Saturday, February 11, 2017
Virgin Holidays created the “world’s first data-distilled rum” by using a super computer to analyze more than 15 million social media posts and produce a recipe that “tastes like a holiday”. Virgin came up with the recipe for ‘Holiday Spirit’ by programming IBM’s cognitive computing platform ‘Watson’ to analyze feelings expressed online by more than 15 million holidaymakers. The emotions identified were matched to thousands of rum flavor descriptors by global rum ambassador Ian Burrell, and used to build a rum which was then bottled at 40% abv.
“The Virgin Holiday Spirit has a subtle vanilla flavor, medium sweetness, hints of coconut and is naturally caressed with cinnamon and allspice,” according to Ian Burrell . “It was my first time collaborating with a super computer to create a distinct blend, so we ensured a high level of quality control to deliver a premium palette experience. Tough job but someone has to do it.”
The most predominant positive emotions captured in the posts were happy, excited, curious, adventurous and relaxed, matched against vanilla, sugarcane, cinnamon, allspice and coconut flavors respectively. Dave Geer, interim managing director at Virgin Holidays, said: “We’ve long been known for creating the ‘perfect blend’ when it comes to holidays, so we set ourselves the task of translating this into something tangible.
“Bottling the holiday spirit, and creating a blend informed by joy, excitement, curiosity and confidence perfectly encapsulates the Virgin Holidays experience.” The only problem is that they are only available in the UK. This is a very interesting approach to making rum, but it makes sense, creating flavors that fit the people that are looking to buy them, it makes a lot of sense.