Sisserou, rum and coconut cream liqueur, created by Norwich entrepreneur Julia La Ronde, has won a Bronze medal in the 2016 International Spirits Challenge (ISC) tasting awards.
The ISC is the most influential spirits competition in the world, attracting 1,300 entries each year from 70 countries. It is supported by many of the world’s leading spirits producers as the international standard for quality and excellence.
“The award is great news because it puts Sisserou on the world map” says Julia. “The Bronze ISC tasting medal will now be on every bottle of Sisserou. We recently re-launched the brand and winning this award is a fantastic endorsement of all our efforts to bring Sisserou to a wider national and international market. We also have many loyal customers who will be delighted!”
Jessie Glover of VC Vintners who has been selling Sisserou to bars and restaurants in Norfolk and Suffolk since 2013 said: “I’m glad that Julia’s hard work in developing a quality brand is being recognised……”
The Bronze ISC Tasting medal is only awarded after a rigorous seven-day blind tasting period award. To ensure that the spirit meets the exceptional quality standards set by the ISC, each product is judged on aroma, appearance, taste and finish. An ISC spokeswoman explained: “Winning an ISC medal is an outstanding achievement, and underlines a producer’s commitment to quality and innovation.”
Julia, who was born in Dominica in the Caribbean and has lived in Norwich for almost 21 years, developed the Sisserou brand after watching her grandmother and mother make the liqueur for friends and family. She first launched Sisserou in 1999, and appeared as a contestant on BBC TV’s Dragons’ Den in 2007. Then, with difficult market conditions and a young family to raise, Julia put the brand on hold. She explains: “Late 2014 we decided it was time to re-launch Sisserou. The market has changed. The rise of social media supports small independent businesses. We found a great new manufacturer for the liqueur in the UK, and sourced stylish new packaging from an Italian supplier.“
Sisserou will be showcased in the ISC Annual Results supplement of the Drinks International magazine, distributed to 9,000 drinks professionals around the world. Julia will be presented with the trophy at the ISC Awards dinner in July, at the Honourable Artillery Company in London.