While there are many different kinds of spirits to be found here on St. Croix, including jumbies, rum is the most well known. The island is home to a diverse range of unique fruits, herbs, and spices – some of which probably flavor your favorite rum. The food that can be grown or foraged for here on St. Croix not only inspires local chefs and farmers, but brewers and distillers as well. While everyone in the Caribbean loves a good rum, here on St. Croix craft brewing and vodka are also making a name for themselves. Don’t miss out on these four Crucian spirits:
The original spirit of St. Croix! The Cruzan Rum distillery was founded here on St. Croix in 1760 and is still located on the grounds of the historic sugar plantation Estate Diamond. As a distinct brand name, ‘Cruzan Rum’ began in 1934 with the founding of the Diamond Rum Company by Malcolm M. Skeoch and other investors on St. Croix when Prohibition was repealed. In 1950, the Nelthropp’s became the distillers of Cruzan Rum and their family still run the distillery today. Stop by Cruzan Rum to take a guided tour of the distillery, stroll the historical grounds, stop at the Visitors’ Pavilion to sample the rums, and peruse the gift shop. Or, try a Cruzan Rum cocktail (like the Cruzan Confusion) at any of our local bars and restaurants.
Originally distilled on Jamaica, then moved to Puerto Rico in the 1950s, Captain Morgan was acquired by Diageo in 2001 and a new state-of-the-art distillery was built and operating on St. Croix by 2012. The Captain Morgan Visitor Center has a beautiful facility. The “Tasting Tavern” within the visitor center is where you can try the rums and shop in their retail store. You can also find Captain Morgan served at most bars and restaurants on St. Croix, so feel free to order that Captain and Coke.
Leatherback Brewing Company
Newly established in 2017, Leatherback Brewing Company brews several styles of beer, some featuring local and seasonal ingredients. Their beer is canned and kegged on site, and visitors can tour the facility and learn about the brewing process. Then, of course, there’s the tasting room – featuring an indoor and outdoor bar with a family friendly atmosphere. You can also find Leatherback beer on tap at dozens of restaurants and bars across St. Croix, or pick up a six pack at one of the local stores. They’ve quickly expanded distribution to St. Thomas and St. John, too, but there’s only one place to call home- St. Croix.
MUTINY Island Vodka
The newest spirit conceived on St. Croix, MUTINY Island Vodka, is the world’s first breadfruit based vodka. Award-winning chef Todd Manley found breadfruit to be a true representation of his adopted home of St. Croix. Versatile and rich in history, breadfruit’s legacy began in Tahiti, then had a role in the most famous Mutiny in history, and ultimately fed the populations of the Caribbean. Todd is currently working with Double Gold Medal-winning distiller Chris Richeson to distill the precious breadfruit and water ingredients into this luxurious island vodka. Try it today at 40 Eats & Drinks, Toast Diner and The Mill Boardwalk Bar and Brick Oven Pizza. You can also stop by the Sion Farm Distillery Tasting Room on the Christiansted Boardwalk inside the sugarmill next to The Mill Boardwalk Bar and Brick Oven Pizza for cocktails and to purchase your Mutiny Island Vodka and swag.
Mutiny Island Vodka is made on St. Croix at the Sion Farm Distillery (opened August 2019). Tastings, bites, and tours are available.
St. Croix may be a small island, but we are big on spirit. To learn more, visit our Distilleries and Breweries page for the location and tour times of the distilleries and brewery. While we recommend you try all of the products mentioned above, please remember to drink responsibly.
– Jennie Ogden, Editor
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