The up and rumming drink is just that – rum – from an artisan Lymington-based company, which is set to see its spirit level out of the recent ginaissance.
Sun Rum, which is owned and run by Matt England, who has worked in the hospitality sector across the South for nearly two decades, came about after working with local artisan gin makers. He spotted a niche for a fresh brand which would appeal to younger lifestyle-focused customers and rum was the category that showed most promise.
Rum contributed to a rise in sales across the spirits category in 2019. With total sector value up by 6.2 per cent, this growth undoubtedly powered by the massive popularity of gin and a wider love of new cocktails.
Keen to distance rum from the cliched ‘sailors and pirates’ connotation, Matt launched his brand in 2019 after testing the market the summer before. The aim is to appeal specifically to summer sophisticates and high-end resorts, from across the UK to the South of France and Ibiza, places where young at heart party crowds frequent quality bars, clubs,
hotels and restaurants.
Matt said: “The brand vision for Sun Rum is very much “Sunshine in a bottle”. The liquid is a collaboration of four smooth Caribbean rums hand-picked from distilleries across Cuba, Dominican Republic and Barbados, aged up to 5 years in white American
Matt continued: “The drink itself is a collaboration of rums and we feel this mix offers something greater than the sum of the individual styles. Togetherness and collaboration is something very important in my life and business. The whole brand endorses a vibrant and fun lifestyle, something that is ever present in all marketing and social media content as well. We love using the strap-line ‘if you’re gonna do it, you may as well Sun Rum it!’.”
Currently, direct to consumer sales online have been the largest growth area in light of the recent hospitality sector suspension. Matt’s next move is to expand, supply more to the retail and trade sector and build connections with those who endorse enjoyment, a beach lifestyle, holidays, modern music, clubs and DJs, people who promote events which make safe and happy memories. Once he has made inroads with the UK market, he plans to move across to Europe, then further afield. Discussion are being had at this moment to launch the product in the Mediterranean next spring.
Although the pandemic halted all events in their tracks, since the gradual opening of the events and hospitality sector in July, Matt worked with the team at UKG Brunch in London to sponsor some very vibrant yet socially distanced music events. He has got to work with the genres top DJs and MCs, all of whom love the brand and the spirit and have very much taken it under their wing. This is something Sun Rum feel passionately about aligning with. Also in the diary is the (now rescheduled) International Drinks Expo in London in June 2021, the premier event for connecting hospitality industry professionals. Sun Rum has been nominated for the prestigious “Design Excellence Award” here. A platform that traditionally has seen passed winner fast-tracked to success.
“Having worked with various drinks brands my entire career, I do love and respect the image traditional rum brands have forged for themselves over the past 30 years or so. However, the “2020s” need to offer something that better connects with drinkers today and Sun Rum should firmly fill that desire.”
Aptly, for a drink based on cane juice or molasses, Matt is already looking to set to hit the sweet spot once venues are open for business again. www.sun-rum.com and the retail price is £29.95.
Here are some delicious cocktail ideas for you to try at home with your bottle of Sun Rum…
The Pina Libre
- Ice cubes
- 25ml Sun Rum
- 25ml pineapple juice
- Pineapple leaf to garnish
First take a tall glass and half fill with ice cubes and the cola. Get your shaker, fill with four or five ice cubes then 25ml of Sun Rum and 25ml of pineapple juice. Shake for 10 seconds or so. Pour mix over the iced cola and garnish with a pineapple leaf.
The Sun Honey Mojito
- Sugar syrup (recipe below)
- 50ml Sun Rum
- 1 lime (plus extra to garnish)
- 10 mint leaves (plus extra to garnish)
- Soda water
- Cubed ice
- Crushed ice
For the sugar syrup:
- 250ml still water
- Demerara sugar
- 10 mint leaves
- 4tbl runny honey
- 1 lime
To make the Mojito take a classic shaker and add 50ml Sun Rum, the juice of one lime, 10 mint leaves and 25ml of sugar syrup and muddle this together. Fill half way with cubed ice and shake for 10 seconds. Fill a tall glass two thirds with crushed ice and pour the mixture over the ice. Top up with soda water and garnish with extra mint leaves and a lime wedge.
Sugar Syrup (makes 10 drinks worth)
In a saucepan add 250ml still water with equal amount of demerara sugar, also add 10 mint leaves, 4tbl runny honey and the juice of one lime. Bring this to the boil, simmer until the sugar is dissolved. Take it off the heat and let it cool. Once it has cooled strain and bottle this to keep.
Sun Rum Punch
- Ice cubes
- 75ml of Sun Rum
- 100ml orange juice
- 50ml mango or pineapple juice
- 50ml sugar syrup
- 50ml freshly squeezed lime juice
- Three dashes of Angostura Bitters
Take a classic shaker and fill a third with ice. Add 75ml of Sun Rum followed by: 100ml orange juice, 50ml mango or pineapple juice, 50ml sugar syrup, 50ml freshly squeezed lime juice, three dashes of Angostura Bitters. Shake this for 10 seconds and pour through a strainer into a freshly iced glass. Top with 20ml of grenadine. Garnish with a mango or orange slice and enjoy!
If you can’t get enough of these mouth watering cocktails from Sun Rum then visit their website for even more recipe ideas – www.sun-rum.com.