Cocktail of the Month: Rum-based

With nearly 60% of it sold via the on-trade, rum’s been a pretty consistent seller for bars and pubs around the country. Next to a vast selection of gins, many pubs specialise in a fairly fulsome rum collection, ranging from different brands to different vintages. These all go to make some pretty interesting cocktails for the rum aficionado – and bars should be on their toes when asked what they can offer by way of a rum cocktail.
The global rum market expanded by nearly 2% in volume and 3% in value last year.

The global rum market expanded by nearly 2% in volume and 3% in value last year.

The global rum market expanded by nearly 2% in volume and 3% in value last year according to the IWSR which divides this growth between the “sizeable low-end rums sold across Asia and the better quality, more internationally focused rums coming out of South America and the Caribbean”.

Rums come in different forms: Spiced, Light or White, Golden, Dark and Aged. But now other categories can be added to this: Amber, Flavoured, Ovenproof and Premium.

Nevertheless rum seems left behind in the premiumisation trend that’s gripped other spirits such as whiskey, gin and tequila.

“In the total spirits category, premium-and-above drinks now account for almost 10% of volumes but in the rum category these segments are as low as 4%,” reports the IWSR, “Historically, rum has always lagged behind more prestigious spirits categories like whisky and brandy in the premium stakes, but the worry for rum stakeholders is how the category has failed to offer premiumisation at anywhere like the same rate as gin and tequila.

“The lack of a coherent set of rules, notably on the subject of ageing and the relatively diverse range of products and styles, has made it more difficult for consumers to define and understand premium rums.”

But all’s not lost. In the UK Premium-and-Above rums have seen volumes soar by more than 140% in just five years and these higher-end rums now make up just short of 10% of the market, reports the IWSR.

“The change in perception of rum from a spirit that is drunk mixed, to one that can be sipped, continues in the UK. This is contributing to its growth, while the evolution of a cocktail culture is also playing a part.”

What’s really driving rum sales though are the flavoured and spiced rums, which have more of an appeal to younger drinkers.

France, too, has taken to Premium rums with Premium-and-Above rum sales volumes growing by 28% last year.

The IWSR points out, “With well targeted marketing and new product development it is possible to usher in a younger consumer to the category who will stimulate future demand for rum and accelerate the premiumisation process.”

Add to this rum’s use in some of the world’s most renowned cocktails and the IWSR believes that the next five years will be significantly better than the last five years for the rum category.

Perhaps that’s why Coca-Cola launched a new premium range of ‘Signature Mixers’ into the market last June designed to be mixed with ‘dark spirits’ – rum being prominent among them.


Rum in Ireland

Market research provider Euromonitor International estimates the on-trade value of the dark rum market here to be €22.75 million in 2019, up 2% from the 2018’s €22.30 million, with volumes slightly up at 18,710 nine-litre cases.

It reckons that the off-trade dark rum market is worth €24.2 million, up 3% from 2018’s €23.6 million, with volumes up 1.4% to 69,50 cases.


Mount Gay Eclipse

Every rum has its own story of where it began. For Mount Gay that time and place was the Caribbean island of Barbados in 1703. The abundance of molasses combined with the culinary ingenuity of early settlers and of course their legendary thirst for alcohol, led to this unique discovery in spirits production.

Eclipse is the reference for character, body and aroma by which Master Blender Allen Smith blends every variety of Mount Gay Rum. Eclipse’s brilliant golden amber colour and luxuriously complex aroma gives distinctive floral and fruity notes of Apricot and Banana, with hints of Vanilla.

The toasted Kentucky Oak barrels in which the rum is aged imparts a subtle smokiness taste.

Serving suggestion:

40ml into a glass with ice then fill glass with Coke

Add Lime for garnish and that extra kick

Mount Gay Eclipse is distributed by Barry & Fitzwilliam.


Mount Gay Black Barrel

The latest from Master Blender Allen Smith, Black Barrel is a small-batch, handcrafted blend made of matured double pot distillates and aged column distillates. The impact from the Bourbon barrel is intense and immediate with a blast of Bourbon Oak right from the start. This strong Oak spice pretty much defines the Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum experience.

In a process called ‘finishing’ the blended rum matures for a second time in deeply charred Bourbon Oak barrels. This unique process releases spicy aromas at once balanced and bold – a spicy taste balanced with Oaky Vanilla and sweet Caramel, its warm and medium-bodied with a long finish.


Serving suggestion:

Fill glass with ice, add 35ml of rum and fill with Ginger Beer

Add Lime wedge to garnish.

Mount Gay Black Barrel is distributed by Barry & Fitzwilliam.


Goslings Dark ‘N Stormy

“Bermuda’s national drink” Goslings Dark ‘N Stormy is a perfect marriage of Goslings Black Seal Rum which has a rich, intricate flavour and the specially-crafted Goslings Stormy Ginger Beer.

