Award-winning Pacific Drifter’s Spiced Rum Is More Than A Summer Serve

A new spiced rum crafted in QLD took out the prestigious Spiced Rum/Cane Spirit Trophy at last year’s Australian Rum Awards. We spoke to Pacific Drifter Head Distiller Chris Dix about the rum revival this side of the bar, and why small batch producers are getting in on the act of keeping that summer spirit relevant all year round.

Chris Dix, Head Distiller at Pacific Drifter.

WHY IS AUSSIE-MADE RUM LEADING THE PACK

Australian-made and owned rums, like the acclaimed Beenleigh Australian Rum produced alongside Pacific Drifter, are making waves down under, edging out international brands. Our unique ingredients, innovative distillation techniques, and distinct maturation conditions contribute to this success. But the real kicker? Aussies are excited by locally crafted spirits, favouring independently owned producers with narratives that resonate with their ‘support local’ ethos.

TELL US ABOUT WINNING THE 2023 AUSTRALIAN RUM AWARD

Pacific Drifter is crafted from local molasses straight out of Bundaberg and Mackay – we weren’t just making a drink – we were crafting an experience. We dived deep into the alchemy and sought the perfect balance of depth and flavour – and tailor-made this for your favourite cocktail or mixer. A year of epic bench trials at our Beenleigh Qld Distillery, saw a mind-bending infusion of Madagascan vanilla, cinnamon pods, and a burst of citrus swagger to get the final result. And you know what? We’re feeling pretty damn confident – we’ve not just nailed it, we’ve owned it, the award results say so.

HOW TO RUM WITH IT WHEN MAKING COCKTAILS AT HOME

Ditch the ordinary; Australian Rum is your passport to cocktail creativity. Swap that Vodka Mojito for a lively Beenleigh White Rum version or shake up a Tom Collins with a white rum twist. And if you’re an old-fashioned fan, switch Bourbon for something exciting—award-winning Beenleigh Double Cask Australian Rum. Your taste buds will thank you.

HOW DO YOU ENJOY DRINKIG RUM

For me, it’s a dark and stormy or as we like to call it a ‘Drifter in the Storm. Grab a tall glass, fill it with ice, pour in 30ml of Pacific Drifter Spiced Cane Spirit, top it off with Bickfords Traditional Ginger Beer, and garnish with a couple of fresh QLD lime wedges. Chill, sip, and let the good times roll.

SUSTAINABILITY IS A HUGE FOCUS BEHIND THE BRAND’S SUCCESS – WAS THIS A DIFFICULT TASK

When we were developing Pacific Drifter as a socially conscious brand, we worked extensively with our bottle and labelling suppliers to investigate the best options that met our ethos – luckily glass is the perfect vessel given its infinite recyclability while our label supplier scoured the globe for sustainable stock and they found a solution that was made from recycled sugar cane waste which we thought was a great link to the spirit which is made from molasses, a by-product of crushing sugar cane.

WILL RUM OVERTAKE GIN IN THE ‘CRAFTED’ CATEGORY IN 2024

Absolutely! Australian rum makers are stirring up a revolution, challenging norms with unique stories, innovative processes and exotic ingredients. While the craft gin hype took off fast, rum’s journey may be a slow burn due to production costs, but the buzz is luring new drinkers into the diverse world of Aussie rum. Watch out for small batches from local producers and get ready for a rum renaissance.

 

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