If there are two things that are endlessly delightful, they are Mauritius and its rums.
With their gentle, vanilla notes, a warm and spicy palate, and tropical, fruity flavors, Mauritian rums come in a variety that is sure to please everyone. Whether white, dark, infused, served “on the rocks,” or in cocktails, these rums are a perfect choice.
During this year-end season, why not give our local spirit a try? It’s sure to surprise your guests and delight the palate of the whole family (adults, of course)!
Learn all about Mauritian rums and the different ways to enjoy them.
The History of Mauritian Rum
Let’s travel back a few centuries. Located in the Indian Ocean, Mauritius was once a colony, under Dutch, French, and then British rule, before gaining independence in 1968. It was during these colonial times that sugarcane cultivation and rum production began on the island.
The Dutch colonists introduced sugarcane, while the French further developed its cultivation, export, and the art of distillation.
Today, the flavors of Mauritian rums have diversified, and their quality has only improved over time. From agricultural to infused or premium quality, the island now offers a wide range of rums that appeal to locals, tourists, and international markets.
From Harvest to Production 🌾
The sugarcane harvest takes place from June to December.
Did you know that in some plantations, sugarcane is still cut manually? During the harvest, cane cutters use machetes. Once cut, the stalks are quickly transported to the factory. Besides rum production, parts of the sugarcane are used for boiler fuel, refined alcohol production, or as fertilizer. No waste!
In Mauritius, rum is not just for a season! It’s synonymous with celebration throughout the year, but is especially suited for year-end festivities.
Like in the Caribbean islands, Mauritian distilleries distill directly from fresh sugarcane juice to produce agricultural rum. Traditional local rums are made from molasses, a by-product of sugar refining.
The rum production process in pictures:
1.Harvest 2. Fermentation 3. Distillation 4. Aging
The possibilities for aging rums are almost endless: for a few years or a decade, in warm or cold conditions, on land or under the sea, in oak barrels or former whiskey barrels… Depending on the chosen technique, the rum develops specific aromas, colors, and tastes.
How to Enjoy Mauritian Rum
Rum is not like wine. It’s not typically enjoyed throughout a meal. Most often, it’s savored as a digestif. But there are many other ways to enjoy it…
In cocktails and as an aperitif: Known primarily as a digestif, rum is also the star ingredient in cocktails like the Ti Punch, Piña Colada, Daïquirí, or the famous Mojito. Fans of infused rums (rums in which spices and exotic fruits are macerated) sometimes enjoy them as an aperitif. Everyone has their own preference!
As a digestif: It’s a classic choice. Why not end your festive meals with a good vanilla, pineapple, or coffee-infused rum? Or choose an aged rum with a robust flavor or an old rum with more complex flavors.
Food and rum pairing: In Mauritius, it’s popular to enjoy rum with fried cornet fish, grilled eggplant satini, fried lalos, and stuffed peppers.
In your recipes: For a more tropical festive meal, reinvent classic recipes by adding a touch of Mauritian rum. Good news: you can flambé just about anything with it. Lobsters, turkey, a banana, or a pineapple flambé for dessert. Another tip, this time for Candlemas: add a capful of brown or amber rum to your pancake batter. They will be deliciously fragrant.
Rum Distilleries to Visit in Mauritius
Looking for distilleries to visit? There’s no shortage here. Mauritian distilleries welcome you to discover the process of making Made in Mauritius rum.
- Chamarel Distillery: Welcome to Chamarel, a stunning village nestled in the heights, offering splendid views of the west coast and its lagoons. Here, you’ll find the Chamarel distillery, known for its artisanal production, local-flavored restaurant, and generous rum tastings.
What could be better than a guided tour followed by a rum tasting and a delicious lunch? The lobster is excellent! After lunch, indulge in some shopping at the distillery store before visiting the Seven Colored Earths, a natural and colorful spectacle you won’t soon forget. View more
- Saint Aubin Distillery: This historic distillery is a must-visit. Located in the wild south of the island, it offers a rich experience in history and flavors. At Saint-Aubin, rum making is an ancient tradition carefully preserved and shared with visitors.
The tour starts with the colonial house, followed by a walk through the vanilla and sugarcane plantations, and ends with a rum production demonstration and tasting. After the tour, enjoy a succulent vanilla chicken… View more
- L’Aventure du Sucre: An exciting and interactive museum dedicated to the history of sugarcane. At the end of your visit, a tasting of different types of Mauritian rums is offered. How can you refuse?
Don’t miss the museum’s “Village Boutik.” Here, you’ll find about fifteen exceptional rums from one of the island’s oldest distilleries: New Grove House. Perfect for spoiling your loved ones for the holidays (and perhaps yourself too). View more
- Labourdonnais Distillery: The Labourdonnais distillery opens its doors for a memorable rum experience. Known for the quality of its delicious agricultural rums, this northern distillery introduces you to Mauritius’ most important historical sites.
Visit the splendid colonial castle of the Domain, then dine at La Terrasse for breakfast or a gourmet lunch. Don’t leave empty-handed! For your Christmas gifts and souvenirs, head to La Corbeille, a fine grocery store offering a wide selection of local and artisanal products. View more
Mauritian rum is undoubtedly an excellent souvenir to bring back from your stay. It’s also a superb gift for your loved ones, and the ideal beverage to accompany your year-end festivities! We’re sure that Made in Mauritius rum is the perfect drink to make your Christmas even more delicious.