A rum from Grand Bahama has won the race to become the first Bahamian rum to ever be distributed in the UK.
With support from the British High Commission in The Bahamas, Bassett’s rum – produced by Bahamas Distilling Company in Freeport – has secured a contract to be distributed across the UK by Chelsea Vintners, a prestigious British wine & spirits distributor. The good news was secured at an event at 67 Pall Mall, an exclusive wine and spirit trade-only club in central London. The final negotiations were conducted and hosted by Steven Boon, the British High Commission’s Wine & Spirit’s Advisor, and James Mead Director, Chelsea Vintners.
Guests included representatives from the British Foreign Office, from the Bahamian High Commission in London, and from the Royal Navy – whose association with rum is well documented. Everybody was in total agreement about what a significate day this was for all the Bahamas rum producers and how proud everyone was to be involved.
Chelsea Vintners believe the Bahamian rum will succeed in the specialist high end bracket, and intends to promote Bassett’s to key hotels like the Ritz, Savoy and other high-end establishments. Discussions have already started about having a key buyer event at the Bahamas High Commission in London to promote it, too.
The British High Commission has been supporting several Bahamian rum producers to access the British market, part of their strategy to bring Britain and The Bahamas closer together. Thanks to British support, Bassett’s success will be a trailblazer for other exporters as part of the UK-Caribbean Economic Partnership Agreement (trade agreement) which allows no and low duty exports from The Bahamas to the UK.
The British High Commissioner, Thomas Hartley said, “This is fantastic news. We’ve been working so hard with Bahamian exporters and the Trade Commission to organise export seminars, trade meetings, promotion events, and professional mentoring, and now we have secured our first real world success. Well done to the Bassett’s team, and thank you to Steven Boon – our wine and spirit’s advisor – and to the Bahamian High Commission in London for securing this success. I cant wait to serve Bassett’s in its spiritual home, in Freeport!”
Co-Founder and Chairman of The Bahamas Distilling Co, Alan Bassett. Said “The whole team at The Bahamas Distilling Co is excited and proud to send out Bassett’s rum, as a representation of The Amazing Bahamas. We hope that in some small way we have captured the essence of what makes these islands, the people and the culture so very special!”
A spokesperson for the Bahamian High Commission in London, said, “Now we have a genuine Bahamian rum that we can celebrate in the UK, and the world can now enjoy a real Bahama Mama and Goombay Smash made with a Bahamian rum outside of The Bahamas. We’ve started discussions about having a Bassetts Rum party at The World Travel Market in London in November (the world’s most important travel show).”
Deputy Chairman of The Bahamas Trade Commission, Senator Barry Griffin, said “It’s an incredible accomplishment for Bassett’s to be the first Bahamian rum export to the UK! We know how good Bahamian rum is; now the world will get a taste! I hope that other rum, spirits and beverage manufacturers will soon follow Bassett’s lead.”