What makes Rude Bwoy Spirits better than others? If you ask Patrick Mitchell, it’s the brand’s heritage. “We have a history for the flavors and know what rum is supposed to taste like and be made with,” he says. He’s referring to his passed-down family recipes, which date back to the early 1600s. Mitchell’s Jamaican ancestors were serial entrepreneurs who grew peanuts, onions, melons, scallions, and sugar on a 100-acre plantation. More than four centuries later, the California-bred South Florida resident is using the same tried-and-true recipes to produce Rude Bwoy Spirits alongside his business partner, James Larson.
“Rude Bwoy Spirits kind of blended our love of music, the islands, and financial aspects,” says Larson, who met Mitchell through a mutual friend nearly a decade ago. They launched their line of coconut, white, and gold rums, in addition to a vodka made from sugar cane, in 2019. It’s available at ABC Fine Wine and Total Wine stores, as well as local watering holes like Blue Pointe Bar and Grill and Guanabanas. Says Larson: “Our coconut rum is very unique. It’s all-natural, pure, and different.”
What inspired the name of the brand?
Mitchell: Rude Bwoy, also called “Rudie,” is an endearing term [in Jamaica] for one’s brethren, friend, or mate, and is also sometimes used to identify a youth or child that is a “cool yute.” The term was born after the emergence of ska, when reggae music was starting to take over the music scene of Jamaica. So the name showcases that proud independence and style we have. It represents the region.
What projects do you have coming up?
Larson: [The sandal company] Bonanno is in production right now to do a Rude Bwoy beach sandal in our colors with our logo on the heel. The sandals are very prestigious because Jackie Kennedy once wore them, and they’re 100 percent handmade.
How do you like to drink Rude Bwoy Spirits?
Larson: I like our coconut rum on the rocks with a squeeze of lime because it’s so natural. You don’t want to tarnish it with anything else.