Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Louisiana produces sugar cane, why not rum?

Trey Litel, cofounder and president of Bayou Rum
For a state that produces more sugar cane than any Caribbean island, you’d think producing rum would be a vital part of that equation. That was the question Trey Litel asked. The LSU graduate worked for Bacardi rum at the home office and in Florida, always loved the alcoholic drink created from sugar, and when he came home to Louisiana to hunt ducks, driving past miles of sugar cane, he began to distill an idea.

“I always wondered why does Louisiana have so much sugar cane and no rum?” he said.

Litel and partners started Louisiana Spirits Distillery in Lacassine, Louisiana, in 2011, distilling two varieties of rum, a silver and a spiced rum. Today, their inventory includes a Bayou Select Rum aged in oak barrels and a Satsuma rum liqueur made with Louisiana satsumas. Naturally, the alcohol derives from locally produced sugar cane, mostly from the M.A. Patout & Sons mill in Patoutville, Louisiana.

Bayou Rum distillery is open for tours and perusing the gift shop Tuesdays through Saturdays. For more information, visit the distillery’s Facebook page at

Here are some fun Bayou Rum facts:

They use 80 proof alcohol to sanitize their bottles.

One person can fill 25 bottles of rum per minute.

Bayou Rum averages 8,000 bottles per day.

M.A. Patout & Sons is a seventh generation business.

2,000 pounds of sugar equals roughly a half acres of sugar cane.

Bayou Rum copper tanks have names — Ruby, Uma and Maryland

Leftover rum mash is fed to regional cows.

Need more encouragement to try this delicious Louisiana product? Here's a popular recipe in the Bayou State.

Gator Bite
1 ounce Bayou Silver
1 ounce Bayou Spiced
1 ounces Bayou Satsuma
1.5 ounces orange juice
1.5 ounces pineapple juice
Juice of 3 limes wedges
Splash of Grenadine

Mix together and enjoy!

Cheré Coen is a food and travel writer who loves weird and unusual things, not to mention a good-tasting rum.

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