When Solopress introduced Gold Foil printing last year, along with Rose Gold, Silver Foil and Spot UV, it immediately struck a chord with businesses that already had a bit of sparkle in their branding. One of those brands was Stargazy, a rum liqueur from Cornwall that’s currently gathering a huge following.
Launched in July 2019, Stargazy ‘Cosmic Caramel’ is a liqueur made from aged rum, flavoured with caramel, Cornish sea salt and hints of gorse flower and coconut. While partnering with Stargazy to print their distinctive materials, we were blown away by their sophisticated yet playful branding. We were intrigued to find out more, so we spoke to Stargazy’s Alison Dunne about the origins of the product, and the business itself.
The Rum & Crab Shack
It turns out Stargazy is the product of a 25-year friendship between Alison, her partner Luke and their friends Sarah and Neyth. The business is centred around The Rum & Crab Shack in St Ives, which Sarah and Neyth run. Both venue and menu were inspired by Eastern Seaboard eateries in the US, combining a convivial atmosphere with fresh local seafood.
Stargazy’s not the first original beverage to originate from The Rum & Crab Shack. The friends had previously collaborated to bring to market a spiced rum called Dead Man’s Fingers, for which Solopress also handled print. Its success saw it grow from house rum at the Rum & Crab Shack to becoming one of the Halewood family of wines and spirits in 2018. The Dead Man’s Fingers brand now encompasses ten product variations, with flavours running from Hazelnut to Hemp!
Following on from the success of Dead Man’s Fingers, the four decided to create something new from scratch: a rum liqueur that appealed to the discerning customer looking for a smooth tipple with a slightly lower alcohol content. According to Alison:
“The nolo (no or low alcohol) trend of drinking less and better has seen demand increase for rums that meet these criteria. Stargazy has an ABV of 22%, with a balanced flavour profile to match the most accessible liqueurs.”
The drink itself can be sipped neat over ice or incorporated into cocktails such as Espresso Martinis, or the signature Stargazer, with apple juice and lime.
Building the brand
The Stargazy name was influenced by a number of local sources:
“The brand was inspired in equal parts by a 500-year-old Cornish legend, historic local links to 20th-century space exploration and a desire to create another modern-day Cornish rum product with cult status.”
Not only is Stargazy a cool sounding name with a fitting derivation, but it’s also evocative of an idyllic Cornish lifestyle. You can just imagine yourself staring up at the heavens after a hard summer’s day enjoying a reviving rum cocktail.
Superstar good looks
The title treatment, logo and packaging design are all the work of Alison’s partner Luke. The visual branding that Luke has achieved strikes a perfect balance between modern elegance and great fun — just like a fantastic night out. As the Stargazy team puts it:
“Stargazy’s distinct die-cut star and gold foil label oozes pick-me-up appeal and stands out as an ideal back bar display, party addition or gift solution.”
The business cards that Solopress produced feature Gold Foil printing that lifts and highlights the Stargazy brand’s beautiful lettering. Next on Stargazy’s print shopping list are branded wrapping paper and gift cards so that receiving a bottle of Cosmic Caramel will be an even more special experience! Alison felt Solopress was the natural choice as print partner for the new venture:
“We’d used Solopress before with the Dead Man’s Fingers brand and we’d always been pleased with the speed and quality on offer. For the launch of Stargazy, we knew we’d be in good hands, and with the introduction of Gold Foil printing it felt like it was meant to be!”
Launch into the future
The public got it’s first taste of Stargazy at the Port Eliot festival in July 2019, where they showed their appreciation by drinking the bar dry by day two! Since launch, not only has the product gained enormous popularity, but the founders have established a yet another harbourside bar in St Ives, this time named in honour of their new brew:
“We want to build the brand into, not just a drink but also an experience, hence our new ‘Stargazy’ cocktail bar in St Ives. And hopefully you’ll see a Stargazy pop-up bar at a festival next summer!”
Cut to the chaser
All of which brings us to the most important matter, how to get your hands on your own. Stargazy ‘Cosmic Caramel’ is, of course, available to buy at The Rum & Crab Shack and at the Stargazy Bar on the Harbourside in St Ives. But if you can’t get down to Cornwall, you can order a bottle directly online. To keep tabs on what’s going on down there on the Harbourside, and to look out for exciting new products and offers, you can follow Stargazy Rum on Instagram, and Keep it Cosmic!