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Mr. Benoît Bail, owner of Liqueurs et Spiritueux,
Mr. Benoît Bail, owner of Liqueurs et Spiritueux
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Mr. Benoît Bail, owner of Liqueurs et Spiritueux
Exclusive Interview with Mr. Benoît Bail, owner of Liqueurs et Spiritueux
First and foremost, I want to thank Mr. Benoît Bail, owner of Liqueurs et Spiritueux, for taking the time for this exclusive interview. Mr. Bail first reached out to Luis and I via LinkedIn and then sent us a bottle of each of his fruit infused rums. Once we received his rums and read up on his company, I thought this would be a great company to interview!
Mr. Bail’s idea of using natural and organic fruits with his rums and using recycled products for his packaging was very intriguing. So it gives me great pleasure to bring to you, our readers, Mr. Bail’s story. I wish him all the very best!
Margaret Ayala, Publisher
Q: What are your full name, title, and company name and company location?
My full name is Benoit Bail. I’m creator and owner of “Bail B. - Liqueurs et Spiritueux”. The company is located in Luxembourg.
Q: What inspired you to get started in the rum industry?
At the beginning I was just an ordinary rum amateur, like anybody else and I prepared my own infused rums for me and my friends. Suddenly, more and more people asked me if they could buy some, because they liked it. That ’s the reason why I started my own company and rum brand.
Q: What rums do you currently produce?
The specificity of my products is that they’re only produced with organic and seasonal products, so I change the flavors each 2 or 3 months and switch the actual flavors with new seasonal ones.
At the moment, I produced Pineapple/Vanilla rum, which is made of organic pineapples from Ivory Coast, organic bourbon vanilla beans from Madagascar and organic blonde sugar from Brazil.
The second one I produced for this season is Mango/Vanilla, which has almost the same ingredients as the pineapple, without the pineapple of course. For this one, I used fresh organic mangos from Cameroon.
Both have, as a rum base, a blend of 3 different rums from Trinidad, Guyana and Martinique.
Q: The name “Zwazo”, what does it mean/stand for? What inspired you to use this name for your rums?
Zwazo is the French-creole word for bird. In the French Caribbean that ’s also the word they use for the hummingbirds, which are typical and present all around the Caribbean. Finally we use this word and the logo of it for our brand, because it represents the lightness of our rums and the typical exotic taste of it.
Q: Is there something unique about your rums? The way they are made, ingredients, water, etc…?
My rums are unique, first of all because they are produced in Luxembourg. Today, there’s no other rum brand in this country then Zwazo.
Then, the blend I use is also specially produced for the brand and is made of 3 different molasses rums for a better taste and a well combination of more types of rums.
Q: What kind of shelf life do your rums have (considering that you are using organic ingredients)?
That’s a good question because mostly, once the bottles are opened, people can’t stop drinking it until it ’s empty.
The product continues infusing into the alcohol as long as it is inside of it and the aromas are getting more intensive with the time. So as longer you let it, better it will become.
Q: If the price of the fruits and spices you use goes up, do you absorb the cost to keep the price of your rums the same or do you increase the retail price to consumers?
I try to absorb the costs to keep the prices as low as possible for the consumers, even if it’s not easy, especially because of the prices of the organic main ingredients which are increasing.
Q: Are you aware that FDA regulations (regarding fresh fruit in the bottles) will not allow you to sell your rums in the USA ? How do you feel about this?
I’m aware about that and know that my products won’t be on the US market because of this. At the beginning, I was starting this for the local market in Luxembourg and it’s actually getting bigger in Europe, where these techniques are allowed, so I never imagined selling my products in the USA for the moment.
I would already be happy by completely covering the European market. If one day I would have to sell my products on the US markets, I would have to change my recipes and bottling, but we’re far away from there yet.
Q: In addition to using natural and organic fruits and spices for your rums, you also took the environment into consideration when designing the packaging for each of your products. Can you tell us a little bit more about the packaging?
Yes, it ’s true that I’m very conscious about the environment and its actual situation. I think that a lot of things can be done in a greener way, especially in the rum market, a little like Bacardi does with their global environment campaign.
On my level, that’s the reason why I try to make the packaging of Zwazo rums as green and ecologic as possible, by using natural or recycled materials like those from recycled paper made hangtags, plus the using of hangtags makes it possible of not using any kind of glue on my bottles.
Q: Do you have any plans for developing additional rum flavors in the near future?
Like I said before, I’m changing the flavors every 2 or 3 months. The next flavor will probably be apple/cinnamon, for which I work with some local apple producers from Luxembourg. That’s also a good point by using local products and give local producers work.
Q: What countries are you currently selling your rums in? Do you have plans of expanding into other countries or the fact that you are dealing with seasonal fruits keeps you from being able to expand?
Actually, I’m selling my rums in Luxembourg of course, but also in Belgium and France. My plans would be to expand my market all around Europe. Using seasonal products doesn’t change anything by dealing with other countries or becoming bigger.
Q: What have been some of the greatest challenges/obstacles you have encountered thus far?
I think that the greatest challenge was dealing with the customs. Unfortunately, even if its Europe, we’re not in a federal country so there’re still custom services in every country and I have to deal with all of them for import of my furniture’s or export of my rums. That takes time and doesn’t make it easy at all.
Q: Have you developed cocktail recipes for each of your rums or are they mainly designed to drink neat?
I prefer drinking it neat or on ice because I’m not a real cocktail fan, but a lot of bloggers all around the world and other customers tried to mix it and they had pretty nice results, like mixing Zwazo with champagne or bitter lemon.
Q: Is there a cocktail in particular that is your favorite? Why?
The only cocktail I would drink all day long is definitely the usual Caïpirinha. It’s not that complicated, but not everybody can make a good Caïpirinha. Even though it’s usually done with cachaça, I like it because it reminds me of the Ti -Punch they do with agricole rhum on the French islands, but you use to drink it in big glasses with a lot of ice and sugar. It ’s really refreshing during the summer time.
Q: If people want to contact you or want to know how to get a hold of your rums, how may they reach you?
They can get all the information they need on www.zwazo.lu
Q: Is there a message or comment you would like to share with our readers?
First of all I want to thank “Got Rum?” Magazine for doing and sharing this interview and to all the readers, keep reading this amazing magazine which contributed to make me a real rum lover today and made me meet a lot a nice people from all around the world. Like a friend of mine once said to me: “Rum is fun and rum people are fun people! ”.