Artisanal rum from fresh-cut cane grown at high altitudes in the Sierra Mixe. The Mixe were never conquered by the Spanish, and maintain their culture more profoundly than most. The local drink tends to be aguardiente (rum)
Commercial rums are made from what’s left over when big companies make sugar: molasses, black treacle, etc. Many commoditized rums contain added sugar – Plantation is 2%. Rum from fresh-cut cane compared to commercial rum is like the difference between freshly squeezed orange juice and the stuff made from concentrate
Sugar cane grown at high altitude (and thinner soils) has to work a bit harder, developing aromatic flavors that are rich, well-defined, and elegantly intense. Note the steepness of some of the cleared field
Crushing fresh-cut cane
Fermentation by wild yeasts includes the cane stalks: complexity from the vegetal components
Double-distillation in an old copper 250-liter potstill
The still’s mouth. Note how worn by use the rim is.
Breaking up dried cane stalks to stoke the still fire.
Distiller Juan Nepomuceno in his cane field
Juan Nepomuceno’s destilería
The Bacardi distillery in Puerto Rico. ‘Nuff said