Passenger Pick of the Month
Tortuga Rum Company
Enjoy this month's Passenger Pick as we explore the story behind the beginning of one of the Caymans best known treasures; Tortuga Rum. Did you know that Tortuga Rum is a family owned business that began with the discovery that the Cayman Islands did not have their very own Rum? Owners Robert and Carlene Hamaty wasted no time in turning their dream into reality and thus Tortuga Rum was born. It did not take long for Carlene to start baking the now famous Tortuga Rum Cakes right from her very own kitchen with the help of an old family recipe and five year old Tortuga Gold Rum. The cakes were an instant success and now can be found worldwide in a variety of locations.
Founded in 1984, Tortuga Rum Company has grown to become the largest duty-free and retail liquor business in the Cayman Islands, offering all major liquor brands. Husband and wife team Robert and Carlene Hamaty, started the company while they were both employed by the islands national airline, Cayman Airways. They started the company with two blended rums, Tortuga Gold and Tortuga Light. Tortuga Rum is a combination of Jamaican Rum and Barbados Rum specially blended for the Cayman Islands; therefore it is like no other. The name, Tortuga, chosen by Robbie and Carlene, was derived from the original name given to the Cayman Islands, Las Tortugas meaning The Turtles. The first Tortuga Duty Free Liquor store was opened in 1987, while the Hamatys were still employed by Cayman Airways. In 1990, Robert Hamatys career as an Airline Captain unfortunately came to an end, and it was then he decided to give the company his undivided attention and plunged full force into the marketing and promotion of the Tortuga Rum Co.
Tortuga Rums now are available in many varieties, most of which can only be found in the Cayman Islands. These include the original Tortuga Light Rum and Tortuga Gold Rum in addition to Banana, Coconut, Mango, Vanilla, Pineapple, Spiced, Rum Cream, Rum Liqueur, Coffee Rum Liqueur, Ponche, Orange Rum Liqueur and their international acclaimed, award winning aged rums -- Tortuga 5 year old and 12 year old Premium Gold Rums.
Tortuga Rum Company also provides a wide variety of branded, Caribbean gourmet products such as: 6 flavors of flavored syrups, fruit punch, rum mints, 3 flavors of rum fudge, rum truffles, 6 flavors of gourmet rum coffees, a selection of hot and savory Caribbean sauces, honey, pepper jelly and conch chowder.
The Tortuga Rum Cake story officially began in 1987. It was at this time that Carlene started baking rum cakes at home, using a family recipe that had been handed down through generations. She of course used Tortuga Rum as the main ingredient. The Tortuga Rum Cake made its first public appearance on the dessert menu of a local restaurant, and was an instant hit. The demand for the rum cakes became so great that in 1990 a 1,700 square-foot commercial bakery was established. The trademark ingredient is a generous amount of premium five-year old, oak barrel aged Tortuga Gold Rum, not available to the public. Each cake is individually hand-glazed with this rum before packaging. The vacuum-sealing process ensures a shelf life of nine months and will keep indefinitely if refrigerated or frozen. Today Tortuga Rum cakes are sold in three sizes and nine tropical flavors. They can be found worldwide in a variety of locations and can also be ordered online and shipped to any location in the world!
Tortuga Rum Company locations include duty-free shops in Georgetown, West Bay, two shops at the airport and numerous local retail Tortuga Liquors, Fine Wine & Spirits thorough Grand Cayman.
For more information, Caribbean recipes or to order online visit at Tortugarumcakes.com
To pre-order duty and tax-free liquor, call 815-7201
Tortuga offers free Liquor Travel Safety Bags for all onward connecting flights.