5 Excuses Not to Travel and 2 Reasons Why You Really Should

Whether you dream of exploring the Alps, finding the prettiest, most secluded beach in the world or just taking a weekend away with the family, it often feels like there are more reasons NOT to go than TO go.

Turners Beach, Antigua

Have you found yourself weighing the reasons to go or not to go on vacation, or have you ever felt that because of your life circumstances that you will NEVER get to experience some of the wonderful locations you read about or see on the web? Have you ever heard the saying that if you wait for just the right time to get married or just the right time to have a baby or just the right time to see the world that it may never happen?

Yes,  there are certainly good reasons to consider. Being a single parent, not having a stable job, health reasons, taking care of a parent or other family member, etc., are all very valid (and responsible!) reasons to consider putting off a vacation – but should you let it hold you back forever?

Here are 5 of the excuses we hear the most when someone talks to us about wishing they could take a well deserved getaway:

1. It’s too expensive.

Yes, it can be – especially if you have champagne tastes and a beer budget, but if you really would like to experience something you’ve always dreamed about, here are a few tips.
a. Look for vacations closer to home. Do you long for time in the sun on a beautiful beach? Check out coastal regions close to home. It may not be Bora Bora, but just walking in the warm sand while enjoying the sunshine and a cool beverage may be just what the doctor ordered.
b. Take a long weekend instead of a week or longer.
c. Search the web (or talk to a travel agent) about destinations that are not as popular, but still beautiful. The more popular a location, the more likely it will be pricey.
d. Start saving your pennies now. It may take a while to save up for that time away, but if it’s important to you – start now!

2. Flying has become too complicated.

Flying has become a bit more difficult with baggage fees, overbooking and crowded flights – but, if you want to vacation in a destination that you can’t drive, or take a bus or train to, you may have to board that plane. A few tips:

a. If you like to fly with a specific airline, look into getting a credit card with that airline that not only builds points when you use the card to book your travel on that airline, but will offer you a free baggage allowance on flights billed on the card.
b. Book your flights for days and times that are usually less busy. Although there’s no doubt that flights we’ve been on lately have been more full, we usually find mid-week flights not only less busy, but sometimes a bit cheaper. Busiest days to fly (besides the holidays)? Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
c. If you haven’t already spent every last dollar, consider upgrading to a priority seat that offers more legroom. We struggled with this for a long time, but now make sure to leave room in the budget for this little luxury – especially on longer flights.

3. It’s too short.

We’ve been there. You work hard and save all year for that well deserved vacation and suddenly it’s there – and then it’s gone. Tip:

a. Instead of one long vacation, take a few shorter trips per year. Even if they’re not all at a 5 star resort, just getting away can be exciting.

4. I’m too scared to go to a foreign country.

You’re not alone. Even seasoned travelers may feel some angst about language barriers, customs and food when considering travel to a foreign country. Tips?

a. Look into locations that are more like the country you’re familiar with. If you’re a US citizen and you want to go to a beautiful tropical location without too many surprises, there are many to choose from. Puerto Rico, St Thomas, St. Croix, St. John and Hawaii are either part of the US or US territories and, for now at least, don’t require a passport!
b. Research a location that is part of a different country. You can glean so much information on different travel destinations today that can help you decide to go, or not to go to a particular location. Find out what other travelers have reported about their travel there to decide if it’s right for you.

5. I’m to young or to old or to single to travel.

Although understandable concerns, age, marital status or physical disabilities should not preclude you from experiencing travel! Tips?

a. Find a travel agent that can find a vacation to suit your needs. In recent years, there are resorts and locations that absolutely cater to senior travel, solo travel and accessible travel – so you can find the vacation and location that really appeals to you. If you have a special need or request – don’t be afraid to ask!

Sandy Cay, BVI

 Now that we’ve discussed the 5 top Excuses Not to Travel and given you a few tips on how to overcome those hurdles, here are a 2 Reasons Why You Absolutely Should:

1. Life Is Short.
If you want to see some of the world, start making plans to do it now. Even if you start small by taking a day to go hiking or a weekend to check out a National Park near you – do it soon! Don’t wait until the “time is right”.

