Leah van Deventer

Rum expert - South Africa
Tasting panel


While Leah is primarily a drinks writer and commentator, her expertise in all things spirits have resulted in her taking on many roles in the liquor industry, including course convenor, ambassador and consultant. In addition to heading up the judging of the South African Rum Awards, she’s a regular panelist on all manner of spirit-related competitions, ranging from cocktails to bars and even spirit labels. 

Based in Cape Town, Leah’s slurped her way through 40-odd countries in the name of research, accumulating various accolades long the way … most recently winning Media Contributor of the Year at the 2019 South African BAR Awards and being voted among DrinksFeed’s Top 20 Most Influential Cocktail Personalities in South Africa in 2020.

In addition to often being quoted as a source for spirit trends and so on, Leah has bylines in Rumporter, Food24, Tales of the Cocktail, DrinskFeed, Cheers Magazine, Crush Online, SA Chef Media, More Than Food, Your Neighbourhood, Weekend Witness, The Daily Journal, Connect and more.


• Judge @ South African Rum Awards, Tales of the Cocktail Spirited,Diageo World Class Cocktail Competition ...
• Academy chair @ The World’s 50 Best Bars
• Director @ Protégé Bartender Programme
• SA Ambassador @ Old Fashioned Week