April 15, 2014 | 8:24 am | Print
Rum tourism. It’s a growing area and one of our favourite kinds of tourism. It is, in short, travel based on a desire to experience rum and rummaking. Just as some travelers choose destinations for art, so, too do rum tourists look for destinations for rum. So what makes a place a destination for rum? A number of factors — from the quantity and quality of distilleries, to the diversity of rums available to try, to the culture of rum in a given place. But just as art travelers look for places with a multitude of museums, rum tourists look for the same — meaning that a place with more distilleries to visit will undoubtedly be of greater interest (and higher on this list). Ultimately, it comes down to a single question: could you travel to this country simply for the rum experience? Indeed, it’s high time that many destinations in the Caribbean put more of an emphasis on highlighting the wonder of their rum product and making it accessible to tourists — one can learn so much about a place from trying the local spirit. This is our ranking of the best rum destinations in the Caribbean — the places to experience the joy of all that is rum.
For a true rum enthusiast, Martinique occupies the top spot with ease. The French Caribbean department has a total of 12 distilleries (one of which includes a Museum of Rum), and, more than any other destination in the Caribbean, truly caters to rum enthusiasts, with a well-developed and well-managed “Route des Rhums,” that allows travelers to visit each of the distilleries and experience the rum-making process from cane to glass. And with far too many rum companies in the region importing their sugarcane from abroad, Martinique is the place to enjoy a 100 percent locally made experience.