Because we drank it!
A little ways out from Phuket Old Town lies the small, independent Chalong Bay Rum Distillery. Our stay in Phuket was really only a transit stop between Bangkok and Ko Phi Phi, but after reading about this distillery we decided to see what all the fuss was about.
We managed to secure a ride to the place with a private car for about half the price that most tuk-tuks were offering. The catch? We had to make a quick stop at one of the local pearl stores for our driver to get his small commission. After feigning an appropriate amount of interest for five minutes, we were back in the car and on our way to the distillery.
When we arrived, a friendly server seated us on a lovely patio right next to the sugarcane fields and promptly returned with our complimentary mojitos included in the fifteen minute tour of the distillery and a tasting of Chalong Bay’s unique, infused rums.
Now, we’re not exactly rum connoisseurs but after just one sip of the mojito, we knew that this rum was of a different caliber than your Captain Morgan’s or Bacardi. It was unlike any mojito we had ever tasted (we’ve tasted a few) and the most refreshing way to begin our afternoon at the distillery.
On the tour, we learned that Chalong Bay is in the five percent of rums that are made from pure sugar cane (all others are made from from molasses or sugar cane by-product), and when it came time for the tastings, you could tell. This rum was so good, it didn’t even taste like rum. Their infused flavours included lemongrass, Thai basil, and even cinnamon, which they described as “kind of like Fireball but way, way better”–and it was.
We were so impressed that we stayed after the tour to order another drink, one of the distillery’s specialties, Ti Punch, and lounge on their beautiful property.
One Ti Punch turned into two and after an hour or so of dreaming about our future travels, we purchased a couple of bottles for our family back home and went on our way.
We hadn’t figured out a way back to our neck of the woods but we thought that an hour and a half walk wouldn’t be so bad. Around the forty-five minute mark we decided to stop at a little bar along the way for a pit stop and ended up negotiating a ride in a man’s sidecar for 40 baht to take us the rest of the way. A perfect way to end a wonderful day.
The Chalong Bay distillery is a must-visit. While a bit on the pricier side as far as Thai attractions are concerned, it’s well worth it. And we can’t wait for the day when Chalong Bay finally makes it onto shelves at the LCBO but until then, we’ll be dreaming of drinking Ti Punch by the sugarcane fields in Phuket.
Check out our most recent post from Southeast Asia about the amazing art in Bangkok.