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  • Writer's pictureJude

Rum tasting in Antigua

Updated: Mar 18

Quin Farara Rum Shop

Just five minutes walk from St Johns' main shopping areas of Heritage and Redcliffe Quays is the sunshine coloured Caribbean style building with red framed shutters. One hundred years ago a gentleman named Quin Farara moved to Antigua from Portugal with his wife and set up a rum shop. Ten years later he proceeded to help form Antigua Distillery Ltd.

Today, the shop, located where it has always been, on a prominent corner position where Corn Alley meets Long Street, is still a thriving business run by Quin Farara's grand children. It has maintained the tradition of serving refreshments of fresh lemonade and coffee but also serves alcohol and sells a selection of spirits and wine by the bottle. Additionally, a range of courses are available for those wishing to learn about the history of the store and to gain some knowledge of Antigua's rum production. Several packages include rum tasting sessions with cocktail making. Mixology and bar tender courses can also be pre-booked.

Rum Tasting in Antigua

Courses Available at Quin Farara


  1. The Rum Punch Experience - US$20 per person - (allow around 30 minutes) A brief history of the store, 2 rums to taste, both Antiguan made (1 white and 1 gold). Make your own rum punch with the guidance of your host.

  2. The Wadadli Experience - US$40 per person - (allow around 45 minutes) A brief history of the store, taste 4 Antiguan rums (1 white, 1 gold and 2 dark). Make a rum punch with the guidance of your host using your preferred rum.

  3. Island Style Rum Masterclass - US$60 per person - (allow 90 minutes) This is a course for rum connoisseurs - taste 4 white and 4 dark rums from around the Caribbean together with a more in depth guide to rum making.

The Wadadli Experience

Khadijah is a knowledgeable guide who, in a nutshell, shares interesting facts whilst explaining the history of the store and rum production in Antigua. She explains that all the rum starts off as white rum and the aging process through American oak barrels gives it an oak flavour. The longer it ages, the deeper the oak flavour. The molasses used gives the rum its distinctive notes of vanilla and butterscotch.

Next it is time to prepare your own old fashioned rum punch mirroring your guide. We begin by filling our glasses with ice then slowly add rum for a count of 5 seconds. We then turn the bitters upside and shake the bottle twice. Add fresh, still lemonade until the glass is pretty much full. The sugar syrup has been infused with cinnamon and lemon rind - add a spoon or more to taste. We take a leaf of mint and smack it between our hands to release the aroma and flavour and add it to the punch together with a sliver of cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg.

Afterwards, enjoy your rum punch at the bar or in the outdoor courtyard with an historic uncovered well. The tranquil area feels a million miles away from the bustling streets of St Johns. Lizards peek above the many protruding tree roots, birds sing and the only reminder that you are in a busy town is the occasional car passing flexing its sound system.

The shop also sells plenty of locally made produce such as gin from Antilles Stillery, pepper jelly and passionfruit hot sauce from Nicole's Table.

A visit to Quin Farara is an enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours, learning about and tasting a variety of rums while supporting a local, family run business.

For bookings, contact me via WhatsApp on +44 7732 329863. Walk-in appointments are not guaranteed so pre-booking is highly recommended. Classes can be booked on a 1:1 basis or for up to 20 people. Several time slots are available from 10am to 3pm.

Note:  I will receive a small commission if you book this recommended activity. 

Note:  If you make any bookings based on my recommendations your contract will be directly with the airline/travel company/hotels/short term rental or activity providers you book through. I am acting as a referral point only based on information from my most recent visit which may be subject to change at any time.  


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