Behind the Bar: A closer look at Sandals’ curated collection of Caribbean Rums

For #TalkLikeaPirateDay, we spoke to Sandals Beverage Specialist Troy King on what makes Caribbean rum so special.

Sandals is proud of its Caribbean heritage: the clearest water, bright sun, its friendly people with their infectious sense of fun, and of course the rum.

Across all Sandals beach resorts, our Food and Beverage team aim to showcase the very best of what the Caribbean has to offer its guests. From using local produce in our cooking to curating a cocktail menu that reflects the vibrancies and nuance of each island.

The Caribbean is famous for its rum history, but many don’t realize that each island yields a distinct variation of the classic.

At each resort, we make it so you can explore the Caribbean by never leaving the bar. Our cocktail menus have been carefully created to show off the character of each of island’s rum, to savor their unique flavors and deep aromas.

And the best news is, when you stay at Sandals – all of these are available to try at no extra cost. The drinks are always on us!

Appleton rum at Sandals Royal Plantation

Sandals Beverage Trainer Troy King explains more about the Caribbean Rum you can taste at Sandals:

Why does the Caribbean produce such excellent Rum?

“Plain and simple, it is all about the sugar. Sugar cane is part of the grass family and it loves exactly what the Caribbean can deliver: Sunshine, rain, and heat.

When you start with great molasses, sprinkle in a little of the Caribbean culture, then let it mature in oak barrels stored in the warmth of the islands, you have a recipe for excellent rum.”

What’s the differences between Caribbean Rum?

Appleton, in all of their expressions we have, comes out to meet you. You know you are drinking a Jamaican rum when you have Appleton. The use of copper stills along with Jamaican molasses greets you at every taste.

Appleton rum at Sandals Montego Bay

Chairman's Reserve in Saint Lucia is clean and crisp, easy to drink, and highlights the local flair in a bottle—while Antigua’s English Harbor in Antigua is dark and rich with great rum flavors and a good finish on the end.”

Chairman's Reserve rum at Sandals Halcyon Beach

Troy describes Westerhall Plantation Rum from Grenada as “smooth and unique because it has some spice to it” –no coincidence then, that it hails from Grenada which is also known as the "Island of Spice" due to its production of nutmug and mace crops.

Bajan Mount Gay is over 300 years old – and the process hasn’t changed much. The sugarcane is harvested and refined into a peak grade of molasses. The flavor created is “bold but balanced” says Troy – but there’s hints of vanilla and mocha, making it a fine base as a cocktail.

Westerhall rum at Sandals Grenada

How should we drink rum?

Many rums need to be ‘aged’ for around a year. So, when it comes to the glass – is there a particular way to make the most of it? Fittingly for a Pirate, Troy says there’s no rules with rum.

“I always say the best way to drink anything is how YOU like it. Not how the "experts" do, not your drinking buddy but, the way you like it.

“Rum is a spirit that makes excellent cocktails from a Dark and Stormy to a Kingston Mule. I personally drink mine with just a couple of ice cubes.”

Want to make this at home?

Mount Gay rosemary rum sour at Sandals Royal Barbados

The ‘Rosemary Rum Sour’ from Sandals Royal Barbados:

  • Mount Gay Rum - Black Barrel
  • A decent swig of Infused Rosemary Syrup and Simple Syrup
  • A squeeze of Lime Juice
  • Garnish with fresh Rosemary

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Kylie Morrow

About Kylie Morrow

Born on the tropical island that is Saint Lucia affords a never-ending source of inspiration. In the past 13 years, Kylie loved to work with various newspapers, magazines and blogs in the Caribbean.