Morgan Heritage gets into spirits with Island Vibes
Reggae group says latest venture reminds them of home
After more than 25 years of crooning about island vibes, Morgan Heritage is ready to give the world a real taste of home. The iconic Grammy Award-winning, culture-driven band has ventured into the spirits industry with the official launch of their rum brand — Island Vibes Rum — which happened in Las Vegas recently.
“We chose rum because not only is that industry a very integral part of what we do as entertainers, but it’s also deeply rooted in Caribbean culture historically,” says Mojo Morgan about their new business venture. “The line is unique because we are introducing flavours not yet offered, and the crafting that went into the creation of our flavours adds a unique taste that sets us apart from the rest.”
Island Vibes Rum is not the reggae group’s first time stepping outside of music. In 2017, they entered the cannabis marketplace with their Masaya CBD Oil, which was inspired by Gramps Morgan’s son, who battled a seizure disorder and benefited from the product. Masaya means ‘happy’, and it’s safe to say that the entire Morgan family is happy with the outcome and the returns on that investment, and feels motivated to venture into other marketplaces. The idea for the rum was born one year after the cannabis brand, while on their festival-style tour called the Island Vibes Tour.
Like all rum that comes from sugar cane, it is produced from 100 per cent molasses that is distilled, and each individually tempered with natural flavours, from a smooth and rich coconut aroma to citrus nuances created using freshly picked key lime leaves and fruit. Another is a smokey, spice-infused blend. While there is something contradictory about the urge to drink alcoholic mixes in the heat of the summer when our bodies are begging to be hydrated, for Mojo, it’s about the nostalgia of the Caribbean flavours.
“The coconut-flavoured rum really reminds me of being home, on our farm in St Thomas, Jamaica, and there’s more to come that is influenced by the region,” he said, adding that, with their business partner Michael Politz, the founder, executive editor and publisher of Food and Beverage Magazine, “his presence in the food and beverage industry, has given us access to major [companies] that have launched some of the biggest brands in the space”.
The Island Vibes Rum team is in talks with one of the top distributors in an effort to have the rum on shelves islandwide and across the Caribbean by the end of the year, but in the meantime, they are serving up some cocktails to sip on.
Island Vibes Coconut Colada
This seasonal spin on coconut purée and rum is for the spirit-lover who daydreams of paradise. It is a hybrid of light and creamy without being overpowering.
2oz Island Vibes Coconut Rum
2.5oz Coconut Purée
1oz sweet and sour mix
1 cup ice
Whipped cream, maraschino cherry, and a pineapple wedge to garnish (optional)
• In a blender, combine Island Vibes Coconut Rum, coconut purée, and the sweet and sour mix.
• Purée slowly, increasing the speed to high and using a tamper to press the ingredients into the blades, if necessary, until combined for about 1 minute.
• Add the ice and purée on medium-high speed until smooth for about 1 minute more.
• Pour into a tall glass.
• Garnish with whipped cream, maraschino cherry, and pineapple wedge (optional).
Island Vibes Spiced Rum Mai Tai
Show your company that you know a thing or two about spicing things up with simple ingredients. A mai tai is a staple summer cocktail that can be made in a large batch, and with all the flavours in the mix, the vibe will be elevated.
1.5oz Island Vibes Coconut Rum
2oz Island Vibes Spiced Rum
5oz pineapple juice
¼ ox grenadine
Pineapple wedge and maraschino cherry to garnish (optional)
• Combine Island Vibes Coconut Rum and pineapple juice in a cocktail shaker.
• Add ice to the cocktail shaker, then cover and shake well until chilled.
• Strain the mixture into a glass filled with fresh ice.
• Top with a float of Island Vibes Spice Rum and grenadine.
• Garnish with a pineapple wedge and maraschino cherry (optional).
Island Vibes Key Lime Mango Mojito
Few drinks double as both delicious and breath-freshening, but lime and mint flavours mixed into an extra cold, fruity base can quell the heat when the sun is blazing down. If you like a little sour in your sweet, that’s where this twist on a mojito comes in.
• 4 large fresh mint leaves • 1oz simple syrup
• 1/2oz lime juice from fresh lime • 2oz Island Vibes Key Lime-Flavoured Rum
• 2oz mango juice
•1oz cup club soda
• Fresh mint sprigs, lime wheels and mango slice to garnish (optional)
• In a shaker, muddle mint leaves with simple syrup and lime juice.
• Add Island Vibes Key Lime Rum and mango juice. Cover and shake vigorously.
• Strain into a glass filled with ice and top with club soda.
• Garnish with mint sprigs, lime wheels and fresh mango slice, if desired.