Origins of Jungla Suau rum: a spirit with a rich history


The pendant of the elephant’s shape with a raised trunk is a symbol of good luck. It is the amulet that the young Mallorcan sailor Joan Suau i Bennasser carried with him on every journey he sailed in the early 1830s.

 

He would later use it as the logo for one of his most iconic spirits at Bodegas Suau, Ron Jungla (Jungla Rum).

Ron Jungla is the name of that distillate. A jungle (Jungla) is a place of great competition among species, where the law of the strongest prevails, and where the captain of our story fought to transport his products to places where there was business.

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He sent his bottles, on which the symbol of the elephant with its raised trunk is stamped, just like the amulet, from Cuba to many other parts of the world. This is how the story between two islands, a tavern keeper, a sailor and an exquisite bottle of rum (Jungla) began.

The young Mallorcan sailor, Joan Suau, set out on a journey to the West African coast where his life will change forever. He became a friend of a tavern keeper who after a night of chatting and drinking, gave him what would turn into his personal amulet: a pendant in the shape of an elephant.

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After the conversation about the mishaps in the ocean, the barman told him that in many African coastal villages they have been telling the legend of the elephant for centuries.

After explaining this legend, he took out a small box from behind the bar where all the money was kept. It was brown and had a metal clasp. Without opening the box, he gave it to Joan Suau who would find the pendant inside.

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Weeks later, Suau set off on his journey to the Americas. He was confident and self-assured enough for this long and risky voyage, even though the first nights sailing were difficult. The sea was vast, the winds were getting much worse, and the clouds were completely black.

His boat, El Mallorquín, began to rock, everything was churning in there, but he got surprised by himself when he realised, he was able to keep calm. He was calm in front of this extreme situation, and it was at that precise moment where he remembered the words of his friend, the tavern keeper, wearing the elephant pendant he had given to him.

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Suau, who had never been superstitious or a believer in luck, realised at that moment that the elephant was his luck charm, and that he had to carry it with him at all times. The Mallorcan sailor began his journey with the idea of setting up his own business on the other side of the ocean.

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Once he arrived to Cuba, he got surprised by the extensive sugar cane plantations that he found in this corner of the world. He did not think twice, and as he would have promised to the tavern keeper, and to his own desire to learn, to fight and to achieve his goal, he decided to turn this discovery into an opportunity, founding a rum and anisette distillery.

Years after starting his bodega and his first distillate, he was still living the Cuban life, but without forgetting his beginnings on the island of Mallorca, passing through many other ports.

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The time to introduce his first bottle came, a distillate that had taken him years to achieve the quality he was looking for. A quality coming from optimum sugar cane and classic copper stills, followed by ageing in American oak barrels.

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He named this perfect distillate Ron Jungla, with the high trunk elephant stamped in the bottle. It was clear for him that the night in that African coast village had something to do with it.

suau ron jungla
Bodega Suau : Brandy, Ron, Gin

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