Friday, July 19, 2013

National Daiquiri Day and a Flashback to St. Lucia

Somewhere along the way I learned that today, July 19, is National Daiquiri Day.  (I guess there are always some people like me who are looking for any reason to have a celebration.)

And in case you need the recipe for a Friday happy hour of your own, this one is fairly simple, as are many of the classic beverage recipes.


1 1/2 - 2 ounces light rum
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon superfine sugar


Combine all ingredients with ice in a shaker.
Shake and strain into a glass.
Garnish with a mint leaf or slice of lime, if desired.

When I looked up this recipe it got me recalling fond memories of our recent 35th anniversary trip to St. Lucia.

While there we took an island sightseeing tour, and had the experience of seeing many groves of sugar cane on our way to a factory tour of the island's rum distillery.

St. Lucia is a fairly poor island, with tourism being its number one income source.  However, the rum operation is a large secondary industry.

Rum workers' living quarters
Near to the entrance of the rum factory, we were driven by the housing area in which the rum workers and their families live.  I was shocked at the living conditions - it looked to me like some sort of refuge camp.  We were told that the workers are grateful to live in good proximity to the distillery.

When we arrived at the factory, we learned that rum making is basically a three stage process.

The first stage of production is the fermentation part.  We saw the raw ingredients fermenting in various stages in numerous large vats.

The next, and main, part of the process is the distillation.  In this area it seemed that everywhere I looked there were pipes and vats, extending from the ground level up to two and three stories high.

And yes, that is a parrot you see there in front of the equipment.  I suppose that spot is for a Kodak moment, if you want one. 

At this part of the tour we were directed to look down to see the command central station.  I had to laugh.  It consisted of an old beat up table and I think possibly one laptop computer.

The distillery command station
The final parts of the process are the finishing stages, which take the rum all the way from the distilling area to the public retail locations.

Of course, it wouldn't be a comprehensive rum tour without some tasting, right?  There was a convenient area outside of the distillery where visitors were free to sample any or all of the twenty varieties of rum produced there.  Some of the tourists in our group were eager taste testers and returned to their resorts quite happy.  

On the back walls of the tasting area were displayed various beverage recipes, all using some variety of the rum produced at this location.

The hubby and I tasted several flavors and varieties, and we may have brought several bottles home with us.  The prices in the retail store were dirt cheap, and they were so very willing to package the bottles in sturdy containers for safe travel in our suitcases.

It's Friday.

It's National Daiquiri Day.

I may have to use up a bit of our purchase this evening.

It's good for the St. Lucian economy, right?


  1. Not a good post for us recovering alcoholics (grin). I haven't had a drink in over 20 years and want to keep it that way. My Father-in-law said that he felt sorry for non drinkers because they when they got up in the morning, that was the best they were going to feel all day. . .

  2. "Why's the rum gone?" Oh you drank it all...Cheers!

  3. MMMMMMMMM...I used to love rum. Rum and Coke, Rum and Ice, Rum Neat.

  4. That 'command center' doesn't do much to inspire confidence in this outfit's quality control but the rum does look good all bottled up and ready for sale.