Former Pernod Ricard execs create botanical rum

Former Pernod Ricard executives Laurent Lacassagne and Patrick Venning have launched a botanical rum after setting up a micro-distillery in London’s Brixton Market.

Market Row Botanical Rum is a blend of premium Jamaican, Bajan and Dominican pot still rums sourced from five historic, award-winning distilleries,

This blend is infused Kenyan black tea, Nigerian hibiscus and red rose from Pakistan – all botanicals inspired and sourced from Brixton Market in south London.

“We believe the market is ripe for a new, straight-talking and inclusive urban rum,” said Laurent Lacassagne, co-founder at Brixton Distillery Company. “We want to bring something new to the category - creating the same levels of craft, creativity and inclusivity to rum that is now seen in gin and feel we’re the right team to take on that challenge.”

Lacassagne was the chairman and chief executive at Chivas Brothers for five years before leaving the business in 2018.

Venning was marketing director at Pernod Ricard UK for more than a decade, and then severed as global marketing director for Ballantine’s from 2017 to 2019. They have now combined more than 50 years of spirits expertise to launch the new business.

“Market Row Botanical Rum is inspired by the community where it’s crafted and we’re working to support independent Brixton businesses and people by sourcing ingredients and skills locally to keep our ‘Brixton-Bottled’ botanical rum authentic and give something back to the community,” said Venning.

Distiller Matt Servini was brought in to work on the liquid and bartender Mikey Hirsch is the brand ambassador.

Servini said: “Market Row is a great-tasting premium botanical rum with a Brixton twist. The botanicals we’ve carefully handpicked are inspired by Brixton Market – they’re subtle on the nose and palate and give Market Row Botanical Rum a completely different dimension to any other rum on the market.

Hirsch added: “The subtle flavours of the botanicals become much more prominent in a cocktail or mixer, which is what sets Market Row apart – they add something you wouldn’t expect and that isn’t present in traditional rums.”

Boutique Bar Brands is distributing the rum in the UK. “We love working with brands that have unique stories and provenance, so were excited by Market Row’s roots in the Brixton community, its contacts to great distilleries and its unique and refreshing take on rum,” said Phil Harding, director of Boutique Bar Brands. “Rum is an exciting category at the moment and we believe that Market Row genuinely brings a new approach to the table with their blend of botanicals and high-quality rums – we’ll make a strong team with the vast industry experience Laurent and Pat bring, in tandem with BBB.”

The rum has also gained a listing at Amazon.