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Rum To Be The Next Big Thing

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Following the chic path to riches blue-penciled by gin, rum sales in the UK look to top £1bn next year. Unlike ‘mother’s ruin’ though, rum is tricky and costly to produce.

According to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) sales of rum in the UK reached £991m for the first nine months of 2017, and it expects this to top £1bn for the first time.

The English Spirit Distillery, England’s only distillery for rum, is confusingly made at the Old Salt Depot in Dullingham, Essex, making boutique rum.

Tipped to Win

The sugar-cane based drink is tipped to hit this mark a year behind gin, the unbelievably phenomenal success story of the drinks industry in modern times.

Traditionally an unglamorous drinks cabinet staple, gin marketers created an image of sophistication, blended with and aided by the success of the craft beer industry, helping to drive record sales of 47m bottles.

English Spirit Distillery

The English Spirit Distillery, housed in a 19th-century barn, employs 15 people making rum from scratch using sugar cane molasses distilled in bulbous copper pots.

Dr John Walters, founder and master-distiller is one of just two, along with Scotland’s, Dark Matter distillery, to make rum in this way.

“The challenge with any spirit is to present it in its naked form with access to all of its benefits and faults,” said Walters. “With rum you need a lot of expertise.”

Sales are Up

Rum, unlike gin, which can be made quite quickly with nothing more than ethanol and botanicals, is expensive as importing molasses is pricey, English Spirit get theirs from Venezuela, and the tarry syrup is messy and difficult to handle.

Nevertheless sales of English Spirit’s three varieties, Old Salt, St Piran’s and Spiced rum, were up 40% previous to 2016.

Rum cocktails are also some of the most popular cocktails, such as mojitos and daiquiris, there has also been a rise in tiki-style drinks too, such as Mai Tais, and Pina Coladas.

There is also a predicted upsurge in the spiced rums market, usually made from imported spirits and suffused with spices and fruit peel.

If you'd like to learn more, or looking for inspiration, check out our rum collection on our website. 

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