6 Superb Women-Owned Rum Brands To Discover This Women’s History Month – And All Year!
Celebrate Women’s History Month by learning about women-owned rum brands. The alcohol industry has a long history of being male-dominated, but these brands highlight how women are providing a much-needed shift in perspective for the spirits industry. Check out these six excellent rum brands and the women leaders behind them.
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Montanya rums are said to be the “culmination of a 30-year love affair with rum.” Montanya Distillers opened in 2008 and is located in Crested Butte, Colorado. Founder and Owner, Karen Hoskin’s love affair with rum began at age 21 after taking a sip of Old Monk in Goa, India. However, it took Hoskin about two decades in graphic design and brand building before she came to the realization that rum was her true calling in 2007. In addition to Montanya’s mission to make great rum, they are also a Certified B Corporation. This scheme sets high standards for verified performance, accountability and transparency. Ultimately, Montanya Distillers is focused on helping its community, being environmentally sustainable, and empowering women and people of color.
Montanya’s line of rums sources its sugarcane from a co-op of family farmers in Louisiana. The brand’s core range includes an aged 1-year aged white rum, a 1-year aged dark rum, a 3-year aged rum and a 4-year rum.
Kasama Small Batch Rum
For Kasama’s founder, Alexandra Dorda rum is the product of a combination of family ties. Her father is the co-founder of both Chopin Vodka and Belvedere and after years of working at the family business in Poland, Dorda was ready to forge a new path. She was inspired by rum, but not so much by its stereotypical portrayal. Things clicked into place when Dorda, whose mother is from the Philippines, learned that the Philippines is one of the leading rum producers in the world. Thus, Dorda’s journey into rum production began with the official launch of Kasama Rum in 2021.
The brand’s flagship rum is distilled from Noble sugarcane in small batches and is aged 7 years in ex-bourbon barrels.
Co-founder and CEO, Danielle “La Jefa” Zighelboim and her brother Mike Zighelboim had an incredibly unique path into rum. The Coconut Cartel began in 2012 when the sister and brother team, known as “The Zigs” started smuggling coconuts from El Salvador to South Florida for boozy cocktails. This smuggling ring transformed into a new business focusing on rum and thus Coconut Cartel Rum was born.
The rum is made in Guatemala using local sugarcane and then, it is aged in new, charred American white oak barrels for 4 to 12 years. What makes this rum unique is it is proofed down to 40% ABV using fresh coconut water.
Wicked Dolphin Rum Distillery
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JoAnn Elardo founded Wicked Dolphin Distillery in Cape Coral, Florida in 2012. No stranger to entrepreneurship, Elardo formerly owned a sportswear and footwear retail company in Poland that she started in 1991. Wicked Dolphin started from Elardo’s desire for a good cocktail made from good rum using local ingredients in her State. Elardo is a founding member of the Florida Distillers Guild and helped to bring a bill under review that allowed craft distillers to sell their spirits on-premise.
The rum distillery is said to be the first legal distillery in Florida since America’s prohibition. Wicked Dolphin produces a large variety of rums all made from local Florida sugarcane and distilled in small batches.
The Noble Experiment – Owney’s Rum
The founder and Head Distiller of Owney’s, Bridget Firtle, is a true New Yorker descended from a long line of Brooklyn-based small business owners. Craft spirits run deep for Firtle, as she grew up in a home in Queens with an old speakeasy for a basement. Fertile opened Owney’s in 2012, after being inspired by America’s rum-distilling history. She left her job on Wall Street to bring rum distilling back to New York City with the founding of The Noble Experiment.
Owney’s currently produces three rums, the Original, the Blend and the Overproof. The Owney’s Original rum is the brand’s first rum entirely distilled in Brooklyn, they also distill the Overproof version of their signature rum. Whereas Owney’s Blend is made from a distinct combination of their Original rum and aged rum imported from the Dominican Republic that’s distilled from fresh sugar cane juice.
Oxbow Rum Distillery
Olivia Stewart left a decade-long art career to move back home to the family farm and begin to create a movement around Louisiana rum. Under her leadership, Oxbow Rum Distillery has gained a new identity and philosophy. Stewart has championed transparency in rum production and has showcased this with the distillery’s rum made entirely from sugar cane from her family’s own estate with no additives.
The rums are from one single estate and the family-owned business is involved in every step of production. The Oxbow Estate Rum line includes a white rum, barrel-aged rum and a yearly cane juice rum called Rhum Louisiane. Oxbow Rum Distillery also produces spiced rum under the brand False River.
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