How Martinique’s rum became certifiably the best in the Caribbean

A view of the sugarcane fields, and Bay Saint-Pierre, at Depaz Distillery in Martinique. –Christopher Muther/Globe staff

MACOUBAM, Martinique — There are two ways to get toasted on the French Caribbean island of Martinique. The first requires a beach towel and gobs of sunscreen. The second involves sipping glass after glass of a delicious adult beverage made from sugar cane and distilled to the exact standards of the French government.

For the purposes of my journey, I began with getting toasted on rum because its production is completely unique to Martinque. It’s also a heck of a lot more fun than getting a sunburn.

On this 430-square-mile island sandwiched between Dominica and St. Lucia, rum production is monitored as closely as champagne production in France. Let’s not mince words here. The French can be a bit uppity when it comes to the quality of their booze. You know any rum certified by France has to be exceptional, even if your palate doesn’t know any better.


Get the latest breaking news sent directly to your phone. Download our free app.