2. Experiencing Something Outside of Your Daily Life Can Be Enriching, Invigorating and Life Changing.
We all get stuck in a rut from time-to-time, but taking time away from the grind of daily life makes us grow as people. We may learn more about others, learn to appreciate the beauty around us, and learn to appreciate what we have.

Sunset in Cane Garden Bay, BVI

Do you have other travel tips to share? Tell us about them!

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Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

21 Places to Explore on the Island of St. Thomas


Staying on St. Thomas and looking for some ideas of what to do while there? Although it’s hard to list all of the attractions on this pretty, but busy island, here is a list of 21 Places to Explore on the Island of St. Thomas to help you start your planning!

Starting from the airport and traveling west, the list takes you clockwise around the island.

1. Brewer’s Bay. A pretty beach close to Cyril E. King airport and just across from the University of the Virgin Islands. Go for smaller crowds, spectacular sunset, local food trucks and to see occasional airplanes landing.


2. Overlook of airport from 30. From Brewer’s Bay, head up the hill on 30 to a small overlook of the airport. On a clear day you can see all the way to St. Croix!

3. Hike to Mermaid’s Chair. A somewhat strenuous hike brings you to a beautiful strip of beach that separates the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Be sure to time your visit to arrive at low tide – otherwise the strip of beach may be underwater!

4. Stumpy Bay. Not easy to get to (Four-wheel drive needed for a very bumpy road), but those that have made the journey have reported that the deserted beach at Stumpy Bay is lovely, quiet and serene…ahhh…

5. Neltjeberg Bay. Accessed only by sea or by a long hike from Dorthea Beach, Neltjeberg is considered by some as one of the islands most beautiful and secluded spots. Explore the nearby Neltjeberg Ruins, an 18th century sugar cane plantation that was devastated by a powerful hurricane in 1867 (the same hurricane that sunk the HMS Rhone at Salt Island).

6. Hull Bay. A quiet little beach fringed with seagrape trees. Hull Bay Hideway, a bar & grill just off the beach, is a great place to get fish tacos and a cold beer.


7. Mountain Top. Can be extremely busy when a lot of cruise ships are in port, but we thought Mountain Top was worth a visit due to it’s great view of Magens Bay and a plethora of Cruzan Rums for purchase. Sip on a Banana  Daiquiri while enjoying the view.

8. Tree Limin’ Extreme.  Zipline through lush foliage with spectacular views of Magens Bay and other islands at Tree Limin’ Extreme. A little adrenaline and a lot of fun!

9. Drake’s Seat. Yet another phenomenal view of Megans Bay and beyond. The bench is named after Sir Francis Drake who is said to have climbed to this point to identify potential ships to plunder.

10. Magens Bay. Frequently listed as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, this one mile stretch of white sand is fringed with verdant hills and palm trees. Megans Bay is a very popular beach and can get very crowded. Go early or later in the afternoon to enjoy the beauty with less people.

11. Skyline Overlook. Offers a panoramic view of Charlotte Amalie, Water Island and Hassel Island.

12. Mahogany Run Golf Course . Scenic and challenging, this Tom Fazio designed course is nestled between the green hills and beautiful shoreline on the North side. Test your skills on the Devil’s Triangle – a challenging 3 hole stretch that includes a par 3 hole situated 200 feet over a rocky inlet of the Atlantic Ocean. Didn’t bring your clubs? No problem, they can provide complete rental sets and hopefully lots of extra golf balls.

13. Coki Point & Coral World. Experience sea turtles, sharks and stingrays and more in this 5 acre marine park. Afterwards, spend time swimming and snorkeling on Coki Beach.

14. Lindquist Beach at Smith Bay. Recently renovated with restrooms and showers. Although it’s gotten busier, this, in my opinion is still one of the prettiest beaches on the island.

