“Rum is a stitch in the fabric of Caribbean culture”
The irony of a non-drinker loving a retreat dedicated to rum and relaxation is an entire post within itself, and if you’re a teetotaler who’s not into discussing your favourite tipple, don’t bounce off this blog just yet, because Rumboat Retreat is much more than the indulgence rum.
It’s the steamed snapper with juicy okra bursting out the seams of a banana leaf.
It’s the gum burns after an eager bite into a fluffy fried bakes filled with saltfish.
It’s the wooden tipi hut cocooned by lush dewy vegetation creating a coolness and sense of calm.
And, it’s Lisette Davis, the owner, romancing you with talk of her latest homemade mango stew and chocolate bonbon concoction.
Are you there yet? Can you see, smell and taste it. Rum lover or not! Get yourself to Mount Nesbit in the parish of St. John and check in to a cosy guestroom at Rumboat Retreat.
Kiki: I love the Rumboat Retreat concept. Tell me more about your career as a Rum Connoisseur and what inspired you to set up this business?
Lisette: Rum is a stitch in the fabric of Caribbean culture, so becoming a rum connoisseur was a natural curiosity for me. At first, I just set out to understand the science of making rum, but I found so many variables that it became art in liquid form. It made my heart pound and had all of my attention. Every day it gives me great pleasure to teach rum tasting etiquette and provide a fun and interactive way to learn about the spirit of rum.
The Rumboat Retreat concept came about from the many rum stories I would hear, and the voice of patriotism from each island who all believe their blend is the best. I saw a need for a place where people could stay and learn about the many expressions of rum entirely independent and unbiased to one technique or island. At Rumboat Retreat we offer our guests a homely environment where they can learn the basic foundation of over 150 different rums. Making the Rumboat Retreat dream a reality took a lot more work than I thought, from collecting the rum to sourcing equipment, the journey never stops. But I always knew one thing, it had to be on the island of Grenada.
Kiki: Coco Flamingo… I love the name! Tell me more about this upcoming event at Rumboat Retreat and the collaboration with celebrity Chef Yvette LaCrette?
Lisette: Chef Yvette Michelle LaCrette totally inspires me, her food is authentic and full of Grenadian flavour. She has a natural flair in the kitchen and a heart of gold, which wants to give back to her community through the love of food. At Rumboat Retreat we have an annual Christmas event called “Sparkling Chocolate”, that’s when we decided to launch an event to mark the summer solstice. Having Chef Yvette onboard will undoubtedly make it a night of culinary fun! The chocolates and cakes on offer will be light and summery with hints of tropical and fruity flavours. The Hors de oeuvre’s and food menu will be bold and full of character. Each dish will be infused with local ingredients with options for pescatarians, vegetarians and vegans. What’s more, there’ll be live music, a great DJ and a bouncing bar with lots of summer cocktails. It starts from 7 pm -11 pm and tickets are EC$85.00. Some of the ticket sales will go towards supporting a trainee chef study abroad, a cause close to Chef Yvette’s heart.
Kiki: Sounds like lots of chocolatey fun! You also have a strong affinity for chocolate. Tell me more about your explores with chocolate making?
Lisette: I love chocolate almost as much as I love rum. The chocolates that we create here at Rumboat Retreat are more an expression of art. I love the art of chocolate production from the colours to the flavours, profile and flair. I started creating these one-off chocolate pieces with seasonal ganaches for a more artistic approach. All of our bonbons are a one-off batch creation with handmade fillings and hand tempered chocolate. Grenadian chocolate is unique, so we create fillings to complement the Grenadian chocolate profile. Its lots of fun and we have only just begun!
Kiki: So back to the rum, what’s your favourite and how does it match up with your personality?
Lisette: My favourite rum depends on my mood and company. There are party rums that I would mix, and then there are rums that I sip when I am having a reflective moment. I like to drink Clarke’s Court Special Dark rum with ginger ale when I’m in a social environment. I sip Plantation Barbados XO with a bit of orange peel when I’m deep in thought.
Kiki: How does one go about selecting a rum that’s right for them, I prefer much more of a sweeter taste?
Lisette: Your palette never lies. Listen to it! Start by deciding if you fancy white rum or dark rum. If you like your rum to be more complex and you don’t like to mix it, then you can take your time and enjoy the many aged (usually dark) types of rum out there. White and golden rums again are a personal choice and tend to be more enjoyable with a mixer. If you have a sweet palette and want to drink rum neat, spiced rum on the rocks is an excellent way to start.
Kiki: Spicemas 2018 is coming up, what cocktails do you recommend?
Parrot bay coconut rum,
Cream of coconut
Ice and blend
Kiki: Any more words of wisdom when consuming rum?
Lisette: Despite how your Dutch courage can make you feel, it is not wise to go on a binge. Drink in moderation because hangovers are overrated. Never drive under the influence of alcohol.
Photography by Serena D’ Cruze
Crochet Designs by Nisssy Crochet NiC
Make-up by Kristina Miller
Model: Nikita McIntyre