Having a rum time

Some say that rum is set to take over from gin as the next ‘Big Seller’ in spirits. With rum holding over 10% of on-trade spirits sales and around 8% of off-trade sales according to Nielsen, we take a look at Ireland’s growing grá for good rum.

Mojitos, Daiquiris, Mai Tais and Zombies – rum cocktails are enjoying a growing degree of popularity in pubs and bars around the country. In this, Irish rum consumption aspires to reflect the UK market where rum sales have grown 17% in volume since 2014.

At 2.2% year-on-year volume growth, rum remains the second-fastest-growing spirits category in the GB on-trade (behind gin) according to out-of-home food & drink expert CGA Strategy’s Charles Duckworth.

“Golden/spiced rum continues to be the primary driver behind this, seeing an 8.0% increase this year, extending its lead as the most popular rum sub-category,” he says, “Several new premium entrants to the dark rum sector have helped to drive renewed interest in this subcategory, helping drive dark rum growth of 1.6% this year.

“White rum sales, on the other hand, fell by 4.7% this year as consumers switch away from white and towards the more diverse & interesting flavours offered by golden & dark rum,” he adds, “White rum remains a popular choice with cocktail drinkers, with 38.2% of cocktail drinkers saying they’d typically drink white rum in a cocktail (compared to 22.5% and 17.8% for dark & golden rum respectively) – this is reflected in the lasting popularity of the Mojito, which remains the number one most popular cocktail choice in the GB on-trade.”

Here, according to the Irish Spirits Association’s new report, “The early part of this decade saw a rapid rise in the popularity of spiced rum, but following a peak in 2012, sales of spiced rum have fallen back”.

But while total sales of rum topped 175 million cases here last year, it’s only the dark rum segment that grew (and that only by 1.7%) in 2016 to 15.25 million 9-litre cases according to IWSR figures.

But there’s optimism out there in the trade.

It’s predicted that rum is going to be the next ‘Big Seller’ in spirits.

And while some perceive rum as being a ‘sweet vodka’ others believe it’s so much more than that.

Even while the gin craze continues unabated, young Millennials are in there keeping sales of white rum going via the ubiquitous rum-and-Cokes.



The iconic Bacardí rum portfolio recently surpassed 700 awards for quality, taste and innovation, making it the most-awarded rum in the world as well as the most-awarded spirit of all time. Bacardí is the key ingredient in many of Ireland’s most popular cocktails including the Mojito, Cuba Libra and Daiquiri, which is why it’s an essential shelf- and stocking-filler during the Festive period.

Bacardí is the key ingredient in many of Ireland’s most popular cocktails including the Mojito, Cuba Libra and Daiuquiri, which is why it’s an essential shelf- and stocking-filler during the Festive period.

Distributed by Edward Dillon & Company.



Rusty Dogg – The bartenders’ favourite Rum


The launch of the Rusty Dogg range of rums here represented an early response to the changing rum market in Ireland.

Recognising the increasing consumer interest in rum – and in particular a penchant for greater experimentation, Dalcassian Wines & Spirits saw an opportunity to create its own exclusive range of rums.

The Rusty Dogg range of white, spiced and coconut rum has already become one of the leading rum brands in Ireland.

Made with natural ingredients, the traditionally-crafted rum is made only with high quality Dominican Republic rum and is aged in oak casks.

Delicately infused with a secret combination of vanilla pods, cinnamon, Hispaniola orange and exotic spice, this high-quality Caribbean rum is a versatile product that can be sipped on the rocks and is also a bartender favourite for mixing in a cocktail.


Goslings Black Seal Rum

Goslings is a super-premium dark rum made from a 150 year-old Gosling family recipe. A blend of three different rums, aged independently for between three and six years in charred American oak casks, Gosling’s Black Seal Rum can be enjoyed as a Dark’n Stormy, Black & Coke, Black & Tonic, as a Bermuda Coffee, or with fruit juices as a key ingredient to a variety of cocktails.

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

The official beverage of the America’s Cup, the Goslings Dark ‘N Stormy is beloved by the sailing community, the ultimate in Summer refreshment.

Dark ‘N Stormy Ingredients

1.5oz Gosling’s Black Seal Rum

4 oz Gosling’s Stormy Ginger Beer

In a tall glass filled with ice, add 4 – 5 oz of Gosling’s Stormy Ginger Beer and top with Gosling’s Black Seal Rum. Garnish with an optional lime wedge.

Gosling’s Black Seal Rum and Gosling’s Stormy Ginger Beer are distributed by Dalcassian Wines & Spirits.


Diplomático Traditional and Prestige Rums

Renowned as the leading rum in Venezuela, the Diplomático distillery is located at the foot of the Andes Mountains, nestled in the heart of sugar cane fields which are freshly harvested to produce molasses and honeys for the range of rums.

The secret to Diplomático’s exquisite taste lies in the intricate blending and ageing processes.




The Diplomático Traditional and Prestige ranges are distributed by Dalcassian Wines & Spirits and include:

Mantuano – a blended rum aged for up to eight years in white oak casks which previously served to age bourbons and malt-whisky.

Reserva Exclusiva – a sipping rum carefully crafted from the purest of sugar cane honeys. It is delicately distilled in ancient copper pot stills and aged in small oak casks for up to 12 years.

Ambassador – a rum crafted from the distillery’s best rums, 100% pot still complex rums aged in white oak barrels for a minimum of 12 years. Later, the rums are aged for two additional years in Pedro Ximénez sherry casks, contributing to this rum’s complex sensory profile.

Planas – an blend of Pot Stills, Columns and Batch Kettle rums. Aged for up to six years, It’s elegant, rich and surprisingly intense for a white rum. The complex charcoal filtration process carried out prior to bottling gives this rum its crystal clear appearance and smooth finish.


Matusalem Solera 7 Aged Golden Rum

Aged for seven years in Matusalem’s Solera system (multi-age barrel ageing process), this is one of the most popular in the Matusalem range. The company has an interesting history, having been founded in Cuba in 1872 but then being forced to flee to the Dominican Republic following the Cuban Revolution in 1959.

Exclusively distributed by MCM Brands, for more information contact: 071 9852434 or




If the music impresario, Island Records’ founder and reggae champion Chris Blackwell, was going to make a rum, with his love of Jamaica (and his family connection with the rum business), it had to be a great one. It had to capture Jamaica’s unique spirit. He based Blackwell Rum on an original family recipe, making it his personal take on the local’s preference for a darker gold rum.

Chris recommends you first experience the rum straight before you try it in cocktails, like a fine whiskey or cognac. Once you’ve sampled it neat and savoured its luscious character, try it as part of a classic dark rum cocktail like a Mai Tai or as a modern substitute for whiskey in an Old Fashioned or Manhattan. And then there’s the signature Blackwell Rum cocktail, the Goldeneye:

Shake 2 oz of Blackwell Rum with 2 oz of Pineapple Juice in a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a wedge of lime.

Exclusively distributed by MCM Brands, for more information contact: 071 9852434






Sign Up for Drinks Industry Ireland

Get a free weekly update on Drinks Industry trade news, direct to your inbox. Sign up now, it's free