Thursday, July 22, 2010

Saint Croix/Santa Cruz Rum: Traditional or Light?

I have always wondered whether Saint Croiz rum was light rum (column-distilled) or traditional rum (pot-distilled) in pre-prohibition times.  That is important for deciding which rum to use when making drinks calling for Saint Croix or Santa Cruz in pre-prohibition sources.

All Saint Croix rum is now distilled in continuous stills and is therefore light rum.  Cruzan does offer a heavy, molasses-flavored rum - but it is based on light rum.

I finally decided to contact Cruzan and asked them when continuous distillation began on Saint Croix. Today, I received the following answer:

"I found out directly from the CEO of Cruzan Rum in St. Croix, that continuous-distillation began in the late 1940's."

Thus, when making the Palmetto Cocktail or the Santa Cruz Sour, a traditional pot-distilled rum like Smith & Cross would be your best bet to reproduce the drink as originally made.

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