Santa Teresa 1796 Rum, the Venezuelan super-premium brand, launched its Crafted Together limited-edition bottle program in the face of adversity caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Global brand ambassador Geoff Robinson explains, “We believe that, no matter the situation, we are always stronger together. In March, when lockdown began, many of our bartending colleagues were out of work. We wanted to give back to the community that has always stood by us. We created the Crafted Together program as an opportunity to both support and honor the industry and conceive a new label.”
Santa Teresa has strived to turn crisis into opportunity for more than 220 years and continues its commitment to making a positive impact in its community through Crafted Together, which provides union, opportunity, and direct assistance to the trade in the face of this adversity.
Chief executive officer of Santa Teresa, Alberto Vollmer, adds, “Through the Crafted Together initiative, not only did we want Santa Teresa 1796 to support the trade community directly, but we also wanted to inspire bartenders to support one another.”
Santa Teresa brought over 25 bartenders from parts of the world, including Los Angeles, London, Miami, and Madrid, and New York to conceive a new label for the Crafted Together 1796 limited-edition bottle.
“The Santa Teresa Crafted Together project set up the perfect opportunity for me to connect with other artists in the hospitality industry around the world,” says Erin Koral, participating New York bartender of Bar Goto. “We were given the space to share our experiences with each other through art, which allowed us to work in tandem to create something encouraging and positive. It has been a strengthening experience to see my peers across the globe showcase all the creative ways they’re tackling these challenges.”
The label for the limited-edition bottle symbolizes the sheer resilience and creative talent of the bartending community. Note that all bartenders were compensated for their time and creative input. Describing the label’s unique process, Katie Redlien, Santa Teresa 1796 brand manager, elaborates, “Each bartender participant submitted an individual design, with styles ranging from photography to charcoal drawings to paintings, which was then compiled into a mosaic that graces our Santa Teresa 1796 Crafted Together limited-edition bottle. Just as the different designs come together to make a whole, the trade is comprised of incredible individuals, who create a truly spectacular community when they work together.”
Carley Gaskin, participating Chicago bartender of Hospitality 201 adds, “During such uncertain times, we’re taking the time to better ourselves, our lives, and the lives of others around us, within our community.” Kevin Diedric of San Francisco’s PCH continues, “We submitted artwork of our bar’s logo for the limited-edition label. It’s all about taking a negative situation and turning them into positive outcomes.”
Delving deeper into what makes the bartending community so remarkable, in the United States specifically, Redlien emphasizes, “I work with American bartenders all the time and find that one of their greatest assets is a talent for taking care of others. Though our country is vast and different from coast to coast, the bartending community is a tight-knit group. When the impact of COVID-19 began to take root and bars shuttered throughout the country, bartenders rose to the occasion to support one another and find a whole new kind of inner strength. They’re extremely creative with a ‘can-do’ attitude, which reflects American values such as entrepreneurship and independence.”
Participating bartender from LA’s Wabi Sabi, Leah Hendle, who has been working within her Venice community donating food and cocktails to people who lost their jobs and worked on the frontlines, says, “We all make a positive impact by setting intentions to better our community and bring everyone together.” As well, N.Y. bartender Liana Oster of Nomad concludes, “There’s been a sort of resilience and change amongst bartenders. There’s been so much to overcome.”
To further support and solidify its devotion to the bartending community’s well-being, Santa Teresa will donate $10,000 to the USBG Bartender Emergency Assistance Program. The Crafted Together limited-edition bottle will be available for purchase during National Rum Month this August.
The liquid inside this spirited collaboration bottle is Santa Teresa 1796, a bold and elegant rum with blends of up to 35 years of aging in bourbon oak barrels then further aged through the artisanal Spanish solera method resulting in a rum that is rich, refined, yet unexpectedly dry. The sugar cane and water used to make Santa Teresa 1796 come from the brand’s estate and local farms in the Aragua Valley.
This terroir consists of ideal environmental conditions for aging rum, from its rich soil to its temperate climate. From fermentation through distillation, aging and blending, it goes down at their Hacienda. The result is the perfect spirit for a whisky drinker looking to discover new flavors, with notes of wood, dark chocolate, leather, and nuts.