Raising a Glass with Hattiers Rum
We’d like to welcome Hattiers Rum to Toad Hall Cottages’ Food and Drink Month, a globetrotting taste to satisfy the most discerning of palates. Read our exclusive interview with Philip Everett-Lyons, who, as a special treat, will also be sharing a trio of his delectable Hattiers Rum cocktail recipes…
The warm and characterful blend of Hattiers Premium Reserve Rum captures the rich and exotic flavours of the Caribbean and Central Americas.
Transported across the Atlantic, bound for a family-run distillery in the South Hams, this award-winning label has to satisfy a fastidious assemblage of master liquorists before it receives the iconic Hattiers seal of approval.
“Our base rum is a classic premium pot and column still blend, distilled from sugar cane molasses by Richard Seal, fourth generation Master Distiller and owner of Foursquare Distillery in Barbados. We then blend this base with exceptional pot still rums from Guatemala, Panama and The Dominican Republic” Hattiers Rum
Here’s our exclusive interview with Philip Everett-Lyons, founder of Hattiers Rum, the man with the premium blend…
Mr Toad: Philip, thanks so much for supporting Toad Hall Cottages’ Food & Drink Month. We’re all keen to know more about your exceptional sipping rum.
Philip: I’m delighted to be a part of it.
Mr Toad: Where does your passion for rum stem from?
Philip: As a keen sailor and racer, rum has been at the heart of many a celebration (and commiseration) on board, post-race. If all has gone well, the cork should not go back in the bottle! My love of rum has been turbo-charged over the past five years, as more and more exciting rums are becoming readily available here in the UK. We are at the start of a Rum Revolution, and Hattiers Premium Reserve sits with great company!
Mr Toad: Is it fair to say that rum is enjoying something of a renaissance?
Philip: Premium spirits and artisanal producers have been growing in number since the likes of Chase Distillery developed English Vodka in the early noughties, followed by the boom in regional gin distilleries over the past seven or eight years. Fundamentally, rum is a hard spirit to get right, and it of course benefits from ageing, just like other mature liquors such as whiskey or brandy. To date, rum has been an underrated spirit, and we aim to change that. Hattiers Premium Reserve is our first multi-award-winning blend, but I can reveal that we’re currently in the process of expanding our range; our first addition being an elegant spiced rum which has been running alongside other top-secret projects.
Mr Toad: Where does the name Hattiers originate from?
Philip: Quite simply, we started Hattiers with the view of building a legacy for our family who remain at the heart of every decision we make. So, when our eldest daughter arrived, it seemed a good fit to name our rum brand after her. Her little sister B.B. arrived soon after the brand had been decided upon, and she also features on the bottle.
Mr Toad: What has been your biggest challenge so far?
Philip: As with all leaps of faith, there have inevitably been challenges to overcome, and we have had our fair share. Having said that, I looked at my moleskin notebook, where my wife and I brainstormed the timeline of growth of the business two years ago, and pleasingly, we are precisely where we set out to be and running at the pace we planned. Our biggest challenge has been maintaining that momentum and fully capitalising on all the opportunities that we have come across.
Mr Toad: And your biggest success?
Philip: Our biggest success and continuing highlight is that we are in love with our rum and what we are doing, and that our outlets and customers have been so welcoming, supportive and kind. Our highlights include the huge number of events we have run in collaboration with some of the great businesses here in the South Hams; from borrowing a beautiful BRIG 8m RIB boat for the Dartmouth Regatta where we supplied thirsty sailors with a much-needed rum, to partnering with Luscombe Drinks to create the very best dark and stormy cocktail! If we had to pick out one standout moment, then it would have to be the date of our decision to build our own distillery here in the South Hams, Devon.
Mr Toad: Rum has maintained a stubbly romance with old salty sea dogs, is this colourful association a help or a hinderance?
Philip: We are not too fussy about rum’s pirate or naval connotations, in fact it simply adds to the rich history of rum. We have made an effort to steer our brand away from ‘salty sea dogs’ and attempted to carve our own path, one that is unfussy and all-embracing. I’m asked regularly, ‘how should we drink your rum?’ a question to which my answer is always, ‘however you like it!’ Rum is such a versatile spirit and can be enjoyed sipping over ice or as a delicious blend in an exquisite cocktail. It’s precisely up to you.
Mr Toad: So, you’ve struck a balance between refinement and panache, and the cheeriness of a good old hearty slug-o-rum?
Philip: When it comes to our customers we say each to their own. Ultimately, we just want people to meet up, have a great time, and share a glass in our outlets, pubs, restaurants and bars. We’re on a mission to re-educate trade and customers on the value of exceptional rum and to let them fall in love with the spirit again. Out first release blend has been developed by us, around our kitchen table, capturing all that is warm and jovial while bringing together a blend of the finest rums from across the Caribbean and Central America. We cannot wait to release more in our range as we grow and develop.
Mr Toad: You mentioned some top-secret projects and a spicy new venture. Without giving too much away, what’s in the offing for Hattiers Rum?
Philip: I can tell you that we are currently working very hard on the final stages of our premium spiced rum, and let me tell you, we’re aiming for nothing short of perfection! All being well, we hope to launch it early next year. Good things come to those who wait, and we are not rushing…the wait will be worth it, this is seriously good stuff!
Mr Toad: And we can’t wait to have a snifter! Before we sign-off, could you be so kind as to recommend a handful of your best holiday Hattiers Rum cocktails for our guests to try next time they’re down visiting the West Country?
Philip: Why of course, it would be my pleasure. Here are my top three Hattiers Rum cocktail recipes…
A Trio of Hattiers Rum Cocktails presented by Philip Everett-Lyons
‘Hattiers Devon Storm’
Luscombe Hot Ginger Beer
50ml of Hattiers Premium Reserve Rum
½ glass of ice
A really simple mixer made in similar fashion to a gin and tonic, however, you pour the rum gently in last, letting it float on top of the ginger beer.
‘Hattiers Classic Daiquiri’
Difficulty: ‘Moderate’ (‘Easy’ once you’ve made one)
50ml Hattiers Premium Reserve Rum
Juice of ½ a fresh lime
15ml of Gomme (sugar syrup)
Cut the zest from the lime prior to squeezing for juice. Shake all ingredients with ice and fine strain into a chilled glass (if possible). Finally, garnish with a twist of lime zest & lime wedge on the rim.
‘Corn ‘n’ Oil’
‘I cannot recommend more strongly a traditional ‘Corn and Oil’. Now, you can of course buy the Falernum element of this cocktail, but if you are feeling more adventurous, why not make your own? You won’t regret it!’
Difficulty: ‘Easy’ (‘Trickier’ if you are making your own Falernum)
60ml Hattiers Premium Reserve Rum
2 x Dash – Angostura Bitters
Stir all the ingredients together with ice and strain into a glass. Serve with a twist of lime zest & lime slice.
Wow, those three would be welcome additions to any cocktail list! A big thank you to Hattiers Rum’s Philip for sharing them. If that has put you in a holiday mood, why not take a look at Toad Hall Cottages’ superb holiday property listings and see why we’re the toast of the West Country.’ Mr Toad