Trudiann Branker calls for greater female presence in rum

Mount Gay master blender Trudiann Branker believes the rum industry is beginning to open up to women but insists she does not want to be remembered for ‘just being a woman’.

On 1 April this year Branker became the first female master blender in the 300-year history of Mount Gay rum and she joined Drinks International to discuss her first six months in the role.

“The rum industry is no longer seen as a job just for men but what I would like to see is a faster turnover of female rum makers,” said Branker. “Yes there’s a few of us, but are we the majority? No.”

Her appointment has put Branker among an elite group of women working in top industry roles such as Joy Spence from Appleton Estate and Lorena Vasquez of Ron Zacapa.

Branker added: “I think the seeds of past generations are coming to fruition because growing up I sat in classrooms with boys as my equal and that’s been the mentality right through my education until now.

“Off course it’s an honour to be the first female master blender at Mount Gay but I don’t want to be remembered just for that, I want my rum to do the talking and that’s what I want to be known for.

“I’m not going anywhere soon. I’m here until I’ve left my own stamp on the brand and until the next generation is ready to take over.”

Branker visited the UK in October to showcase the recent launch of The Master Blender Collection: Pot Still and her own twist on the annual 1703 release at RumFest UK.