Who would have thought that Phuket could produce one of the rarest, most sought-after rums in the world?
Yet, sugarcane, from which rum is distilled, originated in Southeast Asia over some 6,000 years ago, and was only introduced to the Caribbean by Christopher Columbus in the fifteenth century. Today, Thailand is the fourth leading sugarcane producer in the world, with over 100 million tons harvested each year.
For a taste of one of the world’s finest rums, head to Chalong Bay Distillery. The award-winning distillery is co-founded by Frenchman Thibault Spithakis, whose family has been in the winery business for generations. Thibault’s vision was to bring the French Caribbean heritage of pure cane rum distillation back to the original birthplace of sugarcane, combining sustainable production methods and innovative craftsmanship, while partnering local farmers who still harvest sugarcane by hand.
Rum can be categorised into two kinds: industrial rum and sugarcane rum. While industrial rum is derived from molasses, sugarcane rum is made directly from sugarcane, which gives it a distinctly superior level of floral and herbal aroma. The flavour is incomparably smoother, sharper, and cleaner. In fact, because the process is so painstaking, with each bottle taking up to two years to manufacture, sugarcane rum accounts for less than five per cent of the world’s total production of rum.
For its pursuit of rum-making excellence, Chalong Bay has won numerous awards for the purest rum in the world, including the prestigious San Francisco World Spirits Competition Gold Medal. It is also one of the first in the world to infuse rum with natural flavours like lemongrass, cinnamon, and Thai sweet basil. Taken neat or mixed into cocktails, the taste is delicate, subtle, and complex.
Chalong Bay conducts tours of its beautiful distillery for visitors, who can also opt for cocktail-making workshops while enjoying the lush tropical compounds.
Chalong Bay Distillery
14/2 Moo 2 Soi Palai 2, T. Chalong A.
Tel: +66 93 575 1119
Open from 11am to 10pm, daily
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