It’s a rum market

Rum continues to be the drink most likely to take over from gin as the next big thing according to the pundits, but what do some of the country’s leading mixologists think? We talked to a couple of them about the rum market in 2018.

The IWSR has predicted that between 2016 and 2021 rum’s top 15 markets are likely to expand (with the exception of Italy and Venezuela).

In a new report in conjunction with just-drinks, IWSR’s  Global rum insights – market forecasts product innovation and consumer trends points to the growth of Premium and Premium-plus rum sales which have increased globally by around 2.2 million cases between 2011 and 2016.

This market is “relatively underdeveloped” and – significantly for Irish producers – the report believes that, “Rum should be well-placed in the next few years to benefit from the craft trend thanks to the artisanal associations of many Premium-Plus brands”.

The report concludes, “While the future looks bright for higher-priced rums, there are clear signs that the volume opportunity rests more with flavoured – or, more accurately, spiced – products, rather than the traditional segment of white rum”.


On-trade rum sales

Here at home, Andy Ferreira of Cask in Cork has a fairly good overview of the rum market in the on-trade.

“I’d say rum has been pretty consistent since we opened in Cask,” he tells Drinks Industry Ireland, “Aged rum has always featured very strongly on our menu and the demand for Mojitos, Mai Tais and Classic Daiquiris is as strong as ever.

“We’ve about 40 rums on our shelf which is nothing really when you consider we’d have one of the larger spirit collections in Ireland – everything from Sea Dog up to Zacapa XO,” he continues, “Like any good bar you’re looking to offer your customers a variety of styles, regions and prices.

“Plantation Pineapple is flying at the moment as we get a lot of ‘bartender choice’ requests and our staff are big fans. Each has their own little twist. Plantation 3* star also makes a serious Daiquiri.”

Bartenders Association of Ireland President Declan Byrne agrees that rum sales are pretty consistent.

“Rum drinkers know what they like and aren’t easily taken in by trends or fads,” he says.

Bacardi is the most frequent brand call (and by this he means Bacardi Carta Blanca).

“It’s always called for by name,” says Declan, “Bacardi drinkers tend to be loyal and don’t want to venture far from their regular tipple. It’s also an attractive rum that appeals to a wide age group.”

He adds, “Those rum drinkers that are adventurous when it comes to experimenting with rum have probably grown up and away from Captain Morgan. They frequently just move on to sweeter rums but some like to try the less well-known brands or rum styles. There’s no doubt that light rum is still Number One and there’s quite a gap between that and golden or aged rum, in my opinion”.



Bacardí rum, the world’s favourite and most-awarded rum, is also the number one rum in Ireland. It has now introduced Bacardí Añejo Cuatro, the first new liquid in 10 years, created in collaboration with its Maestros de Ron (Master Blenders) who shape and craft all the products in the Bacardí portfolio.

Bacardí Cuatro is designed to create elevated, flavourful cocktails that make the rum stand out on its own. Using the “Undisturbed Aging Method” used for all Bacardí blends, Cuatro is fermented, distilled and then stored in American oak-aged barrels under the Caribbean sun for at least four years, allowing the rum base to develop its own identity which the Maestro will then use to conjure infinite combinations.

Bacardí Cuatro is the perfect addition to a 1920s-inspired drinks tray that’s best enjoyed with ginger ale.


Find out more about the Bacardi family heritage at



Spike Island Spiced Rum

Anchor Spirits Ireland, Waterford city’s boutique beverage company, has created Ireland’s first small batch spiced rum, Spike Island Spiced Rum.  The rum is imported at cask strength from the Caribbean and hand-spiced in the barrel, allowed further maturation time and then cut with Irish spring water to bring it to 40% ABV.  There are nine different spices at work in Spike Island Spiced and it takes up to six months for the blend to marry with the rum. The result is a smooth-tasting sipping rum with a warm kick to the finish. Spike Island Spiced rum has already caught the imagination of several mixologists and its cocktail recipe book is growing rapidly. It has already garnered an IWSC Silver Medal and recently won a silver medal in the Spirits Business Rum Masters Awards.  Spike Island Spiced Rum is part of the Anchor Spirits portfolio which also owns the award-winning Thin Gin and Muldoon Irish Whiskey Liqueur.


Redleg Spiced Rum

As Rum lovers Redleg simply wanted to create the best-tasting rum and to do this it combined a blend of the best rums from the Caribbean.

The secret is all in the blending where the rum is left to rest in oak barrels and infused with Jamaican ginger and vanilla spices. An instantly sweet smell is followed by a warming ginger aroma; this satisfying combination of sweet and spice creates a rum with an incredibly smooth taste and a warming mouthfeel. It won a Double Gold and a Silver Medal for Packaging at the 2013 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. It also won Gold in the Spiced Rum category at the 2014 Rum Masters

RedLeg incorporates the motif of the RedLeg hermit crab native to the Caribbean and named for its bright legs. It captures both the spirit of island culture and its laid-back attitude.



Distributed here by Hi-Spirits Ireland



Black Magic Black Spiced Rum

A superior 40% ABV rum with an exceptional taste, it’s a blend of light and dark rums with a secret variety of spices, crafted to be more versatile than other brands.


Distributed by Hi-Spirits Ireland



Ron Abuelo Rum

Ron Abuelo is a premium 40% ABV rum from a third-generation family-owned company in Pese, Panama.


Ron Abuelo Anejo 5 Anos – Distillery house specialty – richly aged in white oak barrels, its unique quality is achieved with time, shadow and silence.

Ron Abuelo Anejo 7 Anos – Rich blend of superb rums, aged for seven years in carefully-selected small oak barrels, it has a very smooth flavour with a long-lasting finish.

Ron Abuelo Anejo 12 Anos – The great reserve of the distillery combines sublime distillation, the best selection of white oak barrels and the passing of time under the tropical heat.



Best Rum (8-15 Years Category) – Ron Abuelo 12 2015 Ultimate Spirit Challenge

Excellent (92 Points) – Ron Abuelo 7 2015 Ultimate Spirits Challenge

Gold Medal / Best in Class – Ron Abuelo 12 2014 Miami Rum Renaissance Festival

Gold Medal – Ron Abuelo 7 2014 Miami Rum Renaissance Festival

#14 Spirit Brand in the World – Ron Abuelo Centuria 2013 The Spirit Journal

Double Gold Medal Ron Abuelo Centuria 2012 San Francisco World Spirits Competition


Distributed by Hi-Spirits Ireland


Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum unveils Rerdesigned bottle honouring tattoo legend

Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, created to honour the Father of American old school tattooing Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins, has launched a bold new bottle design with iconography and imagery further highlighting his life and times, enhancing the rum’s dedication to telling and celebrating his story and building a community of like-minded individuals around the globe.

Back in the day, sailors used to smooth out their rum ration with spices and Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum follows that same tradition.

Additional updates to the new bottle design include a larger Sailor Jerry script logo on a strong, black circle background, making it boldly visible on any store shelf, back bar or drinks cabinet shelf. The outer shipper will be updated to mirror the new look of the bottle.

The new packaging, which contains the same award-winning liquid that many have enjoyed for years, will be  available in markets around the world throughout 2018.

To learn more about Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, log onto

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