The Process


At the core of Coconut Cartel’s rum blend is a rich, traditionally prepared, single-origin, Spanish style “Ron”. 

The rum-making begins out on the farm, nestled in the volcanic belt of southern Guatemala, where sugarcane grows abundantly in this incredibly rich soil bed packed with minerals that flow downstream from the highlands. 

Guatemala is also known for its favorable climate, dubbing itself “el país de la eterna primavera”, “the country of eternal spring”—which makes it an ideal location to make our rum. Our distillery is 100% vertically integrated and proudly holds ISCC-EU certifications for Sustainability and Carbon Neutrality.


On site, cane is sustainably harvested and pressed to make a light sugarcane syrup. The syrup is first fermented and then distilled through copper column stills to produce a “ron crudo”, or raw rum, which is a crisp, fresh and kind of grassy tasting cane spirit. The “raw rum” is then tucked away for aging in new, charred American White Oak barrels for up to 12 years. Coconut Cartel’s aging process rounds out the bitterness of the fresh rum and slowly imparts oak and vanilla notes found in the wood to give the rum its rich flavors. The barrel will also serve to darken the color of the rum into a beautiful golden amber tone. We do not add caramel for color or artificial flavors to taste.

Our Blending Style 

It was 2012 on an island farm off the coast of El Salvador, where our careers as “coconut smugglers” would begin. Originally planted to supply a coconut candy manufacturer in 1918, the farm was later left abandoned and never fully utilized for commercial purposes again. Over 100 years later, with the smuggle of three hundred coconuts in a suitcase, Mike Zig reignited this local agricultural industry. Today, coconuts from this farm are used to make our  unique rum blend.

The last step in our rum making—our unique pièce de résistance—is the use of freshly harvested coconut water to proof down the aged rum blend from cask strength (120 Proof) to bottle strength (80 Proof).

The use of coconut water in this process is entirely unique to our blending style and gives Coconut Cartel a truly distinctive flavor and texture. The coconut water’s natural salinity dampens the bitter notes from the tannins in the aged spirit. At the same time, the salt enhances and brightens the fruity and floral notes of the rum. Additionally, other minerals found in coconut water including calcium, magnesium and potassium contribute to the smooth mouthfeel and luscious viscosity you’ll find in our rum. So while you may expect this so-called “coconut rum” to taste sweet and very coconut forward, you’re actually embarking on a savory and umami tasting experience that leaves you curious and wanting for another sip.