ONCE was not enough for Master Chef's Matt Preston as he returned to Bundaberg for the second time in 12 months to blend his own Bundaberg Rum - Matt's Blend.
It's not often Bundaberg has a celebrity pop in to try the regions produce or blend their own uniquely flavoured rum and the television personality was his cheerful self when he shared his experience.
Mr Preston said he was in Bundaberg in October last year and enjoyed his blending experience so much he had to return.
"It was fascinating - I made a bottle of Bundaberg Rum which I took up on my holiday to the Kimberley and drank it in the Kimberley," he said.
"With this one I've just made I'm really excited by it - it's really interesting the art that comes and the impact a char barrel rum can have.
"Rum's such a wonderfully iconic thing, it was currency - it really is our national drink.
"It's brilliant you can play with the national icon."
He said he liked the experience to when he came to Australia and you could go to where they played the Australian Open and play on the number one court.
"To be involved with an icon whether its the Australian Open Tennis or here in Bundaberg - I love it," He said.
"And the success Bundaberg Rum has had internationally with the two double gold and it being the best rum in the world."
He said he was fascinated with rum as a sipping liquid, rather than one to add to cola drink, and one of his favourite drinks was the dark and stormy with a squeeze of lime.
And blending his own bottle was a lot like cooking where mixing the different flavours gave a new and exciting flavour each time.
"It's like making a barbecue sauce you know, you start of with sugar or molasses and vinegar - the sweet and the sour," he said.
"Then you add something special like I always do - like a splash of Bundy or a shot of espresso and when you taste it you don't notice the bitterness of the coffee - it all just balances out and rounds off the pallet."
He said it was like using salt with chocolate or salt with apple - the additional flavours would enhance the base and help it become more moreish.
The restaurant critic said as a young man he would drink Cuba Libra rum and associated it with the AFL.
His visit to the Rum City included a meal at the Club Hotel, and he said he enjoyed reading the sports section in the NewsMail and was questioned if Brother's Aston Villa was related to the English football club.
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