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S.P.D. Rum

Sugar in Fiji has a long history, dating back to 1862. The first attempt to grow sugar cane on Wakaya Island failed. But in 1870, a drop in cotton prices led to a renewed focus on sugar. The government supported this with incentives. The first sugar mill in Suva started in 1872. By 1878, there were nine mills.

The sugar industry in Fiji grew in 1880. John Bates Thurston, a British colonial official, attracted Australian investments. He convinced the Colonial Sugar Refining Company (CSR) to work in Fiji.

Despite growth, the industry struggled in the 1884 sugar price drop. By 1926, CSR owned all five surviving mills. This monopoly lasted until 1973. Then, the Fiji Sugar Marketing Company Limited (FSC) took over. In 1979, they started the South Pacific Distillery, Fiji's only distillery.

The distillery used pot and column stills. They started with a copper still from Jamaica, but it's no longer used. Now, they use a stainless steel pot still from New Zealand's Willowbank distillery.

The Fiji Rum Co, from South Pacific Distillery, shows commitment to quality and sustainability. Fiji's volcanic soils help grow organic sugar cane. Manually harvesting this cane gives a richer juice with fewer tannins. This care makes a rum that captures Fiji's essence, history, and natural wealth.

The climate affects rum ageing. The heat and humidity speed up maturation and add flavour complexity. This is shown in Compagnie des Indes' 2004 Fijian rums. They aged in Fiji until 2010 and reached Europe in 2011. This was a key moment for Fijian rum trade. These rums are known for their mature and robust character.

Exploring South Pacific Distillery's products shows Fiji's unique spirit. These rums offer a taste of the tropics with a rich history and a promising future.

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