The largest privately owned rum distillery in the U.S. is Louisiana Spirits, located in in Lacassine, Louisiana. The distillery produces four varieties of rum under the Bayou label - Bayou Select Rum, Bayou Satsuma Rum, Bayou Silver Rum, and Bayou Spiced Rum. All are made with local ingredients, including unrefined cane sugar and molasses from Louisiana, and crafted in a traditional copper still. (The state produces more sugarcane than any of the Caribbean islands, which are more commonly known for rum production.)
Bayou Rum is made by Jeff Murphy and Reiniel Vicente. Murphy, the head distiller, has experience ranging from brewing beer at the Pump Room and Archipelago Brewing Company in Singapore to producing whiskey and vodka at Rebecca Creek Distillery in Texas and helping to launch Privateer Rum in Massachusetts. Vicente, the master blender, is a second-generation rum-maker who got his start in Sancti Spiritus in central Cuba, where he learned the craft alongside his master blender father, and later studied chemical engineering at the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic.
Louisiana Spirits is interested in sustainability as well as quality. Two major byproducts of the distillation are put to use rather than wasted: Vinasse, a thick liquid left behind in the distillation process, is recycled into cattle feed, while the residual alcohols are sent to bio-fuel plants.
Bayou Rum is widely available around the country and will be in full U.S. distribution by the end of 2017. It is also sold in the Caribbean as well as several countries in Europe and Asia.
A favored cocktail from Louisiana Spirits is the Bayou-Rita, made by mixing two parts each of Bayou Silver Rum, fresh lime juice, and simple syrup with one part Bayou Satsuma Rum. Serve it on the rocks, up, or frozen.
If you’re in the mood for a different type of cocktail, check out this video: