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SVMINTERVIEW

RIGHLAND RUM Georgia's own Richland Distilling Company will bring the taste of high-end handcrafted Richland Rum to this year's Toast of the Town A lifelong afJinity fOr rwn and a plot of land ripe fOr sugar cane production turned Richland Distilling Company owner Erik ibnks dream into a reality. In a market dominated by mass-produced spirits, Richland Rwn brings back a unique artisan approach to crafting premium rwn, with a total dedication to quality not quantity. Riohland Rwn is handcrafted locally in historic dom:ztom:z Richland, Georgia, with all natural ingredients; it is fermented, distilled and aged fOrminimaJIy one year in oak barrels and bottled by the Richland Distilling Company Tell us a little about the history of Richland Rum and why you chose Richland, Georgia as your headquarters? I've had a fascination with rum as long as I can remember. When there was an opportunity in the early 1990s to buy farm land near Richland, we did it because it was within reach, commutable and the land was in an area that used to produce sugar cane. That was our 'eureka' moment. We said 'ah ha' now there's an opportunity to own land, grow sugar cane and make rum. We also acquired an old, turn of the century building in downtown Richland that had been boarded up for 26 years, to house the distillery. Since then we have become part of the downtown revival in Richland. Since the first inclination of the future Richland Distilling Company came to mind, what entrepreneurial obstacles have you faced? Some of the laws and regulations in place around alcohol are antiquated, dating back to the prohibition years, meaning the laws are overdue for revision. From day one of the process to being granted the permits has taken 3 years. No entrepreneur should be put through that. On the positive side, once we had the permits and started to distil, we have seen very positive response in the market. How do you differentiate yourself from the competition? By taking a complete artisan approach. We're really bringing back a handcrafted product as it was made hundreds of years ago. Most rums, and spirits in general, are produced on a very large scale using industrial techniques. We produce on a small scale and do it all by hand, which is a big differentiating factor. You only use two ingredients in your rum - sugar cane juice or premium sugar cane syrup and water. Why is the absence of molasses an important factor? Almost all rum is made from molasses, which is a by-product of sugar cane. We never use molasses, we only use fresh pure sugar cane juice, or the next best version of it; condensed sugar cane juice with the water taken out, known as syrup. When sugar cane juice or syrup is fermented, you get a very different taste profile and there is a noticeable difference in aromas and fullness of taste in comparison to fermented molasses. Do you have a favorite rum cocktail you'd like to share? Richland Rum is a high-end, high quality rum that should be enjoyed as a sipping rum, either from a snifter or on the rocks. Having said that, we have a favorite cocktail that was created by a professional mixologist in Atlanta that is called the Richland Rum Gingerbread Cocktail. The recipe is available at richlandrumcom

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SVM Southern View Magazine  

Richland Rum - Georgia's own Rum Distillery

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