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Press Release

For Immediate Release

Contact: Nykole Tyson, news@mutinyislandvodka.com

 

MUTINY Island Vodka Launches World’s First and Only Vodka Made from Breadfruit

The launch of the first spirit created from breadfruit disrupts the vodka category with its natural citrus, melon and green banana flavor notes.

(Christiansted, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands (June 21, 2019) MUTINY Island Vodka, the world’s first and only vodka distilled from breadfruit and the brainchild of award-winning Chef Todd Manley, has launched as the inaugural spirit distilled and bottled at the newly-opened Sion Farm Distillery on the Caribbean island of St. Croix. The first vodka produced on St. Croix is revolutionizing the vodka category and is set to shake up the cocktail culture.

Manley, originally from Virginia where he was chef/owner of multiple restaurants, owns four popular restaurants on St. Croix. He has called the Virgin Islands home since 2010. Manley’s passion for his adopted home and his commitment to the finest, most authentic ingredients drove his vision for MUTINY Island Vodka, created in collaboration with gold-medal-winning distiller Chris Richeson. “St. Croix is a magical place where history, culture, and incredible people come together to create a rich experience,” said Manley.  “MUTINY Island Vodka started as a way for us to give back to this amazing island and its people.”

Breadfruit, touted by many as an untapped superfood, is a versatile tropical fruit known and loved throughout the Caribbean and Pacific islands. “Breadfruit, with its rich history and legacy, provided us with a type of vodka we knew would be true to the island,” said Manley. “Hand-crafted MUTINY Island Vodka retains the character of the island breadfruit from which it is distilled.”

Manley continued, “With the creation of MUTINY Island Vodka and the opening of Sion Farm Distillery, we are committed to supporting the growth of St. Croix, and all of the USVI, by way of employment, agriculture, environmental initiatives and the vibrant tourist trade of the islands.” 

Sam Choy, celebrity chef, restaurateur and television personality was raised with breadfruit as a staple ingredient in many Hawaiian dishes. He is a strong supporter of MUTINY Island Vodka. “Chef Todd and his team have taken the breadfruit that I grew up with to another level, while transforming the very nature of vodka,” said Choy.  “MUTINY Island Vodka is not only new, but it's awesome! When you taste it for the first time, you taste the history of the islands.”

MUTINY Island Vodka is committed to the cultivation of breadfruit on its home island and throughout the tropical world. Breadfruit is an energy-rich food and a good source of complex carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals. In a world with nearly 1 billion hungry people, 80% of whom live in the tropics, the propagation of breadfruit is relevant and necessary*. “A portion of the proceeds from the sale of MUTINY Island Vodka will be donated to the Trees That Feed Foundation to support their efforts to alleviate hunger in tropical countries,” said Manley.

“Trees That Feed Foundation has been promoting the planting and use of breadfruit and its post-harvest products across the world,” said Mary McLaughlin, TTFF chair and founder. “We’re delighted that Todd and his team at MUTINY Island Vodka have had the vision to create a breadfruit vodka that consumers will enjoy and that will provide economic benefit to the farmers whose ingredients are used. We welcome their support of our efforts to build self-sustaining communities and entrepreneurs based on agroforestry”

The MUTINY Island Vodka name was inspired by the famous tale of the mutiny on the Royal Navy vessel HMS Bounty in 1789, known to most as "The Mutiny on The Bounty.”

At launch, distribution will focus on the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, with plans for expansion throughout the United States to follow.

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About MUTINY Island Vodka

MUTINY Island Vodka is the world’s first and only vodka made from breadfruit. It is the first vodka distilled and bottled on the U.S. Virgin Island of St. Croix. Breadfruit, touted by many as an untapped superfood, is a versatile tropical fruit known and loved throughout the Caribbean, Pacific islands, Africa and other tropical locations. MUTINY Island Vodka is handmade from breadfruit in a state-of-the-art artisanal copper still and is naturally GMO and Gluten Free. It is the inaugural spirit of the newly-opened Sion Farm Distillery and is available in 750ml and 50ml sizes. For more information, visit http://www.MUTINYIslandVodka.com .

