Chalong Bay Rum


Chalong, 9km north of Rawai, is home to Phuket's only working distillery, launched by French couple Marine Lucchini and Thibault Spithakis, who bonded over booze – rum, in particular. Upon arrival for the 30-minute tour, you'll be awarded a mojito concocted from their delicious product. The distillery also hosts two-hour cocktail workshops (Monday and Thursday; 1700B). Book ahead, mostly if you need directions: it's 3km northeast of Chalong Circle; turn right (east) at Phuket Zoo signs, then it's signposted shortly after.

Marine and Thibault knew they wanted to make natural rum in the French style, the kind made in Martinique, which meant distilling sugar-cane juice, rather than molasses (as is used for most rum). Thailand is the world’s fourth-largest sugar-cane producer, with over 200 varieties currently in cultivation and so, in 2012, the couple imported 40-year-old copper Armagnac stills and incorporated one of the world’s great islands into their brand.

Chalong Bay Rum, which took a gold medal at the 2015 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, is white, has a great flavour and makes a mean mojito – you'll now find Chalong Bay Rum mojitos across the island, but they're best sampled at the source.

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