Rum in Guadeloupe Archipelago
Rum in Guadeloupe Archipelago: Introduction
The Rum in Guadeloupe Archipelago is the traditional alcoholic beverage. The rum’s industry has been established in the archipelago few centuries ago but let’s find out more about the beginning. The sugar cane is the main agricultural activity in Guadeloupe Archipelago and was introduced there in 1638. The sugar and the rum are extracted from this sugar cane. Father Labat considerably enhanced the manufacturing technique in the French West Indies in 1694, which is the starting point of the rum industry growth reaching its best in 1939. At this time there were 55 distilleries within the archipelago.
Rum in Guadeloupe Archipelago: Current situation
Today, the sugar cane production is a significant industry in Guadeloupe Archipelago. From this, there are two types of rums manufactured:
- “Rhum Agricole” made from freshly squeezed sugar cane juice
- “Rhum Industriel” made from molasses (a byproduct of sugar refining)
Even though the number have tremendously dropped over the years, at the moment there are 9 distilleries nationwide offering tours and tastings.
The rum production has multiple stages: the sugar cane is picking, washing, crushing and filtering. Once you have the sugar cane juice, there is the fermentation, the distillation and the alcohol content adjustment. The last step is the bottling or ageing in oak barrels which can radically alters the character of the rum.
Rum in Guadeloupe Archipelago: Part of the Cultural Heritage
In Guadeloupe Archipelago, the rum is part of the cultural heritage. Aged rums, white rums, and boxes of rums are available in most of groceries shops. Whether to warm up discussions between friends or to celebrate any kind of celebration, drinking rum is a traditional custom. Associated with other plants, the rum also has medicinal properties. The local aperitif Ti-punch (lime, rum and sugar cane) is a popular drink. The rum is also mixed with tropical fruits in cocktails, liqueurs or punch.
The Rum in Guadeloupe archipelago is so flavourful that, it is often listed as one of the best rum destinations. The 9 distilleries are currently using centuries-old traditions in the distillation technique, offering multi-awarded labels.
In Basse-Terre Island you will find:
- Bologne distillery in Basse-Terre Township for “Rhum Bologne”
- Longueteau distillery in Capesterre Belle Eau Township for “Rhum Longueteau” and “Rhum Karukera”
- Carrere distillery in Petit-Bourg Township for “Rhum Montebello”
- Domaine de Severin distillery in Sainte-Rose Township for “Rhum Séverin”
- Reimonenq distillery (where the rum museum is located) in Sainte-Rose Township for “Rhum Coeur de Chauffe”
In Grande-Terre Island you will find:
- Damoiseau distillery in Le Moule Township for “Rhum Damoiseau”
With 3 distilleries, Marie-Galante Island is the biggest producer of traditional rum with:
- Bellevue distillery in Capesterre for “Rhum Domaine de Bellevue”
- Bielle distillery in Grand-Bourg for “Rhum Bielle”
- Poisson distillery for “Rhum du Père LaBat”