We have been teasing the Symphonia No. 4 labels on our social media for a few weeks now, and finally the time has come to reveal what we’ve been working on in the distillery during 2020!

I am delighted to introduce Symphonia Apple Rum, our very first rum and our first foray outside the world of gin.

Caribbean rum has been redistilled with local botanicals, adding a gentle spiciness, then infused with sweet Jonagold apples from Armagh, making this spirit taste like apple pie in a bottle. We have a limited number of 200ml taster bottles now available for just £15 from our website, so make sure you get yours soon to avoid missing out.

Developing No. 4

I thought I could give an insight into how we’ve made this new spirit. Developing the Apple Rum over the last year has allowed us to make the most of what 2020 has thrown at us, as taste-testing provided a welcome distraction during lockdown!

When we begin thinking of new products, it is really important to make the most of local Northern Irish produce. Whilst I’ve showcased the Armagh Bramley apple in our Apple Gin, I started to think about what we could do with Jonagold apples. These are a cross between Jones and Golden Delicious which grow alongside our Bramley apples here in the Orchard of Ireland. I thought these delicious sweet dessert apples would be better paired with a rum, rather than the crisp green apple of a Bramley which works so well with the juniper in gin.

The final inspiration came as I was exploring botanicals from my garden and the local Northern Irish countryside. One of these stood out, as I saw through my chemical analysis that it had flavour molecules closely related to those of nutmeg and cloves. These spicey warm flavours are more commonly associated with exotic spices, not a plant which grows abundantly in the garden here in Benburb. This particular plant also holds sentimental value as when we moved over to Ireland I brought a tiny cutting of the plant which my late father gave me, and it has now flourished here in the garden. I knew these spicey flavours would be the perfect partner to the sweet Jonagold apples.

We are really bringing something new to the table with our Apple Rum, as previously rum has often been about the spirit being the dominant element with oak ageing, or heavy spicing with vanilla and cinnamon. Here the Jonagold apples are the star of the show, and rum is the soft spirit element that plays the supporting role. The local botanicals introduce the flavours of nutmeg and cloves in a subtle way, not to overpower the apple but to complement, working in harmony just as they work so well in an apple pie.

To serve, we think it works best neat on the rocks, or long with lemonade and a garnish of pink grapefruit. Or for something different try it drizzled over ice-cream, or even replacing our Apple Gin in a warming hot toddy for those cold winter nights.

Now I’m sure you can’t wait to get your hands on some! We are offering 200ml tasting samples as a very limited edition. Each one will feature a unique bottle number, making this the perfect gift for a Symphonia fan, or a treat for yourself! We think this one will be very popular so get your orders in fast.

We would love your feedback and if it’s positive you never know…

Cheers

Ric