15. Duffy’s Love Shack. The best parking lot bar in the world! Order one of their specialties like a Lime in Dee Coconut or Shark Tank (served in a fish bowl!)

16. Iggie’s Beach Bar & Grill. Go for live entertainment, Wednesday night Carnival Night, Full Moon Parties and Voodoo Juice…


17. Skyride at Paradise Point. Great view and Bushwackers!

18. Yacht Haven Grande. Check out the little boats (wink, wink) and pick up a trinket or two at the high end shops.

19. Blackbeard’s Castle. Take a guided walking tour of this historic 5 acre site to learn about the different buildings dating back to the 1600’s and the islands pirate legacy.

20. Rum Island Pub. Great little bar in Drake’s Passage, home of Husband Day Care, try their RIP (Rum Island Punch).


21. Bones Rum.  Stop by for a pour-your-own rum drink and be sure to take some Bones Rum home with you – it’s not available outside of St. Thomas yet!

Ready for a day excursion or tour while on St Thomas? Check out some great ideas here!

What’s your favorite thing to do on St. Thomas? Tell us about it!

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Siesta Key Rum Distillery Tour


Troy Roberts is a man after our own heart. He grew up in beautiful Sarasota, Florida, eventually venturing out into the world to find his passion, but during his time away, he would dream of sitting on the beach in Sarasota, watching the sun set with a rum in hand.

Eventually he heeded the pull back to a life on the beach, sold his business and headed back to Sarasota, where he bought a still and started a journey that would soon lead to the creation of the award-winning Siesta Key Rums.

Troy started Siesta Key Rum in 2007 under Drum Circle Distilling (named after an interesting event that occurs every Sunday evening on Siesta Key Beach to welcome what can be a mind-blowing sunset). He released his first rum, Siesta Key Silver in 2010. With the help of two close friends, his hard-working father (apparently he works for rum!) and his beautiful wife Nanci, Troy is now creating a line of amazing rums that have received, and continue to receive numerous awards and accolades.

Siesta Key Rum
When asked about the learning curve for creating a good rum, Troy said that it was quite a process. He tried every yeast, every molasses and every natural flavor that he could find before settling on the perfect combination for each of his rums. He continues to do the same thing with each new rum he creates. In addition to the silver rum – which is really so good that it can be sipped on its own, Siesta Key produces several other rums that are also available in the tasting room at the distillery: a gold rum, a spiced rum and a toasted coconut rum.

Siesta Key Rum
Both the spiced rum and the toasted coconut rum are fantastic; hand-crafted in small batches by infusing rum with fresh spices and actual toasted coconut. Troy doesn’t use any artificial flavors or sweeteners in any of his rums and you can absolutely taste the difference.

Two other rums produced by Siesta Key are rather hard to procure. Distiller’s Reserve Spiced is created using a traditional solera process. Troy initially created this rum for his own enjoyment but friends and family liked it so much that he had to start making more. A limited number of bottles of Distiller’s Reserve Spiced are available at the end of September each year and sell out quickly. Distiller’s Reserve Spiced is only available at the Siesta Key Rum Distillery and if you follow them on Facebook, you can get updates on the release date.

Siesta Key Rum
We were treated to a special taste of this years batch of Distillers Reserve during our visit as Troy kindly poured off a sample from one of the barrels. The natural spices, honey and Florida sugar cane combine to create a truly delicious rum experience – no wonder it sells out so quickly!

Additionally, The Siesta Key family has started a new trend in the rum business – a rum that is aged in beer barrels called the limited edition Beer Barrel Finish Spiced Rum. Interesting, to say the least, each batch of this rum is different depending on the beer barrels available. We really enjoyed sampling this creative rum as well. Limited amounts of the Beer Barrel Finish Spiced Rum are sold in the Tasting Room when available.