Goslings is a Super Premium dark rum made from a 150 year-old Goslings family recipe. A blend of three different rums, aged independently from three to six years in charred American Oak casks, Goslings Black Seal Rum can be enjoyed as a Dark’n Stormy, Black & Coke, Black & Tonic, as a Bermuda Coffee or as a key ingredient to a variety of cocktails.

Goslings Ginger Beer was created by Goslings to perfectly complement Goslings Black Seal Rum in the signature drink, Dark ’N Stormy.


Dark ‘N Stormy Ingredients

1.5oz Goslings Black Seal Rum

4 oz Goslings Stormy Ginger Beer

In a tall glass filled with ice, add 4–5oz of Goslings Stormy Ginger Beer and top with Goslings Black Seal Rum.

Garnish with an optional Lime wedge.

Goslings Black Seal Rum and Goslings Stormy Ginger Beer are distributed by Dalcassian Wines & Spirits.


Rusty Dogg Spiced Rum

Rusty Dogg Spiced Rum by Dalcassian Wines & Spirits is fast becoming a favourite pouring rum in venues across Ireland states the company. Launched in a new look last year, the chic bottles are designed to stand out on bar shelves & reflect the superior quality & taste of the premium pouring rum range.

“One of the finest rum brands from the Dominican Republic”, Rusty Dogg Spiced Rum bears notes of the exotic with the recipe including  Madagascan Vanilla and Argentinian Plums.

Rum drinkers will appreciate the superb balance of the spicy elements in the rum, best served as a long drink or as the main ingredient in classic cocktails like a Mojito or Daiquiri.

Rusty Dogg Rum is distilled by hand in an area near Pico Duarte, the highest mountain in the Dominican Republic.

DM’s unique climate enhances the ageing process & the smooth, flavoursome liquid in each Rusty Dogg bottle.

The Rusty Dogg  range also includes White & Coconut rums.


Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva Rum

Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva Rum, renowned as one of the finest rum brands in the world, has become the first-ever rum brand to be named ‘Spirit Brand of the Year’ at the Wine Enthusiast’s Wine Star Awards.

Following the exceptional response to the brand in Ireland across five-star hotels & top bars & restaurants, the premium Venezuelan rum is now available in the off-trade.

Aged for up to 12 years and recognised for its elegance and complexity, it’s born of the marriage of a unique body with excellent balance.

Diplomático is an independent, family-owned brand best-known for its sipping rums such as Reserva Exclusiva. Curated by Maestro Ronero.

The Diplomatico Tradition Range – Mantuano, Planas and Reserva Exclusiva – are carefully crafted rums from premium sugar cane and use a rich variety of distillation methods.

Already a highly-revered rum in over 70 countries, Diplomático has secured protected Denomination of Origin.

Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva is best served neat or on the rocks. It’s also a great rum for preparing sophisticated classic cocktails like The Old Fashioned and Manhattan.



Spike Island Spiced Rum

Spike Island Spiced Rum is a much-travelled drink. This Premium rum originates in one of the finest distilleries on the island of Barbados and is imported to Ireland in barrel where it’s aged and spiced in a wild coastal environment.  A delicate balance of nine carefully-chosen spices marry with the golden liquid before it’s taken to Tipperary where natural spring water reduces the mix to 40% ABV for bottling.

Developed by Waterford-based Anchor Spirits Ireland, Spike Island Spiced Rum has already scooped three international awards.  Most recently it won a Spirits Business Gold Medal at the Rum Masters held in London this year.  Spike Island Spiced Rum is smooth enough to enjoy on its own or as part of a cocktail.  As one of the only rums on the island with Irish provenance and awards for quality, Spike Island Spiced Rum is set to have a place in all Irish bars.

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Spiced Widow (Simple, strong and utterly delicious)

70 ml Spike Island Rum

35 ml Muldoon Liqueur

Juice of half a Lime

Lime and Cherry to garnish.


Put some ice in a tall glass

Put the Spike Island Spiced Rum, Muldoon and Lime juice into a shaker filled with ice

Shake lightly and strain into the glass

Garnish with a slice of Lime and a Cherry.


The Kraken

The Kraken Rum is an imported rum from the Caribbean. Named after the kraken, a mythical giant squid-like sea monster, The Kraken rum is strong, rich, black and smooth.  Legend has it that a ship carrying one of the largest quantities of black spiced rum ever to set sail from the Caribbean islands was lost at sea after an attack by a monstrous squid. The rum was renamed by seafarers as a tribute to the beast’s unchallengeable power and might.

The Kraken is enriched with an exotic blend of 13 secret spices, making it perfect for a variety of mixers or cocktails, with The Kraken’s Black Ink and The Kraken’s Dark and Eerie being two of the favourites:


The Black Ink

Add 6-8 Mint leaves

Add 25ml sugar syrup

Add 24ml Lime juice

Add 50ml of Kraken

Fill glass halfway with crushed ice and churn

Add Lime wedge and Mint sprig.


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