If you've purchased property in St Lucia to start a new life in the Caribbean, getting to know the local blends of rum is essential.
Most people understand that the key to successfully establishing a new life abroad is to open oneself up to the culture and cuisine of the chosen destination. If you're considering purchasing property in St Lucia with a view to making a permanent life in the Caribbean, one vital component of both the culture and cuisine you must get to know is the unofficial national drink – rum!
While the decision of which rum to drink is not quite as important as what property in St Lucia to purchase, understanding a little more about this nectar of the islands is actually quite illuminating in terms of getting to know the true essence of the Caribbean. With a number of rum producing regions, some of the local forms have been made for centuries to authentic recipes. Local blends from different Caribbean islands date back to the days when almost every plantation had its own recipe, and many have endured in some incarnation. Here are just three.
Appleton Estate Signature Blend – Jamaica
This estate's rums have been a mainstay of Jamaican mixed drinks and cocktails for generations, and it continues to be one of the most prolific and loved producers in the Caribbean. While they have a large range, their signature blend is a fusion of 15 different aged rums (each aged for a minimum of four years), giving a delightful bite as it washes over the palate. Fruity and aromatic, this rum is best enjoyed simply over ice to enjoy the intense tropical flavours.
Santo Domingo South Bay Rum – Dominican Republic
With a true artisanal aspect to its production, this rum is proudly proclaimed as being the handiwork of Cuban Rum Masters (who knew there was such a thing?) in the Dominican Republic. Intensely sweet, the flavour of South Bay lingers long after the last taste, due to the traditional Solera method of blending and aging the spirit – which is done in barrels, much the same as whiskey. Like other small batch spirits, the exact recipes of the South Bay rum are tightly held secrets, but that's all the more reason to have another to try to figure it out…
Old Man Guavaberry – St Maartens
Aged for eight years, the Old Man Guavaberry 8YO Republic Rum, as it's officially known, comes from the famous St Maarten Guavaberry Emporium. Producing everything from love potions to liqueurs to hot sauces, their foray into rum production has been highly successful.
One of the higher-end rums, it's delightfully presented in a very sexy bottle complete with age proof wax seal. Like a good aged whiskey, this one is best enjoyed neat or over a little ice – and, like its Scottish cousin, all those years in the bottle load it with a pretty hefty kick and a lovely warm afterglow. Not too sweet, not too spicy – just smooth, smooth, smooth.
The above are just three of the seemingly never-ending blends of rums you'll find served up in the bars and restaurants of St Lucia – and the search for a favourite blend is almost a national pastime. So if you're thinking of purchasing property in St Lucia and starting a new life in the Caribbean , you may just find yourself joining the search in your quest to become a local. No hardship really.