About TTFF

Based in Northfield, Ill., Trees That Feed Foundation is a not-for-profit organization devoted to alleviating hunger in tropical countries. TTFF aims to see communities in these areas with a sustainable food supply, marketplace for food products, increased job opportunity and an improved, reforested environment. TTFF works across the Caribbean, Central America and Africa to distribute food-bearing trees to local farmers and communities, provide training for tree care, and guide the development of avenues through which farmers can process fruit into flour and products for sale. A $15 dollar tree can feed a family for a lifetime. Visit www.TreesThatFeed.org to learn more.

*https://ntbg.org/breadfruit

 

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Team Bios

 

Todd Manley
Chef, Founder, Visionary

Whether exploring local and indigenous foodways, envisioning the future of new and historic ingredients or investing in the future of his adopted home, award-winning Chef Todd Manley brings passion and authenticity to everything he does. The creative visionary behind the brand, Todd is originally from Virginia, where he was chef/owner of multiple restaurants, and is now Executive Chef and Partner of four diverse restaurants on St. Croix. The idea for MUTINY Island Vodka came from his vision of creating a distilled spirit utilizing local ingredients that represent the richness of the island. Breadfruit, found on St. Croix and throughout the Caribbean and Pacific islands, is the basis for the vodka and a testament to Todd’s commitment to using the finest, most authentic ingredients. Todd hopes to use breadfruit as a basis for other industries on the island.

 

Art Wollenweber

Master Distiller

A bit of an artistic soul with a love of nature, Art used his talents as a chemical engineer for more than 25 years at DuPont before switching to rum production, which brought him to St. Croix 11 years ago. He later made the switch to producing vodka with MUTINY Island Vodka, where he’s perfected his craft and found his calling at Sion Farm Distillery. When he’s not distilling vodka, he’s involved in his community, supporting the use of breadfruit to ease world hunger and fortify food security.

 

Jeff Sanford

Master Mixologist

What was initially planned as a six-month stay on the island of St. Croix for Jeff Sanford turned into five years and ultimately led him to the world’s first and finest vodka made from breadfruit, MUTINY Island Vodka.  Jeff's passion for the culture, food and local agriculture of the island inspires him to create his signature cocktails from unique local ingredients and flavor pairings.  As the Master Mixologist for MUTINY Island Vodka, Jeff builds on his 13 years in the restaurant business to deliver the lush Island flavor and excite the palate of customers worldwide.  Jeff is excited to be part of the MUTINY Island Vodka team as they support the growth and people of their island home.

 

Bret Van Delden

Chief Operating Officer

A fourth-generation Texas native, Bret fell in love with the island of St. Croix and decided to make it his home in 2016 when he retired. He has since come out of retirement and is using his leadership skills and experience as a former top-ranking U.S. Army Reserve Commander and Vice President and General Manager in a NASDAQ Silicon Valley high-tech company to help lead Sion Farm Distillery. Bret hopes to give back to his newfound community through job creation and economic development.

 

Shawn M. Henderson

Director of Office Operations & Human Resources/Executive Assistant

A world traveler and Air Force veteran, Shawn Henderson brings more than 18 years of experience as a human resource professional to the MUTINY Island Vodka brand. He has worked in a variety of industries including education, law and hospitality. Shawn’s life in St. Croix began five years ago after making the move from Washington, D.C. Shawn brings to the Sion Farm Distillery team his love of the island and his commitment to celebrating the diversity that is St. Croix.

 

Chris Richeson

Distiller and CEO, Chesapeake Bay Distillery

The CEO, owner and operator of Chesapeake Bay Distillery located in Virginia Beach, VA, Chris has more than 15 years of distilling experience and is the gold-medal-winning distiller behind the MUTINY Island Vodka original recipe. Chris’s mission has always been to produce the cleanest spirits possible. His attention and commitment to quality have led to three double gold medals and happy patrons around the world.

 

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Breadfruit

Breadfruit is one of the highest-yielding food plants in the world, with a single tree producing up to 200 or more grapefruit-sized fruits per season, requiring limited care. Breadfruit trees grow to a height of 26 m (85 ft.).

The flesh of the breadfruit has a nice fragrance and a sweet taste. 

Breadfruit is a staple food in many tropical regions. 

