Flor de Cana is a truly sustainable rum which can be tracked from field to bottle. It is distilled with 100% renewable energy, 50,000 trees are planted annually and all CO2 emissions are captured during fermentation. A rum with a rich complexity of flavours and a smooth finish, it is derived from a secret family recipe, passed down through five generations.
We chatted to the team about this rather unique sustainable rum.
How did it all start?
This story began in 1875 when Alfredo Francisco Pellas Canessa, a young adventurer from Genoa, Italy, risked everything by leaving behind his family and the comforts of the old continent to travel to the exotic and tropical country of Nicaragua.
Initially, he invested in a shorter and safer steamboat route through Nicaragua to transport passengers and goods from the East Coast of the US to the West Coast during the height of the California Gold Rush. The route was a huge success, but when news broke about the construction of the Panama Canal and the U.S. coast-to-coast railroad, Alfredo Francisco knew it was time to set out on a new adventure…
In 1890, he found the perfect setting for the Flor de Caña distillery at the base of Nicaragua’s tallest and most active volcano: the San Cristóbal. The fertility of its surrounding lands, the enriched water and the tropical volcanic climate proved to be instrumental in forging the rum’s exceptionally smooth flavour.
130 years later, the entire production process continues under the supervision of the same family (five generations of mastery and family values), achieving perfection in rum making.
Flor De Cana has come through 130 years of adversities. What kind of things have the generations faced?
Throughout its history, the family company has survived a plane crash, a civil war, nationalizations, hyperinflation, and several natural disasters such as fires, hurricanes and volcanic eruptions.
Against all the odds, the company has also been able to remain a family business for five generations: Only 3 in 10,000 family businesses make it to the 5th generation!
Tell us about the portfolio of your luxury, sustainable rums.
We are proud of our rums, which are naturally aged for up to 30 years in Nicaragua’s tropical climate, created without any artificial ingredients.
We are a single estate rum, meaning we own and control the entire production of the rum, from field to bottle. The talent and expertise of Tomas Cano, our Maestro Ronero for over 35 years, ensures the world-class quality of our liquid.
One of the highest distinctions received by the brand for the quality of its liquid was being named “Global Rum Producer of the Year” by the prestigious International Wine and Spirit Competition in London in 2017.
Some of our most emblematic rums include:
Flor de Caña V Generaciones 30 Year Rum
A rare, single barrel 30-year-old, ultra-luxury rum patiently aged at the base of an active volcano. Sustainably crafted (Carbon Neutral & Fair Trade certified) at a family-owned estate in tropical Nicaragua since 1890, it features a bottle cap made from volcanic rock, the signatures of the five generations of the founding family and a replica of the iconic 1902 volcano postal stamp of Nicaragua. The individually numbered bottles, complete with a fine metallic label and a certificate of authenticity, are presented in a sleek black leather case, boasting an avant-garde and minimalist style.
Flor de Caña 25 Year Rum
A luxurious and elegant sipping rum aged to perfection during a quarter of a century in bourbon barrels at the base of an active volcano. Sustainably crafted (Carbon Neutral & Fair Trade certified) at a 5th generation family estate in tropical Nicaragua since 1890, it’s naturally aged without sugar or artificial ingredients and distilled with 100% renewable energy. An absolutely memorable sensorial experience with its complexity of flavour, aroma and a long and exquisitely smooth finish that conquers the palate. Best enjoyed neat or on a rock, and paired with 70% cocoa chocolate.
Flor de Caña 130th Anniversary Rum
A special 90-proof luxury rum carefully crafted by Flor de Caña’s Maestro Ronero, Tomas Cano, in commemoration of the brand’s 130th anniversary. Sustainably crafted (Carbon Neutral & Fair Trade certified) and aged for 20 years in bourbon barrels at the base of Nicaragua’s most active volcano without sugar or artificial ingredients. Full-bodied with notes of dark chocolate, caramel and toasted nuts, with a long and luscious finish. Best enjoyed neat or on a rock, and paired with semi-bitter chocolate. A true celebration of the art of rum making since 1890.
This is the world’s only Carbon Neutral & Fair Trade Certified spirit. How was this achieved?
Sustainability has always been a core value of Flor de Caña. Maintaining sustainable production is a mantra that has been passed down through the five family generations over the last 130 years.. The focus on sustainability has shaped how the company produces rum, does business and interacts with consumers around the world.
Becoming the world’s only Carbon Neutral & Fair Trade Certified spirit was the result of numerous efforts throughout the years and a deep commitment to sustainable practices across the board: employees, community and environment.
Some of these practices include:
- Adopting world-class labour and agricultural production standards.
- Capturing all CO2 emissions during the fermentation process.
- Distilling the rum with 100% renewable energy from biomass.
- Planting 50,000 trees annually since 2005.
- Providing employees and their families with free health care and education since 1913.
- Supporting diverse community projects and NGOs focused on improving the lives of the most vulnerable populations in the country.
The Carbon Neutral certification, issued by Carbon Trust in the UK, assures consumers that Flor de Caña offsets all carbon emissions during the entire lifecycle of the rum, from field to market. Meanwhile, the Fair Trade certification, issued by Fair Trade USA, verifies that the rum is sustainably produced in compliance with over 300 rigorous labour, social and environmental standards.
Flor de Caña received the Sustainability Award from The Drinks Business for its leadership in sustainable practices. What other sustainable practices are important to the brand?
Flor de Caña has developed a series of programs aimed at sharing and promoting the value of sustainability with the trade and rum enthusiasts around the globe, allowing them to be a part of a movement to ensure a greener future for everyone.
- A global reforestation campaign to plant 1 million by 2025, in partnership with environmental charity One Tree Planted.
- Zero Waste Cocktails is a global initiative that invites eco-conscious bars, restaurants and consumers around the world to join forces to reduce food waste, one sustainable cocktail at a time. In 2021, the brand worked with over 400 bars around the world to create sustainable cocktails made with Flor de Caña rum and with ingredients derived from re-purposed food scraps or leftovers from the local community. The campaign helped reduce over 10 tons of food waste.
- Sustainable Cocktail Challenge is a competition whose objective is to inspire the bartending community to become sustainability champions and build a greener future together by creating spectacular cocktails using sustainable ingredients and techniques and Flor de Caña Rum.
What is next for Flor de Cana?
There is a saying that captures Flor de Caña’s vision regarding sustainability: the Earth is not an inheritance from our parents, but a loan from our children. That’s why we strive to be a brand with purpose, a brand that not only produces an award-winning sustainable rum, but that is also focused on leaving a better future for generations to come.
We’ll continue raising the bar on ourselves and looking for ways to do things better and to positively impact our employees, the community and the environment, one Flor de Caña rum bottle at a time. In terms of new rum expressions, we’re continuously listening to our consumers and their preferences in order to create innovative products that satisfy even the most demanding rum enthusiasts.
To discover more, visit: flordecana.com
All imagery courtesy of Whyte & Mackay.