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Rum – it’s the new gin!

In honour of National Rum Day, we’re benching our usual G&T for something a little spicier. Here’s what to buy and how to drink it.

Is gin – gasp – over? Well, we wouldn’t go quite that far but there’s definitely a new kid on the block when it comes to favourite tipples, and that’s rum.

In honour of National Rum Day we grabbed Adam Cowley, creative distiller at Seaford-based Harley House Distillery to get the lowdown on the rum renaissance and what we should all be sipping.

What’s happening with rum, then?

According to a new report from the whisky exchange, sales in Rum skyrocketed by 165% in the third quarter of 2019. This marks the first summer in five years that Rum has outstripped Gin in terms of sales growth. There was also a big (62%) growth in demand for rum from trade – bars and restaurants.

So we’re all swapping G&Ts for a Dark and Stormy?

Gin consumers are beginning to shift towards sweeter, often fruit flavoured versions and this indicates the interest in standard flavours is waning, which is usually a precursor to flights towards other spirits.

A better classification system for rum makes it easier for too – with descriptions ranging from ‘rich and treacly’ to ‘herbaceous and grassy’ we can make better choices.

Rum is a more diverse spirit than gin, with categories ranging from white to spiced to dark. Premium quality and flavoured rums are in prime position to take over the baton from gin. There’s never been a better time to be a rum drinker.

I’m almost sold, but then I think about teenager misadventures with Bacardi – what’s changed since then?

Young adults these days tend to be more cautious regarding alcohol. (Very tactful Adam, thank you!) Many are choosing to go for for less quantity, and more premium quality.

Go on then, we’re convinced. How do we drink it?

A good old Dark and Stormy, of course.


50ml quality dark or spiced Rum
75ml Merchant’s Heart Ginger ale
15ml lime juice
10ml sugar syrup (optional)

Fill a tall glass with ice cubes and Rum
Pour in Ginger ale, lime juice and sugar syrup
Stir and garnish with a lime wedge.

Your favourite tipple?

Rum Runner.

Any other reasons why we should be drinking rum?

Rum is so diverse and flexible. It’s almost limitless what you can do with it.

What should we be drinking then?

Harley House Prohibition Spiced Rum. It’s made in it’s entirety in Seaford, East Sussex, from molasses imported by a schooner from Guadalupe, dark sugar from Mauritius and Caribbean rum yeast. Double pot distilled and aged in ex bourbon barrels before we add our special blend of spices. This is rum made properly, the old-fashioned way. It’s golden in colour, with plenty of punch and spice, warming, and silky-smooth.

Find more ideas here

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