Mythology is fertile ground for reinterpreting stories and sharing them in a new context and as a folklore and mythology geek, I’m forever on the look out for drink brands that tap into an old legend or mythological creature.
On my adventures so far, I’ve encountered rum from Norfolk that channels the spirit of Black Shuck, a rum from Manchester infused with the story of a Caribbean seductress and much more.
The next port of call on my drunken odyssey is investigating the story of a brand that evokes Greek mythology, Sairen Rum.
A Siren’s Call
The rum is based on the story of Greek sirens, creatures with a reputation for enchanting sailors with their voice and then dragging them to a watery grave. While the most popular image of sirens is that of a mermaid, they’ve gone through many changes as their stories have been passed down through the centuries.
The earliest representation of sirens was that of a creature that resembled a cross between a woman and a bird. In early Greek art, they were depicted as birds with the heads of women and could alternatively have wings or be flightless. They also played a variety of musical instruments, such as the harp or lyre, suggesting it wasn’t their voice that entranced victims.
There’s even been debate about whether sirens are of Greek origin. Dutch linguist Robert S.P Beekes suggested a pre-Greek origin and historians and philosophers have certainly shifted the perspective of what sirens are.
According to Plato, there were three kinds of sirens, which he identified as the celestial, the generative and the cathartic. The celestial were under the command of Zeus, the second were ruled by Poseidon and the third by Hades.
Plato suggested the celestials were ‘good’ sirens, who sought to seek divine life on Olympus, while the cathartic were damned to Hades. The generative were earthly creatures who were the purest representation of the sea.
By the Middle Ages, the siren was transformed into the enduring mermaid image we see today.
Diving deep into sultry rum
Sairen’s Rum has chosen to alter the siren story by luring people to “enlightenment” rather than death by drowning. (Well, it’s possible to drown in rum). With a line up of three main bottles, the brand is definitely embodying Plato’s three siren theory and each of the bottles are beautifully designed.
All the labels evoke a strong sense of femininity, with a mischievous looking woman on the front of each. The colorful background swirls and shifts, like a restless ocean. Even the Sairen logo has a watery theme, depicting a mermaid’s tail.
For a deeper dive into each bottle, the Sairen Rum lineup consists of three sisters: Spices, Exotic and Dark Stone. Spices is a spiced rum that used Madagascar vanilla and tonka beans to achieve a sweet, salty texture. Exotic is much fruitier, with pineapple, mango, jackfruit and dragon fruit notes, while Dark Stone is a heady mixture of cherry, plum and blossom.
From the labelling to the brand story, there’s a lot to be intrigued about by Sairen Rum and it sits comfortably with the rest of the spiced rum pantheon that’s growing in the UK.