After visiting two world-class distilleries in Barbados we load into a cab and spend the afternoon researching the island’s legendary rum shop scene. Come along!
Barbados is well-known for beautiful beaches, posh resorts, friendly people and great distilleries, but one attraction that every visitor should experience at least once is a tour of the island’s rum shops.
Most islands in the Caribbean have a special collection of local hangouts and beachside watering holes, but the scene in Barbados goes far beyond anything we’ve seen before. Rum shop culture runs deep and has been a vital part of life in Bajan communities for more than 300 years.
A rum shop is more than just a bar, it’s a social gathering place, a spot where neighborhood friends can join each other for a drink, a game of dominoes, tell jokes and talk politics. Liquor is not sold by the drink here, it’s sold by the bottle with mixers and a cup of ice. Don’t expect the barkeep to pour it for you either because the vibe is intentionally kept uncomplicated and laid back. Enjoy it.
With a little help from our new friend and cab driver, Hugh, we spent an afternoon touring some of the island’s most famous and well hidden rum shops. They are all unique, colorful and filled with interesting characters that you’d swear just walked out of a Graham Greene novel. By the end of the day we had bellies full of rum, smiles wide across our faces and whole new appreciation for Bajan rum culture. It’s safe to say that we will be back for more!! Here’s a look at some of the fun.
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