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RJ Rums brings mango-flavoured Orchid liqueur to market

Published:Sunday | March 26, 2023 | 12:12 AM
RJ Rums staff bottle the company’s Orchid liqueur, at its base at Pechon Street, Kingston.
RJ Rums staff bottle the company’s Orchid liqueur, at its base at Pechon Street, Kingston.

Boutique alcoholic beverage manufacturer RJ Rums and Spirits is coming to market in days with a mango liqueur that it will sell under the brand name Orchid. The line will also include other fruit flavours over time. The company is already in the...

Boutique alcoholic beverage manufacturer RJ Rums and Spirits is coming to market in days with a mango liqueur that it will sell under the brand name Orchid. The line will also include other fruit flavours over time.

The company is already in the market with a range of rums and liqueurs.

Co-founder of RJ Rums Rick Anand says the premium product will initially be available in select Jamaican supermarkets and in-bond stores under a soft roll-out.

The full launch will take place at the revived JMEA trade show at the end of April. At that time, the company will be moving into exports.

“We will be doing mango and a number of other fruits that we’re working on. We’re elevating sorrel to where it has never been before, and we’ll do other flavours, setting this at the premium level,” Anand said.

So far, the company has engaged three Jamaican mango farmers to supply the rum maker’s liqueur operation. Anand said he has found that the range, grade quality and sweetness of Jamaica’s mangoes is second to none, surpassing even India, the world’s major producer.

RJ Rums monitors mango crops to keep on top of the varieties available, and the seasons and times when they are ready for processing. It also works in conjunction with the research lab at the Scientific Research Council, SRC, where the mangoes are graded, the flesh removed and then pasteurised and processed into purée. It is then vacuum-packed and frozen for use at a later time.

“We have to use the SRC facility since it’s ISO-certified. We want to have a clear path to the international market when we present it to the world,” Anand told the Financial Gleaner.

He says once the product hits the market, the company will be needing more mangoes and other inputs for liqueurs that they are presently developing. For the time being, Anand says he is reaching out to RADA, the Rural Agricultural Development Authority, to ensure consistent supply when he ramps up production.

“The problem that we’re facing is that the processing facility can only do so much at one time. The moment that we start selling the product, then the more we’ll produce and the more we can harvest,” Anand said.

Mangoes are mainly available during summer months. Additionally, the fruit is in heavy demand by food service providers and the food trade generally.

RJ Rum’s liqueur is made by blending the mango purée with alcohol supplied by National Rums of Jamaica. The resulting brew has 16 per cent alcohol, which is along the same lines as a typical liqueur.

A liqueur is an alcoholic drink composed of spirits and additional flavourings such as sugar, fruits, herbs, and spices. Often served with or after dessert, they are typically heavily sweetened and un-aged beyond a resting period during production, when necessary, for their flavours to mingle.

RJ Rums and Spirits is owned by founders Rick Anand and Peter Wong. They have consistently declined to say how much was involved in the acquisition and renovation of their 22,000-square-foot complex at 7 Pechon Street in Kingston, a property that formerly housed Razz Breweries Jamaica under owner Roy DeCambre, and before that Big City Brewing, which produced the short-lived Real Rock beer.

RJ Rums already distributes dark, gold, white and spiced rums under the Royal Jamaican brand; dark, overproof, spiced and gold rums under the Jamaican Lion label; and a line of liqueurs under the name West Indies, which includes a cream liqueur, a Blue Mountain coffee liqueur and a rum punch that are mainly sold in local gift shops and duty-free stores, and shipped to the company’s 13 markets overseas.

neville.graham@gleanerjm.com