Page 8 - Chai Rum_ Voyage of Cocktails Pages-eBook
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ther historical link between   potential for commercial-
     peoples and products of the   ization. Hundreds of years
     East and West.                after the failure of indigo and
                                   the painful success of sugar,
          THE AKAL FAMILY          Trinidad was looking for a
                                   way to capture the imagina-
     The story of a family leaving   tion of the world.
     India through necessity and
     arriving in the West Indies is   This was a Eureka moment
     the story of the Akal family.   for Kiran Akal. Here was an
     Faced with forced challenges,   opportunity to take an old
     adaptation and evolution and   story, re-examine it and re-
     under British rule, the fam-  make it in the modern world.
     ily opted to stay in Trinidad.   An opportunity for science to
     Famine and political insta-   turn its eye on a new process
     bility in the time of the Raj   of rum making. Here was an
     hastened that decision. Using   occasion for a “true West In-
     education as the channel to a   dian” to turn to the rum that
     new life the family lifted itself  defined his own history and
     out of agricultural bondage.   five generations later, make a
     Within two generations the    rum unlike anyone else in the
     Akal family name became       world.
     renowned in education and
     by the middle of the twen-    The idea was to look at how
     tieth century could boast of   the fermented rum of today,
     exceptional world achievers   (aged, spiced and flavoured)
     in theoretical physics and    could be elevated, be boldly
     a Nobel laureate in Litera-   different. The answer lay in
     ture in 2001. With a medical   the story of the plants, and
     degree obtained barely in his   their movement. Tea and
     twenties and with a passion   Saccharum came from India
     for the Creative Arts, Kiran   to the West Indies. The West
     Akal would eventually arrive   Indies was a treasure trove
     at Chai Rum.                  of fragrant and rare spices
                                   and citrus and the basic rum,
        IDEAS TO INNOVATION        developed in the Caribbean,
                                   was waiting for a new act.
     In 2012, the Government of
     Trinidad and Tobago held a    Submitting his idea for
     call for creative ideas through  “Chai Rum” (the word Chai
     a program titled “Ideas to    meaning tea), Kiran won
     Innovation”. The plan was to   the i2i grant and set to work
     identify great ideas with the   with the Caribbean Industrial
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