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Bayou Rum

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Bayou Rum, Louisiana’s newest to hit shelves, enjoyed a popular launch during a tasting at Tales of the Cocktail on July 17. Bottles of the stuff won’t be difficult to find for anyone who couldn’t make it to Tales, however, because producers already received 1,000 orders in the first 12 days of the month, according to Louisiana Spirits president and Bayou Rum co-founder Trey Litel.

Louisiana Spirits offers up two rums: Silver Bayou and Spice Bayou. Like the name suggests, the idea for the business came while duck hunting.

“I’ve always loved rum,” said Litel, who previously worked with Bacardi for a number of years. “My brother and I were talking about how Louisiana really deserves to have a world-class rum, and we decided now’s a good time.”

Louisiana Spirits brought in master distiller Jeff Murphy, who previously produced rum in Massachusetts.

“The first thing we did was get our hands on the raw sugar and molasses,” Murphy said. “A lot of people don’t have access to sugar mills, so they get theirs from bulk suppliers, and those have been refined at least once (which is) another step most people in other parts of the country get that we don’t have to worry about.”

Litel said the Bayou Rum team did extensive research before settling on the base of raw, unrefined and unprocessed sugar and fresh molasses, which is what was used in the rums of the 19th century, he said.

“We get its raw notes. It’s still grassy with hints of molasses,” Murphy said. “It’s like how coffee grown in one region will taste different from another region. Top soil changes the flavor profile. We have a rum that focuses on one spot in Louisiana.”

The resulting flavor has a “rounded, rock candy sweetness,” according to dining and drinks writer Todd Price.

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