Rum from Granada

The provinces of Malaga and Granada are the only places in Europe where sugar cane is grown. The Costa del Sol of Malaga was the origin of famous West Indian rum, for we must not overlook the fact that sugar cane is not a native of the New World. Planting of sugar cane and distillation and rum production techinques were introduced by Spaniards, in a return journey, for with the arrival of Fidel Castro to power Cuba, some firms decided to move to Andalusia.

The sugar industry began in Andalusia with Alandalus around the 10th century. The entire Mediterranean area was used for the cultivation of sugar cane, which would be modernised in the mid-19th century, with sugar production centred on the western coast of Malaga, the Axarquia and the coast of Granada.

The Fascinating History of Spanish Rum

Here are some interesting facts:

  • Spanish rum has its origin in the province of Granada, where the Arabs introduced sugarcane 1200 years ago. It is said that the oldest rum in Europe was produced there 600 years ago.
  • The first official record of rum production in Spain dates back to 1828, when a rum from Motril won the first prize at the Spanish Industry Exhibition in Madrid.
  • During the early years of Caribbean rum, the Spanish crown forbade its colonies from making any kind of distilled drink. It was not until 1796 that Spanish colonies such as Cuba were allowed to produce rum. That’s why it took a good part of the 19th century to consolidate rum production on the island.
  • Since 1963, Ron Montero produces rum with local sugarcane in Motril. However, in 2006 Spain stopped growing sugarcane and started importing it from Central and South America. Ron Montero is one of the few remaining Spanish producers and their rum is highly appreciated by enthusiasts.

Did you like these facts? Do you want to know more about the process of making rum?

Rum cellar in Granada

Today, the Montero sugar factory in Granada, founded in 1963, is the only distillery that produces alcohol from sugar cane.

How rum is made

Rum is a liquor that is produced by fermenting and then distilling the juice or molasses of sugarcane plants. The clear liquid that comes out of the distillation process is usually aged in oak barrels to give it more flavor and color. Rum is made in many parts of the world where sugarcane grows, such as the Caribbean and Latin America. However, rum is also made in some regions of Spain, such as Málaga and Granada, where sugarcane has been cultivated since ancient times. One of the most famous Spanish rums is Ron Montero, which was founded by Francisco Montero Martín in 19631. This pale rum is made with molasses and time, and it is aged in oak barrels. Some rums are also flavored with caramel or other ingredients to create different varieties of rum.

sugar cane machine


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