The Caribbean region is the world’s rum capital. Small-batch rum manufacturers use time-honored procedures with an emphasis on ultra-pure ingredients, tucked away in the shadows of large distilleries like Bacardi. Some of these small distilleries produce insufficient products to export.
The River Antoine Rum Distillery in Grenada, which has been in business since 1785, produces insufficient quantities to meet local demand. This adds to the mystique of their rum, encouraging travelers to seek out their in-demand, limited-supply drinks.
You’ll travel north from the Mt. Parnassus Inn via twisting roads through tropical surroundings to see and taste River Antoine rum for yourself on your way to the River Antoine Rum Distillery. Travelers may note numerous rum shops along the route, many of which are little more than brightly painted shacks. These rum businesses function as a communication hub for the community in addition to pouring scorching shots. Visitors from the United States should feel at eavesdropping in for a drink and a talk because Grenada is a welcoming, English-speaking island.
When you arrive at River Antoine Rum Distillery, it’s easy to believe you’ve been transported back to the colonial era, as the business still uses traditional processes. Unlike most Caribbean period attractions, this one hasn’t been prettied up for visitors; it’s a working distillery with 80 employees. The tour guide pointed out an 1840 water wheel, which provides all mechanical energy at the distillery.
You could see everything from ancient-looking distillation vats to ramps bringing sugarcane stalks into the crusher as you walked through the various facilities. Observing the personnel at work was an important aspect of the trip, as it gives tourists an understanding of the amount of labor that goes into making River Antoine’s rum.
The River Antoine rum tour concludes with a taste, as do most rum excursions. You’ll be given four options, with the fieriest being the 150 over-proof River Antoine Royal Grenadian Rum. Many concerts don’t start with the cannon-driven 1812 Overture; instead, they keep it for the end. River Antoine’s overproof libation is the same way. It’ll knock you off your feet, which is a suitable way to close the tasting.
River Antoine Royal Grenadian Rum is so potent that it’s not allowed on planes since it’s a flammable liquid. So savor it while you’re on Grenada; chances are you’ll remember it fondly, even if you won’t be able to take a bottle home with you.
Factory Tour with Tour Guide: $5.00ec ($2.00us)
River Antoine Estate St. Patrick’s, Grenada