Jamaica’s holiday hotspot fame can be summed up with four ‘R’s – rest, relaxation, reggae and – yes, you guessed it – rum. This Caribbean Island has been making and pouring out rum for centuries, and it’s got a reputation for its quality. That’s partly because – unusually – there’s a lot of legislation that surrounds rum making in Jamaica. The government vets the molasses that are used in the production process, and all rum claiming to be from Jamaica has to be legally verified. Our Appleton Rum, YS Falls & Pelican Bar excursion tours the Appleton Rum Distillery, which opened way back in 1749. Plus, it stops by at waterfalls and a floating bar made of driftwood.
Jamaican rum tends to be very rich, thanks to the extended fermentation process in traditional ‘pot stills’.
Mauritius is a relative newcomer to the rum scene. Considering that sugar has always been the island’s main export, it might seem surprising that Mauritius is so late to the rum game. But it’s actually this reliance on its sugar crop which explains the delay. Refined sugar production was so much more profitable than making rum that the government had actually banned the use of raw sugarcane to distil rum up until 2016. Since then, the island’s spirit scene has boomed. Unlike more traditional rum producers, Mauritian rum is mainly made from crushed sugar cane juice, rather than fermented molasses – this type of rum is called agricole. Our Mauritian Tea Route tour visits a local distillery for a rum tasting session.
Mauritius is known for its tasty rum infusions. Forget artificial flavourings. Instead, fresh crops like passionfruit and vanilla are used to add a delicate hint of flavour.
Think Cuba, think classic cars, thick cigars…and rum. This country’s been growing sugar cane for 500 years, and it’s thought that the rum-distilling trade isn’t much younger. In comparison to other rum-producing destinations, Cuba’s especially well-known for its cocktails. In fact, Cuban light rum was developed specifically for mixing into cocktails. The minty-fresh mojito was invented so long ago that some people point to Sir Francis Drake – a famous pirate way back in the 1500s – as the mastermind behind mojitos. Whichever version of events you believe, it’s agreed across the board that the drink is centuries-old, and quintessentially Cuban. Then, there’s the daiquiri, which is named after a rum-producing district on the island. Our Cuban Roots excursion makes a stop at Havana’s Rum Museum for a tasting.
The rum that Cuba produces is lighter and crisper than the richer, heavier versions you’ll find elsewhere in the Caribbean.
A beachfront setting, a big swimming pool and plenty of food choices – the Riu Montego Bay proves its worth as a Jamaican retreat.
The Hotel Riu Creole has a scenic setting on the Le Morne peninsula, edged by a white-sand beach and overlooked by a dramatic rock mountain.
The adults-focussed Riu Reggae comes with a beachfront location and boats swim-up bars.
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