Rum is in Martinique produced from fresh cane juice (this type of rum is called rhum agricole) and from sugar cane molasses (rum is called rhum industriel). Both are exported, for example to France.
The words "Appellation d'Origine Controlee Martinique" is your assurance that the rhum is made from sugar cane juice and meets strict quality control standards. All rhum agricole bottled after May 31, 1997 in Martinique must carry these words on the label.
In 1945 there were 105 distilleries, 62 in 1952, 27 in 1960. Today remains only 9 distilleries.
In 1880, Martinique was home to 500 registered distillers, with the largest concentration around Saint Pierre on the slopes of Mont Pelee. Everyone made rum: the centralized sugar factories, small sugar-mill owners, and a growing number of independent distillers. This was one of Martinique's boom times. Thanks to the onset of the phylloxera vine louse in France, th metropolis needed a new spirit. Rum finaly overtook sugar in importance.
On the map are distilleries operating on Martinique in 1999.
In the year 1939 was on Martinique 160 distilleries (and 15 sugar factories). About in 1975 was 18 distilelries agricole and 2 distileries industrielle (and 2 sugar factories).
In 1881 Martinique produces 86.331 hectolitres of pure rum alcohol.
Since November 1996, the Martinique agricole rums have benefited from Appellation d'Origine Controlee label. To this day, Martinique is the only overseas department to have such a distinction.
In order to have the right the use the label Appellation d'Origine Controlee "MARTINIQUE", followed by the mention "RHUM AGRICOLE", the rum must be obtained through distillation of fresh sugar cane juice, that fermented and that corresponds to precise specifications concerning:
- production area.
- cane cultivation area;
- cane varieties.
- juice extraction.
- storage and aging.
In 1920, on Martinique was 20 small and medium-sized distilleries, for example Nazaire, Dénel, Domézor, Calixte, La Fartoule, Dosithée, La Fraîcheur, De Soumery, Corneille nebo Cassildé.
When distillery Thibaut was in 1976 closed, St.Etienne remain the only distillery.