Bye bye gin, your time in the lime(light) is over. Move over, because it’s time for the rum squad!
Gin has been enjoying a massive renaissance over the past few years but it’s time for rum to shine. There are loads of British rum producers springing up all over the UK creating amazing rums with spices, herbs, chilli and all manner of warm flavours. As autumn takes hold and we light our fires, let’s break out the rums and celebrate another spirit in the spotlight. Rum is definitely the Next Big Thing.
Don’t just take our word for it – we spoke to Zoe Cunliffe, one half of the founding partnership behind cocktail powerhouse The Mixology Group. “Rum has always been popular,” she agrees. “In fact when we’re putting together menus with clients for their events we often have to remind them to include a gin or vodka option, as they’ll have loads of rum-based choices; mojitos of course, daiquiris, the Pina Colada and Planters Punch… they don’t realise until we point out that it’s all rum stuff! But also when we’re doing an open bar; rum and coke, Bacardi particularly – always hugely popular.”
There are literally hundreds of rum producers springing up all over the UK creating some really amazing drinks
“The reasons for the coming rum-plosion are twofold she thinks. “Firstly, it’s getting colder – and people turn to different drinks in autumn and winter. We see people leaning towards warmer drinks like rum, whisky and brandy, so we expect to see a boost seasonally anyway.
“But about rum specifically; there are literally hundreds of rum producers springing up all over the UK creating some really amazing drinks who have been working away at this for a while. Rums with spices, different flavours, rich and warm concepts.
“The big thing about the gin phenomenon was that gin is relatively easy to make and really quick to turn around, so anyone can take a vodka, add ingredients and wham, you’ve got gin in around a month. Rum takes longer, but people have been working on bringing new rums to the market now and we’re starting to see those coming in. It’s going to be rum all the way from here. And 2020 summer will definitely be huge for rum drinks. Watch this space!”
Known for its history of smuggling and piracy, the West County has paved the way for notable up-and-coming rum producers. The Cornish Distilling Co. were the first Cornish distillers of genuine British rum, the whole process from fermentation to bottling taking place in their hometown of Bude.
Under their ‘9 reasons to drink rum,‘ TCDC also talk about how the rise of gin has had its time. “Not to knock gin, it’s great. And with so many flavour combinations there is definitely space for it on every bar. But isn’t everyone getting just a little bit tired of it? Fortunately rum is here to fill the void. A new and refreshing spirit for when you find yourself looking for something different.”
Another fabulous brand to keep your eye on is Dead Man’s Fingers, a rum company founded in St. Ives, Cornwall. It’s set to be the next infamous rum brand, offering a variety of flavours beyond your imagination. Opening distilleries in other parts of the country, Dead Man’s Fingers is taking the reins in terms of drink popularity, and doing it in their own unique way.
“Rum is the most versatile spirit out of all of them”
Lucy Cottrell, brand manager, explains that, “Rum is the most versatile spirit out of all of them,” and how the popularity of gin may have led the way for the rising popularity of rum.
“Gin has done well, with all the different flavours and styles. It’s encouraged people to experiment. At first, a lot of people were like ‘gin’s not for me,’ but with the different flavours that became available, there was quickly something for everyone. Consumers are now willing to experiment outside of gin after finding a taste for them, and a lot of people are turning towards rum.”
To quote the brand themselves, they’re “putting the ‘un’ in ‘unusual.'” Be sure to visit their mesmerising website HERE, to get a taste of what they’re all about, view their variation of rums and bag yourself a treat.
TRY IT OUT FOR YOURSELF!
We asked the Mixology Group for a rum recipe and they don’t disappoint. Here’s a really nice easy switch-up on a traditional daiquiri with just the right hit between sweet and sharp… it was Hemingway’s favourite drink for a good reason!
THE VANILLA DAIQUIRI
25ml freshly squeezed lime juice
25ml vanilla syrup
Throw all the ingredients into a shaker. If you haven’t got vanilla syrup and can’t find any, add a couple of drops of vanilla essence to sugar syrup and add to taste.
Shake it all about with some ice and strain into a Martini glass or Champagne saucer over crushed ice.
Want to have a taste of what rum has to offer? Come along to the Gin and Rum Lovers Festival event at the Brighton Hilton Metropole! Treat your taste buds!
The Mixology Group specialise in bars, bartender training and WSET courses, but at this time of the year, if you’re lucky you can book them to come and run a bar at your event, whether it’s a private party or a corporate bash. Title Sussex recommends. Check the Mixology site for details.