On this month’s episode we venture into the exotic world of rum with Richard D’Offay, the co-founder of Seychelles rum distillery, Takamaka.
Richard shares the captivating story behind the creation and evolution of the Takamaka brand alongside his brother, Bernard. Learn about their unique approach to distilling both molasses and cane rum, and how they collaborate with local farmers to source the finest cane, to showcase the essence of Seychelles’ terroir.
Discover the technique of ‘pressed rum’ and delve into the distinct flavor profiles that differentiate rum derived from molasses versus sugar cane juice. Richard offers insights into the local reception of their exceptional rum and its journey to intrigue rum enthusiasts in France.
Tune in to uncover the secrets behind Takamaka’s success and immerse yourself in the flavors and cultural essence of Seychelles through the lens of rum-making.
About our guest Richard D’offay, co-founder Takamaka, his family and the brand on the Seychelles Rum episode
(from the Takamaka website)
In 2000, Bernard and his father, Robert, ordered a book on home distillation and began their quest to produce “good” rum. Robert’s father, Grandpappy René Michel d’Offay had rooted his grandchildren’s interest in rum making through his own endeavors making the local Creole speciality, Rum Arrangé. Inspired by how sailors would preserve fruits and spices in alcohol, Rum Arrangé was made by macerating leaves, fruit, seeds, bark and other ingredients for up to six months after which it was enjoyed as a digestive or sweetened with cane sugar syrup.
With limited access to conventional distillation parts, Bernard and his father used their own backyard swimming pool as an interim cooling tower for their makeshift condenser, went off to their local supermarket to buy yeast and refined sugar, and began experimenting.
They were joined by Bernard’s older brother, Richard, and after more than a year of testing – resulting in both some truly questionable as well as some rather remarkable trial rums – in February 2002 they officially opened Trois Frères Distillery in Seychelles. Soon after, they distilled and delivered their first ever order of Takamaka dark rum.
Over the years, Richard and Bernard have honed their craft through their own sense of curiosity and discovery, but also through the limitations and curve balls that go hand in hand with the remoteness of the Seychelles. It’s impacted how they blend and age their rum, it’s forged the role they play in their community and it’s shaped who they are today as people, and as rum makers.
Products, places and people mentioned in our Seychelles rum episode
Cocktails of the Month for Seychelles Rum episode
This month you get not one, but three (!), cocktail recipes that we made during the week with this Seychelles rum
This is a great way to taste this Seychelles rum (or any other)
2 ounces (60 ml) Takamaka Rum Zen
1 ounces (30 ml) Freshly squeezed lime juice
½ ounce (15 ml) Simple syrup
Shake together and staring into a chilled cocktail glass.
Feel free to adjust proportions based on the acidity level of the citrus and your personal preference.
This is a Seychelles rum version of the popular Cuba Libre
Takamaka Extra Noir Rum
Add a few lime wedges to a rocks glass and muddle to release juice
Fill with ice
Pour over 1 part rum and 1 part coke
Garnish with a lim
Tips: Use small fresh bottles of coke to make sure they are nice and fizzy
Amount of pours will be determined by the size of glass which should be relatively small
Squeeze the lime rather than muddle with an elbow press to release lots of nice oils from the lime peel
This rum highball is a favorite of cofounder Bernarnd D’Offay
Add 1 shot of Extra Noir Takamaka rum to a tall glass
Fill with ice
Top with sparkling water
Add a few dashes of angostura or creole bitters
Big thanks to…
Richard D’Offay for the interview as well as his brother Bernard and wife Retha for the amazing hospitality on our visit
World Radio Paris for editing and production
Son Little for the music we use
and YOU for tuning in, downloading and listening!
If you liked the Seychelles rum episode, you might enjoy the other episodes:
You can also find more of the best Paris Cocktail Talk at:
As usual, please drink responsibly.