World Rum Day is this Saturday, 13 July, and that seems as good a time as any to put our spotlight on a product you, the dear customer, have been enjoying greatly: Mermaid Spiced Rum.

A bottle of Mermaid Spiced Rum in the ocean

Mermaid Spiced Rum

The legitimising of spiced rum

It’s a product that reflects the modern spiced rum trend, characterized by a focus on “premiumization” and a “growing appreciation for quality and craftsmanship”. Very industry, press release talk that we see a lot, but to sum up, people are happier to pay more for a better standard of spiced rum and brands have responded in kind by creating them. 

That could mean that the base rums are better, made in small batches and/or aged for longer, as well as natural spices and flavourings like genuine vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove instead of artificial additives.

Spiced rum is a funny category because, technically, the flavourings mean it’s not rum, and additives never sit well with connoisseurs. Yet it’s also the drink that introduces most people to rum and it sells. And sells. Some people might say all this premiumization means little as there’s not much of a bar to raise, while others embrace their favourite style of drink getting better. I’m basically down with any drink that tastes good and doesn’t rip people off, personally. Plus, spiced rum and coke was an early favourite of mine in my scandalous days and I’m still partial to the odd glass on a hot summer’s day so I like to make sure I’ve got a decent bottle handy in my drinks cabinet for when I’ve got a craving or for guests.   

The creation of Mermaid Spiced Rum

Mermaid Spiced Rum is actually the one I currently have open. It was launched as part of the core range from the distillery’s spirits portfolio in 2023, which already boasted an array of popular white spirits in the form of Mermaid Gin, Mermaid Pink Gin, Mermaid Zest Gin, and Mermaid Salt Vodka. The Isle of Wight Distillery had dabbled in rum before with its HMS Victory series, but when going down the spiced route it stuck to its classic, striking branding. 

Part of premiumization means you can’t just make a good drink anymore, it needs to have a story and Mermaid Spiced Rum comes complete with a tale of history, rum, and shipwrecks. We’re going back to 1836, when a wooden sailing ship, The Clarendon (no relation to the distillery) voyaging from St Kitts with a cargo of rum, sugar, molasses, coconuts and turtles was driven ashore to the wild South-West of the Wight in a fierce storm. The ship and nearly all of those who sailed in her perished, despite local fishermen’s attempts to save the souls of the shipwrecked. Not the happiest tale this, is it? 

Among the limited survivors was a young woman washed ashore at her father’s garden in Southsea (convenient). With that, came the stories in local folklore of mermaids returning home to rest. The disaster was so great that it led to the creation of the now famed lighthouse St Catherine’s Point. The ever-industrious islanders were able to retrieve most of the rum, at least, which was either sold or imbibed, while the ship’s timber was repurposed for an inn, renamed in its honour. So, a happy ending… ish.

A bottle of Mermaid Spiced Rum in the sea

Mermaid Spiced Rum is one of the most popular rums on the market

How Mermaid Spiced Rum tastes

Given the story was about Caribbean rum, it would be odd if Mermaid Spiced Rum was made from anything else. But it is a base of Caribbean rums. Specifically, it’s a blend of rums from Trinidad and the Dominican Republic (no distilleries named) aged between 2-5 years in American oak bourbon whiskey barrels. 

The blend is then infused at the Isle of Wight Distillery with its signature botanical rock samphire, fresh white cherries, apricots, honey from its beehives and black salt from the Island’s coastal flood tides. That’s quite a lovely and original array of flavourings. But it’s not done yet. The rum is also spiced with local holy grass, cassia and vanilla. Just like Mama used to make. 

The bottle, in typical Mermaid fashion, is pretty beautiful. Its black and clear design mirrors the design of the gin and vodka bottles (which are based on a mermaid’s tail) and allows the golden rum to shimmer through.

It also ticks lots of sustainability boxes, another big premiumization must-have, as it’s plastic-free, crafted from recyclable glass and features a responsibly sourced natural cork stopper. The tamper-proof seal was even made from corn and potato starch, which composts in food waste recycling within 6-12 weeks. The label on the neck of the bottle is crafted from recyclable, biodegradable paper whilst the bottle is also re-usable and recyclable. Many people repurpose it for candles or lights because of how pretty it is. 

So there you have it. That’s the lowdown on Mermaid Spiced Rum. Click the link on the product’s name if you want to see what all the fuss is about and there’s a tasting note as well as two cocktail recipes below. Cheers!

Mermaid Spiced Rum Tasting Notes

Nose: On the nose, there’s vanilla and cinnamon, with nutmeg, honey, and citrus zest in support.

Taste: The sweetness of caramel and toffee is balanced with dried fruit, such as raisins and figs, as well as ginger.

Finish: Long, warm and complex with vibrant cherry and sea salt. Caramel and allspice linger.

Mermaid Mojito 

50ml Mermaid Spiced Rum

25ml sugar syrup

100ml soda water

15ml lime juice

8 mint leaves

Muddle mint leaves, lime juice and sugar syrup, and fine strain into a highball half-filled with crushed ice. Add rum and soda, then stir. Garnish with a sprig of mint

A Mermaid Spiced Rum Mojito

The Mermaid Spiced Rum Mojito

Mermaid Bananarumba

35ml Mermaid Spiced Rum

20ml banana liqueur

15ml chocolate liqueur

75ml oat milk.


Caramelised banana

Roll ingredients in an ice-filled shaker until frosted. Give your coupe glass a melted chocolate rim (the brand recommends vegan chocolate) then fine-strain the mix into the glass. Garnish with a slice of caramelised banana.