A NEW rum brand has unveiled its first three batches of hand-crafted spiced liquor.

Quirky Rum’s first flavours are each inspired by a colourful historical smuggler.

The Southampton-based business was founded by rum-loving friends Ben Quirk and Adrian Hall. Mr Quirk is head of production and Mr Hall is chief operating officer.

Mr Quirk said: “At Quirky Rum, we have shaken off the shackles of creating a consistent product between batches, allowing us to change and improve recipes over time.

“Working in small batches, we can focus on sourcing high-quality rums to gently spice and flavour.

“This is rum with a difference. We do not over spice or add sugar to sweeten our spiced rums like most other brands on the market.

“Our aim is to find the fine line between rum and spice, to let the natural flavour of the rum do its share of talking. This creates a spiced rum which appeals more to the seasoned rum drinker, and a refreshing drink for men and women, young and old alike.”

The first flavours are Bahama Queen, Guinea Run and King of Prussia.

Bahama Queen was the nickname of Gertrude Lythgoe, involved in supplying liquor in the prohibition era, and the drink is spiced with vanilla, orange peel, cinnamon, allspice and ginger.

Guinea Run is inspired by Thomas Johnstone, a smuggler and admiralty saboteur who fought in the Napoleonic Wars as a privateer. He took up the ‘Guinea Run’ smuggling gold from England to France to pay for Napoleon’s nurseries. The rum is spiced with peppercorn, ginger, coffee beans and pineapple.

King of Prussia was the nickname of Cornish smuggler John Carter, whose gang held sway over the smugglers’ trade. The drink uses coffee beans, orange peel, vanilla and allspice.

Mr Hall said: “It is an exciting time for the rum trade. The Wine and Spirit Trade Association recently crowned rum as the ‘drink of lockdown’, with the spirit enjoying the largest growth across all spirits during the period.

“Quirky Rum is an exploration of flavours and rums, the development of recipes over small batches and the constant learning to achieve greater products for our customers. Quirky Rum is a journey we want to invite our customers on.”