A proper British rum


There’s a new distillery on the scene in Sussex and it’s looking to shake up Britain’s rum industry. Goldstone Rum in Henfield is a family-run company that makes rum the proper way and it is one of a handful of distilleries in the UK to do so. Their rum is made from scratch by fermenting a blend of fresh sugar cane juice, jaggery, panela and molasses. 

Co-founders John and Gina Bowell believe in doing things correctly by refining their craft to bring a quality, English-made rum to the market. They have spent months researching and developing recipes to achieve the perfect taste, and are advocates of sourcing materials and ingredients through local companies for their Goldstone distillery.

The Brighton-based husband-and-wife duo worked in the hospitality industry for many years before more recently finding themselves in the corporate world. John is a classically trained chef who has spent over a decade developing and perfecting recipes and Georgina grew up in a pub run by her family. The alcoholic drinks business is part of Georgina’s DNA as she has become the 4th generation licensee in her family.

Co-founder John says: “Coming from a catering background, I have always loved and supported small, local, artisan producers who take their passion for all things quality and showcase that through their products. That’s exactly the ethos that’s missing from the big corporate world and our lives. Lockdown really emphasised this to us and we thought, ‘let’s take the jump and put our passion into rum!’ It’s been an eye-opening experience to get to this point and we’re now really excited to take our product to the market and give the industry a premium spirit that is solely made in the UK.”

Creating unique flavours is at the heart of John and Gina’s ambition; along with producing white, amber, and spiced rum, they have experimented with some new varieties including Kola Nut, their sipping rum with the notes of cola, vanilla and citrus, and a Lime and Ginger rum, which is perfect in a Dark & Stormy cocktail. With their huge, copper 500-litre distillery still, they are working with businesses to produce white label spirits and bespoke orders too, allowing local prestigious restaurants to have their own premium brand rum.

Georgina says: “We all love a cocktail and we felt there is a market opportunity to diversify the standard spiced rum. By utilising our experiences in the catering and hospitality worlds, we knew we could experiment with flavours to create a premium sipping rum to disrupt the flavoured rum market, with the ethos firmly being on moving away from novelty flavours and colours to using simple natural ingredients.” 

Upstairs in their Henfield distillery is The Spirit Lab – a unique rum-making experience guided by their master distiller. For £75 per person, or £150 per couple, guests learn the art of distillation by taking charge of their very own mini copper pot still. Over the course of an evening, guests are taught how to blend their own unique recipe using a mix of botanicals, herbs and spices to create a one-of-a-kind gin or rum. It is then bottled and given a customised label, ready for guests to take home.

John and Gina want to make their Goldstone distillery open to all so they are also offering a more affordable option of a tour with a rum tasting for just £10 per person. 

To find out more about Goldstone rum or to contact us, please visit www.goldstonerum.com

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