Rhum or rum?
We don’t care. Use both!
During the months of late spring the air on the island smells sweet. You can taste the fructose on your tongue. It’s from the sugar cane harvests.
The Caribbean region is popular for rhum production as I am sure many of you know. Globalized, rhum is popular worldwide. On the main islands of Guadeloupe the big distilleries, with centuries of history amongst them, are Bologne, Reimonenq, Montebello, and Longueteau of Basse Terre and Damoiseau of Grande Terre. Guadeloupe specializes in crafting Rhum Agricole which is rhum distilled from fresh sugar cane juice as opposed to molasses.
We have been watching this factory grow for the past 4-5 years and it has truly developed into a tourist hot spot. This distillery has been in business since 1887 when the family Bologne, living in Dutch occupied Brazil, fled to the West Indies after war between Portugal and The Netherlands ended. The volcanic soils of Soufriere offer rich sugar cane growth and this distinctive bottle makes our favorite infusions. Their store is open from 9:00 to 13:00 with tastings, tours, and a large selection.
Is located on the island of Grand Terre in the commune of Le Moule. This Rhum Agricole distillery is an intimate experience, and product that is worth every visit. Weave your way through a self guided tour of the machinery for an inside look into how rhum is crafted. Although younger, Damoiseau holds it down as Grande Terre’s only distillery and their rhum is delicious. Their hours run from 8:00 - 17:30 on most days and are closed on Sunday.
Ferries to Marie Galante offer more adventure and exploration into the history of rhum production and the past. We at Surf Gwada think uncovering and learning from this past is what makes travelling the world worth it, and want to help you dig deeper because this reciprocity with place, is important for all of us moving forward. Guadeloupean rhum is legendary and worth all your attention.
In our next post we will guide you through the best, most local, and easiest Caribbean drink.