Siesta Key Rum
With all of the awards and word-of-mouth advertising from happy customers, the demand for Siesta Key Rum is growing. It is pretty widely available across Florida, is available through many Total Wine Stores nationwide and can be shipped to some locations by Broudy’s. When asked about the plans for the future of Siesta Key Rum, Troy paused a moment and said, “The growth is exciting, but that’s a balance we continue to work on”. The desire to continue to produce an artisan rum, experiment with different flavors and ideas, increase production to meet the demand and still have some 
free time to enjoy it is an important balance for the team. 

There are weekly tours that you can take at the distillery at 2212 Industrial Blvd. in Sarasota.

Siesta Key Rum
Troy himself leads the tours that combine a wealth of information on the rum distilling process, an up close look of the equipment used, a good dose of humor and at the end – delicious samples of Siesta Key Rums.

Siesta Key Rum
Siesta Key Rum
We’d highly recommend this tour if you are in the area. You’ll not only get some terrific information on these delicious small batch, artisan rums, you’ll get to meet and learn from the man behind them and top off the experience with rum tastings!

Siesta Key Rum
Can’t make the tour? You can still stop by the Tasting Room for some free samples and to pick up a couple of bottles!

Be sure to follow Siesta Key on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and check their website for more detailed information on the rum distillery tour and the portfolio of award-winning Siesta Key Rums.

Have you taken the Siesta Key Rum Distillery Tour? Tell us about it!

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The Siesta Key Drum Circle

The drum circle crowd begins to gather late in the afternoon every Sunday on Siesta Key. The day we joined them, there were not only drummers, but other percussionists, dancers, hula-hoopers, rope walkers, sun-lovers and spectators all assembled to welcome the sunset.

Siesta Key Drum Circle - copyright Rum Therapy
The beach had been super crowded that day and we were hungry, so decided to give up our parking spot to head back to town for dinner. Surely, we thought, there would be lots of parking in the public beach lot after the Sunday beach-goers left for the day? Well, we were wrong. This is a popular event!

We did finally find a parking spot after stalking some people who had packed up for the day and were walking back to their car.  Siesta Key is a large, beautiful beach and we originally worried that we wouldn’t find the drum circle, which takes place every Sunday night until sunset – but our worries were unfounded.

Siesta Key Drum Circle - copyright Rum Therapy
We just followed the pulsating sound of drums and the steady stream of people – many carrying their own drums and rhythm instruments to the beach.

Siesta Key Drum Circle - copyright Rum Therapy
Initially we just walked around, taking in the steady rhythm and watching people dance, play and socialize to the beat.

Siesta Key Drum Circle - copyright Rum Therapy
Siesta Key Drum Circle - copyright Rum Therapy
But as the sunset got closer, we found ourselves relaxing in the sugar-soft sand – our eyes affixed at the ever growing colors of the sunset.


Strange? Hmmm, maybe a bit. There were a lot of colorful characters enjoying the event, but after a while you begin to feel a part of it and may even find yourself get up, let go and dance like no one’s watching or add to the music with your own rhythm instrument.

Siesta Key Drum Circle - copyright Rum Therapy
Enjoyable? Yes, and well worth the effort to find parking. Relaxing? Absolutely. Watching the sun set to the beat of the Siesta Key Drum Circle was just perfect. This event, which initially began as a local, non-sponsored event, has taken on a life of its own and is well worth witnessing. It was a beautiful end to a beautiful weekend on Siesta Key.

Have you been to the Siesta Key Drum Circle? Tell us about it!

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Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

Discovering Lanai, Hawaii

At 140 sq. miles, Lanai (nicknamed the Pineapple Island) is Hawaii’s smallest inhabited island and an excellent place to vacation if you enjoy Hawaii – minus the crowds. Home to only about 3,200 people, Lanai has about 30 miles of roads (most not paved), only one town (Lanai City) and no stop lights!

What is there to do on this beautiful and quiet island? Here are a few suggestions to help you discover Lanai.

