We’re asked a lot why we would decide to produce a RUM in America? “Aren’t they all made in the Caribbean?” is what they tend to say. And they’re not technically wrong. However, after reading up in American spirits history, we quickly learned that rum truly is America's spirit
Rum is America's Spirit
Here are a few lesser known facts: did you know Paul Revere was tipsy on rum when he made his famous ride? Yep, prior to his famous ride he had stopped at a tavern, which at the time were known for serving rum. And the first American distillery was actually in New York City all the way back in 1664.
Now, time to give you a real history lesson. Rum was actually the first spirit to be made and labeled as American. There were distilleries all across America that could turn molasses into delicious rum. They could get molasses cheaply because it’s essentially just the cheap byproduct of sugar cane production. But the only issue is that they weren’t buying all this from the British, which meant the British couldn’t get rich off the deal. What did Britain do about it? Tax the heck out of it.
You may have learned about the Sugar Act when learning about the Revolution, but did you know it originally started with the Molasses Act. The British tried doing everything they could to make more money from their colonies, but this only ended up enraging the colonists. The Sugar Act as well as the more known Stamp Act were the final straw. The Sugar Act taxed the molasses even more (including a lot of other products colonists came to love), and the Stamp Act taxed basically any piece of paper necessary to operate (including tavern and liquor licenses). So, if the molasses is getting taxed, the liquor is taxed, and the place you’re buying the rum from is taxed, it makes it pretty hard not to get upset at the people doing the taxing. Some of the infamous Sons of Liberty members even owned taverns, which made them especially angry. Good thing they never threw rum in the Boston Harbor!
So what can we draw from this? Was rum the ONLY reason that Americans went to war? No, but it’s pretty clear that rum played a crucial role in spilling the tensions to an all-time high enough to secede from the Brits.
During the war, it was crucial to keep the troops happy. Troops were often paid in rum as their daily rations, and rum heavily influenced the soldiers’ morale in the camps. After all, Americans at this time were drinking (by some estimates) about three and a half gallons of rum annually. That estimate is also just an average, so there were plenty of Americans who were drinking a LOT more than that…
Unfortunately, the American Revolution only made it harder for trade to take place between the original molasses hotspots, so for the time being, rum production slowed down in America. So while rum fueled the fires of war, it was the fire that ultimately led to its demise.
Today, rum still remains one of the largest consumer spirits. With two rum companies at the helm of the market, Americans love a good ol’ daiquiri or rum and coke. But these companies aren’t American!
Rum today may not be consumed in the same way as it was back in the day. For example, we are not drinking flip or kill-devil (rum drinks from the 17th and 18th century), and we may not be drinking the liters upon liters every day like our ancestors, but Americans LOVE rum. After all, it is America’s mixer. It tastes great in just about everything you throw in it.
What Does "American Made" Have to Offer?
As you may well know, the goofy history of Saltwater Woody is steeped in America’s history. And from when we found the forgotten barrels of rum at the bottom of the ocean, to when we produced our first bottle in 2020, Saltwater Woody has been striving to keep everything about our company American. From our labels, to our corks, to every ingredient inside the bottle, we’ve cultivated a truly American product. This helps our company in a few different ways.
First, having an American supply chain makes building our product a lot easier. Relying on multiple nations, dealing with tariffs, and having to wait on international shipping can be costly and time consuming. Our American supply chain gives us the ability to be agile and quick when producing new products and keeping our products affordable, as rum SHOULD be.
Second, we’re American and we’re proud of it. We at Saltwater Woody believe in supporting American companies and the American Dream. We’re creating jobs in America including in our company with our interns and sales force, but also because we work with so many companies, we are growing wealth all across America.
Third, we are in a time of crisis. Currently, the whole world has found that a global supply chain could come crashing down quite easily. This has caused shortages and increased costs for nearly all products. Consumer sentiment is also changing because of the pandemic. Consumers are buying more made in America products, suggests data coming from madeinamerica.co founderMargarita Mendoza. They’ve seen an 825% increase in traffic since the start of the pandemic. We believe this is a trend that will continue in America as more consumers become conscious of how and WHERE their products are made. More Americans are realizing the power of buying American and are proud to support fellow American businesses, and that is why we are proud to be an American company.
Now you not only know WHERE Saltwater Woody is made, but you can also take pride knowing that your American brethren assisted every step of the way.