The Colonial Rum Classification – A Primer

The topic of Spanish, French and French style rums come up frequently in rum discussions. It’s confusing to many, especially newcomers trying to make sense of the vast world of rum. Section Three of my book, Minimalist Tiki, has a very lengthy and detailed overview on rum. What follows is an adaptation of a small... Continue Reading →

A (Non-)History of Jamaica in British Navy Rum

It’s common knowledge In the rum world from sheer repetition: The fabled British Navy rum, served to bluejackets for three centuries, is a blend of rums from the Four Horsemen of British Colonial  rum: Jamaica, Guyana, Barbados, and Trinidad. It’s an appealing narrative. Who doesn’t love funky Jamaican rum? (Mrs. Wonk will come around eventually... Continue Reading →

Grenada Rum Cheat Sheet

In early 2020 I visited the island of Grenada as a guest of Renegade Rum. While there, I visited all four current and future rum producers on the island in my role as WIRSPA’s Community Envoy. In advance of my upcoming coverage of Grenada’s rum makers, I’ve assembled a dossier about Grenadian rum to set... Continue Reading →

The Age of Angostura – Part One

You might think what follows is yet another story about Angostura Bitters. Sure, the iconic skinny bottle with the over-sized white label is as essential as shaker tins in cocktail bars around the globe. Hands stained red from the Trinidadian-made bitters are a sure sign of a professional bartender. And of course, there’s the story... Continue Reading →

Demerara Distillers Ltd – Part One

In Roald Dahl’s classic book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the plot hinges upon a handful of golden tickets tucked into chocolate bars, granting undreamed-of access to a mysteriously magical candy factory. That story came to mind one day as I scanned a newly arrived email—my own golden ticket! But rather than an invitation to... Continue Reading →

Don Q Deep Dive

In the annals of rum history, Puerto Rico often gets short shrift. While the stories of Barbados, Jamaica, and Martinique rums are well trod ground for writers, Puerto Rico’s rum story is far less known despite being today’s largest producer of Caribbean rum. One reason for the lack of attention among enthusiasts is that the... Continue Reading →

Setting the Record Straight on British Navy Rum

History presents a special challenge to those writing it or seeking knowledge from its pages: It constantly changes underneath your feet. Facts we once believed to be true may be contradicted later by later-arriving sources. Reasonable assumptions made about one era may not apply to another. New sources come to light which recast conclusions made... Continue Reading →

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