GAL FRIDAY: Goat’s milk and rum?
When I was a younger lass, I was part of a community with various distillations of beliefs. My Christian mother would say, “Paul told Timothy to drink a little wine,” as she enjoyed her little libations while reading the scriptures.
My wining neighbour would say, “dancing is good for the spirit,” as he delighted in grand gyrations at Carnival. But my babysitter, who was perhaps the most influential during my formative years, sang, “rum is the most wonderful drink of all!”
So, I had the perfect prelude to settling into the rum-making island I so adore.
In the novel Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson writes about a seaman singing, “Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum”. This reminded me of my frequent trips to the Garrison with friends visiting George Washington House. While we enjoyed a full course meal and imbibed with the spirit of George on the inside, others on the outside engaged in intercourse, with a nip or tipple in between.
And talking about nip and tipples, I see Hoad on top wants to know me, on the bottom. In the biblical sense, I can have none of it, but I do have a business proposition for him, seeing that he deals with goats and tits. Imagine a mixture of goat’s milk and rum. I’d market if for free: “A titillating triumph of the Barbadian sprit.” You like that, Dick?
But seriously speaking, last week I was intoxicated with pride when I saw the efforts of Mount Gay to bring the world’s oldest bottles of rum home to Barbados. I reminisced on my imaginary travels into the book Sugar Barons, where Barbados is depicted as a captivating piece of real estate in which fellas like Drax, Codrington and Henry Lascelles himself dined, drank and delighted.
The power of the island’s administration was in the hands of a select few and their gatherings were grand; pork was proper and rum ruled the festivities. It seems we have come full circle.
I earnestly take to heart the comments of Senator Professor Henry Fraser regarding the need to update the Rum Duty Act of 1906 and who opines that rum is to Barbados as wine is to France…but when we approach the US about their heavy tariffs, they tell us to go to France!
Many of us are fluent in French and while we’d like to give the US a parlez-vous or two, at the end of the day, it’s all about the marketing.
Some spirits demand higher amounts of legal tender – my good friend Antonio Arthur can flaunt his expertise here and tell you that some people pay more for cognac than for cars. If we market Barbadian rum as the superior spirit of the Indies, the most divine distillation on Earth or even the subtle movement of darkness into light, perhaps the consumer may willingly pay more. I hear the rumblings of thirstier markets nipping at our heels, so we’d better get our act together . . . or wake up with a bad hangover.
Veoma Ali is an author, actor, broadcaster, advertising exec and most importantly, a karaoke lover.