Bruno Mars Wants You to Know His Rum Collection Is 'Vacation in a Glass'
For the superstar singer, rum means “it’s dance time.”
Bruno Mars is a vibe. His entire aesthetic, from the way he dresses to the way he walks, oozes a sense of effortless cool that people around the world only wish they could replicate. But while nailing the dance from “Uptown Funk” might not be as easy it looks — trust me, I’ve tried — the Hawaii-native’s SelvaRey Rum can at least have you drinking like the 11-time Grammy Award winner.
Coined as “a vacation in a glass,” SelvaRey comes in two distinct rums — White and Chocolate — and is crafted on a single estate in Panama. The White is a blend of a three-year and five-year aged rum that’s charcoal filtered, leaving behind a beautiful, clear liquid with “notes of citrus, pineapple, and toasty crème brûlée.” The Chocolate is a five-year-old rum infused with natural chocolate. Whatever your palette, these rums promise “tropical luxury wherever you are.”
And since right now a lot of us are staying home due to the global coronavirus pandemic, have we ever needed to be transported to a tropical paradise more? No — and Bruno knows that.
Travel + Leisure caught up with the superstar who, in addition to celebrating the launch of SelvaRey, is also commemorating the 10th anniversary of his debut album, “Doo-Wops & Hooligans,” to talk about bringing his 70s-inspired tropical rums to life, his love for Hawaii, and his preferred way to drink SelvaRey.
Travel + Leisure: Why did you decide to get into the rum business?
Bruno Mars: “Rum is like the instant vacation drink, no matter where you are. It's like, you've got some kind of, let's just say Piña Colada, for instance, it's dance time, you know?
Why SelvaRey, specifically?
“I've been with SelvaRey for over seven years now. You know, I met [Seth Gold, Co-founder] seven years ago and he had some rum with him that he was doing up and tried it and I said, 'Hey man, I'm having a party.' And he started catering my parties and then he started catering my parties on tour. So there was a great relationship.”
How do you like to enjoy SelvaRey?
“You know what's a delicious drink? I like rum and ginger ale — especially for the holidays. Coquito, that's delicious. It's a little strenuous to make, but if you get your hands on that with the rum, it's delicious.”
How did growing up in Hawaii influence your creative input on SelvaRey, from the taste, to the bottle, and to the branding?
“I guess it's just what I grew up with. I used to perform in Waikiki and I'd just see everyone with a Mai Tai in their hand, a Piña Colada in their hand, rum punch in their hand, you know, and it's just joy. I want [that] energy because that's what the liquid is as soon as you taste it. I want everything to be talking to each other like that — and then everything to feel like a good time”
What’s the best thing for people to do on vacation in Hawaii?
“I wouldn't even know where to begin. You know, just go to the airport [and] you're happy. It's just a magical rock, you could just take your car and go anywhere. And if you can't find happiness there, there's something wrong with you."
How are you holding up during the pandemic? What are you doing to take care of yourself?
“Taking care of myself? I think everyone just feels like we're holding on, you know, and just got to hold on a little longer... to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Everyone's just trying to survive this thing and try to find little spots of joy and, you know, the sooner we get out of this, the sooner we get back to normal life.”
How does it feel knowing your music is helping people get through this time?
“Even for myself, it was like, ‘man, you know how important music is?’ This is what's helping. You know, if there's any way we can smile through this thing, it's going to be through music. Why not pair that with a delicious drink?”
Once this is over and we can freely travel again, where are you headed first?
“For me, a vacation is the beach. I need ocean. I need sunlight. You're never gonna see me skiing or anything like that. It's not because I don't appreciate that... I don't do good in cold. I want to be in the sun sipping on something.”
SelvaRey Rum is available for order online, starting at $29.99.
Editor’s Note: This interview has been edited for clarity and length.
Tanner Saunders is the Associate Digital Editor of Travel + Leisure. He would probably catch a grenade for you. Follow him on Instagram @Tizanner.