THE HISTORY OF RUM IN GUADELOUPE

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The history of rum is closely linked to the history of the cultivation of sugar cane.

The sugar cane native to Asia was discovered by Europeans in the Middle Ages thanks to their contact with the Arab world. At the time, the discovery of this plant that produces sugar was a real revolution.

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The discovery of the Americas and the similarity of climate led to the cultivation of sugar cane in these territories. A real sugar industry will thus be born and with it the establishment of the slave trade which allows for the means of the time to produce sugar in quantity and at low cost.

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From that time, we use "vesou" or molasses today, rejection of sugar production to transform this substance into brandy. History has it that rum in its first version was invented by Father Labat in 1664. It was initially an alcohol deemed to be of poor quality consumed by pirates and smugglers, but above all which served as a little extra. to slaves.

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It was not until the First World War, when rum was sent to support the morale of the troops and the crisis in the sugar industry, that the potential of rum as a product in its own right was perceived. Thus in 1918, alcohol producers on the continent worried about competition from the colonies and in 1922 obtained a law limiting imports.

The collapse in sugar prices is helping to bring out a new category of rum, the agricultural cold. The cane sugar having lost all its value, the planters will use all of the sugar cane to make rum. This much more aromatic rum will even exceed the production of so-called "industrial" rum or "molasses" rum.

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Rum from the Lesser French Antilles is thus distinguished from other rums because of this choice made to separate the production of sugar and the production of "agricultural" rum.

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