Nottingham’s first rum and reggae festival takes place in the city this week, as the drink continues to rise in popularity.
Earlier this year, sales of the sugar cane-based spirit topped £1bn a year for the first time.
The Rum & Reggae Festival – which will be hitting the University of Nottingham’s King’s Meadow Campus on Saturday, 15 September – will see guests tasting rare and special craft rums from around the world, alongside Caribbean street food and carnival dancers.
According to accountancy group UHY Hacker Young, the rum revelation is in large part due to the rising popularity of spirits, thanks to the recent gin boom.
Partner at the firm’s Nottingham office, James Simmonds, said: “The gin-naissance has really opened up the spirit market, with younger drinkers now looking for artisan brands full of flavour.
“Rum has long been a staple in some of the nation’s favourite cocktails – such as mojitos and daiquiris – but it is now becoming more popular as a standalone drink. For years, the most widely available rums were big brands like Bacardi that have been industrially processed.
“However, unlike gin, which can be made relatively quickly, rum is expensive and complex to distil – something which can take a few years. Despite this, artisan and craft products are allowing consumers to see the flavour and depth of character in the spirit that perhaps weren’t fully appreciated before.
“The independent food and drink scene in Nottingham is absolutely thriving, which echoes what we are seeing in the alcohol industry. The quality of these artisan products – and those independent bars and restaurants popping up across the city – is streets ahead of their big brand competitors.
“In Nottingham, we are really celebrating independent producers. The inception of events like the Rum & Reggae Festival and Nottingham Loves Cocktails as well as the ever-popular beer festival is indicative of the move towards more local, independent brands.”
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