What is Spiced Rum?!

Coming up in this video, I'm taking a quick look behind the scenes at spiced rum. What is is, answering a few questions I've been getting. So, if you wanna know a bit more about the whole spiced rum category, stay tuned.


Hey spiced rum fans. I'm Steve the Barman. And I'm hoping these videos will help you drink, serve and enjoy better quality spiced rums. So, if you like the sound of that, drop me a comment below, let me know what your favourite spiced rums are, what your favourite spiced rum and mixer is or cocktail. I wanna know so hit me up in the comments below.


Right then so I'm taking a very quick one video break from doing spiced rum reviews and cocktails and drinks recipes for you because I've been getting a lot of question recently about well from gin fans that have been following me wondering why I've gone into spiced rum and they wanna know a bit more about spiced rum. What exactly is it? So I thought I'd do a video just to answer a few questions. Why I've kind of deep dived into it and what we can expect in the future.


Why Have I Moved On To Spiced Rum?

So, to answer the first question I've been getting, why have I moved from gin to rum…and spiced rum? Well, the simple reason being, spiced rum, and rum to a certain extent, but spiced rum has always been my big passion. I absolutely love it. It's been my drink since mid sort of 2000s. I did start off on the rums. The kind of cheaper rums, the Captain Morgan's, the Lamb's, that kind of thing. But when the Captain Morgan's Spiced, when Sailor Jerry's and things like that exploded, that's when I kind of fell in love with the whole spiced rum category.

Gin, for me, was a necessity, a business necessity. People were kind of asking me for gin tasting nights, wanting to know a bit more about gin. So the whole gin thing for me was more of a necessity than an actual passion. And yes, I do like some of the gins but they will never, ever come or hold a candle to any of the spiced rums. That's what I'm all about.

What Exactly is Spiced Rum?

Then, to answer the next question I've been getting, what exactly is spiced rum? Well hopefully that's the bit I'm gonna nail for you now. Spiced rum is essentially different rums, blended together, kind if like scotch. Scotch whisky is a blend of different whiskies come together. So your Bell's, your Famous Grouse, your Chivas. All your kind of scotch whiskies like that are just blends and that is exactly kind of what spiced rums are. So they're taking some rums, whether it's made in the Caribbean, in the Americas, north and south America, Australia, Malaysia, Mauritius and now in the UK we've got some great rum brands popping up in the UK. What they'll be is, traditionally, if they're imported from the Caribbean, they'll be blended up to form their base liquids. UK distillers, that're actually distilling rum themselves, there's a few of them popping up now, will be kind of single origin rum. But all the other UK brands that are importing rum will be a blend of different rums put together. So, after they've got their base liquid, their base rum or blends of rum, what they will then traditionally do is spice them up.


Now, the early Spiced rums were traditionally just kind of vanilla and lime with a little hint of other spices in there, but mainly vanilla and lime. However, as we've kind of progressed through the whole spiced rum era and I say this stems right back to 2005 maybe, no specific dates but around about 2004, 2005. Different brands have been flavouring up different things. The biggest that I can kind of pick out was when RedLeg launched, up until that point, the whole Sailor Jerry, the whole Captain Morgan's were very vanilla and lime. However RedLeg launched and went the opposite way, vanilla and ginger. So we've kind of go this different spices and as we're going through now, Black Tears for instance, we've got coffee infused with there. We've also got flavoured rums as well. So we've got the whole coconut thing there. Rum Ting there. Rum Ting is the recent one I've done, passion fruit, elderflower and mango.


So we've got the whole flavour thing. So the whole category is opening up. I've spotted that, the whole banana thing going on as well. They're not really Spiced rum. There might be a separate category peel off very soon, flavoured rums. But, for the moment I'm grouping flavoured rums with spiced rums. Other spices being used more commonly now. We've got cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, all spice. All those kind of spices that are indigenous to the Caribbean, to Malaysia. Basically anything goes. Anything that pack a punch, that adds flavour goes. So that is essentially what spiced rum is.


