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Grenadian Firewater

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Sugarcane being carted to the distillery.

© Amy Rosen
Sugarcane being carted to the distillery.

On a recent trip to the West Indies, I stopped in at Grenada’s River Antoine Rum Distillery. From the outside, it looks like a bombed out building, but it’s actually a working distillery, the oldest on the island—dating back to 1785. River water drives the original water wheel, which presses the local organic sugarcane, which is then distilled into rum that's at least 152 proof. In other words, over 75% alcohol. Obviously I had to try it, and while it’s smoother than you’d think, it’s also the definition of firewater. In fact, its alcohol content is so high that they say it’s considered combustible, so they won’t sell it to you if you plan on flying it home—not even in your packed luggage. Best to sip this stuff while relaxing under a palm tree on the white sandy beach.

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