We moved on to the Cruzan Rum distillery for a guided tour and of course, a rum tasting! Our tour guide provided a glimpse into the island’s history along with a look at Cruzan’s rum production. We learned that the island no longer grows sugar cane; the sugar cane juice is imported from other countries now, where in time past, St. Croix had a huge sugar cane based economy with more than 200 plantations. Our guide told us today Cruzan Distillery no longer bottles its own products. The distilled rum is shipped by tanker to mainland USA where it is trucked to the Jim Bean distillery to be bottled, packed in cases, then shipped back to St. Croix for distribution. Say what? How is that economically feasible? Who knows, but that’s how it’s done. We bought several different bottles for around $7 a bottle. Amazing, and even more so when you realize the same bottle in the US costs around $17.00.
After sampling several nice rums, we talked with our tour guide for a bit, getting to know her better, and just having fun. Before we left, we asked if she could recommend a local place for lunch. By that, we told her we meant a place where the locals eat, but not the tourists. She directed us to a small deli / restaurant on the west coast where for a modest price, we bought two huge sandwiches with chips, pickles, and drinks. This sandwich was a Dagwood; I could barely get my mouth around it.