Next Level Spirits with Sunshine & Sons

Image source: Contributed

Not content with world domination as a gin producer the team at CAVU Distilling have launched their alter ego rum, Nil Desperandum, and are well on the path to achieving stratospheric targets on a national level, as Tony Cox discovers.

Since launching at the beginning of Covid, the momentum that CAVU Distilling has established with its Nil Desperandum Rum and Sunshine & Sons Gin, Vodka and Liqueurs is phenomenal. It springs from lofty ambitions – sure, but they have built a great business with nous, hard work and downright ballsiness.

More recently, they partnered with Proof Drinks Australia to take their products across Australia and to the world and they have just released the latest Nil Desperandum ‘Special’, a delicious Australian Certified Organic rum with the aim of getting people to RETHINK RUM™, setting the benchmark for others to follow.  

Due to requiring a minimum two years of aging prior to release to legally be labelled ‘rum’, the lead time takes a while from being a thought bubble to actually ending up in the bottle.

The launch of the Nil Desperandum Special Rum sees the release of Australia’s first certified organic rum, being made from wild fermented, locally sourced molasses, Woombye water, dunder and muck. Given we associate organic with being beneficial to good health I will let the reader reach their own conclusions.

The Special features toffee and brûlée notes, is quite delicate being more light-medium bodied, with a smoky, charry finish from the barrels previously used by bourbon producers. 

Bourbon barrels are subjected to a very high level of toasting for use in bourbon production and are used once only. After that they are sold off. 

Given oak generally imparts flavour for its first three fills that char continues with the subsequent fill along with the vanilla notes which American oak naturally imparts.

To me this is a sipping rum to be savoured at the end of the night with a cube of ice and enjoyed slowly. 

If you take your rum with cola I would suggest a more subtle, less overtly sweet, Fever Tree Cola so it doesn’t overpower the subtlety of the rum with a wedge of lime squeezed and thrown into the glass just to keep it all fresh.

Also new to the Nil Desperandum rum family is the Botanical Rum with aromas of sweet spices and coffee pre-dominant. 

It utilises the same organic molasses of the Special but the botanicals don’t have organic certification. The alcohol warmth is more to the fore with spice evident on the palate with the presence of greater viscosity than the Special. 

They are simply two very different rums, both equally enjoyable.

As discussed with Brand Ambassador, Kayan, the Special is best suited to cocktails where the spirit is the emphasis. Think replacing the role of bourbon or rye in a Manhattan or Old Fashioned.

For the Botanical Rum, Kayan says it is best suited in cocktails where juices and bolder mixers are involved, think Mai Tais and the like.

A quick look around the barrels I spied some port-fill and sherry-fill barrels which are being used to impart further complexities in other rums under development. 

I guess the only way to keep abreast of everything these trailblazers are doing is to keep going to their distillery door to discover what’s new.

Overall, two fantastic rums released from Queensland leading into winter and not a polar bear in sight. Make sure you track a bottle of each of these down.

About the Author /

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After 25 years of sniffing, swirling, spitting and slurping various vinous temptations our wine writer has decided that his future lies firmly planted on the consumption and storytelling side. Tony not only still enjoys consulting about wine and other beverages but is now part of the successful Kate Cox Real Estate Team at Reed & Co. Estate Agents.

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