Discovering the best distilleries of Guadeloupe Islands

It is not imaginable to come and stay in Guadeloupe without visiting a distillery! Discover a fascinating know-how, well anchored on 3 islands of the archipelago. You will appreciate the flavor, expertise and authenticity of a world famous heritage, that of Rum!

« Damoiseau Distillery » – Grande-Terre

The Damoiseau Distillery, located in Grande-Terre, in Le Moule, produces one of the best agricultural white rums in the world! Indeed, its rums are sold in nearly 40 countries! But behind this business lies a family tradition.

Come and visit this heritage gem whose rum is made from pure sugar cane juice, then distilled and stored in wooden casks. You will also find an 18th century windmill as well as the Cabane à Rhum. It is here, after a visit full of captivating anecdotes, that you will be offered a tasting and advice on how to buy the best rums or punches of the house. Be careful to taste in moderation!

« Bologna Distillery » – Basse-Terre

It is at the foot of the Soufrière volcano that the Bologna distillery is located on a former 17th century sugar factory. Discover an ancestral tradition. Most of the annual production is carried out manually and without burning in order to maintain all the purity of the taste. This more ecological technique highlights a rum with a more pronounced and more qualitative taste.

During your visit, you will be able to discover the main house, the bottling building, an old sugar cane mill and a waterwheel. And like any good distillery, the visit will end with a traditional tasting!

« Montebello Distillery » – Basse-Terre

Welcome to Petit-Bourg and to the Montebello Distillery. This is where one of the most emblematic rums of the Guadeloupe islands is produced and which has received several medals in agricultural competitions.

Come and discover a distillery where craftsmanship and manual labor are favored to preserve all the flavors of sugar cane. Here, the 25 hectares of sugar cane are cut by hand to guarantee a good quality of rum!

« Père-Labat Distillery » – Marie-Galante

Head to the island of a hundred mills! Rum cultivation is very important on the island of Marie-Galante, considered to be Guadeloupe “of yesteryear”. I suggest you discover the Père Labat distillery, also called the Poisson distillery, in reference to the name of the sugar refinery which was once in its place.

With 300,000 liters of rums produced annually, it is one of the smallest distilleries in the world, but also one of the most famous. You will be welcomed in a green park where the visit will be done in complete autonomy to discover the authenticity and the soul of the domain. There, to obtain an authentic rum of quality, the manufacture was improved in 1860 to approach the process of distillation of cognac. An agricultural rum at 59 ° which is also available in different punches, including the aphrodisiac punch which will enchant you!

Rum lemon massage oil !

And why not let yourself be tempted by 100% Guadeloupe products in 2 words: rum and lemon, an olfactory journey.

 

We have discovered for you an organic massage oil, with surprising ingredients and virtues! The range of care “well-being ethic” of the brand Alizée Nature Caraïbes is made by our craftsmen and are 100% natural without paraben.

BIEN ETRE ETHIC is a brand of cosmetics made in France, handmade, natural based on plants, flowers, fruits, sometimes unknown, but with recognized virtues in cosmetology today.

You will find Aloe Vera, Roucou, Sugar Cane, Country Cherries, Avocado Oil, Coconut Milk, Hibiscus Flower, Rose Hip Oil, Brède Mafane, Cherry Kernels and Grape Seed Oil… and yes Names that you may not have known but which have also travelled over time to be used for their benefits.

Rum Lemon Massage Oil is a body massage oil, ideal for a total body relaxation session. Recognizable by its fresh and tangy scent, lemon (citrus limonum) essential oil is renowned for its purifying and antibacterial properties.
For Rum, one expects more to drink it than to have it for massage but mixed with lemon it gives a tasty and exotic oil!

Its characteristics :
The massage oil rum lemon hydrates your skin and penetrates quickly. It restores suppleness and softness to your skin throughout the massage. Its aroma alone is a first trip.

Discover its benefits:
The rum and lemon massage oil will allow your body to relax after an intense day. A massage with this 100% natural elixir accompanied by its exotic scent will awaken all your senses.

Some ingredients of its composition are revealed to you:
Prunus amygdalus dulcis oil or sweet almond oil
Cocos nucifera oil or coconut oil
Coumarin is found in large quantities in the tonka bean, from which it was first extracted in 1820.

It’s up to you to discover the rest of its ingredients for a real olfactory journey to be savoured with care.

