Jamaica has a long and rich rum history. The spirit was first introduced to the island by Christopher Columbus in 1494. By around 1655, Britain had taken over from the Spanish and with this, the colonists brought rum production from Barbados. Rum quickly became a currency, and it held a lot of weight. It was used to trade for slaves, who in turn laboured on the plantations to produce sugar. The sugar was shipped to the Americas to make rum and rum was shipped to Africa, where it was traded for more slaves. There were many distilleries on the island. However, the triangular trade cycle took a blow when slavery was abolished in 1893. Now, only six main distilleries remain, operated by four companies who make rum in large pots called puncheons and often using wild fermentation to give it that trademark ‘funk’. Campari operates Appleton Estate and New Yarmouth, National Rums of Jamaica owns Long Pond and Clarenden, while Everglades Farms has Hampden Estate and Worhty Park operates the Worthy Park Distillery.

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