The spiced rum category has experienced a great boom in recent years, with consumers using it as a gateway into the wider rum world. This enjoyment is sure to increase and a brand that’s embraced the spiced rum philosophy is Hygge Rum.
Inspired by the Danish concept for cosiness and happy living, Hygge Rum aims to provide a memorable drinking experience in every bottle. The Rum Ration chatted to one of the founders, Ben, about creating the brand in lockdown and how Hygge differs from other spiced rum.
The Rum Ration: Thanks for taking the time to chat Ben and congratulations on launching Hygge rum. Can you tell me some more about your background and what inspired you to produce your own rum?
Hygge Rum: Hygge Spiced Rum was founded during the lockdown of 2020 and we found ourselves drinking a lot more and trying various other spiced rums that we hadn’t before. As rum lovers we had toyed with the idea of creating our very own spiced rum for years, and the time afforded to us through the lockdown allowed us to do it.
It took months of market research, experimenting and trial and error before we got our shortlist of rums. We enlisted the help of as many spiced rum lovers as we could find to taste test our final 3 batches along with some well-known branded rums and amazingly our first choice came top in every blind taste test!
It was then that we believed that we had created something special.
The Rum Ration: Hygge is a great brand name and conjures images of comfort and good times. What aspects of Danish culture did you want to bring into the creation of your rum and will you look to strengthen that connection as the brand continues to develop?
Hygge Rum: During the lockdown we started to appreciate the simple yet magic moments that we were having as a family, usually in the garden with our children, and often with a rum and ginger in hand!
As soon as we had decided to actually create our own spiced rum, from the start, we knew what we would call our rum Hygge Rum.
Hygge has been a huge part of our lives since we first started visiting Denmark as a family many years ago. Once you start to understand the meaning of hygge, you then start to notice and appreciate these hygge moments that you may not have before. We wanted our rum to be the accompanying drink for these special hygge moments.
As our brand continues to develop, we want to create a community of Hygge Rum drinkers who interact with us socially online and share with us photos of their own hygge moments. The beauty of hygge is that it’s an individual feeling and being able to see and share other people’s moments is exciting.
The Rum Ration: Lockdown has been challenging to say the least but it seems like the extra time at home has provided you with the opportunity to develop Hygge from the ground up. What has the process been like developing your rum in lockdown?
Hygge Rum: Although the process has had its own challenges due to lockdown, one of the benefits is that we did have more readily available time to come up with our product development and experiment with ideas and flavours.
The Rum Ration: Tell me about Hygge spiced rum, how it’s produced and what makes it stand out from other spiced rums.
Hygge Rum: During our product development stage, we knew from the off that we wanted Hygge Rum to have its own taste rather than a generic spiced rum. We came up with a few ideas and narrowed it down to three recipes. One of the recipes in our mind was a clear winner but we needed to be sure.
We sent our three samples, along with two samples of leading spiced rums out for market research. We told the volunteers that all 5x samples were recipes of Hygge Rum.
When the results came back they were fantastic. In every result, our favourite Hygge sample was in 1st place. It was clear which recipe we would follow and it felt great to have beaten 2x of the market leaders too.
The Rum Ration: The label on the bottle is visually striking. What is the story behind it?
Hygge Rum: From the outset we wanted Hygge Rum to step away from the traditional sailor, pirates and nautical themes. As a lot of hygge moments are created during social gatherings we wanted to have a high-quality label that can be a focal point on the table. Something that catches your eye and highlights the quality of our spiced rum.
We’re hoping that the bottle invites you to touch and feel the individual textures and layers.
The Rum Ration: What’s your opinion of the rum industry in the UK and do you feel like rum as category is growing in popularity?
Hygge Rum: The rum industry is very exciting at the minute and we expect it to follow the on-trend patterns as the gin boom has. We think that generally people’s perception of rum is changing as people are tasting different flavours.
The Rum Ration: What would be one thing you’d change about the rum industry if you could?
Hygge Rum: One thing I would change is the tax duty on spirits, it’s so expensive!
On a serious note I think the rum industry is changing as people start to adventure with different brands, flavours, mixers and cocktails. Its already starting to change naturally. It’s not just dark rum and golden aged rums anymore.
We’re seeing modern methods and the introduction of flavours during the steeping process. Some of the people who have tried our rum have said they don’t normally like rum, but they love Hygge Rum.
The Rum Ration: Where do you see Hygge rum being in five years?
Hygge Rum: On the day we started the whole process, we wrote our 5-year plan in an envelope. Sealed it, dated it and locked it in a draw. I guess you’ll have to follow us on our journey and see if we did achieve it.