Why aren't you drinking more Rum?
As I said recently, "Rum may be one of the most under appreciated spirits, something which is most likely to end up in a cocktail rather than sipped on its own. It isn't as revered as Whiskey or as popular as Vodka. You'll usually find plenty of Tequila bars but few Rum bars." Last year, according to the Impact Databank, the overall category of Rum declined by almost 2%. Why is that the case? Why are less people drinking rum? And how do we turn around that decline?
There is a little bit of good news though, despite the general decline, as the the top five most popular Rum brands, above $15, actually increased by about 3% last year. This is a small increase but still important as it is at least a positive change. There is still much more growth which is warranted and desired, so let us hope that the changes continue and grow.
The top five Rum brands include Pernod Ricard’s Malibu, Proximo’s The Kraken, Campari America’s Appleton Estate, Diageo North America Myer's, and William Grant & Sons Sailor Jerry. Even their growth has been a bit rocky during the last few years. For example, from 2013-2014, both Malibu and Myer's saw declines of about 2%. And from 2014-2015, Sailor Jerry saw a decline of about 4.6%. The Kraken has seen some of the best growth, 18.5% from 2013-2014 and 12.5% from 2014-2015. Even though these are the five most popular brands, their total production generally isn't that high, such as 110,000 cases from Sailor Jerry and 360,000 from the Kraken.
Summer is supposed to be a very popular time for rum, especially in frozen concoctions, but rum can and should be enjoyed year round. There is a great diversity of rum styles and types, including British, Spanish and French. There are complex and intriguing high end bottlings which can be as interesting as whiskey, though rum often costs less than comparable quality whiskey. Rum can be delicious on its own though it also is extremely versatile in cocktails. It would seem to be an excellent spirit which should warrant much more attention yet it hasn't really done so yet. And that is puzzling.
Recently, I've written a few articles about Rum, showcasing its potential and providing some recommendations, including: Diplomatico Rum: Venezuela, Water Buffalo & Tasty Rum; Thirst Boston: History of Caribbean Rums; and Thirst Boston: The House of Agricole Rhum. You can find a number of other Rum posts on my blog as well. It is a spirit I enjoy, one which I encourage all of my readers to explore and embrace. We also need more restaurants and bars to start showcasing Rum, to offer a greater variety of brands, styles and types. We need them to create and offer more interesting Rum cocktails.
So I return to my original question: Why aren't you drinking more Rum?
What's your excuse? Why are you drinking other spirits rather than rum? What is it about rum that turns you off? Do you see it as a lesser spirit? If so, why?
And if you actually enjoy rum, give us some reasons for your love of this spirit. Share your thoughts and maybe others will reconsider their position and start drinking more Rum.