Manatii Rum

Manatii Rum

Craft Rum Box | Manatii Rum

The Story

Manatii was founded by siblings Tom and Emma Mercer in the wake of Hurricane Dorian in 2019, which decimated the northernmost islands in The Bahamas. It was the strongest hurricane on record in the area, with winds of 185mph and with COVID hitting just six months later, there is still much to do to recover the homes and livelihoods of those who live there. Tom and Emma decided to create a rum to raise money for the islands. Whilst doing their research they realised how dominated by barrels and pirates the current rum market is, so they wanted to bring a fresh, vibrant and fun rum to the market, with Caribbean heritage, that celebrates all that the Caribbean has to offer.

Manatii is proud to say that a percentage of every bottle sold will be going to charities who are helping Caribbean communities affected by natural disasters. For the rum’s first batch, Hope Town, they have partnered with Idea Relief and £2 from every bottle sold will be donated to the charity. Future batches will partner with other charities who are helping other regions in the Caribbean that have been affected. In the future, Manatii hopes to increase the percentage of proceeds going to charity.

When looking at the actual design of the bottle, Tom and Emma knew that they wanted to steer far away from the pirates, dark sea creatures, ships, etc and instead celebrate all the colour and fun that the Caribbean has to offer. They had a lot of personal photos they wanted to incorporate but just weren’t sure how. Emma came across artist Kit Lintin and was immediately impressed by her work.

Kit put together a number of different designs and by September 2021, the work on the canvas had begun. By October 2021, the label was complete

The Distiller

Tom met Sylvester Hermann, of IslandSlice Distillery, whilst he was in Glasgow and found him distilling rum in his back garden. (He has since bought a distillery in Dumbarton, Scotland!). Sylvester is originally from St Lucia but now lives with his wife and children in Dumbarton.

He uses his 200 year old family recipe to create Manatii’s rum, the same process his father taught him (whose father taught him and whose father taught him!) in the garden in St Lucia when he was a child.

The process was created by his ancestors who were slave workers on plantations. This was the rum they would make to fuel their labours. Different from many mainstream brands, Manatii is made using recipes and processes originally developed by slaves for their own personal consumption.
For the rum’s first batch, Hope Town, they have partnered with Idea Relief and £2 from every bottle sold will be donated to charities who are helping Caribbean communities affected by natural disasters

The Rum

Manatii Rum is a single dark rum made entirely from scratch by Sylvester, the only ingredient from the recipe that is imported is the sugarcane molasses. The finest sugarcane molasses are fermented and distilled in bespoke copper pot stills that are unique to the distillery.

The rum is force aged in oak barrels in conditions that are best for ageing (darkness, warmth etc). A small amount of homemade caramel is added solely to enhance the colour, but not to impart the flavour.

Another key mission of Manatii’s is to be as environmentally friendly as possible. By making the rum in the UK they are reducing the carbon footprint but keeping the authenticity of the rum through Sylvester’s heritage and recipe. The bottle is recyclable (except for the cork which is synthetic but they are looking into what changes they can make to this) and Manatii have plans to educate their customers and followers on the best ways to reuse their bottles (think candles, soap dispensers, flower vases, etc)

Saturday Serves: Every Saturday on their Instagram, the Manatii team put up a new reel demonstrating a new cocktail that you can make with Manatii. This includes ingredients, method and serving suggestions.

All bottles are hand bottled and individually numbered. Each bottle includes a recipe booklet attached to the neck which illustrates the best ways to enjoy Manatii Rum.

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Bernadette Pamplin

Bernadette loves rum. She set up a gin focused blog Under The Ginfluence eight years ago. Since then, her passion has naturally spread from gin, to rum and other spirits too. You can find work from her on Gin Magazine, Distiller Magazine, and Spirits Beacon, as well as content for  The Gin Guide.

She’s also the editor of Rum’s the Word, writing articles on rums featured in the box, as well as other rum related topics. Bernadette has built up six years experience in judging for events like Gin of the Year, World Gin Awards, Spirits Business Awards, Gin Guide Awards, IWSC and the American Distilling Institute Judging of Craft Spirits and works behind the scenes, assisting with organising and participating in panels for the Craft Distilling Expo.