Perhaps the least understood of the islands, Haiti is one of the smallest rum producers in the Caribbean basin. The art has been practiced here since Columbus brought sugar cane here from Madeira to Hispaniola, or little Spain, on his second voyage of discovery in 1493. When the French took control of the island, Haiti became known as St Dominique. Rum distilled here began to gain a reputation in France where it compared favorably to the finest French brandy. Even after Haiti gained independence on Jan 1, 1804, Haitian rum maintained its place among the most sought-after liquors in the world.
Plagued by internal conflicts for the last two hundred years, Haiti continues to attract interest in its culture, art and spirits. Stories of voodoo and black magic seem to be suspended in the humid tropical air. As in most of the Caribbean, the saying that "things are not as they appear" is certainly true here. In many respects, Haiti is in contrast not only to its neighbors and the rest of the world but also to itself.
To appreciate Haiti, you have to visit this microcosm of humanity where in spite of oppression - from both inside and outside its borders - there is a human spirit that can not be conquered. Even though the future is sometimes uncertain here there is no doubt that Haitian rum will continue to take its place as one of the countries great achievements for years to come.
Ministry of Rum Forum member Bunny Hugs has writen about his visit to Haiti on his blog.