What is Spiced Rum

Legality of Spiced Rum

Now I'm quickly gonna talk about the legality of spiced rum. Now, I don't mean that in the sense that spiced rum is not legal, I'm talking about ABVs and sugar contents and things like that. This is where kind of rum aficionado, rum enthusiasts really don't like what spiced rum represents because traditionally rum is 40%. Okay in the UK it can legally be 37.5%. But if you go over to America, places like that, it is legally 40%. Now, in the UK, the three big, huge brands, so Lamb's, Captain Morgan's and Bacardi, they cannot legally be classed as a spiced rum because the ABV of them are either 30 or 35%.


For me, I don't know the ins and outs but, for me, they've done it purely for tax reasons, they'll pay less tax on that. But they are, in fact, classed as a rum based spiced drink. Okay so they're spirit based. Essentially they are a liqueur. I'm not gonna discount Lamb's, Captain Morgan's, Bacardi or any of the other brands like that because this is why I love the spiced rum category so much. It's because, for me, it represents fun. Anything goes, whether it's cocktails, whether it's spirit and mixers. A lot of these you can drink neat and absolutely lovely neat as a little tipple at night. So it's just that whole category. And running pubs and bars as well, it's just that simple spirit that is so diverse, it is the most diverse category. Most diverse drink on the market.


Spiced Rum Mixers

Look at the shelves behind me. You can drink it with so many different things. Okay that shelf might be hidden out a little bit but we've got coconut water down there, we've got the flavoured tonics from the Lixir boys. Absolutely love those. Elderflower and lemon, rhubarb and ginger, blood orange and cinnamon and they're really good. We've got the sodas, the Sister's Sodas, newly rebranded from Franklin & Sons. Pineapple and cardamom, pomegranate hibiscus, guava and lime, phenomenal. We've got this little bad boy from Fentimans that has just been relaunched, tropical soda, a pineapple soda. Absolutely lovely. Fever Tree are on the market with their spiced orange ginger ale and their normal ginger ale's lovely as well but the whole spiced orange thing. We've got all the Coca Colas, so many different cokes. Then we've got things like this Ting, pineapple soda. I'm very disappointed, I've heard on the grapevine that Schweppes are stopping producing the whole muscovado thing. Which I think works exceptionally well. But then ginger beer. There is such a diverse way that you can drink rum. Yes I've been shouting for one single kind of mixer to come along and really dominate. But actually I've kind of changed my tune a little bit there because I just love the diversity. There is a drink there for everyone and this is what makes spiced rum great.


What is the Future of Spiced Rum?

Well, as we approach the tail end of 2019, as we're going into 2020, it is just going to explode. Possibly, for me, for the signs I'm seeing, possibly even quicker than gin exploded. Probably back in 2015, 2016. Because some of these people now have got this well rehearsed routine of launching products, they've had it with the gins, or brands I should say, they've had it with their gins. Now they know what works, what they're doing. Now they've got so many diverse mixers, we are just gonna see this explode. What else are we gonna see? We're gonna see different spiced rum brands pop up with different flavours, with different spices. I've seen one recently using pear, we're using apple so we've got things like that coming. And, we have by no means seen the last of the mixers that gets launched. I'm willing to bet that some of these tonic brands, they are gonna come in on the whole spiced rum thing as well because the whole rum and tonic thing isn't great but the whole soda thing, these the Sisters Sodas just work very very well. So I can expect even more.


For me, this was the biggy. This was kind of the turning point. Fentimans really turning their attention to the rum category with this tropical soda and I just think more and more brands are gonna follow suit and gonna create some dedicated flavoured up mixers to go with spiced rums. But at the moment, if you're interested in these spiced rums, most of my spiced rums come from Master of Malt, they are my big online wholesalers for that. Amazon do a hell of a lot of these now, Amazon have really come into their own. You've got thedrinkshop.com. So that's why I love spiced rum so much. That is exactly what it is.

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