In 1915, Sam Cortese began making and selling his hand-pulled molasses taffy from a wooden, mule-drawn wagon on the streets of New Orleans. The famous red and white wagon bearing the name “Roman Chewing Candy” is a true fixture of New Orleans tradition and still can be found in the streets today, clanging its bell and calling all to come to enjoy the hand-pulled chocolate, strawberry and vanilla taffy.
Our rum is a tribute to Grandpa Sam and to New Orleans. They both have so much in common. When Sam was a child, both of his legs were severed by a street car. Back then, there were no special schools or programs available for children with handicaps or disabilities. Fraught with the concern of how a child would survive, much less prosper, with such obstacles, the Cortese family began making and selling the famous Roman Chewing Candy. So, with nothing more than a 3rd grade education, the true New Orleanian spirit of overcoming adversity came through. Sam had a special wagon made so that even with wooden legs he could travel the streets of the Crescent City, clanging the bell which told everyone who heard it that the candy was here.
Sam Cortese didn’t consider himself a special case nor did he want any special recognition. In fact, he considered himself blessed and fortunate. He embodied the true spirit of New Orleans and this Louisiana; its tradition, its heritage, its ability to overcome adversity and challenges in so many ways, yet still bounce back, and maintain the personality, charm and characteristics that make this one of the most unique places to live in the world.
Now, to celebrate the centennial anniversary of Roman Chewing Candy, with the same molasses base used in making the delectable candy, we proudly bring you Roman Candy Rum. So, enjoy the same delicious taffy flavors in our chocolate, strawberry and vanilla rums – reminiscent of the traditional Roman Chewing Candy taffy flavors. Visit the RECIPE page for some delicious, easy, custom craft cocktails devised by some the famous restaurants and bartenders from out great city. Ask for it wherever you go. Enjoy!
Our distinct, flavorful Rums would make Grandpa Sam Cortese proud!