When you take a sip of Copalli Rum, what you’re drinking is a distillate made from organically grown, non-GMO, heirloom sugarcane varieties.

When the Copalli team  searched for the perfect sugarcane to use for our rum, two heirloom varieties of Noble Cane were already growing and self-propagating on the land neighboring the distillery: black Noble Cane and red Noble Cane. The locals of Punta Gorda had the colorful cane growing wild in their backyards.

Why did we choose these specific heirloom varieties of sugarcane, opposed to a more resilient, efficient commercial variety? The answer is simple: Because of their taste.

After sampling the juice of a dozen types of sugarcane—including several heirloom and commercial hybrid varieties—the juice of the red and black Noble Cane stood out for its complex, delightful flavors. While the juice from some of the other canes felt sweet but bland, the juice from the red and black cane had a nuanced, honey-like sweetness that made your mouth water. 

The Noble Cane we use is like a juicy, flavorful heirloom tomato picked from the vine. Modern hybridized sugarcane, on the other hand, is like a tomato out of season.

—Anya Fernald, Copalli Co-Founder
sugar cane close up

It’s not just the type of sugarcane that matters, but the freshness of the juice. After the sugarcane is hand-harvested in the early morning, it is immediately brought to Copal Tree Distillery. Within just a couple hours, while it is still impeccably fresh, we begin to ferment the juice into the sugarcane wine that will eventually become Copalli Rum.

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