PHILIPSBURG, ST. MAARTEN – If there is one thing the Caribbean is known for as much as its beaches, is its rum. The spirit was first distilled on the islands during the 17th century when sugar plantation owners discovered molasses, a byproduct of the sugar refining process, which could be fermented into alcohol. Caribbean rum producers have spent centuries since perfecting the process of distillation, aging and blending. Many of the world’s best rums come from the Caribbean.

USA Today has awarded St. Maarten’s Topper’s Rhum Distillery 1st place in the 10 Best Caribbean Rum Distillery contest. This prestigious competition is amongst some of the most famous rum brands in the world such as Bacardi, Brugal, Angostura, Cruzan, Mount Gay, Appleton Estate and Barbancourt.

USA TODAY’s 10Best.com, provides travelers with original, unbiased, and experiential travel content around the world. At its core is a team of well-traveled and well-educated experts who in their fields are known for their discriminating tastes.

Topper’s Rhum, a truly locally made product, is a world-class, multi-award winning, premium rhum that is handmade, bottled, and packaged with precision right here in Cole Bay, St. Maarten. Topper’s Rhum only uses all natural premium ingredients and no preservatives. They are committed to producing the world’s best tasting rhum and flavored rhum spirits, using the highest standards of quality. They are re-inventing rhum by continually innovating and delivering unique products to their customers worldwide.

Topper’s Rhum is very environmentally conscientious and well known for their signature reusable swing-top bottles. This official St. Maarten rhum is the only international multiple award-winning spirit distilled and exported from St. Maarten. They currently export to 7 countries and 23 states in the USA and are the official rhum of the Dutch Army. Their products are also sold online throughout the world. Topper’s Rhum has already won 24 international medals awarded by the most prominent rum tasting contests in the world.

Through their tours and their continuing expansion overseas, they are notably promoting St. Maarten internationally.  Topper’s Rhum Distillery is one of the top unique places to visit on St. Maarten, according to the St. Maarten Tourism Bureau.

Come by and visit their newly installed and soon to be world famous Rhum Tap which offers 12 specialty flavors, ready for sampling or enjoy one of their hands-on tours. A guide will take you through the 6,000 sq. ft. distillery where you will learn the history of rum making and you’ll get a behind the scenes look at how they ferment, distill, age, blend and bottle. At the tasting bar you can try some of their 50 unique flavors that are in development and enjoy unlimited samples of all their artisanal products as well as their delicious rhum cake. Visit their boutique where you can purchase unique St. Maarten gifts and of course plenty of rhum including limited edition flavors that are only available at the distillery.

Topper’s Rhum distillery is open for free rhum tastings and shopping from 9:00am – 4:00pm Monday – Friday and from 9:00am – 12:00pm on Saturdays. Tours are available for $20 at 10:00am and 4:00pm, Monday – Saturday.  Sundays are available by appointment only. Call 721-520-0008 for an appointment or book it online at www.toppersrhumtours.com.