Hulopoe Beach, Lanai
Hulopoe Beach.
Located on the south side, close to the Four Seasons Lanai, Hulopoe Beach is a long crescent of golden sand. The snorkeling here is great and there are tide pools to explore on the far south end of the beach.

Hulopoe Beach, Lanai
If you’re lucky, you may spot a pod of spinner dolphins playing in the bay. There are picnic tables, barbecue grills, showers and restroom facilities here as well.


Hike to Puu Pehe (Sweetheart Rock).
Puu Pehe, or Sweetheart Rock, is located south of Hulopoe Beach and the trail can be accessed from the parking area or beach. Definitely worth the walk for the view; the story of Puu Pehe is equally as legendary. Read about the legend here. The water is so clear around the cliffs that you can spot brightly colored tropical fish from a distance. If you can get there early enough, it is said that the view is even more spectacular at sunrise!

MeneleGolf Course, Lanai
Play golf.
If you enjoy a really good game of golf, you should be sure to bring your clubs to Lanai (or arrange for a rental in the Golf Shop). The Manele Golf Course (part of the Four Seasons Lanai) is a spectacular 18 hole golf course built on lava outcroppings high above Hulopoe Bay.


The views of the ocean from many of the holes will surely challenge your concentration, but losing a few balls may be worth it in this case. We were told that during whale season, you can spot whales breaching and playing in the waters below as you play.

If you find yourself in Lanai City, be sure to check out the Cavendish Golf Course. A pretty 9 hole course tucked between tall Norfolk pines, Cavendish was originally built for plantation workers on the island. Today it’s a free public course that anyone can play. Yes, free.

UTV Tour on Lanai
Take a scenic tour in a Razor UTV.
Arranged through the Four Seasons, tours through the old pineapple plantation and the hills surrounding in a 4 person UTV can be a thrilling way to explore the island. Stop at scenic overlooks of surrounding islands and pineapple fields and hold on as they get the vehicle up to 70 mph on the final stretch!

Four Seasons Lanai
Treat yourself to a few nights of absolute luxury at the Four Seasons Lanai.
Although you can easily take the ferry from Maui to Lanai to explore for the day, you might consider treating yourself to several nights of luxury in this uber luxurious hotel. The recently redone rooms are over-the-top beautiful with a sophisticated style, 75 inch televisions that greet you by name, beautifully appointed bathrooms (don’t get me started on the, um, toilets with lids that automatically rise as you enter…) and room keys that are waterproof and worn on your wrist for convenience. The grounds are tropically luscious and meticulously maintained.

Four Seasons Lanai

In addition to the incredible room amenities, you can choose from 5 top notch restaurants, including NOBU Lanai. Perfection comes with a price, but what an experience!

Although we didn’t get to experience all that Lanai has to offer during our short visit, here are a few things left on our list during our next visit to the Pineapple Island:
Polihua Beach and Shipwreck Beach on the northern coast
Garden of the Gods
Hiking the Munro Trail
Lanai Culture and Heritage Center

Have you discovered Lanai? Tell us about it!

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Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

Afrodisiac

We received a lovely bottle of Afrohead Briland 07 Premium Aged Dark Rum last week and spent some time sampling it neat and over one cube, enjoying it’s creamy, smooth taste.  Although this rum can easily be enjoyed on it’s own, we decided to try it in one of the recipes found on their website. We chose a recipe called Afrodisiac – mainly because of it’s name, but also because of the interesting blend of ingredients. The taste combines a bit of hot, sweet and spicy and showcases the deliciousness of this distinctive rum. Cheers!

Afrodisiac - copyright Rum Therapy

 Afrodisiac
(Makes one)
recipe by AFROHEAD Rum

2 oz AFROHEAD Rum
1 oz fresh lemon juice
1 oz simple syrup
1.5 oz Papaya juice
1 thin slice jalapeño

Muddle jalapeño in shaker
Add AFROHEAD Rum, lemon juice, simple syrup and papaya juice
Shake and strain into chilled martini glass 
Garnish with jalapeño slice

For more recipes and information on AFROHEAD Rums, see their website, follow them on Facebook, and check out their Instagram feed.

