As Notting Hill transformed into a festival of feather headdresses, body paint and glitter, there was one drink on many a carnival-goer’s lips: rum.
It’s not just the two-day party when rum is the one, according to the latest stats from the Wine and Spirit Trade Association.
If the current taste for all things Piña Colada continues, rum is expected to break the £1 billion sales barrier later this year – hot on the heels of a certain juniper darling, which passed £1 billion in sales last year.
Brits bought almost 34 million bottles of rum, worth a whopping £960 million, last year. This as 6% volume increase in pubs, bars and restaurants compared to 2015.
The number of rums available is, as you might expect, up as well. Around 50 rum brands were up for grabs on the UK market in 2006, the WSTA says, today that number has risen to more than 150. In the last five years, UK rum has seen sales increase 15% by volume and 32% by value.
‘Rum is another spirit punching above its weight and benefiting from the craft cocktail craze,’ chief executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, Miles Beale, said. ‘We are pleased to see a flurry of new British rum brands popping up in recent years.’
‘As we have seen a rapid growth in the number of distilleries in the UK, a new wave of UK spirit makers are turning their hand to rum production. We are calling on the Government to support our innovative spirit makers by freezing excise duty until Budget 2018 and reviewing its regressive policy of year-on-year inflationary rises in excise duty for the full term of the current Parliament.’
This week the WSTA publishes the 2017 Annual Spirits Report, compiling all spirit sales from last year.