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Caleño Dark & Spicy Non-Alcoholic Rum

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Caleño Dark & Spicy Non-Alcoholic Rum


About Caleño Dark & Spicy Non-Alcoholic Rum

Caleño Dark & Spicy Non-Alcoholic Rum is produced by Caleño – a U.K. based non-alcoholic spirits company founded by Ellie Webb in 2017. As a brand, Caleño aims to create more inspiring non-alcoholic drink offerings, while also capturing the vibrant spirit of Colombia. The company received B Corp status in 2023.

To create their spirits, they use steam distillation to distill the macerated botanicals in a stainless steel drum for two days. This particular bottle of Dark & Spicy features coconut, pineapple, black cardamom, and kola nut. It also contains water, glycerine, caramel coloring, citric acid, and some necessary preservatives.

Bottle Specs

❖  ABV: 0.5%

❖ Distillery: Caleño

❖ Aging: N/A

❖ Price Point: high price

My Tasting notes

The aroma of this was pretty interesting. It was heavy on the pineapple, but had a nice warmth to it, and was delightfully tropical.

Obviously, non-alcoholic spirits are not really meant to be sipped. However, trying Dark & Spicy straight was a fairly pleasant experience. The pineapple flavor was prominent, but there were other sweet and warm notes that formed a decent imitation of the essence of rum. The mouthfeel was very gentle and flat.


Yield: 1 drink

Virgin Cuba Libre

Virgin Cuba Libre


  • 2oz non-alcoholic rum
  • 4oz Coca Cola
  • 1 splash lime juice
  • garnish: lime wedge


  1. Fill a glass with ice.
  2. Add the lime juice, non-alcoholic rum, and Coca Cola to the glass.
  3. Gently stir to combine.
  4. Garnish with a fresh lime wedge.

In a cocktail, this non-alcoholic rum was tasty, but created a much different flavor experience than drinking rum. It struck me how gentle it was compared to other non-alcoholic spirits I’ve tried, which often use strong spices to create a kick, in the absence of that alcohol heat. This was especially surprising given that the product has the word “spicy” in its name. There was really nothing spicy about it.

That said, the fruit notes were delicious and refreshing against the cola. The slight vanilla notes lingered on my tongue in between sips.

Bottom Line


At the end of the day, I really enjoyed this bottle of Caleño Dark & Spicy, but I have some reservations about it when I factor in the high price. Especially since Dark & Spicy is so heavy on the fruit notes, it left me wondering what it is doing for a cocktail that a splash of juice can’t do. The question left me waffling for quite a while, and I just don’t think I would have felt the same way if it was offered at a lower price point. Interestingly, the Caleño website references the product costing £18 in the U.K., so it seems U.S. customers are paying quite a bit more – a dollar amount roughly the equivalent of £24-26 depending on various factors.

That said, it did taste good in its own right, and the company’s B Corp status makes me interested in seeing more from them. It’s just not the well-rounded, appropriately-priced rum substitute I was hoping for at this time.

As always, drink responsibly.

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