 

Find more rum recipes here:

Rum Recipe Picture Directory

Rum Recipes  by Category

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Haleakalā National Park – the View from the Top of Maui

Haleakala State Park, Maui - copyright Rum Therapy
We could see the observatory buildings at the summit flying in – just little bity white balls on the very top of Maui. We knew that the next day we’d be standing up there looking down into the crater of Haleakalā, and we were excited to witness that view once again.

Haleakalā Crater

This would be our second time to the top. We’d taken this trip years ago, when we first visited Maui and rented a convertible to tool around in. We had the top down as we started our ascent and ended up freezing our tushes off by the time we reached the top. It can be a large temperature drop – even on very nice days.

The ride up is gorgeous. On a clear day, you can see the verdant colors of the Maui central valley – all the way to the beautiful dark blue ocean. Many days though, as you approach the summit, you ascend above the clouds into an otherworldly landscape, feeling that you may have just been transported to another planet. The first time we visited, the clouds below us were thick, blocking our views of the valley and ocean, but above the clouds the weather was bright and beautiful and we took some incredible photos of the rough lava rock with a pillow of clouds below.

Our first stop was the Visitor Center, which in addition to providing information on the park, offers a fantastic view of the crater below.

Haleakalā State Park, Maui - copyright Rum Therapy
After visiting the Visitors Center, we grabbed our cameras, jackets, gloves and some water and made our way to a hiking path that winds it’s way down into the center of the crater. There are 35+ miles of hiking trails on Haleakalā, but we hiked only about an hour as we wanted to visit Sammy Haggar’s Rum Distillery on the way back down the mountain (FYI – it’s closed on Sunday…).


The sunrise from the top of Haleakalā is said to be absolutely stunning and has become so popular that you need to make a reservation – which can be done here, up to 60 days before your visit. Also popular is an invigorating bike tour down the mountain; search for tour operators that provide a lift to the top, a tour guide, and all of the equipment (hopefully with good brakes!). Want to really experience the crater? There are a couple of remote cabins that you can rent in the crater that require a bit of a hike in and then back out. Other activities offered within the park? Hang gliding and horseback riding!

While visiting, be sure to look for Hawaii’s state bird, the Nene (Hawaiian goose), and the Haleakalā Silversword, found only on the upper slopes of the mountain and can take up to 50 years to flower.

After our hike, we proceeded up to the summit, just a little farther than the Visitor Center. Here, the view of the crater is not quite as spectacular, but the view of the valley below and the bit island of Hawaii in the distance, is spectacular.

Haleakalā State Park, Maui - copyright Rum Therapy

Haleakalā State Park, Maui - copyright Rum Therapy

Haleakalā State Park, Maui - copyright Rum Therapy
The big island of Hawaii in the distance

Haleakalā State Park, Maui - copyright Rum Therapy
Haleakalā State Park, Maui - copyright Rum Therapy

Haleakalā Observatories – looks a bit different than it did flying in!


Whether you hike, bike, horseback ride, hanglide or just sightsee, a trek to the top is well worth it.

Have you visited Haleakalā National Park to see the view from the top of Maui?

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Rum Distillery Tours on the Island of St. Croix


St. Croix, the largest of the US Virgin Islands, not only has beautiful beaches, top-notch culinary experiences and a wide variety of great accommodations, it offers two distinctly different, yet interesting, rum distilleries tours for rum lovers – or those that would just like to learn more about rum.

Cruzan Rum and Captain Morgan are the two distilleries found on this, the largest US Virgin Island. Cruzan Rums have been crafted on St. Croix by the Nelthropp family for generations while Captain Morgan opened it’s St. Croix Distillery in 2011 and a visitor center on the site the following year. What does that mean for rum lovers like you and me? You’ve got two completely different tours to experience on St. Croix and you can easily do both in one afternoon!

