Ian Williams


Ian Williams is from Liverpool, and his variegated career has ranged from a  drinking competition with Chinese Premier Chou En Lai and arguing English Literature with Mme Mao, to speechwriting for then British Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock. .Liverpool is of course an historical seaport which helps explain  why he admits that his career has been all at sea for most of his life, which is why he is now drifting into various ports to talk about the role of Rum in history.

His fourth book is Rum: a Social and Sociable history of the Real Spirit of 1776, on the forgotten role of Rum in World History is Ian’s fourth book It won glowing reviews from the Washington Post to the New Statesman and even in wine and spirit and restaurant publications. It is on the shelf of most of the most eminent mixologists across the world.

He has written about rum for the Guardian, Financial Times, Cigar Aficionado, Carib News, Carib Impact, and Maxim magazine among other publications and has spoken about its developmental importance at several Caribbean conferences. He appears frequently on shows ranging from PBS to Fox and the BBC.

His speeches on various aspects of rum go down very well with audiences, not least because they usually go down with copious samples of the subject in hand. From the launch at the former US Coast Guard HQ on Governors Island in New York harbour, he has spoken at venues ranging from the Caribbean to New  York, such as the Yale Club, Fraunces Tavern and South St Seaport museum to the New York St George's Society Trafalgar Day commemoration – and of course Rum Fests from London, St Lucia, to New York and Tampa.