Origin : 100% Guadeloupe

Petite-Terre in catamaran

 

Snorkeling in a natural aquarium

Reasonably, we can describe the Petite-Terre archipelago as a wild paradise. Protected since 1998 by the ONF, only Terre-de-Bas is accessible by limited shuttles. As for Terre-de-Haut, it is reserved for scientists. On the spot, it is a real postcard: coconut palms, a few iguanas on the beach, smooth, transparent water and fine sand. This full day allows you to visit the oldest lighthouse in the Islands of Guadeloupe, to have lunch in the shade of the palm trees, but above all to enjoy the wonders to be seen underwater: colourful fish, turtles, lemon sharks and rays?

 

Our recipe for the famous Zombie Cocktail !

A refreshing cocktail, nothing like it to escape in the islands of Guadeloupe, gustatively speaking… !

 

Our bartender at Le Birdy, the Bar of Bwa Chik Hotel & Golf, unveils his recipe for the famous Zombie cocktail.

It is a must-have white and amber rums cocktail !

By the way, this cocktail was born in the 1930s in the restaurants chain Donn the beachComber, in Hollywood…The bartender would then have created this cocktail for one of his loyal customers the day after a watered-down evening ! So, to put him back on the right path, nothing better than a mix of rum and fruits. The client took three in a row, then disappeared for a week. When he returned to the bar, he warned the bartender that the cocktail had made him a « zombie »…which gave its name to this cocktail (whose doses have been reviewed since !)

So don’t wait and take your shaker !

Ingredients :

  • 3cl amber rum
  • 3cl white rum
  • 2cl lime juice
  • 3cl pineapple juice
  • 3cl grapefruit juice
  • 1 dash of grenadine
  • 1 dash of cane sugar syrup

 

Preparation :

Fill half a shaker with ice.

Pour all the ingredients into a shaker.

Shake it all out.

 

Filter the ice into a tumbler glass and decorate with a nice slice of pineapple.

An explosion of flavors will delight your taste buds and the Zombie will essentially be an invitation to travel.

So be careful not to end up as the first tester of this cocktail, and drink responsibly !

Small weight advise : the calories of a Zombie ? It takes about 371 calories. This is a lot and if youp ay attention to your figure, prefer less fruity cocktails ! The journey will be different !

Guadeloupe Islands from the sky

Flying in an autogyro over the archipelago is an exceptional adventure to say the least. A unique experience to admire the splendour of its coasts, its turquoise waters and the beauty of its landscapes.

THE AUTO WHAT?
The autogyro belongs to the ULM family. It is recognizable by its propeller, its engine at the rear and its two seats one behind the other. Its featherweight is about 280 kilos. Before each flight, an instructor checks the technical points to ensure safety and then explains the circuit to come. On this day,
we’ll be flying over the coast at an altitude of a thousand feet and the speed will be about 130 km/hour.

THE TAKE-OFF & THE FLIGHT
The attendant’s seat is right behind the pilot’s seat. Equipped with a helmet with a microphone, it is possible to exchange with him during the whole flight. As for safety, a belt ensures that the body position is maintained. At take-off, the rotor accelerates, the gyrocopter rolls on the runway and then takes off slowly. The higher you climb, the more the feeling of freedom increases because the gyroplane has no fuselage only transparent plexiglass windows facing the faces to cut the wind. On the sides, emptiness.

 

 

THE LANDSCAPES
The pilot turns wide to avoid rushing the aircraft. We pass over sugar cane fields and small colourful houses. On our left, we can make out the coasts and transparent waters punctuated with corals. Then, in the distance, we can see La Désirade. A magical moment. The end of Grande-Terre is not far away. It appears after a succession of beaches lined with coconut palms. Here is the cross of the Pointe des Châteaux at noon. We go around it and then along the coast on the other side. Track game from the sky, we recognize the lagoon, the marina, the golf course and the market of Saint-François.

LANDING
The return is as smooth as the takeoff. The pilot positions the gyroplane in front of a runway like an airplane, but once above it, we land vertically at zero speed (zero kinetic energy) as a
helicopter. A great adventure.

