Everything else.. The Story of How Lankan Arrack is Going Global

The Story of How Lankan Arrack is Going Global

2019 Jun 12

You might love it, hate it or would not want to admit that you love it, but Coconut Arrack is a part of the Sri Lankan identity and Ceylon Arrack, an up-market blend of arrack from the Rockland Distilleries, seems to be taking the world by storm!


From some of London’s finest restaurants to gifts given by Sri Lanka’s biggest CEOs, arrack is getting a glow-up and we are all excited.

Arrack, which is a type of spirit derived from the coconut sap, has been produced in Sri Lanka for centuries. Even though arrack is a beverage of multitude notes and complexities, all that takes to make it is coconut flower sap, water, and time.


It was in 1924, when JBM Perera accepted a contract from the British government to mass produce arrack, that the process was refined into an art. This helped transform arrack from a crude liquor into a more sophisticated beverage akin to the likes of rum.


Even with these improvements, arrack was still considered a “low class” drink, especially in Sri Lanka. And yet, internationally it’s known as a smooth, artisan spirit. There is a premium version of this local drink that is making rounds all over the world. Food and travel writer Anthony Bourdain described it as, “a marriage of bourbon and rum, but with a stronger, burning kick and a mysterious bouquet”.


However, Ceylon Arrack has a big following internationally and when it was first introduced in the UK, which is notorious as the “toughest liquor market in the world”, the results were astounding.


Currently, this variety has a bigger market in Britain than Sri Lanka.

Image courtesy of BBC

Singaporean native and bar owner Vijay Mudaliar says, “Arrack is a beautiful spirit. The taste profile is very fresh and clean. Aged arracks are definitely a viable choice for any dark spirit drinkers.” and his signature cocktails that include Ceylon Arrack is a testament to this.


Even though they face a lot of challenges, Rockland Distilleries have taken it upon themselves to take Sri Lanka’s name to the international stage yet again, and signature liquor adds a certain flare of sophistication and class to our image.


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