Yuri A Jones - A Caribbean-based fine art photographer
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Honoring Dominica's tradition of bush rum

 

People who know me well, know that I’m a big fan of our local bush rums. Nanny, Pwev, Chook-Chook, Spice… I like them all! So when a client brought this request to me, I was enthused from the start.

As part of an ongoing project to provide images to be used as artwork for a new hotel, the client needed images to complete the theme of one of its bars - rum! Specifically, locally-made bush rum.

Needless to say, I was happy to participate

What is bush rum?

Bush Rum = Bush + Pure (or white) Rum. It’s that simple!

What’s not so simple is the selection of the right bush. This knowledge is passed down through the generations, as many of the bushes are known (or believed) to have medicinal properties.

They were the basis of several local remedies for flu, fever, upset stomach, and all other manner of aches and pains.

When making bush rum, other considerations include:

  • what container should the rum be put in during the ‘curing’ process (plastic, wood, glass)

  • where the containers are stored during the ‘curing’ process

  • how long the bush is left in or if it’s ever taken out!

  • the addition of sweeteners, such as raisins or mints.

 
Setting up the scene at Shorty’s bar.

Setting up the scene at Shorty’s bar.

 

Locations

Two places came to mind straightaway - Islet View Restaurant & Bar (because of the extensive bush rum options) and Shorty’s Bar (because I always have fun when I stop by Shorty!)

In quick time, I went up to Castle Bruce and captured a view images at Islet View, and visited Shorty’s bar a couple days later. To be fair, shooting at Shorty’s was a bit more challenging

In order to cover all my bases, I decided to shoot at Ruins Rock Cafe too. I hadn’t been there in a while, but I should have remembered that their collection is the most impressive in Dominica. What’s more, they carry very exotic rums, which is what I really wanted to capture.

The Results

Between these three locations and shooting some of the raw bushes at home, I got some interesting images. I needed 24 images for this section of the project, but here are a few. Let me know what you think! (click each image to see them larger)