In the 17th century, the rum industry was birthed in the Caribbean, from a need to repurpose waste residue from sugar production. Toss a bit of yeast into the molasses substance, develop a distilling technique, and wham! Rum was born.
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Cayman Spirits Company Distillery, Georgetown (Nearby Hotels)
Known for their Seven Fathoms Rum made from local sugar cane, this oceanfront Georgetown distillery uses special West Indies techniques to perfect their robust rum. After being packed in fine white oak barrels, the spirits are anchored 42 feet below the ocean surface to create a taste that can only be attributed to the Cayman Spirits Company.
River Antoine Rum Distillery, Grenada (Nearby Hotels)
This place just looks old and gritty, and we love it! Actually, it’s the oldest water powered distillery in the Caribbean, that’s still in operation. Since the 1800s, the same techniques have been used, and you can see it all for just two bucks!
Casa Bacardi, Puerto Rico (Nearby Hotels)
Drink mixing lessons anyone? Along with tours of the famous facility, you can learn from the best drink experts on how to make delicious Bacardi concoctions.
John Watling’s — Bahamas (Nearby Hotels)
A younger distillery in New Providence, John Watling’s has done an excellent job jumping into the rum game of the Bahamas. Caribbean sugar cane is fermented into two distinct spirits, Firewater and Kill-Devil, then purified via coconut husk charcoal. Tours of the 1789 estate, which houses the distillery, are free.
Habitation Clement — Martinique (Nearby Hotels)
A French-Caribbean island, Martinique is a tropical dreamland. Habitation Clement’s old school stone structure could not be positioned more beautifully, and it’s taking all of our strength not to book a flight right now. French government has strict standards for rum production, and the taste is proof. Only fresh sugar cane harvested from Martinique can be used—nothing else.
Callwood Distillery, Tortola (Nearby Hotels)
In a 400 year old facility, age old methods are used to create a downright amazing cane syrup spirit. Callwood’s rum is simplistic, yet totally authentic. While River Antoine is the oldest water powered distillery, Callwood is just, straight up, the oldest. Just looking at the historically rich building makes the trip worth it, and one dollar rum tastings are quite the bonus.
St. Nicholas Abbey, Barbados (Nearby Hotels)
Barbados is where it all began, after residents experimented with molasses fermentation in the 17th century. Rum wasn’t the smooth, pleasant liquid that St. Nicholas’s current distillation column, “Annabelle”, now produces. Back in the day–in fact, it was referred to as “hellish”! Stories behind this elegant plantation distillery makes it the very best place in the Caribbean to taste rum.
Appleton Estate, Jamaica (Nearby Hotels)
Eleven thousand acres of sugar cane whimsically float with the wind on the serene Appleton Estate, which has been operating for over 250 years. Designate a driver after this tour, because your cup will runneth over, literally. Welcome cocktails and a generous tastings of a list of rums will definitely take you to your happy place!