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Monkey Rum bottles are re-purposed as glasses

International TV host and drinks expert, Zane Lamprey of National Geographic’s world-cocktail culture show ‘Chug’ has launched his own spirit brand, Monkey Rum.

Seed-launched in New York in 2014, and expanded into New Jersey, California, and Florida in May this year, the two Monkey Rum offerings - Monkey Rum with Toasted Coconut and Monkey Spiced Rum - are premium, barrel-aged rums infused with natural flavours, which are claimed to contain less sugar than traditional flavoured rums.

After decades of hosting numerous successful TV shows, which explore drinking cultures in a variety of countries, Lamprey used his experiences to develop the recipe for Monkey Rum. His most popular shows, including: Three Sheets, Drinking Made Easy, and Lamprey’s current show on National Geographic, Chug, brought him to more than 60 countries, which afforded him the opportunity to enjoy the finest spirits, visit hundreds of distilleries and has opened doors to numerous meetings with master blenders, making Lamprey an expert in his own right.

As a result, Lamprey has served as a host of many leading industry events including Tales of the Cocktail earning him the much due respect from mixologists and industry influencers. “I set out to create a Rum that captured the spirit of my adventures - a more evolved rum compared to what was available on the market. After years of refinement and testing, this product is something I am incredibly proud of,” says Lamprey.

To launch the product, the brand had fun with the concept of #FindTheMonkey. This ‘contest’ was developed many years ago when Lamprey would hide his drinking companion Pleepleus the monkey in each of his shows – this lead consumers on their own quest to identify Pleepleus’ appearances and reward themselves with a sip of rum. Monkey Rum has taken this concept one step further with a multi-faceted marketing campaign that aligns with the Electronic Dance Music scene. Monkey Rum has been involved with music festivals across the country from Miami’s Winter Music Conference has attracted the attention of top-billed DJs including Axwell Ingrosso. In the current #FindTheMonkey contest, consumers have been challenged to count the Pleepleus appearances in DJ Alesso’s Sweet Escape music video and enter on Facebook to win prizes and VIP concert experiences with Alesso.

 Unique barrel shaped bottle

The distinct barrel shape of the Monkey Rum bottle serves to reinforce the fact that Monkey Rum is barrel-aged, but the bottle is also full of surprises and opportunity for repurposed functionality. For those astute consumers, and Lamprey fans, they will be able to spot the many ‘Easter eggs’ throughout the bottle. The train on the label is a nod to Lamprey’s Chug show, while the train number signifies the amount of Kickstarter backers that supported Lamprey. The sailing ship pays homage to the Three Sheets show. References to Pleepleus the Monkey can be found in at least a dozen locations on the bottle. The Evolution Spirits seal, which depicts the evolution of man, stands for the progress made in the development in this product.

Zane Lamprey, his co-founder, Ian Crystal, and the team at Monkey Rum are of the mindset that no bottle should end its life in the landfill. To ensure this, and to provide customers added value, the bottle has been designed to be re-purposed. The distinct ridges around the bottle designate specific areas that can be cut and used as glassware. The lower ring on the bottle indicates the sizing to create a rocks glass with the Monkey emblem stamped on the inset; the second mark makes for a perfect pint glass, while the top potion of the bottle can be cut and with a pedestal inserted into the bottle neck creates an innovative branded daiquiri goblet. Further, during the upcoming promotional period, consumers will be able to mail the bottle back in the gift box and will receive the repurposed glassware; making for an exciting gift for the holidays.

Bars and restaurants are also encouraged to collect the empty monkey Rum Bottles, which will be picked up by their local sales representative, and returned as glassware. Rum Evolved: Bottle Evolved.

Monkey Rum 35% ABV/750ml is available throughout California, New York, Florida, and New Jersey - as well as shipped nationwide via online sales with additional major markets to be added in the coming months. 

29 June 2015 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor