At the core of St. Lucia's soul is one spirit: rum. In fact, this liquor has played a major role in the island's history & economy, so there's no better place to learn about rum's importance & production than here. While you're on a luxury vacation in St. Lucia, it's worth taking a break from your beach lounging & heading to St. Lucia Distillers, which has a longstanding reputation for producing fine rums & liqueurs that are savored not only on the island, but all over the world. A visit to this distillery isn't just any educational experience, it's an exciting – & delicious – one, too.
Here's an insider's look at the Rhythm of Rum Tour:
The basics Since the tour is offered every weekday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., you have plenty of time to fit one into your vacation schedule. Plus, the cost of admission is only $10, making this a perfect way to pass the time in the afternoon without going over budget. Since the tour is very popular, it's important to make a reservation ahead of time.
To find the site, which lies in Roseau Valley a few miles south of Castries, you'll have to head down West Coast Road. The distillery is located right near Marigot Roseau.
Behind the scenes The tour begins in a reconstructed ship's hold, where visitors watch a short video on the rum production process, its significance on the island & the distillery's history. Then you'll be guided to the main distillery factory. Surrounded by open vats, you'll instantly be overcome by the sweet smell of the molasses at its various stages of fermentation. The first step involves mixing water, yeast & molasses & fermenting it at controlled temperatures for between 24 & 30 hours. Then, the solution is heated & distilled in a pot or column still.
Different types of rum require varying maturation times – some white rums are unaged, while sipping or premium-aged rums are aged the longest.
A big finish Just when you thought the tour is over, it hasn't even begun. As the educational aspect ends, a Carnival extravaganza begins, complete with the exciting sounds of steel pan drums & performers in colorful costumes. Of course, the experience wouldn't be complete without a taste test. Visitors are able to sample the extensive range of rums at a buffet. Then you can head to the Rhythm of Rum boutique to pick up a bottle of your favorite product, whether it's the complex Admiral Rodney super premium aged rum, the invigorating Kweyol Spice Rum or the Crème la Caye liqueur.