Raising the rum bar
For 20 years Keri has dreamed of having a small beachside rum bar somewhere in the islands. Making rum is a first step towards that dream.
Keri had her first sip of rum under midnight skies in the heart of the Caribbean. Ever since, she noticed that wherever she travelled - from Spain to Mozambique, Cuba to Fiji - rum is enjoyed with delight. By 2015 this wandering spirit had established a career in media communications and had finally settled in Cabarita Beach, New South Wales, Australia. So how did she end up making rum?
On a flight to New Zealand with her head in the clouds daydreaming about the beachside rum bar, Keri was struck by the idea that she could make rum. Cabarita's hinterland is awash with sugarcane (rum's base ingredient) and years of travelling had taught her the joys of the journey and not just the destination.
Obsessively crafted - pot distilled
Keri got busy. She spent two years visiting local and interstate distilleries researching. She tinkered around with a 25-litre fermenter and experimented with different strains of yeast. Together with a little pot still she developed a bomb-proof recipe and concocted a novel way of infusing spices into the spirit during distillation. She travelled to Perth to view a still-maker's workshop before finally, in the middle of a global pandemic, Keri took the plunge and ordered an alembic copper pot still to commercialise.
Passion and tenacity
Having overcome many of the hurdles every small business owner learns from, today Keri produces award-winning spirits under the flagship brand, Soltera Rum. The first award for Blanco came in its debut year!
She is heartened by, and grateful to, the community of Cabarita Beach and surrounds for their support and encouragement.
But to be sure, the rum bar in the islands remains her dream.
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.