Rum Sérum Elixir

Rum Sérum Elixir

The Elixir of Panama

Following on from the Rum Sérum Ancon 10-year-old article, which taught us a little bit about Panama, it’s history and some of it’s fantastic rums including the Rum Sérum, here we look at Panama a little further. Rum Sérum not only takes its inspiration from Panama, but in particular the Panama Canal. The history of this impressive feat of human engineering is woven throughout each of the Rum Sérum releases, inspiring names and flavour profile. Rum Elixir is no exception.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I find Elixir a magical word. To me it means a cure-all, a fixer. From my youth spent gaming and knowing elixirs cured all health and magic potions as opposed to normal potions, now at home I like to make Elixirs of orange juice and sparkling mineral water if I'm nursing a hangover, or elixirs of spirit, citrus, honey and hot water (essentially a hot toddy) when I’m nursing a cold. The word Elixir suggests so much. It’s a great name for a rum.

As in the previous article, I caught up with Rum Sérum Export Manager Stepan Stanek to find out a little more about the Panama Canal, Rum Sérum and their Rum Elixir. How did their research inspire the name and recipe for this rum?

“First, in the beginning we found mentions that the workers used to drink local rums similar like sailors did. But not pure. The recipe was easy: rum, cane sugar and local fruits and herbs. This drink was sweet and fruity and gave to the hard workers energy, courage and better feelings. It was also a cure. So that’s why we call it Serum Elixir.”

It’s strong branding if you ask me. A nip of fruity spiced rum as a pick me up. Lovely stuff, and a handy thing to have for those working day and night to build the canal. The Panama Canal is an artificial 51 mile waterway in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean, and it divides North and South America. The canal cuts across the isthmus of Panama and is a conduit for maritime trade. It is one of the largest and most difficult engineering projects ever undertaken. As you can imagine, it is incredibly important as it greatly reduces time for ships to travel between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, saving them the lengthy and often hazardous route around Cape Horn, which is on the southernmost tip of South America.

Sérum Elixir and the Sérum Ancon makes only two of the range, but there are four on the website and six in total. Stepan tells us a little more about the history and the other rums featured on the website, Gorgas and Puente Centenario.

“Sérum Elixir was the first from the Sérum range. We developed the taste in one year. Our goal was to make the rum very smooth with nice sweetness and fruitiness, but not over flavoured. We don’t want to have spiced rum, but more an easy to drink rum spirit which will be super pleasant on the palate.”

“We want to tell the whole story about the Panama Canal and also remind people of those who saved a lot of lives. That’s why we chose the name Gorgas. Sérum Gorgas is named after our hero, General William C. Gorgas. This US Army surgeon saved thousands of workmen ́s lives, as he eliminated the yellow fever and malaria around the construction site. He also loved the local rums of this kind.”

“Sérum Puente Centenario is a limited edition of ultra-premium Panama rum. Sérum Puente Centenario was especially distilled for the first time

in 2004 to celebrate ninety years of the opening of the Puente Centenario bridge over the Panama Canal and here is to bridging the gap. Vintage 2004 is sold out and now the vintage 2005 is on the market.”

Sérum Elixir is a super-premium rum based spirit. The blend of selected Serum rums aged up to 8 years is flavoured by long, slow maceration of fruit, herbs and spices. A honeyed and fruity aroma with hints of almonds and peaches. The palate is round and smooth with a rich flavour of fruits. I asked Stepan to tell us a little more about the brand. It’s great to hear that they are growing and looking to acknowledge even more people that deserve a little credit and acknowledgement.

“We started from Central Europe and have been gradually growing to the whole world with rebranding in 2020. Sérum is now available in more than twenty countries. We started with one variety to six types) and we are preparing a new type of Sérum inspired by an amazing woman who owns the bar in Panama City. Significant things on Sérum is the core ingredient - virgin sugar cane honey, stories behind and the design which was inspired by old Panamanian barrels.”

Thanks for taking the time to talk to us Stepan, it’s really nice to get a little insight into the brand, and a little more than what we can find on the website. It’s exciting to hear that things are going well and there is such great expansion on the horizon. Here’s to more history being immortalised in 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.