAM *2-4-1 on rum cocktails all weekend (*selected cocktails) Gusto Friday – 5-7pm – all rum cocktails at £4.95 Vinea Rum cake and Caribbean-inspired dishes made fresh on the day Nauticalia Free tasters of Pusser’s Gunpowder and Pusser’s Spiced Rum Free crew glass with any purchase of Pusser’s Black Label £10 off crew tankards £5 off round hip flasks 50% off half gill measure with ANY purchase of alcohol La Crepe Rit Three special rum flambé crepes – banana and chocolate, chocolate and almond, and strawberry and cream – £7.95 each Costa Coffee Fruity, Caribbean-flavoured coolers What’s Cooking? Rum cocktails – Mai Tai, Zombie, Caribbean Kiss (£6.75) Kraven chicken wings with a sticky rum and brown sugar coating (£5.95 regular, £10.95 large) Albert Dock Rum Festival takes place this Friday and Saturday (March 4 and 5) at selected venues. For more information on this and all other upcoming events at Albert Dock, please visit www.albertdock.com.