Friday, September 4, 2015

From Santa Cruz Rum to Cruzan Rum

     A friend of mine set me a note the other day asking if I had ever heard of "Santa Cruz Rum"?  That is all I needed to start investigating.   It seems that it first made appearances in the mid 1800's.   It was produced by the Hermon Hill Distillery in Christiansted, and eventually became part of the Suntory Beam Corporation and Cruzan Rums today.

     During the mid to late 1930’s St. Croix Sugar Cane Industries, Inc. was formed for the purpose of distributing St. Croix rum in the United States.  The corporation even issued stock certificates at varying times up to and including the early 1940’s.   While records and documents are insufficient to determine the exact date of the origin of St. Croix Sugar Cane Industries, Inc. as a corporation, the available records all point to it starting in the second half of the 1930’s, and initially to have been comprised of two separate rum companies, namely, The Diamond Rum Company at Estate Diamond in Frederiksted, and, Santa Cruz Distillers at Hermon Hill Distillery in Christiansted.  Initially, a large building in the town of Christiansted was used as the distribution center for St. Croix Sugar Cane Industries, Inc., and therefore, at times, in the first decade  “ Christiansted” was used in the the address of St. Croix Sugar Cane Industries, Inc., whether it was distributing rum from Diamond Distillery, or, from Hermon Hill Distillery.

     Although some of the investors of The Diamond Rum Company were also investors in Santa Cruz Distillers, the two distilleries were marketed under separate labels, respectively, Cruzan Rum, and, Santa Cruz Rum. Early documents give evidence to the importance that was placed on advertising Cruzan Rum as a unique brand name from its earliest days.  In 1936, there was a  Copyright Registration  of the distinctive Cruzan Rum label (“Design consisting of barrel with two men against background of tropical scenery”)  issued to St. Croix Sugar Cane Industries Sales Corp of Portland, Oregon.

     The question came up because he saw Santa Cruz Rum  in some old Civil War era cocktails.  
Below are a couple of those cocktails from that era.

Santa Cruz Rum Daisy 
  • 3 or 4 Dashes Simple Syrup
  • 2 or 3 Dashes Maraschino Liqueur or Curacao
  • The Juice of 1/2 Small Lemon or Lime
  • 1 Wineglass Santa Cruz Rum

Fill glass 1/3 full of shaved ice. Shake thoroughly, strain into a large cocktail glass, and fill up with Club Soda or  Seltzer Water.

  • 1/2 Lime or Lemon, squeeze out the juice, and put rind and juice in the shaker
  • 2 Tsp.  Raspberry Syrup
  • 1 wine-glass Santa Cruz Rum
  • 1/2 Tsp.  CuraƧao

(Cool with shaved ice; shake up well, and ornament with berries in season. If this is not sweet enough, put in a little more raspberry syrup.

     It is amazing to me how we can dig up old recipes and find they have direct connections to modern day rum production.  ;o)