Steampunk masters the dark arts with Voodoo Spiced Rum

Well-known for its range of small-batch, hand crafted gins, we caught up with Gateshead entrepreneur and conjurer of Steampunk Spirits, Charlie Gibbs, at the launch event for the company’s newest edition to their range - Voodoo Spice Rum.

“Here, have some of this...” 

...were the words uttered by a tall South American gentleman to Charlie Gibbs, whilst at a party in London a little over 18 months ago, as a clear unlabelled bottle was produced from a well-travelled, canvas hold-all, revealing a pure golden liquid within.

Charlie, originally from Falkirk, but a true segregate Geordie, was all too happy to sample the offering in the interests of forging a new friendship.

 “Oh, I love that, that’s fantastic… you’re going to tell me your Grandad made it aren’t you?”

…was his response to the man from Guyana, a country that sits on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, boarding the South American giants Venezuela and Brazil, but is considered Caribbean due to its long lasting cultural, historical and political ties with the Island’s to the north.

As the men drank on into the evening, little was to be divulged to Charlie of the contents of the drink both men were enjoying, but the man would let slip three key ingredients that went into this fabulous Guyanese rum

“vanilla, ginger and black pepper.”

With the taste instilled to vivid memory, Charlie, who by now had become a dab hand at alchemy himself, set upon a quest to find an importer of Guyana rum who would help him find the exact blend of spices to replicate the taste that had so enthralled him that evening.

After much trial and error, Charlie eventually hit gold on the 17th try and instantly ordered a 100 cases to bring to life this newest edition to the Steampunk Spirits range – Voodoo Spice Rum.

Presented in their own design and copyrighted “House Style” bottle, the label adorns the instantly recognisable image of spirit or ‘loa’ of the dead, Baron Samedi (French word for Saturday).

“He’s a bit of a guy, bit of a dude, likes a cigar, he likes rum” explained Charlie on why the Baron was chosen as the prominent face of Voodoo Spice Rum.

“Often, he’ll get side tracked when leading someone into the underworld – oh there’s a party over here, we’ll stop here for a bit.

“That’s the whole voodoo religion. He’s a big main player in it – he’s open to bribery, get you in quicker, get you a good spot – and I thought… he’s the guy, the guy I want to be associated with.”

And there’s certainly something mesmerising about Voodoo Spice - with its comforting, velvety sweet taste, chased by a satisfying warm kick, delighting guests at Newcastle’s Arch 2, Brewpub & Kitchen on Stepney Bank.

This included ‘weird sisters’ - Liz, Kathryn and Elsa – former work colleagues, having a long overdue catch up, who were certainly impressed by this new potion.

Putting aside their glasses of Prosecco for a moment, each took a sample with Elsa instantly enchanted; "hmmm, I like this!” she proclaimed with a glint in her eye.

Liz, also enjoying the rum's charm, mused how a dash of ginger wine could make it an even more devilish concoction.

Next was Kathryn, who as if put under some wonderful voodoo spell, was to declare herself a believer; 

“It’s really nice, I’m not usually a rum fan, but I like it.

“Consider me a rum convert.

Before adding;

“Where can I buy some?”

A question on everyone's mind, as guests drank on merrily into the night.

What recollection of what transpired after around the burning fire pits of Arch 2's courtyard remains hazy at best - but suffice to say, whatever sorcery occurred, we want to go back.

Voodoo Spice Rum, plus Steampunk's fantastic gin range are available to purchase online from and can also be found at an ever-expanding number of stockists across the country.

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