Cruzan Rum Distillery - copyright Rum Therapy
We began our rum tour by getting a lift in Christiansted from Joseph, of Joseph’s VIP Taxi Tours (contact him at 340-277-6133). We knew we would be enjoying the rum drinks at the end of each tour and hiring a taxi is the way to go. Joseph was a great tour guide and was recently voted taxi driver of the year on St. Croix. He was warm and welcoming, and gave us some great info on St. Croix along the way.

Captain Morgan Rum Tour - copyright Rum Therapy
First stop? The Captain Morgan Experience Center. Here we started the tour with a short and entertaining movie about Captain Morgan, then followed a tour guide through the Information Center, learning about the history and current Captain Morgan products.

Captain Morgan Rum Tour - copyright Rum Therapy

Outside, we boarded a small tram to take a short tour through the distillery, learning about the distilling process along the way.

Captain Morgan Rum Tour - copyright Rum Therapy
Once back at the facility, we were treated to two rum drinks of our choice and tastes of any the different types of rums, if desired.

Captain Morgan Rum Tour - copyright Rum Therapy
At the end of the tour, you can peruse through the Captain Morgan shop and take home a souvenir of your visit.

Joseph was waiting for us outside and we boarded the van for our next rum experience. Just a short hop away, we entered the Cruzan Rum facility.

Cruzan Rum Distillery - copyright Rum Therapy
We were immediately taken by the Cruzan rum culture and our first view of a sugar mill surrounded by the flags of the seven nations that have ruled St. Croix – the most of any of the US Virgin Islands.

Cruzan Rum Distillery - copyright Rum Therapy
Walking up to the Visitors Center, we enjoyed the sights of a generations old facility.


Cruzan Rum Distillery - copyright Rum Therapy
Our tour guide took us through the actual distillery and we loved being so close to the process, smelling the molasses and watching it ferment.

Cruzan Rum Distillery - copyright Rum Therapy
In one of the storage rooms, filled with barrels and barrels of the delicious aging elixir, she explained the aging process and the color variations of different rums.

Cruzan Rum Distillery - copyright Rum Therapy
At the end of the tour, we were deposited in the Cruzan tasting room – not a bad place to be, where we enjoyed our choice of several different Cruzan Rum cocktails and again could sample the individual rums, if we wished (we did…).

Cruzan Rum Distillery - copyright Rum Therapy
After a few minutes of shopping, we headed back to find Joseph, who was waiting patiently for his, then, very happy crew, and we made our way back to our home for the night, Hotel Caravelle in Christiansted.

Have you taken the rum tours on St. Croix? Tell us about it!

Find out more about the rum tours here:

Captain Morgan 

Cruzan Rum

A special thanks to USVI Tourism Board for arranging our rum distillery tours!

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Dinner at The Longboard, Cruz Bay, St John


The Longboard, a Caribbean-inspired coastal cantina located in Cruz Bay opened its doors in May of 2015, but we had yet to experience it – that is, until our trip to St. John last month.

The Longboard, St. John - copyright Rum TherapyPassion Pitted
The Longboard is easy to find – from the ferry dock, walk straight past Strand Street in Cruz Bay to the next intersection (King Street), turn left and The Longboard is on the right.

The Longboard, St. John - copyright Rum Therapy
Focusing on fresh, local and flown-in ingredients, The Longboard continues to innovate their food concept and bring a new approach to dining on St. John with a healthy menu inspired by coastal flavors around the world. We loved the extensive fish and seafood offerings on their new menu including local fresh catches such as rainbow runner, wahoo, conch and octopus as well as Pacific fish such as Hawaiian Opah (Moon Fish) and Hawaiian Ahi.  Non-seafood entrees include Island Wings (spicy mango glazed wings) and Grilled Portabella, Chimichuri Marinated and Grilled Skirt Steak or Spicy Jerk Braised Pork Tacos & Bowls. Delicious new bar offerings and house-shaped cocktails include a Passion Fruit Frosé.

