Rum and Chocolate Factories

Rivers Rum is one of the 3 rum distilleries on the island of Grenada. It is completely organic and uses only sugar cane to create alcohol. It is a really fascinating and long process, that also seems a bit unsanitary at times. But their most famous rum is 75% alcohol and it is completely illegal to fly anywhere with 75% alcoholic rum. So they also make a slightly watered down version that is 69%. They also make rum punch that is around 16% and is mostly juice. All the sugar cane is pushed through a compressor and the juice runs off to another place where it ferments. All the sugar cane then decomposes and becomes fertilizers for their sugar cane fields.

This is the oldest and only working water wheel in the Western Hemisphere. (Our tour guide made sure to tell us this multiple times and to fact check it on trip advisor) The people who created it are also the creators of the Rolls Royce. So this is basically the Rolls Royce of water wheels.

The alcohol goes through a bunch of other processes that I did not really understand but it was pretty cool.

It ferments in these big things for about 8 months

At the end of the tour we got to try three different kinds : 69%, 75%, and passionfruit rum punch. He has us start with the 69% then go to 75% then the rum punch. Rivers rum is also supposed to be a guaranteed no hang over alcohol, which is quite interesting. He also says the Caribbean secret to drinking is drinking tap water with your alcohol, which most people knew I think?? But he also says the 75% is for shots, DO NOT MIX it. Mixing it with Coke is an absolute disgrace. After the two other ones, the rum punch tasted like juice.

After the rum factory, we went to the Belmont Estates which is a very fancy chocolate factory. It is a gorgeous place with a huge restaurant and is very much a popular tourist destination. It was really cool to see all the cocoa beans and hear about the long process that it goes through to become chocolate as well.

cocoa beans from the fields
When it rains the beans have to be pushed under that greenhouse so they do not get wet.

When we came back, I got to watch a goat give birth too! One of my supervisor’s goats had two babies and it was the weirdest and cutest thing I have ever witnessed.

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