A taste of the Caribbean finds rum sales growingMark
Sales of rum have hit all-time highs as UK market share reaches a new milestone.
Like gin before it, rum was once the drink of the lower classes, albeit in the heat of the Caribbean sun rather than the chill of the British weather. A cheap alcoholic drink for sailors and pirates, rum’s fortunes are now changing, and a new respect is being held for this once much maligned drink.
Growth in sales has increased dramatically over the past couple of years, with the UK’s market share recently reaching one billion pounds for the first time. The popularity of rum-based cocktails can account for much of this growth, but also rum manufacturers are now producing distinctive and authentic flavours and aged varieties.
Believed to be the oldest distilled drink in the world, rum was a favourite on sugar plantations, where slaves discovered the secret of fermenting molasses into alcohol, and so gave birth to the modern Caribbean rum we know today. The tradition has continued with each Caribbean island guarding its recipe fiercely, while using secret and traditional distilling techniques handed down through the centuries.
Vaughn Renwick, spokesman for the West Indies Rum & Spirits Producers’ Association, describes the rum industry as, “a minnow in a big pond”, going on to say that rum sales are increasing “at a healthy rate”.
Producers of top-shelf rum varieties may suggest a selection of engraved cocktail glasses from which to enjoy this heady tipple, from coupe to highball the choice will very much depend on the cocktail and the occasion.