It is related to other exotic fruits like breadnut, jackfruit, figs and mulberries.

It has hundreds of varieties and thousands of names depending on geographical location.

Breadfruit is cultivated in 90 countries, throughout South and Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, the Caribbean, Central America and Africa.

Breadfruit can be considered a tropical potato with a potato-like texture.

Breadfruit is touted by many as a super food, with untapped health benefits.

Breadfruit is 71% water, 27% carbohydrates, 1% protein and trivial amount of fat.

Both ripe and unripe fruits have culinary uses, but unripe breadfruit is cooked before consumption.

There are many uses and ways to prepare breadfruit for consumption: roasted, steamed, boiled, fried, baked, or cooked on the stove.

Breadfruit can be processed into gluten-free flour. 

Gluten-free breadfruit flour can be substituted for allergen wheat flour in many bread products, pastas, pastries, noodles, etc.

Breadfruit is high in carbohydrates and a good source of antioxidants, calcium, carotenoids, copper, dietary fiber, energy, iron, magnesium, niacin, omega 3, omega 6, phosphorous, potassium, protein, thiamine, vitamin A and vitamin C.

The male breadfruit is highly effective at repelling mosquitoes and other insects.

The wood is light, flexible and resists termites.  All parts of the tree yield latex, which is useful for boat caulking.

[Source: National Breadfruit Institute]

 

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Mutiny on the Bounty

More than two centuries ago, the HMS Bounty set sail from England on a mission to receive the gift of breadfruit from Tahiti and bring it to the West Indies as a food source.  What happened to the men and the ship of that ill-fated journey has become legend. It is a tale of deceit, courage and skill.

- 1769:  After sailing to Tahiti with Captain James Cook on the HMS Endeavor, Sir Joseph Banks recognized the benefits of breadfruit.

- Sir Banks requested permission from King George III for an expedition to transport breadfruit from Tahiti to the Caribbean.

- 1787: The Voyage of HMS Bounty from England to Tahiti (South Pacific) was under the command of William Bligh.

- Its mission was to collect a cargo of breadfruit saplings to transport to the West Indies.

- The men were at sea for 10 months, covering 27,000 miles.

- 1788: The Bounty reached Tahiti on October 25.

- The sailors arrived late to their destination, missing the proper season for transplanting.

- During their five-month wait, the sailors indulged themselves in the blue waters, caressing trade winds and warm embrace of the Tahitian women, enjoying the seemingly carefree life on island, and many wanted to remain in their paradise.

- Bligh was unaware of the brewing dissension of his crew.

- 1789:  Back at sea, early on the morning of April 28, 1789, Bligh was awakened to the mutiny of his crew led by Acting Lieutenant Fletcher Christian.

- The mutineers cast Bligh and 18 others, including a gunner, boatswain, and sailmaker, adrift in a small boat.

- Bligh and his crew were at sea for 41 days and amazingly covered 3,618 miles with only 4 casualties.

- He was considered a hero in the Royal Navy and was promoted to Captain.

- 1791: Bligh set sail for a second breadfruit voyage and was given two ships, HMS Providence and a tender, the Assistant.

- 1793: Bligh proved successful, transporting 2126 breadfruit plants from Tahiti and delivering the 678 plants that survived the voyage to the West Indies. The breadfruit thrived in their new environment.


Sources: Western Discovery of Breadfruit and National Geographic

 

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Company Fact Sheet:

Company:

MUTINY Island Vodka, the world’s first and finest Island Vodka distilled from breadfruit, is made by Sion Farm Distillery, a company created, owned and operated by U.S. Virgin Island (USVI) residents. Our new distillery is located on the island of St. Croix in the historic and revitalized Island Dairies facility.

Mission:

Our mission is to create the world’s first and finest Island Vodka distilled from breadfruit, made on St. Croix and exported around the globe; support local breadfruit food production; promote the use of breadfruit for nutrition in the USVI; stimulate the economy; reignite agriculture and be involved in and connect with the broader USVI community.

Goal:

Our goal is to bring the island pleasure of St. Croix-made Island Vodka to consumers around the globe while we do our part to bring back a lost agricultural component to St. Croix.

