Posted on | June 26, 2013
Written by | Cara McIlwaine
The brand has a seasonal focus on mixability and adult milkshakes.
The flagship product for Agave Loco Brands is RumChata, a blend of the creamy beverage horchata mixed with high quality Caribbean rum. Since RumChata entered the scene a few years ago, it’s been a grassroots sensation, carving out a niche in the cream liqueur category. “First quarter sales were up 70% over 2012,” says Tom Maas, RumChata founder and master blender. Originating in ancient Egypt, horchata made its way to Spain and eventually to the Americas, where it is made most often with rice and milk or water. RumChata uses real dairy cream from Wisconsin and is flavored with cinnamon and vanilla.
Aiming to continue the brand’s momentum, a new trade campaign aims to show how well RumChata works in summertime drinks. “We are trying to get the trade to understand that RumChata sells very well during hot months as it is lighter than your average cream liqueur,” says Maas. (The ABV is 13.75% and a 1.5 oz. serving is 140 calories).
One fun way the brand is activating for summer enjoyment is with adult milkshake recipes. “RumChata adult milkshakes like the Strawberry Chata™ Shake and RumChata by Elvis are highlighted in all of our summer advertising,” says Tom. The RumChata sales and distributor sales teams have already been engaging with on-premise accounts “to put together RumChata adult milkshake and summer drink specials around the country.”
Maas shares that RumChata is sometimes referred to as the “bartender’s best friend” because the liqueur mixes so well with a variety of products, from root beer and coffee to flavored vodkas and premium bourbon. “It comes down to its perfectly blended real flavors,” Maas adds. RumChata is made with cream, it will curdle when mixed with anything that is highly acidic like fruit juices. But Maas says no cause for concern; one tip to mitigate that effect is to pour the mixer over ice first and then let it cool before adding RumChata.
Fans of RumChata ask for it by its full name or just “Chata” at bars across the country and bartenders and mixologists are responding creatively. Maas says, “At the Grid in Chicago, they are serving a RumChata Cereal Shooters Flight. The popular flight includes RumChata shooters with flavors that taste like Froot Loops, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Cocoa Puffs.” There are some clever Youtube fans who have filmed themselves trying RumChata with their cereal instead of milk too.
Long Shelf Life
Though cream-based, RumChata does not require refrigeration, because, as Tom Maas explains, “The cream has been homogenized with the rum and the alcohol acts as a preservative.” An unopened bottle can last years if stored between 50-80 degrees F; opened RumChata can be kept at room temperature for over six months. But Maas admits, “We are confident that if you try one of our more than 100 recipes online your bottle will not last longer than a single visit with a few good friends.”
The summer is proving very busy for RumChata, as Agave Loco aims to expand distribution and promote RumChata summer cocktails and adult milkshakes. Additionally, the brand is providing on-site sponsorship of popular Chicago music series, The Ravinia Music Festival.