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Bayou Rum

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By: Stephanie Oswald / WGNO ABC

1. Louisiana roots run deep

Bayou Rum Mural

Photo by WGNO

For a moment, you might think you’re inside an art gallery or a museum, but this huge wall mural sets the tone for a guided tour of the Bayou Rum Distillery.

Distillery President Trey Litel says it respresents the deep roots of Louisiana rum making. This is what the very first “unofficial” distillery might have looked like.

2. They are cooking up state pride too!

Rum Sign at Louisiana Spirits Distillery

Photo by WGNO

Rum is the focus, and the only spirit produced here.

The visitor center includes a gift shop, a tasting bar and a small movie theater, where guests can watch an interesting short film about local sugarcane farming.

Fun fact: The distillery’s three stills are nicknamed Ruby, Uma and Marilyn (RUM).

3. Tours are free and include a tasting

Bayou Rum Tour

Photo by WGNO

Guided tours are family friendly, but the tasting is only for the adults who are legal drinking age or older.

Visitors get a close-up look at the rum-making process, from the barrels to the bottling — and everything in between.

4. You won’t get lost

Bayou Rum Billboard

Photo by WGNO

In fact, the distillery is so close to the exit that you can see I-10 from the parking lot.

The only gators we saw were on the billboard and the bottles — but there is a duck pond out front, with several waddling ducks.

5. There’s a Cuban connection

Stephanie Oswald at Bayou Rum

Photo by WGNO

Some of the best rum in the world comes from Cuba, and so does the master distiller at Louisiana Spirits!

His name is Reiniel Vicente and despite his youthful appearance, he brings 15 years experience to the home of Bayou Rum. He learned from his father, who was a master distiller in Cuba.

He takes great pride in the product, and says his goal is to make a rum that pleases not only rum drinkers, but also vodka and whiskey drinkers too.

6. They might put you to work

Bayou Rum Bottle Stephanie Oswald

Photo by WGNO

Well, probably not, but they did let News with a Twist’s Travel Girl, Stephanie Oswald, help with quality control for a little while. She checked to be sure that bottles were sealed properly and all necessary labels were secure and straight.

7. You can watch a parade, year-round

Bayou Rum Bottles Processed

Photo by WGNO

In Louisiana, we all love a parade! Inside the busy bottling room, an average of 5,000 bottles a day are rinsed, filled, corked, labeled and packed up.

Trivia question: How many times does the “T-boy pirogue man” appear on a bottle of Bayou Rum?

Answer: 5!

8. Not only the rum is award winning…

Bayou Rum Bottle Label

Photo by WGNO

Overall, Bayou Rum’s products have won 82 awards (and counting!)

But one of the most recent awards is something that was given to the entire operation. The distillery was named “2016 Attraction of the Year” by the Louisiana Travel Promotion Association.

Louisiana Spirits boosts the local tourism economy — and the award recognizes the company’s success at brewing Louisiana pride.

9. See what happens when people dream

Bayou Rum Sugar Cane

Photo by WGNO

A movie (that’s part of the guided tour) explains the connection to local sugarcane farmers.

Creating world class rum was a dream for Trey Litel, his brother Tim, and their third partner, Skip Cortese.

Litel, currently the president of Louisiana Spirits, says the idea was born during a duck hunting adventure.

10. Get some delicious drink recipes

Bayou Rum Drink

Photo by WGNO

This drink is the Bayou Blossom, made with Silver Rum and Satsuma liqueur. It’s just one of the specialty cocktails you’ll learn about during a visit.

Take it from our Travel Girl, Stephanie Oswald, this one tastes like summertime in a glass!