How Rum Became the Drink of 2018

How Rum Became the Drink of 2018

Plus, an expert guide on how to best enjoy it

Getty Images 

Rum is on the rise. Hot on the heels of the ginaissance, rum sales reached £1 billion for the first time ever this year cementing its increasing popularity. All categories apart from gin are growing slower than rum, with Jamaican Rum taking the lead above all others, according to a new study by Campari.

It’s a drink particularly favoured by millennials with 80 per cent of 25-34 year olds regularly enjoying the tipple.

Sly Augustin, the award-winning cocktail and rum bar Trailer Happiness, says its rise is thanks to a rebranding teamed with its history. Rum has long been known as the preserve of sailors and pirates who enjoyed it in exotic, sun-drenched locales.

“What we’re seeing is in part the result of innovation from bartenders who are using rum in ways that challenge the consumers’ perception of the spirit as a simple party mixer,” Augustin told us. “Rum offers the best price/quality ratio of any spirit and has a great history which more people are becoming familiar with. There is much more variation within the category which makes it a much more versatile spirit.”

Here, Augustin gives us his definitive guide on how best to enjoy rum…

Consider the style of rum over colour

You are better off starting with the style of rum (Spanish, French or Jamaican for example) and once your knowledge improves, move on to method of distillation (whether it is distilled in a pot still or a column still).

There is really no difference between dark and white rum in today’s industry

“Generally speaking, colour gives absolutely no indication of taste. Colour can be a result of ageing or it can simply be a distiller adding caramel. I think we need to leave the use of colour as a taste descriptor for rum back in the 90s with dial up internet. It’s just not efficient enough anymore.”

Tonic is a great rum mixer

“Rum and tonic is great! There’s no reason why gin should have all the fun.”

A rum shack in Jamaica. Getty Images

Rum Old Fashioneds are among the most popular rum cocktails

“There are few better drinks to showcase rums quality. The Estate Old Fashioned from Appleton Estate Jamaican Rum is a good example. Variations of classic rum drinks like Pińa Coladas and Daiquiris can be found on the world’s best cocktail menus and continue to sell incredibly well. A light and refreshing adaptation of the classic Piña Colada which is perfect for the summer is the ‘Koko Kolada’. This uses Koko Kanu, a white Jamaican Rum with coconut flavour.”

Discerning rum-drinkers opt for these rum brands

“There are popular rums for enthusiasts and popular rums for casual consumers. The lines are blurring but generally brands like Foursquare, Appleton Estate and Plantation get more love from seasoned rum fans. There’s also rums like Wray & Nephew Overproof which have huge cultural significance as they embody the country of origin in more than just the liquid but the lifestyle. I would encourage you to give aged Agricole rums from brands such as H.S.E and J.M a try, or aged rums such as Appleton Estate 12 Y/O.”

From: Harper’s BAZAAR UK

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