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Defining Caribbean Rum – The CARICOM Rum Standard

It’s often proclaimed that rum has no rules; that it can be made in whatever manner desired. In response, rum experts decry the absurdity of such proclamations, pointing to the pile of rum regulations from Jamaica, Martinique (France), Brazil, and Cuba, along with lesser known examples such as Guyana, Panama, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic as proof. It’s unfortunate, but many enthusiasts simply aren’t aware of these per-country regulations, which might consist of technical specifications and/or Geographical Indications, or GIs for short.

However, there’s another rum regulation that even most rum experts aren’t aware of: The CARICOM Regional Standard for Rum. It’s been in place since 1991 yet is rarely spoken of. However, it defines the baseline for what can be called “rum” in over a dozen Caribbean rum producing countries. Just as the European Union and United States have their definition of rum, so does CARICOM – the birthplace of rum. If anybody should have an opinion about what rum is, it’s the Caribbean countries.

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