At Nil Desperandum we’re about pushing boundaries and making great-tasting rum. These two pursuits have found a blissful union in our latest limited Botanical release. The rum is the first of the Nil Desperandum botanical range and well, it’s a little bit of ‘different’ and a lot of ‘great’. 

The process behind the making of this rum has Adam, our Head Distiller, excited. The end product is a well-integrated, superb-tasting rum ready to sip and savour. To help us get up to speed with just how sensational this unique rum is, the process that pushed new boundaries and how it differs from conventional rums, we sat down with Adam. He let slip a few craft secrets, some tasting notes and a lot of excitement about this latest addition to the Nil Desperandum range.  

A unique process to make sensational rums

Nil Desperandum Botanical Rum uses a relatively new concept, a technique more commonly found when infusing Gin. Adam infused some of the Nil Desperandum rum using a gin basket and double vapour technique early in the distillation process.

“Our Botanical rum is vapour infused and in our case, double vapour infused. For this release, we’ve come up with coffee, cinnamon, and then a touch of lime. I remember cutting up the limes. It was around 20 to 30 kilos of fresh green limes.” 

The process requires a huge amount of attention and the stakes are high. For each botanical distillation, the flavours are aged separately. Then they’re brought together for blending. Each individual Nil Desperandum Botanical rum flavour will go into either a 200-litre or 120-litre barrel and they’ll always be separate. After two years of maturation or more, they’ll be blended to create a unique botanical rum. This ensures that all Nil Desperandum Rums meet the prerequisite to be called rum.

“We have it all very simple as making our individual rums and our batches…. We wait for two, or three years until that’s ready. And then we’ll line up the different botanicals. That might be pineapple, it might be vanilla, it might be coffee and so on. We are very transparent here and we like to ensure that we’re a compliant rum. So, that means that it has to be aged for two years to be called ‘rum’. That’s why we don’t take any shortcuts, especially for making this style which possibly could be done earlier in the process.” 

The double vapour infusion technique allows the rum to be more acidic and if done right blends with the base rum and integrates perfectly.

“The vapour goes through the basket at high speed and takes a lot of those oils and flavours which bonds into the rum spirit.”

Aroma and taste of our first botanical

This first botanical release is coffee, cinnamon, and lime. When you’re smelling it, the aromas come into place. But thanks to the technique the flavours are not in your face, they’re subtle and well-integrated. Adam insists that the botanical infusion needs to be well integrated, saying “It [the fusion blend] needs to sit within the rum, not on top of the rum.”

“Okay. So there is that smell of coffee, but then you might get treacle, you might get molasses, a bit of citrus fruit and then the cinnamon. It’s a bit of a mixture of raw materials and the botanicals dancing around. It’s very pretty.”

This technique is not without risk, Adam describes it as a gamble especially as each infusion is a minimum two-year investment.

“We have to be careful, we need to have a base style rum and then showcase the botanicals. So what we are doing, and it, it’s a gamble, we are playing with a lot of variations on the base rum. It’s a bit of a gamble, but we’re pretty confident it will work and we’re only gonna go upward from here, to be honest, this is pretty sensational. Perfect even.” He laughs.

The infusion and double vapour process can modify the rum a lot so Adam has created a technique that he can control. The result is very different from a spiced rum. 

“The difference between botanical and spice is simply putting botanicals in there. So things like banana, pineapple, and coffee, whereas spices are more age dried. Spices of nutmeg and cinnamon and stuff like that. Spices are usually done in barrels, like a teabag and not vapour-infused. Botanical rum is vapour infused and in our case, double vapour infused.” 

What’s the latest Botanical Rum like to drink?

The Botanical release is perfect as a sipping rum with a bit of ice. Adam and the team at Nil Desperandum have also mixed it with Ginger Ale and Ginger Beer. The botanical rum is slightly less alcoholic than previous releases, as Adam put it more ‘user friendly’.

“We’ve chosen this style again because it’s a little bit lighter, not as big and bold as the others. It has the potential to be sipped by itself with a bit of ice or even potentially mixed. We’ve tried it with ginger ale and also with ginger beer and they both work really well, mixed about one-third rum, two-thirds mixer.”

“Because we’re doing that, we’ve decided to lower the alcohol, we didn’t want a lot of that strong, dominating alcohol being simply diluted at that later stage. So it’s user-friendly. We’re anticipating a much wider acceptance in the marketplace for the average rum drinker.”

Noting the colour and the aromas “It just looks fantastic.”

Nil Desperandum has more Botanical Rum releases planned

Nil Desperandum will release new botanicals into the market over the coming years. 

“This is the first release and we hope to do one every year to showcase some of the Sunshine Coast flavours… plus a few little secrets in our pockets in the years to come.”

Adam advised that any rum drinker give the botanicals release a try, noting the rum was made to be enjoyed as you see fit.

“Try it first by itself but if you really want to squeeze a lime in it, I’ll be okay with that cause it’s got lime in it, so that’s fine. Nil Desperandum Botanical 2022 release. Double Vapour Infused Gin Basket. The rum is mainly coffee, cinnamon and lime. You gotta get it. It’s not gonna last. So, get it while you can.” Adam said.

Nil Desperandum will be producing several limited-release botanical rums sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date on all our releases, industry news and more below.