Rockabilly Gold Rum
Louisiana drink as unique as its namesake music
It’s hard to beat good music and a good drink.
Joey Kent thinks he’s put together a combination of the two that can’t be beat.
Kent, who was born and raised in Shreveport and lives in New Orleans, is vice-president and curator of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame and Museum. The RHOFM will be built on The Circle G — Elvis Presley’s former horse ranch — in Horn Lake, Miss. Kent thought a good way to grow the RHOFM project — and boost the rockabilly revival — would be to have its own brand of liquor.
“Rum is the most native drink to Louisiana, because of our ties to the sugar industry, going back to the 1700s,” Kent said. “That seemed an obvious choice to me, because Louisiana has been the launchpad of rockabilly music, so why not feature a beverage that’s native to our state?” That’s where Tait Martin comes in.
He is the president and CEO of Wildcat Brothers Distilling in Lafayette. Martin was asked by Kent to come up with a rum that would go down smooth with the rockabilly beat.
Ladies and gentlemen, let’s welcome to the stage Rockabilly Gold Rum.
“We wanted to capture a bottle and a flavor profile that was just as unique as the music itself,” Martin said. “We were looking for things that were not only unique, but also a little flashy, too. When you see the bottle, it’s definitely going to be gold-foiled, with a big ol’ classic microphone on the front.”
But while the bottle may get your attention, it’s what’s inside that — Kent and Martin hope — will keep you coming back for more.
“I and my distilling team easily said this is one of the best rums we make,” Martin said. “It’s a sophisticated flavor. … This is a really special gold rum.”
“Once it was finished,” Kent said, “Tait told me he had a little bit of regret because the finished product is actually better tasting than anything they’ve had before, so he’s jealous of it.”
So, what makes so good?
A once-used barrel. Tait explained that when you make rum — unlike bourbon — you don’t have to use a new barrel. So, he decided to make Rockabilly Gold Rum with barrels which had already been used to make another rum product.
“This is the second use of our own barrel,” Tait said. “Just like rockabilly, it’s taking something that’s already been there and really pushing it to the next level. It takes the flavor profile of the rum — it’s a nice, easy-drinking, sweet beverage. It’s going to be great. It will be good on the rocks or with a cocktail. I’m tellin’ you what, it’s definitely going to make some people toe-tap and dance.”
Kent is the Louisiana Hayride’s archivist and historian. The Hayride was a radio and television show from 1948-1960, broadcast from Shreveport’s Municipal Auditorium. The show helped launch the careers of music legends, such as Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Hank Williams. Kent describes rockabilly not as rock music, but “a precursor to rock and roll. Rockabilly gave birth to rock and roll music. Rockabilly comes from a fast boogie beat, defined by the drums and the thumping upright base. It’s highly danceable. It’s charged.”
But Kent also says rockabilly is more than what you hear.
“Rockabilly is not only a music, but a lifestyle. It has a certain look — the clothes, the music, the dancing, the automobiles, the tattoos — all that kind of stuff was so much a part of the ’50s, and quite a bit of that has traveled forward to today.”
Rockabilly Gold Rum is available in Shreveport-Bossier liquor stores and in nine states. To learn more about Wildcat Brothers Distilling, you may visit www. wildcatbrothers.com.