 

 

À LA CARTE CIRCUIT BY AUTOGYRO OR HELICOPTER
Flight Saint-François – Pointe des Châteaux, 20 minutes, 70 €**
Flight Saint-François – Pointe des Châteaux – Petite Terre, 30 minutes, €120
Flight Saint-François – Pointe des Châteaux – Petite Terre – La Désirade, 45 minutes, €150
Flight Grande-Terre – Grand Cul de Sac Marin, Pointe-à-Pitre, h, €260
Flight Saint-François – Marie-Galante – Les Saintes, 340 €**
Saint-François aerodrome // Tel: +590 (0)6 90 64 28 48 // info@ulmcaraibes.com //www.ulmcaraibes.com

THE ISLANDS OF THE SKY
Equipped with two Zenair 701 seaplanes, this flying school also offers sightseeing tours on
the whole archipelago.
Hotel Canella Beach Le Gosier, 97190, Guadeloupe // +590 (0)6 90 58 23 10 // www.ulm-guadeloupe.com
*Prices from

SURF – Jimmy Lenormand’s advices

Very beautiful destination for surfing, the Islands of Guadeloupe are bordered by the Caribbean Sea to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Result: beautiful waves for all levels. Jimmy Normand grew up in the suburbs of Paris, he moved to Guadeloupe at the age of 12 and never left as he was seduced by the islands. Today he gives us precious advice.

by Aurélien Brusini

LES PLAGES :

BEGINNER ” The Helleux spot in Sainte-Anne is easy
access, the waves are accessible without much
Rowing and gently sloping. I’m taking
also my first time clients in Port Louis, the
Souffleur beach, the waves are still there.
smooth and long, the pleasant conditions…
not to mention the turquoise blue water. »

MEDIUM ” I also recommend the Helleux beach.
When the waves are bigger, this spot
ravishes the means and sometimes the experts. All
depends on the conditions. I like the beach.
from Petit-Havre to Gosier or from Anse to La
Gourde, Pointe des Châteaux in Saint-François,
there are lefts and rights. »

CONFIRMED ” Without hesitation I would say Le Moule, the spot of
Damencourt, by far the most popular on the Atlantic side.
And the spot of Anse-Bertrand, beach of
At the Chapel, the waves are often more
hollow, faster, with less water on the
rocks and welcome more swell with a
access a little harder. »

by Aurélien Brusini

THE BOARDS:

FISH
Short and wide board with tail
is the ideal partner for surfing the waves.
small waves. Usually surfed in
Twin Fin: two lateral daggerboards, it allows
an easy glide and can be surfed in all types of
conditions. Both handy and bulky,
it combines all the advantages of a big board:
easy start on the wave and buoyancy on the
soft parts and without speed, and a large
manoeuvrability for the execution of the manoeuvres.

SHORTBOARD
The most famous, the one that Kelly Slater, Mick Fanning…
and all the pros use it in competition.
It’s short, narrow and allows you to achieve the
the most radical maneuvers. Most often
surfing in Thruser (3 daggerboards) or Quattro
(4 daggerboards), this board is reserved for the surfers.
with a minimum of technique. To be excluded
for beginners

EVOLUTIVE
Board more tolerant than shortboard
that allows certain maneuvers. More malleable
to the oar, it is a board adapted
to intermediate-level surfers. It’s a
a good mix between the radicality of a
shortboard and the comfort of a mini-malibu.

GUN
Only “fat surfing”. This type of
boards is reserved for expert surfers,
who want to challenge the XXL waves.

MINI-MALIBU
Beginner’s paradise. Here the emphasis is on
on stability. Probably the most
easy to surf. Of course, it has its limits in terms of
maneuvers, but if you’re an occasional surfer
and just want to take advantage of the
soft summer waves, it’s perfect.

LONGBOARD
Large board, often aesthetic, it reminds
the history of surfing because it was the first time
to have been built in the ’60s. Called
also Malibu, it allows you to slide in and out of the
sweetness. What’s the catch? These boards are heavy,
difficult to manoeuvre and complicated to
Row. On the other hand, they allow you to
take the waves before anyone else, make
small steps on the nose and enjoy long
moments on the same wave.

by Aurélien Brusini

Germaine’s cassava

The word “kassav” may remind you of a zouk-music band…  but to guadeloupeans, it is first and foremost a cassava-based dish. Germaine cooks it every day. This is what she says about it…

“Kassav is a pancake made from cassava flour. My workshop is open to anyone who wants to taste my recipes and learn how to prepare them. It’s a whole procedure!” (Laughter.)

“I tear off the root, peel it and wash it, then leave it to soak in a container. It is then ground to extract the juice. Four or five hours later, the starch has collected at the bottom of the container. This is called “moussache”.”

“The moussache is pressed to extract the water, then sieved and left to dry overnight.”

