The Caribbean is inextricably linked to rum, whether its the island of Nevis (considered the birthplace of the modern drink) or the world’s oldest commercial rum distillery (found in Barbados), there's no shortage of islands to sip on the sugarcane spirit. You can, of course, plan your own rum tour as you island-hop the Caribbean, or seek out a cruise that puts top rum distilleries on the itinerary. Here are seven places to taste, tour and enjoy the Caribbean's favorite spirit. 

A woman with curly hair sips a cocktail from a coconut shell with a pink straw. A sailboat can be seen gliding across blue water in the background.
Rum tours provide a glimpse into the long history of the sugarcane spirit on the Caribbean © Diego Cervo / Getty Images

St. Maarten

Topper’s Rhum Distillery gives visitors a brief history on rum production while strolling through the 6,000-square foot distillery and lab. Afterward, belly up to the bar for unlimited tastings of their portfolio, which includes white, spiced, coconut and mocha, as well as samples of rum cake. While you're there, you can bottle your own rum to take home. The distillery is open 9am to 4pm daily; tours run daily on the hour from 10am to 3pm and cost USD$20 per adult.

At the Sint Maarten Distillery not only can you tour and sample their signature Soualiga Handcrafted Rum, but you can do a comparison tasting of other Caribbean rums. Contact the distillery for prices and times. 

Nevis

Clifton Estate Rum crafts a two-year-old dark rum that’s infused by hand in small batches with natural ingredients including orange, honey and a secret blend of natural island spices. Fill your own bottle and get it engraved at L&L Rumshop, a serious shop with more than 200 brands on the shelves.

To truly immerse yourself in all things “rum, rhum and ron”, attend a session of Mark’s Rum Tasting to explore the various styles and flavor profiles to discover which one(s) really pique your palate; tastings last 1.5 hours and are bookable through his site.

You might also like: Taste the tropics with these make-at-home cocktails 

Aerial view of a trio of old rum distillery equipment made of tin in Saint Lucia
The French played an early role in Saint Lucia's rum production © Ailime / Getty Images

Saint Lucia

St Lucia Distillers, launched in 1971, is the only rum producer on this lush island founded by the French. During the 3.5-hour tour, you’ll learn the process of turning sugarcane into rum and sample some of their 25 offerings. Their finest is Chairman’s Reserve, a spirit sourced from forgotten casks misplaced after a fire in 2007 that almost destroyed the blending facility; it’s amassed somewhat of a cult following among rum devotees.

Dominica

Bush rum reigns on this island nation, an overproof style infused with indigenous herbs and fruits whose original intent was as a tincture for medicinal purposes, though it’s more of a recreational liquid today. Sample iterations from papaya to lemongrass to coffee at the new Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski, or sip the potent spirit straight or in cocktails from the “Barmacy” menu at RumFire Bar

Spend an afternoon at an open-air Cooking Caribbean class nestled atop a tropical rainforest where you’ll not only make (and eat) Creole chicken, fried plantains and rice and peas but glean the recipes from affable host Daria for rum liqueur and coconut rum cake. Classes last 3.5 hours and prices vary depending on the menu.

You might also like: Take a hike, Dominica: the Caribbean's most adventurous island 

Guadeloupe

As on other French Caribbean islands, rhum agricole is the main booze made here. Fermented and distilled from freshly-pressed sugarcane juice, this style of rum is funky and vegetal and perfect in a simple-yet-addictive Ti Punch made with lime and cane syrup.

You’ll find the popular drink at Distillerie Bologne, located on a 300-year-old cane plantation, which makes white, gold, silver and aged varieties. Distillerie Bologne is also the only distillery on the island that cultivates black cane, a lost variety that's used for their ultra-aromatic, concentrated Black Cane Rhum.

Tours are offered Monday to Friday at 10am, 11am and noon and Saturday at 10 and 11am; price is € 5.50 per adult which includes a rhum cocktail.

Distillerie Damoiseau’s expressions include a white, amber and aged rhum (like XO rum) and matured six years in used Bourbon barrels. (Hours vary per day, but are typically 8am to 5:30pm).  

Le Musée du Rhum at the Reimonenq Distillery offers an intriguing peek into rum thanks to its exhibitions and historic distillery equipment. The distillery is open 9am to 5 pm daily, closed Sunday.

A bartender wearing a dark blue apron mixes a drink in front of a large rum display
There are 770 types of rum in The Rhum Room, some dating back to 1850 © Kelly Magyarics / Lonely Planet

Saint Barthélemy

St. Barth's is known for swanky hotels, a yacht-filled harbor and designer everything; it’s also home to the bar with the largest collection of rum in the Caribbean (and one of the largest in the world). The Rhum Room is an intimate, 14-seat space with 770 rums dating back to 1850 from all over the region. Snag an oceanfront lounge chair or table in the sand at the Hotel Manapany and order the Caribbean Boticcelli, a libation shaken with Diplomatico Rum, muddled melon, pineapple and lime, topped with Prosecco.

St. Kitts

The official name of the neighboring island of Nevis is Saint Christopher Island and home to the Brinley Gold Shipwreck Rum from the St. Kitts Rum Company, made in white, spiced and flavored versions like mango, lime and vanilla.

Find the spirit at various beach bars on the island like SALT Plage on White House Bay, where you can lie on a hammock suspended over the water and sip a Jumbie – a spun-frozen West Indies’ concoction of spiced rum with pineapple, orange, cherry and grated nutmeg.

You might also like: Exploring Barbados rum shops 

Kelly Magyarics traveled to the Caribbean with support from Windstar. Lonely Planet contributors do not accept freebies in exchange for positive coverage.

Explore related stories

Keri Oberly follows the wooden path leading to the trail, while out for her evening exercise in Lake Tahoe, Nevada.
106795402
boardwalk, cloud, color image, copy space, day, exercising, footpath, full length, healthy lifestyle, horizontal, incline village, lake tahoe, landscape, leisure activity, motion, nevada, on the move, one person, outdoors, photography, rear view, running, scenics, selective focus, swamp, travel, travel destinations, usa, unrecognizable person, vitality, water
Tahoe Meadows Ophir Creek Trailhead

Hiking

8 of the best hiking and biking trails in Lake Tahoe

Apr 14, 2024 • 6 min read