Nicaragua has a long tradition of making rum, and the most renowned and internationally celebrated of the Nicaraguan rum brands is Flor de Caña – “Flower of the Sugarcane”.
Just as in other parts of Central America and the Caribbean, Nicaraguan rum is made by fermenting and then distilling sugarcane molasses or sugarcane juice. The resulting distillate is a clear liquid, and dark rum gets is colour from being aged in wooden barrels (usually oak).
Nicaraguan rums are produced in various grades for various purposes. The young light rums are popular for cocktails, while the dark aged rums are more likely to be consumed neat or with ice. Dark rum is also used in quite a few cooking and baking recipies.
The famous Flor de Caña brand today supply a variety of rums to fill these various nisches, from the young and clear Ultra Lite 4 and Extra Lite 4 to dark rums such as Flor de Caña 12, Flor de Caña 18, and Flor de Cana 25. Behind Flor de Caña is the Nicaraguan-owned and based enterprise Compañía Licorera de Nicaragua, which has roots go back to a sugarcane plantation established in 1890. Eventually, a distillery was built in Chichigalpa, at the base of the San Cristóbal Volcano in the north-western part of the country. In the 21st century, this company still takes a farm-to-table approach to their rum, and grow their own sugarcane locally in the volcanic soils of Nicaragua.
For many years, Flor de Caña rum was only produced for the local market, but exportation to other Central American countries and Venezuela commenced in the 1950s, and in the 1970s a new destillery was built in the neighbouring country of Honduras.
The Nicaraguan Revolution and subsequent civil war in the 1980s caused large quanties of Flor de Caña rum to be stored instead of consumed, and in 1990 – when the war had ended – Compañía Licorera de Nicaragua sat on the world´s largest reserve of aged rum. This was a turning point when the company seized the opportunity to start producing uniqe premium quality rum for connoisseurs around the world. Today, the top-shelf segment of Flor de Caña rums is comprised of dark rum that has been destilled five times and then aged in charred oak barrels that were previously used to mature bourbon whiskey.