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The History of St. Croix Rum


Beach on St. Croix

The beaches of St. Croix are known for their white sands and beautiful turquoise water. They are picturesque Caribbean beaches.

Photo Credit: © Shannon Graham
The Crucians have reason to be proud of this locally produced spirit as it is one of the smoother rums I’ve had to date and the heritage and tradition of the Nelthropp family producing rum in St. Croix goes back 7 generations. We expect this sort of family tradition in whiskies especially, but for rum it is a bit of a phenomenon and the tradition rivals that of the Beams and Samuels bourbon family legacies.

To fully understand the story of Cruzan Rum we should look at the family’s heritage and that of the island of St. Croix itself.

In 1493, Christopher Columbus landed on the north side of the island that would come to be known at St. Croix (or Santa Cruz). Here he met two native people, the Arawak and the Carib. The Caribs were certainly not the nicest people the Spanish would meet in their ventures and are said to have been cannibals and, in the least, they terrorized the Arawaks on this small island and others throughout the Caribbean.

While Spain was the first to claim St. Croix, it has had many owners over the last 500 years including England, Holland, France, the Knights of Malta, Denmark, and finally the United States. Yet it was the Spanish who imported what would come to be known as West Indian “Gold” – or sugar – by introducing sugarcane (native to Asia).

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