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Earl Grey tea wins rum flavour creation prize

Atom Labs-owned brand Project 173 has launched an Earl Grey rum following a competition to find its latest expression.

In March the flavoured rum brand, founded by Master of Malt-owner Atom Group, announced the competition to give someone the opportunity to create a unique flavour of their very own.

“We wanted to work with the on-trade to find out where they think the bar flavour gaps are and encourage creativity, to give those who work with spirits the chance to actually join the process of creation, firsthand,” said Hannah Burden-Trent, brand manager of Project 173.

Alexandru Marius Sandu, a mixologist at Portobello Road’s Trailer Happiness, was behind the winning flavour. Sandu is originally from Romania, and moved to the UK in 2014, before starting a career in hospitality in 2016.

“I found it crazy that there is no feasible option for a tea flavoured rum here in the UK,” he said. “I always found tea to be a very underrated ingredient in cocktails considering how versatile, tasty and easy to use it is. I’ve experimented in the past with making my own homemade flavoured rum with Earl Grey and other spices (and if I do say so myself, it was absolutely delicious) so it is incredible that I have the opportunity to share this with others.”

Project 173 launched in 2020 and currently has 18 flavour variations, including Smoked Chilli, Black Cherry, Pumpkin Spiced and Candy Floss. The brand’s name derives from the boiling point of alcohol which is 173.1 degrees fahrenheit.

UK craft spirit retailer Master of Malt has collaborated with Sainsbury’s stores to roll out a rotating range of craft gins that reflects “rapidly changing” customer drinking trends in a selection of its stores. Read more on that story here.

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