“To cook it, I spread a layer of it on a baking sheet, cover it with a sweet or savory filling, then cover that with another layer of moussache. It contains no water, no fat and no gluten.”

“On Friday evenings I organize a tasting session. On the menu: cassava acras, pancakes, a meat dish, a vegetable and a selection of desserts including sweet kassavs. I also organize a little educational workshop for €10 per person. Nothing is prepared ahead, it’s all fresh.”

Faustine François

The Guadeloupe islands, a land of marine turtles protection

Five species of sea turtles have been found in the waters  of the guadeloupe islands, including two that can be observed near our  shores all year round. Quick revision before we take to the water…

La tortue imbriquŽe dit “karet”

Sea turtles have to surface for air. After just a few breaths they can stay under water for around 20 minutes, or even a few hours when they are resting. They swim at speeds of up to 35 km/h.

Turtles are oviparous: the female digs her nest on the beach and lays 70 to 200 eggs which she covers with sand before returning to the sea. We call their offspring “hatchlings”. Just one egg in every thousand will result in an adult turtle capable of reproducing. The females will lay their eggs only at the beach where they hatched

Sea turtles are capable of diving very deep. The luth turtle, one of the largest species of sea turtle, has been known to dive to a record depth exceeding 1,000 meters.

Luth turtles can measure up to 2 meters in length and reach a weight of 450 kg. This is the only species which has no hard shell, just skin with a leathery appearance. Its clawless flippers are shaped like paddles, making it an excellent swimmer. It leaves the water only for the laying season and prefers the quiet shores of nighttime, although some individuals have been spotted in the spring in broad daylight, at Trois-Rivières or on La Perle beach at Deshaies

Focus on the turtle hospital

At the Guadeloupe Aquarium, there is a turtle hospital for the victims of ocean pollution. The new children’s center has an educational corner whose purpose is to make them aware of the necessity to preserve the marine world in general, and turtles in particular. Plastic bags, fishing hooks, ink cartridges, etc. are just a few of the many dangers that threaten turtles and pollute the water. Workshops are organized to help us understand the impact of our actions in terms of the preservation of species.

Faustine François

6 stages of rum production

Pressing and extraction

Sugar cane is mostly cut by machine, then chopped into small pieces and pressed four times. With each pressing, water is added to ensure all the juice is collected. By the time it reaches the fourth press, all that is left of the cane is a dry residue, known as “bagasse”. This is used as fuel to heat the distillation columns.

Fermentation

The juice is sent to the vats. Yeast and ammonium sulphate are added to speed up the fermentation process. Inside the vats, cooling coils are used to keep the juice at a maximum temperature of 32 to 33 degrees celsius. After one day, the juice has an alcohol content of 5 to 6 proof.

Distillation

The juice then proceeds to the distillation column. Each part of the column is heated to a different temperature. When the juice is heated, the alcohol vapor rises and enters the condensers, which contain water to cool down the vapor. This converts the vapor into a liquid – rum! The remaining juice is known as “vinasse”. It goes into evaporators to be heated up. Since it contains no alcohol, it evaporates into water, which is used to cool down the condensers and the coils in the vats. The remaining concentrated vinasse is mixed with the cane remnants and used to make fertilizer.

Storage

The rum leaves the distillation column at 80 proof. It is left to rest for two to three months, during which time the alcohol evaporates. Distilled water is then added to bring it down to 50-55 proof.

Maturing

Part of the rum is matured in oak barrels. The brown color of aged rum comes from the wood tannins. “amber rum” has to spend six to twelve months in barrels. As for “aged rum”, this must mature for a minimum of three years. As rum ages, the alcohol content diminishes and it becomes increasingly pleasant on the palate.

Bottling

On the bottling line, the bottles are rinsed with rum. They are then filled, labeled, boxed and packed onto pallets which are covered in plastic film to be sent to around forty countries.

Faustine François

Street art in Marie-Galante

This heavenly island, 35 km from guadeloupe, attracts a significant number of artists. Noe two has left his mark here.

His name may not mean very much to you, but he is one of the fathers of the graffiti art movement of the early 1980s. He is just as comfortable adorning a wall with his animals, nature features or human characters, as he is painting them on canvas. All over the world, he has spent hours painting colorful, gigantic frescoes which brighten up the towns. Looking at his painting of the old fisherman for a few minutes, one can only admire the technical accuracy and artistic efficiency of this artist, who is now recognized across Europe and the United States, as well as in Brazil and in Asia.

Faustine François