Origin of Name:

MUTINY Island Vodka is the name of the first and finest vodka distilled from breadfruit, a tropical fruit grown in the Caribbean and Pacific islands. The name was inspired by the famous tale of the mutiny on the Royal Navy vessel HMS Bounty in 1789. It’s known to most, thanks to numerous tales in literature and film, as "The Mutiny on The Bounty." While the story made famous the names of William Bligh and Fletcher Christian, breadfruit is the leading star in the drama, as it was breadfruit from Tahiti that the voyage was sent to bring back to the West Indies.

Product Main Ingredient:

Breadfruit is the main ingredient of MUTINY Island Vodka, which gives it its citrus, melon, and green banana flavor notes. Sion Farm Distillery is committed to sourcing its breadfruit from the USVI and is making progress daily towards an agricultural infrastructure that will allow us to increase our supply of breadfruit on St. Croix. In the meantime, our breadfruit is sourced from the Pacific Islands.

Product Characteristics:

Vodka is a clean, crisp and clear neutral spirit that is made around the world from a variety of starch or sugar rich vegetables and fruits; its origins date back to 15th century medicines created in Russia and Eastern Europe.

MUTINY Island Vodka is the world’s first vodka distilled from breadfruit. It is a gluten free, non-GMO beverage and is the only vodka of its kind in the world. It is produced on St. Croix in the USVI. In MUTINY Island Vodka, breadfruit’s notes of citrus, melon, and green banana are experienced wrapped in its silky smoothness. MUTINY Island Vodka has a rich mouth feel and versatile flavor that can play a leading role in traditional cocktails as well as the most innovative new creations.  It is bottled at 80 proof (40% ABV) and is currently available in 750 ml.

Distilling Technique:

The creation of MUTINY Island Vodka is an exact proprietary process with an exact recipe, and it is prepared the same way every time. The distillation process consists of taking breadfruit and mixing it with hot water, turning the carbohydrates into fermentable sugars. We then place it into fermenters with yeast, which produces alcohol and water. Further distillation continues, the purifying of the alcohol is achieved, and the bottling of the only breadfruit vodka in the world - MUTINY Island Vodka - follows. We pride ourselves on creating a clean product without added chemicals, sugars or flavors and operating a zero-waste facility where all of our ingredients are natural.

 

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Economic and Environmental Impact

Economic Impact

The idea for MUTINY Island Vodka came about in 2007. Our founders sought to create a distilled spirit made from a local product. Their motivation was to create opportunities for residents in the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) and have a direct impact on the economy. Fast forward to 2019, when MUTINY Island Vodka is not only expected to have an economic impact in various sectors of the USVI but is predicted to stimulate ancillary business opportunities and invigorate an agricultural component on St. Croix that has been stagnant for decades. In addition to the anticipated tax revenues that will be realized, full-time jobs, and the patronizing of many local businesses, MUTINY Island Vodka seeks to re-energize the agricultural industry in the USVI with a keen focus on increasing breadfruit production.

“Massive opportunities can be realized from the breadfruit itself,” says Todd Manley, founder and owner of Sion Farm Distillery, maker of MUTINY Island Vodka. “As people start using the breadfruit its demand will increase. Already, very large companies are looking to manufacture breadfruit for bread and vegan burgers because it [breadfruit] is nutrient rich.”

MUTINY Island Vodka anticipates achieving global recognition, which will in turn bring more awareness to St. Croix and the value of breadfruit. The stimulation of agriculture and the subsequent jobs and business opportunities, will be the biggest economic benefits, adding more value than taxes and initial jobs combined.

 

Environmental Impact:

Unlike other distilled spirits, MUTINY Island Vodka is made at a zero-waste facility. After distillation, 12% of our volume becomes vodka, which results in 88% of waste. As a result of incorporating only natural ingredients, 100% of the waste is reusable and can be considered a co-product of our distillation process. We refer to this waste as “nutrient water” and it will be put to agricultural use. 

Water is vital and considered gold during the dry months on the USVI. By recycling our waste for agricultural use, we will conserve water for other useful purposes.  The “waste” will be used to water our own breadfruit trees and will be given to farmers for the cultivation of their crops. It is also an amazing feeding product for goats.

In all, the co-product nutrient water of our distillation process is an added value to agriculture.

 

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