Off the beaten path day trips appeal to my sense of adventure. After 13 years living on island, I still find some new excursions. Recently, I toured Cadushy, a distillery on Bonaire. Off the beaten path, on a side street in Bonaire’s “first capital”, Rincon, a little oasis is found.
I parked on the street under a shady tree. Street dogs mingled with locals in the area. The operations is behind a fence in what later revealed to be a large property complete with tasting area, bar, distillery, rest rooms, parrot feeding stations, massive Calabash trees and visitor stations with information and displays. What really surprised me was finding a full on active cinema. But wait, I am moving to fast. Let me begin by explaining who runs this cool property.
The Cadushy Distillery was founded in 2009 by Eric and Jolande Gietman, a Dutch couple. They fell in love with the people and culture in little Rincon and set roots. Eric is the distiller. Jolande runs the business end. Things moved slowly, as they do in the island but on September 6th of 2009, the first bottle of Cadushy of Bonaire Liqueur was presented to the then Lieutenant Governor of Bonaire, Mr Glenn Thode. Eric uses locally found Cadushy or Kadushi, a cactus found on island. The plan can grow to 12m and live up to 100 years. The cacti is peeled and dried (in a car sitting in the sun, no less) and then mixed with locally grown Sorgum for sweetness. There is an 80% grain alcohol base. The still was gorgeous. Eric shared, it’s made in Portugal.
Eric has expanded his operation and now makes vodka, tequila, Rincon Rum and Captain Don Whiskey. Eric uses oak barrels and Cuban Tobacco for his Whiskey blend. He also has created delicious liquors, made to celebrate the islands; KukuÏ of Aruba, The Spirit of Bonaire, Cadushy of Bonaire, Calbas of Curaçao, Gold of Statia, Spices of Saba and Orange of Curacao. Each bottle is colorful and definitely a collectable.
Back to the cinema, the property came with a working movie theater. Once in awhile, Eric and Jolande show films to the locals but in the future, may do more to include the public.
Kaya Cornelis D.Crestiaan, Rincon, Caribbean Netherlands
Phone: 011 599 786 8769