Have you tried Mauritian Rhum ? Like its Caribbean counterparts it is a sugar cane rum born out of the Mauritius long history of sugar cane farming.
Before anyone was using sugar cane for rum, the earliest island settlers, the Dutch were making “arrack” – a clear alcoholic spirit, a stage before rum, from the coconut and latanier palm. After exhausting the islands resources of the both plants, they turned their attention to the now abundant supply of sugar cane growing on the island.
At its peak in 1838, the island supported 238 sugar mills in full time production being worked by the slave trade and then the indentured work system – see the Wikipedia History of Mauritius page .
Stories tell of how in the 1850’s Pierre Charles François Harel floated the concept of a local distillery aimed at producing quality local and export quality rum from sugar cane – supposedly pinching the cane from the Pamplemousses Garden Estate he was managing to do so !
In Mauritius now, Rhum Agricole, is produced by small private distilleries, several of which open their doors and offer tours, available year round to the public.
Rhum Agricole ( sugar cane rum ) is even protected under French and EU law allowing for “Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée” – the licensed use of the term for goods specific to a certain region for their rhum produced in Martinique. Think Champagne, Dijon Mustard and Roquefort cheese.
Want to see Mauritius rum industry for yourself ? While on holidays in Mauritius, visit the Rhumerie de Chamarel or the Sainte Aubin Estate, and take their “Tea Route” tour – a tour of the groups rhum, tea and vanilla production and boutique facilities.
We can’t finish a story about rum without a drink recipe ! If you can get your hands on some Mauritian rum, try this great rum cocktail from the Rhumerie De Chamarel !
LA FLEUR DE CHAMAREL | Double Distilled Rum, Fresh Strawberries, Cointreau, Champagne
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