A Taste of History: Appleton Estate Rum Tour
As the wanderlust is starting to brew again, I've started thinking about all the things that I haven't done...but have somehow existed in my peripheral consciousness. As my mind is priming for the next phases of life, one of the things I did decide to do was to allow myself to dream about a few fun things to do before the change. Interestingly, since I live on the eastern side of Jamaica, I haven't explored the western regions in a very long time.
With both sides of the island filled with fun things to do, there is something special about the western side of Jamaica, which makes me want to start investigating that aspect of life once again. The western side of Jamaica is filled with attractions such as Treasure Beach, The Pelican Bar (which is on the water) as well as various hotels such as Jack's. Let us start the mental journey and see where we'll end up.
Living in Kingston, one often gets caught up in the busy-ness of life. But every now and then...when you will yourself to...you can allow yourself to truly escape. As you all know...I call this mode..."DrylandTourist" mode. Defined by the Tandy Webster's Dictionary as the term for one who lives in a location but allows themselves to explore their own terrain with a fresh pair of eyes...lol...I do allow myself to pretend that work doesn't exist and just explore where I am. Apply to your own home country...and trust me...the every day...won't feel like the every day.
Let's mentally drive to St Elizabeth. Okay...so the car is packed. It's a day trip, so from the night before we'd have done the following:
Gone to MegaMart (or a supermarket of your choice...ValuMart if you're in MayPen) and prepared for yourself and your family a picnic lunch. Save space for Little Ochi later in the day...but get the snacks for early in the day. At MegaMart, we'll stock up on healthy snacks for the drive. These include drinks like cranwater, peanuts, banana and plantain chips, blueberry muffins, and those pre-made ham and chicken sandwiches that Megamart always has in stock. Either pre-toast these...or have them fresh. With all these packed, after breakfast, you're good to gizzle!!!
With the food ready, wake up in the morning bright and early, and have breakfast and then dress for the beach/tour. Aim to leave home circa 8 am. St Elizabeth is far, but not that far with the Highway 2000 to shorten the trip. This is a shorts trip, so ensure that you're all set for touring with either your sports shoes, and slippers for after the adventures.
With GPS...simply enter in your app (Waze is always good) that you want to head to the Appleton Estate in St Elizabeth, and you'll be good to go! After about a three hour drive, inclusive of pit stops and Instagram photo ops, you arrive at your final destination. The Appleton Story told in the organization's words:
"Appleton Estate is authentic Jamaican rum that is made in the Cockpit Country – a unique, lush and fertile terrain that is nestled inland, in Jamaica’s beating heart. The beautifully complex and aromatic Appleton Estate rums are produced on our estate, which makes it one of the few rums in the world to claim a terroir—and the only rum in the world that has a terroir as unique as the Nassau Valley. “Terroir” is a set of unique weather, soil and geographic demarcations that impart a unique quality to all of our rums. Proof that it really does matter where your rum comes from.
At the Appleton Estate, the production of our rums is a craft. Every step in the process is carefully managed, from the selection of the varieties of sugarcane that are grown on the Estate, to the natural culture of yeast used in fermentation, to our unique distillation and blending methods. Appleton Estate has the distinction of being the oldest sugar estate and distillery in Jamaica in continuous production, crafting this delicious rum with the warmth, passion and unique spirit of Jamaica for more than 265 years."
The tour itself is an experience I haven't had yet...but will dream of and investigate if I can go later in the year. After reading all this...yours truly has decided that this is a gem worth visiting. As a chemist, I've always had a curiosity when it came to how certain things were made. Wines and Rums, are a food chemist's dream, with all their differing elements that make the final product a success. These can include the terrain, the conditions that the batches are produced under. Based on how the tour is defined, the organization will delve into some of the details that are involved in this activity.
Imagining that you'll probably spend about five hours on site, after this you can take your time and drive to Treasure Beach. Spend about an hour or two splashing about in the sea, and exploring the reefs. Then drive to Little Ochi for dinner. Little Ochi is one of those places that you have to ensure...that you're hungry when you reach...because you actually want space for the GOOD food that they offer. With everything from lobster to brown stew fish, they are the perfect way to end the day of adventures! Located right on the beach...the seating area is actually a series of converted boats....so you really get that feeling of authentic coastal vibes! Keep dreaming...and I'm sure you can find something to do in your own home town!!
As the work week begins, I'm dreaming up what I'm working for...and this is definitely worth the mental effort! I am working harder on one aspect of life, and interestingly...thanks to a few nudges....I've started working smarter on other aspects of life!! Yours truly actually hired my first two employees of 2019...so I have more time to focus on studies!!! Why...didn't I think of this sooner! We'll talk about this...in the weeks to come!
Enjoy the week!!!