French Polynesia/Taha’a: Manao Rum Distillery

Tahaa Island is know as the green island of the Society Islands in French Polynesia. It doesn’t even have an airport, and you need to fly to the nearby Raiataea to get here. The island is famous for three things – best vanilla in the world, best Polynesian black pearls, and best Polynesian rum. A good circular tour of the Tahaa Island by scooter usually begins with a stop at a rum distillery (and why not?). Manao Rum is the most famous distillery, producing finest rum “agricole” – that is pure sugar cane rum without any molasses additions. It’s actually listed in the top 50 best rums in the world. Different ancestral varieties of Polynesian sugar cane are used for this small batch elite production. Fine and rich, the 100 proof (50% alcohol) rum goes down super smooth, both the white and dark varieties.