ARTICLE: Born in Cuba, raised in the Dominican: Ron Matusalem

#Reclame due to the mentioning and visibility of brands.

Ask anyone to name several countries connected to Rum and the answers will be allover the place. There’s the common ones like Cuba, Jamaica and possibly Barbados. Some might mention Trinidad, Martinique, Venezuela, Guadeloupe or Nicaragua. Maybe they’ve heard of the lesser known Rums from St Lucia, The Cayman Islands, La Reunion or Mauritius…

When you look at it globally, it all comes down to the fact Rum is beautifully diverse, and each island/country has its own ways in the production of it (let’s please not call it a Wild West, because once you understand the way it works, most of it makes sense. But that’s an entirely different story, maybe one for later.).

Today I’m introducing you to Ron Matusalem, a Spanish-style Rum with a history that takes us back to 1872 Cuba. If it’s hard to imagine: It was at least 20-30 years before there was any talk of popular cocktails like the Daiquiri, Cuba Libre and Mojito. And by the time all American tourists were drinking these mixes, during the first half of the 20th Century, Matusalem was actually thé largest brand of Rum on the entire island, with a market share of over 50%!

Yet with the arrival of the Castro-age, the Alvarez family, responsible for Ron Matusalem, fled, and the Rum-production stopped until the brand was relaunched in the Dominican Republic several decades later, by the descendants of the original founders. And that’s where the Rum is currently being produced, even though they’re profiling themselves majorly as Cuban heritage, and with good reason, as production-secrets were passed on generation upon generation.


Matusalem comes in different expressions of varying ages, with the Gran Reserva 23 as their crown jewel. I, myself, will be continuing this post talking about the Gran Reserva 15, their popular mixing Rum that boasts with flavors of vanilla, dried drupes, cloves and slight hints of marmalade.

Whenever I’m sampling Spirits for the first time I try to take some notes, not just of what it tastes like or of what it reminds me, I also love writing down some flavors that I’d love to combine it with. In the case of the Gran Reserva 15, I almost instantly thought of two things: Passionfruit and Cinnamon, and well… that’s what I ended up doing! Meet the…

Passionfruit Rum Punch
– 60ml Matusalem Gran Reserva 15
– 15ml Unsweetened Passionfruit Puree
– 20ml Lime Juice
– 15-20ml Demerara Syrup (if unavailable, use regular Sirop de Canne)
– 3 dashes Angostura Bitters
– 1 Passionfruit

1. Empty passionfruit in shaker
2. Add all the other ingredients and shake with crushed ice
3. Dump all in glass or mug, top with more ice
4. Use a reusable or degradable straw and garnish abundantly

(TIP: If you can’t get your hands on Passionfruit puree,
maybe switch the Demerara or Canne Syrup to Passionfruit Syrup)


A perfect drink to get in the mood for tropical vibes. Passionfruit plays beautifully with the Vanilla and Clove-flavors so apparent in the Rum! And if you’re out of Crushed ice, just shake it up and serve it in a coupe glass: a wild ‘Improved Passionfruit Daiquiri’ just appeared!

If you end up (re)creating my drink, definitely let me know! And don’t forget to keep an eye on my Instagram page to stay inspired!


Disclaimer: The bottle of ‘Ron Matusalem – Gran Reserva 15’ was a promotional item, yet without obligations or limitations to my work. All pictures and text are property of Matthias Soberon / Served By Soberon. Nothing can be used or copied without written permission of the author and the addition of full credits.

Geef een reactie

Vul je gegevens in of klik op een icoon om in te loggen. logo

Je reageert onder je account. Log uit /  Bijwerken )


Je reageert onder je Twitter account. Log uit /  Bijwerken )

Facebook foto

Je reageert onder je Facebook account. Log uit /  Bijwerken )

Verbinden met %s

Deze site gebruikt Akismet om spam te bestrijden. Ontdek hoe de data van je reactie verwerkt wordt.