 After being seated on the patio, we ordered a couple of rum drinks – a Rum Julep,

The Longboard, St. John - copyright Rum TherapyRum Julep
and a new offering called Stoked, a tropical concoction of aged rhum, Plantation Overproof Rum, housemade orgeat, blackstrap bitters, housemade pineapple shrub and lime juice – impressively lit afire at our table!

The Longboard, St John - copyright Rum TherapyStoked
Our appetizer consisted of a trio of ceviche’s served with yucca chips and tostones. We then sat back in our chairs enjoying the food, drink, view and the warm St. John air from The Longboards open aired patio.

Dinner at The Longboard, Cruz Bay, St JohnMixto (trio of ceviche’s)
After polishing off our appetizer, we moved on to our entrées, ordering the Longboard Sliders made with a coconut crusted fresh catch-of-the-day,

The Longboard Sliders

and an Ahi Tuna Bowl.


Each dish had its own special Caribbean flair and incorporated local spices, locally-caught seafood and locally-sourced herbs, greens and fruits. Mmmm – delicious!

Our only regret? After our satisfying dinner, we had no room to sample one of their famous Frozen Painkillers. Can you imagine how that would taste after spending a day on one of St. John’ beautiful beaches?


Find out more about The Longboard by visiting their website, and following them on Facebook and Instagram.

Have you enjoyed dinner (or at least a Frozen Painkiller) at The Longboard yet? If so, tell us about it!

A special thanks to The Longboard and Rebecca for arranging our delicious dinner!

Find The  Longboard on our St. John Map

To see more island posts, check out our Island Blog Directory

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Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

Frank Robinson and BES Craft Cocktail Lounge, St. Croix


His business card reads “Frank Robinson, a bartender who cooks” and should, in our opinion, include, “award winning mixologist and one of the nicest guys around”. Frank recently opened his own cocktail lounge called BES Craft Cocktail Lounge in the heart of Christiansted, St. Croix.

BES Craft Cocktail Lounge - copyright Rum Therapy
We wanted to visit BES during our recent adventure on St. Croix and wandered into Frank’s establishment at about 9pm on a Thursday to an intimate and well designed space with lighting and music that created a welcoming vibe and a perfect place to meet, mingle and chill. We introduced ourselves to Frank, who behind the large bar, was busy creating some beautiful craft cocktails – cocktails where many of the elements are handmade, include interesting and creative flavor combinations, and are tailored specifically to the drink. If you’ve never experienced a true craft cocktail, well, the results of the hard work can be quite…satisfying.

BES Craft Cocktail Lounge - copyright Rum Therapy
While assembling our cocktail choices using fresh and local ingredients and liquors infused with fruits, vegetables, roots and herbs (you can see the array of infusions in bottles and jars behind the bar), Frank alternated between moments of intense concentration and bouts of joviality – his infectious, booming laugh filling the bar.

BES Craft Cocktail Lounge - copyright Rum Therapy
We ordered a drink called “The Darker The Berry”,


featuring Plantation Rum and a caramelized spiced orange,


and a “Crucian Queen” that included Cruzan Single Barrel and a Tamarind-Habanero Syrup.


Both unlike anything we’d tried before and both quite delicious.


Did we enjoy our visit with Frank at BES? So much so that we returned the following night, where we enjoyed a private rum tasting with Frank, who so very kindly brought in some of his private and vintage Cruzan Rum stock to share and compare with us.


During our rum tasting, we picked up a mouthwatering aroma coming from the kitchen and ended up ordering some Beef Meatballs Smothered in Curry Sauce, created by none other than Frank (remember – the bartender who cooks?) which tasted even better than they smelled, if that’s even possible. Excellent night, excellent experience at BES.

Have you enjoyed some time at BES Craft Cocktail Lounge? We’d recommend putting it on the list of places to visit while in Christiansted!

To find out more about BES, follow them on Facebook and Instagram or give them a call at 340.773.2985.

Copyright©Rum Therapy
Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC