he 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 fromWisconsin 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 milk-
shake recipes. “RumChata adult milk-
shakes 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 Rum-
Chata adult milkshake and summer drink
specials around the country.”
Bartender’s Bestie
Maas shares that RumChata is sometimes
referred to as the “bartender’s best friend”
because the liqueur mixes so well with a va-
riety 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 mix-
ologists are responding creatively. Maas
says, “At the Grid in Chicago, they are
serving a RumChata Cereal Shooters
Flight. The popular flight includes Rum-
Chata shooters with flavors that taste like
Froot Loops, Cinnamon Toast Crunch
and Cocoa Puffs.” There are some clever
Youtube fans who have filmed them-
selves 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 alco-
hol 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 con-
fident 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 sum-
mer cocktails and adult milkshakes. Ad-
ditionally, the brand is providing on-site
sponsorship of popular Chicago music se-
ries, The Ravinia Music Festival.
Shake Up Summer with RumChata
The Brand has a Seasonal Focus on
Mixability and Adult Milkshakes
By cara McIlwaine
1 part RumChata
1 part ice cream
1 part frozen strawberries
½ part rum
1 part ice
Blend until smooth.
Pour into milkshake glass.
Chata™ Shake
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