Botanical rum or rhum agricole is mostly the province of well-seasoned mixologists, remaining under-appreciated or even approached with apprehension by drinkers of traditional rums. In a nutshell, while most classic rums are distilled from fermented molasses, rhum is made from fresh-pressed sugar cane juice. And while Martinique is best known as the source of said grassy spirit, it's not the only game in the Caribbean.
In fact, Haiti is well on its way to eclipsing Martinique in the minds and martini glasses of advanced cocktail enthusiasts, thanks to Boukman Botanical Rum, the "ultimate expression" of Haiti’s traditional clairin trempè—fresh cane juice rhum infused with barks, citrus peel and herbal botanicals.
Named after Dutty Boukman, the rebel leader who launched the Haitian Revolution against French rule in 1791, which ultimately defeated Napoleons’s armies, Boukman is described as a "complex, dry and versatile spirit that captures the best of Haiti’s terroir and rhum culture."
It is made and bottled in Haiti in collaboration with three families, each boasting five generations in the rum business. Boukman is infused with seven Haitian botanicals: native woods and barks, bitter orange peel, allspice, clove, vanilla, bitter almond, and cinnamon.
According to famed spirits writer F. Paul Pacult, "The only way to describe the floral, spicy nose of this rum is 'gorgeous.' The palate presents a pleasingly plush body with subtle spicy flavors of black pepper and clove married with racing floral and botanical notes. Pleasingly complex and memorable."
Speaking of gorgeous, it comes in one of the most beautiful spirits bottles ever made, meaning it'll also make a damned handsome and Instagram-worthy addition to your home bar.