Suncamino is the world’s first floral rum – an eight-year-old blend dreamt up by two Capetonian friends, developed with the help of a distiller in Barbados. We caught up with the founders to find out how it came about, what makes Suncamino truly unique, and all about some of the wild adventures that inspired it.
Suncamino is the story of two Capetonian friends with a love for adventure, the outdoors and the ocean. Tell us more about that.
We grew up camping, surfing, and going on outdoor adventures. When we were older, we started going on trips together and always cherished the late night conversations around the fire, completely disconnected from the outside world, sipping on a drink and having a laugh. Once the rum bug bit, we knew we wanted to create something that bottled that feeling. One of friendship, adventure, and authenticity.
Give us a little insight into how you found your star distiller in Barbados and what they brought to the table. Tell us what makes your eight-year-old blend special.
Finding the right distiller and type of rum we wanted to put into the market was quite a process. We knew we wanted to develop a world-class rum that could change people’s perception of the category.
I think in South Africa, rum is synonymous with mass-produced, artificially-flavoured spirits, and it has developed a bit of a bad reputation. The truth is, quality aged rum can be sipped neat. It is as unique and complex as the best whisky’s in the world.
We landed on a distillery in Barbados. Barbados has been making rum for centuries and, apart from their rum mastery, the quality of their sugarcane and water is unparalleled.
Our rum is aged in charred, ex-bourbon oak barrels for up to eight years – a method that adds the most amazing vanilla and caramel notes. The extended ageing also removes that overly-strong alcohol smell and taste, which really allows you to focus on the depth of flavour. It then sets sail for South Africa where the blend is finished with our natural floral extracts, matured to perfection, and bottled by hand.
Tell us about the botanicals your botanist chose to complement the blend. Why those botanicals? Where do you get them from?
The botanicals were probably the single most difficult thing to get right for Suncamino. We wanted to use botanicals from the Western Cape, but ones that would complement the incredible aged rum too.
The blend had to add an element of taste and complexity without overpowering the beautiful base liquid. We went really wide and experimented with everything from wilde dagga to buchu. We eventually landed upon the perfect balance of honeybush, hibiscus, and orange blossom. Each one of them brings a unique layer to the final product and we couldn’t be happier with the results.
Top three places you've ever enjoyed Suncamino?
- The first time we blended and bottled Suncamino. I think this was a truly special occasion. We had so many moving parts to make the first production come together and we bottled it all in a small warehouse in Cape Town. We had a small cooler box with ice and a few glasses, and it was so rewarding to finally sip our own product. We couldn’t wait to share it with everyone.
- The second most memorable time(s) must be a montage of festivals over the years. From Endless Daze to Wolfkop, it has always been the best of times seeing everyone having a blast, sipping on Suncamino cocktails, and spending some time with friends. We always say: Bring good company, a bottle of Suncamino, and pick a spot on the map. The rest will take care of itself.
- Most recently, we ventured far up the West Coast with one Land Rover, a few friends and enough Suncamino to drown a small horse. We found a spot on the beach and set up camp. After a full day of surfing and diving, we started the fire, poured ourselves a Suncamino, and cooked freshly foraged seafood while watching the most intense, coral sunset. It kind of reminded me of where this all started.
Top three ways to enjoy Suncamino?
- We have recently discovered rum and tonic. But not just any rum. Because Suncamino is infused with floral botanicals, it does something similar to what botanical gins do when mixed with tonic. It is super refreshing and at the same time the aged rum adds a wonderful, caramel-y, depth. Enjoy it with a squeeze of lime and a sprig of mint.
- Staying with the three ingredient cocktails, we also love a Light & Sunny™️. It is the perfect long drink for those balmy late summer days. It is a double shot Suncamino, topped with half ginger ale, half soda, and a squeeze of fresh lime.
- Lastly, Suncamino makes a killer Old Fashion’ed. It takes a bit more effort, but we promise you it is worth it. You can find the recipe here.
If you haven't tried the Deeliver take on a Suncamino high-ball yet, you absolutely have to try the Suncamino Floral Rum Smash.