Everywhere I went for a meal in Reunion, I noticed the presence of some sort of flavoured rum or rum cocktail. Even in places where I didn’t eat, it was there. It’s as much a part of the culture as the French language and without it, I fear the local islanders may perish.
Now don’t get confused, the Reunion rum isn’t there to get drunk on, it’s served as an aperitif mostly with meals. Sipping on a small glass of the fiery rum of Reunion after a meal is the same as an espresso after one in Italy: something is amiss if there isn’t any!
I headed to La Sagha du Rum, an old distillery and rum museum in Saint-Pierre, to find out more about the story behind the making of Rum. A guided tour through the process of distilling the liquor that is termed accordingly as well as its flavouring process was detailed to our group, while a walk through a working section of the distillery unveiled the telltale smell of the fermentation process.
At the end of the tour lies a gift shop overflowing with different varieties, flavours and grades of rum. It’s a perfect spot to buy something authentic and local from Reunion as a gift, or even a great spot to try some different varieties! I just wouldn’t suggest you drive home after the whole experience!
I just got some great black and white images from the distillery, but if you’re interested in the history of this rather incredibly tasty alcohol (as I discovered on my visit), then make sure to visit when you’re there. The tour takes only 30 minutes, so with a tasting, can be fitted comfortably into an afternoon.
My Trip to Reunion Island was part of the Reunion Island Tourism Board’s Mascarun campaign. As with all posts, I maintain full editorial control.