Justin Buchanan and Jake MacDowell dug deep into American history to create their recently released Red Harbor Rum. To design the label, fonts were taken from colonial currency, the ship copied from a painting that hangs in the Library of Congress, and the stamp on the front of the bottle incorporated a nod to the Stamp Act of 1765. Even the shape of the bottle is significant, a replica of a 1700’s mullet bottle that was recovered from the Charleston Harbor. Mullet bottles were used in that time to hold everything from spirits to medicines to olive oil.
“The ingredients are simple and true to tradition: molasses, yeast and water,” said Buchanan. “People are always blown away by the taste, expecting rum to be sweet or spiced but ours is oaky, like a good bourbon.”
The rum in the bottles is equally as historically on point. Justin and Jake carry on the traditions of early rum distillers by using pot distillation techniques and aging the rum in freshly charred American oak, common back in the early days of American distilling, as opposed to used bourbon barrels which are commonly used today. Because a majority of the rum’s flavor comes from the barrel, the freshly charred barrel is as important as what goes in the rum. “The ingredients are simple and true to tradition: molasses, yeast and water,” said Buchanan. “People are always blown away by the taste, expecting rum to be sweet or spiced but ours is oaky, like a good bourbon.”
Bartender Teresa Whims at Charleston Grill in Charleston, South Carolina created a cocktail she calls Voodoo Child. She pairs Red Harbor Rum with a rich mango puree and a spicy Thai Chili Honey for a delectable sweet and spicy combination. “We change the cocktail menu seasonally,” said Teresa. “I love how Red Harbor Rum pairs with mangoes.” Save the extra Thai Chili Honey to add to a Moscow Mule, Daiquiri or Margarita for a spicy kick. She also shared her classic Daiquiri recipe using Red Harbor Rum.