Call us ‘The Rum Island’ or the ‘Birthplace of Rum’. Both nicknames correctly suggest that here in Barbados, we are 'the true rum aficionados'. After all, it’s on this beautiful island that rum originated. This helps to explain the reasoning behind the popular Barbadian saying, “There’s a Barbados rum shop on every corner.”
It’s no wonder we are world-renowned for the quality of rum on the island; we’ve had over three hundred and fifty years of experience in its production. There is even a Barbados Food and Rum Festival, to celebrate the love of rum and its impact on Barbadian heritage and culture, which highlights not only the country’s best chefs but also toasts the work of our award-winning mixologists and their unique rum-filled creations.
Barbados’ relationship with rum dates back to 1703 with the birth of the oldest rum distillery in Barbados, and the world: now named the Mount Gay Rum Distillery. Over the years, Mount Gay Rum has built a solid reputation as the finest rum in the entire Caribbean. So exquisite is this Barbadian bar classic, it has been the recipient of numerous awards including a gold medal in the World Rum Awards 2020 and the 2016 Rum of the Year, hosted by Rum Journal.
Rum connoisseurs! This is the backdrop to your next brilliant weekend in Barbados, and it's only a few days away...
It's Friday, and it's time to play!
Have a solid breakfast, designate a driver, and grab some snacks, it's going to be an action-packed weekend! With an understanding of our rum heritage in hand, it's only fitting that we start your next weekend in Barbados with a rum tour.
- First up, let's head north to Mount Gay - The Mount Gay distillery is well aware of the strong heritage from which they have grown and their extraordinary impact on Barbadian culture. As such, they are part of the busy tourism market with their popular Barbados rum tours. This Barbados rum tour is an excellent choice when vacationing on the island. Take a trip through the historic walls of Barbados’ original rum distillery, and get a first-hand view of the intricate processes involved in making one of the world’s finest rums.
- After that fabulous tour, as we are already in the North of the island, there are several sights to see here. These include:
- Archer’s Bay
- Little Bay
- The Wildlife Reserve
- Farley Hill
- North Point lighthouse
Hop in the car and cross as many off the list as you can!
- At lunchtime, unwind, enjoy a great meal and an excellent and exhilarating view of the Atlantic at the Animal Flower Cave. Start with the fishcakes and a glass of Caribbean rum! After you have had your fill let the festivities continue!
- Let's head to St. Nicholas Abbey for their Barbados Rum Experience Tour. Situated on the scenic grounds of a former plantation, this journey begins with a guided tour through the elegant Great House and a short film depicting life there during the 1930s era. The favourite part of the rum tour for many visitors is, of course, the tasting. Your palette is sure to be wowed by the aged spirits that you will sample. With true island hospitality, you’ll leave with a little gift: a bottle of 5-year-old Barbados rum. As a bonus, enjoy a lovely train ride as the topper to a great day.
Sweet Sweet Saturday
Your first day of exploring the birthplace of rum is complete, but there’s more waiting for you. If you thought the rum tours were fun, you’ll certainly love the exhilaration of bar-hopping as you visit some of the best drinking spots on the island. Take your time - to get the most authentic Barbadian rum experience, you must take a trip and sip at a few of the Barbados rum shops across the island. Beachside bars, hotel bars, karaoke bars, or beloved community rum shops - the list is extensive, and there’s definitely an option for every mood and occasion.
- First, you'll be making a stop at the popular Boatyard where you will soak up the sun with a tantalising rum mix. Not only will you enjoy a few of the best rum cocktails on the island, but you’ll do so while overlooking the dazzling waters of Adventure Beach and have a great view of the many exciting water sports. For now, enjoy your drink but be sure to participate in all the activities next time around.
- For your next stop, you’ll be headed to Chill Cafe Bar & Grill, an absolute tourist delight. You’ll recline comfortably with golden sand under your feet while sipping on one of their unique rum creations, and enjoying a few bites of their delicious shrimp alfredo or the catch of the day to appease your appetite.
- As the sun begins to set, it's time for you to be immersed a bit more in Barbadian culture at the Village Bar in St. John, which is also popularly known as Lemon Arbor. Known for its welcoming atmosphere, free-flowing drinks and a menu full of Barbadian delicacies, the Village Bar has become a hit with both locals and tourists over the years. Here, you’ll try a few rum mixes and a few beers while enjoying a portion of fish and chips, Bajan style.
- The moon takes its place directly overhead but you’re not quite done yet! It's happy hour at Hercules Bar, a Barbados rum shop in the fishing town of Oistins. No need to watch the time, Hercules Bar is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so it's never too late or too early to enjoy the bartender’s best mix. As the music and drinks give way to merriment, you may try a little karaoke or even a little dancing as the locals excitedly cheer you on. Tired, and even more carefree than before, it's time to return to the hotel to rest up.
It's Sunday: Time to Recover!
After a weekend of the best cocktails, the excitement of bar-hopping with friends and hilarious conversations with the rum-shop regulars, you’ll need to relax and recover. Sun, sea and sand are the remedies.
- Grab your cooler, fill it with some ice and you’re almost ready. Don’t forget your brew, your rum & chaser! Whether in a bottle or a can, an ice-cold beverage is just what’s needed to refresh you in the heat of the day while you lazily reflect on the weekends’ many activities.
- The spot for today is Carlisle Bay in the city. Lounging under the shade of the beach umbrella, you can sip on your beverage of choice while enjoying the soft lap of the waves and the unmatched beauty of the water.
- For those who’ve had their fill of alcohol for the weekend, you may want to try one of the local natural fruit juices which many vendors will be selling beachside. If you’re lucky enough, you’ll hear the distinctive horn of the ‘Snowcone Man’ for the perfect icy seaside treat.
- As is the norm, nearby, you’ll also be sure to find plenty of lunchtime options, which can even be delivered right to your beach chair. Wraps, salads or sandwiches, we’ll have it ready for you.
- As the sun’s bursts of gold and orange disappear into the horizon, you know you’ve had a weekend well spent, fully indulging in the best of Barbados.
Rums from Barbados: It doesn’t get much better than this when you think about your ideal Caribbean vacation. If there’s anywhere in the world that you can be guaranteed to indulge in the finest and smoothest rum blends, it’s Barbados. A Barbados rum tour, a bar, or a rum shop, whether by day or night, it’s always the time and place for rum on this tiny island. We are the birthplace of rum, and so we have set the bar relatively high for rum excellence and all the accompanying carefree, blissful feelings you’ll enjoy on your next trip to Barbados.