There are many things that come to mind when you think of Jamaica: stunning beaches, mouthwatering cuisine, breathtaking sunsets that are as warm as the people and of course our carefully aged, rich and smooth Rum. The history of Rum in Jamaica is a long and interesting one seeing that the Appleton Estate is the second oldest Rum producer in the World (spoiler alert!); we’ve also racked up a couple other facts along the way. In honour of the very first Jamaica Rum Festival, we’ll share four of these fascinating facts with you!
1. Jamaica has the most expensive rum in the World
In 1825, a man called John Wray established a distillery in Kingston and later brought in his nephew- Charles James Ward to help him run it (resulting in J. Wray and Nephew. I know, fascinating!). In 1949 this company struck gold! Jamaicans at the time developed a thirst for Mai Tai cocktails which utilized the J.Wray and Nephew rum in the complex blend. 70 years later this unique rum is still highly sought after and if you have a spare €50,000 or $US54,000 you can purchase one of the four remaining bottles of the world’s most expensive rum. The rum’s value is based on a combination of its age, the specialty and expertise required to distill it as well as its rather exclusive nature.
2. Jamaica’s Appleton Estate is the second oldest rum producer in the world
Located in Jamaica’s Cockpit Country, Appleton Estate produces its rum in the lush Nassau Valley. The first documented rum production on the site was recorded in 1749. Since then, the Estate has been making one of Jamaica’s finest rums for more 270 years, produced with pride and passion for both land and location.
3. Jamaica produces enough rum each year to fill 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools
The number of distilleries in Jamaica may have declined from 148 in the 19th century to just five in the present day, but this change doesn’t seem to have affected Jamaican enthusiasm for rum. Each year, Jamaica produces enough rum to fill 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools. At 50 metres in length, an Olympic pool is double the size of your standard 25-metre-long swimming pool, so that’s a whole lot of rum!
4. George Washington made his eggnog with Jamaican Rum
The Jamaican influence knows no bounds! George Washington, the first US president, was a big fan of eggnog and his own eggnog recipe included a liberal measure of Jamaican rum- half a pint, to be exact. The president shared his love for rum figuratively and quite literally as it is said he supplied voters with 28 gallons of rum and 50 gallons of rum punch during his 1758 election campaign.
The Jamaica Rum Festival is a celebration of Brand Jamaica! Join us as we explore and experience the robust flavours and subtle distinctions of the different brands of rum produced in Jamaica, enjoy first rate live music and some of the best food Jamaica has to offer- Saturday March 9th to Sunday March 10th at Hope Gardens in Kingston!
For more information on this spectacular event visit Jarumfestival.com