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Barbados Rum

In terms of quality Barbados rum is without question one of the very best rums produced anywhere in the world. Not only is it said that rum originated in Barbados but this tiny island also has the distinction of being home to the world's oldest known rum - the 300 year old Mount Gay Rum.

Each year Barbados rum is available in more and more countries throughout the world. As a visitor to Barbados though, you have the added advantage of savoring our "liquid gold" in the very environment that it is produced - a land of sunshine and rolling fields of sugar-cane.

Rum is a spirit, but what makes it unique is that it is the only spirit that is made from the juice of the sugar cane plant. In actual fact it is usually made from molasses, which is the thick treacly liquid left behind after the sugar has been extracted from the cane juice.

Rum making in Barbados has a long and distinguished tradition. Indeed, though it could never be claimed that rum distilling was invented in Barbados, it was certainly here that the use of the word "rum" was first recorded and from here that rum was first exported. The island was first settled in 1627 and rum production was already firmly established as early as the 1640's.

The name "rum" was probably first coined in the taverns of the Bridgetown waterfront, where life was always "rumbustious". Rum quickly became very popular with visiting seafarers and soon great amounts were sold to the ships. It was in this manner that rum first made its appearance in English ports and elsewhere. By the late 1600's "Rum Punch Houses" were opening in England, and a short while later rum became the fashionable drink in London society.

Rum has always been popular with sailors and it was the English Royal Navy that introduced their "rum ration". An interesting historical link between those early days and our current times is the use of the word "grog". Grog is still used to mean rum, and expressions such as to "sink a few grogs" are widely used throughout Barbados.

The word "grog" was invented when in 1731 one Admiral Vernon of the Royal Navy ordered a rum ration to be diluted because it was causing drunkenness and discipline problems. The sailors were clearly disappointed with this new mixture and so gave it the same title as their nickname for the man who bad given the order. Vernon was known as "old grog" because of a grogam cloak he frequently wore. Hence rum became known as grog.

Nowadays the rum is much more refined but people still talk of 'firing a grog or two". No doubt while you are here in Barbados you too will have ample opportunity to enjoy a few grogs.

To get a full taste of Barbados rum and its distilling process, you can take the Mount Gay Rum Tour. Friendly guides take you on a short, informative tour of how rum is produced, then escort you to their Gift Shop where Mount Gay Rum is available at special prices, along with wonderful souvenirs. For more information call (246)425-8757.

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Information Assumed Accurate On: Oct 13, 2013
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Visitor Comments:

By: Tammy Fairhaven,MA
I had the mount gay extra old as wedding favors at out beach wedding and this was a hit with our guests
Date: Apr 27, 2011

By: Ron Barrier
I was introduced to Mt Gay Rum while actually stationed in St Lucy while in the Navy on the Island of Barbados. I still drink it to this day. Loved the island, loved the people and the rum!!! You can never forget the taste!!!
Date: Feb 14, 2010

By: P.Hamill
I never liked rum till I tasted Barbados rum. Mount Gay Eclipse (43%) is wonderful, but St Nicholas Abbey (40%) rum is beyond belief. Problem is I can't buy the latter outside Barbados.
Date: Jun 6, 2008

By: Phillips Duval
The thing that I miss most after Family, Barbados, is the Best Rum in the world: Barbados Rum. After 40 years in Italy, it is a dream.
Date: May 25, 2008

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