For RumChata, the Sweet Taste of Success

The drink grabs 20 percent of the U.S. market for cream liqueurs

A decade ago marketing executive Tom Maas was working at distiller Jim Beam looking for ways to get Hispanics to drink more bourbon. That didn’t work out, but the effort introduced him to horchata, a traditional sweet-and-spicy nonalcoholic drink consumed across Central America. Luckily, he didn’t forget the milky concoction of crushed rice, almonds, cinnamon, and other spices when he went off on his own. Today his RumChata, a combination of the Latin favorite, dairy cream, and rum, sits in the profitable eye of a perfect trend storm: Hispanic flavors are hot; rum-infused tiki cocktails are in; and consumers are looking for simple yet novel drinks to mix for themselves at home.

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