Rumour has it that rum got its start in the Dominican Republic. While it wasn’t the first country to produce the spirit, Christopher Columbus introduced sugar cane to the Caribbean in the Dominican on his second voyage in 1493. And that crop is the basis upon which all rum is produced.
A Cut Above
The emergence of the rum industry here echoed a wider movement throughout the Caribbean to create the signature spicy-sweet and lightly fruity spirit. While rum-making regulations are less defined than they are for some spirits, such as scotch, the Dominican maintains stringent standards to govern their processes. For example, producers must harvest the sugar cane and ferment, distill and age rum in oak barrels for a minimum of one year, all within the country’s borders. Thanks to these more rigorous production and aging methods, Dominican rums are renowned for their rich character and remarkable smoothness.
Some of the best-known distilleries in the Dominican — Brugal and Bermúdez — started crafting rums in the 1800s. Another key producer, Barceló, has been making the spirit in the country since 1929 and recently gained acclaim for its award-winning premium rums. This season, explore more of the Dominican’s noteworthy rum distillers in the Rum Shop.