Happy National Rum Day! Celebrated annually on August 16, the holiday honors the distilled clear beverage which is a byproduct of molasses production or made directly from sugar cane juice. While the sweet spirit originated in Papua New Guinea, the beverage has become tied to the sunny Caribbean islands.
In celebration of the holiday, we’re highlighting how you can take your #NationalRumDay festivities to the next level on a Holland America Line Caribbean cruise with our rum-centric FOOD & WINE shore excursions.
A Taste Of Martinique: In Partnership With Food & Wine Magazine
When it comes to rum, it doesn’t get much better than Martinique: The island is the rum capital of the world. This small group tour will take you to one of the best places to sample the intoxicating spirit, allow you to taste delicious local cuisine and show you some of the most historic and beautiful locations on the island. The highlight of the day is Habitation Clément, a family-run estate that has been featured in Food & Wine. Nestled amid sugarcane plantations, the distillery has been making rum since 1917. Here, visitors have an opportunity to discover the unique techniques and manufacturing process of rhum agricole, as it is called. Being distilled from sugarcane juice rather than molasses has earned Martinican rhum the AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée) label, the only rums in the world to have been awarded the prestigious French designation.
Dominica’s Chocolate Test Kitchen & Bush Rum: In Partnership With Food & Wine Magazine
The Caribbean is a paradise for chocolate-lovers, and one of the best places to sample this delicacy is on Dominica — known as the Nature Island. During this call you’ll visit Dominica’s oldest surviving estate and taste artisanal chocolate and local bush rums — flavors that you won’t find anywhere else. Indulge in spectacular flavor combinations with a tasting of some local bush rums, which are specially made from unique island spices and exotic ingredients. See how the rums pair beautifully with the chocolates, transforming them into an other-worldly treat. Conclude with a walk through the Planter’s Herb Garden, which showcases local herbs and plant medicines.
Barbados Bites & Rum: In Partnership With FOOD & WINE Magazine
Depart the pier on a drive through Barbados’ buzzing waterfront capital of Bridgetown, with its historic statue of Lord Nelson and attractive Parliament buildings. You’ll continue to Holetown, where the island’s first settlers landed in 1627. Along the way are many of the splendid resorts, restaurants and mansions that line the exclusive Gold Coast. On the lively south coast is Blakey’s Restaurant — a classic snack shack that offers an extensive selection of authentic Caribbean dishes and cocktails. Sample their freshly made banana bread and savory codfish cakes, served with a secret sauce. Rum punch, beer or a soft drink are served, too.
Craft Cocktails, Authentic Bites & San Juan History: In Partnership With Food & Wine Magazine
One of the oldest New World settlements in the Americas, Old San Juan is full of history and delicious flavors both new and traditional. Taste your way through the colorful neighborhood of San Juan’s Old Town for a profound understanding of the origin of Puerto Rican food and the events that helped shape it. Come hungry — you’ll visit some charming local restaurants to sample traditional Puerto Rican dishes and cocktails. One of “the World’s 50 Best Bars” awaits you, where you will handcraft a signature cocktail here with guidance from an expert mixologist. Listen to the stories behind some of the island’s most iconic drinks as you learn how to muddle, stir and shake the Puerto Rican way.
Rhythm Of Rum & A Taste Of St Lucia: In Partnership With Food & Wine Magazine
With its palm-lined beaches, iconic Piton mountains and waterfall-dotted rainforest, St. Lucia is one of the true gems of the Caribbean. Begin your tour with a breathtaking view of the city from Morne Fortune viewpoint. Head to the local island rum distillery, where you will see how this liquor is produced, and taste for yourself this heart-warming nectar of the gods. Your guided tour includes a video presentation and, afterwards, you’ll see how a village street, spice market and carnival have been recreated to give an insight into the lifestyle and spirit of St Lucians. Continue to Howelton Estate, formerly known as Caribelle Batik Silk Studios, where you’ll see a brief demonstration of Batik-making. Admire and perhaps buy some of the wall hangings and apparel for which Howelton Estate is justifiably famous. You’ll be treated to the sweet sounds of a one-man steel-pan band — it’s quite catchy and entertaining. Fruit and rum punch are served here.
Are you ready to visit the sun-kissed islands of the Caribbean? Explore the Caribbean with Holland America Line and don’t miss your chance to say cheers to National Rum Day with a FOOD & WINE shore excursion in the region.