Our first excursion out from the resorts was to go on a Distillery tour. This was the tour that I was most excited about. It was so much fun getting to see it rum being made at historic distilleries. The St. Lucia Distillery was quite isolated out in the middle of banana plantations. These bananas & the rum are shipped exclusively back to the UK. I was disappointed to learn that we do not have strong trade agreements with St. Lucia so our bananas come from elsewhere & we could not get this rum in the US. That just gave me a better excuse to stock up while here & pick some up when we were in London!
The St. Lucia Distillery was out in the middle of banana plantations. It had a cluster of houses surrounding it to house the workers of the distillery. We walked through getting to see the fermentation of molasses, which is shipped in from Africa. They tried making it themselves on St. Lucia, but quickly discovered that they needed the high quality stuff from Africa.
The rum then moves into the distilling process through many tall columns, before some of it is then bottled and some of it is placed in barrels for aging.
After the tour we watched an informational video about the process then headed in to taste the 16 rums. That’s right, 16! My favorites were the coconut rum, the Chairman’s Reserve, and the Nutz’N’Rum (a peanut butter flavored rum).
Along the way back to our hotel, Sandals Halcyon, we drove through banana fields & passed the University of the West Indies, which still had its colonial weapons armory standing in the middle of the school. Its hard to imagine going to school there!
We also stopped for fresh sugar cane. We got a bag of fresh sugar cane & enjoyed watching the guy chop it up with a machete almost as much as we enjoying munching on it. It looked very similar to jicama but was sweet and watery.
Finally we passed through the capital city of Castries where we got to peek into the bustling market & dodge hordes of tourists piling off of cruise ships. St. Lucia is such a stunning country. I felt disappointed for the cruise ship visitors who will only get to see the overcrowded port city instead of everything else that St. Lucia has to offer.