As we start to feel the first chill in the air, we like to begin planning our next vacation – one in much warmer weather. With so many unique islands to choose from, the Caribbean is always an amazing choice for a winter getaway. However, as different as some of the islands can be, they all have one big thing in common: rum.
Rum was first developed on Caribbean sugar plantations in the 17th century and it’s a huge part of the local history and culture. When you sit down to dinner it’s not uncommon to find a small carafe of rum (or rhum) on your table; even when you walk into your hotel, there’s good chance they might hand you a rum cocktail to celebrate your arrival.
We know you’ll spend most of your Caribbean vacation on the beach, but carve out some time to visit one of these rum distilleries:
Mount Gay Distillery, Barbados
Mount Gay rum has been around for 300 years, so your tour guide will teach you a lot about the history and craftsmanship of the brand. You’ll also get to take part in a tasting session and end the tour at the bar where you’ll get to toast with a cocktail sample. There are also other tour options, including The Bajan Buffet Lunch Tour and The Mount Gay Cocktail Tour.
Saint James Distillery, Martinique
The Saint James Distillery has it’s own rum museum, The Musée du Rhum St. James, where you can learn about the history of the cane and rum since 1765. There are some really cool old mills, huts, distillation columns, and boilers. The actual plant is open for a guided tour January through late May, but the rum museum is open year-round.
Appleton Estate, Jamaica
The bottling of the rum doesn’t take place here, but it’s still a great experience. As soon as you enter the reception area you are offered complimentary rum punch, and on the tour you’ll learn about the historic production process. You’ll even get to take a little taste of molasses and freshly squeezed sugar cane juice, but the best part? At the end there are 13 types of rum to sample and you can taste as much as you want.
We’re dreaming of sitting on the beach after a long day of rum tasting. If you already have your Caribbean vacation planned, is there any room for us in your suitcase?