“Why is the rum gone?” ~Captain Jack Sparrow (aka Johnny Depp)
Yes, rum and the Caribbean go together like peanut butter and jelly. It’s a marvelous combination that seems to have existed since the dawn of time. Alas, this synonymous pair has not existed forever, but it does have quite the history.
It all started with garbage.
Many delicious libations have strange and unusual beginnings, and rum is no exception. Essentially, the sugar cane planters in the Caribbean didn’t know what to do with the leftover thick liquid from the sugar making process.
During the sugar making process, the planters would crush sugar cane, boil its juices and then put the boiled syrup in clay pots to cure. A thick liquid, molasses, would seep out of clay pots. That excess molasses had no use at first, so it started to pile up and get in the way. Some planters began to throw it in the ocean.
Basically the molasses was industrial waste, thus, the beginning of rum was just that – industrial waste. In the 17th century, when this was all taking place, someone figured out there was indeed a use for this particular by by-product.
Combining the molasses with the liquid skimmed off of cane juice in its initial boiling and fermenting process, the mixer created a concoction ready to be distilled.
There are some disagreements and general lack of details regarding who first did what, when, where and how exactly, but regardless rum was the result. Hallelujah.
Since many people are so attached to alcohol and its different forms, it didn’t take long for this new liquid to become immensely popular. Today U.S. rum sales amount to billions of dollars.
Since its origins, rum has always had a happy and prosperous home in the Caribbean.
The Caribbean and rum – a match made in heaven.
Here’s another thought – not all rum is created equal.
The basic descriptors and categories of rum:
Light, dark, spiced or flavored
Within those four categories we can basically break down to two categories:
Regular Vs. Premium
Many of us have met regular rum and if you were a little intrigued, your curiosity may have led you to the premium rums.
Premium rum is an entirely different ball game.
Similar to tequila and other types of alcohol, premium (or darker) rums are rums aged after distillation.
Regular rum does have its uses – primarily in mixed cocktails. Plenty of cocktails are made with regular rum and they are quite delicious.
Premium rum, though, is delicious enough to sip on its own.
In an effort to prepare for your next Caribbean getaway, here are a few of our top rum choices, with our own local Anguillian rum leading the pack:
Pyrat – A delicious and world-renowned rum that originated on the island of Anguilla, Pyrat has been delighting rum seekers since the 1800s and is named after the first group to make rum their drink of choice… pirates! While on Anguilla, or in the Caribbean in general, taste the Planters Gold Pyrat XO Reserve and Pyrat Cask 23.
Rhum J.M – This is Martinique’s oldest rum distillery with productions beginning in 1790. Even today the distillery continues to follow the French government’s regulations for producing spirits in the agricole style, which means they’ve been aged for a minimum of six years in re-charred oak barrels. This rum offers a subtly grassy and citrus flavor with an aroma of toasted nuts that becomes more prominent with each sip. With a dry and long finish, this rum is best enjoyed as an after dinner digestif.
Appleton Estate 21 Year Old – From one of Jamaica’s most respected rum producer, the Appleton 21 Year Old has deep richness and depth of flavor. The texture is smooth and brilliant. There is a scent of green apple, while honeysuckle and molasses sweep across the palate. It’s very complex, which is a testament to Joy Spence, the master blender. The Appleton Estate has been making rums in Jamaica’s Nassau Valley since 1749.
Pusser’s – The Royal Navy rum. Seriously, the British Royal Navy was the only group accessing this rum until 1979. From 1655 to 1970 Pusser’s wasn’t publicly available, but thank goodness it is now. Pusser’s is a handcrafted 15-year single malt variety. It’s aged and distilled in wooden barrels and offers a smoothly sophisticated taste. Sherry and cedarwood are the aromas, and the taste is comprised of Brazil nuts, vanilla, oak and toffee and a balsamic and cinnamon finish.
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There’s no lack of rum in the Caribbean, and there’s especially no lack of fine rum on Anguilla. Many Anguillian locals are rum connoisseurs and know the difference between the Caribbean rums very well. You won’t be without advice and guidance on rum when you visit Anguilla. It’s also recommended to sip fine rum alongside a fine view, which is readily available basically everywhere on the island.
For the best views, accommodations and rums on the island make your way to Cap Juluca Resort. Perfectly placed on Maundays Bay – its own private mile long beach – Cap Juluca is a spectacular sight to behold. The stunning white Greco-Moorish architecture stretching into the crisp blue sky will make you wonder if you’re even on the same planet anymore. Delicious rum, exceptional luxury and magnificent natural landscapes – what more can a person want? Pack your bags and hop on the next flight for an unforgettable trip to paradise.