Rhum Barbancourt: How to Drink Haitian Rum Like a Local
In the surprising nightlife capital of the Caribbean that is Port-au-Prince, it’s no surprise that rhum fuels most of the fun. Prestige holds its own as well, but most everywhere I went on my mid-summer Thursday night party adventure, it was all about le rhum – Rhum Barbancourt to be exact.
No surprise there, of course. As we touched on a bit here, Barbancourt is the #1 rhum in Haiti.
Finding it at the various bars, restaurants, and nightclubs between Pétion-Ville and the downtown Port-au-Prince area is not a problem. Keeping up with how the locals drink it… well… that’s another matter altogether.
The Rhum Barbancourt technique
I learned the proper technique at the Brasserie Quartier Latin. My instructor: Bobby Chauvet.
You remember my new friend Bobby who runs the local Haitian tour company, Agence Citadelle. If you’re a newbie to the Haiti nightlife scene, he’s the guy you’ll want to hook up with for a guided tour of a few of the city’s hottest spots.
Bobby showcases his home country with the pride and zeal of a young kid showing off a shiny new bike. You simply can’t help but fall in love with Haiti around Bobby, especially when you’re at a lively bar like Brasserie Quartier Latin and he says:
Another rhum and lime!
The local drink of choice is as simple as it is sinful.
To make it, start by filling your tumbler with ice. Then fill it again with Rhum Barbancourt. (Most of the folks I partied with in Port-au-Prince were pouring the five-star Barbancourt.) Squeeze half-a-key lime into your glass. Drop the remaining lime in there too. Swirl. Boom, Barbancourt 5 étoiles with lime on ice.
The lime and ice cut down on the rhum bite significantly, lending a suspiciously smooth and easy drinkability. Believe me, though, all that rhum remains plenty potent, so you’ll want to proceed slowly with these. I didn’t and paid for it dearly the following day when I awoke with a nice hangover. Just in time for lunch!
I used to enjoy my Barbancourt neat or with just a couple of rocks, but now I’m all about rhum and lime. It’s dangerously refreshing and always reminds me of the great times I had making new friends in Port-au-Prince.
À votre santé!