top of page

Why Rum should be Australia’s national drink + 3 iconic Aussie craft rums to try

From the convict colonies and cane-cutters to the current craft spirit empire, rum has played a big part in Australia’s cups. So here’s to World Rum Day with 3 of the best Australian craft rums.

Australia’s love of rum is profound. It should really be our national drink. All the sugar cane we have, our climate, our naval history… it all points to rum, doesn’t it?

And with so many incredible craft rums emerging from all over the country—from the far reaches of northern WA down to the southeast coast—it should be our choice of drink.

And apart from a few missteps—Rum Rebellions, prohibitive laws and a certain distillery that rhymes with Thunderbird spoiling things—there aren’t many reasons why we shouldn’t all be revelling in rum.

In fact, rum used to be the most popular drink in the world at one time. At its peak in the late 1700s—England alone was consuming over 7.6 million litres of it a year.

3 Aussie craft rums to check out this World Rum Day

Movements like World Rum Day, which runs every year on the second Saturday of July, promise to bring back those halcyon days by celebrating all things rum.

So here are three of the best for you to get your teeth into this July.

Based in the Tweed on the northeastern New South Wales border, this family-run paddock-to-bottle distillery started in 2012.

Though you might know Husk better for its iconic Ink Gin, owner-distiller Paul Messenger has always been focused on making agricole style rum.

Husk’s Bam Bam Spiced Rum is made from 100% sugar cane juice grown on the Messengers’ farm and infused with the signature spice blend of roasted wattle seed, native ginger, sun-dried orange peel, vanilla, cinnamon, golden berries and a pinch of sea salt.

The rum is then matured for at least two years in ex-wine barrels from Penfold’s.

The only distillery on the Atherton Tablelands, Mount Uncle Distillery has been making incredible Aussie craft spirits since 2001.

Far North Queensland is the home of Australia’s sugar cane fields, so Mount Uncle’s agricole rum really is the flavour of what Aussie rum should be. And local boy Mark Watkins has really nailed it.

Mark ferments then distills locally sourced sugar cane syrup and ages the spirit in ex-red wine barrels for at least five years to really develop the flavour of this spectacular rum.

Iridium shows aromas and flavours of fudge, cinnamon, honey and herbs with a rich fulfilling oily texture, perfect for sipping or blending in your favourite rum cocktails.

You might also know Mount Uncle Distillery for its ground-breaking gins. The striking Botanic Australis was one of the first to create gin using almost entirely Australian botanicals.

But Mount Uncle Distillery is also now producing its range of Australian tequila style spirits. Watch this space for our review of Mt Uncle's Dirt Road White and Dark Agave spirits.

An icon of the Australian craft spirit world, the farmer, founder, owner and distiller Raymond ‘Spike’ Dessert III moved from the States to the incredible remote landscape of the Kimberley in far northwestern WA all the way back in 1972.

Just outside Kununurra, on Spike’s family farm, he built his entire distillery by hand in 1995. From scratch and scraps. His is the longest continuously running (legal) distillery in Western Australia, and that amount of experience shows in the quality of his rum.

Just like the Hoochery’s Premium Rum, the Ord River OP is pot-distilled, oak-matured, hand-blended with monsoonal wet season rainwater and then bottled and wax-dipped by hand too. It’s just a bit stronger!

The rum’s high ABV of 56.4% elevates the fruit and texture of this exquisite spirit while somehow remaining as smooth as glass.

Sadly, Spike is no longer with us, but his techniques, knowledge and love of Australian rum live on through his daughter Kalyn, who now runs the distillery.

Spike was inducted posthumously into the inaugural Australian Distillers Association's Hall of Fame in 2022.

Click here to find out how you can get more involved with World Rum Day this year.


bottom of page