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Made from a "wash" of boiled sugar cane juice and water, rhum agricole is a specialty of the French West Indies, specifically the French departments of Martinique, Guadaloupe, and Réunion Island.
The production of rhum is unique: freshly-pressed cane juice is boiled prior to fermentation. Sometimes the ferment is strengthened with the addition of dunder (the residue left in the still after distillation). The one exception is Rhum Saint-James which is made from 60 percent dunder and concentrated cane-juice syrup.
Another exception is rhum industriel which is made with molasses.
Aged rums from this region rest in brandy casks for a minimum of three years.
According to historian Frederick H Smith, a Dutch Jew from Brazil named Benjamin Da Costa introduced, in 1644, both sucery and distillery equipment to Martinique, which explains why the technique for rhum agricole production is very similar to that of cachaça.
One of the most popular drinks made with this style of rum is Ti Punch. A number of bottled versions of this drink were produced from the French market in the mid-twentieth century.