When we think about country music and drinking, beer comes to mind as the adult beverage of choice—as does whiskey and the occasional tequila night. But when it comes to the liquor that country music fans drink more than anything else, rum is the star. According to Nielsen data obtained by The Washington Post, country fans spend 12 percent more on rum than the average music listener.
Rum doesn’t sound like a natural fit for country music at first glance. The spirit doesn’t exactly embody the dusty, old school country cowboy aesthetic of hard drinking, working class heroes. It does, however, fit nicely with the new country vibe: escapism through partying and running away to tropical locales.
Consider, if you will, “Castaway” by Zac Brown Band, which is about having some fun with a double rum. There’s also Toby Keith’s “Rum is the Reason,” which is about not “getting much done,” but “having fun sailing on the deep blue sea” thanks to a bottle of dark rum. Then there’s Kenny Chesney, the king of country music rum drinking. Chesney sings about rum in his songs “Pirate Flag” and “Somewhere in the Sun.” He even has his very own rum, Blue Chair Bay Rum, which gets its name from his song “Blue Chair” that’s about an old blue rocking chair on the beach of Cinnamon Bay on St. John island.
Some other things Nielsen found that country music fans especially like: pets (10 percent more buy pet food than the national average), sports (71 percent say sports “is important”) and trucks (29 percent more likely than the average consumer to buy a truck). If you want to make a country music fan crazy, buy them tequila. But apparently, the way to their heart is with a bottle of rum.