Grays Rum Head of Brands Florence De Coriolus (Interview)

Published by The Rumlab ago about the New Grove company

Grays Rum Head of Brands Florence De Coriolus (Interview) article cover image

1. Who is Florence de Coriolis?

I am Florence, I was born and raised in Mauritius Island and work at Grays Inc Ltd, pioneer of rum distillation in Mauritius. I am in charge of the Rum brands development since 2013. I am passionate by the food, beverages and Art de Vivre industry, that is well developped in Mauritius as the island is a well know luxury tourism destination.

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

Rum is part of the local folklore and its story is intimately linked to the history of Mauritius. As I also grew up on a sugar mill Estate, I decided to learn more about my Island’s most creative and ancient beverage. I guess I wanted to pay a tribute to the sugar cane fields that was part of my childhood.

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

Tradition, art and passion.

4. What is the most important contribution you have made in the rum industry?

I’m not sure I made a big contribution to the rum industry (yet) but I am definitly working on putting my Island on the rum world map as a quality producer country.

5. Benefits that the rum industry has given you?

Mauritius is a small country, in the middle of Indian Ocean, and the nearest continent is at, at least, 5 hours flight – so it is quite limited. Working in the rum and export industry has given me the opportunity to travel across the globe. By attending to masterclasses, tastings, trainings and rum events around the world, I had the opportunity to expand my knowledge about the spirit industry, international trends, technics, and products evolution.

6. What is your favorite place for drinking rum?

It is difficult to have one favorite place, as most of the time, it is not the place that counts but what you have in your glass and the people with whom you share the moment. However, being able to drink from the cask, in the cellar, is quite amazing.

7. Favorite drink + Recipe?

I personally prefer simple cocktails with few ingredients to be able to play with different rum tastes, such as Daiquiri.

8. Why is it important to educate the rum consumer?

The rum category has been growing quite quickly and we have been able to see a lot of new trends in terms of products. It is good to see how people are now very interested into this beverage. However, many [new] brands have been using recipes that can be confusing in the rum category, such as the use of spices, aromas or variant types of sweetener etc. To protect the category, it is important that the consumer understands what is rum and what is not.

9. Any tips to train the palate and taste a good premium rum?

The best rum should be the one you like. Rum has many variants that can suit all tastes, from soft and mellow to very dry and explosive. Pratice make perfect.

10. How can the rum contribute to improve the crisis in some countries?

Rum can definitly contribute to improve economy in some countries through international trade, but also through Spiritourism. When rum is part of the culture, history, cuisine or architecture, it creates an interest for the country’s destination.

11. Is the commitment to sustainable development the key of success for the permanence of the rum industry in the world?

The commitment to sustainable development is definitly the key to success. Sugar cane fields tend to disappear, being replace by commercial areas. It is good to know that sugar canes do not only produce sugar and rum, but can also create energy while reducing the use of charcoal when burning its leaves or pulp. The distilled ‘wine/wash’ can also be used as a renewable fertilizer for the fields. Promoting environmental sustainability is the key to the future of rum industry.

12. Who would like to meet in the rum industry? What would you say to him/her? As I have not been travelling for more than a year now, because of the pandemic, I would actually like to see ALL the rum family again and say a big ‘Cheers, I missed you’ to everyone, with special thoughts for Mathilde de Ramel.

13. What are your next goals in the rum industry? My next goal would be to create a proper Geographic Indication for my Island: Mauritius, a rum destination for quality & traceability. We have also been working since 2017 on a new project that is called BEAU PLAN CELLARS, which is one of the biggest bulk ageing cellar in the Indian Ocean. We are promoting tropical ageing and are offering rum/spirit ageing solutions.

14. Plans you have when you leave the rum industry.

Why leaving? J

15. Why is the role of the bartender important in the rum industry?

Bartenders are the professionals that set the trend!

16. What is your advice for new generations in the rum industry?

Never stop sharing the rum love!

17. How can people learn more about you?

You can contact me on my mail or on facebook and Instagram

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