Every January at Mixology Group HQ we get a slew of journos contacting us to find out the next big thing? What are going to be this year’s trends to watch and taste. Pretty much every year for the last 8-10 has been the same answer. Gin Tonic Low and no Oh and Rum will be big this year…
Now however there are some rumblings of a new trend that may just eclipse Gin. It is called Botanical Rum. Our first introduction to this newfangled category heralds from Guernsey where a very talented distiller by the name of Luke Wheadon from the Channel Islands Liquor Co which has been distilling gin since 2016 . He has created a botanical rum called Indica Rum. This project was first launched at the beginning of 2019 and made it to bottle in November 2019. An exceptionally beautiful bottle arrived with us not long after.
First things first we were blown away by the bottle. It depicts contour lines and an incredibly beautiful sea blue colour. The next of course is the flavour. Luke has chosen some excellent rums to work with (all over 8 years matured ) and this combined with the terpenes or flavour compounds of the Indica Plant (Candida for those of you who want to know the strain) leading to a very distinctive “green” finish.
What is special about this I hear you ask? Well this is a blend of Caribbean rums lovingly redistilled with the flower of the Indica Plant. Now some of you may recognize this plant species and others may not. So to save you the google search it is a member of the marijuana family. This has been grown under special conditions on the Island of Guernsey and is then harvested and then placed into the Channel Islands Rum. However, fear not as there is no THC or the ever fashionable CBD to be found in this. Instead you get an incredible green/ earthiness which works incredibly well with the 4 Caribbean rums all of which have received at least 8 years maturation.
Now of course there are other “hemp” rums out there all purporting to have X amount of CBD etc. But I think of none of them were created just for the flavour profile. This for me was like manna from heaven. It mixes well with Ginger beer or as an ingredient in a Corn and Oil or of course the ubiquitous Old Fashioned but as a stand-alone product it is very complex and delicious.
At Mixology Group HQ we are really excited about this category as it builds on the knowledge that the average Gin drinker has gained and introduces them to an entirely new category. It seems that the main trend is to use a white Rum but of course the Sky is the limit with regards to what to redistill and what base you use. Nor are you restricted like the gin industry is (for a great insight onto what Gin is check out our other blog) to juniper, Botanical rum producers can literally use what ever they like.
And this folks leads us to a brave new world of flavour combinations which to be honest we are very excited about. If the gin craze has meant a whole new demographic has been exposed to a whole slew of new flavours and flavour combos, then I can’t wait to see what this category will do. Exciting times are ahead. Below are some of the brands that we have come across and like. Do continue to check out the new emerging category.