If you’re in search of some premium rum, look no further. Flor de Caña is what you need. This Nicaraguan rum brand was awarded as the best rum producer worldwide at London’s 2017 International Wine and Spirit Competition. They’re known to produce some of the highest quality rums in the world.
What might be even more impressive is that this brand has been run entirely by a single family for over 130 years. This family has made a name for themselves with their famous production process, which enriches their rum in an active volcano.
The brand’s rum is aged without sugar, additives, or any artificial ingredients. Their rums are also distilled completely with renewable energy sourced from biomass.
Flor de Caña rum is available in over 40 countries and on five continents. As this brand continues to grow in popularity, we will likely see its name expand all throughout the globe.
What truly makes this brand unique is its immense commitment to working ethically. From how they treat their workers, the initiatives they take to help the environment, and the multitude of efforts they make in their community, Flor de Caña is much more than just a rum brand.
They were actually one of the first alcohol brands in the world to be Fair Trade certified. Their production process is in line with over 300 social, environmental, and labor requirements.
But it doesn’t end there. The feats that this brand has achieved are vast and abundant. At Saucey, we are committed to supporting brands that go beyond their responsibilities as alcohol producers. With that said, here are five things you should know about Flor de Caña.
1. The vision of Flor de Caña
The story of this prestigious brand begins with Alfredo Francisco Pellas Canessa. In 1875, he left his home nation of Italy for Nicaragua, but not to make rum. That came much later.
Alfredo made his move during the famous Gold Rush. He built a successful steamboat route from the Atlantic to the Pacific, going through Nicaragua. He operated this business for several years until a new opportunity arose.
Over time, Alfredo became enamored with the natural beauty of Nicaragua. He adored the land’s clear lakes and waterfalls, its massive jungles, and most notably, its plentiful output of sugarcane. Allured by these things, Alfredo made it a goal of his to start his own rum distillery.
He would finally achieve his dream in 1890, establishing a distillery at the base of San Cristóbal, the largest and most active volcano in the country. The rest was history. Flor de Caña was born.
2. Ash-fertilized soil
It is unknown whether or not Alfredo intentionally set up shop at the volcano’s base, but it proved to be a huge factor in the brand’s success. Building a business right at the bottom of a treacherous volcano may sound dangerous, but Alfredo obviously wasn’t phased.
From the brand’s inception, Flor de Caña has only used sugar cane grown in this volcanic soil. The soil in this area is fertilized by ash, allowing for the abundant growth of molasses. This mineral enriches the water absorbed by the plant and spreads it to the rest of the soil, repeating the cycle.
The San Cristóbal climate also plays a significant role in how the brand’s rum is made. Flor de Caña products mature at a higher temperature and humidity level than other rums. These conditions cause the rum to evaporate at a higher rate and encourage interaction between the barrel and the rum.
The flavor of Flor de Caña rum is also directly affected by this soil. With how much activity the rum is put through, the final product ends up elegant and complex.
Flor de Caña rums can be aged from four to 25 years. During this process, the rum begins to darken and grow stronger while its texture smoothens. Their barrels are made with premium bourbon oak and sealed with Nicaraguan plantain leaves.
The products are made without artificial ingredients, accelerants, or added sugars as well. Each ingredient they use has a specific purpose. The brand truly fine-tunes every step of the production process.
3. How Flor de Caña Tastes
Flor de Caña rums are largely smooth and crisp, with notes of caramel, toffee, and nuts. The rums are slightly fruity as well.
At the end of the day, the exact taste profile depends on how long the product’s been aged.
The older rums tend to have a more dense, full-spectrum taste. For maximum quality and full expression of flavors, opt for a rum that has been aged for at least ten years. These long-aged rums are only for experienced drinkers, though; it might be a waste of your money if you don’t know your rum.
4. It’s more than a liquor brand
What separates Flor de Caña from most rum brands is their dedication to sustainability and social justice.
For one, they have been apologetic in their conservation efforts. In addition to using renewable energy, the brand also recycles all CO2 emissions created during the fermentation process.
They even recycle the leftover residue of the drained sugar cane, using it to create steam. This steam fuels a turbine that generates electricity for the brand’s facilities.
Flor de Caña also has made many contributions to preserving wildlife and land. Since 2005, they’ve planted 50,000 trees annually in Nicaragua, planting about 700,000 trees in other areas near the distillery.
One of these areas is the San Cristóbal Volcano, which the brand continues to try and preserve. Many brands try to profit off of nature; Flor de Caña works to preserve it as well.
In 1913, the brand took a stand on workers’ rights, creating a free healthcare program for employees and their families. They also started a separate program that offers free education for employees’ children.
For the past three decades, Flor de Caña has been a primary donor to APROQUEN as well. APROQUEN is a Nicaraguan non-profit that supports burn victims and children suffering from cleft lips or palates. They’ve supplied over 600,000 free medical services thus far.
Given how balanced this brand’s rum is, it is perfect for cocktails. Flor de Caña rum is bold but not overbearing. It’s also smooth and easy to drink.
This rum works great with the classic rum and coke combo. Just pour up two ounces of rum. Add four ounces of Coca-Cola. Fill the glass with ice and use a lime wedge as a garnish. And voila. You’ve got a delicious rum and coke, enjoyed just how it was in the 1800s.
You can also try Flor Sparkling. This drink is essentially a mix of Flor de Caña and sparkling water. It’s a light drink, ideal for when you’re snacking. It is paired well with peanuts, pretzels, and small desserts.
For this cocktail, it’s recommended to use an ounce and a half of Flor de Caña 12 and a light splash of premium sparkling water. Garnish the drink with an orange peel. Serve it an old-fashioned glass for the full effect.
Rum is a spirit that was made to be drunk all around the world. Unlike Scotch or Cognac, rum can be made literally anywhere. From the Caribbean all the way to Hawaii, you can find local rum.
Still, few brands match up with the pedigree of Flor de Caña. For over a century, they’ve led the charge in premium rum, refining their age-old recipe along the way.
If you’ve never had aged rum, we highly recommend that you give it a try. Flor de Caña is certainly the market leader in aged rum, but simply experiencing the difference between regular rum and any type of aged rum is worthwhile.
Many new brands are getting in on the rum craze, but ultimately, we all know who the originator is. And with all they do for the community and the environment, their supporters aren’t going to be leaving them anytime soon. In terms of quality and morality, we have yet to see a rum brand that comes close to its level of excellence.