Will Rum Be The New Gin?

five shot glasses filled with a variety of alcohol
Five shot glasses filled with a variety of alcohol

We've all seen the popularity of gin rise dramatically in the last decade, whether it’s the rocketing sales or the prominence of gin bars lining the high street. However, a similar pattern is starting to emerge with rum too, begging the question: is rum the new gin?


Many spirits have gone through the premiumisation trend, gin included. There’s a huge demand in the UK for premium spirits. According to the Campari Group UK report on the UK rum market, more than two-thirds of UK customers declared they would spend more money on a quality drink.

However, rum seems to have slipped behind other spirits initially. Instead, spirits seen as having more class like whiskey and gin have experienced a large spike in demand, with up to 14% of gin consumed falling into the premium categories, allowing gin to soar to the top of the market. However, in recent years, there has been more and more demand for high-quality rum, and this is starting to reflect in overall statistics and trends.

The Rise of Craft Rum

Craft spirits are a large part of the premiumisation market and local distilleries saw a boom in numbers as the demand for craft gin skyrocketed. Though rum is fairly late to the game, there’s been a recent rise in the popularity of flavours and independent brands.

Many more independent rum brands are starting to emerge, with distilleries adding their own twists to rum imported from the Caribbean, or even making their own rum from scratch. These craft rums are quickly rising in popularity, and this fits well with the rise in demand for flavoured rum as a whole. Flavoured rums, particularly spiced rums, have enjoyed a huge increase in the rum market, particularly with their appeal to a younger audience who may prefer a spiced rum over a white or dark rum.

A New Image For Rum

However, it’s not just this strong younger consumer base that has driven popularity in rum sales. The whole image of rum has been revitalised in several ways. There seems to be more of an awareness and inclination to drink rum neat, encouraging similarity to other classic sipping spirits such as whiskey and brandy, helping lift the associations with rum. And for those who need a mixer, the involvement of big brands such as Coca-Cola designing mixers specifically for spirits such as rum is a big boost to the industry.

The cocktail market has also played a huge role in revitalising rum. With the rise in popularity of not just mojitos, but other cocktails such as a daiquiri or rum punch, demand for rum is also on the up. In fact, rum features in five of the top 20 cocktails voted by UK drinkers.

With the popularity of gin starting to flatten out, the time for new spirits such as rum is now. With the rise in innovation and experimentation with new flavours and variants of rum, you’re sure to see plenty of excitement and hype for rum build over the next few years.


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