Margaret AyalaMargaret Ayala, Rum Consultant
A few years ago I took a trip to my twin sister ’s office to drop in and say “hello”. While we were wandering the halls and she was introducing me to her co-workers we approached a door that was ajar. Suddenly it swung open and a gentleman stepped out into the hall. He glanced over briefly at us and smiled and then did a very quick double take with a shocked and amazed look on his face at the realization that he was staring at identical twins.
It was a moment that I will never forget when he said “I don’t think I drank that much Rum & Coke last night!”. Little did I know that these few seconds and words would be the beginning of a very dear, dear friendship with DC Campbell. His expression that day ranks as our top #1 in people’s reactions to the sight of twins. While I was talking to DC, there was an apparent accent, but one I was not familiar with. Come to find out, he was from Grenada.
Not knowing anything about Grenada, or even where it was on the map, I found myself asking him many questions about his country. He told stories, one after another, about his childhood and the rums he grew up with. For example, when he was a young boy, his father would use Clarke’s Court White Rum to bless the foundation of their new home and to drive away any evil spirits. His mother would put a rum-soaked cloth on his forehead whenever he had a fever.
He also went on to tell me about Grenada’s famous Jack Iron Rum (180 Proof). This rum is so strong that when you add ice, it sinks to the bottom of the glass! To this day, it is still considered one of the Caribbean’s strongest rums and has one of the most colorful stories behind it.
Grenada is full of amazing history, for example, the country remained un-colonized for more than one hundred years following its discovery or the myths surrounding the end of Fedon’s Rebellion or the fact that a distillery in Grenada has the oldest water-propelled sugarcane mill in all of the Caribbean.
I want to extend a big “Thank You” to my dear friend DC for giving me the inspiration for this article, to the Grenada Board of Tourism (thank you Mr. Edwin Frank!) and to the rum distilleries for all of their assistance and hospitality. If you would like more information about Grenada, make sure to visit the Grenada Board of Tourism’s website, http://www.grenadagrenadines.com/.
See you in Grenada!
Margaret Ayala, Executive Editor