Saba Spice: The Incredibly Addictive Drink I Continue to Crave
If you have been to the tiny little Caribbean Island called Saba, you may have heard of the mysterious rum Saba Spice. What is it? How do you drink it? Where can you sample it? I had so many questions. I love trying out the food and drink unique to a place, so I searched out this distinctive liquor. Here is my account.
What is Saba Spice
Saba Spice is a spiced rum. Rum is made from sugar, which can be pure cane sugar, a syrup, or molasses. There are several subcategories of rum. One is flavored rum aka spiced rum, which is made by adding fruits and/or spices. This process is similar to how juniper and botanicals are added to gin.
Islanders have been making spiced rum for centuries, but the Captain Morgan Rum brand made it popular. Every Caribbean Island has its own unique recipe. For example, the Dominican Republic is known for the mamajuana, which is a spiced rum made from tree bark, Dominican herbs, red wine, and honey.
Most families on each island then add their own spin to their spiced rum recipe. Spices that can be used are ginger, pepper, cinnamon, star anise, nutmeg, vanilla, cardamom, and clove. Fruit extracts can also be infused such as coconut, banana, pineapple, mango, and orange peel. The spices give the spiced rum its dark color.
The families on Saba keep their Saba Spice recipe a secret, but I believe the spices used are cinnamon, clove, and fennel. I’m usually not a licorice fan. But I really enjoyed the hint of black licorice the fennel gave the Saba Spice. It’s different but quite addictive.
Where to Try Saba Spice
I had the pleasure of trying out this special liquor at two places. One was Queen’s Garden Resort, our hotel in Saba. We had a lovely dinner in the Bird’s Nest and then enjoyed Saba Spice as an after-dinner digestif.
I believe most locals enjoy it over ice, but we had it neat. Great way to end a meal!
The second place we sampled it was at the restaurant The Hideaway in Windwardside. I love having port after dinner, and Saba Spice is a great alternative. It had a distinct licorice flavor both times I tried it, so I’m assuming fennel is the featured spice. Delicious!
Sipping spiced rum at The Hideaway
Where to Purchase Saba Spice
There is a souvenir shop called Everyt’ings in Windwardside that sells local Saba Spice. Unfortunately, they were closed when we stopped by, so we never had a chance to pick up a bottle. I guess that gives me yet another reason to come back to Saba!
Everyt’ings in Windwardside in Saba
I love experiencing a destination through its food and drink. Saba Spice is part of Caribbean culture, and it was fun to try a local’s house recipe. I just wish I was able to bring a bottle home with me because now I will be craving that unique flavor!
Have you tried this type of spiced rum? Any other thoughts on what’s in the secret house recipe?
Let me know in the comments below!