When it comes to rum, most people have only tasted white rums like Bacardí or spiced rums like Captain Morgan. Aside from being the most familiar styles in the world, they may be the sole representatives sampled from an amazingly diverse category that deserves further exploration. Enter Renegade Rum from Grenada.
Most commercial distilleries make rum from molasses, a byproduct of sugar production. Renegade Rum Distillery uses only fresh, local sugarcane to make their pre-cask rums. Originated by French colonists, this free-run cane juice style is also the signature of “Rhum Agricole’, the AOC designation of Martinique rum.
Renegade highlights “single farm” terroir and transparency of origin when sourcing and producing their agricultural-style rums. In this bottle, “Purple Tallboy” is the cane of choice. Grown in More Field next to upper Crater Lake Antoine, the sugar cane is influenced by the granular clay loam and salty trade winds that surround the area. This rum is a fresh spirit that’s vibrant and multi-faceted.
In the glass, the Lake Antoine pre-cask rum shines brightly and is remarkably clear, glinting with a subtle hint of viscosity. On the nose, aromas of truffle, artichoke, and forest floor permeate the senses. On the palate, the spirit coats the tongue with a light grip and the vegetal essence of fresh asparagus and green apple. The finish is rich and lingering, with a hint of citrus and sea spray. Produced using copper pot stills, the liquid shares a mouthfeel similar to that experienced in single malts from the Islay region- think Lagavulin.
Most rum consumers haven’t experienced a rum with this level of complexity before. When Coca-Cola is the default mixer of choice, most people aren’t looking for taste or flavor- they’re usually looking for something sweet and easy. This rum is not “sweet and easy,” nor should it be. As a trend, sweet-flavored rums like Malibu were top sellers. These days, people are seeking drier spirits with bolder, more unique flavor profiles. Small-craft distillers like Renegade can be proud that their dedication, quality, and transparency can shape how spirits enthusiasts and rum connoisseurs experience these terroir-driven drams.
I recommend enjoying it in a snifter or Glencairn glass to fully appreciate Renegade Lake Antoine Rum. Sipping the spirit neat reveals the true characteristics of the terroir. Adding a drop or two of cool water to the glass opens the spirit’s underlying green apple and grass aromas. To further highlight the pure flavors of this rum, I made a Grenada Swizzle by adding freshly squeezed citrus and Falernum Liqueur. The 100-proof rum makes an excellent base for this traditional cocktail. Here’s the recipe:
The Grenada Swizzle
2 oz. Renegade Lake Antoine Rum
1 oz. Falernum Liqueur
1/2 oz. Lime juice
1/2 oz. Lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in a chilled Collins glass, and fill 2/3 with crushed ice. Using a swizzle stick or bar spoon, stir to combine. Fill with more crushed ice, give a final stir, and add a straw. Garnish with an orange slice and top with mint.