A wandering spirit
Soltera Rum is born from adventure, romance and revelry.
As a girl, I first tasted rum on a starry New Year’s night in the heart of the Caribbean. Since that first sip, I have found that everywhere I have ventured - from Spain to Mozambique, Cuba to Fiji - rum is enjoyed with delight. It is a spirit of joyous revelry, freedom and possibilities.
Rum awakens the carpe diem instinct in us all.
It has fuelled great revolutions and rebellions and emboldened writers and explorers. And flying at 30,000 feet through clouds above Earth, it inspired me. Daydreaming about a beachside rum bar somewhere in the Pacific, I realised I could begin this adventure by making rum. Right here in Cabarita Beach, where the Ocean meets Australia.
Soltera is the stitching together of distant places, passions and aspirations.
In northern New South Wales, Cabarita's hinterland is awash with sugar cane, from which most rum is made. Soltera uses molasses produced at the local sugar mill to make its spirit. It presents in its aromatic fragrance and flavour the terroir of the Tweed Valley: its fertile soils, abundant rainfall and sweet subtropical climate, making Soltera a Single Origin rum.
The Northern Rivers' climate lends itself to quick, natural fermentations. A double distillation follows through an Australian handmade copper pot still named after my grandfather Felix who, prophetically, worked as a chemist in a sugar factory in Spain. Distillation is part science, part art.
Each handcrafted batch is slightly different due to seasonal variations and tweaks that I make to the recipe and its production.
Some of Soltera's debut spirit, Blanco, is left to rest before bottling unaged. The remainder is preserved for barrel ageing. There are no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. This is real rum.
Felix (the still, not my grandfather) uses green power to displace its energy usage with certified renewable energy that has no greenhouse gas emissions. Water from the system irrigates my garden, which is fertilised by the spent fermentation. Nothing goes to waste. Soltera's bottles use a swing top lid so that they can be easily reused - they're handy for storing water, legumes, grains, or as a funky flower vase.
What's in a name?
In Spanish, the word soltera describes a single woman, a bachelorette. It is derived from the Latin participle solutus from the verb solvere. To be unbound, released, free, at large.
The best ideas happen when the mind wanders free (while sipping rum).