Tag Archives: River Antoine Rum

Grenada

Grand Anse, GrenadaWe have spent the last week in Grenada getting to know the country a little better. We took the bus one day from the small town of Woburn (we were anchored just off the town in Clarke’s Court Bay) into St George’s and then onto Grand Anse. Grand Anse is supposed to be the nicest beach on Grenada. It is very pretty, a few miles long and white sand. Many of the beaches here have black sand due to the volcanic origin of the island. We had a delicious lunch of grilled mahi-mahi with mango salsa at Jenny’s Restaurant. Of course that was not what we ordered but as it took an hour to arrive we ate it. The restaurant had a great setting at the end of the beach.
Karen with some locals We took a day tour of the island with Cutty. Our first stop was at a private garden where Cutty showed us some of the local fruits, spices and herbs. Then we stopped at the Annandale Falls where we were greated by some local women with baskets of fruit and flowers on their heads. It costs a US dollar to have ones picture taken with them but it was worth it!
Annandale Falls, Grenada The falls were impressive considering there has been a drought here for the last 3 months. The water was cool but the locals like to put on a show for the tourists by jumping into the pool. Ricky was our favorite jumper…
Cutty and MonkeyAfter the falls we drove into the Grand Etang National Park. Cutty had brought some bananas for the residents and they were quite determined to get them!
Cocoa Beans, GrenadaWe stopped to have a tour of the cocoa processing plant. Here is where the cocoa pods are put in sweat boxes, covered with banana leaves and fermented for eight days. Once the beans are ripened they are moved to drying trays out in the sun. Here the staff walk through them twice a day to move them around to help with even drying. If it starts to rain, the trays can be pushed into the buildings. Once fully dried they are put into sacks for export. Some is made into chololate bars by The Grenada Chocolate Company. Unfortunately, the Chocolate Company no longer gives tours…
Patty at River AntoineThen we were off to River Antoine Rum Distillery. We had lunch there before Patty gave us a tour of the distillery. We were too late to see them crushing the sugar cane, they had been doing it in the morning, but we did see the rest of the process. River Antoine has been making rum since 1785 and only makes an overproof white rum with a minimum 75% alcohol content. It makes a great rum punch!
Nutmeg, Grenada As if that was not a full enough day we then toured the nutmeg processing facility in Grenville. Martin, our guide , was very informative. Grenada had been the second largest producer of nutmeg prior to Hurricane Ivan in September 2004. In those years they produced 6 million pounds of nutmeg per year; now they only produce 600,000 pounds. Nutmeg is covered by mace that needs to be removed prior to drying. The mace takes 3 months to dry, the nutmeg takes 2 months. The nutmeg is placed in trays 3 inches deep and stirred twice a day to help dry and prevent mildew. Once the nutmeg is dried it is placed in water to determine the quality of the nut. The ones that float have less oil and are of lower quality. The nuts are then redried for about 4 days. The high quality nuts are exported as is. The lower quality nuts are sorted again for “looks”, any discoloured ones become quality 3 and are used to make nutmeg oil. The quality 2 nuts are sold but do not command as high a price.
Fish fry, GouyaveSV TootLast night Cutty took several boaters to the Gouyave Friday Night Fish Fry. This is a small town on the western coast of Grenada that is the fishing capital of Grenada. Many locals fry up fish, shrimp, lobster, plantains, breadfruit, etc and sell them at stalls along several streets. A steel drum band entertains as one wanders from stall to stall tasting. Of course there is also beer and rum to try. We had a great meal enjoying the company of our new boating friends, Marlene and Michael from SV Toot.
We are now preparing to sail to Trinidad for our scheduled haul out on April 19th.

Grenada

St George's water frontOn Thursday May 14th we left the Grenadines and headed for Hillsborough, Carriacou to check into Grenada.  This was one of the few islands that required all crew to visit the immigration office.  We are not sure if this was a result of the swine flu that seems to be making its way around the Caribbean.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA We left the next day for St George’s and took a slip at the Port Louis Marina.  We were surprised at how few boats were there considering how reasonable the rates were.  We were joined on our dock  by a $9 million Oyster 82 and a $6 million Oyster 62 (which is available to buy for anyone with a bit of spare cash…).  Snowaway looks pretty small beside those sailboats.

Rum Distillery, GrenadaRum Distillery, GrenadaWe explored the island and enjoyed tours of three rum distilleries; Westerhall does not actually make its own rum anymore but imports rum from Trinidad, blends and bottles it, and sells it as Grenadian rum.  The first distillery we visited was Clarkes Court, the second was Westerhall and the final was the River Antoine Rum Distillery.  Clarkes Court produces one of our favourites, Old Grog, while we had trouble drinking the very strong River Antoine rum.

Mona Monkey, GrenadaIn the mountainous heart of Grenada is the Grand Etang Forest Reserve.  There is a lake in the crater of an extinct volcano and unfortunately the day we stopped the views were foggy.  However, there is a visitor centre where we were able to feed bananas to the local Mona Monkeys.

Nutmeg tree, GrenadaGrenada is known as the Spice Island and its most important spice is nutmeg.  The fruit of the nutmeg tree is used to make jam, syrup and liqueurs.  The red mace covers the nut that holds the nutmeg.  Hurricane Ivan in 2004 destroyed over 90% of the nutmeg trees and they are just starting to come back.  This has had a very negative effect on the economy with the loss of employment (particularly to the women).

BB's Restaurant, GrenadaWe tried several of the local restaurants and our favorite was BB’s Crabback Caribbean Restaurant.  Mike and Richard had the goat curry and claimed it was the best meal they had had in the Caribbean!!