Lose the harsh! You gotta get Gubba. Gubba Rum, that is!

When Steve Gubb and his wife went to St. Martin on a vacation, who knew the (eventual) end result would be making his own rum?  Fortunately for the American drinking public, that’s exactly what happened.

Yvonne Davis, owner of Antoine’s in NOLA, with Steve Gubb

When Steve came home from his tropical trip, his first thought was to import some of the rum he’d found in St. Martin.  It was
unlike anything he’d tasted in the States, which seemed to present a great opportunity.  But, not only were the taxes prohibitive, Steve found that the rum wasn’t exactly as organic as it may have seemed.  Since importing the rum wasn’t an option – creating his own, from completely organic ingredients, turned out to be an even better way to go.  And Gubba Rum was born!

“We’re not writing the Bible, it’s booze! We’re here to have fun!” Steve described himself as a frustrated comedian – a great skill for the face of Gubba Rum.  Without the millions of dollars in marketing that the big labels spend, tasting events are the bread and butter of craft distillers. The ability to walk into a room full of strangers  and walk out with friends (or at least new customers) is definitely enhanced with a bit of humor. Steve said that his favorite part is the people that he meets and their reaction when they taste his rum.

Gubba Silver and Gold rums are made from pure cane sugar, and infused with natural ingredients.  And a Bottle of Rum: A History of the New World in Ten Cocktails, by Wayne Curtis, explains that for many years, molasses was thrown into the ocean, as a by-product of making pure cane sugar.  While we use molasses on waffles and other ways, it makes sense that a silky smooth rum like Gubba would come directly from the pure sugar cane juice, and not a by-product. Gubba Silver is infused with coconut, while Gold is infused with vanilla.  Neither is an additive nor extract, just the real thing. You can taste it – and once you do, you won’t call this rum “flavored”.  Six months spent infusing in stainless tanks imparts the perfect flavor of these ingredients (check out my review  here).

Gubba Rum won bronze medals in 2014 at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, a mere 6 months after opening their doors.  In blind taste tests against multi-year-aged rums and rums from big labels, he often comes out on top.  “It’s about making a spirit with a better taste,” Gubb explained.  It’s not about having a fancy bottle or a big marketing campaign – it’s the taste of the juice in the bottle. I would definitely agree – I’ve had some spirits that have come in pretty hand-painted bottles and skull-shaped bottles (ok, I kept that one and filled it with something better). But guess what? None of that made what was inside taste any better.  You’ve got to start with a good product, which Steve Gubb has successfully managed to do!

Currently, Gubba Rum is available in Massachusetts, at a variety of restaurants and retail stores. They are currently planning to be available this summer in Southern Florida, Rhode Island and Ogunquit,Maine He’ll also be at Tales of the Cocktail again this year with the Gubba Snack Stand at the Hotel Monteleone.  If you’re in NOLA, stop by and try a taste of Gubba Rum- and tell Steve LikeYourLiquor sent you!

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About Jeanne Runkle

Jeanne Runkle currently lives in San Diego, and is a certified bartender and craft liquor expert. Her specialty is the brown stuff, whether it's bourbon, rye or good old American whiskey. She can sometimes be found stalking the aisles of a liquor store near you, answering your random whiskey questions.


  1. […] Rum tasty, but Steve Gubb is a genuinely nice guy that enjoys sharing his rum. Make sure to read my interview with him, too.  Without further adieu, here are my tasting notes – […]

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