StateWays - May/June 2016

StateWays is the only magazine exclusively covering the control state system within the beverage alcohol industry, with annual updates from liquor control commissions and alcohol control boards and yearly fiscal reporting from control jurisdictions

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StateWays n n May/June 2016 42 LIGHT RUM as well as gifting. "People get inspired by a drink they had at a bar and want to make it at home," she adds. LIGHT & DARK ARE DAY & NIGHT In the U.S. market, light and dark rum have diverged into two sepa- rate segments, each with its own unique production and maturation processes, consumption occasions and target customer. This article deals with the light rum segment. Dark rum trends will be explored in the July/August issue. Unlike the federal regulations governing the production of bourbon or the NORMA rules that regulate Tequila, there is little standardization of policies regarding the production of rum, and rules vary according to country of origin. What constitutes "light rum" is loosely defined and often confusing. White spirits such as vodka and Tequila are unaged. Light rum, although appearing clear or white, is aged in barrels or stain- less steel. Light describes the rum's impression on the palate as much as it does the color. "Most white rums are aged in wooden barrels, as are gold and dark rums and spiced rums," explains David Farmer, president of Fishbowl Spirits, whose portfolio includes Blue Chair Bay Rum. "White rums are generally aged for a short period of time (one to three years) and have the color removed before bottling by treating with activated carbon and filtration." Light rum was a term developed back in the early days, explains Esquivel at Pilsa Rums. In the 1700s, the first rums were made from sug- arcane juice in pot stills; it was heavy, pungent and strong - hot on the palate. Then in the mid-1800s, Cuban producers started making a more elegant version from molasses, with shorter fermentation times and using column stills. The result - less heavy, more refined and smoother - was dubbed light rum. "In the U.S., people think light rum is any clear spirit and don't realize it has been aged. Education is needed," Esquivel says. STEALING MARKET SHARE How can light rum compete with and take market share from vodka and Tequila? Brand reps have a number of ideas about tactics. "Light rum can compete by focusing on its democratic taste profile— Don Q Mojito Dash of sugar 1 ½ oz. Lime juice 5 Mint leaves 1 ½ oz. Don Q Cristal Splash of club soda Muddle mint with sugar, rum and lime. Shake well. Add ice and a splash of club soda. Don Q Passion 1 ½ oz. Don Q Cristal 3 oz. Passion fruit juice Lemon slice Build drink in a glass with ice. Garnish with lemon slice. Don Q Rum Rita Lime juice and coarse salt for rim 1 ½ oz. Don Q Cristal 1 oz. Lime juice ½ oz. Premium triple sec Wet rim of glass with lime juice, dip in salt. Shake ingredients with ice; strain into glass. "Light rum can compete by focusing on its democratic taste profile—easy to drink, palatable character and mixability— because it mixes well with everything." —Mauricio Bermudez, Director of Marketing for Bacardi Rum

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