If you’ve traveled to Nicaragua, you will notice a great deal of marketing for Flor de Caña rum. Flor de Caña translates beautifully to “sugar cane flower”. Once you step utside of the airport, you will have the opportunity to partake in the delicious local market version of this rum. The local market rum holds a slightly lower alcohol content.
In my experience, this appears to be the secret behind the lack of the next morning down time. The perfect rum. Four of us enjoyed Flor de Caña rum pretty consistently on during multiple trips throughout Nicaragua. Not once did any of us feel the slightest effect of a hang over.
Finding this quite amazing, I decided to do a little research, and learn just a bit more about this magical cane sugar rum…..
In 1875, 25 year old Francisco Alfred Pellas Canessa took over has father’s Caribbean Pacific Transit company. For an initial investment of $225,000 US, he transformed it into a steamship navigation company. The campany had a fleet of 23 ships that connected the Pacific and Atlantic coasts of Nicaragua, making him a nationaliIcon of his time.
In 1890, Francisco developed a sugar cane plantation in Chichigalpa, Nicaragua. The plantation became known as Nicaragua Sugar Estates Limited. At the time of his death in 1912, the plantation was producing over 100,000 quintals of sugar per day. (1 quintal = 220.462 lbs).
His sons, Carlos and Silvio, took over the plantation, and in 1937 built their first distillery. They began producing Flor de Caña rum, using molasses harvested from the estate’s sugar cane fields.
The 7 year aged rum (the local favorite) holds the most awards. It is distilled 5 times in a continuous column still process. Next, it is laid down to age in small American white oak barrels in traditional aging warehouses. The warehouses were purposely built without ac, to keep the natural environment undisturbed.
Having won more than 100 international awards since 2000, and being the world’s most award-winning rum brand during this period, Flor de Caña has been referred to as “the perfect rum”. Still run by the Pella’s family today, it is an ambassador of Nicaraguan identity.
While the 35% alcohol/VOL can be found in the local market, the 40% alcohol/VOL still holds the same incredible smoothness. Although, in my experience, the 35% is a much gentler version, with the same warm and fuzzy effect, but none of the morning after experience.
Here are a few delicious Flor de Caña cocktail concoctions, that I sampled (a few times) while in Nicaragua;
Flor de Cańa 7 year and Coke with a fresh lime squeeze garnish
Red Bell Pepper Infused Flor de Caña 7 year, fresh lime juice and ginger, shaken and served martini style with a red wine float
La Carta Postal (substitute Flor de Cańa for Vodka)
Muddled fresh watermelon and basil with fresh lime juice and a dash of balsamic vinegar
and my own research during our trips to Nicaragua