Rum looks set to be the spirit of the summer, with Waitrose reporting that sales are up an impressive 53% over the last twelve weeks.

Once the tipple of pirates and sailors, today rum is one of the fastest growing spirits at the supermarket. No other spirit offers such a variety of styles and flavours, or can be enjoyed in so many ways, making it the perfect bottle for home mixology.  Waitrose has reported a surge in demand for both dark rum and white rum, with sales up 33% and 67% respectively.

Online searches also suggest that the nation is embracing the trend, with searches for ‘rum’ up 206%.on Waitrose.com. More specifically ‘white rum’ – which in itself varies enormously in taste profiles across the various options – has seen a 288% increase and the search term ‘spiced rum’ is up 111% on Waitrose.com vs last year.

Rum’s growing popularity can be attributed to its versatility and smooth, distinct flavours across the different varieties.The key ingredient in summer cocktails such as the Frozen Daiquiri or Rum Punch – both of which are perfect in the sun or for entertaining at garden parties, rum also has a large part to play in many classic drinks including Mojitos and Cuba Libre. Alternatively, the spirit is now being enjoyed simply served neat with ice, which really allows the full flavour profile of the rum to come to the fore.

John Vine, spirits  buyer at Waitrose comments; “We’ve been anticipating the year of rum for a while and it has finally arrived! Rum has seen phenomenal growth, featuring in four of the top ten most popular cocktail recipes on Waitrose.com. It’s really encouraging to see shoppers showing a greater interest and appreciation of the spirit which is incredibly versatile and exciting. It is also the perfect ingredient for summer cocktails, ideal to be enjoyed at home in the garden.

To help elevate your rum cocktails, John has shared some useful tips to help master the art of mixology;

  • “Using herbs and spices will introduce exciting flavours to your drinks as well as help elevate the natural flavours from the rum. Using garden herbs like basil or mint add a delicious freshness to cocktails whilst using woodier herbs like rosemary or thyme can help create a delicious depth of flavour which often works brilliantly with a darker or spiced rum”
  • “Garnishes can create a real sense of occasion and excitement. Using twists of lemon, a slice of strawberry or even a cocktail umbrella can really bring your drink to life and wow guests”
  • “Shake and stir! It’s important to channel your inner Bond and shake (or stir!) your ingredients to help beautifully combine the flavours and ensure your drink is served perfectly chilled.”

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