Bacardí has begun rolling out the super-premium Banks rum collection in the UK, tapping into the trend for punches.
It is taking Banks 5 Island Blend and Banks 7 Golden Age Blend to top-end on-trade accounts with support including a premium toolkit with a punch bowl, cups and ladles.
The European roll-out is also supported by a small book on punch, A Voyage to Discovery, which has been created by leading US bartender Jim Meehan, who is co-creator of Banks rums, and cocktail historian David Wondrich.
As well as a history of punch, the book features punch recipes from respected bartenders around the world, including Davide Segat of the Punch Room at the London Edition hotel and Carina Tsou of Paris bars Candelaria, Le Mary Celeste, Hero and Glass. See below for three recipes from the book.
Banks rums are initially being made available to top-tier accounts in leading European cities including London, Hamburg and Paris and will be rolled out throughout the year in Scandinavia, Benelux and southern Europe.
Originally launched in 2008, Banks has established a strong fan base among bartenders. Acquired by Bacardí in 2015, Bacardí Brown-Forman Brands took over distribution in the UK in January this year.
The brand was inspired by the travels of the British naturalist Joseph Banks in the late 18th century. As well as the permanent 5 Island and 7 Golden Age expressions, there will be limited editions, all blended from rums sourced from artisanal producers in the Caribbean.
Jacob Briars, global advocacy vice president at Bacardí, said: “With the current resurgence in the popularity of punch and the interest in the super-premium rum category within the trade, the introduction of Banks Rums to the Bacardí portfolio couldn’t have come at a better time.
“With Banks, the super-premium rum category has a brand that truly showcases just how flavoursome and versatile rum can be, as the recipes in this new book demonstrate.
“We’re honoured that David Wondrich collaborated with Jim to create ‘A Voyage to Discovery’ and we’re really grateful to everyone who contributed to the book. We hope it inspires bartenders across Europe to experiment with their own Banks rum punch recipes.”
The roll-out was launched to the trade last week by Jim and the Bacardí team at the Punch Room. Jim (pictured below) said: “It is so great to see the punch trend being picked up now around the world, especially in Europe, and Banks rum is perfectly suited to drive that trend.
“It was great to get behind the bar at the Punch Room at London Edition with Davide Segat and share some of the great punches from our new punch book with the London crowd. I hope this evening will go on to inspire some really great serves in the top bars in London around the UK.”
Banks 5 Island Blend combines 21 rums from six distilleries in Trinidad, Jamaica, Guyana, Barbados and Java, creating a pure, dry, flavourful white rum with complexity, character and depth. The rum is charcoal filtered to remove the pale colour but retain its aroma and flavours. Blended in the style of classic rums from the 1920s, it is ideal for classic recipes such as a Daiquiri as well as more modern creations.
Banks 7 Golden Age Blend combines 23 rums from eight distilleries in seven places: Trinidad, Jamaica, Guyana, Barbados, Guatemala, Panama and Java. It is complex and full-flavoured but not too sweet with a drier flavour profile than most golden rums. All Banks rums gain their character from the final blends being aged in used bourbon barrels.
Punch recipes from A Voyage to Discovery
Enotria Punch by Davide Segat
1 litre Sancerre
500ml Banks 7 Golden Age Rum
500ml Lavender and thyme cordial
250ml Lemon juice
250ml Chilled water
Combine all ingredients and chill before service. Serve in punch cups filled with ice. Garnish with grated nutmeg, redcurrants, and a spritz of peaty scotch.
Baume au Coeur by Carina Tsou
750ml Banks 5 Island Rum
750ml Spiced wine
500ml Chilled water
250ml Orange juice
75ml Green Chartreuse
75ml Tempus Fugit Crème de Cacao
15ml Pernod absinthe
Combine all ingredients and chill before service. Serve in punch cups filled with ice. Garnish with a cherry attached to a dried chilli.
Swedish Punch by Jim Meehan
1 litre Banks 7 Golden Age Rum
750ml English breakfast tea
300ml Lemon juice
250g Demerara sugar
1tsp Regan’s Orange Bitters
Brew the tea and stir in the sugar until it dissolves. Add four cups of ice to chill and dilute the mixture, then add bitters, lemon juice and rum. Chill before service. Serve in punch cups filled with ice. Garnish with grated nutmeg.