Goldstone Rum Founders Georgina and John Bowell

Published by The Rumlab ago about the Goldstone company

Goldstone Rum Founders Georgina and John Bowell article cover image

John and Georgina are the co-founders of Goldstone Rum. They run the business collaboratively. John manages the sales and operations. Georgina looks after marketing and finance.

Rewind 12 years and you would find John in the kitchen; a classically trained chef. John has always had a passion for food and drink. He loves getting creative and has spent many hours refining recipes to perfection. But the antisocial hours led him into the corporate world of aviation and IT, where he currently works as a Chief Commercial Officer.

Georgina is the marketing whizz; having spent the past 13 years of her career strategizing and promoting some of the UK’s-best-known brands, she knows what it takes to bring a business to market. Georgina grew up in a family-owned pub; she spent many hours there with the punters and has certainly seen what it takes to cut it in the drinks industry. Now a mum to two young daughters, she wants to show them it is possible to dare to dream, to mix things up, and to take a leap into the unknown. Learn more about them in the next interview:

TRL: What does the rum mean for you? What made you fall in love with rum and when did it happen?

Being in the aviation industry meant we could take staff travel trips to the Caribbean and have been lucky enough to visit six Caribbean islands. For each trip, our favorite pastime would be to find out about the local rum and take a trip around the distillery.

Rum is a classic drink that is the base of so many cocktails. Its versatility makes it a unique spirit like no other that’s what attracted us to it.

TRL: Three essential characteristics that define the rum according to your perspective.

Diversity – rum can use many variants of sugar and treat spiced, flavored, aged, etc all tasting unique and giving the customer a unique experience.

The ingenuity of modern-day rum – a by-product of the sugar industry has created a drink loved around the world. So often we find the best inventions happen by accident or through a waste product being repurposed into something amazing.

Versatility – rum can be drunk straight up, in a cocktail even added to ice cream or desserts – no other spirit has so much versatility to it. 

TRL: What is the most important contribution you have made to the rum industry?

We are making British rum from scratch in our distillery in Sussex. We are one of only a handful of producers to do that in the UK. We are the only producer in the UK using fresh sugarcane juice and mixing it with four other sugars to make a completely unique flavor.

TRL: Benefits that the rum industry has given you.

The rum industry has given us the chance to dream big and create a family-run business. We want to inspire our children that they can achieve anything if they put their minds to it and work hard to achieve their goals.

TRL: What’s another thing you are passionate about besides rum? Why?

John and Georgina are both hugely passionate about food. We enjoy eating out in the array of amazing restaurants we have in Brighton. We try to cook everything from scratch in our house and love to teach our young daughters to cook.

TRL: What is your favorite place for drinking rum?

John and Gina have spent many holidays touring the Caribbean, nothing beats having a rum cocktail on the beach. We love to replicate that in Brighton on the beach during the summer months.

TRL: Favorite drink + Recipe

The classic daiquiri is John’s favorite drink


50ml Goldstone Rum ®

30ml freshly squeezed lime juice

50g caster sugar

25 ml water



Make the sugar syrup by combining the sugar and water in a saucepan on low heat and stirring until dissolved. Allow cooling.


Combine Goldstone Rum ®, lime juice, and sugar syrup together in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well, strain, and serve.

Georgina’s has to be the rum punch


350ml Goldstone Rum ®

200ml grenadine

250ml pineapple juice

250ml orange juice

The juice of 4 limes

Orange and lemon slices to serve

Grated nutmeg on top



Juice the limes then in a pitcher add all the ingredients, plus a good helping of ice. Stir and leave to cool before serving.


Serve with fresh fruit slices.

TRL: Why is it important to educate the rum consumer?

There are a lot of variables in rum and lack of legislation that we see with, say, whiskey, as we have seen with food production and craft beers in recent years. We believe consumers now want to understand province, locality, quality, and sourcing. We believe we can support myth busting and help the consumer understand the difference between an artisan product vs. mass-produced products.

Coming from a long line of publicans, Gina is a 4th generation licensee and wants to educate people as her family has for generations and John being a chef for many years, always striving to source and create new flavors and dishes.

We have both been raised. The bartender is our outlet to the customer. Their opinion and choice of drink are what often sways a customer to buy a particular brand. Educating bartenders on why our rum is different is really important to us and we have invited a number of restaurants and bars to send their staff members to our distillery to learn about rum distillation.

TRL: Who would like to meet in the rum industry? What would you say to him/her?

Loosely related to the rum industry but very influential was Hemmingway, who famously loved rum. Having spent time in Havana it would have been amazing to see El Floridita in its prime with Hemmingway at the bar sipping a daiquiri and understanding his love for rum.

TRL: What are your next goals in the rum industry?

We are going to continue to develop our flavors range and see what unusual infusions we can develop, and what this space is.

We want to create our rum into an RTD (ready-to-drink) can so we can easily enjoy it at festivals and parties.

TRL: Why is the role of the bartender important in the rum industry?

The bartender is our outlet to the customer. Their opinion and choice of drink are what often sways a customer to buy a particular brand. Educating bartenders on why our rum is different will be really important for us and we are already thinking of ways to offer tastings to bars and restaurants in the local area.

TRL: How can people learn more about you? Website? Social media page?


https://www.instagram.com/goldstone_rum/ https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100084225679151