Last year Atlantis created and launched a signature cocktail for its resort – Pineapple Passion – which featured Elyx vodka, Diplomatico Exclusiva rum, Spanish liqueur Licor 43, Luxardo liqueur, maraschino, passion fruit, crushed pineapple, lime and Peychauds Bitters, but they did so knowing they wanted to make the cocktail that much more special, and during the launch of the signature cocktail had been working on producing a signature rum for their signature cocktail and for the property. A year-and-a-half of trial and error, Atlantis unveiled Paradise Rum which is being produced exclusively for the resort by John Watling’s Distillery.
At the creation of the resort’s signature cocktail which is served beautifully in an Elyx copper pineapple, Michael MacDonnell, Atlantis’ vice president of food and beverage said he also had thoughts of including a rum into it that had to be equally as thoughtful as the cocktail. For him, he said that rum did not exist and they had to create it. They approached John Watling’s Distillery a year-and-a-half ago.
“I was looking for a rum that made the most sense in this signature cocktail of the Atlantis which has stood the test of time, going on its 22nd year. We wanted a cocktail that would keep up with that time,so it was important for us to find a rum that we could call the Atlantis signature rum to mix in the cocktail.”
He approached John Watling’s Distillery principles to find out if they had ever done a private
private rum for anybody, and said he was told they hadn’t, but were excited about the idea of doing so for Atlantis.
MacDonnell had a few stipulations.
“I told them this is what we’re looking for and the goals we want to do.”
When MacDonnell pulled up a seat at the table to discuss what he wanted the Atlantis signature rum that was to be produced to be, he had one demand – the rum had to be aged in a Sherry barrel. And the rum had to be perfect.
Paradise is a combination of John Watling’s Distillery’s four and six-year-old rums. John Watling’s pre-blends them together, then marries the product in a Sherry cask for three months.
The finished product is extremely smooth.
“[The rum] aged in a Sherry barrel just makes sense,” said MacDonnell at the Paradise Rum launch event on Wednesday at John Watling’s. “Sherry barrels add a beautiful texture and nice notes on the nose and the palate. And on the back side it has a little bit of nuttiness, some nuances, some marzipan [that] when you mix it in a cocktail, all that sort of lends itself as a collaboration, and dances on the palate,” he said.
The people that will be attracted to the Atlantis signature will be consumers that are connoisseurs of rum and that enjoy a quality product, according to Pepin Argamasilla, John Watling’s Distillery’s managing director, marketing and public relations.
“This isn’t something that you’re going to mix with a whole bunch of stuff and the rum disappears – it’s a sipper that you can also use it for cocktails, where the rum adds to the cocktail versus disappearing,” said Argamasilla who added that his team had a lot of fun creating and crafting Paradise Rum.
“The cocktail had to be perfect, the rum had to be perfect and with that being said we feel we hit the nail on the head,” said MacDonnell. “We’ve raised our bar, that’s the new level – the new standard of cocktails at Atlantis.”
Over the last year-and-a-half, MacDonnell said they have come to the table seven different times with John Watling’s with samples showcasing different aging times and each time he nixed the sample, until they got the rum just right.
“This has hit the nail on the head,” said the vice president of food and beverage.
Sean Cartwright, Atlantis senior director of beverage said he liked the spiciness of the rum as well as the Sherry aspect. He said getting the final product completed after a year-and-a-half of work was a big accomplishment.
Paradise Rum went live in the resort’s bars and lounges the first week in January. It’s 750 milliliter (ml) bottles are also sold exclusively in the resort’s retail stores. They’re also producing a special 250 ml that will go live next week as an amenity at The Cove.
Argamasilla said the Paradise Rum was the first exclusive rum the facility has done since John Watling’s Distillery opened in 2003.
“It’s an honor as a small company to have a large company like Atlantis recognize that we’re a quality product. It’s extremely flattering, and we enjoy the fact that we’re able to share our rum with consumers the world over who will travel to Atlantis. So, we’re excited to see what will happen with the brand and how it’s promoted over there [Atlantis].”
For the launch, Argamasilla said they initially produced 40 cases of six of the 750 ml bottles and 900 of the 250 ml bottles.
Like John Watling’s products the production of Paradise Rum is all done painstakingly by hand – crafting, blending, filling, corking, and labeling. It’s a tedious process, but Argamsilla said it shows the care and craftsmanship that goes behind John Watling’s super-premium products and Paradise Rum.