Saudi Oilfield Moonshine Inspires New Rum Brand From Penderyn Distillery

Siddiqui rum

Siddiqui Rums From Penderyn Distillery

Saudi Arabia isn’t a country that jumps to mind when thinking about spirits producers, but it does have an association with a new rum brand.

Siddiqui is inspired by the moonshine produced by Texan and Californian oil workers during their time in Saudi Arabia.

Siddiqui rum

Being illegal, as Saudi has prohibited alcohol since the 1950s, it was allegedly secretly distilled and enjoyed for decades, and codenamed ‘siddiqui’ – Arabic for ‘my friend’ – to avoid detection.

The new Siddiqui rums, both brown and white, are being produced by Penderyn Distillery in Wales, but are said to have been inspired by the original illicit recipes from the ‘Blue Flame’ instruction book that circulated amongst the oil industry workforce.

Nigel Brown of Arabia, one of the entrepreneurs behind the Siddiqui brand
Nigel Brown of Arabia, one of the entrepreneurs behind the Siddiqui brand

“Siddiqui was the gift of relaxation the oil workers all made for themselves,” according to Nigel Brown, CEO and Co-founder of Siddiqui Rum.

“There are so many stories, some more illicit than others. They kept the workers going making the ‘best damn moonshine this world has seen’. Work hard, play hard is the oil drillers’ motto, deep in the bad ass desert of exotic Arabia pulling the black gold.”

“Being parched after a long hot day, there wasn’t a lot to do in the compound so they let loose. Boy did they party. The parties are legendary, never to be repeated.”

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I am Emma and with my husband Mark write Foodie Explorers, which is a food and travel website.

I am a member of the Guild of Food Writers and British Guild of Travel Writers.

We have a wide range of judging experience covering products, hotels and have judged, for example, for Great Taste Awards and Scottish Baker of the Year.

Along the way Mark gained WSET Level 2 in Wine and I have WSET Level 2 in Spirits as well as picking up an award with The Scotsman Food and Drink Awards.    

Usually I can be found sleeping beside a cat.

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