The sales of gin in Canada went from $179.9 million to just over $286 million, from 2011 to 2018. The resurgence of cocktails and craft distilling has had a lot to do with this; gin is relatively quick to distil and we saw the rise of the 'celebrity mixologist' and cocktail competitions.
Now that many craft distillers have several years under their belts, their rums have aged and are coming on strong. (Rum must age for at least a year to be called rum in Canada.)
Here at Liquid Assets, we are seeing customers looking for Nova Scotia craft rum by name, more and more.
In Nova Scotia, there are several distilleries making their own rum from fermentation to distillation, and ageing them for various lengths of time to create dynamic, interesting and in the end, premium, spirits.
Beyond the tiki-cocktail, rum's inclusion in the menus of Nova Scotia's bars and restaurants has also become elevated. Compass Distillers' Apple Cinnamon Old Fashioned includes two of their Rums and is described as apple pie on the rocks, and Shane Beehan of Lot Six not only includes local rums on his bar, he goes next level with rum history and cocktails seminars at events such as the Spirited Away Festival in Lunenburg. Here at Halifax Stanfield, the post-security restaurant Bia Mara includes Ironworks Distillery's 5-year Aged Rum in one of their cocktails. The 5 Fathom Dark Rum from Barrelling Tide Distillery recently won Gold with Distinction and Best in Class at the Canadian Artisan Spirit Competition. Ironworks Bluenose Rum won World's Best Dark Rum in London England in 2015, and they have just released a Maple Rum, aged in an American Oak Bourbon barrel. We've been delighted with the taste experience from Coldstream Clear Distillery's 1749 Single Barrel Aged Rum and are excited to create some holiday cocktails with it!
The next time you're out on the town, ask for a rum cocktail made with a Nova Scotia fermented and distilled rum.
Beyond its well-known use in cocktails, local premium local rums are excellent for sipping! We often think of whiskies for sipping, but rum is proving to be a less costly and just-as-enjoyable alternative.
-Use a good glass: As with a good whisky, a good glass will help elevate the aroma. Think about a snifter glass as a good option. Warm it up: Serve the rum at room temperature, and don't be afraid to cup the glass and warm it with your hands. The warmer temperature will help with both flavour and aroma. -Sniff softly: Don't take in a huge whiff of air, as the alcohol will overpower your senses. Instead, approach it slowly and try to get more of the subtle notes. -Sip, Drink, Exhale: Take in a small sip first and roll it around your tongue to coat your palate. Then take a more generous sip to get more of those flavours. Don't forget to exhale afterwards, as the alcohol will give off more notes. -Look for unexpected flavour: Most people assume they know what rum tastes like, but a good rum will surprise you. You may smell caramel banana at first, for example, but taste nutmeg and spice after.
So try some! The twenty-five dollar mass-produced rum is going to taste like twenty-five dollar rum - try some premium local rums and treat them like you would a decent whisky, gin or tequila, and you'll see the value immediately. Drinking less but better quality alcohol is also a trend :)